The essential guide to buying smart TV

As time goes by, our TV’s are swiftly moving into the space where they’ll be outsmarting us at any moment! We’ve come a long way since the TV was just a unit for entertainment. Far from the old-fashioned gogglebox, TVs have evolved to a multifaceted hub which not only shows broadcast material, but which can connect to the internet and stream content, while some can even respond to voice commands!

Where only a few manufacturers held a monopoly over the TV market is the past, we now have a vast array of new manufacturers who all vie for their slice of the market share pie. This means that new innovations are taking place at an unprecedented rate, in the race to be cooler than the preceding model by another manufacturer. The rate at which the technology is evolving means that, while old-style models used to be up to date for 10 to 15 years, the newer models can be obsolete within a year or two.

What’s in a brand name?

There is no lack of choice when it comes to manufacturers, but how do you know which are the good ones, and which should be avoided? The “old faithfuls” who have been around for years, have a reputation to uphold, and the chances that you will have luck with one of their models is quite high. Going for a well-known, popular brand is not a sell-out; it’s a choice to go with someone who has historical significance in the field, and whose product won’t make you feel like you are wasting your money.

What is the best size?

The best size is one that is proportionate to your home. A TV that is too big for the space in which it is, looks out of place, while a too small model can look silly. Also consider whether you want the set to be floor-standing or wall-mounted, and whether or not you want to expand upon it with peripheral fittings, like gaming consoles or external speakers.

What is a good price to pay?

Of course the price point of any technological item goes up as the specs go up. If you have a large budget, the sky is the limit – but if you are limited in your spending ability, the best advice would be to go for the highest specs that your budget allows. It is also an idea to wait for sales, as you can get very good products at a discounted price.

Look at the picture quality. Historically, the higher the number, the higher the picture quality. However, this thinking precedes the arrival of 4k, which is currently the best available visual quality. This doesn’t mean that 4k is the only option – don’t be hesitant about looking at lower grade models if they are a better fit for your budget. The point is to get an internet-compatible TV to keep your family entertained, and if keeping up with the Joneses is not a priority for you, go for the best model you can afford.

Pest Problems and How to Avoid Them

With all of the stress of the past year, the last thing anyone needs is to be dealing with a pest problem at home – indoors or outdoors. Indoors is a given, as we are all hunkered down due to the COVID-19 pandemic but maintaining your outdoor property is equally as important since, come spring, we will all be spending socially distanced time enjoying the weather in the backyard with friends. Just the word “pest” sounds annoying so keep the following simple fixes in mind to help keep the creepy crawlies and critters away:

Call in The Experts:

One of the best things that you can do when you start to experience a problem with pests is to call in the experts, like the ones at Smith’s Pest Management, because your issue could get out of hand very quickly. It’s also important for the process to be as eco-conscious as possible, which Smith’s offers. Once a pest problem goes too far it not only becomes unsafe but can severely damage your property. Hiring the experts will also take the guesswork out of solving the problem yourself, which is crucial as time is of the essence when dealing with pests because the issue is only going to escalate.

Do a Deep Clean:

A nice, clean house is a safe house as some bugs and critters are attracted to dust and clutter or crumbs and countertop produce in the kitchen or dining area. Maintaining a pest free home includes dusting regularly, vacuuming up any crumbs, and clearing spaces of clutter so that there is nowhere for the pests to hide. Don’t forget your garage as well as the drainpipes in your kitchen and bathroom, which can attract bugs when clogged.

Patch Up Any Holes:

If there are any cracks or holes in your house, it gives any type of pest easy access into chez vous. Inspect your house carefully both indoors and out and be sure to take note of if there are any tears in your screen doors or windows or any gaps in the doors. Replacing a screen door or window and patching up holes could be

something that you could tackle on your own. However, if you are unsure, call in an expert so the job can get done properly. Cutting off any access into your house will be essential for keeping it pest free.

Do Your Research:

There are tons of great tips online to help repel pests and, even if you aren’t experiencing a problem, they can be good to follow so that it stays that way. Did you know that there are certain plants that repel mosquitoes? There are even plants that eat the bugs, themselves! You can also use a jar with a bit of apple cider vinegar in it to help trap little fruit flies (The worst!).

