Tag Archives: home

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.

Modern Living: A Guide to Fire Pits and City Life

Modern fire pitEven in the city people enjoy gathering around the warmth of a fire. Choosing between a wood- and gas-burning fires pits should be a decision you consider carefully. In a rural setting, wood-burning firepits are definitely the choice. However, in a city setting, there are a few more things to consider.

Aesthetics

Urban fire pits have to match up to their surroundings. Though there is a certain charm to wood-burning fire pits, fire glass crystals, and other decorative elements make gas-burning fire pits sights to behold.

Brightly colored fire glass crystals evoke a feeling of magical fantasy while remaining classy and elegant. Wood-burning fire pits can be problematic in an urban setting. The smoke produced can be unsightly and can bring about complaints from the neighbors.

Safety

Some cities regulate or even prohibit the burning of wood within city confines. Gas-burning firepits produce almost zero smoke, minimizing the risk of an overly excited neighbor calling emergency services.

Less smoke also means less soot and particles. About 80–90% of wood smoke is fine particulate matter. These cause irritations to the eyes and lungs, causing sneezing, coughing, or shortness of breath. The dangers are heightened on people with asthma and heart problems.

Chronic exposure to smoke can also lead to respiratory problems, lung cancer, and heart disease. Both wood and gas-burning fire pits have safety issues, but proper installation and use can bring down the risks to negligible levels.

Convenience

In a rural setting, it is most convenient to use a wood-burning fire pit since wood is free and accessible. In a city setting, access to wood is limited and a bit costly.

Wood also takes a bit of time to light, maintain, and clean up. On the other hand, gas-burning stoves need less maintenance, are easier to use and need almost no cleaning.

Take into account where you live before deciding on a fire pit. Your city may have regulations on size and fuel, so do a bit of research to make sure you abide by the rules.

A Life Without an Air Conditioner: Learning the Repercussions

an air conditionerAn air conditioner is something that you may want to have in your home if you want to live comfortably. Its known function is to stabilize the temperature inside the home. But it fulfills a much more important function: it maintains the space’s humidity at conducive levels. Therefore, it helps in improving the quality of air at your home, thus making it more livable.

When your air conditioner breaks, you can only assume that a string of repercussions will follow. This is why you need to address the problem right away by seeking a reliable air conditioning repair expert in Salt Lake City. Whipple Service Champions lists some of the repercussions of not having an air conditioner:

It is hot

Suffice to say, the absence of an air conditioner will lead to a much hotter space. Heat means uncomfortable or tossing and turning in bed. You may have an electric fan, but an air conditioner is much better, especially during dog days.

Allergens thrive

When the humidity is present in the air, your space easily invites pests. Humidity turns your home into a nest of different allergens, which obviously have a negative effect on your family. These include black molds, bugs, and mildew. If you suspect that there is already an infestation, it will be necessary to seek the help of an inspector.

Foundations crumble

You may not notice it, but humidity can also cause damage to your home. Too much moisture in the air can cause wood to rot. Rotting of wood can result in the weakening of your home’s wooden components and parts, such as the foundations and the ceilings.

A life without an air conditioner may sound exaggerated for some. But if you come think of it, an air-conditioner is something that you can treat as an investment, which turns your home into a place of comfort.

Bed Bug Infestation: Ways to Prevent and Stop It

Clean, modern style bedAlthough bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to people, they can be a nuisance in your home. Members of your family might have different responses to their bites. If you don’t want your family to sport red, itchy bites on their skin, you need to have these measures in place.

Maintain cleanliness

Thoroughly vacuum your home regularly especially those hidden areas, which could be the perfect hiding spots for bed bugs. When you’re changing bed sheets, you also need to take the time to inspect the mattress for blood spots, cast skins, or bed bugs feces, which could appear like tiny dark spots on the seams, tufts, or folds of your mattress. Furthermore, avoid clutters in your home to reduce hiding spots for these critters.

Be vigilant

When you’re using shared laundry facility, be sure to transfer your clothes from the dryer directly to a new plastic bag. High temperature eliminates these critters, which is why pest control professionals employ bed bug heat extermination methods to eliminate these pests.

If you’ve had visitors, be extra mindful when you’re cleaning the house, as bed bugs can easily be transported through their luggage.

Know the early signs of infestation

It helps to be aware of the early signs of bed bug infestation before they get out of hand. Some signs to look out for are itchy bite marks in areas like the arms, hands, face, and neck. Some bite marks could disappear after a couple of days while some could become a fluid-filled blister. You could also sense a musty and unpleasant smell in the room.

Bed bugs are one of the most resilient pests. They spread from room to room, and they can travel long distances lodged in clothes, furniture, or luggage. And they can go on without food for months and even years. Thus, if you’ve noticed some signs of infestation in your home, it’s best to be proactive in dealing with it and seek the advice of a professional before it gets to be too much of a problem.

