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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhance Your Curb Appeal This Spring with These Trends

Spring is coming! You see all sorts of articles in magazines and blogs online about fashion and interior design trends for the season.

But what if you want to update the outside of your home? Below are 7 of the hottest trends in home exteriors for Spring 2017!

Enhance Your Curb Appeal This Spring with These Trends

1) Covered and Screened Decks and Patios

Take your outdoor living space up a notch by adding pergolas or covers to your deck or patio. Besides providing shade, it will beautify and define the space.

Screens are another way to make the exterior of your deck or patio look great for your neighbors and people driving by. But they also provide you with the privacy that makes your outdoor space actually feel like a retreat. You can buy ready-made screens or get creative and design your own. In any case, the neighbors will get a nice view and you will get your spa-like retreat.

2) Fancy Pools

There is nothing like a swimming pool to beat the summer heat and provide a fun gathering spot for friends and family. So, if you’re considering building one, why not follow the current trend of building a luxury pool?

If you have the space and budget, you can build a rooftop pool that looks out over your city. Or you can build one that combines indoor and outdoor living by installing a retractable wall of windows that lead to your pool. Or you can invest in an infinity pool that makes it look like you’re swimming in the sky.

Whether you use the contractor’s established designs, or come up with ideas of your own, a pool will add a splash of curb appeal.

swimming-pool

3) Structured Gardens

Make your garden appear larger and more stylish with garden structures. First, design a layout for your space that includes where you want to place the pieces. The type of garden you want, whether it be cottage style, a Zen retreat, formal or an eclectic mix, will determine what type of structures you use.

You can go the traditional route and choose brick walls or concrete fountains. Or you can use sleek modern vine-climbing walls or garden sculpture. Buy your pieces or make your own. Either way, you can create your own enchanted garden that you and passers-by will enjoy.

4) Home Additions

Another growing trend is home remodeling. Porches are a popular exterior addition. Or, if you already have a porch, you can make it up-to-date by adding design details like those on Craftsman or Victorian homes. Cornice moldings, thick porch posts, finials, urns and much more can be added to your porch to make it stand out. Also, most of these porches display boho-chic furnishings.

Another popular remodel is replacing builder-grade garage doors with garage doors that match your home’s style. If you’re replacing an old door or adding a brand-new garage, don’t skimp on this item. Whether your garage is front-facing or not, the look of its door can have a major impact on the appearance of your home.

porch

5) Limiting the Colors in Your Garden

Another trend for gardens is using a simple palette of only 2 or 3 shades. It’s a modern, almost minimalistic look. But for those new to gardening or don’t want to be bothered by too much planning, it’s any easy way to go.

So how do you keep your garden from looking boring? One way is to have 1 color be the feature color and have the other shade or shades be highlights. And choose a variety of plants of the predominant color or colors. For example, have white roses, white hydrangeas and a white dogwood tree in your landscape.

Limiting how many shades appear in your garden will make it look classy, modern and sophisticated.

6) Grand Entrances

Even if you don’t have or want a porch, fabulous entrances are all the rage. The recent trend of red doors is now being replaced more imaginative front entries.

Some doors that are growing in popularity are Dutch doors and doors made of glass encased in intricate iron work. The symmetrical look of matching topiaries or marble benches on either side of the front door is trending. As are wreaths made for each season, banners and wind chimes.

All of these elements will make people say “Wow!” when they are about to enter your home.

7) Stone and Brick Exteriors

This trend piggy-backs on the natural, sustainable materials movement. If your home is already built with brick or stone, you can use paint to give your home a new look. Just be sure to choose the right type of paint and that it is applied properly.

If you just want to add a stone or brick accent to your home, you can choose between the real thing or an artificial alternative. Man-made options can look just as good and are usually cheaper.

Out with the old and in with the freshness of the season! Follow these trends so your curb appeal will pop this spring!

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.

https://twitter.com/kacey_mya

https://www.pinterest.com/kaceymya/

https://www.instagram.com/thedriftercollective/

How to Decide Which Home Improvement Projects to Tackle First

Are you thinking of renovating your home but don’t know where to start? The process of home improvement can be overwhelming if you don’t know what exactly you should do first. It’s hard to imagine the finished look before you even begin. Here are a few home improvement projects for you to tackle that will help you envision the end result.

bathroom

  1. Bathroom Boost

The best piece of advice someone can offer you for home renovating is to start with the bathroom first. Bathrooms are tucked back away from the main rooms you use in your home, and are the perfect place to start. Remember to keep a guest bathroom ready to use during this renovation period.