If there are any pests that you are worried about dealing with come spring and summer, especially since you will be having company, it would be wise to start seeing which preventative measures you can utilize in the next few months. I, for one, don’t think I could enjoy a lemonade on the patio and all the while pests are making the property their own!

Keeping a pest free home ensures the safety of your family, pets, and property. Major problems are also a definite way of lowering your curb appeal in the neighbourhood. Remember, if you are ever unsure of anything when it comes to doing home maintenance or pest control, there is no shame in calling a professional, as you definitely are not alone, shown here. Having the job get done right is the most important thing so that you can continue to enjoy your property worry free.

Should Your Sell Your House As Is Or Do Needed Repairs

Selling a house can get tricky depending on whether it needs repairs or not. A crack in the foundation of your home could cost a couple thousand dollars to fix. This might raise the question of whether or not it’s worth selling because the homeowner might believe that the full value of the home will rise after fixing. However, unfortunately, this might not be the case. The homeowner might fix the crack but the house still doesn’t rise in value and now it’s a waste of money when you could’ve just sold the house as it is. 

Anything from getting your lanai screens repaired to fixing the foundation of your home could raise or lower your home’s value. It shows buyers that other issues could happen and the home might not be worth as much as they think. Tolerating small issues with your home is fine if you’re not selling but those small details could stop buyers from sending offers if they aren’t fixed. Read on to find out if you should sell your home as it is or repair it first.

Repairs That You Should Look Out For Before Selling

Faulty wires and electrical problems should be one of the first things you examine before selling your home. These typically require small repairs such as lost wire nuts, destroyed junction boxes, free wiring and faulty light switches for outlets. You can save an average of $65 to $85 an hour plus the cost of materials by examining the wiring of a home and getting it repaired before selling. This is a significantly less price to pay before deciding to sell your home and it’ll give your home more value.

Another thing to look at should be your drainage and gutters. Poor drainage can be referred to as how water from rain and melting snow is guided away from your home. Backed up rain gutters, screwed up downspouts, stains from water and soft soil around the foundation of your home are all big signs of issues that you need to fix up your drainage situation. Some fixes are cleaning the gutters and also adding extensions and can stop your gutter from clogging. The future homeowners coming into your house won’t need to worry about any damage from water or drainage which can be a huge relief if they need to move into the home quickly.

The roof is one of the most important components of the house because it can be expensive to replace and hard to keep up with if you don’t know the history of the house. Clogged up storm gutters can lead to water damaged shingles and wood rot, but if you’ve got a little water leaking into your home during storms, you can fix your roof issues by replacing ruined weatherstripping and shingles for only a couple hundred dollars. It is best not to let a ruined roof or other detail scare away buyers because you know that this will be something they will ask about immediately.

Foundation problems hopefully will be minor and easily fixed for you. Typically, you want to look out for foundation problems as your home settles over time. Basic repairs to a foundation are usually between a couple hundred and a couple thousand dollars and that’s without counting in additional costs such as slab jacking and the fees of a structural engineer to come out and assess the damage for you. Some early signs of foundation problems that you need to look at in your home include things like slanted floors, windows and doors that don’t close all the way or are damaged. Also, visible cracks in the exterior foundation can severely damage the foundation and make it almost impossible to sell your house so this is definitely something you want to be on the lookout for.

Selling Your House As Is

Selling a property without putting money into it to fix it up might seem like a dream come true but there are some setbacks when it comes to this. For starters, most bank loans require that new homeowners let the bank do a walkthrough of a property so that they can see what it looks like before they lend their money to the new homeowners. If this inspection goes poorly because of a lot of damages, you’ll lose your potential buyer and more future potential buyers until it can be fixed.

Additionally, many people consider selling a home as is because they don’t have the money to put back in the house for repairs. Once again, this seems like a good idea if you’re short on cash but it could bite you in the butt if a homeowner demands you make some changes to the home when they look at it. Buying and selling homes is a costly process that you might need to work on getting more money before you decide to do so.

Also, if you’re thinking about selling your property as is, you have to keep in mind that the property value needs to be undervalued to get a sale. You can’t just take the overall value of your home and subtract out the amount of work that needs to be done to it to meet your selling point. The lanai screen repair previously mentioned might cost more for the buyer than they would for you. 

