Category Archives: House and Home

Three Ways to Grow Your Kitchen Fitting Business

Modern white kitchenSpecialising in kitchen fitting is a great way to narrow down your target market and focus on providing quality services. While this differentiates you from other interior designers, it can also come with its fair share of challenges, one of them being expansion.

Expanding a kitchen fitting business isn’t easy, especially if you are based in a low-population area. You will also have trouble finding qualified staff to install kitchen cabinet units and other items if you have more clients than you can handle. No matter the challenge you are facing, these tips can help you to take your business to the next level:

1. Expand Your Market

In a kitchen fitting business, your typical client is someone who needs the entire kitchen revamped. Although you can earn more money from this type of client, targeting such a narrow market will leave you with very little business for large parts of the year. Change your business model to offer more than just a renovation. Start offering specific services for the dining room, cabinetry, cooking area, and more. You can also provide consultation and design plans to people who intend to remodel their kitchens through DIY projects.

2. Expand Your Product and Service Range

Team up with reliable manufacturers that can provide a wide range of solutions for different clients. A portfolio that features different kinds of kitchen designs will undoubtedly be attractive to potential clients. You can also offer storage options for bedrooms and other areas of the home. Be bold enough to introduce any service or product range that can boost your market as long as it is related to your current work.

3. Increase Your Staff

If there are many clients and your work is becoming overwhelming, increasing your staff presents a better chance of growing your business than becoming picky on the projects that you undertake. Analyse the costs of taking on additional staff compared to what you will earn from an increased number of projects. If you aren’t ready to hire full-time employees, you should consider hiring on a part-time basis for a cut of the costs.

Growing your business requires special attention to all the variables in the process. These tips will help you overcome challenges that can hinder you from expanding your kitchen fitting business.

Three Things to Keep in Mind When Scouting for a New Home

family happily owning their new homeBuying a new home can be part exciting and part stressful. It is exciting because you can finally have your own space; it can even be the biggest purchase of your life—a hallmark of being an adult. However, it can be stressful, especially when you are scouting for a property.

It can be quite overwhelming, as you will need to look into different factors and talk to a lot of people. But there are some easy ways to go about it; the key is that you need to go for what matters—the essentials. Here are some of them:

The Location

Primarily, three things matter in real estate: location, location, location.  So when you are looking for a property, you need to make sure that it is close to major amenities and facilities, such as schools and hospitals. If you are in Kansas, there are many cities and communities you can go for.  For one, you can find new homes for sale in Overland Park.

The Theme

Home aesthetics is one of the things that influence the price of a property. So if you want to invest, you need to make sure that your home is really beautiful. You may want to choose properties with timeless themes; minimalism is on the rise, so you may also consider getting a Zen-inspired home.

The Neighborhood

Attend an open house to get a feel of the neighborhood. See if it is close to major facilities and amenities. More importantly, you have to find out if the neighborhood is safe, especially when you are planning to raise your kids.

These are just some of the things to keep in mind when buying a new home. To make things easier, you have to work with reliable professionals, such as brokers and real estate agents.

3 Things that Can Influence Your Fence Costing

Aluminum fence next to treesSteel and aluminum fences give homes a more regal vibe due to their ornate appearance. The expected tradeoff of this is the cost; it’s common to assume that aluminum fencing options are costlier than other picket fence material choices. However, it’s good to note that a few considerations may mean that this style of fencing may be more suitable for your needs. Consider these factors the next time you’re computing aluminum fence cost.

1. Style and Maintenance Needs

The first thing to consider is the style you want for your home. Aluminum costs more than other materials, but it does yield an elegant look that can last years with low maintenance. This could benefit homeowners who want elegance that doesn’t cost too much in the long run.

2. The Shape of Your Yard

Your yard also has a big impact when calculating costs. Corner posts are more expensive, so it could mean a lot if your house is a corner lot or not. Another thing to note is if you have an irregularly shaped lot. Fences don’t always have to follow the property line if it means adding to unnecessary costs.

3. Any Additional Inclusions

Apart from the land’s shape, there are also a few other considerations that can drive up the cost. Driveways should be considered in the computation. Driveway gates can be either manual or automated, and the difference between costing can double, especially if you want it to match your aluminum fence. It pays to canvass costing, especially if you have this consideration in mind.

Whether you’re dealing with budget constraints or looking for the best option for your home’s fencing and exterior look, these considerations should be part of your deliberation with your designer. Fences give your home’s façade a unified look, so it should be a big part of your overall decision-making process.

Three Things to Do After a Flood

front porch of house floodedFlooding can have devastating effects on your property and the health of your loved ones. Floods can make people homeless. In addition, stagnant water can harbor wild animals and facilitate the spread of diseases.

You can do many things to repair water damage and recover from the flood. You need to determine the kind of restoration required to make your house livable again.

Pump the Water Out

Stagnant water will degrade your walls, weaken your home’s foundation, damage your furniture, and create a perfect breeding ground for mold and mosquitoes. It might also cause diseases. Make sure to pump out all the floodwater from your house when the heavy rain stops. Try to make your home a dry as quickly as you can. You can use absorbent material to suck the remaining water on your floors.

