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Bigger Is Better: A Simple Guide To Maximising Your Home Spaces

Bigger Is Better: A Simple Guide To Maximising Your Home Spaces

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When designing your home living areas, the perception of increased space can only be a good thing. Focusing on this goal with your upcoming home upgrades will unlock increased happiness for all the family.

So, what are the best ways to make the home feel bigger and better over the coming weeks? Here’s all you need to know.

Lose The Guest Room

The guest bedroom you’ve used three times since buying the home is a huge waste of space. Whether you transform it into a home office, gym space or place to play music doesn’t matter. Any purpose is better than no purpose. Besides, the project could well add value to the property, which gives you an added incentive to act.

A newly revamped space with added functions will allow you to achieve more with the home. And if you’ve previously been doing those tasks in other living spaces, this job indirectly helps those rooms too. 

Use Light To Your Advantage

Tricking the eyes into thinking the rooms are bigger is a major breakthrough. As such, learning to use light to your advantage is vital. Painting the walls a lighter colour will make a huge difference. This is one of the quickest, easiest, and most affordable projects to complete. You’d be very foolish to ignore it.

Introducing more natural light can be achieved by adding a skylight or dressing windows. When supported by mirrored furniture, homes take on a larger appearance as well as added luxury. This will yield stunning results.

Declutter

Even the biggest rooms will feel small and cramped when swamped by clutter. Thankfully, this is another issue that can be corrected very quickly. Better still, holding a garage sale or selling items online will generate some added cash. This can subsequently be invested into new products for the home. 

Even without the financial rewards, removing clutter from the home will save valuable space. As well as removing unwanted items, you can consider going paperless. This will allow you to lose a lot of paperwork and files that currently take up lots of space.

Embrace Outside Spaces

Your relationship with the property should not start and end with the internal living spaces. Making the most of your garden in summer can boost your health and happiness. Given the apprehension surrounding social activities, this is the perfect time to use those ideas. After all, your garden can be a space to host friends and family.

The garden isn’t only a place for relaxed vibes and natural beauty. You could create a patio home cinema space under a pergola. Or you could erect a summer house to provide similar functions to the converted spare room.

Choose Compact Items

Saving valuable floor space is a key step towards creating a better home. There are several ways to make this happen without compromising your daily activities. Using compact items is the best solution. Wall-mounted TV brackets and shelving are key items that should feature high on the agenda.

Compact furniture choices are particularly useful too. This could include stacking coffee tables, high sleeper beds, or retractable items and fold-up goods. This is a particularly good idea when working with noticeably small rooms.

Create Added Storage

The average family now owns more assets than any previous generation. This rings true even after the decluttering session has been completed. As such, it will be necessary to think about creating added storage facilities. Garden storage boxes can be a wise investment. But you can do so much more.

Small DIY projects can work wonders for your living spaces. Adding hooks behind doors are a great option. Meanwhile, you may be able to find extra storage under the stairs or by revamping the drawer layouts. 

Connect Internal And External Spaces

If you want the living areas as a whole to feel bigger, you can break down the barrier between indoors and outdoors spaces. The installation of sliding doors is the most effective way to do this by far. This also helps with the prospect of increasing the natural lighting within the living spaces.

More importantly, though, it makes the garden deck or patio truly feel like a part of the living space. Whether you’re home alone or welcoming guests into the property, the benefits of this are huge. And it’s a positive feeling that won’t fade.

Create Pathways

The feng shui of a room has a telling influence on the way you respond to it. One of the most important steps is to create clear walkways. Leaving doorways and the pathways to them clear will make the rooms feel bigger and organised. You can use runner rugs and various tools to make it even clearer. The possibilities are endless.

As well as clear pathways, you need to ensure that seating positions are thought out. There should be a clear focal point without blocking off radiators. Practicality should cover function and appearances.

Use Contrasting Colours

While light colour schemes can reflect the light, rooms shouldn’t be bland. Using contrasting colours can work wonders for living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and more. Whether it’s black and white or adding a dash of colour is up to you. The impacts don’t just improve the size of the room. They add a burst of character.

If rooms already have character-defining features like fireplaces or brick walls, they can be used to great advantage. The key is to truly incorporate them. Otherwise, they could stand out and make spaces look smaller.

Convert

Finally, if the current available space doesn’t feel right, add more. Extensions are an option but will eat away at the outside dimensions. A better option, then, may be to work up or down with a loft or basement conversion. This can create a new living space, bedroom, or storage facility. Either way, it will make the home feel bigger.

As things stand, you are missing out on the prospect of having an extra floor to work with. While this job is the most extensive and expensive, it will bring a good ROI. in the right situation, it could even prevent the need to move home.

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Searching For The Perfect Home? Here’s What To Remember

Searching For The Perfect Home? Here's What To Remember

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If you are looking for a new home, then your home search might have so far proved fruitless. The problem that you likely have when you are searching is that you are looking for something perfect. It’s important that you understand what you actually require from a home in a practical sense so that you don’t end up with a home that isn’t what you need. Down below, we’re going to be looking at what you should remember when searching for the perfect home. Keep reading if you would like to find out more.

There’s No Such Thing As Perfect

The first thing that you need to remember is that there is no such thing as perfect. You will not find something that is 100% perfect as is, because it doesn’t exist. The thing that people seem to forget is that perfect is relative, but even then, you still aren’t going to find a home that you think is perfect because there will always be at least something small with it. We’re not trying to be negative, but this is the way it is. 

But, just because it isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean that it’s not wonderful. Something doesn’t have to be perfect for you to want it or for you to get it, it just has to make you happy. As long as the place brings you joy, that is what matters.

