Essentials To Have For Moving Into a New Home

Buying and moving into your first home is something that is so exciting. However, it can be just as stressful as there is a lot to plan and to organize. If you are a first-time buyer, then you need to ensure that you have all that you need for the home, so that the process can run smoothly and work well. It can be something that is very satisfying, but at the same time, can be hard to stay on top of, as there is a lot to arrange and to sort. Some things might come with a new home, such as kitchen appliances and built-in storage and closets, but some things won’t. Putting that in mind, here is a checklist of things that you will need to get for a new house. Furnishing will be up to you, but some essentials will be needed.

Portrait of happy delivery men carrying cardboard box and carpet outside van

Cleaning Products

From the day that you will move in you will need some cleaning products for the home. From bleach to antibacterial spray and disinfectant, you will need some products to help you to clean the home. Not only that, but you will also need to think about other cleaning products, such as washing-up liquid or dishwasher tablets and salts. Getting laundry products is a must too, so that you can move in and get on with things as normal. Having a collection ready to move into the house can be a big help.

Tools

Having a toolset is a must for any homeowner. Even if you have moved into a new build home, there are a variety of different things to consider. For example, you might want to put up some photo frames or mirrors, or perhaps some new shelving on the wall. All of those things will need tools like drills, and perhaps things like screwdrivers. If you don’t know what the best drill to get is, then you could source the information online. Just make sure that you have some tools when you move in, otherwise it could make completing the home much more difficult. You could also get things like a ladder to have in, as well as an extension lead or two. You never know just how much electrical sockets there will be or where they will be placed in a room. So an extension cable can be flexible to help right as you move in.

Safety Equipment

Some homes will come with fire alarms already, however they may not be connected or may not have batteries in. So that is something that you need to remember right when you move in, because you need to always be safe. You should also consider something like a carbon monoxide alarm, as well as things like fire blankets or a fire extinguisher. Of course, the latter aren’t a necessity, but they can be helpful. Lightbulbs and spares can be considered an aspect of safety for moving in, especially if you are moving home in the winter months. 

First Aid and Health

When you move in, especially if you are planning some DIY, you will need to think about having things in so that you can keep safe and well. A first aid kit is a necessity, as well as things like bandages and painkillers in. If you have medications or allergies, then having enough medication to cover you for a while is helpful. This is going to be extra important if you are moving somewhere new and need some time to get registered with a doctor, and so on. A thermometer, scissors, pens, paper, and tape are all good things to have in for when you move in too, as well as a notebook or paper, to keep track of things and write things down.

There are a number of things that you will need to get for a home, but a lot of them can be collected over time, or just bought as and when you need them. Having some basics in can help you to make the house really into a home, and they’ll help you to take care of your home, as well as those in it. One last point to note before you move in is that you should remember to sort out your bills before you start to move in. Getting your broadband sorted, as well as gas, electric, and water is a must so that you can just get on with things when you move in. Is there anything else that you would add to the list?

 

Keeping Your Home In Perfect Condition With Limited Time

We would all like to have a home that’s in perfect condition, but, alas, sometimes it feels as if the world is against us. We’re all busier than ever, and that means that we don’t always have as much time to dedicate to our properties as we might like. But just because your free time might be limited, that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a home that’s in a poor state. Far from it. By incorporating some smart, time-saving tips into your schedule, you’ll find that you can have a great home, even if time is in short supply. 

Tidy As You Go

There aren’t too many things more annoying than getting home after a long day at work, looking around, and just knowing that you’ll have to put in a few hours’ worth of cleaning if you’re going to get your home back into perfect condition. There is a way to avoid this, however, and that’s to tidy as you go. It’s much easier to spend five minutes cleaning your property each day, rather than waiting for everything to fall into a state of dirtiness before you begin. You won’t even notice those five minutes of cleaning, and your home will look great.

Invest in the Best

You can make looking after your home much more straightforward by simply investing in the best materials. There are some materials that require next to no maintenance, such as quartz, while others, such as wooden floors, require only minimal maintenance. So take a look at the most popular quartz countertops, and add them to your kitchen. This is a space that can become unclean and marked pretty easily, but that won’t be the case if you have a high-quality countertop. Wooden floors are ideal for the home too, since they’re much easier to maintain compared with a carpet (which can get dirty pretty quickly). 

