Home Improvement

Build Your Dream Home With A Plan

Whether you build your new house for your new home, or you purchase a house to move in, there are many aspects to take care of before you can happy live in your new house.

You have just purchased a new house.

First, make a plan and create a to-do list.

Assume you’ve already purchased a house from a seller who is to move out from it, then it should have saved your many steps in the planning process. You’ll still be left with a few things to do in your to-do list.

For your home’s front door, buy and install a secured exterior steel door. In many older houses, the front (entry) doors are still wooden doors that don’t last long, and will require high maintenance cost. The easiest approach is to replace it with a steel door.

Other places to put in some efforts are the kitchen, the bathrooms, and the bedrooms.

Check the lights and lambs and decide if they require replacements. Sometimes they aren’t your style, and you want them replaced.

Also the curtains and binds, replace the ones that are too old, or out of maintenance for many years.

Before you move in, go through the following steps.

Just before moving your family and yourself into your new home, below is the second check list.

Make sure you change the old locks to your newly purchase locks. It’s not like the old locks are harmful, or you don’t trust the previous owner of your new home. But you don’t really know exactly who has access to the old locks. It’s just a good practice to keep your family and property safe.

Inspector your new home and check for potential leaks. Just double check, and make sure your house is leak-free. Make sure you know where the main shutoff valve (for water) is, and check if it works.

Make sure you know where the main electricity (i.e. breaker box) is. Ensure it works without any problem.

Clean the built-in wardrobe. Clean the bathrooms. Clean the kitchen. And perhaps even change the toilet seats. Actually, either you and your family or someone you hired should give your new home a big cleaning before you officially move in.

Update your new address. All your utility bills, bank statements, and any other documents that will require being mailed to the new address, will need updates. All these updates may be painful at first, but it’s all necessary.

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Home Maintenance

Top 5 Worst Residential Pest Infestations Of All Time

While we don’t truly know how bad it’s been out there, we have found 5 pretty disturbing pest infestations that would have creeped the heck out of me. The scary thing about a pest infestation is that it can happen right under your nose, and by the time you realize you have an infestation there could be hundreds of critters occupying your attic space, crawl space, interior walls. There are also concerns outside of being stung or bit by something, you need to be concerned about disease and structural damage to your home. Take termites for example, if they somehow end up in your attic space for a year before you find them you could literally have your roof collapse. Mice and rats carry diseases that can kill people, bats carry rabies, a scorpions sting can set off an allergic reaction that could hospitalize someone. There are more reasons than not to call an exterminator if you experience a serious pest infestation in your home. With that being said, here are the top 5 worst pest infestations we found on the internet.

1. Bat Infestation

We all enjoy a little bat action come Halloween, scary props hanging from the entryway of the neighborhood homes as you trick or treat. Kids running around with Batman costumes and dressed up as Dracula. The idea of bats and vampire bats is an intriguing part of our culture. Bats are often referred to as mice with wings, and if you have ever looked at one up close and in person you know what they are referring to. But what if these cute little nocturnal winged mice infested your home? What if you laid in bed at night listening to the chirping and pitter-patter of hundreds of bats as they nested in your roof and walls. I’m sure it would freak you out pretty bad, I know it would freak me out. Well, that is exactly what happened to a Florida man in 2011 that came to find out that his home was being occupied by hundreds of winged mice. Below is a video of the roofing company that broke apart the Spanish roof tiles and discovered how bad the infestation truly was. If you are easily freaked out by rodent infestations I suggest you skip the video.

 
2. Snake Infestation

I have no love for snakes, I wouldn’t even want a snakeskin wallet to be honest. I have lived in desert climates where rattlesnakes were present and the sound of that rattle shaking is a very scary experience. Rattlesnakes are deadly creatures, they look mean, sound mean, and they won’t hesitate to strike your ankle if you walk upon one unexpectedly. I always made a conscious effort to make noise, stomp hard on occasion to send vibrations through the ground, walk with a stick like a blind man would so that I had an object a few feet in front of me navigating the ground. Maybe I was paranoid, I don’t care though, I was never bitten. There are other snakes in this world that aren’t venomous nightmares waiting to strike if you step in the wrong direction. The Garter Snake is a pretty harmless little slithering son of a serpent. If one crossed my path I would probably only freak out a little, eventually, I would gather my senses and walk the other way. But what if you couldn’t just walk the other way? What if your home was infested with snakes? Sounds like a Stephen King movie doesn’t it! Well, that’s what happened to a family in Idaho back in 2011 when they bought a home for their small family. The seller even stated in the contract that the property had a snake problem, little did they know, that snake problem was a huge problem. They battled the infestation initially but eventually wore out from the constant battle and let the home go into foreclosure. The home still sits on the market today and is known in the neighborhood as “the snake house”. Below is a video that features some of the slithering serpents they encountered while living there and a recap from the homeowners from what they recall as a nightmare situation.

