Just Like Tim Allen: How to Stay Organized & Remodel Your Home in a Timely Manner

Just Like Tim Allen: How to Stay Organized & Remodel Your Home in a Timely Manner

Remodeling your home can help you to improve its appeal and functionality, and you may eagerly be looking forward to enjoying the finished project. However, some homeowners struggle to complete this type of project in a reasonable period of time, and this can be a frustrating, stressful experience. Put these thoughtful tips to use to help you improve your overall remodeling efforts through all stages of the project.

Outline Your Project in Detail

One thing that can delay a home remodeling project is if you discover that your design plans are not well-thought out. For example, you may not think through how the color of the backsplash tile you selected would correspond with your cabinets, and this can cause you to order new tile at the last minute. Carefully plan out each aspect of your project in detail and in writing before you begin any work on the home. It is better to spend a few weeks planning than to spend a few additional weeks with your home in a state of chaos because of the remodeling efforts.

Create a Functional Budget

Another factor that can delay a project involves money. Remodeling often requires more funds than you might think, and the last thing you want to happen is to have your project delayed while you wait for more funds to become available. Create a budget up-front, and ensure that it has ample wiggle room for unplanned expenses. In addition, fund your project fully before you begin working on your home.

Order Your Materials Up-Front

Materials shortages can also throw you for a loop. Some materials that you need may be back-ordered by several weeks or more. In the case of siding and other exterior materials, this problem could leave your home vulnerable until you complete the work. Order all materials, such as those from Unique Home Solutions, up-front, and avoid starting on the project until they are on hand.

Schedule Contractors as Needed

There may be some aspects of your project that you need professional assistance with, such as plumbing or electrical work. Contractors can be booked up several weeks in advance. Therefore, plan ahead by booking services in advance, and only work with reputable contractors who you can count on to show up as scheduled.

Many factors could cause delays to your home remodeling project, and this can be a stressful experience. If you want to enjoy the best overall process and results from your remodeling efforts, employ these tips to keep the project flowing smoothly from start to finish.

A Simple Guide to Successfully Inspecting Your Own Home

A Simple Guide to Successfully Inspecting Your Own Home

Being proactive is a good policy in general. It’s especially important in home maintenance. Performing regular maintenance and catching minor repairs before they become major can keep your home and its systems in optimum condition.

How often should inspections be done? Most home repair experts suggest every six months. A Spring inspection can catch any damage done by cold and winter storms. An early Fall inspection can make sure that heat or open doors and windows haven’t done any damage. In addition, of course, frequent inspection causes any normal wear and tear that needs to be addressed.

Here’s a simple guide to home inspection.

      1.  Heating and Cooling Systems

Your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems can be checked by careful examination of components.

First, look at the air filters. They should be cleaned or replaced regularly. If they are dusty and dirty, they definitely need to be replaced. Your system will not run at peak performance if the filters are dirty.

Second, look at your air ducts. Do you see any duct tape? Is it in good condition, or peeling and drooping? Replace it if so. Any dirt or dents can indicate problems. Look for any torn or collapsing sections if you have flexible ducts.

Third, turn on your furnace and eyeball the flames. It should be a steady blue. If you see yellow or orange flames that flicker, there may be issues with its combustion. Call a professional to resolve.

Fourth, thermostats need to be cleaned. Take the outer covering off and clean any dirt and dust with cloths or Q-tips.

If your air conditioner compressors are outside, check to see that shrubs or vines (or trees!) haven’t grown over them. If they have, they need to be cut off or they can severely impair the life and function of the unit. Make sure shrubs, vines and trees are pruned. If this looks as if it will be a chronic problem, it’s a good idea to move the landscaping to a different place.

     2.  The Water System

Check every water faucet for signs of leaks and signs of rust. Leakage can cost you in lost water, but they also lead to bigger leaks. Have them fixed at the first sign of leakage.

If you have rust or signs of rust from leaking water, such as reddish stains, have a professional inspect the pipes.

Basement converted to a gym, White Plains, NY

     3.  Attics and Basements

Attics and basements can both be subject to water damage, either from minor flooding or saturated ground in basements or roof leakage in attics. Most of this inspection can be done by carefully eyeballing your attic and basement. Do you see any sign of water damage to stored boxes, for example? Check any wood for signs of rot or water by poking with a screwdriver. Look for signs of mildew. If you see any signs that water leakage is a problem, call a professional who can find and fix the source.

