4 Fall Maintenance Tips You Should Do Every Year

Fall is an exciting time of year. Not only do the hot temperatures cool off, but it means the holiday season is right around the corner. However, it’s also a sign that it’s time to show your house a little love.

4 Maintenance Tasks to Tackle During the Fall

When fall rolls around and provides a welcome respite from the heat of the summer, you might be tempted to sit down and kick your feet up. But before you relax, you should take the time to tackle the following home maintenance tasks.

1. Clean Out Gutters

After the majority of the leaves have fallen, you’ll want to take the time to inspect and clean out your gutters.

“Clearing your gutters out at least twice a year is recommended and can save you hundreds of dollars by avoiding repairs and gutter replacement,” Kefauver Lumber Company explains. “Also, when you’re cleaning gutters and downspouts it allows you to inspect and look for warning signs of more significant issues such as: sagging, mold, mildew, and leaks.”

While you’re up on a ladder, take a few minutes to inspect your roof. Look for warning signs that the roof is deteriorating or leaking. Signs that something is wrong include: buckled shingles, rust spots on flashing, cracked or missing shingles, sagging, and algae staining.

2. Drain Irrigation System

You won’t be needing your irrigation system during the winter months, so there’s no sense in leaving it on. Doing so could cause even the deepest buried irrigation lines to freeze and burst.

To drain your sprinkler system, start by turning off the water to the system at the main valve. You should then shut off the automatic controller and open all drain valves to remove water from the system. Find any above-ground sprinkler heads, remove them, shake out excess water, and replace.

If you happen to have an older system that doesn’t contain drain valves, you can hire an irrigation professional in your area to blow out the systems with compressed air. The cost is far cheaper than replacing a busted pipe.

3. Seal Up Air Leaks

One of the major drivers of utility costs during the fall and winter months is heat loss through windows, doors, and other openings in the home.

“The change in temperature and humidity and normal wear and tear can cause window seals to crack and shrink,” DIY Network notes. “Check your windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts. Caulk cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including the garage door. Replace screens with storm windows and clean them if needed.”

4. Inspect the Fireplace and Chimney

There’s nothing better than lighting the fireplace on a cool day and enjoying the natural warmth. However, before you turn on your fireplace, it’s imperative that you give it a once-over to make sure it’s safe and operational.

Grab a flashlight and shine it up your fireplace flue to be sure the damper opens and closes. You’ll also want to make sure it doesn’t have any unusual obstructions, such as animals, birds’ nests, branches, or excess soot. Also keep an eye out for missing bricks, chipped mortar, or other damage. If you spot anything out of the ordinary, it would be wise to call in a professional to address the problem.

Show Your House a Little Love

A quality-built home can last for centuries, but you can’t neglect it over the years and expect it to hold its value. Keeping it in tip-top shape requires some TLC and attention to detail. Whether it’s spring, summer, winter, or fall, there are plenty of seasonal maintenance tasks ready to be tackled. What will you start with?

How To Decorate Your Dream Home

Finding that dream home – perfect location, perfect size, perfect price – it is a tall order. An even taller order is deciding how to decorate it, not only to enhance its value but also to suit the lifestyle of its owner. Many of our Calgary real estate home buyers struggle to get their new home they way they want it.

If the owner is a Martha Stewart-like maven, maybe he or she will make quick work out of pairing paint and patterns, furniture and flooring, and window treatments and wallpaper. Most homeowners, though, will find the task daunting, if not downright overwhelming.

Here are some directives for those who dare to dabble in interior design.

