Category Archives: House and Home

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.

For Pet Parents: The Ideal Room Temperature for Dogs

Dog and cat on the floorSetting the room temperature almost always depends on the family’s comfort. But there’s probably one member of your family that’s often forgotten to be taken into consideration: your dogs.

The General Rule

Dogs are able to regulate their own body temperatures. As a result, they can easily adapt to the room temperature they’re in and therefore be comfortable, much like humans.

What can mess up their comfort level, though, is the impact of rapid temperature changes in the body in response to temp changes in the room. That’s why Desert Star Heating and Air recommends that it’s best to leave the thermostat setting at 78 degrees Fahrenheit during hot, sweltering weather and at 69 on cold days. This is the ideal setting.

But if you live in states that experience extreme climates, such as Utah, you may need to try out some room temperatures to get what suits best for your dogs. Check for any problems in your thermostat.

There are instances when thermostat problems cause one part of the house to get very cold, while the others remain at the same temp. This can affect your dog’s comfort level. And worse, it could break your AC.

Get AC repair specialists in West Valley to make sure your system regulates the right temperature for you and your dog’s comfort.

The Right Temp

While there’s an “ideal temperature” for your furry friends, the “just-the-right” temperature really depends on a lot of variables. Like the dog’s age. The age of your pet dictates how well they’re able to make use of their senses and control body temperature.

The older your pet is, the less likely they’re able to adapt well to sudden temperature changes. Another factor is their breed characteristics. Your dog’s physical and genetic features also affect temperature regulation.

For instance, dogs such as Chow Chows and Labrador retriever have double coats, so they have extra insulation that helps them get warmer. If your dog doesn’t have that physical protection, they might be more vulnerable to the cold and therefore should guide you in adjusting your room temperature.

Don’t forget your furry friends when regulating temperature at home. You should consider them when considering ‘family’s’ comfort.

Eating Outside: Creating an Ideal Environment

outdoor diningThere is nothing left to do but enjoy the great outdoors when the weather is nice and warm. Visiting the beach, having a picnic at the park, or canoeing in a lake are some of the common ways to make the most of the good weather. If you want to enjoy the sunshine and open air in the comfort of your own property, outdoor or al fresco dining is one great way to do it.

Dealing with the Drawbacks to Outdoor Dining

The main problem with dining outdoors, of course, is the risk of getting burnt with too much sunshine. While it is advisable that you, your family, or guests should wear sunscreen, it is also important to create the right environment that can make the al fresco dining experience a pleasurable one. This means having a shade that can offer adequate protection from the sun. There are different ways to do this:

  • An outdoor/café table with a shade or an umbrella
  • Picnic benches with shade
  • Stylish patio umbrellas
  • Awnings/retractable awnings

Creating a Shady Environment with Retractable Awnings

Liberty Home Products explains that retractable awnings offer a practical and stylish way to create a shady environment in your garden or any outdoor space. The good news is you can choose awnings made with durable and high-quality fabrics that offer superior UV protection. Your choice of shade or awning can also complete your outdoor living area and make it inviting for friends and family members.

Increase the Amount of Time You Spend Outdoors

With the right shade, you can extend the length of time you and your family members are able to stay outdoors. Then, you can further add lighting, decors, and other accessories that can help everyone be comfortable outside regardless of the weather or time of the day. You can even choose retractable awnings with motion sensors or other technologies to make the most of your shade.

Host an unforgettable al fresco dining with stylish umbrellas and awnings. Contact an awning provider today and create a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor space for you and your family.

Moving Out: What are the Things You Need to Know

Independent young adult living happilyMoving out of your parents’ house is a big step towards a greater responsibility. The feeling of independence is exciting but it can be overwhelming too. That’s why it’s important to gear up before making this big leap in your life. Fortunately, there are certain ways you can make your transition easier.