The buyer needs to feel like they’re getting a deal buy purchasing your home as is. They need to feel like they’re getting the property for less value if they’re willing to put the cash into it to do repairs that need to be done. So, if you’ve got to put work into a property, you need to be selling it for even more of a discount than just subtracting the repairs from the home from the value. If you sell at far less value then hopefully that will make sense to the buyer and make them more likely to purchase it. Most buyers will be able to justify putting that cash into it especially if they are looking for a fixer-upper home or a discount.

 

How Often Does A Residential Roof Need To Be Replaced

A lot of people tend to not know what it takes to make sure their roof is in the best of conditions or when they should replace it. The trickiest part about this is that there are a lot of factors, such as the type of material used. There are many different roofing companies in Villa Hills that can help a person with replacing their roof when it is time to or needs to be done.

Average Time Before Replacement

The lifespans of a roof depending on the material that was used on the roof. This is because each material reacts differently to things thrown at it, such as the elements and debris actually being thrown at it. Here is a breakdown of the different types and how long they should last. If a homeowner does not know how old the roof is, a professional should be able to tell them after inspecting the roof.

Asphalt Shingles

There are two different kinds of asphalt shingles: 3-tab and architectural. 3-tab shingles are the most common kind used as they are the most affordable. They can last 15 to 20 years as long as nothing major happens. Architectural on the other hand is made out of a more resilient material and can last about 30 years.

Clay or Cement Tile

This is one of the most expensive roofing materials, but it is worth the price when one takes into consideration how long they last. These tiles are very thick and resilient to what mother nature can throw at them, so it is common for these to last anywhere from 50 to 100 years before needing to be replaced.

Slate

This is the most durable option that a person can pick for their roof. It usually lasts at least 100 years but often lasts longer than that before having to be replaced.

Wood Shingles

When it comes to a material that has to have a lot of maintenance, wood shingles would be considered at the top of this list. If the roof is not kept clean of debris and moss, which is common to find growing on wood shingles, then it can make the shingle last only 25 to 30 years. If they are properly maintained, they can last for about 50 years.

Wood Shakes

This roofing material is just like the wood shingles, meaning it has to be maintained to last longer. With these being a thicker material than the shingles, they can last for 35 to 40 years. Now, just like the shingles, they can last longer if they are maintained.

Metal

When it comes to metal roofing, there are two different lifespans that the different materials can be divided into. The most common materials are aluminum and steel, and they tend to last for about 50 years. On the other hand, copper and zinc can last for 100 or more years.

Signs Of Replacement Before Its Time

As stated above, different things can play into the lifespan of a roof. Some very important things should be looked out for as they are a clear sign the roof needs to be replaced. A roof is one of the most important factors of a home and can cause a lot of problems if not maintained properly. That is why it is important to look out for signs of problems and get the roof replaced as often as needed depending on the lifespan of the material.

Holes and Leaks

If a person was to go into their attic space and can see the sky through their roof, then it requires replacement. Cracks and holes can form naturally over time as the roofing material ages, but it can also be caused by things mother nature tosses at it, such as tree branches. Leaks are caused when there is a hole or crack in the roof. Sometimes these are so small that a homeowner may not even know they are there until they notice the leak. If there are not many of them, a person might be able to just get it repaired. If the material is towards the end of its lifespan though, it should be replaced instead of repaired, or more holes are going to form.

Water and Moisture Stains or Damage

These happen when a leak is not found and gets really bad. The water coming through the roof has nowhere to go then into the home and often soaks into the ceiling. When a ceiling develops a yellowish or brown stain, there is clearly a bad leak and water is building upon the ceiling. If it is not taken care of, the ceiling will begin to sag. The color that forms in the ceiling is caused by the dirt and other debris that is within the water. The coloring might also be caused by the installation being destroyed and forced down into the ceiling.

Exterior Damage

This is the most obvious sign of the roof needing to be replaced but also one often overlooked by homeowners. If there are missing shingles or rot starting to form, then the roof needs to be replaced before it starts letting water into the house if it has not already. There might also be obvious damage done, such as a tree branch crashing through the roof. Mother nature can do a lot of damage when it is storming outside, and some shingles are not made to withstand what could be thrown at it.

When Should the Roof Be Replaced?

Now that there is a basic understanding of roof materials, a person can easily decide on when to contact roofing companies in Villa Hills KY to have their roof replaced. If they are not sure when the roof was installed, they can always have someone check it. A professional should be able to give a close estimate on when the roof was installed.