It’s About The Potential

You must remember when you are searching through homes that it’s about the potential, not what is there right now. For example, you might think that the home could benefit from some kind of cladding and look into something like Irish Oak UPVC Cladding, but this is entirely up to you. When you are going around the home, you might want to make a note of the things that you would like to change if you were to purchase the property. This way, you can get a good idea of how much it would cost to turn it into the perfect home for you! If you can see the potential, this is a good enough reason to purchase the home, as long as there are no other issues.

Is There Anything You Don’t Like

If there is something that you don’t like in the home, remember that it can change. For example, if you love the entire house, but there is just something about one of the rooms that you don’t like, it doesn’t have to stay like that. You can change it if you purchase the house and move in, so don’t let this be the deciding factor.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you are going to need to remember if you are searching for the perfect home. A lot of people forget that they are looking for something that is relative, and as such won’t find it. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t find somewhere that you fall in love with. We wish you the very best of luck, and hope that you remember these things while you are searching for your perfect home. 

Top tips

Essential Things To Consider Before Moving Into A New Home

Essential Things To Consider Before Moving Into A New Home

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The excitement of moving into a new home is understandable, but moving is always a complicated process, especially when you are doing so for the very first time. You are excited about the new journey ahead; you can’t wait to start enjoying the new experiences, new beginning, etc. but getting to your new location and settling down can be a rather long and overwhelming journey without the necessary preparations. 

There’s lots to consider and things to check off your list if you want to make your moving process as stress-free as possible. Without adequate preparation, moving day can be a nightmare.So, are you thinking about relocating long-term? Do you want to make the moving process as smooth as you possibly can? Then consider these important things first. 

How much time do you have to move?

The last thing you want to do is start packing on moving day or even a day before. Depending on how much work you expect to do on moving day or how busy your current daily schedule is, give yourself enough time to start planning and packing – preferably two to three weeks early. That might sound like an awful amount of time to plan and pack, but it is vital if you want the process to be as stress-free as possible. Plus, it will make your moving process a relaxing one, especially if you are a very busy person.

Take the first few days to plan out your moving process, and list down every essential thing you need to do in order of priority. Next, decide if you want to handle the moving process on your own or hire a moving company. If you’re going to handle things yourself, create a schedule that allows you to pack bit by bit, room by room, before the d-day. Doing this will help ensure that not only will you pack with ease, but you’re also less likely to forget anything.

Do you want professional help?

If you choose to go with a professional moving company, take the time to find out the options available to you and how much their services cost. Before you settle for any moving company, be sure you fully understand how much the services will cost you. To learn the cost of your move, you can request free cost quotations or estimates from the company. Do the same for two or more other options and compare the prices. However, be sure you don’t settle for subpar service while chasing low costs. Also, it will be cheaper if you look for companies within your locality.

You can research their backgrounds to ensure that you’re making a good choice. The legitimacy of the moving company is very important. So take the time to read reviews available on all the companies you research about. Before you settle for a particular option, ensure that the company is appropriately insured, licensed as a moving company, and trustworthy. Some moving companies can also do your packing for you. But if you prefer to handle that on your own, then consider the next point. Additionally, you should know the moving company’s non-allowable lists before you opt for their service. For some moving companies, non-allowable items typically include things that you will consider hazardous like pesticides, paints, aerosol cans, cleaning solvents, scuba tanks, etc. 

How best to pack

Begin packing about two to three weeks before your move-in date and ensure you finish a couple of days before moving day. The fewer things you have to pack, the less stressful the packing process will be. Before you start packing, take the time to create a designated zone for your packed items, and ensure that nobody has access to that area, especially if you don’t live alone. If you don’t have enough room in your home to use as a designated zone, you can opt to move your packed boxes to a quick self-storage solution that is secure and affordable. You can visit website pages for local self-storage options available near you.

Next, acquire packing boxes, dedicate each box to particular items and label them appropriately. When packing, start with the items you do not need immediately, for example, your picture frames and clothes you don’t expect to wear anytime soon. The last thing you want is to keep reponing your packed boxes to access its content. You can make a “do not pack” list to remind you of things to leave out of your packing for the moment. Also, when packing, go room by room, starting from the least used rooms or areas in your home. 

Consider canceling subscriptions and sending notices

If you have subscribed to certain services that require your current location, now will be time to unsubscribe or send early notice of your change of location. If your subscription comes with billing or services charges, the earlier you send notices or cancel those subscriptions, the better. The reason is that most paid subscriptions will require at least 24 hours to cancel. So make sure you send a prior notice. You might also want to inform your workplace and local postal service of your location change. You don’t want to give your neighbors the responsibility of receiving your emails and resending them to your new location after you have moved. 

And speaking of neighbors, it’s not a bad idea to inform them of your move as early as possible. Of course, this is totally based on your discretion and how your relationship with them is. But you should do your best to let your friends, family, and loved ones know that you plan to move, where your new location is, and when you expect to move. After sending out all the required significant notices, you should update your address. Your address is linked to different aspects of your life – from your insurance covers and your credit cards to your checkbooks and favorite tv shows. 

Consider transferring your utilities

It is important to contact your utility providers a couple of weeks before your moving day to let them know about your change of location. Whether you choose to speak with them on phone or visit their office, ensure that you schedule a disconnection and reconnection date with them if you’re not moving out of their service jurisdiction. If their services do not cover your new location, be sure to contact the appropriate service provider to have your essential utilities available before you move in. Few things will make your first night in your new home more frustrating than sleeping in darkness, without running water or air conditioning. 

Consider your move date

If you’re planning to make your move as inexpensive as possible, consider moving during midweek or mid-month when hiring your moving truck. That is because these periods are usually less busy, and you’re more likely to spend less. Moving during peak periods or rush hours will likely attract higher service rates. For example, periods from late November to January are usually peak moving seasons, and rates are typically higher during such times. You will have a better chance to save more money if you choose to move between October and April, as demand is usually at its lowest during this period. 