Avoid Accidents

Turn off your appliances to prevent more disasters from occurring. Make sure to check for any gas leakage or damaged electrical wiring. You will also need to check whether your plumbing system and buy wading gear to avoid exposing your family and yourself to waterborne diseases.

Insurance

Take pictures of your house and document the damage. This will come in handy when filing a flood claim against your insurance company. Also, find out if your home is in a disaster-prone area since the government provides financial resources to hurricane survivors to aid them in rebuilding their lives.

In the end, floods can be devastating, but you should not hang around to save your belongings. Your priority should be your safety. Find a secure place to stay until the restoration is complete.

Possible Causes of Water Damage and How to Repair Them

Flood down the stairs of the houseAs a homeowner, always look out for possible signs of water damage in your house. Any signs should be treated with utmost urgency. Do not wait until you wake up to a flooding living room to take action.

Leaking roof

Leaking roofs are a major cause of water damage in many homes. The leakage may be caused by aging roofs that begin to develop holes that allow the seepage of water. In that case, expert roofers at On Top Roofing suggest that you contact a company that offers roof repair services in Worcester to come and conduct the repairs. The leaking sheets may be sealed or replaced altogether depending on the severity of the damage. Damp ceilings act as an indicator of a leaking roof. When not corrected, the water may begin penetrating through the sealing into your house resulting in more water damage.

Faulty gutters

Faulty gutters are common culprits in a majority of water damage cases. That is because they allow rainwater to flow directly onto the walls of your house. The result is a weakened structure and a repulsive odor. Soon, you may begin to notice growing mold or peeling paint as with the case of wooden and stone walls respectively. Any leaking gutters ought to be sealed to prevent the occurrence of water damage.

Crawl space

A crawl space is an open area under a house that is usually occupied by pipe systems. During heavy rains, rainwater tends to seep through the ground and into the crawl space. With constant rain, the level of water in the crawl space rises until it comes into contact with the wooden floor of a house. It is then that water damage begins. A crawl space should fit with a drainage channel to prevent the collection of water.

Sometimes, it is not possible to know that your roof is leaking until you notice a damp ceiling. However, upon noticing it, act swiftly and call your roofing experts to come and repair it.

How to Improve Air Quality in Your Home

Living room with door opening onto patioHave you ever entered a room and felt like fainting? This feeling is usually brought about by air pollution. Poor air quality can aggravate asthma and cause problems with your cardiovascular system.

Given all these adverse effects of polluted air, it is essential to understand the potential causes as well as know what is needed to improve air quality. Contractors such as Conduct Air Conditioning can help you apply quality fixes to your indoor air issue. However, there are also other ways to improve indoor air quality.

House-plants

Do you know that you can use house-plants to purify the air in your home? Varieties of house-plants have been scientifically proven to absorb toxins and clean the air that you breathe. Ensure to identify which plants emit carbon dioxide at night so that you can place them in your living room and not your bedroom. Also, make sure that you do not over water your plants because this might cause them to grow mould.

Humidity

Check your plumbing for leaks that might be causing humidity and mould growth. Spores from mould are often airborne and responsible for many respiratory problems, especially in people with allergies. Regularly aerate your rugs to avoid mould growth.

Ventilation and Cleaning

Keep your windows open during the day to increase air circulation and prevent the build-up of musty scent. Make sure that you leave your wet shoes outdoors until they are thoroughly dry. When it comes to upholstery, ensure that they are adequately vacuumed to remove pet hair. In case of a spill on your rugs or upholstery, you should use a vacuum cleaner to remove the moisture.

Finally, make a point of installing humidity detectors in your home. These gadgets can help you know when the air is too dry or humid. By paying close attention to air quality, you will improve the comfort of your home as well as your overall health.

4 Ways to Curb Mold Growth After a Water Disaster

Water Damage Due to MoldsMold is a type of fungi that grows in dark and damp places. It is dangerous for the health and is a cause of respiratory problems. When water seeps into the building either from flooding or plumbing leakages, it is an opportunity for mold to grow due to moisture and humidity.

It is, therefore, important to get water damage attended to immediately in Riverton, UT. Where you cannot get immediate help, use the tips below to curb mold growth as you wait for restoration services.

Remove water as quickly as possible

To prevent further seepage into the building, drain standing water as quickly as possible. Renting a specialized water vacuum will help you remove it faster. To avoid contamination in case of water from the sewer, wear protective gear before touching it.

Dry wet surfaces

It is possible to have mold growing in your home within 48 hours of water exposure. To prevent this, you need to eliminate moisture by keeping the surfaces dry. Mop the surfaces dry using mops. You could also use electric fans to help do this quickly.

Remove damp items from the area

Remove rugs and carpets from the floor since they take longer to dry. Clean and dry them thoroughly. Also remove soaked paper materials, such as books, magazines and newspapers as they easily attract mold.

Enhance air circulation

Stagnant, humid air encourages mold spores to multiply, spread and grow. Ensure there is adequate circulation to prevent mold growth by opening windows and doors. You could also use a ventilator and fans.

