Home Improvement Ideas - The Packrat Wifey

Easy Ways to Spruce Up the Exterior of Your Home

Even though a lot of homeowners focus on refining and redesigning the interior of their houses in order to keep the property value high and to keep up with changing trends in the world of interior design, the truth is that you should never neglect the exterior of your house either. After all, this is the first impression you make on people, as it’s the first thing they encounter about your home. An unkempt property may make someone think that you don’t really care about your house, and they’ll also assume that the inside of the house must look just as bad.

Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways to maintain the look of the exterior of your home. Continue reading for a few solutions you can implement to spruce it up.

Add Pavers Instead of Concrete

Concrete driveways are unattractive and they can even crack and begin to look even worse over time. As a result, many homeowners are now transforming their concrete walkways, driveways, and backyard patios with attractive pavers that come in a variety of colours and shapes. These blocks are set down into the ground and provide a long-lasting option that will add colour to the exterior of your home and make it look clean and modern. Be sure to properly maintain your pavers with sealer so they’ll withstand the elements and continue to look like new for years to come.

Add a Bright Front Door

You can take the door that’s currently on the front of your home and repaint it, or instead purchase a brand new one, but making it a bright door is a great way to spruce up the exterior appearance of your home and make it even more welcoming than before. Go with a bright colour, such as yellow or turquoise, to really stand out and make your home appear fun and clean.

Free Yellow And Red Tulip Flower Plant Beside White Fence Stock Photo

[Photo courtesy of Kristina Paukshtite /pexels.com]

Add a Fence and Flowers

A white picket fence is a great way to instantly add curb appeal to your home. But planting colourful and fragrant flowers and vines along the edge of the fence will add even more beauty to it and make your lawn even more inviting. Plus, you will get to see these plants as they change from one season to the next.

Reinvent Your Siding

If the siding on your house is beginning to look aged and dirty, you do not necessarily need to completely replace it, which can be a costly renovation that you may not have the budget for. Instead, there are many DIY approaches that you can take to repair your siding, whether you have aluminum, vinyl, or any other type of siding. This simple step can be the most dramatic change you make to your home’s exterior, and it can make it look years younger.

Updating the exterior of your home should not be something that you neglect. Instead, take the time to keep your property clean and looking beautiful. This will make your home more welcoming and more valuable.

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Ideas For Encouraging Your Kids To Spend More Time Outside

There are lots of improvements adults can make to their gardens to encourage their kids to spend more time outside. Now is the best time to create your plan because you have a few months to get the backyard ready for the summertime. There are some suggestions below that you might like to consider, and you can always conduct some extra research online if you need some inspiration. When all’s said and done, most kids spend too much time sat in front of the television these days. With that in mind, you need to work hard to turn that situation around.

[Photo courtesy of Jesper Sørensen/flickr.com]

Create a fun play area

When it comes to creating a play area in the garden for your kids, the possibilities are endless. You could purchase swings, slides, and lots of other equipment to make the outdoor space seem exciting to the little ones. Of course, you might have to employ the services of an affordable tree arborist if you don’t have enough space at the moment. Once you remove all those unwanted trees; you can start turning your backyard into a thrilling activity hub where your loved ones can spend time with their friends. Again, if you need some extra inspiration; just look through Google images.

Start growing fruit and vegetables

Most children find mother nature fascinating, and so you could spark their imagination by growing some fruits and vegetables in your garden. Your kids will love learning about the plants and caring for them as they grow. The best thing about that idea is that, in a few month’s time; you can sit down at the dinner table and enjoy some organic produce. Put your kids in charge of watering the plants and ensure they take an active role if you want the best results. Who knows? Maybe you’ll inspire them to take up an agriculture hobby or something similar? Stranger things have happened!

[Photo courtesy of Ricardo’s Photography/flickr.com]

Bring wildlife into your garden

There are lots of steps you can take if you want to bring some wildlife into your garden for the kids. Firstly, you need to secure the land to ensure your neighbour’s cats can’t get into the backyard. That should encourage more birds to land and eat from your feeders. You could also dig a small pond if you wanted to attract frogs and tadpoles. Some people choose to build chicken coops and benefit from fresh eggs every morning. The idea is just to make the backyard seem as vibrant and alive as possible.

