Where You Should And Shouldn’t Try And Save Cash When You’re Renovating Your Kitchen

When you’re doing renovations, the costs can soon add up. Even with the best intentions, and the most meticulous of plans, sometimes you get thrown a curveball. The problem with doing up any property s that sometimes unexpected expenses just appear, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just like life, you can never tell what’s around the corner. That’s why, when you’re budgeting for any sort of project you should try and reserve some of your savings for unforeseen outgoings.

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So, when you’re doing up your kitchen, it can be tempting to skimp on some things to try and balance the books. It’s natural to want to seek to squeeze a few extra dollars here and there. There are many items you can save on without having to make too many compromises. Whether you’re doing up your kitchen to make it more attractive to potential buyers, or you just want to improve your family home? it needs to be how you want it.

Hey, Good Looking, What You Got Cooking

You can save big when you’re buying new appliances if you shop smart. If you’re looking for the best bargains, then your timing is crucial. Major retail sale events like Black Friday or Christmas sales are great times to snag top of the range appliances for bottom dollar prices. Online stores don’t have the same amount of overheads that high street shops do, so there are great offers to be found online all year round. Flash sales and blue cross discount days can often grab you an extra discount.

But Whatever You Do……

In your quest to keep within budget, there are some things you should never try and save cash on. Do so, and you might regret it later. For example, never try and undertake any work with things like gas or electricity. Unless you’re a fully qualified engineer, that is. The same applies when it comes to plumbing and heating. Don’t try and skimp on cheap parts or piping; you want your kitchen to last. Don’t buy cheap flimsy tubing; you need to go for the strongest and most durable. If you go for superior quality schedule 80 CPVC fittings, you’ll have peace of mind. You’re less likely to have to replace them for a long time to come yet.

Make the Most Of What You’ve Already Got

When you’re looking for new cabinets, you have a few different options that could see you quids in. If your cupboard unit shells are in good condition, then you could just replace the doors to give your kitchen a brand new look. Changing tiles will freshen up any area, and you can have fun experimenting with different styles and colours. If you need entirely new units, sure you can buy budget ranges at places like Ikea, but that’s not the only way to do it cheaply. Instead of second hand, think pre-loved. Check out eBay or local for sale adverts for second hand, quality units that are in fabulous condition and have plenty of life left in them yet.





The Ultimate Guide To Storm-Proofing Your Home

Right now we’re still a good five months away from the worst of the storm season. So that’s why it’s a good idea today to get one step ahead of the game.

We’ve all seen what happens when a community doesn’t adequately prepare for a storm. Just look at what happened during the hurricane Katrina debacle back in 2005. Thousands of people lost their lives and their homes in the worst US hurricane disaster for 30 years.

So what can you do as an individual to beat out the storm?

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Get Renewable Energy

Recently, the price of renewables has dropped to affordable levels. It’s the result of a gradual price decline that’s been going on for decades.

Now, though, millions of Americans are turning to renewable energy. It’s both environmentally friendly and, more importantly, a secure source of energy. Nobody wants to go through another hurricane Sandy where homes lost their power for weeks on end.

Solar panels are cheaper than ever and easy to install. Plus, Tesla has started to supply their home battery packs, so that you can continue using electricity even at night.

Choose The Right Roofing

Companies that operate in hurricane alley, like Texas Star Roofing, recommend choosing to roof wisely. Roofing needs to be in excellent condition to survive a storm intact. High winds have a particular knack for uncovering any weakness in your roofing.

It means that before a storm, you should probably spend a little time inspecting your roofing. Rusted nails can break off. The wind can buffet material that is not taut. Loose panels can cause the roof to leak in a heavy downpour. And mould can mean that the integrity of the roof is compromised.

If you’re unsure about your roof, call in a specialist that you trust to carry out an assessment. They’ll be able to tell you now whether you’re able to weather a storm, rather than to find out during hurricane season.

Stock Up On Food

It’s a shame that preppers get such a bad wrap. Having a bit of extra food in the house never hurt anyone. And there are plenty of times in American history when people have needed food because of a natural disaster but haven’t stocked up.

Set aside a cupboard or two in your home and stock up on dry food and tins. The food will keep for months, even years. And even if disaster doesn’t strike, you still haven’t wasted your money.