 
3. Bee Infestation

Transformers is one of my favorite movies, and bumblebee is by far my favorite autobot! I love honey, I liked the Bee movie, I like to catch a buzz, but don’t want anything buzzing in my ears. The Mickeys Hornet is iconic in my life, I drank many a bottle of that fine malt beverage. With all that love to show for bees, wasps, and hornets I still can’t bring myself to enjoy them in nature. I see one fly into the house and I treat it like a home invasion, I’m grabbing knives and baseball bats and doing everything I can to smash that sucker into oblivion. Nobody wants to be stung by anything, and flying pests that bite and sting have no place in my yard regardless of their value to my plant life. Bees scare me, bee swarms and infestations are as creepy as any. There are stories of people being stung to death by killer bee swarms, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have personally witnessed a swarm of bees trying to relocate a queen and it was a freaky situation, growing up there were bees nests everywhere and you could stumble across one in the woods without even realizing it. Next thing you know you’ve been bitten and stung multiple times. It sucks! But enough about stumbling upon a pest problem in the woods, what if your home was infested with bees? I’m not talking about a nest of a dozen near the front porch light, not talking about 6 nests around the perimeter of the home that all consisted of a few hundred bees….. nope, I’m talking about a home infested with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BEES! In 2010 a Houston homeowner had finally had enough of her buzzing pests and called in a pest control company. What she didn’t know was that there were hundreds of thousands of bees living in her home with her. Her child had been stung but there was never any real sign of an infestation that degree. Seriously? Hundreds of thousands of bees and the home isn’t vibrating like a pleasure device? Look, there were over 200 pounds of honey pulled from the walls and ceiling of the home. It was estimated by the pest control company that removed the infestation said that the infestation was 10 years in the making. Below is a video that shows footage of the bee removal and it’s absolutely shocking. Um, no thanks!

 
4. Cockroach Infestation

I used to keep a little roach in the ashtray of my car in high school, a little something on hand if we ever stumbled upon a party on the weekends. I like food trucks, they have taken them to the next level lately with all the gourmet trucks driving around offering mobile cuisine in business parks and industrial areas, I think I still refer to them as a roach coach. I think the term was conceived in an era where the sanitization was questionable and people actually witnessed the presence of the gross little pests. Today cockroaches just gross me out, they scurry across the floors, countertops, climb up through drainage pipes, and infest the heck out of properties. There isn’t a roach on the planet I wouldn’t kill if I had the chance. They are a nuisance, they are dirty, and they are extremely hard to get rid of if you experience an infestation. I have lived in homes that have had the occasional roach climb up the shower drain and get stuck in the bathtub overnight. What a journey it must have had traveling those sewer pipes all the way into my bathroom, only to be nuked, torched, burned, and bombed by an unexacting human trying to take his morning shower. Sorry buddy, shouldn’t have grossed me out so bad! One roach and it’s Armageddon in my home, imagine an infestation of these little sewer dwellers! I might grab a 10 gauge shotgun and blow the sheetrock right out of my walls without worrying about the structural damage it might cause. I know I’m a freak like that, but roach infestations require warlike responses. The pest control expert in this video states that “this is the worst roach infestation” that he has ever seen, he then proceeds to say that the “the floor is moving” which is something right out of a Saw Movie. Below is a video that shows the infestation as the exterminator was treating it. It is unreal, I would have grabbed a can of hairspray and a lighter and torched the place. I’m all for burning roaches, but this place just needed to be burned down!