7 Ways to Look and Feel Good About Yourself in 2021

With the new year now in full swing, many of us are happy to see the back of 2020. Over the last 12 months, no one could avoid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in social distancing measures, working from home, and sadly, millions of deaths around the world. With so much doom and gloom, your health and wellbeing may have been affected as a result.

Although we’re still in unprecedented times, vaccinations are now underway, which shows promising signs of a brighter future. If you’re not feeling yourself, here are some ways you can look and feel good about yourself in 2021.

Make Time for Yourself

If you’re the type of person who is watching the news religiously for updates on the coronavirus, your stress levels may be through the roof. This year, you must make a pledge to factor in time for yourself to escape what’s on the television and reduce anxiety. Whether you have a long soak in the bath, go for a stroll, or call up a friend or family member, your health and wellbeing should always come first.

Practice Positive Thinking

Retaining a positive mindset throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. For those who live alone, you may feel isolated from the outside world, so try and remember that this won’t last forever. Before you know it, restrictions will lift, and you will be back to your old self. Thinking positively can lower levels of distress, ward off depression and keep your energy and concentration levels in check.

Change Your Skincare Routine

Looking after your skin throughout the pandemic is important. We all know how good skincare products can help keep you looking radiant and glowing, but you may have become stuck in a rut with your routine. Whether you’re bored of the products you’re using, or you aren’t getting the results you want, now is the time to switch up your skincare routine. While you may have to order products online rather than buying and testing them in person, changing your skincare routine will ensure your skin is getting the hydration it needs. No one wants to be stuck with dry skin, so if your skin is becoming more sensitive than normal, or you are beginning to get blemishes, now is the time to make a change.

Give Your Smile a Makeover

Many of us are insecure about our smile. If you are one of these people, you may try and distance yourself from social events, or your love life may be something you’ve put on the backburner. We should all feel confident in how our teeth look, so why not start this year off by getting your teeth straightened? You can even achieve straighter looking teeth from the comfort of your own home using companies like ALIGNERCO. ALIGNERCO are experts in clear aligners, helping you to achieve your dream smile. They provide invisible braces that you can wear which give off a more natural look. What’s more, many treatments can be completed in as little as 6 months, meaning you will have perfectly aligned teeth to show off once the pandemic is over.

Factor in Regular Exercise

Although we’ve entered a new year that many people see as a fresh start, the winter months and cold weather may make you more prone to lounging around the couch rather than exercising. If this sounds like you, it may be time to get out the door and go for a run. Regular exercise is imperative for your mind and body, helping to keep your spirits lifted and joints lubricated. There are so many health benefits you can gain from making exercise a priority in your schedule. Even if you’re working from home, allocating 30 minutes towards physical activity can help keep you in good health.

Look After Your Hair If your local hair salon has had to shut due to COVID-19, this doesn’t mean you should neglect your hair. Until you can get an appointment, there are many ways in which you can keep your hair healthy and shiny, such as by following a balanced diet, getting it wet less often, using chemical-free shampoos, and conditioning regularly. Instead of reaching for the hairdryer, it’s best to let it dry naturally, otherwise your hair may become dry and brittle.

Take Up a New Hobby

To keep motivated and engaged during these uncertain times, why not take up a new hobby? As long as it’s something you can do from home, having something to focus on will reduce stress levels and provide enjoyment and entertainment. Whether you get stuck into arts and crafts, read a book, or undergo a home improvement project, having something to occupy you is a must.

While the news about COVID-19 is alarming, there are lots of things you can do to keep positive and upbeat this year. Looking after number one is crucial during the pandemic, so make sure you put the tips above into practice which can transform the way you look and feel about yourself.

Pitfalls to Avoid When Finding a Property for Sale in Paphos

When finding a property for sale in Paphos, you’re paving the way to your new home with gorgeous surroundings. Nevertheless, don’t let your desire for speed blind you during the purchasing process. There are a few points you should be cautious about, as explained below.

Pitfalls to Avoid when Choosing a Property for Sale in Paphos

The following list details the key themes you need to be comfortable with when buying a property in Paphos, and Cyprus in general. You should take some time to understand your needs and what you’re looking for. Otherwise, you might find yourself spoilt for choice. Most property developers have exceptional portfolios for your choice.

