70 articles Tag home

Plumbing Emergencies and Tips on How to Deal with Them

Plumbing problems are uncommon, especially when you live in an old house. While a good plumbing system can run with minimum maintenance, there are still many things that could go wrong. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to deal with a plumbing emergency in the middle of the night.

Knowing how to deal with the most common plumbing emergencies is something that everyone needs to know. Taking the right first steps helps to prevent those emergencies from becoming bigger problems that aren’t always so easy to deal with. To help you prepare for the next plumbing emergency, here are some of the things you need to know.

The Right Tools for the Job

Before you are forced to deal with plumbing-related issues, you want to make sure that the right tools are available in the house. Simple things such as a forced cup and plunger can be very handy; not having them, on the other hand, can make dealing with plumbing emergencies difficult.

You also want to have a big enough bucket and leak-sealing tapes. These let you deal with leaks before you can contact the best plumbers available for the job. At the very least, you can prevent water from spreading before the emergency plumber arrives.

Other tools are more common; you probably have them around the house already. Some Allen keys, wrenches, a set of screwdrivers, and a tool caddy for keeping them organised are all useful tools to own. Complete the set by adding blind caps and towels or rags.

Know Your System

Next, you want to equip yourself with some basic knowledge on how the plumbing system is set up. At the very least, you need to know where the main water shut-off valve is located. When there is a sudden leak, you can shut off the water immediately and prevent further damage.

A good plumbing system also has a number of isolation valves. Their main purpose is so you can shut off the flow of water to certain areas around the house, making dealing with specific issues easier. For example, there is usually a shut-off valve below a sink, so you can isolate the taps without turning off the main’s water supply.

When working with the plumbers, it is also a good idea to have professionals inspect the system thoroughly.

Who to Contact

24/7 services are handy because the best service providers can be contacted at any time. That said, you want to find the best plumbers to contact so you don’t have to go through the hassle of searching for one when you have an emergency to deal with.

Asking the plumbers to inspect the system prior to dealing with an actual emergency is a good idea for this very reason. If you’re looking for a recommendation, you can start by contacting the Bristol plumbers at Plumbing Care Services. You can get a fast quote by filling in the contact form on their website or simply give them a call if you have an emergency. They strive for a 60 minute response time so are a good option to consider if you’re in an emergency.

Having the number of a reputable plumber to hand prior to an actual emergency also allows you to compare quotes and estimates better. By the time you need their services, you already have their day rate and know how much the job is likely to cost.

The Right First Steps

Shutting off the main valve or the isolation valve to a specific area is always a good first step to take when you have a plumbing emergency to deal with. However, it is far from a permanent fix. In fact, leaving the master valve closed for too long is inconvenient.

Remember that you have more tools to use, which means you can deal with many emergencies yourself. In the event of a leak, for instance, you can use Teflon tape to seal the leak temporarily. You can also use blind caps as a quick-fix for broken fixtures.

Wrenches are handy for when you have loose pipes, or when you need to replace some fixtures yourself. You can use a plunger to fix a clogged drain or toilet. Use a cup plunger for smaller drains, or a forced cup plunger for sinks and toilets.

Keep a bucket handy, especially when you need to open fixtures or drains. Even when there is no water visible from the top, the system may still have water inside. Opening pipes and drains could mean letting a lot of water out of the system, something you want to do with buckets and rags handy.

Here’s another reason why knowing who to call is a must: you can ask for first-aid advice over the phone. If you are not sure about what to do in the emergency, contact your local plumber and ask for a step-by-step direction.

With the main issue solved – even when it is only temporarily fixed – you don’t have to worry about the plumbing emergency turning into a bigger problem or damaging other parts of the house. You can then sit back and wait for the plumber of your choice to come and deal with the bigger repair.

Get The House In Order Before Christmas

Get The House In Order Before ChristmasIt’s that time of year when our thoughts are filled with festive plans; where we’re going for Christmas dinner, what’s happening on Boxing Day, who will we see the New Year in with? If you’re someone who likes to host, you may also be thinking about getting your house into shape before the masses descend upon you for eating, drinking and general merriment. But what can you do to spruce the place up without spending a fortune? Here are some ideas:

Flooring

It doesn’t matter how perfect your paintwork is, if your flooring is worn or dated it can ruin the whole look of a house. One of the most economical and hardwearing ways to improve things is by putting down some laminate flooring. It won’t cost a fortune, it will last for decades and you won’t have to worry about someone spilling a glass of Christmas mulled wine on it (which you KNOW will happen if you put a new carpet down instead!)