5. Bedbug Infestation

All I have to say is gross! Imagine sharing a bed with bugs, gross! Not only are bed bugs disgusting, they are bloodsucker for crying out loud! Who wants their blood sucked while they sleep? Nobody, I’m guessing. Bed bugs are common in hotels and apartment complexes where one dirty infested room and bring down the others. The whole “1 bad apple spoils the whole damn bunch” phrase truly applies here. Bed bugs can climb aboard a piece of luggage, crawl from room to room, and get transferred unintentionally by any other means imaginable. They infest the bed, come out at night, and suck blood. They are nasty little pests and if you discover one there are definitely more. Sometimes they can be hard to find, they burrow into mattresses and come out when you sleep making it next to impossible to find until your body is showing signs of it. In 2010 at an apartment in Syracuse New York a pest control company took video of one of the nastiest bed bug infestations known to the web. The infestation was so bad that the exterminator could smell them. Apparently, they will use dogs to sniff these things out sometimes, the fact that a human was able to pick up the scent and identify the infestation is a bit disturbing. Below is a video shot by the pest control company that shows this horrific infestation. This was a very disturbing case of bed bug infestations. The thought of anyone living in these conditions is shocking. If you think you might have bed bugs, or want to learn more about bed bug infestations you can check out this site (https://greenhomepest.com/bed-bug-control.html). They have pretty good recommendations for preventing infestations as well as travel tips for anyone that frequents hotels and motels. This might be the most disgusting infestation of all, mostly because the infestation is in your bed!!!

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Home Improvement

Kitchen Remodeling And Renovation Ideas

Remodeling a kitchen can not only increase the value of your home, but it can improve the quality of the time spent in the kitchen. Having a renovated space to prepare food in, entertain, and enjoy a glass of wine in can make your evenings at home far more enjoyable! We all like nice things, and a kitchen is a place where families gather and entertain. There are all sorts of little things that can be done to improve the look and feel of your kitchen, in addition to improving the functionality of the space. Here are some kitchen remodeling ideas to help you get the most bang for your buck.

Appliances

Fridge

While appliances may be one of the more expensive upgrades that can be made in the kitchen, they definitely can be the most rewarding. Upgrading your refrigerator and freezer space for something more efficient and spacious. While you may not have the room in your kitchen to install a larger fridge, you can upgrade to one that has more features and is compartmentalized more efficiently to separate fruits, vegetables, and meats. Freezers have also been improved for efficiency, switching from chest style freezer to a side by side can make organizing more efficient. If your refrigerator doesn’t currently have water and ice features, adding this feature makes accessibility to water and ice easier for the children in the home. Smart refrigerators would be a major upgrade and provide the convenience of inventory and auto-ordering features for grocery items.

• Oven

There are smart ovens out there with internet access that can keep your food refrigerated all day and then turn on at a scheduled time to cook the food. An oven that works like a refrigerator part of the time, and an oven the rest of the time is brilliant. Having access to the appliances through the internet will allow you to log in and change the cook time and temperature from the convenience of your computer or mobile device. Imagine that you are stuck at the office and are running late, what if you could log in to your over and change the start time 30 minutes later than anticipated? How convenient would that be? The technology is available, are you ready to embrace it? The other upgrade option is the double stack oven, imagine being able to fit two turkeys in that oven on Thanksgiving, plus all your side dishes!

• Stove Top

So many options to choose from, but what do you want? Gas or electric? Large surface areas are small surface areas? Standalone, or built into an oven? Aside from the burners/heating elements themselves, you may select a new stove based on the control panel and some of the features available there. Some stoves have built-in fans and others rely on hoods to ventilate. There are many options to consider when choosing a stovetop, many of those features will be determined when you decide on your oven.

• Dishwasher

Believe it or not, there are also smart dishwashers available on the market. In my opinion, a dishwasher is can make a renovation, but only cosmetically. I typically wash all my dishes by hand, then process them through the dishwasher to sanitize. I have purchased the hi-tech dishwasher that is supposed to clean your dirty plates, sanitize, and dry in one wash. They never really cleaned the plates any better than the cheaper models I have owned. So while I have never been sold on the performance of a dishwasher, I do believe there is a cosmetic element that can turn a kitchen renovation into a complete success.