  1. Flooring choices abound, and cost might make some of them prohibitive. Tile, wood and carpet are the three primary materials, and choosing one (or a combination) should depend on how the room is going to be used, and who is going to use it. Weather can play a role in the decision, too. A hot and humid environment wreaks havoc on wood, for example.
  2. Furniture placement can create harmony in the home and establish scenes or vignettes. Consider the focal point of each room – the window, the television, the back yard – prior to plopping down the bed, the couch or the patio table. Angled furniture adds dimension and interest to interior spaces. Setting furniture in the middle of the “great room,” for instance, can break up the area and add cohesion.
  3. Home décor, including artwork, wall accents, tabletop objects and area rugs, are a little more personal. The best way to go about adding flair is to decide on a theme and seek out a dominant piece around which to build. If the theme is tropical palm trees, as an example, find an appealing print or a colorful wall hanging or a synthetic palm tree in a pretty basket to set off the room.
  4. Decorative items such as pillows and ornaments strategically placed can add so much to a room. It can take a boring room to cozy and luxurious with just a few strategically placed items. But be careful to not over clutter your areas.
  5. Finally, remember there are no hard-and-fast rules, and thinking “outside the box” can yield creative results. Page through decorating magazines, or watch the HGTV channel, or go online to search for inspiration. The goal is to turn that dream home into a dreamy environment.


Is It A Good Idea To Change Your Windows

If you live in the large cities, you most likely want to change your Ottawa windows or you want to make a bit of a change as you see fit. People like the idea of changing stuff in their life. It’s a part of their lifestyle and they do want to make changes like these as often as they can. But doing that is not as simple. You need a plan to figure out what you want and where you should go from here. It all comes down to having the right approach and using a good system that helps you.

That’s where changing the windows Toronto comes into play. Changing your windows allows you to refresh your home a little bit. It offers a new perspective on the stuff you do, and it just makes things a whole lot easier due to that. You still have to deal with challenges as you go along. But it’s something that you can avoid if you want to. It all comes down to figuring out what you want from your home and setting that as a plan.

A remodel will pay off immensely and the best part is that you can easily adapt that to suit your needs. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do, but it does bring in front some nice benefits and a good value as you go along. People like the idea of changing their windows because it helps them refresh their home. It’s a nice thing to do. But it can also be costly depending on the windows you choose.

You can opt for some simple windows, or you can choose something more complex. If you go with the complex stuff, the prices will be higher and you need to be prepared for that. But it does make a lot of sense to do something like this, and the return on investment can be a great one in the end. The value is always impressive, as long as you stick to the idea at hand.

You need to have a budget set right off the bat. This way you can avoid going off the rails with the overall pricing. Once you have that covered, you will find it easier to change your windows in a fast and meaningful way.

Stick to your budget and remember that you can always try out new stuff. Think about the new style that you want to pursue. And remember, these new windows need to fit your lifestyle. They need to bring in front some unique results, and in the end they will help you quite a lot. It all comes down to adapting that to your lifestyle, and once you do that nothing will be impossible. It’s important to see what you like and what you dislike, once you do that nothing will be able to stand in your way. And it will be very well worth it for the long run!

Steps To Saving For A Down Payment For Your Home

Buying a home is almost everybody’s dream. Everybody has that dream house they have wanted for years. As you plan to buy a house, it’s important to start thinking about how to save for a down payment.  The down payment will be money you will need to access. However, unlike other savings, it’s crucial that you save wisely to avoid loss of the savings.

For those who have had investments, you know that you can earn more money, retain the initial amount or lose it.  However, for a down payment, you need to be careful not to lose any money. As such, how you intend to save determines how secure the money is so that once you have attained the minimum amount, you can start paying towards your new home.

Here’s how to save for that down payment:

  1. Know how much you need

The truth is, you can’t just start saving without knowing how much you need. Have a sit down with a mortgage lender who will explain in details and let you know how much mortgage you qualify for.  Mortgage lenders have a system where they calculate the amount to lend to a borrower using qualification ratios. You can have a specific amount of how much you may need. There is the rule where your mortgage payment should not go over 28% of your gross monthly income. For example, if you earn $100,000 annually, your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed $2,333.

Note, the more down payment to have, the better the rates you get and the less the repayment period. Before taking out the mortgage, ensure that your credit rating is good. Ensure there are no late credit card debt payments as this destroys your credit rating. However, with a good credit repair company, it’s possible to have it removed. Check out more information here https://creditrepaircompanies.com/late-payments/.