De-Cluttering

Another thing which can massively improve the look of a house is de-cluttering. If you get rid of stuff you don’t want and keep surfaces as clear as possible, it can even make your rooms look bigger and improve your health because of the reduction in collected dust. If you sell anything of value, you could even make yourself a few quid in the process!

Woodwork

Sprucing up things like skirting boards and dado rails can give the room a much fresher look, and sometimes they simply need a wipe down with a wet cloth or Magic Sponge to get them looking nice again. Look at the bottoms of doors and the areas around handles which can often get grubby over time, especially if you’ve got kids or pets.

Sofas and Cushions

If your sofa cushion covers and throw cushion covers are washable, taking time to stick them through a wash cycle will have two positive benefits – as well as looking cleaner, they’ll smell nice too, which can make your whole living room smell nicer. If they’re compatible with fabric softener, opt for one of the strong smelling concentrated ones for maximum effect.

Carpet Cleaning

If you don’t have the option of ripping up your carpets and laying laminate (if you live in a rented property, for instance), hiring a carpet cleaner is a good alternative. It won’t cost much and will revive the carpets, leaving them looking cleaner and smelling much fresher. You can get spot stain removers and even anti-pet smell solutions which can get your carpet looking and smelling as good as new.

Top 8 Ways to Simplify Your House Cleaning

HouseworkPhoto by rawpixel on Unsplash

House cleaning is a necessary but stressful process for everyone. Generally, it starts off as a seemingly simple chore which becomes increasingly overwhelming as time passes by. And most of us wish that the process could be simpler and less tedious. Well, it could be, but only if you know how to make the process simpler and less stressful. This article focuses on eight ways to make house simpler.

Do a little daily

Staying on top of  small daily tasks makes cleaning so much easier. Most of us prefer to do all our house cleaning in a single day, the main reason being the lack of time during weekdays due to work. However, doing a few small tasks daily such as wiping counters and washing dishes can make a huge difference. The aim here is to avoid building smaller chores into large ones.

Make a Schedule

Staying on top of things is not as easy as it sounds especially because there is a plethora of other stuff which occupies your mind and could cause you to forget that you have to do the dishes or wipe the counters. That is why it is important to have a schedule which clearly shows when you want to get some house chores done. Having a schedule gives you a clear-cut plan of action and prevents lagging or idling around when you have work to be done.

Make and implement rules

 Sometimes, making a few rules could be just what you need to make house cleaning simpler and less stressful. This is especially necessary if people usually make a mess at your home which you have to clean up all by yourself. Some rules would go make it easier to do your job, especially if everyone does theirs. Consider rules like “no shoes on while on the carpet” which could help reduce the number of times you need to vacuum-clean your carpet. An important part of making rules is implementation of the rules since rules without implementation are nothing but words.

Decluttering

 An important part of making cleaning simpler is organization. The main cause of cluttering at home is the fact that everything is kept everywhere. Have places for everything. If possible, label places where certain stuff should be kept like cups, plates, spoon/forks and other household equipment. This also applies to clothes, undies, and shoes.

Clean as you go

This technique is better and easier to use after decluttering. Once clusters have been reorganized, wiping becomes much easier, maybe even fun. Wiping bathroom counters and sinks after taking a bath could be easier after bottles and accessories have been moved out of the way. Also, cleaning dishes after meals make the sink empty which in turn makes wiping easy. However, not all chores are compatible with this technique but it is important to do those that are.

Be consistent

 Consistency is important in making house cleaning simple. If you have work to be done, do the work. There is nothing worse and demotivating than being in work mode and then lagging only to continue later. Being consistent is also about doing a little each day without skipping. Doing some laundry for about ten minutes each day will reduce the overall amount of laundry you have to do during weekends.

Delegate chores 

If dirtying the house is not entirely your fault, then, cleaning the house should not be entirely your responsibility. Make cleaning a family thing. Delegate some of the chores to the kids. Regardless of the age, everyone should be able to contribute in some way (except a toddler, of course). Being a mom doesn’t mean you have to carry the entire load of housecleaning.