If you put those suggestions into practice; there is a decent chance your kids will peel themselves away from the TV screen a little more often. Just be sure you spend lots of time in the garden as a family when the weather improves. Building a brick barbecue is a wise move because it will mean your family can enjoy a few meals outside during the summer. You might also think about adding some waterproof outdoor speakers, so you have some entertainment in the backyard. Just create a plan and work out your budget before the spring.

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Super Simple Interior Design Ideas

When people hear the term interior design, their minds often jump to hugely complicated projects that are going to take up a great deal of time and effort. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Sometimes, the best home improvement jobs are simple and don’t require too much from you in terms of commitment. When you own a place, it is always something of a work in progress so these jobs can really end up making all the difference.

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pexels.com]

Paint the Room in Soft, Light Colours

Whatever the size of your house, you want to get the most out of it by making the rooms seem as big as possible. A simple paint job can really make a big impact, particularly if you choose soft, light colours, as well as mirrors that reflect the natural light that comes pouring in from the doors. On the opposite side of the coin, darker colours tend to make a room feel smaller and boxed-in.

Mix Up Patterns and Textures

Whether you do the job on your own or you say to yourself “I want to find an interior designer near me”, mixing the patterns and textures in your rooms is a classic technique. There is nothing wrong with putting some old pieces of furniture alongside more modern items, as long as they don’t clash too much and they properly represent your own unique personality and style. When everything seems too uniform, it has the look of coming straight out of a catalogue rather than feeling lived-in.

Use What You Already Have

As we have mentioned already, there is no need to spend huge sums of cash buying a whole load of expensive, new items. Pretty much all of us have items that can be used to add a bit of character to your home. Just some of these include bedside tables, luggage racks, trunks and old pieces of furniture. Another idea is to hang some plates around the place as wall art. Some simple DIY tricks can look great and give you a good project to tackle.

Add a Touch of Greenery

[Photo courtesy of lum3n/pexels.com]

Adding a few plants and flowers to your living spaces can add a touch of nature indoors. The great thing about plants is that they are an affordable way of bringing in some colour and texture to your home. Many houseplants don’t require a great deal of upkeep, and they also help to clean the household air. Not only this, they can also absorb pollutants and get rid of a lot of harmful gases from the air.

Soften Up Hardwood Floors with Some Rugs

[Photo courtesy of pixabay/pexels.com]

Hardwood floors have a classic and elegant feel in the home, but they can end up looking a little bare without a few throw rugs. Choose a style and texture that suits you, and place them in key areas around your house without overdoing it. You could even change up the styles depending on the season if you like the idea of giving your home a different look throughout the year.

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How to Keep Your Home Cool during the Summer

While we may not be blessed with sweltering weather all year round in the UK, there is no denying that it can get a bit stuffy and uncomfortable in the home when the sun comes out. If you are searching for ways to make your home cool throughout the summer months ahead, read on.

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[Photo courtesy of  Max Vakhtbovych/pexels.com]

Tips for your A/C

Of course, the easiest way to cool your home is with air conditioning, and there are numerous ways you can ensure your system runs more effectively. If possible, provide shade for your air conditioning unit, as this will boost its efficiency by five to ten per cent. You should also make sure that you clean your A/C air filter on a monthly basis. Air flow will drop by around one per cent per week due to normal dust build-up. Another tip is to make sure you do not use a dehumidifier while your air conditioner is turned on, as it will cause the cooling load to increase, which will make the air conditioner work even harder. And, if you have been meaning to get your air conditioning unit repaired for a while, now is the time with a company that provides a quick service, such as Farmen & Dermer AC repair.

Window solutions

Not only do you need to concentrate on your air conditioning unit throughout the summer, but your windows can be key to ensuring your home is comfortable. You should think about exotic infills for your windows. This is a new technology that ensures the space between the panels is filled with argon or krypton, which boost R-values because they are gases that have lower conductivity than air. You should also install mini-blinds or white window shades, as they can lower solar heat gain by as much as 50 per cent.

