5 of the Most Worthwhile Home Renovation Jobs You Can Carry Out

Wanting to improve your home is an understandable urge, so why not consider these 5 worthwhile home renovation jobs?

1. Energy Overhaul

Changing the way in which your home is powered is a huge move. It takes a lot of planning and investment to begin with. But, in the long-term, it’s an investment that will be sure to pay off. Most homes rely on unclean and unsustainable sources of energy. So if you’re going to overhaul the way energy is produced for your home, you’ll need to look at green options and energy efficiency. Windows, doors and attics need to be sealed and insulated. And then you can think about installing a wind turbine or solar panel to create clean energy.

2. Attic Conversion

What do you do with your attic? Most people use them as places to store old junk that they don’t want and endless cardboard boxes that they threw up there after they moved in. But surely there’s a better way to use all that space up there. By converting it, you could create an entirely new bedroom for your property. This gives you more space, and it also adds a lot of extra value to your home. The more bedrooms that you have in your home, the more money you will get when it comes to selling it.

3. Garden Decking

Garden decking is ideal for the summer months, or whenever the weather is good. It allows you to do some cooking outside and then eat it at the outdoor table. You don’t want to be stuck in the home when the weather’s so good, so decking gives you the chance to spend more time in your back garden. It’s pretty simple to install as well. All you need is some good wood, such as timber, and some nails. You can follow a guide if you’re a DIY champion, or you could hire a tradesman to do the work.

4. Conservatory

Conservatories offer you somewhere to spend some time in a pleasant and bright environment. If you feel like your home is too dark and dull, letting some light in via a glass conservatory might be the best option open to you. It also presents a cheap way to add an extra room to your house, and that will help to boost the value of the home. It can even help to heat the home because more heat producing sunlight will be let into the home. You could opt for a DIY conservatory if you want to do the work yourself.

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5. Kitchen Remodelling

If you ask people what they see as the most important room in the house, most will say the kitchen. This is where the family spends time together to eat and socialise, so it needs to be suited to the family’s needs. So, if your kitchen is not as good as you’d like it to be, spending a little money on remodelling it might be a good idea. Most remodelling jobs don’t cost too much, but they can add a huge amount of money to the value of your home in the long-term. So, it’s something you should definitely consider.





My Super Tips To Make Your Property More Attractive To Potential Buyers

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Amidst the excitement of trying to find a new home, every homeowner will encounter the fear of trying to shift their current property. This single step will have a huge influence on your future. It’s vital that you give it the best chance of selling fast, and at the best price.

There are various steps that you must take to achieve the best results. Follow these tips below, and you should be just fine.

Curb Appeal

Potential buyers will be forming opinions about the property before they’ve even stepped inside. Creating positive vibes from the outset is crucial, and adding curb appeal is the way to do it.

Savvy buyers will look straight towards the roofing, so upgrading to zinc cladding could have a huge impact on their opinions. Meanwhile, you should look to keep the front lawn tidy while windows should be clean and look safe.

Open The Space Out

In truth, most potential buyers won’t care too much about your design ideas. They’ve not got to like your furniture; they simply have to like the space. In most cases, bigger is better.

You can create the atmosphere of bigger rooms simply by increasing natural light. Meanwhile, moving is a fantastic opportunity to declutter your life. Get rid of your junk and the home will instantly feel larger, which could give you a far better chance of selling.

Fix Faults

The potential buyer knows that they’ll need to decorate and add their personality to the property in order to make it a home. However, the last thing that they want is to be left with major restoration work.

Every issue they notice will be viewed as another stumbling block. For the sake of a few man hours, it’s always worth repairing those household items. Even if it’s something as simple as fixing a light switch, it can make a huge difference.

Clean The Property

When it comes to selling a property, cleanliness is next to godliness. A dirty home feels very uninviting, and those negative vibes can instantly ruin your chances of impressing a potential buyer.

Read my advice on keeping the home clean, and you won’t go far wrong. Besides, it creates a nicer atmosphere for you to live in too. After all, you won’t be moving out for a little while yet.

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Tidy The Garden

We’ve already discovered that the property’s allure doesn’t start and end with those four ways. Paying attention to the outside areas is equally important, and the garden can be a very powerful tool indeed.