Consider outdoor help

 If the burden of work is too much for you, employ a maid or a yardman. Employing outside help will immensely lessen your workload and give you time to actually spend with your kids and train them in the way you would like them to be. However, if you think you couldn’t handle the workload, outside help is unnecessary.

Liz is a part of the Content team at Best Vacuum Expert, sharing expert knowledge and best tips on how to have a clean house.

5 Things to Look for When Buying Property Overseas

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Buying a property overseas is a major decision, but one more people than ever before are opting for. There are places abroad where the properties are much better prices, give better rental yields, but if you decide to live in them yourself, give you a better way of life. The cultures and rules can be very different to in the UK though, so you need to be certain that you can abide by the laws of your adopted country before moving there.

Why Do You Want The Property?

This is the first thing you need to know as it can affect the type of property you choose and which country you decide on. Are you intending to live in it yourself? If so you need to ask yourself about the sort of lifestyle you are after. Do you want calm and peace or to be in the hustle and bustle of a big city? Do you want to be by the sea or tucked away in the countryside? Do you want to live with the locals or be in a holiday resort with other expats?

Perhaps you are buying the property as an investment for the future, and in the meantime will use it as a holiday home for family and friends. Or maybe your aim is to rent it out to a long-term tenant so that you can reap the benefits of the income.

The All Important Location

The importance of the location you choose cannot be underestimated. People have different tastes and interests and you need to find somewhere that is suitable for you.

If you want to live in a tropical paradise you may opt for somewhere like Bali or Java. Both of these islands are in Indonesia and neither of them will cost you a fortune to live there. They have all the local amenities you would expect, and some of the friendliest people in the world. They also have delicious local foods, markets selling locally made crafts, watersports galore, and many other activities suitable for all ages.

If you have a thought of moving to Australia or New Zealand, you might have to reconsider, as they are extremely hard to get accepted into. You have to have a trade o profession that they have a shortage of, such as doctors or dentists, or be very rich indeed. There are a few other exceptions, but the list of those grows shorter every year.

Somewhere such as Singapore could be ideal, although such as Singapore is a bit misleading because this place is unique. It has the most stable government in the whole of Southeast Asia, who actively encourages businesses and immigration. With some of the lowest tax rates in the world, excellent education and the highest quality healthcare, Singapore has been accredited by several worldwide organizations for its high standards.

Apartments in areas such as Tampines – you can see some interesting Tampines facts here – are comfortable, reasonably priced and convenient for all the delights of Singapore. Of course, there are lots of other places like that and it is up to you to do your research and find the perfect place for you.

European locations might seem an easy option, but even they have restrictions on immigrants from outside other EU countries. For instance, Spain will not accept driving licenses from some other countries, New Zealand being one of them. Any New Zealander moving to Spain should take a driving test before using the roads.

Choose your location with care. The house or apartment you live in will be the home you make it, if you have got the location right.

Watch The Costs

You need to be aware that each country has its own set of costs when it comes to buying a property, and agent’s fees are sometimes handled differently. In some countries, it is the seller or owner that pays them, and in others, it is the buyer or the person renting that has to settle their bill. This can be a huge cost and more than the legal bills or local taxes.

If you have purchased the property to rent out, there could be maintenance costs, and who is going to pay the local taxes every year? As an example, in Spain, there is a yearly tax for rubbish collection that is usually paid by the landlord, but not always. You need to agree on everything with any tenant because these tax bills will be in your name as the owner.

Legal Experience

If you intend to use a property lawyer for the deal, you need to be certain that they are qualified to operate within the country you are buying in, and that they are experienced in dealing with international transactions. The alternative is to use a legal firm in the country itself, but beware of any language barrier because sometimes things get lost in translation. It is worth the extra cost of hiring a professional translator to attend any meetings with you. This translator or interpreter should be independent of the law firm you are using, as you will need them to translate any documents and paperwork as well.

Tax Implications

If renting out is your preferred option, you need to speak with a local tax expert. The tax systems vary greatly from country to country and you can end up with huge fines and penalties if it is not done correctly.

The laws regarding inheritance have to be considered as well, as there can be tax implications where these are concerned.

Legal and tax advice for the country you have chosen are crucial if you do not want to end up on the wrong side of the law.

Buying Property Abroad

The prospect of owning some property in another country can be an exciting one and should be totally trouble free if you go about it in the right way. Check the places out by spending some time there first, and take a look at things like the infrastructure as well as the properties. A good local bus service, for instance, can be a boon so that you can get around without having to drive everywhere.

