How to Increase Your Property’s Value – Infographic

Your property is a long-term investment and one day, you want to release the equity in it.

We can be drawn into thinking that every improvement and renovation we make to our property will add value, increasing the profit we will eventually make on our home.

But, are you making the right changes? Are you doing too much and out-pricing your property from the local market?

Making the Right Renovation Choices

Trends come and go but it is important that you add the right value in the right places when it comes to property renovation, as the infographic explains further.

The one statistic that is on every buyers mind is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating for the property. If it is near the top of the scale – from A to D – the property should be cheap to heat as it is well-insulated.

Anything lower than a D rating can make for an expensive house to heat. If your EPC rating is low, consider adding value by updating not only the insulation of the property but the type of heating system too.

Underfloor heating costs less to install and run that most traditional heating systems. Coupled with additional insulation measures, your home will be tasty warm and an attractive purchase for potential buyers.

What Else Adds Value?

From a new kitchen to a modern bathroom, there are many changes you can make to your home to add value. Find out more with this fantastic infographic from Balustrade Components.

How Can You Increase Your Households Value

3 DIY Home Improvements That Help The Whole Neighborhood

3 DIY Home Improvements That Help The Whole Neighborhood

When you live in an apartment, where you literally share walls, ceilings, and floors with your neighbors, it’s easier to remember that your personal lifestyle choices have a direct effect on your neighbors. This becomes a little more difficult to remember when you move into a home and your neighbors are a bit farther away. While living in a detached home provides more personal freedom, your home is still a part of the neighborhood and your exterior choices still affect everyone. Here are 3 DIY improvements you can do to be a great neighbor.

Refurbish the Exterior

Accumulated dirt build up can make your home appear dingy, faded and out of date. Remember that an attractive neighborhood is created by attractive homes. Keeping the exterior of your home neat, tidy and sparkling clean will make your home a valued addition to the neighborhood. And who knows, maybe you will even influence other neighbors to do the same, which will add value to your home as well as theirs.

Install a Maintenance-Free Yard

With water prices skyrocketing across the US, many homeowners are opting to install yards that don’t require as much water. If you’re not going to spend the time and money to turn your front yard into an outdoor oasis, you might want to turn it into a pleasant landscape instead. If rock gardens aren’t your thing, you can install synthetic grass. Eco-friendly synthetic grass doesn’t need watering or mowing and stays lush and green for up to 10 years so you don’t have to worry about a brown and yellow lawn in the summer. Again, the look and curb appeal of your home can raise home values in the entire neighborhood.

Outdoor Living Spaces

When you have a backyard suitable for entertaining, you have a tendency to entertain more – and this is great for the entire neighborhood. Whether it’s a backyard BBQ or 4th of July picnic, having a great outdoor entertainment space will help you connect with your neighbors and create a deeper sense of community. Best of all, cleanup after an outdoor party is significantly less than cleaning up after an indoor party and there are no muddy footprints or high heel marks to clean up from your floors. If someone spills an entire cup of red wine during the party – no problem, you can simply wipe up the mess without leaving a stain.

Being a good neighbor involves keeping your own home and living spaces in order so as to add value to the entire neighborhood. You can save yourself and your family a significant amount of hassle with the neighbors by keeping your property neat, tidy and orderly. You can be an ever better neighbor by inviting your neighbors over to entertain in your beautifully maintained outdoor spaces. If you’re ever wondering what other projects can help your home, and neighborhood, value, talk to a realtor like those at Cooke Realty.

4 Ideas For the Perfect Man Cave

4 Ideas For the Perfect Man Cave

The perfect man cave is the place where any man should feel right at home. Stocked with all the creature comforts, a man cave will need to contain the items that will keep its occupant indulged for countless hours. The following are four ideas that will breathe life into any man cave.

The Entertainment Center

It would be hard to relax inside the man cave without a respectable entertainment center. With the advent of UHD 4k televisions, even the most uninspiring man cave can be transformed into a place where a person will feel like they are part of the action ringside or in the stands during Sunday football. Complete with the latest in digital surround sound and the ability to stream music right from a smartphone, many modern devices can help to augment a man cave with an entertainment center that meets all a man’s audio and visual needs.