  1. Know your timeframe

How much time do you have to save? When do you plan to make the down payment? Having an answer to these questions will help you know how much money you need to start saving.  Most mortgage lenders require a 20% down payment.  For example, if the mortgage loan is $ 180,000, and the down payment is 20%, the actual down payment will be as follows:

$180000 divided by (100/80) = $225,000 (total amount to be paid)

To get the down payment amount will be:

$225,000-$180,000= $45,000

In case you want to buy a home in three years’ time, you will need to save $15,000 per year.

  1. Start saving

Saving is never easy, and it needs a lot of discipline for it to work. Your down payment amount should be a motivator for you. Have an automatic funds transfer. You can automate it by having a monthly automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. This way, you have no co tact with the money.

You may receive unexpected money in the form of a raise or bonuses. Save that money and see how quickly you get to raise the down payment. Also, the change you get after a purchase can go to the savings account. Another great way is, in case you have any student loan, refinance it and have a friendlier interest rate which helps you save for your home down payment.

  1. Work with a budget

A budget is crucial to ensuring that you stick to the plan. Working with a budget helps you develop the discipline not to overspend. Work out your income versus your expenses. Your budget should include your down payment amount. In case your budget is strained, you may be forced to identify ways to make more money for it to accommodate the down payment savings. Identify areas where t=you can reduce the expenses. Find out ideas on how to make your appliances more energy efficient.

Owning a home gives you joy knowing that you have worked towards it. Choose a home that you can pay the mortgage comfortably without breaking the bank. Live within your means and avoid letting other people influence you into buying a house that could cost you a fortune. Plan for your future for a more fulfilling life.

To learn more about investments from ZooToo, click here.

WBC Homes On Finding A Contractor For Patio Covers

Patio covers is one of the many services offered to homes on the West Coast of California by WBC Homes (West Coast Better Homes). Other services offered, according to their videos and portfolio, include roofing and windows, across Burbank, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Burbank. They are one of the many companies in the area that offers these types of services, however, which is why it is important that people learn to find out how to recognize a good contractor.

WBC Homes on Finding a Good Contractor for Patio Covers

If you have a patio or deck and you want to have it covered, it is important that you choose a professional contractor that understands not just your personal needs, but also the needs relating to the climate.  California is subjected to the Santa Ana winds, leading to quite extreme weather conditions that can be somewhat unpredictable. It is important therefore, that your patio cover is designed to be able to withstand these types of conditions. On top of that, you need to know what you will use your patio for.

If you want to use your patio to hold things such as some chairs, a table, and the barbecue, and you intend to  frequently entertain in the space, you will need a different design that if you are looking for something to simply keep the sun off your back. There are endless possibilities to consider, particularly in relation to enclosure and climate control period you must work with a contractor that understands all of this.

It is recommended that you spend some time collecting ideas on designs, materials, size, shape, and so on. Remember that you were dealing with not just the Santa Ana winds, but also the weather conditions of the Mojave Desert. Well you are not expected to have the knowledge of a building contractor yourself, it is always good to have at least some background idea of the things that matter before you start consulting. Last but not least, you obviously need to consider your budgets. Unfortunately, most of us do have to stick to a certain amount of money.

Armed with this knowledge, you can start contacting contractors to discuss your ideas. Or contractor should be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation quotation. They should not pressure you into making a decision on the spot. If you come across a contractor that tries to lure you in with deals that are only available for the next 24 hours, simply move on and find a different one. The contractor should also be able to create pictures, preferably through something like AutoCAD design, so you have a visual idea of what things will end up looking like.Try to get at least five different quotations so that you get a good idea of what a fair price is and in to choose the one that offers you the best value for money overall, which is not necessarily the cheapest price.

Community Builders Tulsa – Why Get a Sunroom

A sunroom has several benefits, one of which is that it provides you with an amazing view of your outdoor space while you are indoors. At Community Builders Tulsa, they emphasize the importance of optimizing every aspect of your home in order to improve your outlook to life. They understand that having a great sunroom with an immense recreational value is equally as important as having a beautiful bathroom. This is why the company is equipped with some of the best sunroom facilities in the region. They offer premium sunrooms in various styles which includes Elizabethan, Classic Contemporary, Vaulted and Solarium.

