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4 Great Ideas for Home Improvement

 

There are various reasons why you may decide that you want to make some home improvements. It could be because you have lived there a while and want to mix up your living environment. But it could also be because you are thinking of selling your home in the next few years and want to make it as profitable as possible. Either way, there are different ways you can improve your home no matter what your budget is.

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Some home improvements may require saving up, whereas some are a lot more affordable but can make massive differences to your home. Here are five ideas for home improvement that you may want to consider.

Organize as Much as You Can

Often homeowners don’t consider organization as a form of home improvement, but being more organized can make your home life a lot less stressful while also making your home appeal more to friends and viewers (and potential buyers).

This is a more affordable idea for home improvement and will require more time than money. You should focus on organizing the rooms that you spend the most time in first and then move on to the other rooms. Find permanent homes for things as this will help you to locate things quicker.

Improve Your Outdoor Space

Improving the outside space of your home can seem like a tiring process, but it can be enjoyable as well as costing little money. By giving improving your home’s curb appeal, it will be more appealing to both yourself and potential buyers. Small changes you can make include changing your mailbox or adding some flower boxes. It is also a good idea to install a vinyl picket fence to make your garden look more stylish as well as making your outdoor space more secure.

Update Your Bedroom

Your bedroom should be a peaceful and relaxing room as getting rest is essential to your health and well-being. Updating your bedroom can involve small changes such as redecorating, or bigger changes like adding built-in wardrobes or under floor heating. No matter what the size of your bedroom, there are ways you can improve it.

If you are planning to sell your home, then you will want to wow and impress potential buyers when they see the master bedroom. This could seal the deal!

Loft Aspirations

This is a more expensive way to improve your home, but loft conversions are a great way to make unused space in your home functional. This is an ideal way to add both storage space as well as potentially adding an extra bedroom or bathroom to your home, increasing the house’s value. A loft conversion can completely revamp your home and make you fall back in love with where you live. While they are not a cheap way to improve your home, they make for a great investment that will benefit you in the long term.

Home improvements can seem like time-consuming and expensive challenges to undertake, but they are great ways to transform your living environment. If you are unsure of how to improve your home, these ideas are a good place to start and offer you options that vary in financial cost.

 

The Benefits of Getting uPVC Double Glazing in Your Home

 

The market for uPVC-based double-glazing is a growing one. Frames can be colored to suit the color scheme of the home, which is a good option when you wish to avoid the use of aluminum or timber. It can handle the harsh British winters and doesn’t fade during the occasional long, hot summers either.

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Here are some of the benefit of getting uPVC windows fitted in your home.

Durability over the Years

uPVC windows are highly durable. They are not susceptible to mold, pollution impact, moisture or mildew build up which would otherwise hurt their ability to hold a seal. They don’t blister in the sun or flake away, and they don’t rust or rot either. This makes them superior to other window framing materials like aluminum and wood.

Soundproofing

When uPVC is matched with reliable double-glazing, it provides a soundproofing ability that often reduces discernible noise to 40 decibels. Up to 75-80 percent of outdoor noise factors are reduced to make the indoor sound far more pleasant, even when the home sits on a noisy main road.

Limited Maintenance Required

Cleaning uPVC frames is as easy as getting a bucket of water, adding some soap to create suds, and then washing the windows with a sponge. They do not peel or flake, so there’s never a need to repaint them, touch them up, sand them down or add varnish either. While it should be done carefully, stains that appear on the frame can be delicately scrubbed away too.

Optional Ventilation

Ventilation with uPVC window designs is a useful added feature. Depending on the design, some window frames can open at a fan-like angle to let breezes inside. Also, some windows can open out and around to effectively reverse their direction to permit even more air inside. Windows can often open in either direction, making them more flexible with a greater degree of control on the direction of the air flow too.

For cleaning, the ability to gain access to the other side of the window panes and window frames, from within the property stops window washing needing to be completed in two stages.

Good Security Options

uPVC windows are designed to incorporate a number of window locks to make them more secure. Either laminated or otherwise toughened glass can be installed along with uPVC to make the window even more secure.

Fire Resistant

uPVC windows are designed to be fire resistant as well as able to handle excessive winds and heavy storms without difficulty. Good news for your homeowner’s insurance policy too.