Seal Up The Gaps

High winds create enormous variations in air pressure. That means that if there are any gaps around your doors and windows, the wind will rattle them.

If possible, alter your doors and windows so that they don’t have a draught. This could mean using caulk or having double glazing installed.

Remove Dangerous Trees
In a storm, trees can be deadly. And trees that have been weakened or that are old are at risk of collapse. If there is a tree that risks falling on your home, remove it before the storm arrives. Or at least cut it back so that it’s no longer a threat.





You Need To See This List Of Top Places For Your Baby To Sleep!

Getting your baby to sleep can be a challenge. You will spend the first few months exhausted as you get used to their sleeping patterns. They often want to sleep with you, but it can be good to encourage them to sleep in other places such as their crib or a Moses basket. They will tend to sleep on and off during the day during the first couple of months. Therefore, it can be hard to get a set routine. To help them sleep, you could give them a bath or a feed before putting them down to sleep. Here are some top places where your baby will love to sleep during the first few months.


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In a Moses basket

A Moses basket is a perfect place for your newborn to sleep. They are safe and can be placed in any room you are in so that the baby will not be far away from you. A Moses Basket tends to come with soft bedding for the newborn, and can be adjusted so that it can be situated next to your bed. They often come with detachable legs so you can take it with you to friends or families home, and when your baby goes to sleep, you can rest them in there. Just try and make sure the noise around them is kept to a minimum.

In your arms

The best place for your baby to sleep is in your arms. It’s not only a great way for you to bond with your child, but it helps them to feel comfortable. They could also sleep in your partner’s arms as it will help them to also bond, as he hasn’t carried the baby in his womb. They will feel the warmth, and it’s good for when you are out and about, and visiting people.

In a Crib

A crib is an ideal place for your baby to sleep. It’s in your bedroom for the first six months and is fitted with warm sheets to keep your baby cosy. Getting your child to sleep in their crib can be a hard challenge. Try and rock them and comfort them next to the crib so that they will get used to being near it. Here’s some further tips for encouraging your baby to sleep in the crib.

In a Sling

A sling is a perfect place for your baby to sleep. It’s right next to your chest so they can feel your heartbeat, and it will keep them warm and cosy. A sling is ideal for when you are out at the shops or visiting friends. Just make sure their head and back are supported and snug in the sling. Make sure you research and find one that suits you.

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Co-sleeping

It’s a topic which often leaves people divided, but another place for your baby to sleep is in the bed with you. Co-sleeping is a great way for your child to feel close to you, and you can still get some rest. However, there are risks involved such as leaning on the baby as you sleep. There are also reports that babies have a higher risk of sudden infant death if they sleep in bed with you.

Wherever you place the baby to sleep, make sure they are comfortable and supported. Here is further advice on sleeping patterns for your newborn.





4 Amazing Gift Ideas For The Man In Your Life

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We all have men in our lives who deserve to feel special and appreciated. They might be our fathers, brothers, nephews, or partners. But it can be difficult to know what to buy for males as so many small gifts, tokens, and vouchers seem to be specifically geared for women. Sometimes it’s good to get creative! With a little bit of thought and forward planning, you can find a gift to bring a big smile to any man’s face.

A Sky Package

If you share a home with a man in your life, it can be an extravagant treat to get some form of Sky package. It could be devoted to sports, movies, news or entertainment. Lots of people love to curl up in front of the television to relax. It can be a great way to unwind whether alone or with company. If you’re in time for a big sports event, why not secretly invite some of his friends for a surprise party to ring in the new channel? With a few snacks and beers it can be a fun and friendly way to make your loved one feel appreciated. One night can be quality time just for the two of you. With a movie or programme that you’ll both enjoy, grab some goodies and spend some time together. This works for almost any age!

A Room Makeover

If you have access to a room that he really loves, consider improving it for him. He might love to spend time in the garage or garden shed. His home office or study could be his sanctuary. Or maybe his bedroom could use a spruce up. Whatever your time frame and budget, you can make an impact. Even details like a fresh bed spread or darkening roller shades can change the appearance of a room. A new toolset for the garage or simply tidying up in there will be much appreciated. Why not leave something he’ll enjoy when he’s not expecting it? A bottle of beer or a favourite snack could be a lovely surprise.

