Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Faults You Absolutely Must Tackle On Moving Into A New Home

So, you’ve bought yourself a home. Before you move in, you should have as thorough a check as you can. However, that won’t stop the possibility that you don’t catch some faults before it’s too late. These can’t be left on their own. You’re going to have to tackle them. Here, we’ll identify some of the most common faults, what you need to do with them and when you need help.

The plumbing
The first thing you need to do is get familiar with the utilities in your home. For plumbing, this means getting to know the flow of all the pipes and taking a run through. Run the taps and look out for any signs of trouble. Drips and leaks are an obvious one. However, you should also be looking out for low water pressure and listening out for creaks and screeches or gurgles. You also want to make sure you don’t smell any waste or drainage, as it could mean a blockage. Find your water mains and turn it off if you’re making any minor fixes with changing a tap. For other problems, it’s best to have a professional on hand.

The electrics
Much like plumbing, your electrics are not something that any kind of novice should be trying to work with. All you want to do is to be able to identify any problems. Be able to identify your main switch and turn off the electrics in an emergency. Find your fuses and circuit breakers and carefully investigate to make sure there’s no melting or damage first. If you’re checking your electrics, get your hands on a residual current device, first.

Damp and mold
One of the problems that’s significantly easier to deal with yourself is that of damp and muld in the home. However, it depends on what level it has gotten to. If it’s surface level black spots, it’s easy to simply clean it off with a bit of effort. Others might require that you replace the affected structures. If you can get rid of it, it’s best to see how you can prevent it from happening. In a lot of cases, this can just mean making the area more ventilated.

The roof
One of the most common sources of damp and mold problems is, of course, the roof. First, you want to make sure it’s insulated from the inside. This prevents it from being the kind of closed, humid space that easily forms damp or mould. But you need to check it from the outside as well. You can save yourself the unnecessary hire of a roofing company by using an access equipment hire to look yourself. If it’s as simple as a missing tile, you might be able to fix it yourself. However, some roofing materials have an expiry age to them. If your roofing has expired, you might need to get it replaced.

We hope the above tips help you identify and sort some of the faults in your home. Just remember that it’s best to leave anything electrical to professionals. Same goes for anything you don’t feel confident in tackling yourself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Staying Cool: Everything You Need To Know This Summer

With the summer weather in full swing, you want to know that you are ready for the heat. There are plenty of things you can do to prepare for the hotter temperatures, including summer-proofing your home. After all, there is nothing worse than sweltering away.


Get rid of winter bedding

Blankets and throws look great on the bed, but in the summer you want as few layers as possible when you’re trying to sleep. Also, consider changing your duvet. Most duvets have tog ratings for warmth, so obviously you want a much lighter one in the summer. You can also alter the material of the bedding that you use. Think of materials such as linen and cotton for cooling comfort.

Use a gel mattress topper

If you haven’t heard of this before, then it could be your summer savior. If you get hot when you sleep, then a gel mattress topper is a must for your bed. It will add comfort to your bed, as well as rejuvenate your mattress.

Make sure you air conditioning is working properly

Don’t run the risk of your air conditioning breaking down in the summer months. Regular maintenance can help prevent any problems and save you from suffering a breakdown. However, should the worst happen, and it does malfunction during the hottest time, then call out a One Hour AC repair company to get your system back on track.

Keep your curtains/shutters closed

Ok, so this isn’t pleasant if you’re at home during the day. However, closing your curtains or shutters is a great way of keeping your home cool. It stops the sunlight and heat from getting in, providing a lovely, cool environment to enjoy later in the day.

Turn off electrical items

This might seem like strange advice, but all electrical items give off heat. So, if you are suffering in the heat, having lightbulbs and the TV on can be contributing to the temperature of the room collectively.

Open your windows at night

If you are suffering from the heat at bedtime, open your windows to let a breeze in. The temperature can often drop enough at night to provide some relief. It can also help to place fans next to the window to help create a wind-tunnel effect. Just remember to close the windows in a morning before the hot temperatures start to heat the room back up.

Set ceiling fans anti-clockwise

Did you know that ceiling fans need to be changed every season? In the summer, it needs to be going anti-clockwise and a higher speed. This allows the fan’s airflow to create a wind-chill breeze effect, meaning you will feel much cooler.

Have a lukewarm shower

If all else fails, then take a lukewarm shower. You might think that taking a cold shower would be better, but that can shock your body into preserving more heat. A tepid shower will bring your body temperature down meaning you’ll feel more refreshed.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Looking To Broaden Your Horizons? Why Not Give These Hobbies A Whirl?

Are you stuck in a rut? Have you got spare time on your hands? Are you looking to meet new people or broaden your horizons? If so, there’s no better way to spend your time than taking up a new hobby. If you’re looking for ideas, why not give these suggestions a try?