Dealing with Fire Damage: A Homeowner’s Guide

House with fire damageWith just one careless mistake, you can lose your things, your whole property, and even your life to a fire at home. The unfortunate thing is, an accident usually causes fire and you would not know when it would hit. Thus, being prepared will certainly be useful.

Whether you are dealing with the aftermath fire yourself, or simply want to have an idea of what to do should such things occur, knowledge about the situation is important.

Knowing these points and seeking some help from fire damage restoration services in Salt Lake City will be essential in helping you get back on your feet.

Secure the site

Cover all possible entrances to prevent theft. Securing it from natural elements like rain, too much sun, or even fire (again) is your responsibility as a homeowner. As much as possible, refrain from staying inside the fire site, as there might be live wirings that can cause further accidents.

Contact your insurance agency

Once the site is safe, document the damages to your property. Do not move or throw anything until your insurance agency arrives. Aside from your friends and family, they are the important people you should contact after the fire happens.

Restoration

The insurance company shoulders most restoration services, depending on the coverage. Finding a reputable fire restoration company can help you secure your remaining valuables and the property itself while at the same time help you restore some parts of your home to reduce repair costs.

Replacing valuable documents

Allot a time to replace burned documents like your passport, national identification, bankbooks, etc. You should always update these important records and, in some cases, you would be required to present these to access your insurance claims.

Having your house on fire is a nightmare that no homeowner would want to face. Knowing what to do if it happens can help you handle the situation better.

3 Benefits of Getting BIBs Insulation for Your Home

a professional installing insulation in a homeInsulation is one of the top investments you can get for your home, and it has many types. If you’re planning to get one or replace an old one, consider getting a blow in blanket system (BIBS). Keep these benefits in mind if you’re thinking of getting one for your home in Kansas City:

BIBS does not contain formaldehyde.

Insulation helps improve safety in your home; as long as you choose the safest one for you and your entire family. BIBS has no formaldehyde. If the level of this chemical in the air is higher than 0.1 ppm (parts per million), you may experience coughing, wheezing, skin irritation, and a burning sensation in the throat, nose, and eyes.

BIBS prevents mold growth.

Insulation hinders the growth of mildew and molds. Unfortunately, there are types of insulation that doesn't do this effectively. When you're exposed to mold and mildew for a long time, you could experience similar symptoms when exposed to formaldehyde. These include coughing, skin irritation, and nasal stuffiness. If you have small children, senior adults, and pregnant women at home, you have to be vigilant in limiting exposure to these.

BIBS offers seamless installation.

Insulation helps you save energy in your home. It keeps the cool air in when it’s hot outside and keeps the hot air in when the weather outside is cold. If you don’t want to waste your investment in insulation, you have to choose a type that offers seamless installation, which means there are no gaps or voids.

If you’re looking for a meaningful home investment or upgrade, consider getting a BIBs insulation for your home. Do not waste time by wasting money on DIY solutions. Get reliable BIBs installers and get your home upgraded.

What You Need to Remember When Buying Antiques and Vintage Items

Vintage jewelry in antique wooden jewelry boxThere is something great about old items. And there is also something beautiful and charming with loving the things that have nostalgic value. Getting such items can be part of your investment strategy (especially if you are looking for Americana or Victorian) or simply an aesthetic display.

But before you go at it, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. This is to protect yourself and make sure that you get your money’s worth.

Here some of the items you need to take into account when buying your antique items, whether it’s a painting or a large vintage copper garden planter.

Take a good look

While old items may obviously look like it, you still need to make sure that they’re vintage just like what the seller is claiming. If you are not good at spotting and authenticating vintage items, it will be safe if you take someone with you who has experience with buying antiques.

Who’s the seller?

Be wary when buying, especially when it comes to a seller. Shortlist at least three, and then look into the offerings of each. More importantly, look at the price points and their range. If you are not sure with your choice, you can always ask your family or a friend who is experienced with these things for validation and recommendation.

Consider going online

If you can’t find a decent seller in your community, you can always go online. Many online sellers offer a wide range of products, from vintage tables to postcards. But before you finally close a deal, it is advisable that you read reviews.

These are some of the things to keep in mind if you are planning to buy antiques and vintage items. Always ask a lot of questions, as these will reveal a lot of things about the seller and the items.

Heat Pumps to Help Your Home

Heat pumpHeat pumps allow heat transfers from a hot to a cold surface. A heat pump is responsible for air conditioning units to do this. Heat pumps will rely on electricity to do this.

If you notice that the temperature in your house fluctuates, it may be time to get a heat pump. In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a heat pump would come in handy since temperatures can go quite high and extremely low.