Take photographs of all your valuable items

Even if you opt for the services of a professional moving company with a proven track record, you will feel nervous about the moving process if you have a lot of valuable items. So, make the process less nerve-racking by taking the necessary precautionary measures before you move. Take photos of all your valuable items as a form of damage control mechanism. This form of inventory should cover anything that is expensive but fragile – from your TV set to your computers and priced antique possessions. By taking pictures of all these items, you have all the proof you need of their original state should any unexpected damage happen during the moving process. Always remember that no matter how experienced your moving company is, accidents can always happen.

Make time to clean your new home

It would be best if you did a thorough clean-up in your new home before moving in – that is, if you’re moving in after a previous occupant. How much cleaning you will have to do will depend on the state of the place. You can opt for a professional cleaning service if you think there’s too much to do on your own, or you don’t have the time. That is why it is essential to visit your new location to ensure that everything is in order before moving in. 

While there, also make sure that you inspect the place to find out if you might need to do some repair work (something you should do even before purchasing or renting the place). Take the time to check if you have running water, power, etc. And if you’re not the first occupant, it would be best if you had the old door locks and keys changed for safety reasons. Back to cleaning, you should also do your best to leave your old place in pristine condition for the next occupant. 

Exterior design

7 Ways to Prepare Your Garden for Summer

7 Ways to Prepare Your Garden for Summer

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With summer fast approaching, it is only natural that you will want to venture out into your garden when the rain does stop. Despite a wet and miserable spring, the odd glimpse of the sun in the UK can send us into a BBQ frenzy as we indulge the warm weather whenever it graces our skin.

But what if your garden isn’t summer-ready? What can you do to prepare your outside space for warmer days?

Jetwash

Be it hiring a company that specialises in jet washing exteriors or do it yourself. Giving your garden a good clean can help revitalise it and give you a solid foundation for undertaking more extensive garden work.

Remove Weeds

Weeds snatch any opportunity to grow anywhere and everywhere. There are many different tools and treatments you can use to help you eliminate any weeds in your garden. Once you have removed all the weeds, your garden will instantly look better.

Clear Out Rubbish

Over the winter, sadly, sometimes, ornaments or furniture exposed to the elements can start to look a little worse for wear. Round up anything you no longer want or is useful and have it removed from your garden. Choose a garden waste and domestic rubbish removal service to clear out unwanted goods taking up space in your garden before you decide to host any parties!

Add Plants

Plants can be a relatively inexpensive way to brighten up your garden. Even artificial plants can have the desired effect. But if you fancy flexing your green fingers, locate an area of your garden to plant some flowers or to put pots filled with your favourite blooms to add colours and happiness to your garden.

Decorate

Decorating your garden needn’t be expensive. Sure, garden furniture can come at a premium but adding in some well-placed accessories can help you create a garden style you love and matches your home in an impactful yet inexpensive way. Think cushions, beanbags for floor seating, outdoor rugs, lighting, bunting and wall decorations to liven up your outdoor space.

Paint

Painting the walls, adding colour to brick walls can be impactful and stunning. Freshen up wooden fences with a fence care paint to protect the wood and give it a new lease of life. You can even paint the floor! Depending on the type of floor you have outside in your garden, there is paint and tools available such as stencils, to help you liven up an otherwise dull and frequently overlooked area of your garden.

Add Some Shade

Sure, being out in the sun is great. However, sometimes you need to protect yourself from the sun and adding shade to your garden can do just that. 

Think parasols, gazebos, floating sail shades, pergolas or even a permanent fixture such as a marquee or an awning on the side of your home. Placing a shade in your garden is a great way to create a focal point and pull an area of your garden together.

Exterior design

Solar Water Heaters: Best Invention Ever Or Disaster Waiting To Happen?

Solar Water Heaters: Best Invention Ever Or Disaster Waiting To Happen?

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Solar water heaters have been around for a long time now. But, unfortunately, they haven’t taken off as many had hoped they would. We were all supposed to be getting our water heated by the sun by now, but that’s not how things panned out. 

Solar water heaters work differently from solar panels. In a solar panel, special materials convert energy from light into electrical charge which you can then use for appliances around your home. But in a solar water heater, the sun simply heats up water in specially-made tubes and then a pump distributes it throughout your home, including the bathroom. These devices, therefore, are considerably less high tech than you might imagine. 

With that said, they come with some benefits. For one, you don’t have to spend money on gas to power your boiler, which is already a massive bonus. Plus, they work automatically, providing hot water the moment the sun comes up into the sky. However, there are some downsides that make them a poor boiler replacement

Unsuitable For Areas That Get Freezing Temperatures

Because solar water heaters rely on water-containing tubes exposed to natural sunlight, they are unsuitable in areas where temperatures fall below zero, including at night. That’s because the water in the solar pipes freezes and expands, causing damage to the surrounding structures. 

The best location for solar water heaters, therefore, is in sunny areas that can experience the occasional cool day. 

High Cost

Indirect circulating systems get around this problem by using a two-stage transfer system. Instead of putting water in the solar heat collector, they use a non-freezing fluid alternative. A pump then circulates this to a heat exchanger within the home which then heats the water. It sounds a little round-about – and it is – but it eliminates the risk of freezing weather damaging your system.

The problem with these systems, of course, is the price. Because they have so many more parts, they can be much more expensive to install than direct circulation systems. And that can make them uneconomical compared to convention appliances.

Unsuitable For Some Roof Designs

Lack of suitability is another problem that homeowners can run into when trying to install solar heaters. In thermosiphon systems, for instance, warm water rises and cool water sinks in a heavy storage tank. The system is efficient and works reliably. Unfortunately, though, it isn’t suitable for all roofs because of the weight of the storage tank. Furthermore, it can be even more expensive than indirect circulating systems, even though heat transfer is passive. 