● Get a good property developer and lawyer

● Check ownership disputes

● Confirm commission rates and overall costs

● Pay reservation fee when you get the terms

● Conduct due diligence

● Land Registry contract registration

● Property management agreements

● Write your will

Property Developer and Lawyer

Around 10 years ago, many unlicensed property agents were dealing in illegal activities. This has now changed, but it’s still worth making sure that your agent is registered and licensed. You’ll be able to find these numbers on their website.

Regardless of the license, though, some property agents are better than others. Therefore, make sure you ask them questions about the market and their track record. Also, talk to a few so that you can compare their answers and approach. At the end of the day, you also need to feel comfortable with their style.

Certainly, you’ll need a lawyer to help you through the process and paperwork. A great property agent, though, has a strong network of connections. Again, you can ask them about this and who they tend to partner with. This also will give you a good idea of their techniques. There is no legal obligation to use a lawyer, and your property agent can cover everything. However, assuming that you’re a foreigner trying to make sense of a new culture, then it’s worth paying the extra legal fees.

Ownership Disputes

Sadly, there have been several cases when a property is being sold but with an ownership dispute. For instance, this can happen during a divorce. With the market on the rise, some over-enthusiastic developers and people have found themselves in the middle of a court case. Therefore, you should do your verifications at the Land Registry office and confirm the property’s ownership. Of course, your lawyer can also support you with this.

Commission Rates and Costs

It might sound obvious, but many people forget to look at the details of the contracts they’re signing. Any purchasing process has several fees due to different parties, and it’s important to avoid any surprises, so check everything upfront.

When buying Cyprus property, there are some instances when there are intermediary parties who will also ask for commission. All this should be detailed in your agent’s contract, so make sure you read everything correctly and check for hidden costs. Again, the advantage of having a lawyer is that they can also guide you and make sure you don’t miss anything.

Reservation Terms and Fees

Some sellers will want a reservation fee, especially if their property is high in demand. If this is the case, it’s important to agree and sign some terms before any fees are paid. In addition, these terms can include details of payment structure and what happens if the sale doesn’t go forwards. Can you expect a refund, for example?

Due Diligence

This doesn’t just apply to Cyprus property because due diligence is important wherever you are. Again though, a lawyer or a property agent can help you through this step, although it is sometimes wise to check for yourself.

When conducting due diligence, though, you want to check for any mortgages that still exist on the property. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a bank reclamation. Furthermore, you’ll want to check the details of ownership, as already mentioned earlier.

Land Registry

Just like many other countries, the Land Registry office holds all property deeds and titles. You also have to register yourself as an owner as a part of your Cyprus property’s purchasing process. Indeed, there is a specific time frame during which you have to deposit your contract of sale at the Land Registry. You also have to make sure that your agreement is stamped within that time frame. Otherwise, you risk losing the property.

Preparing Will

Last but not least, it’s worth making sure that your will is up to date. Like many EU countries, Cyprus has laws about how assets are passed on to family members. You might disagree with the approach, but you can write your will accordingly.

Final Recommendations for Buying a property in Paphos

Every country has its specifics when it comes to buying property. Don’t let this overwhelm you because as long as you get a good lawyer and the right property agent, you’ll be in good hands. Of course, make sure you cover the points listed above such that you feel comfortable. After that, you’ll find that investing in a property for sale in Paphos is a safe and exciting experience.

3 Reasons to Choose a Concrete Patio Surface

For many homeowners, a patio is a sacred space for relaxing and enjoying the surroundings. As such, a patio should be constructed to suit your preferences and offer maximum comfort. So, which construction should you opt for to make this space inviting enough?

There are six construction materials you could opt for; brick, flagstone, pavers, tiles, cut stones, and concrete. While each of these has its merits, your choice will often be dictated by the location, size of the patio, or your budget.

In this guide, learn the gains of using concrete when constructing your patio.

3 Key Reasons for Using Concrete for Constructing a Patio Surface

Concrete is versatile and adaptable

During the construction phase, concrete can be modeled into curvy, attractive shapes. This will certainly make it unique from other surfaces around the house. By leveraging color staining techniques, you can also give the patio surface a personalized appearance or match the patio’s surface appearance to your house’s stone façade.

While many homeowners often style their patios to match the outdoors, you can still model concrete to mimic other construction materials such as bricks, wood, and even natural stones.