Rope In Others

Many hands make light work. That’s true of everything, including keeping your home in perfect condition. You can’t be expected to look after an entire property all by yourself. If you have a family, then look at assigning everyone a task. If that’s not an option for whatever reason (such as your children are too young or your partner works a lot), then consider hiring a professional cleaner. They can be highly affordable, and they’ll also do an excellent job. It’s also recommended to find a trusted DIY expert, especially if you don’t have time to learn DIY skills yourself. When something goes wrong, you can just call them up and have confidence that they’ll handle it as soon as possible, ultimately preserving the quality of your home

The Minimalist Look 

Finally, you could consider taking the minimalist route. There are many advantages to this type of decor, but one of the main ones is that it makes looking after your property much more straightforward. After all, there’s only so much that can go wrong if there’s not much there in your home. 

Power XL Smokeless Grill Review

I’ve done a number of recipe posts about grilling, but today we take grilling indoors with the Power XL Smokeless Grill and Griddle.  This product would make a fantastic addition to any kitchen (especially if you don’t have an outdoor grill),  and it is also a perfect gift for newlyweds.

We’ve cooked a number of things on this grill including fish and burgers, and we also enjoy using the griddle plate for pancakes, bacon, and sausage. [Read more…]

What are the benefits of having plants in your home?

Gone are the days when everyone thought plants belonged outdoors – gardens and farms. Now, plants are easy to access, and even a plant hire from Advance Plant Services is possible. Plants can be kept in offices and most especially houses because of the fantastic benefits.

In addition to the beauty and life plants add to spaces they occupy, there are a lot of other benefits.

Why would you want to have plants anywhere, especially in your home? These six benefits will reveal why.

1. Improving air quality

When thinking of improving air quality, the first call may be to open the windows and ensure natural ventilation. However, that medium may not always be convenient and that where plants come in. Plants have a large surface area – enough for the exchange of water and gases, thus increasing humidity and carbon dioxide levels. This also reduces air-bone dust levels, keeping temperatures down and generally improving air quality.

2. Relieve stress

Research has shown that plants help reduce stress levels by absorbing carbon dioxide and cleansing the air. Plants naturally purify the air and may be able to remove up to 80% of volatile toxins from the air, thus detoxifying the air and provides an overall cleaner environment which helps relieve stress and anxiety.

3. Used for decoration

Plants make beautiful house decors, and indoor plants require little attention, as they don’t need so much sunlight or watering. They can be put into pretty containers and placed at various places in the house – In the living room, at the entrance of the house or hanging on the door. It beautifies the area by turning empty spaces into clean, detoxified spaces.

4. Breathe easily

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the day during photosynthesis, thus creating access to oxygen more. Some plants specifically do this and to work better, can be placed in bedrooms and rooms that people spend more time. This benefit creates an unwritten rule that plants and humans should be in the same space.

5. Increases focus

Now that working culture has changed with more people working from home, having plants in a home can improve productivity. Plants also help increase concentration, mainly because working from home comes with a lot of distractions. There’s a theory that when there are plants on a desk, it serves as a right attention shift for a concentration boost.

6. Reduce colds

Plants can humidify the air and decrease the dust particles, which may have viruses that cause colds and coughs. Some indoor plants give off a soothing feeling to the mind and body, reducing blood pressure and respiratory disorders. Some studies show that keeping plants such as Eucalyptus in bedrooms help to reduce congestion in the chest, thus clearing the air pathways.

Examples of some great indoor plants are Peace lily, English ivy, Chrysanthemum, Mother-in-law’s tongue, bamboo palm, Azalea, Spider plant, Aglaonema, Dracaena, Ferns, Philodendrons, Palms, Pothos, Spathiphyllum, Succulents, etc.

An aesthetically-pleasing environment, detoxified air, better sleep and a healthier environment are some of the amazing benefits of having plants around the house. There are no negatives when it comes to getting plants for a home.

Here are Some of the Top Signs that it is Time for you to Move

Are you thinking about moving soon? It doesn’t matter whether you are sick of your job or whether you don’t like your neighbours very much because there really are so many reasons why now could be the time for you to make a change. If you want to find out more, then simply take a look below.