The first step is to decide what stays and what goes. Need a new tub, toilet or sink? Start with the bigger projects and work your way down to the small details.

Once you have the main appliances, consider DIY upgrades to make your bathroom beautiful. Now you can focus on painting the walls and bringing the room together with décor. Stick to cool or natural colors for a more relaxing feel to your bathroom. Picture blues, whites and grays to easily make you feel cleansed after every shower.

  1. Cabinet Re-Create

A big focal point in your kitchen are your cabinets. They attract the eye whether they’re gaudy or great. If you’re renovating your kitchen, start with a kitchen cabinet upgrade. Look at the design behind kitchen cabinets for inspiration. It will help you decide if you want stained wood, sheer glass or no doors on your cabinets at all.

Re-doing your kitchen cabinets is an easy process for a kitchen renovation because you can get the big project out of the way. If you have to tear down cabinets and re-install them, you’ll want to do this first so if the walls are damaged, or something breaks, you don’t have to fix it twice. You can simply finish all the other details of the kitchen after the cabinets are done.

kitchen

  1. Kitchen Backsplash Spruce

The backsplash of your kitchen is a detail that comes after you’ve finished your cabinets or changed the counter tops. This is an easy DIY project to give your kitchen the amazing upgrade it needs. To give yourself inspiration, check out gorgeous kitchen backsplashes and see if any catch your eye.

Take a stroll through your local hardware store to see what tiles they offer for a backsplash. You can even bring samples home with you to help you decide and get a better idea of what it will look like when it’s all finished.

Make sure your tile design goes with the look of your home. If you have a rustic home, keep the backsplash simple and chic. For a more modern look, go with a marble-like tile to give your kitchen fancy detail.

  1. Garage Door Upgrade

Get some fresh air and give the outside of your home a little sprucing up. A new garage door will give the outside of your home a nice upgrade in just a little change. If you’re not sure what type of garage door will go with your home, look into a garage door imagination system. You can upload a picture of your garage and virtually see what different doors will look like.

Home improvements aren’t just about the inside. Upgrading your garage door will add to the curb appeal of your home. It may even help you decide if you want to upgrade other features of your home such as landscape, the siding, or even a new roof.

  1. Paint Party

Painting any wall in your home should come after upgrading appliances and remodeling the details of the room, but before you upgrade your floors. If you know that you’re going to install new hardwood floors or brand new carpet, leave the old floors the way they are while you paint. You won’t have to worry about dripping paint and ruining your nice new floors.

Hard question. How do you pick the perfect paint color? There are a lot of things to consider when picking the paint for your room. How do you want the room to look and feel? The color of a room can actually create a mood. Soft colors such as blues and neutral colors create a relaxing feel. Bright colors like reds or yellows will give a room more energy.

pink-wall

  1. Flip Floors

The last project you want to tackle in any room are the floors. Once you have everything finished such as paint, new cabinets, or even a new tub depending upon the room, then you can take on a flooring project.

There are so many options for hardwood flooring for your home that it can be hard to choose. Think about what type of wood you want, how durable you need it to be and what the installation process would be. A durable hardwood floor is easy to keep clean and looks great in any home.

Don’t let home renovation projects overwhelm you. Start with the big details and work your way down. Start with a vision and go from there. You’ll have a nice, newly renovated home in no time.

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.

https://twitter.com/kacey_mya

https://www.pinterest.com/kaceymya/

https://www.instagram.com/thedriftercollective/

 

 

Going Modern: 4 Pointers to Help Turn Your Home into a Contemporary Setting

Going Modern 4 Pointers to Help Turn Your Home into a Contemporary Setting

The contemporary style is recognizable by its uncluttered and organized appearance. It focuses on comfort, simplicity and a visually soothing atmosphere. An open concept design is typical of a contemporary style home. Spaces can be unified through the use of rugs and by strategic furniture arrangements. There are specific design elements you can rely on to give your home a contemporary appearance.

Contemporary Color Choices

In a contemporary home, the colors used are usually similar in tone. Beige, cream, taupe, brown and possibly white are the most popular choices for a contemporary décor. Don’t worry, though, your décor will not be too plain as you’ll definitely want to add in some accent colors as well. An accent color should be vibrant and stand out. Some good colors are red, blue and green as well as their many different shades and tones. Accent colors can easily be shown off through pillows, rugs, wall art and many other such decorative items.

Architectural Design Elements

A stairway can be an impressive architectural feature in a home. You can get inspiration for stairway designs from specialty companies, such as Tarosa Stairs, and their websites that feature the different types of staircases.  The balustrades are a key design element that can make a stairway incredibly impressive. Stainless steel and glass are popular features in a contemporary stairway design.

