Spring Home Remodel Ideas

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open floor plans

Obviously, spring is the best season for a remodel – the weather isn’t freezing, boiling or as moist as it is during the fall. The spring home remodel, however, is somewhat special – it is inspired by new beginnings, nature and fresh air. Like any type of a home remodel, it requires planning and, even more importantly, ideas, which is exactly the point of these article. Here are some interesting ones to consider.

Storing away Wintertime Items

Immediately following the winter, spring still irradiates a whiff of that cold feel – mostly owing to all the items, such as winter clothing, boots and scarves. Before tackling any type of a remodel, you’ll need to get yourself a spring atmosphere in your home and you can’t do this with all those wintery stuff lying around.

winter clothes

Decluttering

Decluttering is a common part of any type of a remodel; without getting rid of clutter, you can’t really begin remodeling at all. There is a certain thing with cluttering that might be an issue here – there is a reason for your home being cluttered (if it is, at all). You see, in order to get rid of this clutter, all you need to do is, well, get rid of all the things that you don’t need, and this is exactly where that little hoarder that dwells in the back of the mind of each and every one of us kicks in! The key to decluttering is realizing that you don’t need all that stuff that you haven’t used in years, except for objects with emotional value (no, you can’t be sentimental about every single object in your home). Simply throw away the items you don’t need!

An Accent Wall

You’re probably already planning on repainting your walls, which is completely fine, but have you ever thought about having an accent wall? The whole point here is making a single wall stick out, either by painting it in a different color, or by using decorations, such as murals, posters and framed pictures. You can match your new furniture with the accent wall, this is a valid decorative option.

Open-Floor Plans

Popular and convenient, open-floor plans are basically three rooms tied into a single common one. It is important, however, that the living room, the dining room and the kitchenette are properly defined and separated. One of the main perks of open-floor plans is the fact that they are, well, open in terms of air, which is why browsing through Air Purifier Ratings for one is almost obligatory, especially seeing as how you’re doing a spring remodel.

open floor plans

Gardening

Speaking of spring, what better way to compliment your home than by refreshing your yard? You can turn it into a garden (if you haven’t already), but make sure that you pick your plants in accordance with the gardening zone of your location; you can’t really grow cacti in Seattle, regardless of the season.

These ideas and preparations will hopefully get you going with your spring remodel. Planning for everything properly is the key here, if you want a completely refreshed home!

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Top Outdoor Living Trends for 2017

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contemporary lighting

One of the greatest perks of owning a house is having a backyard as well. Not only does it provide you with the space to relax, but it’s also a great way to practice your landscaping and decorating skills. Just like in interior design, experts set the trends for each year for outdoor living, too, so here are some of the best ones for the upcoming year.

Outdoor living spaces

For a while now, the lines between indoor and outdoor design have been blurry, but in 2017, they’re about to be erased. Namely, furnishing your garden with living room items is the hottest trend right now, resulting in the creation of contemporary outdoor living spaces. Upholstered sofa and chairs along with an actual fireplace are becoming common for the outdoors and it makes perfect sense when you think about it – why not bring the comfort of your living room outdoors and add some fresh air to the equation? Invest in a good outdoor structure to protect your furniture from severe weather conditions and just relax.

outdoors

Hyperlocalism

It’s only natural to choose the plants native to your area for your backyard garden, but landscape experts took it to another level for the year to come. Namely, they claim you should opt for endemic species, native to a particular ecosystem to make it as local as possible. This is part of a trend that celebrates regionalism and it applies to building materials as well – garden designers are using rocks that are locally sourced to build items needed for decorating the outdoors. It’s a lovely idea since it’s as environmentally friendly as possible – it lowers the carbon footprint and supports your local ecosystem.

Natural materials

In addition to hyperlocalism, preferring the natural materials in outdoor design is another way to get closer to Mother Nature. From building materials to floors to upholstery fabrics – everything must be all natural. So, if you’re thinking of redecorating, head to the fabric store and opt for cotton, velvet, linen, or wool to refresh your outdoor furniture. In addition, woven is a must-have organic element in your garden and there’s a good reason behind it – it’s timeless, durable and versatile enough to fit easily into any style.