Getting active
Many popular hobbies involve getting active and moving those muscles. If you’ve been inspired by the Rio Olympics, now is the time to take on a new challenge. Have you always wanted to learn to dance? Were you enthralled by the dressage or captivated by the cycling? Have you got ambitions to try the pole vault or take up a martial art? Nowadays, you can try a whole range of sports and activities without having to travel for miles or spend a fortune on kit. You can book a taster session at the track or organize a few riding lessons. You can look for local sports clubs and teams and ask about opportunities to learn more and give a new sport a go.

Trying something new can be daunting, so why not take a few friends or your partner along with you for moral support? If you’re desperate to learn to ballroom dance, for example this is something you could do as a couple.

Learning a new skill
Life is an experience and you don’t stop learning just because you finish school or graduate from college. It’s never too late to gain new skills and use your talents. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Are you eager to improve your cooking or baking skills? Would you like to learn how to fix problems with your car or do you fancy yourself as an amateur circus performer? Whatever your interests and goals, it’s always possible to expand your skillset. The Internet is a fantastic resource for tracking down local teachers and tutors and finding courses and classes.

Collecting is very popular, and there are all kinds of different items you can concentrate on. You could form albums of stamps from all over the world or try and track down rare cartoon figurines. Look for rare currency, like 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars for sale, or start a collection of sporting memorabilia. Think about your interests and use them to decide on your focus. Do you love computer or console games? Are you an avid fad of TV and film? Are you a follower of football or a keen traveler? There are various places you can look for items for your collection. The Internet is an excellent place to start. It’s also worth visiting yard sales and specialist independent stores. Forums are a great way to connect with others with similar interests and possibly set up some swaps.

Appreciating the outdoors
When you’re busy, life can pass you by without you even realizing, and you miss out on what’s around you. Do you love spending time outdoors? Are you a bit of an intrepid explorer at heart? If so, why not take up a hobby that enables you to gain an appreciation of the world around you? Give gardening a go or take up orienteering. Learn to climb or join a hiking club. Take some sailing lessons or try your hand at fishing.

Expressing yourself
Any people are blessed with creative talents, which they’re unable to use in their day jobs. If you enjoy being creative, why not take up a hobby that enables you to express yourself? You can take classes to perfect your techniques, or learn as you go. Spend time drawing, painting, writing, or playing music. You don’t have to get top grades in exams or showcase masterpieces in a gallery. Even if you’re not brilliant, you’re doing something you enjoy, and that’s what is important. If you have a busy job, or you’re prone to stress, creative activities can be particularly beneficial. They often give you an outlet and provide a much-needed distraction.

When you have spare time, it’s beneficial to spend it doing something you find interesting, challenging or enjoyable. Taking up a new hobby is a fabulous way to expand your skillset, enjoy new experiences and meet new friends. There are countless pursuits, pastimes, and activities you can try. Start up a new collection or rediscover a love of painting. Learn to speak Italian, take cooking lessons, or join a local walking club. Sign up for dance lessons, swap stamps or become a green-fingered maestro. The choice is yours!

The Dos and Don'ts Of Keeping Your Home Safe

Your home is your castle. While for some fortunate people, that is literally true, for most of us it's a figure of speech. However, it is one that holds true. If you feel that your home is under threat, then you feel threatened to the core. After all, if you can't feel safe and secure in your own house, where can you? It is often said by people who have been burgled that it is the most invasive experience they can imagine.
As we can all agree, the prospect of it happening to us is a genuine nightmare. Many of us will do anything we can to prevent it. There are countless tips available - online, from friends and from law enforcement. Sometimes, the biggest question we have is which ones actually work, and which ones are not worth the paper they're written on.
Do: Purchase Strong Locks For Doors And Windows
Burglars look at the locks on a house, and often there and then decide whether or not to go ahead with an invasion. The idea that there are locks won't turn them off - they are used to picking and bypassing locks. But if they are of good quality, these locks can persuade them not to try.
Don't: Plant Large Hedges And Bushes
While some bushes wouldn't be a bad idea - anything with thorns near potential entry points can be a deterrent - there are drawbacks. A large bush provides a potential concealing place for an experienced burglar. Especially late at night, they can use any shade and structure to hide.
Do: Have A Motion Sensor Light Installed
Darkness is a burglar's friend, and the moment it is fractured by light they become less at ease. When a light flicks on late at night, if you are at home you'll notice it. If you're not, your neighbors might well. Most burglars won't want to wait to find out. Certainly, they won't want to break in when they're all lit up.
Don't: Make Your House A Prize Target
If you have recently bought expensive appliances, dispose of all packaging yourself. Don't leave the cardboard boxes out for the recycling or garbage trucks. If you do that, you're telling burglars "my house contains some trophies for you - go right ahead".
Do: Buy An Alarm
A good burglar alarm will alert people far and wide if you're being burgled. One word of advice, though. If you have a sticker in the window saying the home is "protected by ADT Security", it gives burglars a clue to how they may disable an alarm. A generic sticker saying the house is alarmed is a better idea.