Keeping it maintained will open the buyer’s eyes to the potential fun that can be had with the space. You’d be amazed at how influential this can be.

Set The Right Price

It might sound silly, but ending the price with a string of nines can instantly lessen the interest of your buyer. For some reason, simply lowering it to a less common number can make them feel like they are getting a better deal.

Strange. But it really does work.





Awesome Upgrades For Any Garden

Andy Rogers

How’s your garden looking? Could you do with making a few changes here and there that would encourage you to spend more time outside? I’ve been looking into our outside space a lot recently and researching into the kind of changes that can make a difference. Here’s what I have found so far – and don’t be afraid to give me your suggestions at the end of the post!

Borders

There are two reasons to make sure your borders are looking great and are in good condition.The first is obvious – security. Not just to stop people from coming into your garden, of course, but also to prevent little ones getting out! The second reason is that it is the ultimate finish to any backyard. It gives you that extra bit of privacy and marks out your area with style. You can go down the natural route with hedges – or even trees if you have space. Or, you can ring around a few fence companies and see what they have on offer. They involve a lot less upkeep than bushes and will also give you a little extra space.

Patios

The good old patio is a must-have for anyone who enjoys spending time in their garden. It’s the perfect bridge between the inside and outside of your house. In the summer months, it can act as an extension while in the winter it allows you to get outside without ruining your lawn. We’re toying with the idea of doing the patio ourselves – it’s a fairly simple DIY project by all accounts. But, if you want a more luxurious look I would recommend getting some professional pavers in. Especially if you are splashing out on a high-quality stone.

Raised beds

Raised beds can have a dramatic impact on any garden, no matter how small it is. They are an excellent way to add visual depth and height, and they are easy to do yourself. That’s not to say it isn’t hard work – all that digging and shoveling will take its toll. But – no pain, no gain, right? And, I guess, it’s a chance to have a workout while improving your outside space, so it’s a double win. Regarding design, just have a look around on the web. Take a look at these – there are some great ideas, and they look spectacular. Plus, you can plant almost anything in them, too, from flower beds to veggie patches.

Water feature

Why not finish everything off with a water feature? Not only do they look great, but they can also help you attract a serious amount of wildlife into the garden. Birds love them for bathing, and it doesn’t take long for any pond to become teeming with aquatic life. Although one thing I would say about ponds is that you have to be careful when walking around in the early spring. Quite often you will find many tiny little frogs hopping around, and you don’t want to catch one underfoot!

Hope these ideas have helped – now over to you!





My Handy Guide To Preventing Burglaries

I understand that having a beautiful nice is amazing. I won’t lie and tell you that I don’t take pride in making my home look its best. But, I also don’t put looks above security. In my time, I have come across lots of incidents of theft, and it is easy to see why. The majority of homes put style over substance, and they pay the ultimate price. If you are wondering why I am writing a post about home protection, it is because I have heard numerous cases and I don’t want you to be next. Here’s what I would suggest to prevent burglars from entering your home.

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Change The Locks Regularly

Keys go missing all the time. Instead of panicking and thinking the worst, we tend not to bother. Why should we? All I need to do to get a new key is to walk to the locksmiths and get one cut. I don’t have to move house or anything drastic. The problem with this method of thinking is that anyone could have access to your home. Getting a new key doesn’t change the fact that a stranger could come across the key in the street and walk straight through the door. For me, it is important that we change the locks on a regular basis, which is why I always check out http://www.locksmithsydney.com for advice.

Leave The Lights On

When we are not at home, our homes are vulnerable. But, we cannot help leaving the house because we have lives to live. What we can do is make it look as if someone is home, so thieves will think twice before trying to break in. Most thieves are opportunists, and they won’t take any undue risk. Simply leaving the living room light on is usually enough to deter burglars. If you don’t believe me, take the word of a reformed burglar. You can find out what he has to say by visiting http://blogs.independent.co.uk.

… On the Outside As Well As The Inside

Exterior lighting is just as important as interior lighting. Because the leaving the light on trick is quite obvious, it is important to have a backup. Although we might not be able to stop burglars, we can make it harder. Leaving an outside light on all around the property means they don’t have the shelter they like to do their business. Hopefully, a watchful neighbour or a passerby will be able to spot anyone shady who is lurking nearby.