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[Photo courtesy of  Quang Nguyen Vinh/pexels.com]

Quick tips

Now that we have dealt with the most important aspects regarding keeping your home cool during the summer, let’s take a look at some quick tips that will help you along the way:

  • Grill – Forget about using the stove or the oven during the summer months; it is only going to make your home feel like a sauna. If you are already sweltering, the last thing you want to do is turn on a 400-degree oven. Instead, use the grill. After all, who doesn’t love a barbeque during the summer months?
  • Get rid of incandescent lights – Now is the time to get rid of incandescent lights. Did you know that they actually waste about 90 per cent of their energy in the heat they emit? This is an awful lot of energy and an awful lot of heat. Making the switch can reduce the heat in your home as well as your energy bills.
  • Heat-proof your bed – Is there anything more frustrating than being too hot while in bed? This may sound weird, but you’d be surprised how effective it is: fill a hot water bottle with water, and place it in the freezer, and then before bed put it under your feet before you go to sleep.
  • Set your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise – Lastly, you may not realise it, but you need to adjust your ceiling fans seasonally. During the summer, make sure your fan rotates counter-clockwise, as this will create a chilled breeze that will make you feel cooler.

For some more tips on making your home summer-ready, click here.

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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.

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.

bed, bedroom, chair

[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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Reasons You Think You Can’t Change Your Home Decor and Design – And Why You’re Wrong

Coming around to the decision to give your home a makeover is an easy one.

Of course, the reasons in the pro column are long and substantial. Who doesn’t want their home to look better? Give everything a refresh; change things around so that it all feels like new again? Perhaps your eye has been caught by a new decorating trend, and you can’t wait to try it out for yourself. Or perhaps you’re just the kind of person who tends to need a project.

You find yourself imagining the changed decor; the fresh paint; the new levels of comfort that you can explore. Then, with a screech of brakes, your mind remembers all the reasons you shouldn’t do it.

Sometimes, though, you just have to seize the moment and go for it. If there’s something you want to change about your home, then it’s time to banish the concerns to one side. I’m going to go through all of the usual objections and show why they’re not anything that should stand in your way. Just call me your home decor and renovation enabler!

“I can’t afford it.”

Fall, Hurricane, Money, Finance, Currency, Crisis

[Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures/pixabay.com]

Of course, this one is pretty difficult to argue on the surface of it. If you don’t have the money, then what can you do? You can’t magic it up from thin air and progress on developing a money tree is still limited, so you’ll just have to wait until you can afford it.

The best option in this scenario is to look at a way to change something up without breaking the bank. Rather than a full-scale kitchen remodel, for example, why not go for a facelift? You could change the cupboard doors rather than fitting entirely new cupboards.

The same philosophy applies throughout the house. Craving a new bed to snuggle down into? Maybe that’s outside the budget, but memory foam mattress toppers can give a boost of comfort without the same price tag. Does the carpet really need replacing, or will a deep clean and brush be enough to bring it back up to standard?

“I don’t have the time.”

Clock, Time, Stand By

[Photo courtesy of obpia30/pixabay.com]

Realistically, you probably don’t have the time for most things you do. We get it; life is busy, it’s stressful, and you’re struggling to do the basics. Why should you make your workload easier?

Because you don’t have the time! It’s that simple; the same thing arguing against the scenario is the thing that makes it a necessity. Unless you have a huge chunk of holiday time coming up that you know you can dedicate to DIY, where is it going to come from? You’re going to have to fit it in somewhere. There’s no time like the present, or so the old saying goes.

Putting something off to some fantastical period when you’re going to magically have “more time” isn’t going to work. You can break it down into chunks. Do a little as often as you possibly can to make it less draining.

“It’s a lot of disruption.”

Yes, of course, it is. You have to shop, make decisions, then implement them. Depending on the scale of your project, that might involve a builder being involved or transferring items into new furniture. It will be disruptive – but it’s always going to be. It’s the same as the point about time. Unless you can foresee sometime in the future when you will be able to do these things unencumbered, there’s no point holding back.

“It’s a lot of mess.”

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[Photo courtesy of geralt/pixabay.com]

Even the most basic things do cause a mess, but so does life. I’m going to imagine your house tends to require cleaning anyway. So, given the potential end result, what’s the harm in a little extra?