Food Storage And Preparation Concerns

No man cave is complete without easy, direct access to a stash of tasty snacks and thirst quenching beverages. Drinks must be cold and food items should be fresh. When choosing a refrigerator and other food storage options to meet this demand, it is important to first assess the size of the man cave and its available space. Should there be a mini-fridge within arm’s reach of the recliner, or does the functionality of the man cave require a larger capacity refrigerator. A microwave might be a nice addition when it comes to heating up frozen snacks.

Decorations

Decorating a man cave requires something of a personal touch. Consider getting car parts from places like U Pull & Pay, or various sport’s equipment to decorate the space. This can be expressed through lighting, comfortable furniture, pictures, wall mountings, awards and other basic items for display.

Other Gadgets And Electronic Devices

What is a man cave without a few electronics? First a man must consider how he is going to recharge all his electronic devices. A fully dedicated recharge station complete with universal plugs and USB-based charging lines, fully integrated into an emergency power backup system, can make keeping batteries charged a snap. This means his smartphone, digital camera and personal lap top are covered even in an emergency when the power cuts out.

Conclusion

With a little thought and some careful design plans in mind, it is possible to make any man cave a place to satisfy the needs of its main occupant. Whether that means enjoying a great movie with a cold drink in hand or pounding away on the computer, the important thing is for a man to know that his man cave is both entertaining and functional. How a man makes that possible depends on the type of entertainment and functionality he desires to get out of his favorite room in the house.

How To Make A Hygge Home

The Danish interior design concept Hygge is becoming increasingly popular. It’s not purely a way to decorate your home, it’s a lifestyle that creates a calm and peaceful environment to share with family and friends.

Staying true to Danish interiors in white and pale neutral colours, Hygge includes textural elements that provide a sense of warmth and coziness. The style is a clutter-free way of living, although it’s not completely devoid of accessories in the same way minimalism is.

Roaring fire and wood burning stoves not only give warmth and comfort during the colder months, they add to the overall ambiance of a room. Hygge creates a way of life that is pure and simple. No frills and embellishments to crowd the room or the mind. Cozy reading nooks, candles and use of natural light are evident in Hygge homes, along with treasured memories proudly displayed on walls.

In the infographic below, we take a look at How To Make A Hygge Home, giving you hints and tips on ways to decorate you home in this trendy interior design style that has one foot firmly placed in tradition and times when our homes were serene, tranquil and beautifully calming places to spend time in.

Read on to find out more and make your house a happy place you can call home.

 

 How to Make a Hygge Home by The Rug Seller
How to Make a Hygge Home by The Rug Seller by The Rug Seller

Moving Day Made Easy: Organization Tips for Your Big Day

Moving Day Made Easy: Organization Tips for Your Big Day

Moving day can be both an exciting and stressful time. You’re moving to a new place, but you’re leaving the old one behind. You are getting a new home, but packing up your old home can be stressful. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be quite so stressful and hectic. Here are a few tips to get your moving day, well, moving.

Makes Lists—Lots of Lists

When you first find out about the move, immediately begin to take inventory of your home. What items do I have in this room? What do I want to keep, and what do I want to get rid of? Is there anything of value? What needs to be wrapped in newspaper? By making lists of the items in your home, making sure to keep them organized by room, you can know exactly where things go and how many boxes you might need. It might seem a bit overwhelming at the start, but by taking it a room at a time, you can accomplish your packing list pretty quickly. This can also give you an opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need.

Pack Smart

You don’t want to overstuff your boxes, but you also don’t want to under-pack them either. The best way to pack your boxes is to keep the fragile items separate from non-fragile items. Pack the heavier things on the bottom, and only pack a few heavy things in a box at a time. If you are moving alone, make sure you can carry the box on your own. You might not have any help when moving the boxes from place to place. Use your list to pack the items in their boxes from each room, and label each box accordingly.

Preparing the New House

When you have arrived at your new home, do a quick clean before bringing in boxes or furniture. This will ensure you are moving into a clean home, and it might allow for last minute inspections of floor, ceilings, bathrooms, and kitchen. A Manalapan Plumber recommends you flush toilets and check faucets at this stage as well. If you don’t have time to clean at all, place everything in one corner of each room until you can do a bit of cleaning. This is also a good time to pull out the list and unload the boxes in the rooms they belong in.

Take More Inventory

Now that you have cleaned and put your furniture in its proper rooms, you can take inventory of your items and start unpacking. If you find something missing, contact the moving company or others who helped you move. If you find you have everything, you can unpack with peace, knowing you are now settled into your new home.