Contemporary lighting

As we already mentioned, the line between indoor and outdoor is slowly disappearing as you can see from the outdoor lighting trends for the year 2017. Floor lamps, like those you could see in living rooms, are a big hit for lighting the patio. They are somewhat bigger and made to be more durable but, just like indoor lamps, they can be used as a focused light or to create a romantic ambience. Another trend in lighting is affordability – that’s why LED lights are a must. They last longer than standard bulbs and they are far more practical.

contemporary lighting

Sustainability

Sustainable landscaping is one of the smartest trends for the future since it’s responsive to the environment and can contribute to the development of healthy communities. For example, residential green roofs and green walls can reduce energy waste and improve the insulation of your house, not to mention how trendy it might look. Besides, it’s a great solution for tiny backyards – vertical gardens don’t take up too much space but they can clean your air and provide fresh ingredients for your meals. Therefore, it’s a real win-win situation.

As you can see, there’s a trendy option for everyone, regardless of the style you prefer. Choose what you like and start planning your renovation – improving your backyard and making it cosier is always a good investment.

 

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Pest Proof Your Kitchen Ready For Christmas

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Pots

Kitchens are often the main hub of our homes, where our families gather at the end of each day to cook a meal and spend quality time together. But what if that sacred space had some very unwelcome visitors? The type of visitors we don’t want to gather, where we store, cook and eat our food – and these visitors are pests!

The most common pests that enter our kitchens are cockroaches, mice, rats, flies and pantry pests. Once they invade, they can spread bacteria and ruin our once sacred space.

Pots

Cockroaches

There’s no worse scene than watching a cockroach scuttle across your floor and under the fridge when you enter the room. Cockroaches spread lots of different bacteria, including salmonella. Also, their saliva, droppings and decomposing bodies create proteins that can trigger allergies, and often increase the severity of asthma symptoms.

Rodents

With winter upon us, more and more of us will have our homes invaded by rodents. They can spread diseases such as salmonella, and also carry other pests with them such as ticks and fleas. Mice and rats will chew through wires, increasing the risk of home fires, and will also gnaw through wood. Once rodents have invaded your kitchen, they will quickly make a home and reproduce at lightning speed, so prevention is key.

Flies

Once a fly has identified a good food source, they will do all they can to get to it. Because of their tiny size, getting into a home through minute cracks and holes is easy for them.

Pantry Pests

Common pantry pests are beetles and ants. These types of insect gather around stored food in pantries and cupboards.

Prevention against pests

  • Immediately clean any crumbs or spillages from around your kitchen.
  • Store all leftovers and food in airtight containers.
  • Empty the bin regularly.
  • When purchasing food, check packets are sealed.
  • If you keep fresh fruit in a bowl, check it often for signs of rot and dispose of it straight outside.
  • Don’t let dirty dishes pile up, or soak in the sink for long periods of time.
  • Seal cracks and crevices around your kitchen, especially near water pipes, as moisture is a big attraction for pests.

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Benefits of Choosing Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaning Services

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We love our carpets; it is warm, cozy and fun to play on, but they are also the victim of drops, spills, accidents and those dirty shoe stains. No matter how much effort you devote to cleanliness, at some point spot cleaning will not be enough anymore and you will need to get your carpet cleaned professionally. Well, the good news is there are lots of ways to deep clean your carpets and lots of service companies that can do that for you at an affordable price. But also there are lots of ways some types of cleaning can be injurious and ruin your carpets.

Talking about Carpet Cleaning in McKinney, TX, there are a number of companies that provide excellent results at affordable prices, some of these carpet cleaning companies use eco-friendly substances to clean, which is safe and offer a lot of benefits.

Benefit of Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaning

It’s All-Natural

Eco-Friendly Carpet Cleaning substances are all natural and all the ingredients are biodegradable, which means they won’t cause harm to people or pets, or contaminate the soil or water supply.

It’s Safer

Using Eco-friendly Carpet Cleaning in McKinney, TX is much safer than using harsh chemicals. Pets and children love playing on the carpet and you can’t really stop them, which makes it best advisable to use eco-friendly carpet cleaning than using harsh chemicals which might cause an allergic reaction to them.

It’s More Effective

Effectiveness is number one factor to consider when choosing a cleaning technique for your carpet, eco-friendly carpet cleaning has been proven to be more effective as most of the techniques used require less water which helps carpets dry faster with less chance of developing mildew and mold. Eco-Friendly cleaning products also penetrate deep down the carpet which provides the best cleaning result.

It’s Affordable

Using eco-friendly carpet cleaning company is the most effective option but that doesn’t mean it is more expensive. There are a lot of options available for eco- friendly carpet cleaning in McKinney, TX, which makes the price tag competitive. Plus the cleaning agents used are basically accessible and affordable.

An eco-friendly carpet cleaning will kill dust mites, remove tough stains, and remove dirt from carpet without contaminating the environment or cause harm to people and pets. Affordable and effective is what you need in any carpet cleaning technique, and eco-friendly carpet cleaning technique has that to offer.