You Feel as though Things are Getting Tight

Look around. Do you feel as though things are getting somewhat tight in your home? If so then this indicates that it is time for you to move. One of the most obvious tell-tale signs that it is time for you to move is if you have no room for anything anymore. If you just had a baby then this would explain why you are short on space, for example. You might feel as though you just don’t have room for anything or that you just can’t bear the thought of tripping over all of your stuff all the time.

It’s Time for an Upgrade

If you feel as though you are ready to live in a nicer neighbourhood then this could indicate that it is time for an upgrade. It may be that you want a more modern, updated kitchen or that you yearn for more storage space. You may feel as though you just want to have some more updated appliances, an attic or even a garden. If this is the case then this is another sign that it is time for you to take that leap and move home. Sure, you could probably do things like this to your own home but if you did, then you may find that this ends up costing you way more down the line or that the home you have now just isn’t suited to that kind of upgrade.

There are New Opportunities on the Horizon

Moving for your job is one of the main reasons why so many people choose to relocate to a new city. It might be that you have hopes of speeding up your career or that you want to move to a city that fits in with your level of convenience. Either way, it doesn’t matter what your reason is because moving to be closer to your job is always a good idea and you would be surprised at what a difference it could make to you overall.

Suburban Life

After years of having to live in a fast-paced or even a congested city, so many people choose to suck it up and move to the suburbs. Why is this? It’s usually because the neighbourhoods are safer and because there is a much lower cost of living. Residents usually get more bang for their buck when you look at the square footage of the homes too, so if this sounds like you then this would imply that now is the time for you to move.

There’s Too Much Empty Space

If you feel as though you are hearing crickets in your home, then this can also be a sign that it is time for you to downsize. If you have kids and they have now left your family home, then you may feel as though you have a big, empty space left behind and this can be difficult. That being said, you need to remember that less is more. By downsizing, removing clutter and moving to another home that is more suited to your requirements, you can then spend more time doing what you love.

Safety Concerns

Another top reason why so many people choose to move is because they don’t feel safe in the neighbourhood that they are in right now. If you feel as though your street is not safe, then it may be worth relocating to another area. The main reason for this is because if you don’t move now, then you may find that your area gets worse and worse, and that you struggle to sell your home for as much profit as you could normally. This is the last thing that you need, as you may find that it goes on to affect your next home. If you want to make sure that you are getting the most for your home then you need to look up the prices of other homes in the area and you also need to make sure that you team up with a reputable mortgage broker, like Altrua Financial. They can give you the best mortgage rates.

Your Relationship Changes

A change in your relationship is one of the other reasons why many people choose to move. You may find that you have too many ties to a certain person or that you want to move in with your new partner. Either way, you need to make sure that you have a solid relocation plan because if you don’t then you may find that things take a turn for the worst and that you end up putting way more financial pressure on yourself. If you want to try and get around this then it is always a good idea for you to sit and talk with your partner about the future you see and where you would both like to be in a few years’ time.

Commuting

If you live far away from work or even family, then you’ll know how frustrating this can be. You may feel as though you are always trying so hard to balance everything and that you are also struggling to spend time with your loved ones as much as you’d like. You will soon find that this adds up to be a super stressful experience. Over time, you may feel as though the daily grind, whether it’s getting to and from work is just too much to handle. This is one of the many reasons why so many people pack their bags and choose to live much closer to work. If you do this then you will be able to have more sleep, be a healthier person and see your family more.

Financial Changes at Home

Financial changes at home can have a huge impact on where you actually live. If you are lucky, have inherited money or if you have a much higher-paying job, then this could be a good chance for you to move so you can get a jump-started on the property market.

Family

Sometimes, life doesn’t go your way. It doesn’t matter whether you have an ageing partner or whether your partner has changed jobs because sometimes you may find that you have family commitments and this could mean that you are forced to move. If this is the case then you may not have much choice in the matter, but either way, you still need to make sure that you are choosing a good property. If you don’t take your time with this, then you may find that you end up missing out and that you really struggle to capitalise on your investment overall.

