Tag Archives: home

3 Tips for Making Your Yard More Useful and Inviting

a gardenAre tending the garden and sweeping leaves the only things you do in your yard? Well, you’re not making the most of your valuable outdoor space, then.

Good thing it’s never too late to help make your yard functional and inviting. Below are some tips for accomplishing this.

Bring out some furniture

Adding furniture will not only make your yard attractive but will also make it useful. Positioning beautiful pieces of antique Gustavian furniture, such as benches or chairs, will encourage one to sit in your yard. A round table for four will be useful when dining al fresco. If there is a part of your yard that has a roof, you can go all out and set up an outdoor living room.

Incorporate recreational features

Recreational activities will be more exciting when held outdoors. You can set up soccer goalposts or a mini-golf course in your yard to engage in some sports. For the roofed part of the yard, residents and guests may play indoor sports, such as billiards, table tennis, and darts. If you have young kids, make the yard their playground by adding a swing, slide, or seesaw. A tree house and trampoline will surely bring fun times for everyone, as well.

Transform outbuildings

You may also transform outbuildings in the yard to serve other purposes. You may turn a tool shed, for instance, into an arts and crafts studio or workshop. This will make it easier for you to bring your tools and materials out into the yard, where you can work while enjoying the fresh air and the natural surroundings. It will be helpful, too, because any noise and mess you make will not be as disruptive as when you’re working inside the house.

Don’t let your outdoor space go to waste. Help make your yard functional and inviting, so you can spend as much time as you want there.

3 Rules to Follow for Your Landscaping Project

modern backyard designYour home’s exterior is the first thing that your family, neighbours, and guests will notice. Whether you want to have regular backyard barbeques or simply admire your garden from the living room window, there are rules of landscaping that you shouldn’t miss. Experts from qbsconstruction.co.nz talk about three of them:

1. Avoid overdeveloping your yard.

Not every homeowner wants an extravagant secret garden. Sometimes, being simple is enough. Too much pavement in your backyard may cause run-off issues during the rainy days. Do not construct a pool so big that it removes all space for trees and plants. Instead of overextending every element of the landscape, focus on getting high-quality essentials.

2. Get the right plants for your climate.

When it comes to choosing the grass, bushes, and trees to your landscape, aesthetic isn’t the only factor to consider. You also have to think about which types are more suited for the part of the country you live in.

Make the most of local plant species and let them flourish in a good spot in your yard. If you have a mostly dry climate, go for plants that do not require too much water. It’s also important to consider the type of grass for your lawn because the wrong species may need more upkeep than it’s worth.

3. Book a skilled contractor.

Going the DIY route can only get you so far when it comes to this huge home improvement project. Only licensed professionals can help ensure that work is done properly at the least amount of time. Book a contractor at least a few months in advance, so you’ll have plenty of time to discuss the features you want to have in your yard.

Good landscaping can enhance your home’s curb appeal and bring joy to anyone who looks or lounges in the area. It’s a project that can increase your home’s market value and provide a better outdoor living.

Energy Efficiency and More: The Benefits of Having a Metal Roof

Men fixing a home roofMany homeowners across the globe are taking steps to make their houses more energy-efficient, from replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps to upgrading insulation. Another method of cutting down energy bills is by installing a metal roof.

While the initial cost of metal roofing is higher than that of traditional asphalt shingles, it has a longer lifespan and is more resistant to the elements, which means it’s probably the last roof you will ever have to install on your house.

You can customize metal roofing for your house through precision metal cutting here in Utah. Metal roofing has been quickly gaining ground among many eco-conscious homeowners not only because of its energy efficiency and longevity but also for its modern design, versatility, and safety.

Here’s a closer look at the benefits of having a metal roof.

Variety of Materials and Styles

Homeowners can choose from galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, zinc, and tin as metal roofing material. What’s more, metal roofs come in different colors and styles. They can even look like slate, clay tile, asphalt shingles, and even wood.