Moving doesn’t have to be stressful if you put a bit of time and effort into your packing and preparation. You can even contact your cable company, power company, or other company to get everything set up for your arrival at the new house. You can make your moving day a little less stressful and a bit more enjoyable if you simply take a little time to get organized.

 

How to Weld Your Own Barbecue Together for Spring Entertaining

barbeque

There is nothing quite like the taste of world-class barbeque, and now is the perfect time to start thinking about what type of hardware you want in your backyard this spring. Welding your own barbeque together gives you full control over its size, cooking power, appearance, and features. With a little patience and some hard work, you will be able to start cooking up mouthwatering meals for your family and friends in the customized barbeque of your dreams.

Choosing the Right Materials

One of the most important steps of building a barbeque is choosing the right material. Not only are some materials inefficient at maintaining a consistent temperature, but they might even be dangerous when exposed to flames. As a general rule, barbeques should never be made from aluminum, copper, or brass. Many professional pit masters prefer stainless steel barbeques that have been coated with a high-temperature sealant.

Tools

Anyone who doesn’t regularly work with metal will most likely need to purchase at least a few new tools including a stud welder, calipers, a small machinist’s square, center punches, and a drill press. Some companies, like Northland Fastening Systems, knows that if you are not sure of which tools you would like to invest in, then you might want to see if there is a local metalworking shop that allows does equipment rentals. Once you have spent a few hours learning how to cut sheets of metal and weld them back together, you will know exactly which features you would like to see in your own tools.

How to Weld Your Own Barbecue Together for Spring Entertaining

Dimensions

It might be tempting to build yourself an enormous contraption, but larger barbeques are very difficult to use properly. Most home cooks will only need a grilling area of around 500 square inches. Trying to control the temperature of a barbeque that is much larger than that is very difficult. When you are working on the height, you want to be sure that the grill itself is as tall as your midsection so that you don’t have to bend down or lean across open flames.

Additional Features

After you have chosen a type of metal and decided on the overall size, you can then start adding any features that you would like to see on the barbeque. At the very least, you should plan on having a small preparation table where you can put plates, sauces, and seasonings. Many pit masters also like having a warming chamber that will keep their food warm without overcooking it.

Once you have finally put the last few pieces on your barbeque, you should then heat treat it for at least a few hours before cooking any food. Even if you carefully clean the barbeque, there might still be lingering contaminants in the smoke chamber or firebox. Bringing the barbeque up to a very high temperature should destroy any dangerous toxins or chemicals.

Energy Efficient and Sustainable Buildings – Infographic

As the population of the earth is predicted to have grown by 3 billion by 2050 the time for building energy efficient and sustainable buildings is now. With an estimated 70% of people living in cities, the increase in demand for housing, food and sustainability is an issue that can no longer be ignored.

In this infographic we take a look at some sustainable and energy efficient buildings that are already in existence around the world. These innovative buildings show how new constructions can help meet the needs of all these extra people by providing them with sustainable homes and workplaces.

The buildings highlighted use solar and wind power to generate their own electricity; many also include other innovative aspects such as collecting their own water by rain harvesting and recycling systems, along with recycling energy.

From 2020 the EU has directed that all new buildings need to be as near to zero energy as possible, this means that they will have to make nearly as much energy as they use.

Read on to find out more about Energy Efficient and Sustainable Buildings that have changed the perspective on where we will live and work in the future. These creative buildings are not solely energy efficient, they also promote healthy living and working environments that are advantageous to people, their surroundings and wildlife.
Energy Effective and Sustainable Buildings by Cast Iron Radiators 4u
Energy Effective and Sustainable Buildings by Cast Iron Radiators 4u.

Stylish Alternatives to Traditional Bedside Tables

A bedside table is a very important furniture piece in any bedroom, but unlike most of the other items, it doesn’t have to be bought in the bedroom department of a furniture store. In fact, it can look even better if you ditch the purpose-built designs and inject some creativity into choosing the right nightstand for you. Think about it, what defines a good nightstand? Storage space? Surface area? Height? Stability? All these features can be found in many other items, from coffee tables to wine crates, so don’t wait a second longer to look at our suggestions for stylish alternatives to traditional bedside tables.

Floating Shelf

Floating Shelf

If the storage capacity is not very important for you, and you just need a convenient table with enough surface area to leave a book, glass of water and a vase, then you can save a lot of space by installing a stylish and minimalistic floating shelf. You can also install two shelves one above the other for some extra storing space.