Speak to people that already have property in the area and you will find the benefits and pitfalls, and don’t give up if your first location choice turns out not to be right. The world is a big place and there are plenty more locations you can consider.

5 Benefits to Having an Aquarium at Home for your Children

aquariumPhoto by David Clode on Unsplash

Have you considered using an aquarium as an educational tool? There are many ways that having an aquarium at home will positively stimulate the imagination and affection of your kids! While many parents look into getting an aquarium simply because it’s fun, there are many underlying reasons that reinforce why this is such a good idea.

If you’re wondering exactly what these benefits may be, read through the following article for some guidance and inspiration. You will also find useful links here comprising technical aspects of having an aquarium.

Aquariums Encourage learning

There’s something so new and exciting about having a live fish tank indoors that always fascinates children. As such, an aquarium is a great opportunity to pique the curiosity of your kids, which in term will help fuel their desire to learn more about the world. They’ll start by pondering simple questions such as how do fish breathe or whether they drink water, and from there their natural curiosity should entice them to learn more about fish species and underwater environments.

Stimulates imagination and creativity

Since an aquarium is a self-contained little world inhabited by peculiar creatures and plants, watching this unusual setting will stimulate your children to look beyond reality and imagine other possibilities. This is especially true if you allow them to play an active role in decorating the fish tank and helping with research – like finding the 3 best aquarium timers. It’s also a fun idea going on some field trips for inspiration – such as visiting a large public aquarium before getting your own.

Increases senses of responsibility

Even though they’re a great tool to stimulate imagination and creativity in children, aquariums are also a great way to encourage your children to keep their feet firmly planted in reality. After all, those are living creatures swimming around in the fish tank, and they have to be properly fed and taken care of. By recruiting the assistance of the young ones, you will manage to get them involved in the project while subtly exercising their sense of responsibility.

Helps with negative emotions

There’s something incredibly soothing about an aquarium that seems to have a positive effect on anxiety levels while promoting healthy bonding. Children who help manage a domestic aquarium will tend to connect with fish and regard them as friends. This on-going experience will provide a valuable outlet to help dismiss negative emotions such as frustration and sadness.

Creates moments of magic

For a growing child, a aquarium can be truly a magical and wonderful thing, since it’s so unlike everything else around them during any given day. Having the opportunity to interact with fish and observing them enjoying their underwater setting can be a magical and character-building experience. It will provide your kids with many happy memories as well as a window that allows them to peek into the underwater world to watch some of its fantastic creatures.

Starting Your Own Business as a Stay at Home Mum

Being a stay at home mum can seem like a full-time job. Sometimes, though, you want or need a paying job alongside minding your own children. Luckily, you don’t have to give up being a stay at home mum to have a job.

Instead, you could always try starting your own business as a stay at home mum. You’d be surprised how many options you have when you are trying to choose what business model is best for you. Here, we will look at just 7 options to help you get inspired.

1. Child Care Service

If you don’t mind watching more children than just your own during the day, you could always start a child care service. After all, you already have things that a child around the age of yours or younger would need such as toys or sippy cups so you won’t incur too many starting costs.

You can make a lot of money off of this idea because there are plenty of mums and dads that have to work during the day. With this business model, you aren’t dependent on people making purchases on a whim, you’re serving a necessity.

2. Etsy Store

For those mums who love to craft or sew, something like an Etsy store might be the best option for you. Here, you can sew clothes or craft anything you can think of and sell it to interested persons.

Running a shop is like a running a business. Therefore, branding your Etsy shop is important. Logo, header image, product photography, social media presence, SEO are all important parts of your Etsy marketing strategy. Moreover, when creating your handmade goods, you will want to make sure to add a tag with your own logo or classic printed ribbon to the items you make. This way, they are marked as uniquely yours. This also helps to cut down on someone buying your items to simply resell them as their own handmade items later.

3. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is exactly the same as any other assistant. You would do things like handle phone calls, scheduling, or anything that a standard assistant would do. The major difference is that you do it from a distance. Instead of being at your client’s side all day, you would be in near constant contact with them via phone or the internet and you would take care of the tasks they set out for you.