Even a simple metal roof can lend a contemporary, clean look to a home.

Energy Efficiency

Because the material reflects sunlight instead of absorbing the radiant heat from the sun, a metal roof reduces the amount of heat entering and building up in a house, which means your home’s AC system doesn’t have to use up as much energy to cool the house.

Your home’s energy costs can go down by as much as 25 percent.

Longevity

Traditional roofing materials such as asphalt have a maximum life expectancy of around 20 years, after which they would need replacement. In contrast, metal roofing can last up to 70 years depending on the material. Some metal roofs can even last for hundreds of years without having to be replaced.

Safety and Durability

Metal roofs are extremely resistant to wind, hail, water, heat, and even impact. This means that metal roofs can sustain up to 140 mph wind gusts and do not crack or corrode. They’re also very easy to maintain and only require periodic inspection.

What about lightning? Well, in the event that the roof does get struck, the material will simply distribute the energy throughout the roof, preventing fire.

Good for the environment

They make many types of metal roofs from recycled materials. Metal roofing is also completely recyclable – after it reaches the end of its life, you can make it into something else.

In addition, if you’d like to harvest rainwater, metal roofing can make it easier for you. Because metal roofs have a clean, smooth surface, you won’t have to filter sediments as much as you would if you have asphalt shingles, which shed particles.

 

Lower long-term cost

As previously mentioned, a metal roof system costs more than traditional asphalt shingles and other roof types. However, in the long run it offers a greater return on investment. It helps you make huge savings on energy costs, and it’s an investment you will never have to make again.

It can even increase your home’s resale value should you decide to put it up for sale in the future.

Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing an Estate Agent

Key to a new homeLooking for an estate agent when you want to buy or sell a property can be stressful. But if you want to save time, you could ask recommendations from friends and family, as some of them might be able to point you in the right direction. Once you make a final list of your chosen estate agents in Penge, make sure to ask them the questions that we have listed below to see if they are the right fit for the job or not.

How much do I have to pay?

An estate agent usually charges between 1 and 2.5 percent of the price and VAT. Many agencies exclude VAT rates depending on the type of contract you sign with the estate agent.
The total fees also depend on the estimated value of your property so estate agents would accept less than one percent for houses with a higher value, such as those priced £500,000 and above.

 What is their marketing process?

 Estate agents should list your house in the most popular property portals, as well as local newspapers. Doing so will ensure that your property will attract the right market.
If you are buying property, check their online offers. Look for properties that are near your area or are similar to yours so you could gauge the price.

Should you consider an online estate agent?

Online estate agents do not charge as much as conventional agents, but they have various packages which they offer their clients. Most often, they ask a flat fee of £300 but offer payment upon completion of the sale. An agreement like this would usually cost you more.
Ask about their special approaches when it comes to selling or buying a home. Most agents have some tricks up their sleeve, and knowing them can help you determine if they can help you find the property of your dreams.

A Strategy to Make Your Home Ownership Dream a Reality

Front shot of modern homeBuying a home has and will always be part of the American dream. Unfortunately, not everyone gets to realize it. There are many reasons, one of the most common is making a down payment.

Although it’s possible to secure a funding program that doesn’t require putting down payment to purchase a home, there are benefits to still doing so. In Ogden, you’ll find housing grants that offer first time homeowners down payment assistance.

Making your dreams of homeownership become a reality

In a typical setting, home buyers would need to put down at least 20% of the property value they wish to purchase. For instance, a house that sells for $100,000 would require the buyer to make a $20,000 down payment. While you can save up for it, it’s still a lot of money, which may discourage you to push through with your buying plans.

Down payment aid is available, with some offering as much as $5,000 assistance for those who qualify. If you meet the requirements, this would mean that you would only have to save up $15,000, and you can already purchase your dream home.