“It’s not a good time.”

There’s a chance this is a legitimate concern and I don’t discount that. If you’re particularly busy, going through a stressful situation or have health concerns – you’re right. It’s probably not a good time and you should wait until it’s more something you can cope with. There’s also seasonal considerations; it’s little use deciding to renovate the garden in winter, for example.

Window, Nature, Interior, Decor, Design, Natural, Blue

[Photo courtesy of Unsplash/pixabay.com]

Only you can know if the problem is just where you’re at in your life – you know if this is a genuine reason or not. Often, this argument might be masking a concern about one of the above, so check your thinking to see if that’s the case. If it is, then see if there’s something you can do about progress. If not, and it really is a bad time, consider yourself un-enabled for now!

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Important Questions That Every New Homeowner Needs To Ask

Have you just bought your first house? Congratulations! Buying your very first home is a very exciting life milestone indeed! However, it isn’t all fun and games as it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Most new homeowners are completely new at owning their very own property. And they aren’t exactly sure about what goes into running a household. That’s why it is important that you try and fill some of the gaps in your knowledge as quickly as possible. And the best way to do that is to ask a lot of questions. Here are the best ones for you to ask.

Apartments, Architecture, Balconies, Building, Facade

[Photo courtesy of Pexels/pixabay.com]

Where Is The Water Shutoff Valve?

It is incredibly important that you know where the water shutoff valve is in your home. Knowing where this valve is can help you prevent a huge disaster. For example, if a plumbing job goes wrong or a pipe bursts, you may end up with a lot of water damage in your home. And this can be very expensive to repair. However, if you know where the shutoff valve is, you will be able to greatly reduce the amount of damage. So once you have agreed on the house sale, make sure that you ask where this very useful valve is!

Faucet, Valve, Gold, Hot Water Connection, Nostalgia

[Photo courtesy of rgerber/pixabay.com]

Is The House Equipped With Security?

Sometimes, properties are sold with all their security system still in place. If the previous homeowner had installed a burglar alarm system, they will probably leave this in place for you. There could be other safety and security features in place. So be sure to ask the previous homeowners about everything that is in place. Don’t think your new home is going to come with adequate security systems and equipment? No problem; it will be easy for you to get some installed. You could get a security firm in to install everything for you. However, many homeowners are now turning to DIY installations. You can learn about diy home security systems online.

Cctv, Security, Camera, Privacy, Security Camera

[Photo courtesy of ElasticComputeFarm/pixabay.com]

Can You Cut Down Trees In The Garden

Trees can be a godsend in many gardens as they encourage a wide variety of wildlife and birds to visit. They are also good from an environmental point of view because they release a lot of oxygen into the atmosphere. However, there are a few downsides to having large trees in your garden. Firstly, if they grow too big, they could end up getting dangerously close to overhead power cables. Their roots can also grow quite far under the ground and could end up damaging piping and underground electrical cables. Not only that, though, but tall trees can block sunlight from getting into your home. And this could make your rooms feel fairly dark and dingy. So can you cut down the trees in your garden? You will first need to check with your locality to find out. Most localities require people to get a permit before they cut down any trees. Once they agree to it, it is often safer to hire a tree surgeon who can do the job safely for you.

Spring, Blossom, Bloom, Garden, Magnolia, Tree, Nature

[Photo courtesy of Benni99/pixabay.com]

Is It Safe To Drill Into Walls?

When many people move into their home, they are incredibly excited to start decorating and put their personal stamp on the place. Most people want to hang pictures on their walls and mount wall hangings. To do this, you will normally need to drill into the walls so that you can put a nail or screw into the wall. However, do you know if you can drill into the walls? It all depends on what is in the walls. If there are lots of cables in there, it could be too dangerous to put anything on the wall. You could end up damaging the cabling, and you may even risk electrocuting yourself. Generally speaking, if you drill no more than an inch into the wall, you won’t have to worry about hitting these cables. You should make sure that you never drill above or below any wall sockets or light switches. There will be a lot of cables in these areas.