Scaling Can Become An Issue In Some Areas

Depending on where you live, scaling might also become an issue for you. In hardwater parts of the country, the mineral content of the water can be so high that it leads to deposits on solar heating systems that can eventually cause them to fail. 

The solution is to continually add softeners or mild acidic solutions to flush them out. Ideally, you’ll want to do this every three to five years for direct systems.  

Fitness, keeping fit

How To Increase Your Fitness Motivation

How To Increase Your Fitness Motivation

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How do you make yourself more motivated to get and stay fit? Without the motivation or drive to do something, you will give up. Or, you might carry on plugging away, but you’re not really trying. Look at your job as an example; are you motivated by anything at work? If you’re motivated by promotion, you’re likely to start working harder because you have something driving you. If you have no motivation at work, you kind of go in and don’t really bother trying or caring. 

The same concepts apply to fitness; if there’s nothing motivating you to get fit and stay fit, you’re hardly going to keep at it. So, it all boils down to the initial question – how do you make yourself more motivated?

Find your ‘why?’ 

Why do you want to get fit? What is the underlying reason for this? Finding your reason to do something is the best way to increase your motivation – particularly when fitness is involved. Are you motivated by the need to look good? Do you have a particular event coming up that’s motivating you? By asking yourself why, you instantly start to realise why you’re going on this journey. Then, you have that thing to focus on and think about whenever you start losing motivation. Go back to your ‘why?’ and you will always stay motivated. 

Educate yourself

It’s easier to remain motivated when you know what you’re doing. Educate yourself on health and fitness to understand more about working out, nutrition, and so on. You could take a health coach training course, become a personal trainer, or just do some online research. It’s up to you, but the knowledge you gain can be so motivating. When you understand how things work and what you need to do to get results, it’s so much easier to stay in a fitness routine. Not only that, but your knowledge lets you produce better fitness plans for yourself, yielding better results. In turn, this motivates you further as you can see clear evidence of improvements!

Document your progress

Progress reports or meetings at work are designed to keep you motivated and on course for results. The same can be said of things like progress photos when working out. This is one of the many ways of tracking progress, giving you visual signs that your work is paying off. Think back to your reason for working out and getting fit, it will help you choose the best ways to document your progress and stay motivated. For instance, if you want to get stronger and lift a certain weight, you can easily track this by noting the weights you lift each session. You should see an upward curve as the weight increases, showing that you’re making progress. This is extremely motivating as you want to keep working hard and making more progress!

The moment you lose motivation is the moment your fitness goals start slipping away. Whether you work out at home or in the gym, you need to stay motivated. With the three tips above, you can find your fitness motivation and make it bigger than ever before. 

health care

3 Health-Related Warning Signs To Lookout For In Your Parents

3 Health-Related Warning Signs To Lookout For In Your Parents

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As you get older, so will your parents – well, that’s pretty obvious, but it means you have to start thinking about them more and more. Elderly people come with a range of concerns, some of which you desperately need to look out for. As your parents age, they become susceptible to issues that need looking after. Understanding how to look after these issues is crucial, so here are some health-related warning signs to be watchful for:

Falling over

If your parents start falling over quite frequently, this is a big sign that they have something wrong with either their balance or muscles. In either case, it’s an issue you need to take care of right away. Many elderly people have sadly died due to falling over, simply because their bones can’t handle the impact. If one of your parents falls over seemingly of no accord, it could be time to consider getting additional help for them. There’s going to be lots of high-quality care for your parents out there, it’s just a case of deciding whether they need in-home care or to go to a care home. If the falls become too frequent around the house, the second option may suit them best. 

Forgetfulness

Most people get a bit forgetful as they get older, but there’s a limit to what is considered ‘normal.’ Forgetting little things is normal, but forgetting key things like people’s names, your phone number or why you left the house are major issues. If your parents start exhibiting signs of forgetfulness that keep getting worse, they most likely suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Again, they need help and care to deal with these conditions and calm the symptoms. If you see these signs and ignore them, it won’t be good for your parents. The sooner you treat forgetfulness, the easier it is to sort of delay the decline. 

Difficulty walking

Do your parents seem like they are struggling to walk? Week after week, they seem to be able to walk less and less or become slower and slower. Obviously, you will move slower when you get older, but you should be concerned if either of your parents really seems to struggle to walk. If they complain of aches and pains in their joints, it’s a sign that you need to act. Consider helping them find a physiotherapist who can maybe spend time with them in the gym and work on improving their muscle mass and easing joint pain. It’s very possible to make it easier for someone to walk again if you catch on to things early enough. Ignore the signs, and your parents could end up in wheelchairs. 

It’s ironic how your life begins with your parents being watchful over your every move, and then the roles are reversed later in life. It’s important to keep an eye on your elderly parents as they can easily show signs of various health problems. Your health is bound to decline as you get older, but that doesn’t mean you should accept a life of pain and health issues. Spot these warning signs in your parents to take action and make their lives better.

Building Design

Cracks on Your Exterior: Do They Indicate Foundation Problems?

Cracks on Your Exterior: Do They Indicate Foundation Problems?

Homes and commercial buildings rely on strong foundations to support them and keep them level. When a foundation starts to fail, the whole structure can be in danger. But, how can the building owner tell if the foundation has problems? And, if the foundation has problems, how can they be fixed? After all, a whole building sits on top of the foundation and can not be moved for repairs. Actually, some structures can be lifted so that a badly damaged foundation can be replaced or repaired and then will be lowered back onto the foundation.

Do Cracks in Stucco, Stone, or Brick Wall Always Mean Foundation Problems?

Brick, stone, and masonry building materials are strong but are not pliable. So, there are forces that cause movement in a building that results in cracks. Bricks can wear out or become damaged and require replacement. The joints between bricks can break down and need to be tuckpointed. These defects do not mean foundation problems. But, there are cracks that do indicate foundation problems, and it is important to know the difference.