The reasons to strive to make a down payment

There are several good reasons you’d still want to make a down payment. First, doing so allows you to the additional (and expensive) cost of private mortgage insurance. Most lenders require PMI when borrowers can’t complete a down payment, and because this is long-term insurance, it can quickly add up and balloon your overall mortgage expenditures.

Besides, putting down money also makes it easier to pay off your mortgage, since the interest will apply on a smaller amount of borrowed money. The sooner you pay your debts, the sooner you can live a debt-free life as a homeowner.

Enjoy a Stress and Pain-Free Homeownership When Buying Your First House

Couple outside homeOwning the roof over your family’s head is a great source of pride for many American homeowners. In fact, the average American lists their home as their single most valuable asset, for good reason. A decent home can set you back a couple of hundred of thousands of dollars.

Given the kingly asking prices, you may have to take out a mortgage to finance this dream. With the average monthly payment mortgage running northwards of $1,000 the last thing you need is additional bills in your mail.

Unfortunately, many first-time homeowners make crucial mistakes that bury them in debt.

Don’t buy a home in a rush

At the back of your mind, you have a picture of what comprises a dream home. This can help you breeze through the decision-making process, but it can also be your undoing. It may cause you to overlook crucial steps if you chance upon your perfect home on the market.

In such a case, you may overlook vital issues such as inspection, leading to considerable headaches later. For instance, the foundation, walls, floors, and the roof might be in great shape, but the heating system might be on its deathbed.

Once you sign the paperwork on such a house, the onus of replacing the unit lies on you.

Do seek expert advice before you commit

Involving an HVAC company when buying a home might seem a little strange, but it’s one the best decisions you can make. Considering that installing a new central heating system can easily set you back upwards of $10,000, the idea is not as wild.

In addition to providing heating repair services here in Salt Lake City, HVAC firms are amenable to providing advisory services. Retaining the services of professional is crucial when buying some old house as most central heating units have a lifespan of about 20 years.

Involving an HVAC company when buying your first home is a silver bullet that can save you a considerable amount of money and pain.

How Important Is a Water Softener in Your Home?

Instalation of a water softener in boiler roomHard water is described as water that has excess metals and minerals such as iron and calcium. These minerals don’t mix well with soap, so you will notice that your clothes are not as soft after doing your laundry or your hair is dull and lifeless no matter how much you wash it.

This is why many residents in Utah are using a water softener in their homes. All Hours Plumbing and HVAC notes this equipment softens the water by diluting or removing these excess minerals in exchange for sodium. Here are some more of its benefits:

Cleaner kitchen and bathroom

Because soap and the minerals found in hard water don’t mix well together, your dishes, the sink, and the bathtub end up with stains like white spots. When tap water evaporates, minerals like magnesium and calcium are left behind which cause the staining and plaster-like deposits on your faucets and bathtub. Soft water, on the other hand, does not have these minerals, so you get stain-free dishes, sinks, faucets, and tubs.

No more limescale build-up

Limescale build-up is a common side effect of hard water. Water won’t flow smoothly because of the reduced pressure from all those minerals, which increase the rate of limescale build-up. Additionally, the excess minerals in hard water can damage your steel pipes and other appliances that use water.

Softer skin and shinier hair

The extra magnesium and calcium in hard water reduce the effectivity of soap and shampoo, causing dry and itchy skin, as well as dull and lifeless hair. Because soaps and shampoos don’t lather as much, you are forced to use more of these products. However, with a water softener, you can bring back the rich lathering of soaps and shampoos, so you don’t have to use as much. This actually reduces your usage by 75%.

Cleaner and softer clothes

The minerals in hard water can easily get trapped in the fibers of your clothes, making them hard and scratchy. Hard water also causes your whites to turn gray. There are various DIY home remedies for this, but the best solution is to install a water softener.

Ways to Create More Storage in Your Home

A door of a storage unitStorage space is a necessity for every home. However, not every home has the sufficient amount of storage space that is an important solution when organising the house.

Here are ways you can create that necessary space if you do not have enough yet.