Trim Back The Hedges

Again, large hedges and trees shelter the property from view. So, any burglar passing by can easily take their time picking a lock or looking for an opening. It doesn’t matter whether the house is well lit because they can take refuge under the greenery. I know that winter is on its way, and the last thing you want to do is a bit of gardening in the freezing cold. But, it could make all the difference security.

Draw The Blinds/Curtains

Don’t let anyone catch a glimpse inside. I always draw my blinds when I am not in because I don’t want anyone looking through the window for valuables. If they find valuables, they will smash a window or a door to steal what they can.

They only sound like little changes, but they will make a massive difference.





The Best Ways to Save Money around the House


Image by Flickr

Owning a house can sometimes be stressful. We always have to think about little costs for the things that keep our houses running. However, sometimes we can get carried away and spend far too much without even noticing it. There are many ways to cut back on your housing expenses. Here are a few methods to help you get started.

Make a budget

If you know you have been spending too much recently, it can really pay to make a household budget. Think about all the things you are buying, and consider which parts can be cut down on. If you know your monthly incomings and outgoings, it is a lot easier to manage your money.

Cut the cost of your energy bills

We are all guilty of leaving too many lights on or not switching things off at the plug socket. This is not only bad for the environment in the long run but it also affects the cost of your energy bills. When you leave a room make sure to turn off all the lights. When you brush your teeth, turn the taps off whilst you’re brushing. Things like hand washing dishes can waste a lot of water too. Fill up a bowl with water, scrub your dishes in the sink and then place them in the bowl to rinse them off. Alternatively look at investing in energy saving appliances. There is much debate around whether a dishwasher can save you energy. You can also invest in household appliances which have a good energy rating. Look out for products with the Energy Star logo next time you buy something new.

Avoid food waste

When you go food shopping, it is very easy to get carried away and fill your trolley with things you don’t really need. In turn, if you don’t find the time to eat them, it can lead to a lot of food waste. Stop wasting money on food by planning out your week in advance. Try to go shopping once or twice a week. This way you aren’t always having to pop into the stores for everything.The day before your shopping day, think about what you want to cook that week. When you go shopping, know exactly what sorts of ingredients you need and how much of it is necessary. You could also think about switching branded foods to supermarket own brand ingredients. Often, people say they can’t taste the difference, but they certainly notice the difference in price.


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Rubbish removal

Rubbish removal is particularly useful if you have either just moved home or have been redecorating. Hiring a removal company can become expensive, so be sure to look around to get the best bargain. Not only can you save money this way, but getting someone else to pick up your junk will save you so much time.

Get free art

If you have kids and want to decorate your home with artwork, turn their drawings into something you would be happy to place on the walls. You could think about framing their work and hanging it up. Alternatively, you could do what this mother did. She transformed her child’s artwork into something really spectacular.

Recycle what you can

If you throw everything into the garbage, you could potentially be throwing money down the drain. Many places offer incentives for recycling. Recyclebank, for instance, will reward you with loyalty points every time you bring your recycling in. The more you bring to recycle the more you will earn. You can turn these points into vouchers for some of your favourite stores and restaurants. Not only will you feel great about doing your bit for the environment, but you will love the savings you make too.

Declutter your home

If you have a house full of junk you have been desperate to get rid of, use this as an opportunity to declutter. If you have old clothes that you swear you will one day fit into again but you haven’t worn it in years, just get rid of it. Old furniture that you don’t want can be removed too. They say that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. With that in mind, be sure to sell your good on to someone else. You can think about hosting a car boot sale, or head to eBay to sell online. One thing is for sure and that is that someone out there will want to buy your old stuff.

Renegotiate your housing costs

If you are renting, it is worth discussing with your landlord whether they can renegotiate on the cost of rent. If you show them that you are a reliable tenant who pays bills on time, they may be happy to oblige. The same goes for your mortgage. Just because you have agreed to a long-term mortgage, doesn’t mean you can’t still shop around for a better rate.


Host a film night

If you love going out to the movies, you will know how expensive it can become after you have bought a ticket, drink and popcorn. Turn your home into a movie theatre for the night and invite friends over for a film festival. The cost of renting the latest blockbuster will be significantly less than the cinema ticket price. You can get your friends to bring the snacks and you will all be ready to go.