Why Choose a Sunroom?

There are several benefits a sunroom offers that go far beyond the visual and creative decor appeal. Sunrooms are ideal for enhancing a homeowner’s mood. A sunroom provides an amazing breakfast area especially when the sun is shinning. They also provide a unique space for entertaining guests. Moreover, Sunrooms are a great relaxation area, where a person can sit and enjoy a cup of tea. Moreso, sunrooms are also excellent play spaces for children. In addition to this, a sunroom can make a perfect TV room. All you need is to add a large table, television and a comfortable set of furniture.

Additionally, sunrooms are great workout spaces. A sunroom is a well-light area within the house where a person can embark on great exercise routines. Moreover, sunrooms can also make a great greenroom. If you have the desire to maintain a container garden or herb corner in your home, a sunroom provides an ample space for this. A sunroom receives ample sunshine which enables your plants receive a consistent temperature all year round. Sunrooms also increases the value of your home as many people appreciate its inclusion in a home. Moreover, a sunroom adds more aesthetics to a home.

Another reason why you should get a sunroom is that it provides an ample place for reading and studying. Sunrooms provide the serene atmosphere that aids assimilation. Moreover, a sunroom is a perfect home office where you can work after office hours. It would also provide a good setting to impress your clients. A sunroom is also good for hosting meetings or enjoying TV series in group. A sunroom with a big television would provide the ideal setting for a super bowl game. It is also a cozy place for family gatherings. It provides a spa-like retreat environment, suitable for family relaxation.

When you consider the several benefits of having a sunroom, it is easy to come to the right conclusion that a sunroom is a must in every home. A sunroom is affordable to create in the home. A sunroom is a beneficial addition to a home. At Community Builders of Tulsa, they realize the importance of having a great sunroom in your home. This is why they employ the most qualified installation experts that are highly trained and experienced in sunroom installation. They make sure that your sunroom is properly installed so that you can enjoy the beauty of unlimited outdoor views.

What Floor Is Best For Children’s Bedrooms?

Decorating the your children’s bedrooms can often feel like a chore. The room should feel welcoming, a place where they can spend hours playing, but it should also be practical too. With how often kids spill or break something, delicate furnishings aren’t going to last long. In particular, the floor in their rooms is going to take the most hits. With that in mind, you might be worried that you have to sacrifice style of substance. Don’t worry, this simply isn’t true. With continuing advancements in manufacturing, there are plenty of practical floors that look stunning. Therefore, lets take a look at which floors are best for tackling to busy kids bedroom.

Solid wood Flooring

Although initially it can be a considered a lot of money, hardwood flooring is a lifelong investment. Solid wood flooring is a very hard material, that offers you that much needed durability. When it comes to styles, you will amazed by the choice on offer. From species to shades, there is a seemingly unlimited variety of designs. By choosing the right finish and re-sanding from time to time, you will have a floor that is able to stand scratches and the traffic on the floor with ease. It is important to consider the room you plan to use this floor in. Solid wood cannot be used in rooms with underfloor heating. Since it is a natural product, the floor expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations, so isn’t the best choice fro these types of rooms.

Laminate Flooring

This floor is a very popular low budget option. Although it is synthetic, it imitates real wood perfectly. Thanks to this, you get amazing looks without compromising practicality.  Laminate is made of layers that protect it from moisture and therefore won’t react to temperature fluctuations. This means this floor is safe for use with underfloor heating, ideal for modern properties. Additionally, it has a protective layer that helps the floor at being more resistant to scratches or spillages.  It is because of this, that laminate makes an excellent kids bedroom floor. Similarly, laminate is water resistant, which makes spills easy and quick to clean. A simple sweep and mop every now and then keeps the floor hygienic and a safe surface for your kids to muck about on.

