Category Archives: Home Improvement

Homeowner remotely opening the air conditioner

Selecting the Right Air Conditioning System for Your Home

Homeowner remotely opening the air conditionerScouring several air conditioning shops just to look for the right system is not an easy task. It can be confusing to find your way among the many available products on the market, including ducted air conditioners, which you can get from firms such as Conduct Air Conditioning.

Before you resort to a game of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” just to make a decision, here are tips to help you choose wisely:

  • Do not just wait for the extreme heat waves to amp up before deciding to get a unit for your home. Getting one before the extremely hot season will ensure that your system is prepared for optimal operation as soon as you need it.

Planning the installation in advance also offers you the chance to re-examine your choices. Besides, you will probably benefit from a better price range and make use of the various financial assistance programs.

  • Select a system that comes with a good warranty, as there are models that cover 10-year warranty on labour and parts. Keep in mind that a good warranty guarantees years of reliable and quality, as well as, hassle-free operations.
     
  • If you want to set up an air conditioning unit on your wall, then make sure to get in touch with a certified dealer. They are the ones who have the knowledge and ability to recommend you based on your particular cooling requirements, like your budget and kind of residence.

A qualified dealer will ensure that the set up goes smoothly to guarantee you peace of mind and comfort.

  • You can lower your ecological footprint and reduce the utility costs by turning off your air conditioning system at night. Open up your windows at night when there are lower humidity and temperature levels to let the refreshing breeze take over the room temperature.

Give your family a cool and comfortable home to de-stress from the stresses of work and school. With the right air conditioning system, you will be able to give them the comfort that they need.

The Basic Tasks of Gardening

house facadeGardening is a relaxing hobby for many people. Every garden is different but there are some basic tasks that crop up again and again if you are thinking about doing the maintenance yourself.

There are any number of professional firms out there that can help if gardening isn’t top of your priority list, such as Town and Country Gardens in Chiswick. A skilled gardener and regular maintenance can transform your outside space with no effort from you.

Mowing

Mowing is a bit of an art-form and one that some gardeners spend a lot of time considering and planning.

There are some simple factors that you need to pay attention to. When you have a healthy lawn, you will need to mow more often because it will grow faster. The length you cut it down to will affect the overall look. If you cut it too short, you will end up with a yellow, patchy lawn. If you are very keen to have an ultra-short lawn, there are varieties of grass that can help with this. This small paragraph is the tip of the iceberg and we’ve already talked about frequency of mowing, length of cut and grass varieties. If this enthuses you, dive in and call on the experts if you need assistance. If not, the idea of regular professional garden maintenance might be looking more attractive.

Pruning

Unless you like the wild and crowded look, expect to be pruning in the garden at various points during the year. Each plant, bush, shrub and tree has a particular time of year when it is best to cut it back to avoid damaging or killing it. You can use pruning to train plants into various shapes and there are ways to encourage upward or outwards growth. A garden maintenance service can keep an eye on things to ensure they turn out the way you want them to. If you do not keep on top of some fast growers, it can be difficult and/or time-consuming to correct.

Watering

There are various ways to keep your garden well-watered. Walking back and forth with a watering can is one way that will keep you fit. A hosepipe or sprinkler system is easier, while some gardeners opt for automated irrigation systems.

Building Your Own Garden of Earthly Delights

Green lawn in a colorful landscaped formal gardenHave you ever looked at those ornate gardens on TV and in lifestyle magazines and wondered how on earth their owners created them? Well, there’s a dozen little ways you can make your garden just as spectacular, even if your budget is not much. Here are some tips.

Use planters

If space on your yard is limited, or you’re not too happy about the quality of your soil, planting your flowers and vegetables in pots can be the perfect solution. Choose attractive antique English copper planters to boost your small garden’s visual appeal. When used creatively, planters from Authentic Provence can help you grow a large variety of plants in an incredibly limited space.

Use seeds

You’ll save a lot more by growing your garden from seeds than by buying starts. Sure, you’ll need to prepare early and spend more energy starting seeds, but isn’t that part of the fun that gardening brings?

Consider seed swap

During a seed swap, gardeners meet and trade seeds they saved from last season. You get to save insane amounts of money while getting high-quality seeds for your garden. Remember to save seeds yourself. Just make sure they’re not patented.