Environmentally Friendly

uPVC is a fully recyclable product. It’s also not resource-hungry during its production phase either; it requires less metal to complete a similarly sized window frame. uPVC can last over four decades, so other frames are likely to need replacing before it does. As a recycled material, it’s used in piping, tiles, and other areas of building work.

As you can tell, uPVC is an excellent material for use with window frames. It makes homes warmer, safer, and much more livable too.

 

How to Improve Your Neighborhood (and Raise Your Property Value)

 

1No matter what kind of money you pump into your home — whether you dig a swimming pool, design a state-of-the-art kitchen or even build an addition that doubles your square footage — your property will only ever be worth so much. That’s because real estate agents and buyers use home values in your neighborhood to determine the best price for your home; the improvements you make to your lot have a relatively minor effect on your home’s value.

It follows, then, that to boost your property value, you need to be sure your neighborhood is increasing in quality alongside your own home. Here are a few tips to help you (and your neighbors) improve your neighborhood, so everyone can enjoy higher property values.

Develop Community Pride

If you aren’t happy to live where you live — indeed, proud of your surroundings and the people around you — your efforts to improve your neighborhood won’t have much of an impact. However, it is important that you not only enhance your own feelings toward your community but strive to grow pride all other community members, as well. In areas with high levels of community pride, residents are more likely to voluntarily keep their properties nice and comply with governing documents like HOA regulations. You can foster community pride through frequent, positive communication with your neighbors.

Keep Everything Clean

Trash blows out of garbage cans and is littered by inconsiderate passers-by, even in the most expensive neighborhoods. However, if you and your neighbors don’t commit to picking it up, no one else will. That means fast food wrappers, plastic grocery bags and other unsightly bits of debris could float around your neighborhood, catching the eye of visitors and potential buyers. Whenever you see a bit of trash, you should grab it and dispose of it properly to create a clean neighborhood for everyone.

Focus on Landscaping

Visitors to your neighborhood can’t see inside your home, so they won’t know about your expensive and impeccable interior design. Instead, they will judge neighborhood value based on exterior style, which means you need to focus much of your home improvement efforts on your landscaping. Most importantly, you should avoid allowing your flora to fall into disrepair. If you lack the tools and knowledge to keep your trees and grass in perfect health, you can hire a yard and lawn care service to maintain your outside spaces and increase the value of your home.

2Push for Infrastructure

If your neighborhood is riddled with potholes and cracked sidewalks, you need to ensure those get fixed. You might also want to add features like bike paths or a dog park. If you can get a number of neighbors together to lobby the city council for street repair in your area, you can get the funding for infrastructure maintenance you need to boost your neighborhood’s value. You might need to practice persistence as nothing in the government moves fast.

Get Involved in Schools

For one reason or another, neighborhoods with good schools are also those with high-priced houses. That means you need to invest in your area’s schools if you want to attract buyers with deep pockets. Even if you don’t yet have school-aged children, you can take an interest in the upkeep, progress and politics of nearby schools. For instance, you can attend school board meetings, donate your money and volunteer at events and generally help the school earn more funding for better programs. Then, whether or not you have kids who use those schools, buyers will be attracted to the district’s reputation.

Contact Real Estate Agents

To improve your neighborhood value, you need the right kind of neighbors. Generally, renters are bad for home prices; because they have little concern for property values, they’ll do the minimum with regards to upkeep and improvements. That’s why you want real estate agents in your area to focus on pushing properties onto owners instead of investors. If you and your neighbors are on the same page, those who sell their homes might be willing to tell their agents that they’ll only entertain offers from potential owners. While many agents usually try to sell properties to the highest bidder, regardless of who that entity might be, agents will honor a direct request from a client.

Work Together

No matter how spirited you are about improving your neighborhood’s value, you can’t do it alone. You need the help of your neighbors to make real change in your area, and that means you need to be willing to not just meet your neighbors but foster relationships with them.

Fortunately, you will likely find most of your neighbors amenable to positive change. When you work together, you will see property prices rise en masse, and you’ll all reap the rewards of a more valuable neighborhood as a group.

 

How to Provide Your Tenants With a More Secure Property

 

1There are many features that entice the best, most reliable tenants to rent a property, such as modern features, a fair price, ability to bring pets, good location and more. However one thing that you should consider to help attract and keep quality renters is the security of the property you own. Read on for some ways you can go about providing your tenants with a more secure property this year.