Suitcase/s

On the other hand, you might be up for something more eye-catching. In that case we suggest finding an old suitcase (on your attic or a flea market), installing wooden or hairpin legs on it, and you will get a perfectly romantic and vintage nightstand with hidden storage. You can also ditch the legs and stack more suitcases of different sizes.

Retro Bar Cart

A traditional bar cart repurposed into a nightstand will add an incredible retro vibe to your room and painting it in metallic tones will make it even more elegant. You can even go in the opposite direction and paint the cart with matte black color to support industrial style.

Wooden Crate

Do you have a stack of old wine, milk or fruit crates? Don’t let them go to waste. You can use them to create a no-fuss bedside table. Just take one and place it vertically by your bed. You can paint it with bright colors or leave it as it is. As with the suitcases, you can also stack the crates on top of each other.

Stylish Alternatives to Traditional Bedside Tables

Contemporary Bedside Table

Unlike traditional bedside tables, contemporary bedside tables like this can reinvigorate your bedroom and add a futuristic edge to the design. From the nesting-style table and marble surface area to patterned bases and ombre metallic effect, contemporary nightstands make a huge design statement.

Antique Bedside Table

Take another trip to the flea market or an antique store and find a cast-off, forgotten bedside table that just needs a bit of your love. You can work with what you have and enhance its worn-out look, or you can get a bucket of bright paint (e.g. coral, teal, etc.) and breath new life into it. Either way you will get a bedside table that speaks of your style and uniqueness.

Cinder Blocks

You probably never thought that you’ll be looking for furniture in construction sites, but stay with us for a bit here. It takes nothing more than three cinder blocks to aid your décor efforts. All you need to do is properly clean them, place two of them in vertical position next to each other, and then place the third one horizontally on top of them. You will end up with enough functional storage space, a surface area appropriate for industrial-themed retro lamps and some fresh flowers, and a truly surprising style statement.

So, what do you say? Are you willing to skip furniture stores and find your bedside table on a road less traveled? Good for you! Once you see how your new stylish furniture piece looks like by your bed, you will know that you’ve made the right decision.

Freaky Fungus: How To Protect Your Home From Damage

Freaky Fungus: How To Protect Your Home From Damage

Mold and mildew are funguses that thrive in moist, warm conditions. These organisms reproduce by releasing spores that cling to organic materials in the home such as drywall, upholstery, cardboard, paper and carpeting. The spores are carried into the home by water and air, and they will continue to spread until the home is cleaned and dried out thoroughly. Fungus growth can cause significant damage to home materials and can also create health problems in sensitive individuals if they inhale or come into contact with the spores.

Fix Plumbing Problems Quickly

Any source of water can cause fungus growth in your home, so if one of the plumbing lines in the house develops a leak, it can lead to the development of smelly, unhealthy mold growth. Check the pipes under the sinks or connected to appliances to ensure the connections are secure. Some leaks can occur deep within the walls of your home. A professional plumbing contractor can use special equipment to locate the leak with the least amount of damage to walls and floors. If you notice moisture or if the rooms develop a moist, humid feel, call in a plumber to repair the leak before it leads to damage to your home’s construction materials and cause the growth of fungus. Professional companies, such E & R Exterminating Company, Inc. can apply wood borate compounds to eliminate fungus growth on wood components under your home.

Prevent Flooding Incidents In Your Home

Some areas of the country are subject to heavy seasonal rains that cause basement flooding or flooding of lower floors of homes. To prevent water damage and fungus growth from basement flooding, install a sump pump system that will automatically remove rainwater from the basement when water table levels rise. If you are in a low area, be ready to pile sandbags around the foundation when heavy rains occur that might flood your home.

Waterproof Your Basement

Even if you don’t experience flooding in your home, ordinary seepage into the basement from heavy rains or snowmelt can cause a constant state of dampness that can promote fungus growth on drywall, storage boxes, paper and other materials. Applying a waterproof seal to your foundation walls can help to minimize seepage and will help to avoid fungus growth in the basement interior. Contact a basement-waterproofing contractor in your area for more information on protecting your home from water damage.

Fungus growth can deteriorate the construction materials in your home. It can also result in health problems for sensitive or allergic members of your family. Use these tips prevent fungus growth in your home, and call in a professional contractor to minimize the damage when it occurs.