Use your design

There’s certainly some experienced professional gardeners who can do wonders with your yard, but they’re often unbelievably costly. Rather than incur this cost, use self-help books and gardening magazines to come up with ideas on how to design your garden.

Be creative in improving the soil

From time to time you’ll need to improve the quality of your soil, so your plants get the proper nourishment. Using compost and all-natural fertilizers is a good way to make the soil fertile, but if you rear chicken or other animals in your home, consider collecting their manure and other organic matter in your garden to avoid spending too much on garden fertilizer.   Every homeowner dreams of a killer curb appeal for their homes. With a little ingenuity, you can create a fabulous garden from scratch and save dollars in the process.

Practical Home Security Tips

Man checking the locks on a wooden doorSecuring your home and protecting your family should never be a game of trial and error. Thus, it is important to invest in your home security. However, sometimes, having the latest security technology is not the only way to protect your home.

The entries below are some of the most practical and affordable ways to keep your home theft-free. These tips came from master locksmiths such as Sail City Locksmiths to help you, as a homeowner, further understand the situation and learn how to prevent it from happening.

Ditch those “hidden” keys

Is it below the pot? Is it at the side of the window pane or door frames? Those are common places where you keep your keys hidden. Those keys might save you when you get yourself locked out, but it also compromises your home security, BIG TIME.

Burglars know where to look and the place where you think is safe is not safe at all.

Locks and deadbolts

Locksmiths always advise homeowners to invest in quality deadbolts and locks. Ones that you get a dollar store might be cheap, but a few twist and turns can welcome any burglar. While you are at it, make sure to strengthen your door frame as well.

Your deadbolts might be durable, but if thieves can kick your frame easily, then it is useless.

Alarm and security systems

Place a sticker on your door saying that you have an alarm, but never disclose the brand as this can give burglars an idea on how to disarm it. Installing motion and light sensors always help in securing your home especially at night.

Get a dog

A dog’s bark can scare any thief regardless of how big or small your dog is. It is not the bite that matters but rather the alertness. A small and fierce Chihuahua would make a better guard dog than a huge but friendly Labrador.

Who says you need Jarvis to keep your home theft proof? Continued vigilance plus a dose of investment can surely get you a long way. 

Dispelling Myths About Your New Air Conditioning Unit

Hand with remote control directed on the air conditioner In the United States, approximately three-quarters of households have air conditioning. These account forabout 6% of all the electricity producedin the country, costing homeowners over $29 billion dollars.

Superior Heating & Coolingshares that the St. Louis heat can be brutally hot and humid in the summer. So if you’re a new homeowner and you just installed your air conditioning system, here are myths that you may encounter about the cooling unit.

Cranking the thermostat to its lowest cools the house faster.

You’d want your air conditioning unit to cool the home instantly as the heat becomes unbearable. One way of doing so would be cranking the thermostat to its lowest setting once you get indoors. This, however, is not true, as the unit will cool your house no matter what the temperature it is set to. It won’t cool the air any faster and it may evenlead to unnecessary expense.

Replacing the filters once per year is OK.

Energy Star recommends changing the filters at a minimum of every 3 months. Filters can get dirty and restrict proper airflow, which forces the unit to work harder. Not only does this waste energy, but it may even be the cause of your system’s breakdown.

Routine maintenance is costly, which is why tuning once a year is enough.

Just because it turns on, it doesn’t mean your cooling system is perfectly fine. It may be working, but without considering the little things, such as weird sounds or odors, these may turn into bigger problems that will cost more eventually. Therefore, you need to schedule regular maintenance and tuning with a reliable technician, as they can prevent problems before they even start.

Air conditioning systems are essential to your indoor comfort. So you need to make sure your AC unit is in good working condition all the time. At the first sign of a problem, don’t hesitate to call your technician right away. Prevention goes a long way toward a better performing, durable cooling system.

Walk in Tubs: A Blessing in Disguise for the Disabled

Modern new small bathroomMany lifestyle articles have undergone a sea of change in today’s technologically advanced world. Renovation and innovation have made their mark on the most luxurious objects and bare necessities, too. Including those are bathroom fixtures that have all become stylish, sleek, convenient, and innovative.