Install Outdoor Lighting

It’s important to have outdoor lighting installed on rental premises as this works to help prevent crime. Thieves and other people with not-so-good intentions are less likely to try anything nefarious if an area is well lit.

If your property is a unit in a complex of apartments, there should be lighting in stairwells, hallways and entranceways. For houses, outdoor lighting needs to be installed at both the front and back of the property. It pays to make these motion-activated; plus you can opt for solar-powered lighting where possible.

Have Secure Doors

As you’d imagine it’s necessary to have secure doors on all entry and exit points. Start by choosing quality doors constructed of solid, heavy-duty materials. Good options include steel and wood; however choose solid wood rather than hollow doors as these are easy to break.

Steer clear of doors made of glass or with glass panels, particularly near the locking mechanism, as these panes can be broken. Doors with peepholes built into them are helpful too, as they enable tenants to look out and see who is outside without having to open the door. Security screens or chain locks provide another layer of security, allowing tenants to open their door yet still have some protection.

For optimum security, add deadbolt locks onto doors on top of having standard locks. These are much more difficult for criminals to break into. Double-cylinder deadbolts are the most secure option. These are particularly helpful when a door is located near a window, as they work to stop thieves from reaching through windows to open doors.

Secure the Windows

Similarly, it’s important to secure the windows on properties. Criminals often enter homes this way, even when windows can seem too small to provide access. Windows should have working locks, even if they’re on higher floors, as sometimes people enter through fire escapes or other access points.

For units near the ground, or for houses, particularly those in areas where crime is more of a problem, it pays to add security bars or screens to windows. While this can affect the aesthetic look of a property, it definitely increases safety and deters criminals. If security is a big issue, you can even, or instead, install window sensors. These are designed to sound an alarm if anyone tries to tamper with the locking mechanisms.

2Provide Security Cameras and Alarms

Another way to increase security at properties is to provide security cameras and alarms. These are traditionally utilized more in high-end homes that receive big rents or for multi-family homes where the additional costs are justified by combined deposits.

Cameras should be installed at the front and back entrances of houses or in hallways, stairwells or other spaces you might deem necessary if you own an entire building of apartments. Security alarm systems can be wired in and either paid for by you as the landlord or charged at an additional fee for tenants who want access to the monitoring option.

There are many different types of cameras and alarms available these days, so search for providers in your area to get quotes. For example, check out these Phoenix home security services if your property is located in the Phoenix area.

Keep Properties Visible and Open

To help make tenants feel safe and to deter thieves, it’s also a good idea to make properties clearly open to view from the road. That is, don’t give criminals places to lurk or hide around your properties, where they won’t be seen from the street. To make spaces safe, remove obstructions from entrances to the property (both front and back) such as large shrubs or high, unruly hedges.

Put Managers or Guards on Site

If you own a large complex of properties, such as unit blocks of 25-plus apartments, retirement villages or the like, you may want to consider putting managers on site or arranging for security guards to patrol each day. You need to have enough properties to make this kind of expense worthwhile, and/or have your properties located in exclusive, high-value areas where your rental fees are high. These options do certainly help to make tenants feel much safer though and deter criminal activities because it’s obvious someone is always monitoring the premises.

 

How To Shop For And Maintain The Best Tools For Your Home Improvement Projects

Your home is basically an investment, and a valuable one at that. It provides you and your family shelter from the elements and it also keeps you safe from any risks. Come to think of it, having a home is no doubt important to pursuing a lifestyle that’s free from any threats.

Still, like any other investment, your home has to be kept in the best possible condition so as to ensure the utmost security and protection. In this sense, home improvement projects are crucial to maintaining your property and increasing its longevity.

For sure, you will need to invest a ton of time, resources, and effort, which can be tedious at times. But one thing’s for sure, with proper preparation, you will be able to ace your home improvement projects with ease. This should also involve having the right tools that will make the work faster and easier on your end.

Here are a few things you should consider when choosing the right equipment and tools for your home improvement projects. 

Know What Projects To Accomplish

Before anything else, you will need to determine the types of projects you should be doing. From doing a bit of landscaping to improving the insulation for your attic and basement before the winter season arrives, you should be able to know the specific activities you will have to handle so you can shop for the tools you actually need.