Your Kids need a Better School

Choosing a new home in a new neighbourhood can also mean that your kids have to change schools. Sometimes this is a good thing, as it means that your children will get a better education. Sometimes people choose to move for this very reason because there is a specific school they want their kids to go to and they need to be in the area in order to have a chance at getting in. If this sounds like you then it could be time to move.

 

Home Additions That Will Give You More Entertainment

Theater in luxury home with red walls

Our homes are our safe havens. They’re the spaces we return to after a long day at work, or when we’ve been out and about socialising. It’s where we want to let our hair down and relax. Our homes are also the spaces where we entertain ourselves, our family and guests when we have free time. So, it’s not all too surprising that we all want to ensure our homes are the best spaces to achieve all of these things. This is particularly true during these odd times we’re living through, where more and more of us are spending increasing amounts of time within our own four walls to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Here are a few different home additions you can invest in to keep you and your loved ones as entertained as possible!

TV

Most homes have a TV. But your choice of television package provider can impact what you can and can’t watch. You should browse the market and see which services best suit you and your family’s tastes. You could see how to setup IPTV. You could consider Netflix or Amazon Prime for films and TV shows. You could consider Britbox for British television. You could try Disney Plus if you have little ones or are a Disney fan yourself. This is a simple addition to your home, but could provide hours and hours of entertainment on a regular basis!

A Cinema Room

If you have a spare room or a garage that you don’t use, you could convert this space into a cinema room. This is a dedicated room for watching films on a big screen! The costs of setting one up aren’t actually all too extortionate. You can find a wide variety of projectors and screens to choose from at a reasonable cost and then you just need some comfortable seating. Bring your own popcorn and everything should run pretty smoothly! If there’s a window in this space, remember to invest in black out blinds, as these will give the best and most immersive experience. Sound bars can also work well to create a surround sound style atmosphere.

A Games Room

A spare room or garage could also be put to good use as a games room. This is ideal for adults and kids alike and what you do with it is entirely up to you. You could have a snooker table. You could have a ping pong table. You could have old style arcade games. You could have board games. Whatever appeals to you or your family can be worked in!

A Hot Tub

If you’re looking for relaxation or a means to entertain guests, a hot tub could be the perfect option. Sure, this is a lavish luxury and a novelty spend. But it could be perfect for you and your family. After a long day at work, or a stressful day, you can kick back and relax in the tub with soothing bubbles. If you have friends over, you can grab a drink and catch up in the tub. On top of this, a hot tub has numerous health benefits. It can improve your age, relieve symptoms of arthritis, relieve lower back pain and decrease anxiety and stress to name just a few different potential benefits! So, if you have the space, it could actually be a really wise investment.

A Home Bar

You don’t need to go out for a drink. You can have a home bar instead! Serve up your favourite cocktails and mocktails to yourself or your guests. They’re easy to set up and could even be a converted shed in your garden, so there needn’t be any large setup costs. Just make sure that it can be locked to prevent people from taking anything from the bar in the night.

These suggestions are, of course, all relative novelties. But they could be a brilliant improvement to your home, making it a much more enjoyable and fun space to spend time – alone or with family and friends! You can make any of these steps suit your budget, with more elaborate steps being taken for larger budgets or different alterations being made for smaller budgets. Either way, these are options that you may be able to implement and enjoy!

Bathroom Renovation Tips That You Should Try Now

bathroom of the hotel rooms, with a shower and a few washbasins.

Indeed, home renovations are a challenging process. Meanwhile, when it comes to bath renovations, the stakes are higher. There are multiple decisions to make along the way. Sometimes, the cost can be high. As such, in this article, you will know of the tips before beginning your renovation. Check this out now:

Talk with your Contractor

When you are working with a general contractor, you must always communicate the plan. Never assume that you are on the same page. Consider bath renovations as a surgery. To avoid getting the wrong knee replaced, you have to make sure that the plans are put into place. You can check the bathroom renovations Melbourne for more information.

Determine How Much a Bathroom Remodel Costs

Before starting any project, you have to put your expectations into perspective. This is true of how much you are willing to invest in your project. The size of your bathroom, the quality of materials to use, and the manpower involved will all affect the total cost of bathroom renovations. Bathroom remodels can get expensive quickly. This can be because of labor costs and materials.