4. Financial Planning

If you have a knack for numbers, you could also start a business in which you help others work a budget and live the best they can within their means. You’d be surprised at how many families would appreciate a little help planning their finances.

A great idea would be to learn to help others budget for college. After all, this is one of the biggest financial decisions a family has to make and they might see some help planning as a wise investment.

5. Teach Music

For those mums who are interested in music, you could always consider being a teacher for private lessons for the instrument of your choice. Not only is this a great way to make some extra money, you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of it too!

In addition, teaching music will help you to keep your own skills sharp. This is because you will be teaching the basics and the theory behind an instrument to someone else, forcing you to practice these rudimentary skills once again.

6. Pet Boarding

Much like child minding, if you love animals, you could always consider animal boarding as a stay at home business. With this business, you would take in other people’s pets and watch them while the owners are away.

You might want to have some restrictions on the animals you’ll take in, though. For instance, you could only take in trained pets. After all, you don’t want to accidentally allow an aggressive animal into your home when you have children around.

7. Freelance Writing

For those mums with writing as a passion, you could always write from home. This is a job with a lot of open opportunities. Whether you want to dedicate your time to writing novels or articles, there is a market for it.

It might take time with freelance writing, as with the other business ideas on this list, to build up a client base. If you’re patient, though, you will find these business ideas can become quite lucrative.

How To Stop the Health Damages of Noise Pollution At Home

noise pollutionNoise pollution brings about negative effects to human health. Especially for those living in areas where noise has already become part of their daily routines, addressing the issue of noise pollution should be considered a primary concern. Let’s look at some effective tips to protect us from health risks caused by noise pollution in our homes.

Brief Background on Noise Pollution

Globally, noise pollution is considered one of the most pressing environmental issues. The World Health Organization mentions that exposure to noise pollution usually results to health risks such as heart illnesses, cognitive abnormalities on children, and sleep deprivation that could lead to serious mental health disorders.

Responding to the threats of noise pollution has become a trend in global politics. For one, the United States Environmental Protection Agency summarizes the provisions of the Noise Control Act of 1972, which identifies the major contribution of the transport sector and business establishment in the problem.

Techniques To Protect Yourself From Noise Pollution At Home

The home should serve as a relaxing haven to rest our tired bodies, but that won’t be possible when ambient sounds disrupt the tranquility. Here are some tips to control the noise in your home:

Install soundproof windows

One of the best and most effective ways to soundproof your home is to install soundproof windows. Laminated glass or a combination of glass-plastic-glass are perfect materials for windows to reduce noise. This works well in homes that need soundproofing against plane noise pollution or any disturbing outside sound.

Ensure that windows are fit perfectly

The entry of noise is lessened if the gaps in your windows are lessened, or better, if they are completely sealed.  Furthermore, choosing perfectly fit windows makes it easier to manage air and noise pollution, which are common issues when a home is located in areas where transportation modes pass by.

Use thick curtains

Although using thick curtains is certainly not enough, doing so goes a long way in blocking the noise you need to spare yourself or family from. Choose stylish drapes that not only reduce heat from sunlight but also block the noise from the outside.

Consider using thick carpets

Whether it’s your bedroom or an elegant loft, putting carpets may effectively absorb ambient noise entering your home. Carpets are not only a stylish way to decorate your home, but are also effective pieces for soundproofing.

Use personal protective gear

If you have no control over the source of the noise and if you cannot afford window or carpet installation, your next best solution would be to wear earphones and similar protective equipment. These things can protect your ears from constant noise and are much cheaper than other options.

Ask help from authorities

You may approach government agencies or local authorities to handle the noise situation, especially when it’s beyond what you can control. In most cases, they can address the sources of noise and allow you (and your neighbors) to enjoy a more peaceful community.

We all dream of sufficient rest whenever we are home, and this can only be achieved if we reduce unnecessary noise coming from the outside environment. Although we cannot do anything about most sources of noise, the least you can do is soundproof your homes. That way, you can protect yourself from the health damages of noise pollution.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/usa-manhattan-contrasts-new-york-1777986/

Are You Ready To Buy A House?

Buying a house is a big step to make. It’s the time when you can exercise your true independence, with all the choices and decisions on your side, as well as have all the say in where your money goes. And because of that, it’s something a lot of people look forward to in their life! We can’t blame hordes of young couples and burgeoning families for having huge house plans, right down to the shade of the skirting board around the edge of their lovingly cluttered living room.

