Monthly Archives: April 2018

How to Plan for your Long Distance Move

Man sealing a cardboard boxMoving houses can be very stressful, let alone moving to a whole new city or state. You would have to plan your move carefully especially if it entails a lot of fragile items, which is why experts at Colonial Van Lines will give you some tips on how to properly arrange your long distance move.

How do I Downsize my Home Items?

Most moving companies will charge you based on the total weight of the items that need to be shipped. Before packing all of your things, make sure to take a hard and long look at all of them and decide which ones you will use and need and which ones you can donate.

Grab a couple of boxes and separate the things that you do not need any more from the ones that you need to bring with you.

Another thing that you can do is to hold a garage sale before you move. These things can be a treasure for some people and if you want to dispose of the items quickly, then lower the price of each one.

When Should I Consider Moving?

If you are not in a hurry and you are flexible enough to delay your move, then go ahead and do so. Moving companies tend to increase their prices, which is during the summer.

If you can, plan your move around winter, spring, or fall. These are considered off-seasons when it comes to moving and would help you save a lot of bucks with shipping costs.

How Should I Label my Boxes?

Label your boxes by room. This will make it easier for you to unpack and you would know where to place each box once the moving company has dropped them in your new home.

You should also make a list of what items are inside each box to make sure that you would know where to place each one. Sure, this may be time-consuming and will make your packing process a little bit longer, but it will save some time during unpacking, plus, it would be a lot easier for you to unpack once you get to your new home.

Doing your research beforehand can save you lots of bucks and time. If you have no time to pack, then go ahead and enlist the help of a packing company. Most moving companies offer packing services as well, so make sure to take advantage of that.

In Your New Home, Let the Kids Decorate Their Rooms

Happy childIt’s moving day. Although you’ve given the kids lots of tasks, they still bug you about their new rooms. They want to decorate their spaces themselves. But as a parent, you feel that giving your children free reign on the design of their space could ruin the esthetic of the rooms and the way they complement the rest of the new, pristine house.

Your children’s rooms don’t have to be a design battleground, however. It could even be a great opportunity if handled properly. By handing the reigns over to your children, you encourage their creativity and help them build a healthy personal space. Take assurance in the fact that you can impose limits, too. Here are some pointers.

Importance of Personal Space

Dr. Robert Brooks, a physician at the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, says giving kids control over their environment makes them feel comfortable. It also helps them own the space — and when children feel that their space is truly theirs, they are more likely to look after it without much prompting.

Moreover, Dr. Sam Wass, a child developmental psychologist, found that decorating is more important to kids than conventional summer activities like watching football matches or riding a bike.

Fill the Rooms with What They Love

Colonial Van Lines, a trusted moving company, suggests decorating the bedrooms with the kids’ favorite colors, characters, and themes. This would make them feel more at ease and help them adjust to the new home. After all, nothing makes a child feel more secure than being surrounded by characters they look up to and things that interest them.

Let Them Pick the Colors

Before you move, take the kids to the hardware store and let them pick the paint for their bedrooms.

These colors, of course, must get your approval. After all, you don’t want to throw the curated color palette of your new home out the window. Once the kids have picked out what they like, choose a toned-down version or a shade or tint that’s close to the house’s palette.

Focus on Fabrics

For some kids, getting a good night’s sleep in a new home is difficult. So, involve them when choosing your home’s fabrics, from the curtains to the beddings. They can choose ones in their favorite color or ones that sport their favorite characters. Either way, they’d be at peace when they’re tucked in a warm blanket they chose for themselves.

Personal space is important for kids. So, if they’re moving to a new home, let them exercise control over their little nooks. They’ll feel more comfortable and claim the rooms as their own. Soon enough, they’ll love the new home as much as you do. If they haven’t already, that is.

Make Every Event a Success

Man in a public eventOrganising a public event or activity takes hard work. You need to address a few important issues before you could even begin the preparation.

When people turn up for a public event, be it a conference, a party, or a concert, they expect it to run like clockwork. They expect to have fun, be entertained, and be safe. Such expectations make it crucial to handle everything with efficiency; this includes audio and lighting services, says a reputable lighting equipment for hire service provider.