Floor to Ceiling Cabinets

Utilise your wall space by installing floor to ceiling cabinets that run the length of the wall. You can do this by the entryway or to create an entry foyer that can even enhance the look of your home entrance. Under the stairs is also a good place to install closets for more storage.

Another area in the home where you can increase storage space is the kitchen. Floor to ceiling storage is a good place to have the entire kitchen ensemble stored, so it is easier to find anything because they are in one place.

Garden Sheds

Utilise your outdoor space by setting up a garden workshop shed. You can use this area for storage and as a workshop all in one. Store gardening tools and other outdoor equipment in here to keep it out of reach of children inside the house.

Anything that is not safe for storing inside the home you can keep here. You can also house tools and other DIY materials in the shed to make it easier to work on DIY projects.

Sheds are a great use of space. Some even spruce it up by adding some furniture to turn it into a reading nook or resting space outside the home.

 

Creating more space in any home is possible by utilising wall space, outdoor spaces and installing room closets. Storage space is one of the best ways to keep a house organised, safe and easier to clean and maintain as everything is in its proper place.

Three Questions to Ask Before Finalizing a Mortgage

Mortgage loan agreement application with house shaped keyringYou’re ready to purchase a house. You’ve got the down payment covered. You’re itching to sign on the dotted line. Before you do, however, check some details about the mortgage, to make sure it’s favorable to you for the entirety of the loan duration.

Ask these questions before signing the mortgage:

Is a Fixed-Rate or Adjustable-Rate Mortgage More Favorable?

The repayment amounts will mostly depend on whether you have a fixed-rate home mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage. When you have a fixed-rate mortgage, you won’t have to worry about the interest rate continually changing. You are locked into a certain rate, which is favorable if the adjustable rates get higher. Conversely, if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, you’ll benefit if the current rates are lower and you pay accordingly.

Are There Refinancing Fees?

Refinancing seems like a great idea if you find a rate that works for you. However, you will only be able to take advantage of the savings if your present mortgage has favorable terms. Some lenders allow for refinancing without requiring you to pay for adjustment fees, while others may do this in a completely different way. Talk to your lender about the possibility of refinancing and if you’ll need to pay to have the old mortgage closed.

Is the Area Expecting Major Changes?

This isn’t about the interest rate; this is about the value of the property. If there are any major developments to be completed anytime soon and they will affect the value of properties in the area, you need to ask yourself if the property is worth it. If the development is something that enriches the local community, it could improve the property’s value; if it’s detrimental to the community and a setback for many residents, however, you could be in for a sale that will only have you paying for more than what the house is worth.

4 Reasons Why Metal Fencing is Best for Your Home

Metal fenceProtection is the key benefit of metal fencing. The use of metal fences can help secure your pets and belongings while protecting your home from possible criminals. Metal fences are also a durable and environmentally-safe option to guard and redecorate your home.

Safe and Protected Home

The first benefit of having a metal fence is security. Fencing can help deter criminals and trespassers, through its tall and narrow point. Moreover, fences can be tied with electronic gates and installed with security systems like alarms or codes. Fences could prevent offenders from coming in while keeping your pets and valuables from coming out.

Beautiful Design

Many types of metal fence panels are available to complement the exterior of your house. Fences can make your house look modern, sleek, and elegant depending on the type you choose. Moreover, well-crafted fences can also increase the value of the property if you wish to sell it in the future.

Durability

Metal fences are durable and will last under harsh weather conditions. Compared to wooden fences, metal fences are free from pest infestation and stains. It also needs low maintenance costs due to its lasting gleam and timeless look.

Recyclability

Lastly, metal fences are highly recyclable. Steel and aluminum are commonly used, so metal fences are reusable in case you wish to dispose of or replace them. This way, you can help save the environment.

Protection is the key benefit of metal fencing. The use of metal fences can help secure your pets and belongings while protecting your home from possible criminals. Metal fences are also a durable and environmentally-safe option to guard and redecorating your home.