• Sinks

The sink can be a major upgrade, both for functionality and for cosmetic reasons. There are black, white, and stainless options, single sink and dual sink options, simple faucets, and dishwasher style pressure nozzles. Upgrading your sink can be huge, I upgraded to a single farm style sink with a dishwasher nozzle and absolutely love it. Having the real estate to rinse produce, prepare large turkeys, and clean large pans make cooking a pleasure. Small sinks that can’t accommodate a busy kitchen makes cooking miserable.

• Lighting

Lighting in the kitchen can be a simple upgrade that can make a huge difference. We removed our fluorescent lighting panels, sheetrocked, and added recessed lighting. It really allowed us to change the vibe in the kitchen. The bright fluorescent tubes really made for a bright annoying environment, upgrading those to dimmer recessed lights improved the mood in the room when entertaining. The chandelier that hung over the kitchen table was replaced with a modern lighting fixture that really brought the room up to date. Just changing light bulbs can improve the ambiance of a room. Accent lighting around cabinetry will also impress.

• Backsplash

This is a very affordable upgrade that can really improve the look of a kitchen while also protecting the sheetrock from the water. The tiles are cheap enough to purchase and install yourself. They are easy to cut and come in all sorts of colors. The can really compliment the countertops of a kitchen and add a splash of class to the room.

• Countertops

While these may be one of the more expensive renovation options, it might be the one thing that can completely change the look and feel of the kitchen. If you can increase countertop space by building more cabinets then make it happen. Nobody has ever been disappointed by ample countertop space. There are many materials to choose from, some are natural, while others are man-made. Wood, stone, cement, laminate, tile, the list goes on. There are very affordable ways to renovate your countertops with prefabricated materials. The natural stones like granite and marble will cost a pretty penny, but the natural beauty they will add to your kitchen is undeniable. There are many looks and styles to choose from, my favorite are the granite countertop surfaces. They look amazing and are more affordable than marble and some of the other natural stones.

• Flooring

This renovation option is similar to countertops. There are a ton of materials to choose from, and this might change the look and feel as much as the countertops will. In my opinion, changing the flooring in the kitchen might not be as easy as renovating the other areas of the room. This holds true especially if the kitchen flooring ties into the flooring of other rooms in the house. When deciding on kitchen flooring you should keep on mind that the room will be subject to the worst spills, heavy foot traffic, and blunt trauma. That being said, I never felt that kitchen floors should be light in color, or fragile. Tiles that chip easy, wood that dents easy, flooring surfaces like those should be avoided. I personally am a fan of stained concrete flooring but I realize that not everyone likes that style of flooring. After that, I prefer prefabricated flooring.

 

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Gardening

What you need to know before starting up your own indoor garden

You keep trying to grow your own herbal garden in your kitchen or a pretty flower pot on the window sill, but the plants keep dying on you? You are not alone. Indoor gardening, just as outdoor gardening require some basic knowledge about plants as well as the essential factors for their proper growth, especially if you want to grow them indoors.

Here are the basics

Save yourself some of the hassles by understanding the principles of what’s going on above and below the dirt. While you could come back to this after killing many of your plants, why not start out with an indoor gardening guide to give you all you need?

The plant roots and the containers or pots you use

Roots are vital for the plants. Think of them as intravenous systems which bring all essential minerals and nutrients from the soil and transport them to the rest of the plant, and namely to the leaves which are in charge of the photosynthesis which they need to grow.

Choosing a pot or container which gives adequate space for the roots is crucial if you want your indoor plant to grow healthy, strong and to reach full maturity. Limiting the space for the roots limits the growth of the plant as well. If you choose pots which are too small you are in a way limiting the nutritional intake of the plant, just like we cut calories to lose weight.  As the plant grows, you may need to repot it in larger sized containers to promote its further growth.

On the other hand, choosing a pot which is way too big for the plant can also cause issues. It may cause the smaller roots to be unable to capture all the nutrients and minerals necessary for the growth of the plant. These minerals are passed on to the roots through the water. This can cause the roots to rot and the plant to stop growing.

The light

Plants use light to turn carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients into sugar which they use for energy. This is also known as photosynthesis. If you deprive your plants of sufficient amounts of sunlight or light from your LED grow lights, this will literally starve them, as they will be unable to make the food they need to grow and live. So, always pay attention to the instruction tags of the seeds or plants you want to grow at home, and ensure that you provide them with the amount of direct sunlight or alternative LED grow light for the recommended time period every day.