5 Ways To Improve the Security Of Your Front Door

exterior-door

The front door is the most likely point of entry for any home break-in. That means this needs to be the strongest part of your home security. There are many ways to increase the security of your front door, some of which are almost imperceptible. Other protections are costly and may affect the look and feel of the home. With such a wide range of options, there is no excuse to leave your home exposed, and there is no reason to spend a fortune making improvements. If you are renting, make sure to speak with your landlord before making any changes, no matter how small you think they are.

  1. Longer Screws

One of the simplest and most noninvasive ways to improve the security of your front door is to use longer screws to fasten your door hinges and strike plates. Most standard locks are installed with screws that are an inch, or maybe even an inch and a half, in length. This bites into the wood enough for alignment and functionality purposes, but it does not offer much security.

With just a three-inch screw, you are securing the strike and hinges to the wall stud. A screw that is biting into a stud will stand up to a significant amount of force beyond a simple set screw. This helps to prevent against kicking attacks on both the hinge and doorjamb sides of the door.

  1. Use the Right Lock

A front door should always use at least one deadbolt in addition to a keyed knob or handle. The deadbolt is immune to the widely known credit card method of surreptitious entry. When the bolt is thrown, it is not retractable without a key or a thumbturn on the interior of the door. This is different from the spring latch in a keyed doorknob, which can be depressed even while in the locked position.

If there is any glass on or around the door, it is very important to use a double-sided deadbolt. These deadbolts do not have a thumbturn, and require the use of a key when locking and unlocking from both inside and outside the home. Even if a criminal were to smash the glass near a double-sided deadbolt, they could not gain entry any easier. High-security locks are also necessary to prevent against more advanced forms of illegal entry, such as lock picking and bump keys. Make sure that lock installation is done correctly or the security of the lock will be diminished. In lieu of installing new locks, homeowners can also rekey locks (if they already have a deadbolt in place) to maximize their home security.

door

  1. Add Metal

In order to install a door lock, several holes must be cut into the wood of the door. These holes are not completely filled by metal, and therefore leave vulnerable areas, which a susceptible to violent entry attacks. This means the area of your door that holds the lock hardware is actually a weak point in the door. By placing metal sleeves around that area, these points cannot be as easily compromised.

The same is true for the doorjamb, which will almost always have a simple small metal strike plate to hold the latch and/or bolt of your locks. By having this strike plate be longer, and secured throughout the length of the jamb, the door is secured against forced entry. Some of these products are hidden by the closed door, so these measures do not need to change the look of your home.

  1. Better Door Composition

If you secure your hinges, hardware, and the doorjamb, then there is still the concern of the door itself breaking. All doors are not created equal. For exterior doors, and especially front doors, you need a product with a solid core. These doors are heavier, as they use more material and stronger wood in their construction.

For additional security, there are steel core doors, and even iron core doors, which add metal content to the door itself. The addition of a new door would be the most costly and visually dramatic change proposed so far, but it is a must if the wrong type of door has already been installed.

house-exterior

  1. Security Screens

A security screen changes the look of your home from the exterior, but it provides a vast range of protection. Firstly, it will have more locks installed, which is an obstacle for anyone trying to bump or pick the locks. There is also another door, which is made out of metal, so forced entry is going to take at least twice as long as it would with just a standard door.

Residents can also open their door to see who is outside, without exposing themselves to a threat. And opposed to traditional woven screen doors, there is still a layer of security if you would like to leave your front door open for some fresh air.

Tips for Renters:

If you are renting, it is not so simple to make changes to the home. Often you will need to suggest your ideas to the landlord, who will then make the final decision. So it is important that you have been acting in compliance with what your landlord wants. Try not to be difficult or demanding. You are trying to present a solution, not a problem. So find a solution that works for your needs, and that you believe your landlord would be open to. For example, you may know that they do not like changes that alter the look of the home. So you would not suggest overly visible changes such as a security screen or new door.

Come to them with a full proposal. If you force them to come up with their own answers, the process will be much slower. The less work you make for them, the better chances of a quick and positive response. Who you want to pay for the changes will also affect your success. If you are looking to pass the cost onto the landlord, the offer to only charge the cost of materials will be more appealing than including the cost of labor. Try to anticipate their issues, and appeal to them on matters they care about. For example, even attempted burglary would result in many replacement costs as well as insurance issues, and general repairs. Be personable, and try to be positive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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