Find the Right Place

When choosing the right place to live in, you have a lot of options. Your choices may include the type of place you’ll get and the location you want to live in. All of these depend on your budget and lifestyle.

For most young professionals, they prefer living in or near the city. There are new apartments in South Brisbane that are strategically located in the centre of the city’s most liveable suburb.

Such units are close to business hubs and provide them greater accessibility to establishments, like restaurants, supermarkets, cafes and banks. This minimises the inconvenience and expenses in moving around, running errands and going to offices.

Organise Your Finances

In some Australian families, parents choose to support kids financially even after they move out. For some, leaving home would mean leaving the financial security of their parents. Whichever situation you’re in, it’s important to have your finances organised.

You should know your expenses for the week to help you budget your money. Saving even a small amount regularly can contribute in case there are untoward incidents like loss of a job or sudden expenses that you need to pay.

Take note of these basic expenses you’ll face as part of independence: everyday meals, rental fees, bills for electricity, phone, cable TV, and the Internet. You should be able to pay these on time to keep your credit rating healthy.

Learn Basic Chores

Moving out means you’ll live on your own. This is your time to take the responsibilities of doing house chores such as cooking, cleaning, laundry and washing the dishes. Before moving, make sure you know these basics chores.

Learning a recipe or two will also be helpful once you’re living in your own place. This will restrain you from buying food from a restaurant and prevent your finances to drain fast. It will also be helpful to know how to prepare at least your favourite dish.

Moving out of your parents’ house can be overwhelming. But taking these factors into consideration can make your big move a little more bearable.

Common Drain Issues and Cost of Repair

Pipe being fixed with wrenchA house’s plumbing system is one of the most overly used parts of the home. If not maintained regularly, the network of pipes and tubes could face severe blockage and fail. Homeowners prepare for these major repairs, but sometimes the extent of the damage can be serious.

Cost of Unblocking Drains

Simple drain unblocking tasks are often inexpensive because most households would go the DIY route. It would perhaps require only a plunger or at least $20 for a bottle of unblocking solution. In general though, a plumber is paid an hourly rate of at least $45. In some upscale locations, a plumber’s hourly rate could go as high as $150/hour. Moreover, the severity of the blockage would increase the cost of a service. Complex drain blockage solutions like clearing the main lines are typically more expensive than simple unblocking jobs.

Common Drain Blockages at Home

Sink or Bathtub Drain

This type of blockage is caused by food debris, grease, hair, and soap and detergent residue. If sink and tub drains are not cleared regularly, the buildup of residue and food debris would obstruct the lines, and trap water and cause backflow. You could expect to pay up to $214 even for simple drain clearing tasks because plumbers normally charge based on the type of service and not on the amount of work exerted.

Toilet

Avoid flushing napkins, toilet paper and other large objects down the toilet or you would be dealing with toilet blockage soon. Unlike the sink and the tub, clearing the toilet is an unpleasant experience. You would need gloves and a snake tool to unclog it, or pay the plumber between $110 and $273 to clear the blockage.

Main Line

Although you would find an industrial snake rental for just $30, you should only attempt to fix a main line problem when you know exactly how this is done. Otherwise, you should consider professional plumbing services. This type of service could cost up to $800.

Drains must be cleared as often as possible to avoid severe blockage. Severe blockages may need professional servicing because they are complex tasks requiring special tools. You shouldn’t ignore it until it’s too late.

How to Keep Your Important Appliances Going

appliance storeAll homes have appliances, and major kitchen appliances cost a lot. Of course, you want to make sure they last a long time so you can make the most of your money. For that to happen, All Pro Appliance Service, Inc. noted that you would need an appliance service in Salt Lake City to make major or minor repairs and give advice on maintenance.

Refrigerator

A refrigerator is an essential appliance, so it's best to choose one that has a good energy-saving rating. You can save even more energy by keeping it clean and keeping the air flowing. How?