Though there are many eco-friendly carpet cleaning service companies in McKinney, TX that can handle and clean your carpet just the way you want it, one of our favorites is ēkoserve.

Of course, we did not choose ēkoserve because of their cool name; we like them because of the services they render and their effectiveness in rendering these services. They are one of the more reputable Carpet Cleaning company in McKinney and their work speak well of them with a lot of happy customers, excellent reviews and good price offer.

They also give the opportunity to clean your carpet and repair it or do any other cleaning at the same place by offering more services such as Carpet Stretching & Repair, Rug Cleaning, Bed Cleaning, Leather Cleaning, Tile & Grout Cleaning among many other. You can check more information about their services on ekoserve.com.

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How to Keep Foxes and Rats Out of Your Shed

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garden shed

Sometimes we invest a lot of money in our garden sheds, and to many it can be their pride and joy. They really can become an extension of our homes, and this is why we should aim to keep sheds pest free.

Pests can easily make their way into your shed, quickly turning into an infestation with significant impacts. They can destroy your possessions, and even affect your health.

Rats are always on the move, and the damage rats can cause is very costly to fix. Foxes carry serious illnesses, like salmonella, and also carry other pests like fleas and ticks. They will become attracted to your shed as a place to get food and water, and also as a shelter.

garden shed

So how do we prevent them from entering or coming near our sheds?

  1. Inspect the doors, windows and roof of the shed regularly. Blocking off any openings will massively decrease the chances of the pests moving in.
  2. Remove their food source. If you keep pet food or even plant seeds in the shed, make sure it’s always sealed and hidden from pests. Without food, the shed will seem a lot less inviting.
  3. Keep it clean. Removing unnecessary clutter from in and around the shed. This will reduce the number of places rats and foxes can hide, making it an undesirable home for them.
  4. When storing boxes and containers, keep them off the floor and away from the walls. A nice cardboard box could be a really cosy home for a fox, so closing them all and sealing them can prevent pests from getting in.
  5. Have your home regularly checked by the professionals. Experts can offer some great pest proofing advice, often for free. If you have signs of rats in your shed, it’s only a short distance to the house!
  6. Consider a shed that’s attached to the house. If you have the room, some sheds come without a back panel that enables you to put it up against the wall of the house. This is much easier for checking on any pest problems.
  7. Fox proof the garden. Using things like chicken wire to cover any gaps in the fence or the gate will deter foxes from entering your garden in the first place.

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5 Things To Prepare For When Remodeling Your Home

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debris-after-remodeling

When it comes to remodeling your home, you will want to make sure you are prepared. There are several things you must do in order to remodel your home. Here you will learn 5 things to keep in mind when you are remodeling your home so the whole process goes smoothly.

1. Figure out how much money you want to spend on your project and budget for it. If you want to remodel, but want to stay on a budget, you may want to consider doing some of the work yourself. You don’t want to spend more money on hiring someone when you could possibly do the work yourself. However, if this type of work isn’t your thing, you will want to hire someone that knows what they are doing.

remodeling-a-home

2. Find and hire the best contractors. Before hiring any contractor, do your research. Find out how long they have been in business and look for reviews and recommendations for the work they have done. Check a variety of websites and look for before and after work or ask them if you can see pictures so you can be sure you are hiring the best contractor.

3. Get the materials or let the contractor know what materials you want to use. You can save money by getting your own materials. Before you purchase anything, consult with the contractor to make sure the materials you are buying are what they want to use. If they would rather choose their materials or can get a better deal for you, let them know your budget and what you expect to spend.

4. Make sure everything is in order. Line up the contractor and the materials and make sure everyone is on the same page. Go over again with the contractor what you want to have done. This will help you ensure it is done correctly and just the way that you want it to be done. This will also help you make sure you aren’t going over your budget at any point. You should also make sure you contact utility companies to turn off the water if needed or any other utilities that may need turned off.

debris-after-remodeling

5. Consider hiring a skip service. These services are necessary when any type of construction is done. They can eliminate the debris from your property and get it out of the way for you or the contractor. This can make the whole process easier and can keep it clean along the way. You should consider hiring a skip service like Docklands if you are working on this project yourself or if you are hiring a contractor to do it.

These are just 5 things to keep in mind when remodeling your home. Use this advice to prepare yourself when remodeling by yourself or hiring a contractor. Get ready and put this advice to use so you can get your home remodeled and be prepared for it to be done for you.