Grow your own fruit and veg

If you fancy yourself as being green thumbed, try growing your own food in your garden. Start off simple with some herbs and then move on to the trickier stuff like fruit and veg.

Don’t try to keep up with everyone
Keeping up with the Joneses can be a recipe for disaster. You should never try to keep up with your neighbours because it will only make you unhappy in the long run. Be content with the things you have and only purchase the things you want. The moment you start to buy items so as to keep up appearances is the moment you start wasting your money.





Read my thoughts on Luminoso, the 4th book in the Luminara series by S. J. Molloy

Go check out my book review of Luminoso by S. J. Molloy on my review site A Diva Reviews.

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http://adivareviews.com/2015/10/28/book-review-luminoso-by-s-j-molloy/





Kozy Shack® Indulgent recipe pudding has become my favorite dessert

I had the pleasure of trying out KozyShack ® Indulgent recipe pudding and what a pleasure it was. If you know me, you must know that I have a sweet tooth and loves sweets. It might not always be good for me to eat many sweets but this Kozy shack pudding is quite the indulgence for me. I find it that it satisfies all my sweet tooth cravings and it is the perfect size for me to eat.

I tried the Salted Caramel pudding and all I can say is that I am in love with it. I am a vanilla type of person but I decided to go out on a limb and try I different flavor than the ones I usually get and I am glad I did. I am a little ashamed to say that I did not want to share my puddings with the rest of the family so I went out and bought them their own. They all loved the creamy consistency of this pudding and now it has become one of our favorite desserts to have. Thank you Bzz Agent for letting us try out Kozyshack indulgent recipe pudding.

kozy shack indulgence

* I received a coupon for free pack of Kozy Shack Indulgent recipe pudding for free in exchange for honest review from BzzAgent.





My Top Tips For Giving Your Kitchen An Easy Makeover

I am a real interior design lover; I always like my home to look as stylish and well-designed as possible. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about my kitchen, and how it could do with an update.

I love cooking for my family, so for me, my kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house. Which is why, when it comes to redecorating, it’s so important that the design is right. Creating the perfect kitchen might seem tricky, but if you take note of these tips and ideas, it doesn’t have to be.

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Get inspiration

When it comes to changing up the design of any room in your home, the first thing you need to do is get inspiration. Have a look online at sites like Pinterest, for ideas for the new design. Using these types of sites, you can find lots of inspiration and ideas for your kitchen makeover.

Once you have got some ideas, create your own kitchen mood board. Use this to jot down your favorite color schemes, ideas and pieces of furniture – you can also cut out pictures and stick them onto your mood board.

Talk to a contractor

If you have any major work that needs doing, don’t make the mistake of attempting to do it yourself. Instead, get in touch with a kitchen remodeling contractor and ask them for some advice about your ideas.

When it comes to making updating your kitchen as easy as possible, hiring a contractor is a great idea. Yes, it might be a little pricey, but if you have anything major that needs doing, it’s worth the cost.

Paint the walls

One of the simplest ways to update the look of your kitchen is by painting the walls in a new color. It’s amazing how simply swapping the color scheme of the room can make such a big difference to the look and feel of it.

For kitchens, navy and white, lemon, monochrome, and pastel palettes are all popular at the moment. So if you are stuck for a color scheme idea, consider opting for one of these.

Swap your hardware

Switching your hardware for updated pieces can be a great way to give your kitchen a quick makeover. By replacing your old cooker, toaster, kettle, and microwave for newer designs, you can give your kitchen a style boost.

Splurge on new counter tops

If your counters are old and worn, now is the perfect time to treat yourself to new counter tops. The best thing about replacing your kitchen counters is that there are so many amazing options to choose from.

From marble to granite, and everything in between, there are so many beautiful choices to choose from. If you like the idea of marble worktops but can’t afford the price tag, you should be able to find a similar effect for a much lower price, online.

Believe it or not, giving your kitchen an update doesn’t have to be hard. There are plenty of ways you can make giving your kitchen a makeover much more simple.





Get the Most for Your Money when Redecorating Your Home

Redecorating your home can be an expensive business if you let it. It needn’t be something that costs the earth if you redecorate in the right way. Here are my tips on how to get the most for your money when you are redecorating.