Have Contingency Measures

Even the best-laid plans could go awry, so it is best to have contingency measures in any event. Make sure you have health and safety issues covered. Contact the right people who could help you set up the stage for your audio and lighting needs. Make sure that the place itself has the right kind of amenities for your guests, speakers or talents. Covering all the ‘What ifs’ ensures that everything runs smoothly.

Spread the Word

The last thing you want is going through the trouble of organising a large event only to have a handful of people turning up. Use the Internet to spread the word and make it known to your target audience what your event could give them.

Go on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to establish a connection with them. Create rapport and engage your audience so they could go to your event. Be sure to allocate enough time for this exercise as some campaigns might take time to gain traction. Regardless of the kind of event you have going on, you need to sell it to the crowd.

Holding a memorable event that lives up to expectations takes a considerable amount of effort and preparation. When you address these crucial factors, you can make each presentation, activity, and concert a success.

4 Reasons You Should Be Convinced That Spending More Alone Time is Good for You

Woman reading bookYou may have been constantly hearing about how important it is for women to spend more time alone, especially if she is in a relationship. Spending time alone proves to be healthy whether you are just strolling around Hatton Garden to look at jewellery shops like Finecraft Jewellery or solo travelling overseas for the first time.

1. You have the time to recharge and reboot

The stressors of daily life will eventually take its toll on your health — emotionally, physically, and mentally. There is no better way to recuperate and reconfigure your mindset than being alone and taking your mind off distractions. It also improved your concentration levels and prolong your attention span because your mind is not all over the place.

2. You value your relationships better

Spending time helps you have better relationships because it helps improve your discernment and judgment as to which bonds are still valuable to your life and which are not contributing positively. You get to realise your worth better and know which relationships you must cut and cultivate.

3. You explore and test your creativity

Being surrounded by people may inspire you, but it can also make you feel pressured to always meet other people’s expectations. Brianna Steinhilber shared on NBC News about the findings from Reed Larson’s research, which emphasises that solitude inspires creativity because it frees you from self-consciousness and societal pressure. It also puts you in a problem-solving mode.

4. You get to know yourself better

It sounds cliche and some may even think this is just a feel-good excuse, but when you spend more time by yourself, you get in touch with your values. It also helps you revisit your intentions and goals. This helps you reassess whether where you are right now will help you become the person you want to be.

You may think that people who say you should spend more time alone just want you to feel better if you are currently with the wrong person or you suddenly find yourself alone and unattached. While it should not be romanticised, because it can also be scary and isolating, you cannot deny that it has benefits on your personal and interpersonal relationships.

Improving Your Restaurant Performance in 4 Ways

A restaurant owner by the counterOne of the success metrics of restaurants is the rate of table turnover. However, you may be aware by now that it is not as simple and straightforward as that. More than the speed of the kitchen and service crew, so many other factors affect table turnover.

Here are some possible ways to achieve the number of serviced customers that you target.

1. Outsource during high season

As much as you want a consistent overflow of customers, there really are some lean days. However, if you predict a high turnout on specific days, outsource other services like commercial dishwasher services you can get from firms such as BC Industrial Services, LLC to make sure that you are not shorthanded.

2. Hire an experienced manager

Leadership in a restaurant set-up is vital. You need someone with adequate experience to orchestrate your crew especially when the crowd starts pouring in. Some staff may get rattled due to impossible demands here and there, and you want someone who can effectively manage them.

He or she should also be able to analyze patterns and come up with an efficient workforce planning.

3. Monitor the kitchen

Making sure that your inventory, particularly the fast-moving ones, is regularly replenished can impact your table turnover. Also, your kitchen crew should be able to prepare early what they can, especially if there are reservations.

Servers, on the other hand, can suggest items on the menu that are easier to prepare.

4. Use technology to speed up the process

Apart from waiting for the food to be prepared and arrive on the table, the checkout process also involves significant waiting time. One way to cut the waiting time is to make use of available technologies.