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What You Need To Know About Electronic Locks

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Electronic door locks come in many different types and prices from around and also at different prices depending on the features that you may be interested in. You might think that if the lock is electronic then it must be more secure than mechanical locks. This is not true: like the old saying goes “You get what you pay for”. What this means is that all electronic locks must have mechanical parts to them, such as the locking bolt or latch, the mountings, the handle or lever, etc. All of these should be manufactured to highest standards possible and if for any reason they are not, the electronic door lock will not be as secure as a high security mechanical lock.

When it comes to the question of how the electronic door lock works, again, there is a wide variety of ways these locks function. The electronic door lock could operate by batteries or it can be hard wired to some low voltage circuit. It could be opened using a card, a key with a chip embedded in it, it could have a key fob like your garage door, or it could use biometrics like finger print, palm prints, etc. Once the key and the lock “talk” to each other and there is a match, a mini-motor will operate to move the locking latch inward to the open position. Sounds simple but there is a lot going on with the electronics to make this happen.

There are numerous tangible benefits that can be associated with using electronic door locks; just like your cell phone or TV, the higher end products will have more features than the lower end products. Some of the most important features include audit features, multiple users, the ability to lock out users and an easy retrofit into the door (replacement of the mechanical door lock). Other benefits are mechanical parts manufactured to high standards, high battery usage, battery low warnings and weather resistance.

The acceptance of electronic door locks splits into two different directions, commercial and residential. Commercial would consist of business, government, education and medical. Most have already changed over to some type of electronic access control. This process is slow as the technology is rapidly changing. Also, the lock manufacturers all use different and patented technologies that are not usually compatible with one another. Once a decision is made to use a particular manufacturer and technology it is very difficult and expensive to switch.

The residential consumer is moving very slowly to electronic door locks. The major reasons are not being able to justify the cost and most manufacturers are focusing on commercial customers where there is more volume. That said, there are some real estate lock boxes designed for the residential user that are standalone and battery operated.

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How to Decorate

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Consider the color of the furniture and accessories you’re adding to the room when choosing a paint color.

If you’re looking for a space that exudes tranquility and promotes focus, buy home accents, paint, and equipment that represents your new purpose for the space.

Either warm or light neutral tones are better for yoga rooms. Choose a single color like a beige, grey, or brown, or consider trying a lighter color for the front and back walls and a darker color for the two side wall. The lighter wall in the front of the room can then become the focal point and is more pronounced, yet remains balanced within the contrasting colors in the room. Consider the color of the furniture and accessories you’re adding to the room when choosing a paint color. Many accessories one might add to a yoga room might include dark statues, small indoor water fountains, and multicolored paintings. Try to ensure that the items you add complement the color scheme you’re going for and add to the tranquility of the space.Consider the color of the furniture and accessories you’re adding to the room when choosing a paint color.

If windows offer a desirable level of lighting, great scenery, and promote peacefulness, consider investing in the installation of wider windows and getting sheer curtains that complement the color scheme. Sometimes low lighting can add to the serenity of a space. Thicker curtains allow you to better control the indoor lighting and open your lighting options from various sizes and styles of ceiling lights and table lamps. For those who’d prefer a less prominent light source, small, round 18 to 20 inch ceiling lights add lighting while appearing modern and sleek. Invest in lighting from stores like home depot or IKEA that can offer a wide variety of options and additional inspiration while selecting items to personalize your space.

Those who also want to run to get in shape, but want to enjoy it in the privacy of their own homes may want to invest in a treadmill. While treadmills and dumbbells come in a variety of colors, the main concern should be obtaining the right set of workout equipment for the right purpose while maintaining as much open space as possible. Because comfortable shoes are necessary for many workout routines, room flippers should also consider investing in workout clothes and shoes with discounts from  groupon coupons. Plan carefully and creatively to buy all the essentials you need to make your space as appealing, comfortable, and useful as possible.

 

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How to Choose the Right Mini Digger

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used mini digger

When buying or renting a mini digger, it can be difficult to know where to start. There seems to be a never ending list of makes and models on the market and buying used can sometimes feel a bit risky. This is why it’s important to prepare and plan before you start looking, and be vigilant throughout the process to make sure you get something that’s reliable. Follow these tips on how to get the right used plant machinery to suit you.