Taps, Drill, Milling, Milling Machine, Drilling, Tool

[Photo courtesy of blickpixel/pixabay.com]

Can I Deal With A Blocked Drain Or Toilet Myself?

Most of the time, yes! In fact, blocked drains are fairly easy to fix. One of the first things you should do is to pour some bleach down the drain followed by a kettle full of boiling water. This should dissolve and dislodged most substances that could be blocking the drain. If this doesn’t quite get rid of the clog, you could use a plunger to try and physically remove the block. You can also use this method to unclog your toilet. If things don’t seem to get any better, you may have to consider calling a plumber to come and fix things for you.

What’s 811 for?

Everyone knows about 911. But do you know about 811 as well? If you have bought a home with a large garden and plan on some big garden projects, you may need to know all about this three-digit phone number. It is important that you call 811 before you begin any outdoor projects that require a lot of digging. Each area has their very own 811 center staffed with people who know exactly what will be under the ground you plan to dig. If you let them know the exact area which you want to dig up, they will be able to tell you whether there are any possible dangers or obstructions. These could include water pipes or underwater springs.

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[Photo courtesy of TanteTati/pixabay.com]

Do I Need To Keep All The Receipts Of Home Improvements?

This isn’t an absolute must, but it could come in very useful if you ever decide to sell your home. That’s because you can use the receipt of each piece of work you have had done to show just how much your home has increased in value. That’s not the only advantage. It could also help to decrease your taxable income if you are a freelancer or self-employed.

All the answers to these questions should help you run a household smoothly!

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6 Home Improvements You Should Make When You Are Pregnant!

When you find out you are expecting a baby, it’s an amazing time for you and your partner. You are bringing a little one into the world who you will love and adore (well, most of the time). You will have plenty you need to buy for the baby including a crib, a pushchair, and a dozen packs of nappies. You may decide to move home to have more space for the little one. But if you decide to stay where you are, there are several things you should do in your home to make it more suitable for a little baby. After all, there now will be three, not two of you. Here are six home improvements you should make when you are expecting a baby.

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[Photo courtesy of AdinaVoicu/pixabay.com]

Create a nursery

One of the first home improvements you should make when you are pregnant is to create a nursery. You will need to look at the current bedrooms in your home and decide which one will now be the nursery. You may need to have a home extension if you don’t currently have space in your home for a new baby. A lot of people convert their attic so that they can have one or two extra rooms. You should get a company out to discuss how much it will cost to convert the loft. Of course, the baby will be in with you for the first few months of its life. But a nursery is essential to hold all their stuff and have the crib and changing unit in there. You may want to use the smallest bedroom as a nursery, and then as they grow, you can move them into a larger bedroom. As we discuss here, it’s a lot of fun decorating the nursery for your baby. You need to choose a great neutral color to decorate the room in that will last for the first year or two. You may need to choose a different carpet now for the room too. Go for a darker color so that any stains don’t show easily. You may want to go for wood flooring so it’s easy to clean.

Room, Baby, Cradle, Dorm

[Photo courtesy of andremergulhaum/pixabay.com]

Consider changing the heating

Another home improvement you should make when you are pregnant is to consider changing the heating. It’s so important that your home is properly heated when you are having a baby. The baby needs to be able to keep warm in your property so they can stay comfortable. As this feature reveals, you should make sure the baby’s room is between 68 and 72 degrees. Therefore, if your heating isn’t working effectively, you should look into getting a new efficient boiler. You can speak to companies about fitting a boiler, such as from Save Home Heat. A thermostat would be good too so you know exactly what the current temperature is. That way, you will know whether you need to turn it up or down. Getting a new boiler should help you reduce your energy bill which is good when you have to pay out lots for the new baby!

Check the condition of the stairs

An additional home improvement you should make when you are pregnant is you should be checking the condition of the stairs. You need to make sure that the carpet is still fitted correctly so that you and your baby won’t end up hurting yourself. Get a new carpet if it’s getting old and tattered. Make sure the handrail is still secure so you can grab it if you were to fall with the new baby. You will need to get a baby gate to help stop your baby from going down the stairs when they do start learning to walk.