First, you shouldn't overfill it. You have to defrost it regularly, too. Clean the compressor coils found under or the back of the refrigerator every six months, as dirt can overwork the compressor. Have an appliance service replace the gaskets if it's not closing properly even after cleaning. Done right, your refrigerator can last for 15 years.

Washer and Dryer

Treated correctly, a washer and dryer can last for 12 years. All you have to do is to clean them regularly. Make sure to clean the filter and lint trap to keep them working efficiently. Cleaning the lint in the dryer also prevents a dryer fire. You should also avoid overloading them, as this can lead to damage to their moving parts. Finally, do not slam their doors since that can damage the door latch and replacing it will cost you about $100.

HVAC

The HVAC keeps your home comfortable, and it will continue to do so for about 15 years with regular maintenance. It's important to have it serviced once a year to make sure it's working efficiently. You can also look for a home warranty company if your HVAC is older than four years. All you have to do is to pay a flat fee every year. In turn, the company will do the repairs or even replace the HVAC with a small deductible.

Regular maintenance is necessary to keep your appliances going. A reliable appliance service can do any repairs and major maintenance when needed. However, you can also do your part.

Effortless Home Design that’s Up to Your Own Standards

home interiorHow much effort did you put into designing your home? Many would argue that the characteristics of the family manifest in the house after years of living in the property. It doesn't mean you cannot develop the house's character right now.

With a few customizations that work for your family, your house turns into a home even if you've just moved in last week. Take a look at these:

Custom Furniture and Storage

Pre-fabricated houses come with shelving that is functional but does not do much for aesthetics. Give your house something better by looking for custom cabinets that fit your space in Salt Lake City perfectly. These can be designed from the color and finish of the cabinets to the knobs used on them. The kitchen and bathroom will look more elegant with cabinetry that complements each other.

A Message Board

If you're a family who likes expressing your feelings for one another, a message board by the front door will be the perfect customization at home. It doesn't cost much, and you can do shoutouts for everyone. This can also be where you leave notes about your whereabouts, so the family doesn't have to wonder. A separate routine board can be put up, or it can be included in this message board. Really, it depends on your family's organization and communication system.

Closet Hacks

You don't need to have an expensive wardrobe to have space for clothes that can pass as the occasional background in your room selfies. There are DIY closet tutorials that are easy to follow and will highlight your personal style without costing too much money. You can specifically look for budget hacks that use items from the Dollar Store creatively. Other decors in the room can be DIY-ed, as well. Give your children the freedom to design their closets, and you'll see just how creative they can be.

Renovations cost money, but you can go the DIY route on specific areas. A little customization here and there won't hurt the appeal of the house.

4 Interesting Ways to Decorate Your Fireplace Mantel

Living room with fireplaceIt takes a lot of time and effort to decorate your home fully. You need to start somewhere to make your house a little more interesting. The French fireplace mantel is a great place to start your decoration since it’s the most common focal point of a living room. So here are a few tips on how to style your mantel like an expert.

Take Risks

Don’t be afraid to be playful when it comes to interior design. You may try to mix a few items such as artwork and even books. Try to create a little playfulness when it comes to decorating your mantel.

Create a Focal Piece

One way of decorating your mantel is by creating a focal piece that’ll be the focus in the room. You may want to add a large mirror or a painting above the mantel. Always remember that the height of the piece should depend on the height of the ceiling. If your ceiling is a bit low and you have a wide mantel, choose a long horizontal rectangular art piece or an oval mirror.

Show Your Collection

A mantel is also a great place to show your collection of dishware or any of your favorite objects. You may hang a few pieces of your dishes or arrange them based on its size and shape.

Make It Personal

One way to make it personal is by adding a few of your family photos on top of the mantel. Doing so will create warmth and a feeling of home throughout the room. You may even add a few colorful vases to add a bit of color as well.

These are just a few of the things that you might want to consider when decorating the mantel. It’s always best to design it based on your taste and how you want it to look.