A Magazine Subscription

Lots of people have a hobby or interest of some kind that they love to read around in their spare time. He might be into a particular sport like football or mountain biking. Film or gaming might be his thing. Perhaps he wants to develop a new skill like cookery or woodwork. A subscription to a magazine can be a great gift. People often appreciate having a magazine to regularly relax with but don’t often think to get it themselves. You never know, you might end up benefitting from their new hobby or skill. He might cook a delicious meal or take you on a bike ride!

Experience Days

For the man who has everything, an experience day can be a great gift as it becomes a great memory rather than an object. There are often experiences that you can do together too. Rally driving and abseiling might be for the adventurous, but spa days or trips to iconic sites can suit anyone. Not only will you be giving a thoughtful gift, you will be making memories together too.





Essential Maintenance Checks For Spring

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Bad weather can cause considerable wear and tear to your home. In some cases, it can cause serious damage. It’s always a good idea to check your home as spring approaches. At the same time, carry out your regular maintenance checks.

Room by Room Checks

Go through your home room by room, starting in the loft. Look for any visible signs of wear or damage. Check for leaks, damp and cracks to the walls. Pay attentions to the roof area and ceilings.

As you carry out these checks, take a look at your electrical outlets and switches. You may be aware of issues already. Carry out a visual check on cables and extension points. Always call a professional if you are unsure. Call a 24 hour electrician to deal with serious issues.

Read our article on common electrical faults that can occur in your home.

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Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked at least once a month. Make sure you add this to your calendar. It’s a good time to check as you’re carrying out your damage evaluation. Replace batteries and address any issues straight away. These detectors could save your life.

Check Windows and Doors

Check all windows inside and out. Make sure that sealant is intact and that there is no sign of cracks. Excess moisture could indicate a problem.

Wipe down windows and doors regularly to remove moisture. Clean glass and surrounding casements. Note any chips or cracks in the glass. If your windows are double or triple glazed, make sure there is no moisture in-between the panes. If there is, this could indicate that the seal is broken.

Fences and Garden Walls

The majority of issues caused by weather occur outside of the property. Start by walking around the perimeter of your garden. Note any wear to garden fences and walls. Fix or replace where necessary. When was the last time your coated your fencing? Does it need a new coat?

Garden Damage

Snow, rain and storms cause issues in the garden. Check for broken branches and rubbish that has blown in. Is there any damage to your garden furniture? Can this be mended or do you need to make replacements? Also, check garden sheds and outhouses.

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Look Up

Once the garden is restored, check the exterior of the house. Using a pair of binoculars, inspect the roof and gutter. You’re looking for cracks, gaps, slipped tiles, etc. Do the gutters look clear and free from blockage? Can you see plants growing out of the chimney? This can be a sign of water damage. Always call a professional to carry out repairs. Climbing on the roof is dangerous and could cause serious or fatal injuries.


Walls

Assess the exterior walls by walking around the house. Look for cracks and signs of wear. Does your paintwork need restoring?

Water stains on the walls could indicate a leak or blockage somewhere. For example, in drainpipes or gutters.

Finally, check your drain covers and clear any leaves and debris. Address any simple blockages or call a plumber for complex issues.

This is not an exhaustive list. Checks will depend on your individual property and should be tailored accordingly. It’s a good idea to assess your home throughout the year, paying particular attention in the spring and autumn. Rectifying issues in the early stages may prevent costly repair bills in the future.





What To Do After Disovering A Major Water Leak In Your Home

It’s easier than you probably realised for your home to become flooded with water. It could be caused by burst pipes, the weather or a faulty water heater to name but a few. It’s every homeowners nightmare to return home and find water everywhere they look. But knowing what to do if this happens to your home gives you a better chance of reducing the damage to your property and belongings. Here is a useful guide that you can refer to should you discover a major water leak in your home.


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Stop the water as quickly as possible

Unless your home has been flooded by natural causes, it’s vital that you stop the water from entering your home as quickly as possible. Make sure every member of your family knows where the main water valve is and how to turn it off. This will not only put a stop to the leak but also help you pinpoint where the water was coming from. It shouldn’t be difficult to determine where the leak started as this will be where the most water movement is occurring. Visit https://enlightenme.com to see what the most common causes of water leaks are.

