House Guide - The Packrat Wifey

Wow People With Your Home

It isn’t easy to maintain a home, and it isn’t easy to keep it nice and modern. Through one reason or another, it can actually become a little boring. But we’re here to change that for you. The home should wow your guests, both inside and out. You don’t even need to do that much! All you have to do is think outside the box and go for something you’ve never gone for before. If you’re still struggling for inspiration, read on to find out more.

Inside

A lot of people consider the inside to be the most important, so we’ll start with that first. When people first walk in, you want them to be wowed. The best way to do this is actually a lot easier than you think. Smell is the most important sense here. Have a nice candle burning, or even one of those scented plugins that releases amazing smells all day long. It isn’t necessarily about making your house look good! Then, for a bit of decoration to spruce the place up. First we’re going to suggest a whole new colour scheme. It is the only way to truly wow your guests. Think of something you’ve never gone for before. Even if it is just switching from the usual white in the hall and landing, to maybe a mink colour. It isn’t too dark, but it isn’t too light. But it does change the mood of the house. Then for the living room, we’re really loving the white and grey contrast look. Paint the walls the brightest white you can ever find. It’ll help to draw in the light as well as look good. Then for the sofas, try and get yourself some grey, to dark grey either leather or other material. It’ll contrast against the white so well. Now, we know white carpet is a nightmare, so you’re going to have to go for grey as well, but it really does look nice. Get yourself some white or black coffee tables and a TV stand and you’ve transformed the room.

Family Home, Residence, Contemporary, Property, Modern

[Photo courtesy of wolfields/pixabay.com]

Outside

The outside is easily as important as the inside. All you need to do is wow them from the minute they enter your drive. The first step is the driveway, line it with Italian cypress trees. It is a bold statement that really does set off the driveway, and we guarantee people are going to love it. If you have a front lawn, make sure it is nicely trimmed all year round. If you want to get that extra bit of green out if it, throw down some grass seeds and fertiliser every so often. As for the back garden, you need to make it as colourful as possible. Plant some of the most vibrant colours you can find, and again, make sure the grass is lush and green.

So, after following our tips your guests truly should be wowed. All it takes is a bit of dedication to get your home looking perfect again. If you’re struggling for more ideas on the interior, just check out this link!

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Is Your Two Story Home a Good Candidate for Accessibility Upgrades?

The choice between selling and renovating the home is a decision that stops many homeowners in their tracks. An injury, disability, or progressive mobility-related condition can change the way you view you view your two story property – the once tolerable flight of stairs can stand in the way when all factors are considered.

Whether your mobility concerns are simple or complex, this guide will cover a few of the most popular accessibility modifications and their ideal applications so you can gauge the complexity of your own renovation goals. It’s always nice to know (in general terms) how well your home is suited to the necessary adaptations.

Adaptations to Address the Stairs

A two story home might be ideal if it were not for the staircase. There are definitely a few workable options available for homeowners who are looking to cut down on necessary trips up and down the stairs and homeowners who want to eliminate the need to use the stairs altogether.

Image result for two storey home

[Image from Pinterest.com]

Stair lifts, for example, are a common stairway accessory that can transport one person up the stairs at a time. Cost does increase as the complexity of the staircase increases, but perch-style lifts might work for situations where tight spaces are limiting.

Stair lifts are not the ideal choice for people who use wheelchairs but those who don’t mind frequent transfers can make this option work as well. Otherwise, a platform style lift might suit your needs a little better. Platform lifts do take up a lot of space, and if the staircase is particularly complex you might even be able to save money by going with a vertical model instead.

Vertical lifts have a much smaller footprint but do require a strong and dependable structure for installation. The price is reasonable and the ease of use is incredible. The problem is that standing riders will need to upgrade to a full residential elevator and the same goes for people who use wheelchairs and want to ride with a caregiver.

Dealing With the Question of Cargo

Cargo is a whole different matter. Carrying heavy loads of laundry and supplies upstairs is not safe for anybody, regardless of age or physical ability. Stair lifts often come with optional cargo attachments, but the weight limits can be prohibitive.

We suggest installing a dumbwaiter as the ultimate catch-all solution – if your home is arranged in such a way that can accommodate a longer shaft, you can even connect it from the garage up through the main level and then to the second floor. Look for easy to install dumbwaiters to cut down on setup costs.

Is your two-level home worth the modifications that will make it accessible? For those who love where they live, and have built strong memories there, the sentimental loss would be insurmountable. In some cases, the modifications are worth all of the effort in the world. Is your home accessibility makeover material? Consult with a local contractor to see the bottom line and work your way up from there, you might be surprised at the affordability of modern accessibility aids.

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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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Essential Cleaning Checklist

Deep cleaning your house should not just be limited to spring or whenever you have a clear out. The best way to keep your home in good condition is to make sure you regularly clean tough areas. Additionally, keeping your home sanitary is the best way to keep your family healthy. We don’t usually think about it, but there are germs and bacteria living right under your nose that could be causing you untold misery. To make sure you don’t miss any spots, and to make your home summer-ready, here is an essential deep cleaning checklist for your home.

Hidden mold

Double-glazed windows are excellent for saving you money on your energy bills, but unfortunately they make it easier for moisture and mold to sneak into your home. If there are any areas that smell particularly musty, you should not hesitate in calling in a mold specialist. Watch out for symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, dry eyes, or rashes.

Cleaning

[Photo courtesy of Nick Youngson/picserver.org]

If an area of mold is less than ten square feet, then you can attempt to clean it yourself. Just make sure you’re wearing safety goggles, non-porous gloves, and a particle mask when cleaning. Check out DIY sites for more detailed guidelines on how to get rid of mold.