When you plan to transform your home into a style that you want, you will be investing in your real estate. Bathroom remodeling can cost very high. As such, you must research local custom building costs. You have to plan your budget and stick to it as much as possible. This process is made easier for you if you select a remodeling contractor or a firm that offers fixed pricing versus estimates.

Create Smart Choices

If you are planning to stay in your home for five years, then design it with resale in mind. Meanwhile, if you are planning to stay at your home for more than seven years, then design the room for yourself. This is because the look will be considered dated as soon as you put your home on the market. You can check the bathroom renovations Melbourne for more information.

Select an Electrician for the Job

You have to hire an electrician for any lighting schemes, rewiring jobs, and the addition of a shower pump or electric shower. Talk to the electrician before the plumbing or building work begins. With this, they can plan their jobs onto your refurbishment schedule.

See to it that you select a registered electrician that will give you additional protection if anything goes wrong.

Customize your Bathroom

Just like a standard bathroom, a customized bathroom is filled with suite fixtures. The only difference is that the final design has a matching countertop. There are also built-in cabinets around the room. As such, you can take your bathroom remodeling to the next level. Customized bathrooms have personalized vanities, cabinets, and facilities.

You can also invest in custom cabinets with custom wood, depending on your style. Cabinets are useful in bathroom and kitchen. This is because the storage space in the bathroom is useful than what the homeowners think. Drawers and cabinets are one way to make your bathroom functional and beautiful. However, you must think about the kind of wood that will stand up to moisture. Thus, professionally installed bathroom pieces are your best bet that will make your cabinets last for many years.

What Are The Great Home Design Principles For Urban Living?

Urban residences are often much different to their suburban and rural counterparts, for a range of understandable reasons. For instance, large properties in the middle of bigger cities are more likely to be narrower yet longer as opposed to wider, because this allows for more residences to comfortably sit in one street. Furthermore, multiple stories, penthouses, or apartment living can be a suitable consideration to keep in mind. 

However, apartments or properties defined in this way do not have to be considered ‘cheap living’ by any means, as no matter the category of domicile, high quality and luxury homes will always be found. If hoping to conduct worthwhile home renovations in an environment like this however, how do you begin? How should you speak to an architect and design professional? And furthermore, how can you understand just what your construction options are with such stringent legal codes?

It’s worth asking these questions, because many inner-city individuals wish to curate their homes in the best manner, and they should be able to follow this path to its natural conclusion. As far as that’s concerned, please consider the following advice:

Making The Most Of Space

Making the most of your home space is a requirement when living in an urban environment, because the more space you have, the more valuable your home is. In other words, increasing the value of your space will help you match the costs you have paid for it. From tasteful mirror placement to aligning furniture in the correct orientation, all the way down to ensuring an open plan living space to gain a few feet of room, space can make all the difference in an urban abode.

Permits, Permits, Permits

It can be difficult to secure permits for renovation in an urban setting, because buildings are designed and constructed with strict legal codes that keep residential allotments in check. However, it can be that aided by the best architectural services, you may gain more than you realize. Single storey extension options are great alternatives for those occupying this space, as it grants you a beautiful new addition to your property with less likelihood of being declined. This way, you can arrive at a beautiful compromise without it feeling like that at all.

Comfort & Peace

It’s perhaps even more true in urban environments that comfort comes at a premium. In rural areas the exterior openness and natural beauty is there to take in, but one step outside of an urban property lands you in an environment that isn’t yours. For that reason, helping the interior of your environment seem as peaceful and friendly as possible is worthwhile. From plenty of greenery to open plan sightlines and using verticality to your advantage, you’re sure to feel the most ‘free’ you can in your urban setting. This is not to say your exterior environment is to be ignored or disliked, only tor be considered in your home renovations.

With this advice, we hope you can utilize the best home design principles for urban living.

4 Signs Your Insulation Needs Replacing

Insulation is an integral part of maintaining your home’s comfort. It helps you control the temperature in your home, but it does more than that. Good insulation decreases your energy costs because your heating and cooling systems don’t need to work as hard. It also acts as a sound barrier, so you can keep noise where you want it.

However, nothing lasts forever, and insulation is no exception. Many things can influence the life-span of insulation, such as the quality of the products or conditions inside the home. Let’s take a look at 4 signs your insulation is due for replacing, and how to go about it.