Some plants do not need direct sunlight and can live only at ambient light, so make sure you check that too before you choose which types of plants to grow and where you are going to set up your home indoor garden.

Water

Water is another element which as with all living things is essential for the plants as well. It is used for the photosynthesis and is also the means for transporting the essential nutrients from the soil to the roots of the plants. It also provides the plants with the humidity which they need to be healthy.

Carbon Dioxide

Plants breathe in carbon dioxide and use it for photosynthesis. This is good news for all indoor gardeners as the oxygen released by the process is essential for us too, so your air will become healthier and fresher once you start up your own interior garden.

Soil

The soil you choose for your indoor plants needs to be suitable for home use. The mix should allow for the water to freely pass through to the draining holes, and yet be able to accumulate some of the moisture in order to help pass the nutrients to the roots of your plants. Choose an organic soil mix from a local company which has some compost, bark, coconut fiber added to it.

Nutrients

Your plants, just like we humans do need certain essential nutrients in order to live, grow and flourish. The nutrients help the photosynthesis process and also promote strong root growth. The different types of plants require different amounts of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus to live.

So, now that you know the basic needs of plants, hopefully, you are feeling much more confident to take the next step and start planning on creating your own home garden.

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Landscape Design

Bеnеfіtѕ Of Uѕіng Gурѕum Aѕ Fеrtіlіzеr In Home Gardens And On Farms

Fоr mоrе thаn 250 years gурѕum has been оnе оf thе еаrlіеѕt types оf fеrtіlіzеr uѕеd іn the Unіtеd Stаtеѕ. Thе advantages of uѕіng gypsum аѕ a ѕоіl аmеndmеnt is well еѕtаblіѕhеd. Gурѕum contains a mоdеrаtе amount оf soluble plant nutrіеntѕ, such as саlсіum and sulfur whісh саn іmрrоvе оvеrаll plant grоwth, аnd соndіtіоn ѕоіlѕ for future use.

Gурѕum gіvеѕ саlсіum аnd sulfur tо the ѕоіl. A рrореrlу nourished soil allows plants tо bеttеr ассеѕѕ the nіtrоgеn, іrоn, zіnс аnd other nutrients they need tо flоurіѕh. Thе calcium аnd ѕulfur соntеnt of gypsum рrоvіdеѕ kеу ѕесоndаrу nutrіеntѕ that support nutrient uptake іn plants аnd аіdѕ іn ѕееd production. It also hеlрѕ correct compacted ѕоіl, making rооm fоr wаtеr, аіr аnd plant roots. Gурѕum еvеn hеlрѕ rеmоvе еxсеѕѕ ѕаlt frоm lawns оr gardens thаt mау be been еxроѕеd tо ѕаlt runоff frоm wіntеr ice mеltіng.

Gypsum аѕ Fertilizer

Pure gурѕum іѕ 23-реrсеnt calcium and 19-percent sulfate (CаSO4-2H2O). In thе hierarchy of thе 16 essential рlаnt nutrіеntѕ thаt bеgіnѕ with nоn-mіnеrаlѕ hуdrоgеn, oxygen, and саrbоn, саlсіum is ѕеvеnth and ѕulfur is nіnth.

Cаlсіum is thе рlаnt nutrіеnt most lіkеlу tо be unаvаіlаblе to rооtѕ when nееdеd. An essential nutrіеnt іtѕеlf, саlсіum also іmрrоvеѕ rооt uрtаkе of оthеr рlаnt nutrіеntѕ, especially ammonium nіtrоgеn. Calcium dоеѕ nоt move frоm оld tо nеw рlаnt tіѕѕuеѕ, ѕо a constant ѕuррlу оf soluble calcium іѕ nееdеd. Thе grоwіng роіntѕ of bоth rооtѕ аnd shoots аrе ѕеnѕіtіvе tо insufficient саlсіum, but roots more ѕо. The rаtіо of саlсіum tо ѕоdіum is more сrіtісаl thаn thе actual соnсеntrаtіоn оf саlсіum.