Contacting construction companies or building engineering companies such as roofec precision exteriors or foundation specialists may be the best way to find out what those cracks mean and arrange to have them repaired professionally. Different cracks have different causes and meanings.

Horizontal cracks

Horizontal or jagged cracks running at 45-degree angles can mean there are serious foundation problems such as a shifting foundation or some form of water damage. Small cracks can be repaired with different types of patching compounds. But, more serious cracks need professional attention and repair of the foundation as well as the crack to avoid additional damage.

Vertical Cracks

Vertical cracks might be caused by settling after construction and are easier to fix. They do not usually mean foundation problems.

Stair Step Cracks

Stair-step cracks might mean that the soil has settled or shifted beneath the center of a wall. the cracks usually follow grout or cement lines. They are most common in unfinished basements with cinder blocks. This type of crack must be repaired by professionals, and foundation soil tests must be performed to determine which type of repairs will be needed.

Cracks That Include Bulging

If a wall has cracks and bulging, it means structural problems such as the foundation shifting or settling unevenly are present. This condition must be repaired from the foundation up by professionals.

When Are Foundation Cracks Serious?

Cracks in exterior walls or foundations can be serious depending on where they are located, the size of the cracks, the number of cracks, and if the cracks are getting larger over time. Serious cracks in exterior walls and foundations can lead to problems with the building’s structure, framing, roofing, doors, and windows. It can lead to water leaks in basements.

Up to 98% of the homes in America have foundations made of concrete, brick, or masonry blocks, all of which will crack if subjected to movement or excessive stress. Areas where the soil has a large clay content will have more issues with soil movement.

Signs that indicate a foundation problem include:

·         Sagging or uneven roofs

·         Cracks in brick, stucco, or another masonry siding

·         Cracks or gaps at door or window corners

·         Doors or windows that do not open and close correctly or stick

·         Cracks in a concrete slab or garage floor

·         Sloped floors

·         Cracks in walls or ceilings

·         Leaning or bowing foundation walls

·         Chimneys that are leaning away from the house

Walking around the house is a good way to look for foundation problems and exterior wall cracks. Once the above signs are spotted, it is time to call in a foundation or engineering specialist for help.

What Causes Foundation Problems?

·         Tree roots can damage building foundations

·         Settlement causes cracks

·         Expansive soils with heavy clay content

·         Drainage issues cause water build up along the foundation that results in cracks

·         Plumbing leaks can cause water buildup around or under the foundation causing damage

·         Rotation of the foundation

·         Poor soil compaction before the footings are dug can cause the foundation to fail

·         Engineering defects and poor design can lead to foundation failure

·         Adding a second story onto a house whose foundation is only built for one story and can not support the added weight

·         Lack of proper reinforcement of the cement in the foundation. Rebar is needed for reinforcement of poured cement

·         Ground frost uplifting or heaving in cold climates

·         Geotechnical problems such as earthquakes, landslides, or sinkholes

It is important to get professional opinions on the cause of the cracks, the seriousness of the cracks, and the proper way to repair them and the foundation of the building. It won’t do any good to patch a crack on exterior walls or interior walls without repairing the cause of the cracking. if the foundation is damaged and left that way, the cracks will just come back and get worse.

If a foundation is failing, the whole building will develop serious structural issues if the problem is not repaired. Foundation repair must be left to foundation experts and contractors who may need the input of building engineers to design a workable solution and repair plan.

The worse thing a building owner can do is ignore cracks in exterior or interior walls or cement floors or foundations. Those cracks will not go away on their own. They will get worse over time and will let water seep into them and create even worse problems for the building. The longer cracks and foundation problems are left, the more extensive and expensive the repairs will be.

Any building owner should keep a close eye out for cracks and other indications of basement leaks, foundation wall cracks, or exterior masonry wall cracks. Once trouble spots are observed, professionals should be called in to inspect the foundation and repair it. Once the foundation is repaired, the cracks in the building’s walls can be repaired. Do not neglect a building’s walls and foundation.

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How To Build A Better Relationship With Your Home

How To Build A Better Relationship With Your Home

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A happy home environment is something that everyone deserves. However, it will take a conscious effort to make this dream a reality. Here are six simple steps that should yield quick progress followed by lasting results. 

Increase The Sense Of Security

It is very difficult to fully relax in your property if it leaves you feeling vulnerable. Therefore, it’s imperative that you invest in simple strategies to protect the home and your family. The seemingly simple jobs can go a long way to keeping intruders at bay while simultaneously putting your mind at ease. In some cases, the upgrades will reduce your monthly home insurance premiums. Ultimately, safety should always come first. Do not forget it.

Boost Financial Efficiency

On a similar note, it can be very hard to maintain your enthusiasm for the home when it causes you to keep wasting money. Therefore, it is always worth making the upgrades needed to create a greener home. LED, energy-efficient appliances, and instant boiling water taps are just three examples. This should be combined with a clear aim to remove unused subscriptions. Or change energy firms and adjust home entertainment packages.

Embrace The Garden

Spending time outside will naturally put you in a happier mood. Right now, the home’s external spaces are the key to success, especially when the backyard has the items needed to enjoy the space. A garden designer can choose a courtyard design and other advanced features to combine aesthetic beauty and function. Whether it’s sunbathing, gardening, playing sports, or a family BBQ doesn’t matter. The benefits for your daily life are huge.

Declutter

A claustrophobic vibe will seriously harm your relationship with the property for a variety of reasons. It will make spaces feel small, cramped, and unsuitable for living. With this in mind, taking the time to declutter the property should be high on the agenda. You can sell unwanted goods while also creating more storage spaces to gain a better sense of control. Follow this up with painting the walls, and your home will feel brand new.