The best way you can go about this is to anticipate. For sure, anything can happen to your home under your possession, so you will have to foresee any possible issues that are worth addressing. Here are a few of them.

Winterizing

If you happen to live in an area with subarctic conditions, expect the winters to be very unforgiving to your home. That being said, you should be able to focus more on materials you need based on local conditions. You will have to choose a good quality sealant and, of course, weatherstripping materials that will protect your home from the chilly drafts.

Upgrading your kitchen

The kitchen has to be one of the most important areas of your home. And if you’re looking to build additions to your kitchen as part of your plan for better home renovations, you will have choose the right carpentry tools for the job. That being said, make sure that you have everything you need to build new counters and cabinets.

Plumbing

A great home is best complemented by an effective plumbing system. Your home has to have an efficient way of distributing water and getting rid of waste via the community sewage system. For this reason, you will have to focus on purchasing good quality wrenches, sealants, and tapes that you will be using to fix broken pipes and faucets.

Landscaping

Another home improvement project you should be doing is landscaping, which technically involves more than just rakes and hoses. In fact, when it comes to planting new shrubs and bushes or reorganizing your patio, having the right tools at hand can help you a lot.

Dealing with smaller repairs

Simpler things such as broken hinges and chipped paint are easily neglected. Still, it’s important that you fix these issues before they get more complicated or difficult to repair. For this reason, you still need to have the right hand tools to help you with minor repairs you can do yourself, such as screwdrivers and pliers.

Consider Your Budget

One thing’s for sure, you will need to plan out your budget before you proceed with shopping for the tools you are looking for. For this, you will have to include new purchases in your home maintenance budget. Along these lines, you will have to make sure you have enough money to buy the things you need around the house. Otherwise, you may want to adjust your buying preferences so you can work within your budget. 

Build Your Toolbox

Once you already know how much you have in terms of cash, you will need to plan out your inventory of home improvement tools. For this, simply take a look at your toolbox and see if you have any of the basic essentials, and take stock of what’s missing. Now, you may as well be tempted to buy the latest tools, but you will have to make sure that the tools you’re buying serve a practical purpose. Maybe that expensive power drill you found on sale isn’t something you need at the moment and you might want pass on buying it until you truly need it. However, while building your toolbox, you may want to assess the integrity of the tools you currently have. If anything is damaged, rusty, or dilapidated, then you may as well opt to replace them with new tools. 

Observe Proper Handling And Care

Often, you are forced to buy new tools simply because the current ones have not been cared for properly. In this case, you will have to be more serious when handling your tools. Storing them in the proper places away from hazards such as an open flame or direct sunlight is the most basic thing you can do. You also need to prevent rusting by giving each tool a well-deserved wipe with a cloth.

Shop At Trusted Brands

It may seem practical to opt for cheaper and generic brands when it comes to shopping for new tools. The problem with this, however, is the fact that these tools can get damaged or rendered unusable shortly after you buy them. As a good rule of thumb, it’s important to invest in tools from quality brands. It may cost you more in the beginning, but at least you won’t have to replace your tools very often. You can only imagine how much money you’ll be saving when you opt for tools with better longevity. 

Ask For Hand-Me-Downs

If you know someone who has tools to give away, then consider yourself lucky. Most people won’t even think of throwing away old tools to make room for new ones. Most of them would instead prefer donating to a neighbor or the community in general. That being said, you may as well ask friends and family members if they have used tools you can adopt for your home improvement projects. 

Search Online

Using the internet, it’s fairly easy to find power tools and other equipment with marked down prices. You only have to look in online marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon, where you can find a great deal of tools for the best deals. One problem with this is that you’ll risk receiving a bad shipment. Still, with a little insider knowledge and experience in online buying, you can find tools without having to worry about a thing.

 Consider The Time Of Year

When you’re out looking for the best tools you can use at home, it’s crucial to be in the right place at the right time. For this reason, it’s important that you buy in-season, especially during the holidays when hardware stores offer marked down prices. That being said, you should be able to shop throughout this period, starting from autumn. One thing’s for sure, starting early can help you make the most out of your home maintenance budget.

By using these tips, you should be able to find a good set of tools that will definitely make your home maintenance much less of a hassle.

 





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