Extract the water

Now that the water has stopped flooding in, it’s time to quickly start removing the leftover water as quickly as you can. Towels, mops and buckets can all be used to do this and ask friends and neighbours for help. You may need to contact a water damage specialist to help you if the water is in a difficult area or is very deep. Take a look at

http://restoration1ofportland.com to learn more about their water extraction services. The sooner you start removing the water, the higher the chance of saving your furniture and belongings. It also decreases the time the water has to soak in or cause further damage which could result in costly repairs.

Open all the doors and windows

Air circulation is the best way to start drying out your home. So open all of the doors and windows to maximise this as much as possible. You could also use large fans like the ones sold at http://www.homedepot.com. Use towels and start to wipe away the excess water to make this process go a lot quicker.

File an insurance claim

Home insurance policies will often cover water damage. So it’s important to file a claim straight away. Try to provide as much evidence as you possibly can to backup your claim. Take photographs of your flooded home or create a video. Also, make a thorough list of all the belongings that have been lost or damaged due to the flood. This will make it easier for your insurance company to process your claim as quickly as possible. They may be able to replace damaged items, provide you with temporary accommodation or give you a payout.

As shocking as it might be to see your home flooded with water, it’s essential that you remain calm and act quickly. This will limit the damage, let you salvage more and make your house feel like a home again.





Everything You Need To Know About Home Heating

When it comes to controlling the temperature of your home, there are various options out there. If you’re renovating an old house, or you’re searching for energy-efficient updates, look no further. Here are some suggestions you may wish to consider.

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Gas central heating

Gas central heating is one of the most common ways to heat modern homes. Central heating systems are connected to the national grid, and they supply energy through a boiler. When you turn the heating on, warmth radiates throughout the house. You can adjust the level of radiators to increase the temperature in certain rooms. Setting a thermostat enables you to regulate the temperature of your home in line with your personal preferences.

Electric central heating

Electric central heating tends to be more expensive than gas and renewable energy sources. Most commonly, storage heaters are used to generate heat in the colder months. Storage heaters use cheaper electricity during off-peak hours to provide heat during the day. They contain specially designed bricks, which retain heat and the release it slowly.

LPG

LPG (liquid petroleum gas) heating uses gas tanks to power a central heating system. This type of heating may be preferable in remote areas, which are not connected to the national grid. LPG heating is generally used to heat water in a boiler, which is then passed on to radiators throughout the home.

Renewable energy sources

A growing number of people are choosing to invest in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Renewable energy is greener, and it can also save you a lot of money on energy bills. In some cases, installation costs may be covered by local authorities, so check if you are eligible for financial help before you buy. Solar power is particularly popular in warmer countries, where you can expect at last 6-8 hours of sunshine per day for most of the year.

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Water heating
There are various ways of heating water supplies. Most modern homes have combi-boilers, which supply hot water on demand. However, there are other options, including a tankless hot water heater. Tankless heaters take up less space, and they are more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters. The initial installation cost is higher, but bills will start to fall dramatically. Solar power can also be used to heat water.

Choosing the best option

Choosing a heating option can be confusing, especially if you have no experience of home renovation. It’s best to do some research, so that you can compare the pros and cons of each method. Look out for environmentally-friendly options, which will also save you money. Contact some energy providers to get a rough idea of average bills for a household of your size.

If you’re a novice when it comes to home heating, there’s a lot to learn. Ask for expert advice and consider all the options before you make a decision. Compare prices and think about the pros and cons of each system. Once you’ve got all the relevant information, you’ll be able to make a well-rounded decision.





My oldest has finished school and I am ecstatic

Its kind of surreal for me to have a daughter who is out of highs school and preparing for college. I am starting early and preparing by looking at college rings from Joy Jewelers for her class rings. I was totally unprepared and didn’t buy her high school class ring. I guess college rings are more popular than high school ones. I know she would love a ring like this one.

I am so proud of her for not only graduating high school but graduating early. I am so proud of her hard work and her dedication to her school work that made it possible for her to graduate early. She is looking forward to her prom and grad night and I find myself just as excited for her. I missed all of those cool school events and I am just glad that she gets to experience them. Do any of you have epic stories about your prom night or grad night ? I would love reading all about them.





Effective Ways To Keep The House Running Smoothly

Work, kids, parents, cars, friends….life can be so demanding and hectic! That’s not even mentioning your home and all the responsibilities that come with it. However, help is at hand. Here is a list of ways to keep the house running smoothly, freeing up time and energy for other things!