Check your basement and attic for signs of pests as well. Mice, termites, ants and other pests can enter your home by crawling in from the ground through areas in the basement, or from the roof to the attic. Termites leave termite tubes, ants leave trails and mice will chew almost anything. If your insulation or stored camping food has been chewed, you may have mice.

    4.  Roofs

Roofs can lose shingles due to age or winter weather. Other materials can degrade due to the same factors. You also want to make sure that, whatever the composition of your roof, you don’t have birds or other animals nesting on it. They can cause damage that will cost you plenty to repair if the creatures aren’t proactively removed.

Inspect your roof carefully for signs of wear and tear. Roofs in the natural course of events will need to be replaced every 20 to 30 years, so be sure to keep them well maintained to ensure maximum long life.

     5.  Foundations

Look at the foundation for signs of cracks. Hairline cracks are normal, but if they become larger, it’s wise to keep an eye on them. Keep a notebook and note the size of any cracks. If they become noticeably larger at the next inspection period, call a professional for a thorough inspection.

decks and patios

     6.  Decks and Patios

Examine your deck or patio for any sign of wear and tear. Harsh weather may cause damage to either. Both decks and patios, of course, will require maintenance as time goes on. Do you need to remove any vegetation growing around or through cracks in the patio? Does your patio or deck need power washing or a sealant to look its best? Both should be part of regular maintenance. If they have not been, it may be time to institute them every six months.

     7.  Paint

The exterior of a home will need to be painted roughly every ten years. While not strictly speaking a repair, faded or peeling paint can expose your home’s materials to the elements more than if the paint were in good repair. Look at your home’s exterior with a stranger’s eye. Does it look fresh and appealing? If not, it’s time for a new paint job.

Maintaining your home well ensures that minor repairs remain minor, both in cost and in effort needed to fix them. Routine home inspections will ensure that you find any repairs that need to be made.

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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How to Keep Rodents and Other Pests out of Your Home for Good

How to Keep Rodents and Other Pests out of Your Home for Good

If you own a home, you know how hard it can be to keep rodents and other pests out of your home, especially in certain weather conditions, such as rainstorms and cold temperatures. Though it’s impossible to totally keep pests out of your home, there are some things you can do to greatly reduce the chances that the invaders will find their way inside.

Seal up Entryways

One of the best ways to keep pests out of your home is to take away the places they use to get inside. This means you need to go over your house with a fine-toothed comb to find every little crack, slit, crevice, and hole. Start by checking around your doors, windows and utility boxes and caulk or weather strip any gaps. You also want to seal any foundation cracks or cracks in your basement floor. If you have a fireplace, have it inspected to make sure critters aren’t already using it, and have it sealed if needed. You also should check your roof vents and look in your attic to find any possible means of entry.

Don’t Invite Them In

Pests are attracted to food, so you need to make sure you are not leaving uncovered or opened food out on your counters and shelves. You also want to make sure that you are not leaving pet food or water outside for long periods of time. And, of course, you want to make sure that any trash you throw away outside is in sealed bags and that the trash can lid is firmly secured.

Take Away Their Shelter

Pests are always looking for a place to live, so you don’t want to attract them to your home by giving them one. Some companies, like American Pest Control Inc., know that keeping trees and shrubs trimmed back away from your home and cleaning up piles of branches or debris around your yard can also help. If you have a deck, don’t store anything under it that might provide a hideout.

Use Pest Treatments

In addition to all the other measures mentioned, it’s still a good idea to treat for pests to help keep them out. You can use commercial products that you can buy on your own, but if those don’t work, it’s worth it to call a pest control service.

Pests are a nuisance and can be a health hazard. Following these tips will help to keep them out of your home and keep you and your family safe.

3 Simple Steps To Motivate You To Organize Your Home

3 Simple Steps To Motivate You To Organize Your Home

Everyone wants to get organized but very few of us quite get around to it. The main reason why many people get lost in clutter within their homes is the sheer lack of motivation. An individual might spend an hour each morning looking for stuff, but they never think about organizing the space to solve that problem. If you have never been one the few who have everything in its place, here are 3 tips to motivate you to organize your home:

  1. End Results

The biggest motivation for me is thinking about the end result. A clean, fresh and attractive space is the best gift you could possibly have. In an organized home, bugs have no place and you will not be losing money on something that was lost in your clutter. An organized space gives a good impression to guests and friends.