Contemporary Furniture

If you’re wanting to create a contemporary look in your home, you can easily achieve your goal by selecting furniture that has contemporary characteristics. Generally, that would involve selecting furniture that has curves rather than defined lines. The furniture you select should be simplistic and void of decorative embellishments. Natural fabric is essential in a contemporary décor. Silk, linen, jute wool and cotton are good choices. Keep this in mind when choosing upholstery fabric and accessories such as pillows and rugs.

Creating a Unified Décor

To achieve cohesiveness in your home décor, the design elements in the kitchen and bathroom should comply with the design elements in your living room and bedrooms. Accent tables and other pieces of furniture can feature chrome or glass details. Those same elements can be used in the kitchen and bath. Glass or frosted glass cabinet fronts are appropriate in a contemporary home. Stainless steel and chrome are also popular material choices for a contemporary home. These can be incorporated in individual rooms in the form of lamps, cabinet hardware and accent furniture designs

It’s not too hard to incorporate contemporary style in your home. Hopefully, the above advice will help you to be able to change up the style in your home using this elegant style.

What Are the Different Layouts and Styles of Kitchens

Kitchen layouts are very different and diverse. There are so many types of kitchen which cater not only to different needs and functionality, but also to different types of home décor as well. Here are some common layouts of kitchens.

Kitchens

1.One Wall Kitchens: These kitchens are also known as Pullman kitchens, and are usually found in studio apartments or in loft spaces. The main reason for such type of
kitchens is that they save a lot of space. The appliances as well as the cabinets are all fitted on just one wall. Some modifications can be done to this basic style which includes creating a kitchen island made in a galley style which can have a walk-through corridor.
2. Galley Kitchens: Galley kitchens are lean and efficient. They are good for small spaces or for kitchens where with just one cook. A galley kitchen is also called a walk-through kitchen. It has either two opposite walls or parallel countertops which have a walkway in between. Galley kitchens use every inch of space, so there are no corner cabinets that can be inserted.
Complete Kitchen
3. L Shaped Kitchens: L Shaped kitchens use the corner space effectively. Such kitchens are good for small and medium spaces. The countertop is installed on the adjoining walls which forms an L shape. The legs of the L kitchen can be if you prefer. When there is an L shaped layout, traffic is reduced and such kitchens allow for dining spaces to be added as well multiple work zones. If there is more than one cook, a kitchen island can be added to this layout.

4. Horseshoe Kitchens: Horseshoe kitchens are U shaped layouts which house the cabinets and appliances on three walls. This layout allows a smooth flow of traffic, and is great when there are several cooks in the kitchen.

kitchens

5. Island Kitchens: Kitchen islands add a work surface to the kitchen and are used for appliances and storage. The island can be fitted with stools so that there is a place to eat. You can add a sink that can be used to prepare food or a wine cooler that can be used to store beverages. You can convert a one wall kitchen into to a galley style kitchen by adding a kitchen island.  Using a kitchen island, an L shaped kitchen can be converted to a U-shaped kitchen.

6. Peninsula Kitchens: Peninsula kitchens are a connected island where an L shaped kitchen layout is converted into a horseshoe layout, and a horseshoe one layout is converted to a G shaped kitchen layout. The peninsula type kitchens are like island kitchens, but they allow more surface working space when compared to kitchen islands.

 

6 Different Styles of Kitchen Layouts

kitchens

1.Farmhouse kitchens:  Farmhouse kitchens are functional and comforting. They have open shelves, wide sinks and classic flooring. Such kitchens usually have a big kitchen table.

2. Rustic kitchens: Rustic kitchens are made of stone, timber, brick with a worn or rough hewn finish to them. Such kitchens go well with vintage appliances.

3. Modern kitchens: Modern kitchens are those with natural beauty of materials. They consist of frameless cabinets and hardware which are sleek and simple. Usually modern kitchens have strong horizontal lines.

kitchens

4. Traditional kitchens:  Traditional kitchens have arches, decorative moldings and raised panel cabinets. These kitchens could even sport a chandelier or any type of traditional décor.

5. Contemporary kitchens:  Contemporary kitchens are sleek just like modern kitchens but more playful in their finish and form.

6. Transitional kitchens: Transitional kitchens are kitchens with combined flexible features. Such kitchens have the warmth of traditional kitchens with contemporary style.

If you have been wondering how to design your kitchen, now you have the answer. Select your preferred layout, style and apply.