Changing Temperatures

The most obvious sign of degrading insulation quality is a change in indoor temperatures. If you’ve had good comfort levels for years and suddenly start feeling a bit icy in winter, it could be because your insulation needs replacing. Another sign may be that temperatures are simply changing quicker than normal. This means airflow inside the house is increasing and could be due to poor insulation.

Increased Energy Bills

The sign that nobody wants to see is higher energy bills. Heating and cooling is the most expensive energy use in the home, so if your bills are unexpectedly on the rise, insulation may be the cause. Without quality insulation, your heating and cooling systems need to work harder to maintain your intended temperature levels. If you can’t pinpoint any other reason for increased electricity costs, it might be time to check your insulation.

You’re Noticing Drafts

Even if you think the temperature in your home is being maintained, you may still start feeling drafts in certain parts of the home. Drafts mean that cold air is sneaking in where it shouldn’t, and the cause could be your insulation. Indoor drafts are particularly prevalent from the roof, however, they do make your investigation a bit easier. If you can identify where you’re most feeling the draft, you’ll have a good idea of whether you need to check the walls, floor or roof.

Wet Insulation

Another sign that your insulation needs replacing is if it’s wet. You may not even realise, because you probably don’t crawl around in the roof too often. However, damp conditions in the roof cavity can result in wet insulation, as can leaks. Not only is wet insulation ineffective, but it can also be dangerous. Mould can form, releasing mycotoxins into the air. In short, wet insulation should be replaced immediately.

How to Fix Your Insulation

Firstly, you should check your insulation thoroughly before rushing out to buy new batts. Often, the insulation itself is fine, but it may have shifted in the walls or ceiling cavity. You may also need to check for damage caused by animals. Often, you can reset it, and carry on without the cost of replacement. If you do need to replace it, however, consult some experts to ensure you’re choosing the right roof insulation, wall insulation and also underfloor insulation. Much of the work can be done yourself, and it shouldn’t cost a fortune.

Fine Lines: Cleaning The Edges Of Your Garden

The outside of your home doesn’t get as much attention as it should. It’s only natural to be more focussed on what’s going on indoors than how your home’s exterior looks. It’s quite possible to overlook even the simplest of things, regarding your garden, gate, garage or any other part of the outside. The first thing you should start paying more attention to is the fine lines of your garden. Let’s take a look at some of these areas, which create the shape of your garden and how you could improve them.

A strong border

Gardens which feature separation obstacles like borders are fantastic when they look right. A border which is strong and clean brings more attention to your flowers, plants and vegetation. If you have a natural border, i.e. no bricks or other materials, then use simple spading tactics. This is when you simply cut down with your spade into a messy area. This is usually when you have a lawn which is overgrowing into the soil area or perhaps when the soil has overlapped onto the lawn. The spading just cuts a line between the two and stops the border from blurring the lines. 

If you have a brick border, you can use a bleach and lemon mixture to scrub the bricks back up to their original bright orange or red color. Clean away the soil that’s on top of the brick and you can use a simple olive oil wipe over the brick to give it a new shine. 

A little too messy

When drains start to overflow, they become very messy and create foul odors. They can also create stains on the floor and house if you leave them to build gaseous pockets. Using a Drain Cleaning service with knowledge on how to get rid of sludge, gunk, dirt and debris, is the obvious choice. It could be something simple to clear, like a chunk of autumn or winter leaves. It could be pebbles or perhaps even a dead animal. They will find out and clear the drain, leaving you with the job of cleaning up.

Use a pressure hose to get rid of any standing stains that might easily come off with a bit of pressure. If you can’t, then use a shammy leather cloth along with some iron wool, to force the stains off your house or PVC drainage gutter.

Scattered pebbles

The downside of having a pebble garden is when the stones become loose and fly around the floor. This can easily be fixed, by puncturing the sheeted floor so the rainwater can easily drain into the ground. However, you should also try to compact your pebbles, simply by walking all over them. Any loose stones will be forced into a dry cohesion, making the floor into one solid block. You can also add limestone powder over the top of the pebbles, to add more friction and grip, so they won’t dislodge so easily.

When you have nice clean lines for your garden, everything just looks neater and more shapely. Take the time to make a nicer border and you will see the results yourself.