Focus on the rooms you use the most

It is understandable to want to decorate your whole house, but often you can focus only on the rooms you use the most. Rather than investing in sprucing up the hallway or the guest bedroom, just focus on areas like the lounge, bedrooms and kitchen.

Upcycle your old furniture

Bring out your inner artist by upcycling your old furniture. Rather than investing in new pieces, you can get creative and update your existing furniture to match your newest colour scheme. Chairs can be upholstered with any sort of fabric you like and tables can be sanded down and repainted. Get some inspiration from these brilliant ideas.

All you need is a lick of paint

Sometimes when you think a whole room needs redecorating all it really needs is a bit of paint. Painting a room can brighten it up and turn it into something completely different. Purchase sample pots of paint to test out colours before investing in a whole pot of paint.

Man painting an interior door frame at home with his young son

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Invest in high-quality materials

Whilst spending a lot of money on pricey materials might not seem like the best way to get the most for your money, it really is. If you invest in something that is durable you will get years of use from it before you have to replace it. Luxury vinyl planks are a great example of this. They offer great value for money as well as being hard-wearing, resilient and easy to clean. Perfect for any room in your house.

Don’t pay for art, make your own

Buying artwork to decorate your home can become expensive. A good camera, or even most smartphones these days can take high-quality photos that can be blown up and printed out. This will add a nice addition to any room, and will cost only a fraction of the price of getting real artwork.

Don’t be put off by second-hand furniture

You don’t always have to buy the newest items of furniture. Often you can find second-hand furniture for bargain prices. Head to flea markets to see what gems you can pick up. Or how about browsing eBay?

Is it time for a car boot sale?
Part of redecorating doesn’t always mean spending money. Decluttering your house can help you make room and make money too. Have a good clear out of your whole house to see what you have been hoarding. Once you have all your goods ready to go, why not have your own yard sale. Or if your neighbours are in the same position, why not have a neighbourhood sale? If none of that works, you can find out where your local car boot sale or flea market will be and take your possessions to one of these to sell them.





How to Upgrade Your Bathroom on a Budget

If you want to upgrade your bathroom, but you don’t have a huge amount of money to work with, don’t worry. Here’s how to upgrade your bathroom on a budget.

Make Green Changes

When making changes to your bathroom, you need to think about the effect they’ll have on the environment. You don’t have to be a tree-hugging hippy to do this though! It makes sense for everyone to conserve as much water as possible. In the long-term, it will save you a lot of money. Think about the amount of water you waste when you leave taps running and things like that. If you have efficient appliances that are designed to conserve water in the bathroom, your water bill will be reduced.

Compare Contractors

If you really need to hire a contractor to carry out work on your bathroom, you need to be careful when you’re hiring. Don’t hire the first contractor you find after a Google search. You should do some research and scout around until you have quotes from various companies. Bathroom makeovers can be constantly when you have to get labourers in. So, by comparing quotes, you’ll be able to find the deal that’s best for you. Remember to weigh up the costs as well as the service you get.

Prioritise Paint

If you only have a tiny budget to work with, using paint is a great idea. It’s really cheap to buy a tin of paint, but the difference it will make to your walls could be huge. Think about it, what’s the first thing you see when you step into a room? You look at the colours of the wall; that’s what your eye is immediately drawn to. This will mean that you could save a lot of money by giving the room a makeover with nothing other than paint. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than adding new tiles or replacing fixtures.

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Replace the Faucets

Rather than going to the effort of replacing the whole bath, sink, shower and toilet, you could give them an update by replacing the faucets. This is a great trick because it makes the whole bathroom feel new, but in reality, you’re only making a minor change. This is also a lot cheaper than ripping out the old fixtures and having new ones installed. Another trick that you can employ is replacing the caulk around the edge of your bathroom fixtures. This instantly makes the room feel fresher.

Buy Used Items

You can always save money on items if you resist the temptation to buy new items. Sure, new items may seem appealing. They’re shiny and, well, new. But that doesn’t mean that a used items can’t do the job just as well. For example, take the mirror. You could buy a brand new mirror from a department store, but how much would that cost you? To cut down that cost, you could buy a used mirror that has an interesting and unique style, and then clean up the frame. It will look as good as new!





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