Get Everyone Involved

Unless you live alone, or only with babies, you should not be managing the house on your own. Everyone that lives in the home should have an involvement in keeping things ticking over. Kids can tidy their bedrooms, fold fresh ironing and water plants. Elderly parents can cook dinner one night a week and polish cutlery. Giving these tasks to others frees you up to the tasks you are best at, or quickest at. Or even just the ones that you enjoy the most! We won’t tell…

Have Professionals Manage Repairs

There are some items in our homes that we can fix ourselves in they break and malfunction. Dodgy TV aerials and loose chair legs, for example. But there are some bigger jobs that you’d be best leaving to someone with training and experience. Air conditioning repair, for example, may only take a professional an hour or two to fix. However, if you try and tackle it without knowing what you’re doing, disaster is possible! Plus, any mistakes you make will elongate the length of the issue, and will be even more expensive to fix.

Go One Room At A Time

If you constantly flit from room to room when cleaning and tidying, you’ll just end up with a house of half-clean rooms! Go one room at a time, and don’t let yourself move on until it’s done. If you have the time, you could do one room per day, and keep a circulation going. Do the less demanding rooms during the week, if you have work, like the hallway. Then, do the more demanding rooms at the weekends, when you have a bit more time and energy. This goes for places like the living room, or jobs like a kitchen deep-clean. You could even do two or three rooms on your days off, and take a day off once a week instead!

Stop clutter in its tracks

Clutter doesn’t just suddenly appear out of nowhere! It is, by definition, a build up of different items that are poorly organised, or not organised at all. The only way to rid your home of clutter is not to let it appear in the first place. Tidy it away every day. Keep surfaces bare where possible. File letters the minute the drop through the door. Cleaning under clutter is also far more time-consuming than it would be if there were nothing there.

Wash up straight away

Just like clutter, leaving things on the side means the build-up is inevitable! Wash up once you’ve finished making a meal or baking. Or, even better, wash up as you’re going. Every time you finish using an item, clean it and put it away. This means that by the time you finish the food, you’ll be able to eat straight away.

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Easy Ways To Be Prepared For Domestic Disasters

Disasters can strike at any time. Some of them can be a major danger to you and your family. Others are a lot more minor, even a lot slower. However, when it comes to your home, they could result in paying a lot of money out. So, how do you make sure you’re protected? We take a run through six disasters that can strike the home and how you can better prepare for them.

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Actual disasters

When a natural disaster strikes, it’s a lot more serious an affair most of the other entries on the list. The power of nature is mighty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to combat it. Do you live in an area that is becoming more susceptible to weather disasters? Make sure you’re always updating your policy with your insurers. Then develop a household emergency plan to best ensure everyone’s safety when the worst happens.

House fires

House fires can be tremendously destructive and can come from just about anywhere. When preparing for house fires, it’s all about knowing how to best deal with a situation as well as prevent it. Practice drills to get your family away from the home and regularly check your alarms. These are the two best ways of knowing what to do when a house fire arises.

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Lights out

When a blackout strikes, it’s not quite as serious as a fire or hurricane. But it can lead to all kinds of accidents and lost money, as well. The latter comes primarily through the refrigerator. It’s good to have ice on supply to mitigate the damages caused to your food, but you should know that meat spoils quickly so there may be no saving it. However, you can avoid a lot of trouble by using a Lithonia battery as an emergency power supply.

Avoiding freezing

The cold can do a lot of damage to both your family and your home. The health risks of letting lots of cold air come in are well known. But cold can also do a lot of trouble to the pipes. Freezing pipes burst often, leading to widespread water damage that can costs hundreds or thousands to repair. Make sure your home is toasty in the winter. Have it fully insulated and your heating systems updated to avoid the spread of freezing through your home.


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Mold and mildew

Mold and mildew are two of the more long-term kinds of damage that be done to your home. Fighting them is often a lot like fighting the cold. Insulate and you’ve won half the battle. It’s a good idea to check your roof for cracks now and then, too, however. Even a small crack can be the beginning of a mold problem that could become a safety hazard to your family.

Most disasters can be averted by simply having the right preparation. This means adding security to the structure of your home or having the right equipment nearby. Other times, it means having a plan and knowing what to do when everyone’s panicking.





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