  1. Get Inspired by the Media

To get motivated into organizing your home, try leafing through organized living magazines, newsletters, and books. You can find organization advice on just about anything from making better use of dead space in your kitchen to a closet organization system for your bedroom or pantry. This will not only give you organizing ideas but having a look at these homes will certainly trigger the desire for some order in your home. If the books and photographs do not bring any inspiration, you could watch a few programs on organizing for more realistic tips. From all the reading and watching, you will learn important organizing hacks to help make the difference. If you have much clutter to deal with, dedicate an entire weekend or week to organizing. Remove everything from a room, and have a number of categories to either keep, donate or dump. With everything in the right pile, you can clean the empty room, shelves, and cabinets accordingly. Once the room is dry, start putting everything that you decided to keep in a specific place. The lessons learned during research about organizing are motivational enough to keep things neat and tidy.

  1. Baby Steps

Start by drafting a to-do list and ensure you make organizing a daily routine. This will motivate you to do a little more cleaning, arranging or dusting every day. This action will encourage you to consistently organize your home which will come naturally no matter the day or time. There should be some must-do tasks to accomplish each day to prevent clutter from creeping back in. On days when you feel like breaking the habit, give yourself a reason to organize like inviting some friends to dinner. Since you would want to host guests in a neat and clean space, you will be inspired to clean up and organize. Make your organizing fun by playing some music, wearing comfy clothes, or rewarding yourself for tasks accomplished.

Living in an organized space is not only good for your image, but it is also a healthier and more productive choice. You will not waste time looking for things in the morning, nor will pathogens find a hideout in your home. It might take time to organize the entire house but once you get started, the rewards become simply irresistible.

Expert Guide to Packing for a Home Move

 

Expert Guide to Packing for a Home Move

It is common for people to start packing for a move at least eight weeks before the big day. Still, last-minute moves are not so unusual. There are situations when people need to move in less than four weeks. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, here is a simple guide on how to pack and sort your items on short notice.

Keep only what you need

The best thing about last minute moves is that you can get rid of the ton of stuff you don’t need. Once you start packing, you will quickly realize that it is easier to throw away than to take with you. At the end of the day, you will also save time and energy. It’s a common mistake to believe that you should pack everything and sort later. Not true. Make sure to get rid of as many things as you can.

Walk through the house and make three piles in each room – 1) keep, 2) donate and 3) dump. Involve the whole family in sorting out their stuff, and bear in mind – if you are unsure what to do – dump it.

Donate what you don’t

Charities are always ready to take away your unwanted stuff. Even if your donation pile is large or you have bulky furniture items that are still in good shape, a non-profit organization can organize the transport, saving you both the time and money needed to get rid of them.

Just make sure that you have sorted everything out, so they only have to make one trip. Phone the organization and determine a pick-up date and time. Before you make a call, bear in mind that some charities only pick up on specific dates and specific locations.

Prepare packing supplies

Used cardboard boxes are the most convenient way to transport your items to a new home. Still, if the time is the issue you should purchase your boxes and other packing supplies directly from a moving store or office supply company.

On the other hand, if you are moving locally, ask for green movers who provide multi-use plastic bins. Not only will it save the environment, but also the time needed for finding boxes and getting rid of them once you unpack. Reputable moving companies also offer transport containers for bulkier items like furniture and outdoor equipment.

Ask for help

When it comes to moving, you have three recruitment pools – 1) friends, 2) family and 3) service companies. Friends and family are always eager to help. However, make sure that before you “hire” them, you know exactly what every person’s job will be. There’s nothing worse than a helpful hand wandering around and getting in the way of everybody else.

Professional movers are always a phone call away, and some of them offer a truly comprehensive range of services. For instance, aside from treating your belongings with the utmost of care during the move, the guys who own and operate City Removalist will even do the packing and unpacking for you in case you are, say, short on time.

Once you have the supplies and able-bodied helpers at your disposal, you can start loading the “keep” pile into boxes. Large appliance and some pieces of furniture will require special preparation before they are loaded. Moving professionals will help you with every aspect of the move, either by providing packing containers or pack everything for you. One way or another, they’re a valuable time-saving service.