Concrete is durable

Concrete can withstand different weather conditions- from hot summers to pounding rains during the winter season. Concrete isn’t affected by rust and rotting. It’s also not eaten by rodents and insects which are common in outdoor settings. In essence, a surface made of concrete for last for years before needing some revamping.

The concrete surface is easy to maintenance

Compared to wood or natural stones, concrete requires minimal maintenance to keep it in pristine condition. As concrete forms a solid surface, there are fewer weak points where destructive elements such as weeds and grass could grow on.

In addition to this, concrete settles as a single slab. This means you won’t need to spend on labor for leveling the surface and removing unsettle blocks that could trip users.

Best Practices when Using Concrete for Making Patio Surface

Concrete forms a solid slab that’s hard to break down if there are mistakes. Before you commence with the construction, it’s vital to familiarize yourself with the best practices.

Approvals by regulatory authorities

If the patio is generally large, you may need approval from the regulatory department in your zone. Regulatory authorities give guidelines such as the type of concrete allowed, the thickness of the slab, and the location of underground utility lines.

Have a contractor on site

Constructing a patio isn’t a simple DIY project that can be done by anyone. It requires planning by an experienced hand for it to succeed. It helps to engage a qualified concrete resurfacing contractor at every stage of the construction. This minimizes the possibility of a costly mistake.

Pond Curing is an essential part of constructing a patio

To make your concrete patio last for years, you must ensure that the curing process is done as per the recommendations. Pond curing entails erecting a pool of water above the surface and letting the water remain in position for a few days. The resulting slabs are super strong and crack resistant.

Conclusion

Using concrete to construct your patio can help save on maintenance costs. This is in addition to other gains like durability and versatility.

If you are still mulling if you should go with concrete, the above three reasons should convince you to make the decision.

Top Tips For Home Design

There’s a lot to think about when you’re designing a new home, so it’s no surprise that self-builders often get overwhelmed by all the things they have to know and decide. It’s easy to overlook some of the key elements that could make a real difference to the finished property. Here are some of the most important things to remember when you’re designing and building your own home

Before you decide to shop house plans, make sure you’ve done your homework, so the design and build process can go as smoothly as possible. 

Budget Beyond The Construction Work

The design of your new home will have to be dictated by your finances. While most people realise that they need to factor in the cost of the building work, it can be easy to forget about the other aspects of a house build that need to be accounted for on top of the construction itself. 

You will have to spend quite a lot of money on things that might seem minor on their own but collectively can soon add up to a lot of money. 

Don’t forget to budget for things including:

  • Landscaping
  • Finance and insurance costs
  • Professional and local authority fees
  • Site surveys
  • Access from the highway
  • Service connections

The price of some of these elements can be predicted in advance fairly accurately, like planning fees and sewer connection charges, but others will have to be estimated. Leave room in your budget for some surprises and unexpected costs. 

Reduce Noise

The soundscape is something that is often overlooked when planning a house. Unwanted noise is a common problem, especially because of all the gadgets all homes have as standard now for their entertainment. The fabric of your home needs to be robust, well-sealed, and as solid as possible.

The layout of your home will also play a key part in reducing noise and disturbance. Children are noisy, so if you have kids, look into how best to distance their bedrooms from other parts of the house. For example, you could out bathrooms or built-in wardrobes in between bedrooms to reduce noise between them. Sound can travel most easily to rooms below, so a second floor or an attic space might not be the best choice for a room for the noisiest member of the family. 

Open-plan living is becoming much more commonplace, but you shouldn’t forget to factor in a snug or a living room that is away from the main areas of activity in the house. This gives you somewhere calm for quieter activities like reading or homework. 

Storage Solutions

One of the most common gripes from people who own new-build homes if the lack of storage space. In the early stages of a house design, it’s all too easy to underestimate how many possessions you own or are going to acquire in the future. 

This is the big reasons why most garages are usually not filled with cars. Instead, you’re far more likely to find things like bikes, gym equipment, Christmas decorations and other clutter piled high in there instead. 

You can incorporate a lot of storage space into your home at not much extra cost or a loss of floor space, but you will need to plan this in at the beginning of the design process. 

Built-in storage can extend to the full height of rooms and also work as a design feature, which will make it more efficient than things like free standing wardrobes or chests of drawers. 

Another thing that you should consider is a pantry, to give you more storage in the kitchen. Fit it with sturdy shelves to allow you to have easy access to kitchenware and produce that might otherwise be awkwardly crammed into the standard kitchen cupboards. 