Build more storage

Another home improvement you should make when you are pregnant is to build some more storage in your home. You will need extra space now that the baby is coming. You will need somewhere to put all their belongings. Have a look around the home and decide where you have the space to build more storage. You could look into getting some new cupboards fitted in the kitchen so you can put their bottles in there. You may want to build a cupboard under the stairs so you can put the pushchair in there. You may want to go through your current belongings and get rid of old stuff, so you have more space for your baby’s new belongings.

Upgrade your bathroom  

You should also look into upgrading your bathroom when you are expecting a baby. If the bath in there is not in the best condition, you should have a look into getting a new suite fitted. After all, you will want to bathe your newborn in there, so it needs to be in a good condition. You need to be able to have easy access to it as well. You may want to consider installing an en suite in your master bedroom. That way, you and your partner can have an extra bathroom for use. En suites are great for adding value to a property as well.

Bathroom, Luxury, Luxury Bathroom, Sink, Bathtub

[Photo courtesy of midascode/pixabay.com]

Invest in CCTV and check your alarms

Another home improvement you should make when you are pregnant is you need to make the home more secure. You want to prevent anyone from breaking in and stealing anything with your little baby there. You should invest in CCTV which will prevent people from coming into your home. It will also mean you can check who is there before answering the door. You should also make sure you check your fire and carbon monoxide alarm to ensure they are working efficiently. It’s so important to make sure your baby stays safe in your home.

[Photo courtesy of Harrihealey02/en.wikipedia.org]

You will need to read these tips for trying to do home improvement when you are expecting. After all, you don’t want to harm yourself and baby while decorating the home. If you feel unsafe doing a job, it might be best to let your partner do it himself!

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Here’s How To Turn Your Spare Room Into The Perfect Hobby Space

If you’re looking for a really great DIY project for your home this year, why not consider giving your spare room a makeover? There are lots of things we can use this space for. If you don’t need to use it as a bedroom, why not consider a big change? Perhaps you have a hobby or interest you’re passionate about. You can use the spare room to provide all the space you need to enjoy your hobby fully. Here are some of my favorite uses for a spare room:

Sewing

If you love to create your own home furnishings, then a sewing room could be a perfect choice. Perhaps you love creating your own fashions? Or maybe you enjoy decorative needlework? There are plenty of different ways to enjoy creating when you have your own sewing room. Start by painting the walls a fairly pale and neutral color. This will help maximize the light in the room.

Sewing Room

[Photo courtesy of Harlow Heslop/flickr.com]

You could install a good quality worktop along one wall. This could support your sewing machine or other equipment. If you enjoy quilting, consider a wider width to support the larger fabric as it grows. You can find out more about the best sewing machine for quilting online. Check the size and weight before you build your workstation. Don’t forget you’ll need good lamps around the room. A mannequin could stand in the corner. Full-length mirrors will help you see the fabric from all angles.

Music Room

For the budding musicians around you, a music room could be the perfect use of your spare room. Perhaps you have some beautiful instruments you would like to display or hang on the wall? Before you start this project consider some extra insulation or soundproofing. Larger acoustic instruments like pianos are also incredibly heavy. Check if your floor needs a little reinforcing if your room is on wooden supports.

Music Room

[Photo courtesy of Miguel Mendez/flickr.com]

To create the perfect practice room for you and your instruments you need good light. Some music stands can be fitted with a sheet music light. Alternatively, consider directional spot lights. If you’re setting up a mini recording studio or a digital workstation, make sure you can stack your equipment safely. You may want to build a custom shelving unit. There may be a lot of cables running across the floor of your room. Try to keep them tidy to avoid a trip hazard.

Art Studio

If you love drawing or painting, why not create a studio for your art? A small workbench may be all you need. Then a simple stool and easel near the best light in the room. Natural light from the window is usually ideal. You might want to install a sink and running water so you can clean your brushes and pallets. A blue roll dispenser can save you fiddling about when you’re in a hurry to wipe something clean.

Photography Studio

If you love taking digital photographs, why not set up a photography studio. A small room like the spare room may be all you need if you love portraits or close-ups. Your lighting equipment may get warm, so consider installing air conditioning. It’s not advisable to take on chemical photography or a dark room in a residential house unless you have the correct ventilation system.