Fix Faults

When looking at the prospect of home upgrades, it’s easy to focus on the prospect of making luxury additions. In reality, though, you should only think about these steps when the fundamentals are in place. Even when you can survive without a broken plug socket or faulty showerhead, it will play on your mind. Thankfully, there are plenty of online DIY guides to help. Alternatively, a home repairs expert can be hired to complete the jobs for you.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Finally, you must not overlook the value of a great night’s sleep. Therefore, investing in a good mattress and thick curtains should be high on the agenda if you suffer disrupted patterns. The benefits of a good rest include improved skin, reduced stress, and higher energy levels. Besides, there’s nothing quite like the joy of knowing you can return home to a comfy bed. It doesn’t just boost your home life, it affects your world as a whole.

Garden tips

How To Make Your Garden More Family Friendly

How To Make Your Garden More Family Friendly

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Gardens are fast becoming the heart of the home as we are being told to take our socialising outdoors but when you are a family compromised of adults and children, creating the perfect space for everyone is no mean feat. That’s not to say it’s impossible. Gardens up and down the country have been undergoing makeovers and transformations as we seek to spend more time in our back garden than ever before. Here are a few simple ways you can make your garden more family-friendly.

Bring inside outside

Whilst the summer sun can be glorious, it can also be dangerous, especially for young skin. Having space in a garden where young and old can take some time to cool down and get out of the summer sun without going inside is key for making any garden family-friendly. Investing in a veranda gives your garden an extra space that can be fully protected from the suns rays but still giving you that fresh air. Whether you use it for an outdoor seating area, dining area or even play area, verandas are available with customisable sunshading allowing you to choose as and when you want to keep the sun out.

Play equipment

Factoring in children’s play equipment is unavoidable when creating the ultimate family-friendly garden, but you can enhance the aesthetics. Opting to have the trampoline at ground level, is an excellent way of avoiding the eyesore that above-ground trampolines can be. Oh and you won’t have to keep moving it around the garden to protect the grass.

Another great idea is to introduce zoning for this play equipment. Instead of having swings, slides and football nets all over the garden, where you can, fence off a zone or section of the garden dedicated to the children’s play equipment. Think of it as an outdoor playroom that will not only give them a sense of ownership and personal space but help keep clutter down and the garden tidy. 

Maintenance 

Maintaining or improving a garden can be laborious but the results are aesthetic and practical. Keeping the grass short will make it softer for small knees to fall on. Long grass can be itchy and uncomfortable, especially for hayfever or allergy sufferers. Well kept grass also makes a garden look fresher and more inviting. Keeping hedges trimmed, especially those with thorns and prickles, will help keep little arms from scratches. Pulling weeds will prevent tiny feet from standing on uncomfortable spikes, and hanging trees need to be cut back. Don’t forget all of these jobs require tools, often dangerous ones at that so be sure to keep them locked away safely to ensure your garden remains family-friendly. 

If maintenance isn’t really your thing, consider laying some turf. It is low maintenance and hard wearing. It is also perfect for outdoor use year round as it won’t get muddy in heavy rainfall. Ideal for playing ball sports out in the garden after a night of heavy rain. 

Seating for all

Finally don’t forget outdoor seating comes in all shapes and sizes. Adding outdoor seating for the whole family, whether it be beanbags, loungers or mini camping chairs is a great low-cost way to include every member of the family. 

Health and fitness

The Best Ideas For A Gym At Home

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If you’re trying to keep yourself fit and healthy, setting up a gym at home can be a good idea. After the cost of setting it up, it can end up being cheaper than paying for a gym membership. Having the gym at home can also help you to commit to an exercise routine. If you don’t have to leave the house to hit the gym, it’s much harder to find an excuse not to go. 

Invest In Quality Equipment

Make sure that the equipment you buy for your gym is safe. A lot of kit like rowing machines, weight racks and treadmills often show up on sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace, but make sure you check any equipment before you buy it. Give anything you buy a thorough check over to make sure it’s in good condition before you bring it home. If you buy something new, make sure you know how to use everything. At home, you won’t have a trainer to show how the equipment should be used, so ask the salesman and get them to show you. 

Start Small

Gym equipment isn’t cheap, so be sure you’re going to use it before spending money. Start small with some free weights, a yoga mat and an exercise ball. If you find you’re using your gym a lot, then you can invest in more pieces and add them in. Don’t forget your gym wear too. Try curvesncombatboots.com for fun leggings.  

Personalise The Space

Make your home gym a nice room that you actually want to be in. Adding something personal like posters or pictures can add a bit of personality. Add a TV or some speakers to entertain you while you work out. Adding some plants adds some colour to the room. 

Get Multipurpose Equipment

Most home gyms are small room, so equipment that has more than one purpose or can adapt to you as your fitness level changes are a sensible buy. Go for things like adjustable dumbbells, so you’re set up for different exercise with one piece of equipment. 

Keep It Warm

Lots of people turn their garages into home gyms. This is a brilliant use of the space but can mean that the gym is cold. Don’t give yourself the excuse to skip a workout because it’s cold, and put in some space heaters to keep it warm. Even with heaters, the bar of your barbell can get very cold, which isn’t nice when you grip it. Keep equipment like this in the house, and just take them over to the gym when you’re ready to work out. 