Home Maintenance

Sooner or later every element of the construction of a new house will need some kind of maintenance. If you can predict your home’s upkeep, this should influence how you integrate different materials and fittings into your design. 

Roof tiles and bricks will last for several decades without needing much attention, but other materials will need more frequent work. For instance, things like plastic fascias and barge boards are very popular, but to keep them looking good and in good repair, they need to redecorated regularly, using a tall ladder. 

An open roof over a stairwell with skylights or a centrepiece chandelier looks striking, but it will also be a challenge for the person who has to change the light bulbs or clean the glass. Self-cleaning glazing and cables that will allow the light fitting to be hooked across to the landing will solve these issues, but if you need to redecorate, you might be scaffolding, which is a specialist job.  

Another difficult chore is unblocking gutters, especially any high-level valleys between pitched roofs. You can spare yourself a lot of effort by putting roof windows in the attic, so you can safely reach out to the guttering with a rake. 

Future-Proofing The Home

If you’re planning in your self-build home for many years to come, then the layout needs to have some flexibility built into it so it can evolve with you and your family as it changes. 

It’s a good idea to plan for increases in the size of your family, whether that’s having more children, adult children returning home from college with their boyfriend or girlfriend in tow, or older relatives needing to move in. 

Think about putting in some planning approval for an extension that can be constructed at a later date. You could also put in the foundations and some capped-off drainage connections that are ready to be used when you finish the extension later on. 

You could make a loft with a clear space suitable for conversion, perhaps with a structural opening in place for a future staircase. 

Future-proof in case family members become infirm or disabled. Discrete features make a big difference, like doors that are wider than standard to allow space for wheelchairs. You could leave space to fit a lift at a later date. 

 

5 Common Lawn Pests and What to Do About Them

You spend hours working on your lawn; mowing, watering and fertilizing to keep the grass thick, green, and healthy. Everything looks great, until one day you notice a mound of dirt surrounding a hole…and another one and then a few more. Soon, your beautiful green lawn has brown patches, ridges and other unsightly problems.

Even when you give your lawn plenty of TLC, pests can do a number on it. Professional lawn care and maintenance services are often called in when homeowners discover pests and want to save the grass before it’s chewed up or even killed by insects and rodents. Although every lawn is different and some areas are more susceptible to certain lawn pests than others, knowing the most common invaders can help you keep them out of your yard, or take care of them quickly if they do show up.

The Pests Most Likely to Tear Up Your Lawn

Moles

Moles are small rodents, often confused with mice. They have dark, velvety fur and small ears and eyes; the size of their ears is the best way to differentiate one from a mouse. Moles live underground, where they eat earthworms and other invertebrates, including the larvae of other bugs.

Moles won’t directly eat your grass or the roots, but rather they cause damage with their tunneling in search of food. In fact, evidence of moles is often linked to grubs in your lawn, but they can appear on their own as well. They tend to be attracted to damp earth, and overwatering can bring them into your yard. Watering less often, can help keep them away. Otherwise, using traps and pesticides may be the only way to keep them out.

Grubs

A favorite food of moles, grubs are actually the larvae of beetles, including the Japanese beetles that wreak havoc on your flower and vegetable gardens. Typically fat, white, wormlike creatures, grubs feed on the roots of the grass, killing the plant.

Beetles have a one-year lifecycle. The insects typically lay their eggs in the summer, turn into the larvae that eat grass roots in the fall. They go dormant in the winter, tunneling into the soil, only to reemerge in the spring and continue munching on the grass. They then hatch into new beetles, beginning the cycle all over.

When you have a grub infestation, you’ll start to notice brown patches of dead grass in your lawn. Because the roots have been severed, you can easily lift the patch of grass and roll it up like a carpet. You’ll likely see the grubs in the dirt, too. The only way to get rid of grubs is by using a pesticide, and doing so every year. Left untreated, they can kill the entire lawn.

Webworms

Like grubs, it’s the larvae of webworms that harm your lawn. Adult webworms are small, off-white colored moths that fly just above the grass; you might not even notice them until you mow the lawn. The moths lay eggs in the soil, though, and the hatching larvae eat the grass at night. The damage they do is usually hidden by new growth, but once your grass goes dormant, you’ll see where they’ve been eating your lawn. Again, professional intervention to eliminate the larvae is necessary to protect the grass.