But there’s a lot you’re going to have to go through before you get to this stage; mainly, you’re going to have to be able to manage every facet of buying and running your own household without anything to go easy on you the way a rented apartment is easier to manage! And whilst getting both you and your house ready to sell is hard, being ready to buy a new home is still going to be twice as hard! After all, there’s a much bigger chance of a loss occurring here, and that’s never a good start to settling down!

So let’s stop and ask ourselves a few questions before we take the leap into buying a house. Here’s some of the best ones to consider first (but this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means!).

A sight a lot of people dream about… Not something you’d want to make a mistake over purchasing however!

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Are Your Bills All Paid Up?

Because if they are, it’s a good sign you’re managing daily living from month to month, and you’re unlikely to experience any trouble in continuing with this lifestyle. And if that’s already comfortable on your budget, then maybe you could upgrade a little? Move up in life with the size of your home, and finally get those sea views from the top window you’ve always wanted? After all, being able to afford the amenity consumption you’re going to be using for the rest of your life at such a steady rate already is always a good sign! Don’t worry, the amount of money you’re paying out rarely changes.

So if the bills coming in and out of your household are paid immediately from your direct debit, and you’re still storing about 20% of your income away in a savings account, you’ve got some breathing room to get used to standing in a bigger living space with bigger living responsibilities. But of course, only you know how finely you’re cutting it each month with your cash flow, so this readiness is completely up to you to decide. Just let yourself think about this symbolism for a while…

Could You Afford a Mortgage?

Mortgages. The scariest monster of the real estate world. The idea that stops a lot of people from finally going all in with their savings on a house of their dreams. The mortgage is the loan that guarantees you’re going to be living in comfort in a space you’ve been building up to your whole adult life; you know, as long as you have the ability to keep up with repayments and the right projection when you head down to the bank with your current credit score.

So, can you afford a mortgage? With all the different loaning options and repayment amounts out there, who is to really say? Well, your local bank is going to have a huge stake in this, as well as any trustworthy lender you can find online. And most of these people run on the same loan calculating formula, even if you don’t know what that is. Sometimes it feels like you need to have at least ten degrees in the finance sector to understand anything to do with money and how it makes the world go round!

But there’s a quick check you can make yourself here, as long as you have the information at your fingertips. Open up your email account and get some of your records out: it’s prediction time for your household! Use a mortgage and loan calculator to make sure you’re in with the right chance for affording that home you saw in the estate agent’s window, the one you’ve been practically drooling over every time you passed it in the street, and sneakily checked no one had put their own interest down on it yet.

Are You Itching for a Change?

Change is one of the most revitalising things in this world, and that means a lot of people are itching for it. However, a lot of people can’t afford to scratch such a tremendous itch like this, and likely won’t be able to for a long time. And that’s an unfortunate reality of the real estate world, and one you’re probably worried the most about, even amongst all the changes you’re going to have to adapt to when you actually do move.

But when people want a change, and truly want one, they’re going to go out of their way to make sure it happens. And whilst that might not take the form of being able to move and live elsewhere quite yet, it’s still an effective process that’ll change the way they think about their home. Take a leaf out of their book! If you’re in a position to buy a house, and you absolutely know for sure it’s what you want because of how stale your current surroundings are, this is the time for you to make your move. It’s a little point, but it’s often your emotional and spiritual wellbeing that tips people over the edge when it comes to purchasing a house of their own.

Feeling Ready Yet?

There’s no harm in not being sure, but make sure you don’t take too long to think about it. Ruminating over the same decision for years on end is never a good way to live your life! Take your chance now if you know you’re in the position to make the right household change.

Improving Your Home’s Kerb Appeal

kerb appealMost people agree that when they’re viewing houses, they make their mind up within a few seconds of seeing it from the outside. This means that it doesn’t matter if your house is a palace on the inside, if it lacks kerb appeal, you won’t get the sale. There are lots of things you can do to improve your house’s kerb appeal, and these are five of them:

Update Your Exterior

It’s a well-known fact that pebble dashing is one of the least popular exterior wall coatings, but even rendered walls and brick can look past their best. Take an objective look at your exterior walls and decide if they could do with sprucing up, as this investment could pay back easily when you sell your property.