According to the National Restaurant Association, a quarter of restaurant customers claim that they consider the convenience of technology when choosing a restaurant. If you can incorporate technologies in the checkout and payment, it would have a positive effect.

Speed and efficiency in service impact table turnover rate of restaurants. Nonetheless, it is still important that the quality of food and service are not compromised. While you want to serve more customers, you also need to make sure that you deliver a memorable experience every time.

Man installs home insulation

EECA Offers Funding Grant for Home Insulation Among Low-Income Kiwis

Man installs home insulationLow-income households in New Zealand that need home insulation services should consider applying for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) funding grant for homes that are built before 2000.

EECA plans to provide financing assistance under its programme called Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes. The project will be available until July 1 for poor households and landlords with low-income tenants.

Funding Qualifications

Interested parties may send an application to ask for help in covering 50 per cent of the price for ceiling and under-floor insulation products and services. Qualified households should present a Community Services Card or a referral from the Healthy Homes project of the Ministry of Health.

If your home is not qualified for the government subsidy, you can still apply for financial assistance if you have a health condition or disability. Several local councils offer loans to help households pay for the installation of insulation systems. Some banks may likewise include the cost of insulation to their mortgage payments.

Home insulation is particularly important for those who plan to rent out their homes since the government will require under-floor and ceiling insulation for all leased properties by July 2019.

New Housing Model

Energy-efficient insulation can help lower your electricity bills. Some architects believe that property developers should focus more on building sustainable houses instead of larger homes.

Home builders usually prefer larger houses because they sell faster, although energy-efficient houses can save owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars in energy bills per year. In addition, an upgrade to a 6 Homestar rating only requires between $5,000 and $6,000 for an average-sized house.

Cash-strapped Kiwis should take advantage of the government subsidy, whilst property developers should consider building smaller yet more energy-efficient homes. It is better to look for contractors that have several years of experience in the insulation supply and installation industry.

Making Your Garage Door Safe

Residential garage doorA garage door is an essential part of any property. This door allows you to gain access to your property and still keeps you safe from the elements and intruders. According to recent statistics, however, garage doors are a primary cause of accidents in most households, especially from crashes.

One of the leading causes of accidents caused by garage doors in Port Douglas is ignoring the need for panel door repair. Experts like Infinite Garage Doors explain that prompt repair of any malfunction is an integral part of making it safe. Here are some additional features you can install to enhance safety when using the garage door.

Auto Reverse

This feature is designed to change your garage door’s moving direction should it meet any obstruction. Most panel garage door openers manufactured after 1991 have this feature. You can place a solid object like a cinder block and try closing your garage door to test your door’s auto-reverse mechanism. If it is in proper condition, it will touch the object and immediately reverse to an open position.

Manual Controls

These features prevent entrapment during power outages, storms and opener malfunctions. A manual control consists of a release handle which opens and closes the garage door when necessary. The handle is placed not more than six feet above ground to keep it within everyone’s reach.

Motion Detectors

This safety feature consists of a sensor located on your door’s track system. The sensor transmits an infrared beam when your door is closing. The door closing automatically stops and reverses should anything break the beam’s line. You can test this feature by placing any inanimate object near your garage door when closing it.

Different safety features work best for different situations. Get a garage door expert to assess your property and advise you on the best one for you. They will also handle any repairs and service works that will go a long way in enhancing safety when using the door.

Swimming Pool Leaks to Watch Out For

Residential swimming poolYour swimming pool naturally loses water because of evaporation, backwash or splash outs. You also gain water through rainfall. As a rule of thumb, if you find that you add water up to three inches every week, it is probable that water out of your pool is lost through leaks that you may want to repair.

Before going into repair solutions, a swimming pool maintenance team in Salt Lake City will first investigate to understand the leaks.

Ideally, the pool is supposed to be watertight. However, sometimes the pool cracks, sealants deteriorate, or the plumbing gets old. These three cause the most common swimming pool leaks, explained below:

1. Structural breaks

Regardless of the material that forms the pool surface, given enough time, it might crack due to heavy foot traffic. For example, vinyl decked pools can break due to exposure to sharp objects.