There are other tips you'll hear from speaking to people. Some of them are good, some bad. The key is to remember that there are simple things you can do - and others you should avoid like the plague - to keep your home safe. It's much more likely that you won't be targeted than that you will. But there are always things you can do to tip the balance further.

Friday, August 19, 2016

8 Sure-Fire Ways To Create A Grown-Up Room For Your Teenager

It’s hard to believe the baby you had is now a fully grown teenager. The years seem to fly by, and they are now an independent human being. Now they are a teenager, they feel like they are grown up (they will remind you so at least twice a day). They will want to change their bedroom, so it’s more ideal for their age. Here are eight sure-fire ways to create a grown up room for your teen that they will love.

You need to give them some seating

Your teenager will want their bedroom to be somewhere they can go with their friends and hang out in peace. You can make their bedroom the ideal place to do this by adding some great seating in there. You should add a sofa or a couple of chairs for them to chill out on. You could even go for some bean bags for some unique seating that they will love. They may now want their friends to stay over too now they are a bit older. You can ensure they can do this by choosing a sofa bed for their room, so their friend has somewhere convenient to sleep.

You need to create a study area

It’s so important that your teenager can study in peace at home. However, it can be hard to find somewhere quiet to do it with their siblings running around the home. They need to be able to concentrate as the work becomes a lot harder as they age. Therefore, you need to create a study area for them in their bedroom. You should find a good sized desk which will enable them to work with plenty of space for their books and worksheets. You can visit, and other sites, to find suitable desks for their room. You should ensure it has a drawer for storage so that they can keep all their stationery suppliers in there. As this feature on explains, you could go for a white desk which will suit any bedroom scheme and is easy to maintain. Your teen can then go for bright accessories to make the space more personal for them. You will also need to buy them a cool chair which will be comfortable to complete their work on.

You need to get them a larger bed

Although your kid loved their bunk beds when they were younger, it’s not very suitable for a teenager. The beds aren’t very big which is not good for your growing son or daughter. Their weight as a teen may also be too heavy for a bunk bed. You should look for a larger bed which will ensure they have a good night’s sleep. If you have space, you could get your teen a double, so they have plenty of room in the night to spread out. It also means they can have friends stay over without much inconvenience. However, if you can’t afford a double, you can still get some single beds which will look great in their room.

You should get them book shelves

As much as teens love their Kindles and eReaders to read the latest books, nothing does beat a traditional book. A bookshelf which can hold all their favorite novels is a lovely addition to their room. It will make the room look more sophisticated and grown up. They can also keep all the books they need for educational purposes in there. If there is limited room, you could add display shelves over their bed where they can put their books. That way, it won’t take up any floor space in the bedroom.

You need to give them plenty of storage facilities

You will be surprised how much stuff a teenager has. It ends up all over their room and can create a big mess. Therefore, you need to give them plenty of storage, where they can hold all their belongings. You should consider getting them some drawers for underneath their bed where they can put their stuff, so it’s not on the floor. You can also add some shelving above the bed and on the walls. You could also get them a double wardrobe so that they have more room for their clothes. If you have a teen daughter, you will know how many clothes they accumulate over time that they won’t get rid of!

You need to add posters and art

Having posters in your room is part of growing up. They will want to have pictures of their favorite movies and crushes all over the wall. You can create a memory wall for them, where they can have all their favorite pictures and mementos from their favorite films. It can make the room look personal and grown up. They can also add pictures of their friends and family on there to make it look even nicer. Also, let them have some art on the walls to make the room look more sophisticated and grown up.

You should change the paint and add some wall decor

They might want to change their room color now they are a teenager. Baby blues and light pinks are never good for their age. They will want to go for a darker color which they love. As much as they want the room to be bold, you should stick to natural colors which you know they won’t get bored of over time. You should consider adding some wall d├ęcor to their room. As this article from homedit explains, it can express a teen’s individuality without taking up loads of space.

You need to change the bedding

Your teen will also want to have a cooler bedding in their bedroom to make it appear more grown up. They will want to avoid characters and movies for now, so they can make it look more age appropriate. You may want to go for neutral colors bedding, and then they can add cushions to make it more fun. You can find more ideas to make the bed look more grown up on this site.

Remember if you have limited space in your home, so siblings have to share, you could put up a curtain or a screen to separate the room. That way, your teen will feel like, despite the fact that they are sharing, they have their own grown up area to chill out and have some privacy!
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