Front Door

Front doors are the main entrance to your house and one of the first things that people see, so if your UPVC is looking tatty or a wooden door needs a rub down, this can affect how people view the whole property. Updating a door can be as simple as giving it a clean or a lick of paint, costing very little but improving your chances of a sale.

Lawns

If your lawn is overgrown, patchy or full of weeds, it’s going to make your property look tatty. It takes very little effort to sort out a front garden and an afternoon of graft could make your house look SO much smarter. Invest in a few plants or ornaments to give your garden a nice finish. If you’re really keen on giving your garden a proper makeover, re-laying turf would also be a winner.

Window Coverings

Technically, this is an interior thing, but you need to take a really objective look at your window coverings from the outside of your property and decide if they do your property justice. Blinds which look tatty or net curtains which have seen better days not only make a property look less-than-clean, they also make the whole place look dated, and can make it really hard to envision a modern look. Replacing nets with privacy film on half of the window, or even investing in shutters, can give your property a modern, luxurious feel and can make your home look fresher with very little effort. At the VERY least, wash and rehang your nets so they look clean and new!

Woodwork

If your home has wooden window frames or wooden fascias, are they looking well looked after? Wood needs to be cared for, be it with varnish or paint and can degrade quickly if it’s not, so giving them a rub-down and re-paint will not only make them look better, but it will show prospective buyers that you’ve cared for the property too – it can be a huge turn-off if it looks like buyers will need to do a lot of work on a house, especially if they’re looking to move straight in and not do any work.

Do you have any great tips for improving the kerb appeal of a home? Leave me a comment below.

Your Style Guide to find the Best Rug

rugWhen it comes to choosing the best rug for your home, each rug style will offer something unique to help keep your decor focused. Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting, wood flooring or tile, adding a stylish rug to your home will not only give your home a finished look but protect your floors too. Below we discuss some of the top rug styles and where they are best placed to help you find your ultimate rug.

Modern rugs

Modern area rugs are a brilliant neutral design element to help centre or focus a living space. Opt for cut-loop rugs or low-pile hook-and-loop in neutral hues and with subtle or solid patterns. The secret behind decorating with modern rugs is to allow the rug to complement your décor and furniture rather than overpowering it. The great thing about modern rugs is their versatility. There are so many variations and styles available from this one trend. Consider, geometric prints, ombre and striped.

Vintage rugs

Vintage and vintage-style rugs are always on trend. From hip bohemian lofts to traditionally styled homes, vintage rugs are making a statement across home interiors. If you want to splurge on a truly vintage carpet, then it’s going to be quite an investment. However, if you’re simply on the lookout for a quality rug that has the allure of an antique to add style and interest to your space, then opt for the budget-friendly option of a distressed traditional-style rug.

Likewise, traditional rugs are a very popular choice, with designs including Persian motifs designed with intricacy such as flowers, vines and scrollwork. Traditional rugs generally have inner borders filled with intricate patterns, which make them perfect for centring and defining spaces such as living and dining rooms.

Bohemian rugs

Bohemian rugs are both stylish and whimsical. They usually include bold designs, vibrant colour palettes, flat woven techniques, distressed patterns and natural fibre constructions. If you want to achieve a Bohemian look with a rug, the key is to layer traditional antiqued carpets with natural, fibre, flat-woven rugs. You should choose rugs with distressed design and fringe details to capture the boho vibe.

Moroccan rugs

Moroccan rugs are both distinct and recognisable and go perfectly with a range of different interior design styles. Search for rugs that feature the authentic zig-zag or criss-cross pattern of traditional Moroccan rugs, or tie in a bolder Moroccan pattern such as latticework or geometrical trellis.

Transitional rugs

Transitional style rugs fall directly between contemporary and traditional design. By incorporating both modern and classic design elements, transitional rugs showcase the perfect balance of both simplicity and sophistication alongside muted colour palette and traditional patterns like large-scale vines and scrollwork, or, distressed oriental motifs.

Southwest rugs

Southwestern rugs are known for their flat-woven and blanket-like texture. The patterns are typically inspired by tribal motifs and patterns which originate in the southwest regions of the United States. These patterns tend to feature rich earth-tone hues and heavy geometrics. Southwestern area rugs are typically used in boho chic design and rustic design. In many cases, they have been modernised with jewel tones and bright neon hues to complement contemporary interiors.

So there you have it, your style guide to finding the best rug for your home, whatever the interior style you’ve gone for!