Structural cracks not only lose water, but they also let dirt into the pool. Note that if not fixed immediately, minor leaks grow in size.

2. Mechanical issues

Sometimes the issue with your pool has something to do with the systems around it, such as the pumping system. This can happen if, for example, the shaft seal becomes defective and so the area around the pump might always be wet, which will spoil the motor.

In such cases, the maintenance professionals may have to replace the faulty parts.

3. Plumbing

In other cases, pipes might be the culprits. PVC piping is especially a problem in extreme temperature areas and can crack in unlikely places. For example, underground pipe cracks can lose a lot of water before they are noticed.

It is essential to watch out for any irregularities around your pool. For instance, if the landscape around your pool is always wet, it might be an indication that you need to call in maintenance.

It pays to take action on seemingly subtle changes in the water levels so that they do not cost you much more than necessary in the end.

Couple looking at house models and plans

How to Avoid Stress During House Construction

Couple looking at house models and plansSo, you’re currently in the process of building your new home. You’ve worked out the floor plan, agreed on an interior design and the landscaping, and found a plumber, electrician and an air conditioning contractor in Sydney. All you need now is to get things in motion. But as well as the excitement of watching your new home develop, the responsibility of staying within budget and staying on-plan can become stressful. These tips will help keep those stress levels lower during the construction of your new home.

Trust Your Contractor

Choosing a contractor you’re comfortable with is important. The builder should be approachable and know how to listen to your suggestions and requests. Spend time asking around beforehand, and consider reputation and quality of work as well as the bottom line. The cheapest quote may end up being expensive if you have to find another contractor to fix shoddy work.

Expect the Unexpected

Bad weather, delayed delivery ‒ these are examples of situations that can mess up your construction timetable. Many unexpected things can happen during the process. Be prepared for delays, and as much as possible, think of a plan ‘B’ in advance to keep the momentum going.

Choose the Right Time to Visit the Site

Just because you own the project, it doesn’t mean you have to be there all the time. Things can get hectic for the workers. Having someone lurking around can get in the way of their work. Let your foreman know when you want to visit the site so the team can prepare for it.

Include Allowances in Your Budget

It’s always wise to have a little extra in your budget when building a home. You’ll never know when prices can change, extra work is needed or a license is required.

Building a home is a big commitment and it’s normal to have anxieties. The key to managing the stress is solid pre-planning. The more you plan, the less unexpected costs are likely to occur and the fewer delays in completing your dream home.

4 Tankless Water Heater Replacement Signs

Plumber checking the heaterNowadays, more homeowners are turning to tankless water heaters. After all, not only does it save space (compared to tank heaters), it can be managed easily. No wonder more households have one installed. However, like other home appliances, there will come a time when your tankless water heater needs replacement. 5 Star Plumbing Inc. noted that calling Denver professionals is a wise thing to do.

Here are some signs to help you know when the right time is to dial that number:

It’s old

A tankless water heater has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. If you don’t know when was the last time you replaced it, checking the serial number can give you an idea. The date won’t deliberately be written. Instead, an alphanumeric combination will be available.

The first letter represents the number of the alphabet and is equivalent to the number of the month in the calendar (i.e. A= January, B= February, F=June, J=October). The next two digits of the serial number represent the year it was manufactured (i.e. 05= the year 2005; 12= the year 2012). Most manufacturers have a similar date code, but it pays to check and confirm with them to be sure.

Discolored water

Rusty, discolored, or water that tastes different means something is internally wrong with your heater. A repair or replacement should be made as soon as possible.

Fluctuating temperature

If your water is giving out lukewarm temperature when it should be hot, chances are it has reached its peak and needs replacement. However, replacing the circuit breaker or pilot light can do the trick.

Leaks

Leaks are never normal and are a common indication that repair or replacement needs to be done in your tankless water heater.

Be an observant homeowner. Take note of these abnormalities and check whether it’s time for you to replace or repair your tankless water heater at home.