But if you enroll in the government’s renewable heat incentive, your installation could earn you a government payback. In which case, the right type of heat pump could help you reach your energy-saving goals.

Air source heat pumps

An air source pump is an excellent choice for settled climates. It is usually fitted at the sides of the building so that it draws air from the outside. It transfers heat using compression through two conductive copper tubes formed into coils.

In cold temperatures, a liquid refrigerant in one coil sucks heat from the air and evaporates, moving it inside where it then condenses giving off warmth, then the process repeats itself.

Ground source heat pumps

You can use energy from water or the underground as a source of heat. Of course, this will involve laying pipes into the earth. Sometimes known as geothermal heat pumps, these pumps have a higher efficiency rate because ground temperatures are mostly constant.

Ground sourced pumps can be placed under your garden in a horizontal array, vertically positioned in a borehole several meters into the ground or even in a localized water source.

Hybrid pumps

A hybrid installation will have the pumps alongside another source of energy like a gas boiler. Together, they provide warmth constantly and efficiently. If you have an existing heat source, you will not need to change radiators.

Another way to install hybrid pumps is to mix both air sourced and ground heat so that when the air is colder outside, you get warmth from the ground and vice versa.

A heat pump can generate high temperatures using radiators. The good thing is, most of these pumps are easy to install and could last for an extended period.

4 Ways to Enhance the Aesthetic Appeal of Your Exterior Walls

Exterior walls being paintedMost homeowners believe that it’s the inside (of the house) that counts. A lacklustre exterior, however, can make such a bad impression on your guests that no amount of interior décor will fix. It makes sense to devote a bit of attention to the exterior appearance of your home, too. A good place to start is the outer walls. Use these creative ideas to make them fabulous:

Invest in weatherboard

More homeowners are becoming increasingly attracted to weatherboard cladding, and for a good reason. Weatherboard profiles offer many benefits that it’s impossible to ever regret investing in them. These make any house incredibly elegant. As weatherboard cladding is highly resistant to harsh weather, your walls stay neat and appealing for ages.

Consider wall art

Who says that wall art should be confined to the indoors? A single piece of art can give character to your outer wall like few other things can. You need not go for something expensive. You could piece together a few pieces of colourful wood, frame them nicely, and nail them to a strategic part of the wall. Of course, the art will need to complement the appearance of the wall.

Use some spray paint

Spray paint is popular among homeowners because it’s something you can do easily by yourself. All you need is a canvas, several colours of spray paint, a painter’s tape, a string, and a chevron stencil. Decide what decorations you’d like on the wall and go ahead with the task. If you cannot seem to get ideas on your own, you could get inspiration from magazines or decor websites.

Plant some vertical gardens

Nothing makes a wall look more at one with nature than succulent gardens on your outer walls. They are incredibly easy to create and maintain. In fact, they require about the same care as your ordinary planters. During extreme weather conditions, you can always take them down.

Don’t let your obsession with the appearance of your indoor space make you miss out on the chance to make a great impression using your home’s exterior. By adding just a few inexpensive decorative features on your wall, you can greatly add to your home’s curb appeal.

The 5 Must-do’s When Buying a House

Happy Affectionate Senior Couple Hugging in Front of Sold Real Estate Sign and House.It makes sense to have your own home. After all, you should build and maintain your own worth instead of renting a place to stay. Are you planning to check the homes for sale in Aransas Pass? If you’re a first-time homebuyer, Rockport Properties, Inc. and some experts list some things you should do:

Have a clear view of the kind of home that you want

Visualize your home and take note of its specifications. Doing so will guide you as you tour several homes. Be open to make adjustments if some of them don’t meet your expectations.

Set a budget for your home

Analyze your financial status and be practical. Choose a home that you can afford to pay. Consider the down payment, processing fees, closing fees, and mortgage payments. Also, check if you can qualify for a loan.

Learn the process of home buying

You may need an agent to help you scout for a prospective home. Inquire about specific locations and homes that are up for sale. Go house hunting on your own so you can make an impression of your prospective house without the influence of your agent.

Afterward, inform your agent of your type of home. Listen to their views and opinions, but don’t feel pressured. Feel free to ask questions about the house. Better yet, request for a clue report about the house that includes the insurance claim, damage, and repairs done in the last five years.

Know the property’s history

Ask your agent how long is the property up for sale, who its previous owners were, and how long they have stayed in that house. Secure copies of tax, insurance, and utility bills. All these information will give you an idea of the house’s value and help you decide if the property is worth buying or not.

Don’t rush into buying the property

Don’t be in a hurry to purchase a house. Take your time. Shop around for more properties, mortgages, and homeowners’ insurance. Remember that you’ll be spending the next years or so in that house so make sure that you won’t regret having purchased it.

Having your own home gives you a sense of pride and security. When buying one, just follow the tips above and you’ll definitely end up with the best buy.