Chinch Bugs Chinch bugs stay on the surface, and literally suck the life out of the grass. These tiny black bugs — only about the size of a tip of a pencil — tend to be found in large swarms on the grass.

They suck the sap out of individual blades of grass and inject saliva that causes the grass to die. When they aren’t feeding, they find hiding places in the thatch under the top layers of grass.

Chinch bugs will cause areas of widespread damage if they aren’t controlled. Dethatching the lawn to eliminate their hiding places, and using pesticides, can keep them away.

Billbugs

Billbugs are another species where it’s the larvae that kills your lawn, not the adults. A type of weevil, they spend the winter on the edges of your yard, especially if you have trees or leaf litter around the edges of the grass. In the spring, they return to the grass to lay their eggs. The larvae eat grass at their growing point, killing it.

Billbugs are one of the most difficult pests to diagnose because they are so small, and they borrow so deeply into the spring thatch. Dethatching can help, as well as cleaning up all leaf debris on the edge of the yard. Most pesticides will take care of the bugs as well.

Keeping these pests out of your yard can help you maintain a strong, healthy lawn. Take care with any pesticides and call for professional help if necessary.

Tips to Buy the Perfect Coffee Table that Complements Your Living Room

Usually, the coffee table is the last piece of furniture you look at after selecting the other furniture items for your living room. However, no home is complete without the ubiquitous coffee table, though you need to find the perfect one to match the others. Why not browse the Hampton coffee table at OneWorld collection and other such sites, which gives you a wider choice. There are round ones, square tables, glass-topped tables, and some shapes that you need to see to believe.

However, here are some tips for buying the perfect coffee table that adds to the décor of your living room:

Spare a Thought for Space

You can’t have your coffee table positioned too far away from your couch, or too near enough to bang your knees against it. If the edge of your coffee table is more than 1/12 feet away, reaching out for the morning newspaper or cuppa is going to be a tad difficult. You can’t leave too little, or too much room in between, because coffee tables need to take up only that much space, and no more.

The Height Makes a Difference

A coffee table that is very high is no coffee table. The table’s top needs to be at least a couple of inches lower than the sofa seat level. Otherwise, you’ll be straining yourself each time you reach out for some knick-knack lying on the table. It is advisable to measure the height of the seat of your sofa from the ground and measure the coffee table’s height to be on the safe side.

Most coffee tables are about 18 inches high, and you may want a taller one if you are going to be standing around a lot and can’t reach down too low to set your glass or dessert plate on it. So, consider the height before buying your coffee table.

Matching Styles

Your coffee table has to match your sofa in colour, size, shape, etc.; otherwise, the mismatch looks odd and will be an eyesore. If you have a large-sized sofa sitting on metal (chrome) legs, maybe you want a matching glass-top coffee table with metal legs. A slim couch goes well with a solid wood coffee table with a solid wood top. You may want to carry photographs or videos of your couch while going to the furniture store.

No Sharp Edges

If you have kids running around in your home, any coffee table with sharp edges is ruled out. There have been too many instances of little ones banging on sharp edges and screaming in pain. Go for a smooth, round table that is safe with the kids playing around all day. Look for one with rounded legs too, to make a perfect match and for safety as well.

Musty Smell of Wood

If you like the musty smell of wood, you may want to consider tables made of seasoned oak, when exploring the options for Hampton coffee table at OneWorld collection. Also, it should match your taste and budget. A solid wood coffee table is an investment for life, and what’s more, the value of wooden furniture increases with age.

Lightweight Metal or Glass

If you don’t fancy lugging around heavy furniture, and if you keep changing the furniture landscape, it is advisable to go for lightweight metal or glass coffee tables. Not only are they easy to move, but they are easy to clean and maintain as well.

If your living room already has many wooden furniture pieces, you can complement that with a metal or glass table to add to the variety.

Black is Beautiful

Consider a black coffee table that looks sleek and elegant if you don’t like furniture in bright or glaring colours in your living room. The high-end collections include two-tone, ebony-coloured coffee tables with a sleek finish that add to your living room’s ambience.

Summing it Up

Buying furniture is a tricky business, and selecting something as ubiquitous as a coffee table is no different. It would help if you considered many of the above factors while shopping for your coffee table.