Vinyl flooring

The cheapest floor on this list, vinyl is a mix of PVC and other plastic materials. It is because for this that vinyl floors can stand scratches and spillages very well and are also very slip resistant. This, combined with vinyl’s softer surface is great if you’ve got little ones that fall down a lot. This is a cost effective floor can last up to 20 years if well installed and is very easy to maintain. Since it is waterproof, you can perfectly mop this floor with a warm, damp mop. If your child has any kind of allergy, this floor is perfect as its nonporous surface doesn’t harbour dust and or allergens. People can often worry that vinyl looks cheap, but with the introduction of luxury vinyl tiles, you can now get a high quality look without breaking the bank.

So there you have it, some floors that are practically great but still look gorgeous!

3 Furniture Pieces That Add Sophistication To Your Dining Room

Of all the dining room furniture out there, three pieces stand out in terms of style and sophistication: a well crafted, modern dining table, a classic sideboard and a rustic buffet hutch. Of course, in each of these cases, you don’t want a mass-produced piece of furniture made from particle board or veneer – you want solid wood furniture, and you want to get it from a longstanding, reputable wood crafting company.

If you’re in Toronto, look for a company with some showrooms around, and then go visit. Honestly, the best way to tell quality is still by using your senses; touch and inspect the wood, and you should get a good indication of whether it’s of high quality or not. Another mark of a good furniture making company is their willingness to try things out of the ordinary, like mixing contemporary and classic styles for a cabinet, or making beautiful reclaimed wood coffee tables out of reused industrial lumber. Ingenuity and talent often go hand in hand.

But back to the dining room furniture: have your whole dining room made from the same wood or pick a complementary stain for each piece to give the room a sense of unity. There’s no hard and fast rule about mixing styles of furniture, however, and if it looks good to you, go for it. It’s generally recommended that you go for a simple, modern style of dining table – the centre of the room ought not to be too ornate. But, again, these are just guidelines and at the end of the day you can choose whatever you’d like.

As for the sideboard, go for broke. Sideboards are a great blend of functionality and aesthetics, and so should be thought of in both ways; you want something with ample drawer space for your cutlery and linens, but you also want it to be a statement piece. If a classically designed sideboard isn’t your cup of tea, and you want something that more closely matches your table, go for a mid-century Nordic style sideboard, with clean, minimal lines.

Finally, your buffet hutch should be custom made with the features you’ll use most, as its functionality is its most important feature. Have one made with a wine rack and an all glass door, or open shelving with solid wood doors. With a good furniture company, you will be able to decide the structure, as well as which wood variety you’d like and what finish you would prefer.

When you have furnished your dining room, you can move onto your living room, where you can consider whether you want reclaimed wood coffee tables, tall, imposing entertainment units and sleek sofa tables. Then it’s on to the bedroom, to reconsider your bed, nightstand and dresser. Once you start stacking your home with solid wood furniture, it can be hard to stop!

But start with the dining room. After all, the dining room is the focal point of hosting in a home, and when you have friends or relatives over you want to impress. With a well crafted table, sideboard and buffet hutch, you’re sure to impress anyone that sits down for a meal at your place.

Home DIY Projects To Inspire Your Next Creative Project

Instead of paying a small fortune to redecorate your home, you may want to get out your hot glue gun and hammer, in order to DIY one of a kind, eye-catching decorations for your home. If you’re interested, continue reading to discover 5 creative DIY projects, which will inspire you to get your toolbox and paints out.

Home DIY Projects To Inspire Your Next Creative Project:

1. Pebble placemats

If you’re looking to impress your dinner guests, you may want to create your own pebble placemats. If you’re interested simply use a hot glue gun to place flat pebbles, which you’ve collected from your favorite beach onto a felt or wood placemats. You may want to experiment which using pebbles which are all a similar shade or mixing up the colors of pebbles, which you select.

2. Create a makeshift indoor veggie garden, to hang from the ceiling of your kitchen

To craft a makeshift indoor veggie garden, simply purchase a wire basket, which you can fill with a large plastic container which you can fill with soil and use to plant your favorite herbs and vegetables. Just make sure to poke a few holes in the bottom of your plastic container, for water to drain through.