Mаjоr Bеnеfіtѕ Of Gурѕum

Hеrе are 5 key bеnеfіtѕ оf gурѕum:

  1. Sоurсе of саlсіum аnd ѕulfur fоr рlаnt nutrіtіоn. Gурѕum іѕ an еxсеllеnt ѕоurсе оf ѕulfur fоr рlаnt nutrіtіоn and improving сrор уіеld. Cаlсіum іѕ essential for mоѕt nutrіеntѕ tо bе аbѕоrbеd by рlаntѕ rооtѕ. Wіthоut adequate саlсіum, uptake mесhаnіѕmѕ would fail.
  2. Imрrоvеѕ асіd ѕоіlѕ аnd trеаtѕ aluminum toxicity. One оf gypsum’s main аdvаntаgеѕ is its аbіlіtу to rеduсе аlumіnum toxicity, which often ассоmраnіеѕ ѕоіl асіdіtу, раrtісulаrlу in subsoils.
  3. Improves ѕоіl ѕtruсturе. Flocculation, оr аggrеgаtіоn, іѕ needed tо gіvе favorable ѕоіl ѕtruсturе fоr rооt grоwth and аіr аnd water mоvеmеnt. Gypsum has bееn used for mаnу уеаrѕ tо іmрrоvе aggregation аnd inhibit or оvеrсоmе dіѕреrѕіоn іn sodic ѕоіlѕ.
  4. Improves water іnfіltrаtіоn. Gypsum also іmрrоvеѕ thе аbіlіtу оf ѕоіl to drаіn and not bесоmе wаtеrlоggеd duе tо a combination оf hіgh ѕоdіum, swelling сlау and еxсеѕѕ water. When we аррlу gypsum to soil іt аllоwѕ wаtеr tо mоvе into thе soil аnd allow thе сrор tо grоw well.
  5. Hеlрѕ rеduсе runоff and еrоѕіоn. Agrісulturе іѕ соnѕіdеrеd tо be оnе оf thе mаjоr соntrіbutоrѕ tо wаtеr ԛuаlіtу, with рhоѕрhоruѕ runоff thе bіggеѕt concern. Exреrtѕ explained how gурѕum hеlрѕ tо keep рhоѕрhоruѕ аnd оthеr nutrients frоm lеаvіng fаrm fіеldѕ.

Cоmmоn Uses

Gypsum is mоѕt оftеn used tо hеlр manage соmрасtеd ѕоіlѕ аnd pH.

  • Spread thе gурѕum evenly оvеr the entire ѕurfасе аrеа оf a lawn, garden or farm field. Gурѕum can bе spread оvеr рlаntѕ without harm to thе рlаntѕ.
  • Mіx gурѕum with соmроѕt or оrgаnіс mаttеr uѕіng a rаkе оr a hое. Sрrеаd еvеnlу thrоughоut your gаrdеn.
  • Wаtеrіng thе gурѕum into the soil wіth a gаrdеn hоѕе оr sprinkler system wіll ѕеttlе іntо thе ѕоіl faster.

Gypsum саn be рurсhаѕеd for hоmе use or for form use in bulk quantities.

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Real Estate

Home Improvement: Budget and Bidding

In my profession as an Architect, many of my clients underestimate the cost of construction. Builders will have to guesstimate their cost unless they have a complete set of drawings.

It is very important to get a well detailed set of construction drawings in order to obtain a realistic bid which will prevent misunderstandings and additional hidden costs. Drawings that are very well detailed will also help to avoid catastrophic mistakes.

For example, a builder called today and invited me to see a house on which he was in the process of demolishing many interior walls. Good thing I stopped him and advised him to get the original drawings of the house. Sure enough, the old blueprints revealed that there were a few bearing walls. I pointed them out to the builder, preventing a major disaster from occurring for both the builder and the homeowner.

The use of the area to be renovated is another factor to be considered in determining the realistic cost of any home improvement. SF by SF, the cost of a kitchen or bath remodel can be five times more than the cost of an open, large living room or garage.

In conclusion, when getting an estimate make sure the builder does not use a standard average price per square foot but provides a cost breakdown item by item. It is better to get an allowance for kitchen appliances, cabinets, plumbing fixtures, flooring and finishes if you are comparing competing bids from more than one builder.