Water damage

If your plumbing has ruptured recently, your focus was primarily on getting the pipes fixed. However, once that problem is solved, you need to repair the damage that the water caused to your walls and floors. Leaving it untreated could lead to more mold, and therefore more health problems. It could also lead to property damage; whether it is metal, wood, or cement, these materials will all eventually be damaged when exposed to water. Contact ServiceMaster to get the damage fixed as quickly as possible.

Windows

Wash your windows on a cloudy day, once a month, so the sun doesn’t dry the cleanser before you can wipe it off, and start on the shady side of the house. A simple way to spot streaks is to wash with horizontal strokes on one side and with vertical strokes on the other, this way you will know which side has the streaks. Wait for a sunny day to dust the windows because the sunlight will reveal where the particles have settled. You should also clean the window tracks with a Q-tip to get rid of the dirt, grime, and dead bugs that have gathered there.

Refrigerator

It takes more than just clearing out the expired and smelly food to keep the refrigerator clean and  germ-free. Liquids that spill onto the shelves and trays collects mold, therefore posing a danger to your fresh food. The biggest culprits are the vegetable drawers; they are often forgotten until a vegetable starts to rot. Take the drawers out of the fridge and clean them with warm water and baking soda. While they’re drying on the side, wipe down the rest of the fridge with antibacterial wipes. Make sure you also clean the coils at the back.

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Making Home Dreams Come True

So the time has come to own your own home.  You have had enough of renting and the thought of being able to call a place your own fills you with excitement.  If you are about to embark on the path towards homeownership here are some things you are definitely going to need to know to make sure your first home is a good one.

  1. Know your budget – let’s start with the basics.  How much can you afford to spend on your home?  We all dream of the big beach front property but for most of us this just isn’t a reality.  Be honest with yourself about how much you can afford to borrow based on your earnings and savings and stick to the budget.  Remember your budget needs to include the price of the house, any renovations if you are going for a project buy and of course all the legal fees. Do the math before you even start the search and it will avoid a lot of heartache when the perfect house is outside of your means.
  2. Be needy – really consider what you need from a property. This isn’t just the size but also how your lifestyle will work within the properties you are looking at.  Do you need a spare room for when the family comes to stay? Do you spend more time in the kitchen or living room? Do you need a bath or will just a shower work.  Is a garden a must or can you live with a balcony? All of these and more are valid questions to ask yourself so that you can steer your realtor towards those homes that are going to best suit your needs.
  3. Clean up your act – there are lots of poor credit home loans on the market so don’t let a poor credit history stand in your way of home-ownership.  However if you can clean up your credit score you have more options when it comes to the type of mortgage deal that suits you.  You can dramatically improve your score by paying your bills on time and dealing with bad debt history.  For more information and advice check out Equifax.
  4. Bargain hunt – if you want a bigger house on a budget why not consider a project buy as a way of getting more for your money. Project buys are houses that need a little or a lot of work to them but because of that are sold off at much less than they are worth.  If you have time, patience and some good DIY skills you could save a fortune and add value to your home just by fixing it up.
  5. Plan ahead – unless you have a really good income or family money a mortgage is normally taken over a very long period of time, which means you need to consider your future earnings as well as your cash flow today.  Plan ahead as best you can for a financially sound future.

Home ownership dreams – image from sheknows.com

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Living with Lifespans – What Needs Replacing?

Here’s a bit of a shocking fact for you – over a period of 30 years, a house and its contents could need as much as 50% of it repairing or replacing from the position it was in at the beginning of this period of time. Let’s face it, you have to be one of the unlucky ones if you are going anywhere near 50% and over if it’s not a house that you have bought as a do-up project, but the figures mainly come from what resides inside the house itself rather than the upkeep of the building.

So, what are the things that fall under the replacement category and what is the recommended lifespan of each thing – are you being shortchanged or are you long overdue a replacement?

Child Playing Front Loader Toy

[Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske raumrot.com/pexels.com]

Flooring

Good, solid wooden flooring can last centuries. Tiled flooring can, too – you can see it houses and churches in the United Kingdom that have lasted through several Kings and Queens and could probably tell a lot of stories … if they could talk. Planned care and restoration of both wooden and tiled floors can help extend the lifespans for future generations to appreciate. Laminate, lino and carpets are another matter entirely – if you are over the 10 year recommended threshold for the longevity of these products, then you should probably start looking at Online Carpet Sale and other such sites to keep your flooring in tip-top condition.

comfort, control, cooking

[Photo courtesy of  WDnet Studio/pexels.com]

Household appliances

All appliances have different recommendations as to how long they will last. A vacuum will last you up to 25 years if serviced and cared for, yet you may think of replacing it a lot sooner to keep up with the increasing demands of both efficiency and productivity.  Everything else pretty much has an average of 10-15 years – so your washers, dryers, dishwashers, microwaves etc should keep going for a fair while, but you may find that they will either go on a lot longer or cut short a lot sooner than expected; it’s always one or the other!

 Brush painting the white wall

[Photo courtesy of  WDnet Studio/pexels.com]

Fixtures, fittings and furnishings

Paint will naturally start to lose colour/chip or peel away/look grubby over the years. Sometimes it can last for a good while,but it’s always worth acknowledging that a touch-up every couple of years will help it to stay in a great condition and look fresh. Hands on walls, especially where people are holding on for stability or pushing against things such as light switches, will always leave a mark; you can’t ever guarantee how clean a person’s hands are. The recommended lifespan of paint is just 7 years – yet you’d be hard pressed finding someone who actually makes the effort to redecorate their whole house that often. There are new trends in paint on the market, with wipe-clean options available for those marks that start appearing. Keep it in a good condition and you can probably exceed the lifespan and laugh in the face of the grim reaper when he comes round and starts picking away at your walls!

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