Start Sociable

Do you miss the social side of the gym? Sometimes the atmosphere at the gym can help push you through a difficult workout. If you find your home gym is a bit lonely, why not invite some of your friends to use it as well? They can save on their gym memberships, and you’ll have some company while you’re working out. 

health

5 Ways to Make Life With Cerebral Palsy More Bearable

Life With Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong disorder that affects a person’s mobility, balance, and posture. Most children receive this diagnosis before their second birthday. Living with CP has its ups and downs. Luckily, there are many ways to improve a person’s quality of life. Try these helpful tips:

1. Helpful Hygiene Hacks

Many people with CP have difficulty handling daily personal hygiene tasks, including dressing, washing, and going to the bathroom. Teaching a person how to dress not only helps caregivers, but it also makes the individual feel proud of themselves. Invest in clothing that’s simple to fasten. For example, seamless afo socks slide on easily and don’t rub against the toes. Velcro is preferred over laces and buttons. An accessible bathroom is also a must. Applying non-slip strips and grip bars around the shower make it safer for a person with CP to bathe independently.

2. Mobility Must-Haves

Cerebral palsy almost always limits a person’s mobility. However, the right therapies and medical devices may help reduce these limitations. Physical therapy services can increase joint movement and strength. A doctor may even prescribe medications or recommend surgery to improve movement and coordination. As mobility issues advance, it may be necessary to transition to a support device. Walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs make it possible for CP sufferers to enjoy daily activities with others.

3. Communication Capabilities

Expressive and receptive language disorders are common in cerebral palsy. Not being able to communicate with the outside world is frustrating. That’s why speech therapy is crucial. A speech pathologist will develop a plan to help correct any language delays. In the event a person cannot talk at all, they may benefit from learning augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). AAC devices let people communicate electronically on a tablet or laptop using pictures, letters, and words.

4. Special Schooling

A person with CP deserves an education just as much as an able-bodied individual. Daily learning activities can help a child overcome cognitive delays and catch up with their peers. Special education through the local school district is another great way to encourage learning. Enrolling kids with CP in school also helps them build better social skills. Even toddlers can benefit. Clinical trials show early childhood intervention programs may help improve movement and cognition. Parents should consider various learning opportunities at a young age.

5. Adjusting to Adulthood

Although CP is a chronic disorder, most people live well into adulthood. However, transitioning from a teen to an adult is challenging. Parents can simplify the process by helping their child learn how to think and act independently. Depending on the severity of the case, many adults with CP can hold down a job. Social workers can help individuals look for meaningful work at job fairs. Some may even consider going to college or vocational school. The more life skills a person with CP has before they turn 18, the more opportunities they’ll enjoy as an adult.

Live a Fulfilling Life with Cerebral Palsy

A cerebral palsy diagnosis changes a person’s life in an instant. However, this difficult diagnosis doesn’t mean they can’t go on to live a valuable, happy life. There are many ways to manage limitations through mobility devices, educational opportunities, professional therapies, and lots of encouragement. Advances in medicine and a better understanding of the disorder make it easier to navigate through life with cerebral palsy.

Interior Design

4 Tips For Your Next Renovation Project

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Following the devastation of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many individuals are slowly but surely starting to get back on their feet. Due to lockdowns and restrictions, many people couldn’t pursue their dreams of renovating their properties during this time. Although the lockdown gave them sufficient time to plan and coordinate their project thoroughly, it still took much longer than many of us expected. This article will discuss four tips you can use the next time you start a renovation project.

1 Cost Analysis

When you consider renovating your property, you must bear in mind whether this investment will be a long-term one or not. If you’re not planning on staying at a property for the next coming years, an expensive renovation might not be your option. If it is for yourself and your family, you can spend more money on the project, but remember to keep in mind that you should make this money back when you sell the property in the future. Your cost analysis should ensure you don’t go over budget and spend money you’ll never see again. 

2 Affordable Flooring

Your flooring is one of the first aspects of your home; everyone who enters sees it. Luckily, nowadays, it’s much easier to find affordable flooring that is still portrayed as high-quality flooring solutions. The installation should also be taken care of by someone with plenty of experience in the area. Flooring that isn’t installed correctly will quickly loosen up and start making squeaking noises if stepped on. Using professional flooring specialists, you can be assured your flooring will be maintained for many years to come. 

3 Reliable Roofing 

Your roof is the first thing anyone passing by your home will see; it should be well maintained and taken care of. Older buildings with older roofs tend to start showing signs of age, and with this affecting the look of your entire home, you should consider getting some work done. A new roof could be a lot of work; consider thatching services in Cambridge to build a desirable thatch roof will leave your home looking like a luxury abode.

4 Bathroom design 

When you have guests over, you can be sure they’ll at some point visit your home’s guest bathrooms. For many, someone’s bathroom represents their lives and cleanliness, which is why a bathroom is one of the first items on any renovation agenda. As the price of modern flooring came down over the years, so to have contemporary bathroom designs have become cheaper to fulfill. Leave your guests speechless with a bathroom makeover from easy bathroom designs today.

Once your project is completed, you can sit back and reflect on all the hard work and late nights you spent getting everything ready. Renovating your home is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. Seeing everything come together seamlessly and revealing the final product is perhaps what it’s all about, so ensure you and your family enjoy it thoroughly. Make sure you adhere to regulations and keep up your social distancing. 

Lifestyle

10 Best Ways To Protect Your Home & Family

10 Best Ways To Protect Your Home & Family

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Buying a new home is a significant milestone for any property owner. However, that investment is not complete if you don’t go to all lengths to secure your house and protect your family. With grim statistics showing that burglary attacks are increasing, putting the best home security measures in place is worth it. Here are ten ways to protect your home with robust security systems and boost your first line of defence.

Secure the doors

A responsible homeowner will want to inspect their interior and exterior doors to ensure that the frames and hinges are strong enough. If you do not want to help a burglar break into your home, simply secure your doors. A mail slot in your door is one thing that can compromise your home security, as burglars may be able to reach through and unlock your door. If you have just moved into a new home, consider changing your door locks. This will bar strangers who might have had access to your key from burgling your home. Reinforce the security systems around your vital entryways by upgrading to smart locks.