When it comes time to water your indoor veggie garden simply water your basket over your kitchen sink. To avoid water or soil from dripping or dropping onto your kitchen floor.

3. Create your own glass cake stand, using items sourced from a thrift store

If you don’t want to spend a small fortune on purchasing an elegant cake stand, you may be interested in crafting your very own glass cake stand, for a fraction of the price, which you’d expect to pay at a homeware store.

If you’re curious, visit a thrift store in order to find a tall glass candle holder and a medium sized glass plate. Simply use industrial strength super glue in order to glue your glass plate on top of your glass candle stick holder. If you can’t find a glass candlestick holder, you may want to use a metal candlestick holder instead!

4. DIY dog bed

If you’re the proud owner of a furry friend, you may want to consider repurposing an unwanted suitcase as a custom dog bed. Simply place a few fluffy pillows in the bottom half of your chosen suitcase. If you know how to sew you may even choose to sew one pillow which fills the entire bottom half of your suitcase. Which will give your furry friend an even surface to sleep on.

5. Remodelled dresser

To remodel your old dresser, simple measure and cut your chosen wallpaper to superglue on to each draw, in order to give your tired, outdated dresser a new lease on life. Once you’ve successfully covered each draw with wallpaper, you may want to use a clear acrylic paint to protect your transformed dresser.

No matter which of the five DIY projects listed above you choose to create, you’ll be sure to create a high-quality piece of home decor, which you’ll treasure for years to come.

How To Keep Your House Clean Daily

If you don’t want to spend your weekends cleaning your home from top to bottom, it’s well worth trying to keep your house clean, by cleaning your home on a daily basis.

How to Keep Your House Clean Daily:

1. Use a lint roller to keep your sofa clean

Instead of having to vacuum clean your sofa on a daily basis, simply use a lint roller to remove any unwanted fluff and hair from your sofa.

2. Purchase a dust buster or a lightweight portable vacuum cleaner

While you probably can’t be bothered to vacuum your entire home on a daily basis, it’s definitely worth considering using a small, hand-held dustbuster or a lightweight portable vacuum cleaner to vacuum the areas of your home which receive a lot of foot traffic, each day. As an example, it’s well worth vacuuming your kitchen floor and the area around your kitchen table, each day.

3. Use an anti-bacterial spray to get rid of bacteria

It’s well worth using an anti-bacterial spray to get rid of any bacteria which may be present in your home. As examples, it’s well worth spraying the outside of your rubbish bins as well as your sofa and bathroom. If you own a pet such as a dog, it’s also worth spraying their bedding with your anti-bacterial spray.

4. Invest in a dishwasher, if you don’t already own one

While a dishwasher may be an expensive investment, once you own a dishwasher, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one. If you purchase a dishwasher you’ll be able to complete other chores such as vacuuming cleaning and mopping your kitchen floors, while your dishes are being thoroughly cleaned.

5. Give each member of your household a chore to complete per day

If keeping your home clean on your own, seems like to much work, it’s well worth delegating one cleaning task per day to each member of your household. As an example, if you have three people in your household, one could load and empty your dishwasher, while another could wash your shower and the remaining member of your household could be assigned vacuuming duty. If you all work together as a household, your home will be kept spick and span, with minimal effort.

6. Keep a multi-purpose cleaning spray within easy reach

You can use a multi-purpose cleaning spray to wipe fingerprints off your fridge, to clean your kitchen’s countertops and to clean your windows. So it’s well worth making sure that you have a bottle of your favorite multi-purpose cleaning spray on hand. As if you run out of cleaning spray, you’re highly unlikely to pop down to the shops to restock, for a few days.

7. Keep any furry or fluffy pets confined to one or two rooms in your house

If you are a proud cat or dog owner, it may be tempting to let your furry friend enjoy free reign over your home. However, if you don’t want to spend 30 minutes a day trying to vacuum up their hair, you may want to confine your pet to a few areas of your home such as the lounge and laundry, by keeping your bathroom and bedroom doors shut.

So if you love the feeling of returning home to a clean house each day, it’s well worth using the 7 cleaning tips listed above, on a daily basis.