Know your Business

Knowing what jobs you regularly do is vital to getting the right equipment. This isn’t just knowing if you are looking for a mini digger or for something more powerful, it’s knowing that you usually work on smaller sites or soft ground. All of these factors will affect the kind of machinery you need, specifically its weight and size. If you buy something that isn’t suitable for the jobs and locations you work on, the machinery just isn’t going to work and you’ll end up regretting your purchase.

used mini digger

Know your Budget

Being aware of your price limits will help you to know whether you should be buying or hiring your plant machinery. If you’re a start-up company or have a very small budget, it may be better to rent rather than compromise on the quality of your equipment just so you can outright buy it. However, remember that rental costs will add up over time if you’re going to be using the equipment regularly. If you’re less tight on money, you can outright buy your equipment, but only if you know you’ll need it for many jobs – you don’t want it hanging around in storage getting rusty.

Read up on Reviews

If you’re interested in a piece of equipment, it’s always good to read some reviews on the specific make and model. You can either look on blogs or in magazines for professional reviews, or simply do a search online to see what every day users are saying. If you can, try and find reviews from long-term users; these will give you a better idea of how reliable the machine will be in the long run.

Check out the Equipment

When selecting a mini digger or any other type of machinery, it’s always good to go and physically take a look at what you’re buying. This way you can check that there are no physical signs of wear or broken parts, and that any refurbishments have been done well. If the equipment appears to be well looked after it will work far better than one that shows signs of neglect. You should also ask for any maintenance reports and any other documents they have on its history and manufacture.

Selecting used plant machinery to buy or rent is something that should be taken seriously by everyone. When you’re forking out large sums of money for a piece of machinery, you want it to be reliable and right for you. As long as you remember these considerations, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find plant machinery that suits your needs.

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How to Improve Indoor Air Quality of your Home

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Air Cleaners

According to World Health Organization more than 4 million people die from illnesses caused by household air pollution, and approximately 3 billion people use open fires and simple stoves that burn biomass for cooking and heating their homes. Around 3 billion people use solid fuels, such as wood, coal, and crop wastes, for the same purposes, which results in high levels of household air pollution, especially in homes with poor ventilation. Therefore, it goes without saying that this issue is far too serious to be neglected. Fortunately, there are certain measures that can be taken in order to improve the quality of indoor air.

Increased Ventilation

You would think that opening a window will do the trick and let the fresh air in, however, this is far from the perfect solution. Outdoor air is full of pollutants caused by traffic, industries, dirt, and so on. Instead, you can try using trickle ventilation, that is, a screen with filters. This device lowers the levels of indoor air pollutants, and it simultaneously lets fresh air in. Other systems that increase air ventilation rate are fans, air-to-air heat exchangers, etc. Furthermore, ventilation controls indoor temperature, which reduces the level of contaminants. However, natural ventilation can also contribute to the quality of indoor air and lower the indoor temperature. It refers to the movement of air caused by opening windows and doors, or by shading windows. Make sure to open windows during low levels of outdoor pollutants, especially during spring and autumn.

balanced ventilation

Keep Your Home Clean

Another step that will reduce indoor air pollution is cleaning your home regularly. However, it is of utmost importance to opt for the right cleaning products, since some of them contain volatile organic compounds (VOC) that pollute air. Buy those with low VOC, or no VOC at all, or cleaners that are fragrance-free. In addition, choose liquids instead of sprays. Furthermore, you can reduce allergens and pollutants by washing your bedsheets and pillows once a week in order to eradicate dust mites and other allergens. Keep your dirty shoes outside so as to avoid letting dirt and dust come in, and place doormats at the door. Smoking outside can also keep inside air fresh and clean, therefore, if you, or other members of your household, smoke, go outside for a cigarette. This will definitely improve indoor air quality.

Air Cleaners

Making sure that air in your home is always clean is extremely important, considering the aforementioned statistics. One way of achieving this is by opting for hepa air purifiers. There are different types of these purifiers, such as table-top models meant for one room, or systems designed for the entire house. Such air cleaners efficiently remove particles from air and keep it fresh. In order to ensure the effective use of air purifiers, it is necessary to follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Air Cleaners

Humidity Control

Controlling humidity is also an important step in reducing indoor air pollution. Humidity level in your home should be less than 60 percent, therefore, you should consider obtaining a dehumidifier which must be cleaned on regular basis. There are some steps that you can take in order to control humidity that include repairing leaks, turning on exhaust fans while taking a shower and getting plants (however, they must be watered moderately). In case of water damage and house flood, act quickly to remove the water and dry the area to prevent mould from spreading.

Indoor air pollution is a serious problem and must be controlled so as to avoid any possible health issues. Obtaining air purifiers, cleaning your house regularly and increasing ventilation are simple but effective ways of keeping it under control.

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