Modernization of bathtubs

The bathtub is one of the most important fixtures in a bathroom. Today, innovation has helped invent a unique and modern concept of walk-in tubs for seniors and disabled individuals, which are both comfortable and convenient. This version of bathtubs has detachable doors and offers that much-needed security and safety. Installing these are the best options you can give your elderly and physically disabled loved one. This can prevent all types of bathroom-related accidents, so what more can you ask for?

The convenience of these tubs

Walk-in tubs have an exceptional seating arrangement and simple-to-use controls. These make them comfortable, efficient, and ideal for an irritation-free bathing session. The handles of the doors are structured to make them easy to use by anyone.

There are many types of walk-in tubs to choose from. As they come in different sizes, colors, and patterns, you have to make the right decision. The main advantage of this tub is users don’t need to climb on to the tub. The floor has a flush that drains the water, so make sure they’re in first before turning on the faucet and filling the tub.

Walk-in tubs are a boon

The design of these tubs is planned to suit the aged and the disabled. The floor of these tubs is skid proof, so you need not worry about your loved ones slipping and falling. The maintenance of these tubs is also easy. They’re compact, so every corner is easily reachable when cleaning. These tubs have many parts made of durable stainless steel.

Make sure that you pick from the many reputed brands available, so that you can be assured of the best quality and features. Don’t settle for less.

Aspects to Consider While Installing Walk In Bathtubs

Modern luxury bathroom with blue interiors.Today there are special types of bathtubs available for seniors and people with mobility issues. These tubs make accessibility easier and help seniors avoid bathroom accidents.

Installing walk-in tubs for the elderly can be done with professional help from Heavenly Walk In Tubs. The installation depends on three factors: the size of your bathroom, the type of accessibility it will give you and whether the installation is an integral part of a renovation project.

The required accessibility 

It is good to remember that every walk-in tub is not accessible by wheelchair. Depending on the accessibility you require, pick the type of tub; this includes corner installed tubs and lateral access tubs. Look at the tub before buying it; this will help you get a better picture of how and where to install the bathtub in your bathroom. 

If you have severe mobility issues and need help to transfer seats, then a lateral access tub is ideal. Thus, the type of accessibility does affect the method and type of installation to a certain extent.

The size of bathroom

The size of the bathroom influences many factors – including the scale of the bathtub, the method of installation, and the type of access of the walk-in bathtub. If you can stand for a while and the bathroom is also too small for a regular walk in tub, you can pick a model that does not take up much space. There are also walk-in tubs that can be installed in the corner of the bathroom while offering sufficient legroom too.

Remodeling project

If you are building your home, then you can plan well and ensure to install a perfect walk-in bathtub in your bathroom. You can also design your bathroom to be big enough to fit in the tub of your liking. However, it is also possible to install a suitable bathtub while remodeling your home. 

There are many sizes and designs to pick from; choose a model that will improve the aesthetic appearance and the functionality of your bathroom. An alcove walk-in tub will give you the freedom to decorate the rest of the bathroom unit.

Call in professionals who can consider all these aspects before installing your walk-in bathtubs.

Old vs New: All About Better Home Security

Man fixing his door lock and knobGone are the days when your option for home security merely involves locks and keys. These days, app-based solutions, keyless entries, and other advanced technologies slowly crept in. Should you stick to your old ways or embrace the new?

New technology is not always the best

Some highly-advanced locking mechanisms are making a big splash in the market today. There are those powered, not by conventional keys, but by smart applications. There are those that only require codes or swipe cards.

If you are serious about your family’s protection, you should not allow pricing to overshadow the best choice. Modern technology locks and security systems are not always the best. At some point, conventional systems may ace their counterparts, depending on how well you put them into good use.

Automation vs. security vulnerabilities

Lock automation is not the all-in-one solution to your security loopholes. Sometimes, you only need to play an active role for your existing systems to work well enough for you.

Highly-advanced systems may have their advantage because you do not always have to be physically present to manage your locks, but you can always make do with what you have by simply being mindful.

Regular maintenance is a must

Your home security requires a watchful eye. You must put your systems through routine maintenance locksmith services to make sure they still function as efficiently as they should. They also need regular inspection to keep minor troubles from causing major breakdowns.