Studio

[Photo courtesy of Illusive Photography/flickr.com]

You may need to black out the window from time to time so you can fully manipulate the light. Naturally lit portraits can be visually stunning so make sure you can remove the blind easily. Paint the room brilliant white for maximum light reflection. You can always drape material over walls for a background. Consider installing a cupboard for your equipment and props.

Model Building

If you love crafting and building models, then your spare room could be the ideal spot for your hobby. Make sure you have excellent ventilation and natural air circulating if you use glues or paints. You’ll need a full workbench set up with plenty of lamps to supply the light. Sometimes it’s necessary to heat things up like wire or glues. Choose a surface and a lip area on your workbench for this purpose.

Writer’s Studio

If there is a poet or author inside of you, then you should have your own space to put pen to paper. You’ll need soft, focused light over your writing area. You probably have a love for literature, so install some bookshelves. Then you can surround yourself with all that inspires you. Put a big wall planner up so you can see your working schedule and submission deadlines.

Home Office

If you love your work enough to make it a hobby, then you deserve your very own home office space. A good quality desk and a top of the range computer are ideal. You can have your internet router installed in here, and even a second phone line. Why not add a couple of USB ports to your wall sockets so you can keep all your devices on charge? A wall mounted TV tuned to the news channels can keep you up to date too

Cinema Room

If you’re a movie buff, then a cinema room could be the perfect use for your spare room. You’ll need one wall painted white so you can use a home cinema projector. You can paint the other walls black to help reduce the light in the room as you’re watching the movie. It’s a great way to get really immersed in the film. You will also need to block out the natural light from the window.

Cinema Room

[Photo courtesy of gsloan/flickr.com]

Add a reclining sofa and a beer fridge so you have everything you might need. Installing surround sound speakers is easier upstairs than downstairs. You can run the cabling from the attic and through the ceiling. Now all you need to do is lay back and let the movie take you on an epic adventure.

Spare rooms often go to waste in our homes. They get filled with clutter and forgotten about. Bring yours back to life and have fun with a new hobby this year.

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To DIY or Not to DIY?

It’s a dilemma many of us have faced before. Should we do it ourselves? Or should we let someone else do it? There’s no simple answer to this question. There are many positive things about DIY, and there are many reasons why we should stay away from it. It’s time to weigh up both side of the argument.

For DIY

There is always something really satisfying about completing a DIY project. This is undeniable. Knowing that you’ve been able to make something with your own two hands is a fantastic feeling. And you will be reminded of your achievement whenever you see the finished product in your home. If you’re the kind of person that really likes to challenge yourself, then it’s understandable that you want to take on each and every DIY task.

You can sometimes save money by doing a DIY job too. Of course, it’s important to remember that this is not always the case. Sometimes, people spend so much money on tools and materials that it might have been cheaper just to hire someone to do the work. But in some cases when you already have the right tools, and the materials can be found cheaply, you could save a lot of cash. Many people who have a small budget to work with decide to take on DIY projects all by themselves.

Repair, Glue, Fix, Adhesive, Damage Control, Broken

[Image courtesy of stevepb/pixabay.com]

Against DIY

One of the main reasons not to DIY is your lack of skills. Sure, I don’t know what your exact skill level is. But I’m guessing it’s not up to a professional standard. This is the problem for most of us. We’re never going to be able to do the job as well as a real professional could do it. We might be able to scrape through and do a semi-decent job if we spend enough time and money on a job. But is it worth it when you can simply hire someone who could do that work in half the time? The finished product is always going to be better and more secure if it has been done by a pro.

The health and safety argument also has to come into it. Every year many people are injured, and some are even killed as a result of DIY jobs gone wrong. Before you go ahead with any task, you should be aware of the dangers of DIY. Every task is different, so every task presents different dangers and hazards that need to be confronted. If you’re not sure what you’re doing and are worried that you could hurt yourself, it’s probably best to call in the professionals.

Conclusion

The best advice I can give you is to use your common sense. If you make sure that you know what you’re doing and don’t take any unnecessary risks, you might be able to get a good outcome. But if you want the job done to the highest standard and you don’t want to take up your time, letting someone else do it is for the best.

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