Reinforce your sliding glass doors and windows

Since burglars love taking advantage of the downsides of sliding doors, it makes sense to reinforce your sliding doors. Install conventional window bars when necessary to prevent your sliding windows from being forced open. Homeowners ready to use high-tech security solutions will find systems like the Ajax security system to be very effective. Do you want to protect your home with a tap of a button? The Ajax app turns your security system into a manageable device. Add door sensors and glass break sensors to receive quick alerts when intruders try to tamper with your home.

Secure your wireless network

Thieves are not the only threats to your properties; cyber-criminals can also ride on your Wi-Fi networks to plot attacks on your home. Wireless networks act as central doorways for hackers to target your sensitive information, including financial data. If you use home automation systems, these tools can make your home vulnerable to attackers. For example, if your insecure wireless network is linked to your smart home gadgets, criminals can exploit this loophole to gain direct access to your home. Secure your computer systems with anti-malware protection, build a firewall, and secure your Wi-Fi routers.

Protect your children with parental control software

Parents with little ones around them may want to monitor the online activities of their kids. The internet is a good platform for education and entertainment, but it can also expose children and adults to cyberbullying.  Keeping your kids safe from web-based predators can be done using parental control apps and other software solutions. These systems allow parents to control their children’s screen hours and enforce device-free dinners.

Get to know your neighbours

Sometimes thieves don’t come from afar but within your immediate surroundings. When you move into a new place, one of the first things to do is get to know your neighbours as a security measure. Protecting your home from break-ins is more effective if you have trusted people nearby to keep an eye on your properties. Get to know those who live around you, and inform them to watch over your house when you are going away for extended periods.

Get a dog

If you love pets that much, you may want to get a dog. This domestic animal can keep you company, protect your house, and bring you joy as well. Dogs that bark loud can scare home intruders from coming near your residence. They will also make some noise to alert you when a stranger is at the door. Get the right type of dog, and their presence will deter potential burglars from your home. 

Install security cameras

In recent years, security cameras have been making headlines as they are known to foil burglary attempts. Surveillance cameras allow homeowners to monitor suspicious events around their homes – they can provide valuable information to help track down criminals who target your home. Security cameras come in different forms. Whether you buy surveillance cameras that work on their own or those that come with complete home security systems, the investment can improve your safety. Security cameras with mobile apps will allow you to view footage in real-time. Modern home security cameras now come with unique features such as motion detection, cloud storage, and night vision capabilities.

Don’t post your vacation plans on social media

It isn’t uncommon for potential burglars to eavesdrop on social media conversations to rightly time their attacks on people going on vacations. It’s normal to want to share your vacation plans with your social media followers. However, doing so can also compromise your security. Leaking your vacation plans to the wrong person online can land you in deep water, as burglars will know precisely when to attack your home.

Clear hiding places

Overgrown shrubs, weeds, and trees near your home create a perfect haven for thieves. So, consider pruning your yard shrubbery and trees to eliminate the risks of these hideouts to your home security. You may also want to trim the foliage near your windows as an extra security precaution. A good number of burglary incidents happen during the day time, so don’t let tree branches and shrubs provide cover to malicious individuals.

Get a safe

Since you can’t always trust your security systems to keep out bad guys, getting a safe is a good insurance policy. A safe in your home can be used to securely store valuable items like jewellery and travel documents, including passports.  A good safe should be fire-resistant, waterproof, and heavy enough to prevent thieves from looting it. Ensure that the locks on the safe are up to two, choose the appropriate safe size to keep your precious items and install a safe that’s portal or anchored according to your need. A gun safe can keep your firearms out of the reach of criminals or unauthorised users. Annually, in the United States, about 230,000 firearms get stolen during household burglaries.

Fitness

Getting Better Results From Each Workout

Getting Better Results From Each Workout

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If you’re reading this, then you’re already working out, looking at the best ways to use your body to meet your health goals. However, you might not be getting the progress that you want to see. So, what can you do to kick things up a notch and make sure that you’re actually getting closer to those goals of yours?

Don’t ignore your diet

You’re looking at the fitness side of the coin right now, but that doesn’t mean that you can ignore the other side. First of all, you’re not going to succeed at weight control efforts if you’re eating more calories than you burn, that’s a simple fact. What’s more, a nutritious and balanced diet is essential for giving your body the materials it needs to build muscle, recover from exercise, and maintain energy levels.

Push it a little harder

Everyone reaches plateaus while working out, meaning that you’re going to hit a roof that’s hard to pass. However, you can do it if you would simply stop doing the same thing again and again. Once you feel like you’re not getting the results you want from a certain exercise, that’s your opportunity to look at how you can push it to the next level. For instance, adding high-intensity intervals to cardio workouts or adding more weight to strength training efforts can help.

Supplement your progress

A well-balanced diet based on whole foods and effective nutrition is essential. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t give your body the boost it needs with a few extras. This is especially true when it comes to exercise and strength training, most of all. Mass gainer supplements have become a common part of strength-building efforts. There are few better ways to get all the protein that you need to make sure your body is building muscle as effectively as it should.

Add the spice of life

As mentioned, if your body is doing the same thing time and time again, then those exercises are going to lose their effectiveness. However, aside from simply pushing yourself harder and reaching new levels of intensity or weight training, you should also look at increasing the variety of workouts. Adding a cross-training machine to your home gym might be something of an investment, but it can be worth it to increase your overall body’s fitness, rather than just working out the same bits again and again.

Recover better

Simply put, if you don’t help your body recover from each exercise with the care and attention that it needs, you can end up being left off your feet for longer. As a result, your body can start to lose some of the progress that it has been making. To that end, make sure that you’re cooling down and stretching after your exercises.

Simply put, your exercise regimen is only a piece of the puzzle and, what’s more, it’s a piece that needs to change often to remain effective. Hopefully, the tips above can help you start seeing the progress that you want. There’s always a way out of a fitness rut.