In the end, it does not matter if you are still working with the proper lock and key or you have moved on to smart locks and keyless entries. What is important is how well you care for your locking mechanisms.

Make sure you do not give potential thieves and burglars an easy entryway into your premise. Keep your locks locked, your alarm systems well and working, and your monitoring facilities functional. If you do those and similar tasks, you do not need to switch to modern technology.

To Mow or Not to Mow: Get the Pros to do It!

Clean and green lawnIf you’re the kind of person who avoids lawn maintenance, there’s a good chance that you haven’t experienced the joys of a freshly mowed, well-maintained lawn. But, if you skirt your duties, your yard will look lumpy and grass flowers will start to grow. Not to mention, pests may start flocking to your property; a big no-no if you’re trying to maintain a clean house.

While you may not have the time or the energy to do the deed, yourself, there are lawn mowing services in Minneapolis that are well-worth your money – and not just because they are affordable. Many of them subscribe to the cardinal rules of lawn maintenance and comply with even the highest of customer standards.

Why Have Them Do It

As a homeowner, what you want is to relax on a hammock and not have tall, uncut grass irritate your back, in so doing. But you may not necessarily be keen on cutting the grass yourself, whether it’s due to time constraints, a physical limitation, or you just don’t have the energy for it on account of everything else that you do. These are just some reasons for you to consider enlisting professional mowing services, so you get the benefits of a well-maintained lawn without the hassle. Plus, when you think that the lawn pros will do the watering, edging and weed control, among other things, you know that it will be well-worth your money.

In addition, taking control of your lawn’s growth is surprisingly challenging. Getting into a habit of moving your lawn – and even the expense of buying the right equipment – is daunting enough. The type of grass will also be a big factor on how to do lawn care, all of which is stock knowledge to lawn maintenance professionals, but not necessarily to you.

How another Homeowner Views It

If you are among those who shy away from taking on lawn duties – you aren’t alone. This contributor to Scientific American detailed his disdain for mowing his lawn, which he compared to cleaning a large carpet week in, week out. He also expressed his displeasure over dealing with insects, which is never a fun thing to do.

So, the next time you feel guilty about not looking after your lawn yourself, know that the situation is common to many. Don’t let your lawn go out of control, and don’t hesitate to call the lawn professionals – in the end, you will benefit from their hard work and kick back on our tidy lawn.

Renovating Your Home for Selling

Home Being RenovatedThe external appearance of your home makes a big impression on potential buyers. Sights that cause would-be buyers some alarm are unsightly exterior walls, untidy gardens and cracks in the driveway. Here is a guide for prepping the outside of your home before you have it listed for sale.

Wall

For buyers, cracked and chipped paint means work, money, and possibly other problems. You can simply repaint your walls, but a great addition is to use aluminium cladding. This is durable, lighter than other materials, and is low maintenance. It will not rot, burn or corrode and adds aesthetic value to your exteriors in the same way that a statement wall can add value to an interior. Auckland-based company Nu-wall Aluminium Cladding, says that the material can also be used for garage cladding, counter fronts, interior feature walls, and much more. With cladding on your walls, your home will be protected from the elements and will look better, creating a great first impression for your buyers.

Garden

If you do not have a green thumb and cannot afford to landscape your garden, simply removing weeds and dead plants, mowing your lawn, and raking away the leaves can do wonders. If you cannot wow potential buyers, at least they will not be scared off by the work the garden might require.

If you can spend a bit more cash and are in the mood to be creative, fill in bald spots on the lawn with grass or decorate them with garden pebbles. Tastefully done, it will look like professionals had a hand in your yard.

Driveway

Nowadays, a cracked driveway can be fixed with commercially available fillers and sealants. Try to determine what caused your driveway to crack and look up the filler compatible to your driveway. Clean the crack with a chisel and wire brush, fill in the crack and let it cure. Check the product guide so that you do not use your driveway before it is ready, making the crack worse.

If you want to resurface your driveway, you will find do-it-yourself kits in home improvement stores. You can create patterns for your driveway and use coloured bricks to brighten it up.

Doing a bit of work before you put your home on the market can reap great rewards. Just try to put yourself in the buyers’ shoes and imagine what you would look for when trying to find your new home.