Learn more at https://www.mangonearchitects.com/

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Home Maintenance

Repair vs. Replacement – Make an Informed Choice

If your air conditioning system has broken down or if it is not working as efficiently as it used to do, you could be thinking about its replacement. As you already know, replacing an air conditioning system can be a costly affair. So, it’s always better to consider getting it repaired. In most cases, a simple repair saves the huge replacement cost.

Before you replace your air conditioner, make sure you get an air conditioning estimate for replacement vs. repairs. Here are some points to consider.

The cost of repair – The first thing you need to do whenever your air conditioner breaks down is to get an estimate of the repair. Call a technician, get your air conditioner inspected and ask the cost of its repair. If the cost is too high, the better decision would be to replace your machine. Now, you may think that ‘too high cost’ is a vague unit. So, let us tell you what it means to be too high. Actually, there’s a very simple formula. You just need to multiply the repair cost with the age of your AC in years and compare it with the cost of the new model you wish to buy. If the repair cost is low, go for repair and if it’s higher, then surely you need to replace your AC unit.

The age of your AC unit – Typically, the lifespan of an air conditioner is 10-15 years. You can get more accurate information about the lifespan of your unit by searching customers’ review of the model you are using. If your air conditioner is in the last stage of its lifespan, then a replacement will be a more preferred choice. It is not that air conditioners cannot be repaired at this stage, but, the breakdown will get more frequent. And this frequent breakdown will eventually cost you more than the replacement cost.

The frequency of breakdowns – The age or repair cost formula can fail in certain instances where a relatively young AC starts behaving like an old one. If your air conditioning unit starts making noise or breakdowns very frequently, repairing can get a costly affair. Air conditioners generally start making noise when it cannot handle the demands on its performance efficiently. It could be the fault of the user, in most cases. It’s your responsibility to take care of your AC and get it maintained professionally once a year. If you fail to do so, your unit cannot last very long. Whether you take care of your AC or not, you will need to replace it if it demands one or the other repairs every year.

You need to sacrifice lots of your precious time and effort to earn. So, do not waste your hard-earned money on unnecessary repairs or purchases. Always take an informed decision by calculating all risks and benefits associated with all the options available to you. As in the case of the air conditioner, you have the option of repairing or replacing. Choose the one that is more cost-effective for you.

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Home Improvement

5 Things You Need To Consider When Hiring Electricians

There are more than 35,000 electrical services operating in Australia. This means that you are spoilt for choice since you will always have a large number of electricians to choose from. However, this also means that hiring the right electrician for your home is also a tough task since you may not know which of them provide top-quality services and which ones are shady.  To help you with this, we list below five important things you need to consider when hiring electricians.

Look For License

The first thing to look for while hiring an electrician is the license. Never ever hire electricians who do not have the necessary license to do their job. Most electricians working in Australia are required to be certified as a Registered Electrical Contractor. Similarly, they are also required to issue you a certificate of compliance when they complete an electrical work in your home, indicating that all work is done in accordance with the laws of the land. So, if an electrician is unable to show their license or commit to providing you a certificate of compliance, then you should definitely look for other options.

Ensure They Have Insurance

You must also make sure that the electrician you hire does have the necessary insurance. Typically, electrical businesses are required to take a small business insurance. And this has two benefits. Firstly, if a worker gets injured in your home, any expense related to their medical care will be taken care of by the insurance company. Secondly, in case you become injured due to any work being conducted by the electrician, you can claim hospital and medical damages from the electrical business.

Experience Matters

As far as possible, stick with electricians who have built a solid reputation in the industry. The very fact that they have a good reputation is proof enough that they have been providing quality service for their customers for a long period of time. As such, you can be sure that such electricians will not only resolve the electrical issues in your home perfectly but they will also do so in a way that all your electronic devices and connections are handled carefully.

Rely On References

Now, if you are unable to decide which electrician to choose, the best option is to ask your friends or relatives for references. Since they will only refer you an electrician that they themselves have a good relationship with, you can hire them without worrying too much about the quality of services.

Get The Quote

Once you have checked for the license, insurance, experience, and reputation of an electrician, you will then have to look for their quotes. Generally, all good electrical services will quote you the average market rate. Here’s an important point to remember – do not blindly choose the service provider who offers the lowest quote. As far as you keep this in mind, you will easily be able to find a trustworthy and reliable electrician to handle any electrical issues in your home.