How well you handle the situation after experiencing water damage will determine if you will experience further property damage and health risks. Be swift in taking the measures mentioned here, and ensure professionals come in soon enough.

Types of Concrete Used for Modern Homes Construction

house being constructedHome ownership is on virtually everyone’s bucket list. Constructing a house from the ground up is unfortunately cumbersome and time-consuming, hence not a good option for many families. The seemingly easier option for would-be homeowners is buying one.

Among the critical aspects you consider when purchasing a home is its construction material. A significant number of new homes for sale here in Kansas City, MO are built using concrete. Concrete is designed to withstand noise pollution and extreme weather conditions and is exceptionally durable and energy-efficient.

Here are the primary types of concrete used in modern constructions.

Panel Concrete Systems

There exist two categories of panel systems: tilt-up and precast concrete. Precast concrete is factory-produced and comprises concrete, electrical wiring and steel reinforcing. The assembly of tilt-up concrete is done at the construction site.

Panel concrete systems are ideal for contemporary design constructions in flat areas.

Insulated Concrete Forms

These construction materials commonly abbreviated ICFs consist of concrete poured on an interconnected insulating material such as interlocking planks, panels or blocks. ICF is renowned for its exceptional insulation and considerably lowers a home’s heating and cooling energy consumption.

This type of concrete is also lightweight and uncomplicated to work with and used to create customized home designs.

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete

This is the newest material for home construction. It consists of a precast non-organic, air-tight structural mix into which concrete is applied and expands trapping air pockets. This results in a lightweight building material.

Autoclaved aerated concrete has exceptional fire resistance and can be cut into accurate units. The trapped air pockets have insulating properties negating the need for additional home insulation.

Buying a home will be among your life’s most significant undertakings. Opting for one built with the above types of concrete is the best guarantee to getting your money’s worth. Rather than going it alone, work with a residential company that understands these materials and can advise you on the best for your locality.

How to Save Money When Building a Home

house under constructionBuying a house, especially in a prime location such as Burnside, is expensive, but there are ways to own your home at a lower cost — building a home instead of buying, for example. Before you build a home, though, you’ll need a piece of land in a location that is good enough for you and your family.

In addition, you need a real estate developer who understands your requirements and can build your home according to your specifications. It is easy to decide on the type of home you want, but it isn’t simple to keep your requirements under your budget.

With proper planning and the right choices, you can build a home of your dreams without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Wait for several bids.

Don’t settle for contractors who don’t meet your requirements. Instead, wait for several bids to flow in before you consider the budget, timeline, and how well they understand your requirements.

If a contractor seems reasonable but has quoted a price that is a bit higher than what you expected, make sure to keep in touch and try negotiating adjustments.

2. Consider house and land packages.

House and land packages not only make it easier for you to own a home, but they also make it cheaper. Financial organisations and lenders will waive associated fees for such developments most of the time.

The only fees you would then have to pay are stamp duty on the value of your land. Besides, you will be in a position to claim depreciable assets and the construction.

3. Open floor plan.

The more walls in your home, the more you will spend on construction. Opt for an open floor plan that allows you to have more space at a lower cost. Also, you get to use the floors in any way you see fit. Decorating an open floor plan is also easy, and your dream home won’t feel cramped.

When constructing your dream home, you shouldn’t be frugal, but you shouldn’t go overboard with your spending either. It is important to work with how much you are willing to spend and build a nice home that is within your budget.

Don’t Use Just Any Type of Roofing When Building a House

2 guys installing roofMany people overlook the important role a roof plays in keeping their house, family, and possessions safe from the elements. Unfortunately, such an oversight could cause you to incur hefty losses if the roof becomes faulty.

Attempting to cut corners when installing a roof heralds a disaster, warns a metal fabrication expert in Salt Lake City. Your mistakes would catch up to you within a few years. The roof is your ultimate defense against all that Mother Nature throws your way. It must withstand rainstorms, snow, gales, and even blistering sunshine.

To this end, it keeps you and your household safe in the face of inclement weather. It’s important to keep this armor free of chinks. Find out how.

Get the right materials

While there are many roofing materials available, you need to practice caution when making your selection. It’s only natural to settle for the most affordable variety when operating on a smaller budget. Unfortunately, the price shouldn’t be the only consideration point.

You need to consider the climate, the style of the house, durability, and maintenance when making your choice. The last thing you want is your new roof springing a leak or falling apart in just a few years. Depending on the materials you choose, a roof can serve you for more than 50 years.

Install it just right

Some fly-by-night roofers might offer their services for half the cost of your local contractor’s estimate. It is in your best interest to avoid retaining their services. Such contractors might not be skilled enough to handle the design and installation phase. Installation mistakes become quite apparent during the bad weather, long after the contractor has moved on to another area or worked on another project.

Going with your local roofer is the best option since they have a reputation to maintain. Their work may come with a guarantee, which would save you thousands of dollars in repair costs in case the roof develops a problem within the warranty period.

The roof over your head plays a big part in keeping your family and possessions safe. That’s why you need to practice every caution when installing it, especially when you’re building a house.