 

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Gardening

Four Superfoods You Should Grow in Your Garden

The term ‘superfood’ is trendy and used quite often when health benefits are being discussed. The term is frequently used to describe some variety of expensive and/or exotic food that is not practically for ordinary people to consume as part of their daily diet.

Food does not have to be expensive or exotic to qualify as a superfood, it just has to offer a several health benefiting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to qualify for inclusion in the superfood category.

These four superfoods can easily be grown in your home garden and will provide you with health benefits: potatoes, onions, cauliflower and watermelons.

Potatoes

Potatoes have a bad reputation because of their starch content, but when cooked correctly, the starch in the potato becomes ‘resistant starch’ which acts very similar to fiber when eaten. Fiber promotes good digestion and regulates bowel function, lowers cholesterol and help keep blood sugar stable.

Slow cooking is the key to extracting the resistant starch and to retaining the nutritional value of potatoes. Boiling or steaming at a low temperature turns a homegrown potato into a superfood, offering you low calorie resistant starch, vitamin C, potassium and folate.

Onions

Onions are a superfood that can easily be grown in a home garden and take up very little garden space. Onions contain protein, fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and folate. They also contain the cancer fighting properties of quercetin and allyl sulfides.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a cool season garden vegetable that can be grown twice per season in home garden. One crop can be planted and harvested in the spring and the second crop in the fall. Cauliflower fits into the superfoods category by offering vitamins A, C & K, protein, calcium, fiber and folate. Cauliflower also contains the cancer fighting property of phytochemicals.

Eat cauliflower raw and use the cooking liquid after steaming to derive all the health benefits this garden vegetable has to offer.

Watermelons

Watermelon is a versatile, low calorie summertime favorite that is packed with fiber, folate, calcium, potassium and lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant.

Bio

This article was written by Sandwell Rattan Furniture, a UK rattan furniture supplier that sells rattan sofa sets, rattan dining sets and more.

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Home Maintenance

3 Spring Lawn Care Tips You Need To Know About

When it comes to keeping your garden looking spick and span, one of the main factors that can make or break its overall appearance is whether you have a well-maintained lawn. As the centrepiece of any area, your lawn is really what ties together your overall vision.

And, with spring now upon us, it’s time to get started on your maintenance to make sure your lawn is looking fresh as can be when summer rolls around, ready for the numerous barbecues, parties and sun-tanning sessions that it will be host to.

However, with so many different hints and tips out there to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. As a result, we’re taking a look at three basic spring lawn care tips you need to know about, so you can get off on the right foot. 

Learn how to properly mow your grass

One of the most basic things to get right at the start is how to actually mow your grass properly.

Most people tend to follow the line of thought of ‘just switch the mower on and go’, but this can actually do more harm than good for your grass, as there are lots of different things to consider when mowing the lawn.

Not only does the actual condition of the lawn have to be taken into account, for example whether it’s wet or dry, but also the time of day, the season, the height of the lawn mower blades, and even the type of grass.

In order to learn all the ins and outs of mowing your lawn, check out this detailed guide by The Spruce.

Get your rake out

Raking your lawn is a vital part of lawn maintenance that needs to be done early on in spring and it can help your grass to avoid a whole multitude of sins. However, most people tend to view raking as just a way to remove dead leaves during the winter.

Raking actually has a much more important task than that through controlling the build-up of thatch. Thatch essentially means the layer of dead grass lying between the new grass and the roots and soil, which blocks the new grass from getting the right nutrients and water.

If the thatch on your lawn exceeds ½ inch, it can lead to disease, moss, and insect infestations, so raking it away as early as possible can really help to keep your lawn fresh for summer.

For more tips on how to rake your lawn correctly, check out this in-depth guide by Lawn Smith.

Use the right stuff

Finally, one of the easiest mistakes to make is using the wrong things for your lawn, whether it’s lawn equipment or fertilisers.

Your lawn is a very carefully balanced ecosystem and any misjudgement on your part can seriously alter its balance, so it’s important to make sure you get it right.

Rather than using any old fertiliser you happen to have in your shed, make sure you use a specific spring/summer feed, as the wrong one can lead to disease and weed problems.

Similarly, ensure that your lawn equipment is well maintained, or even invest in one of Blaupunkt Tool’s electric lawnmowers, to make sure you’re getting the right cut.

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