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Home Improvement

Water damage is a common phenomenon and a problem that costs billions in repair every year. It is also a problem that is easy to avoid, but due to negligence and inferior building materials, water damage to property is a growing concern for residents. It not only causes monetary loss and contamination but also forces the displacement of residents.

But what causes water damage? When the water reaches where it is not supposed to be, it leads to leaky underground pipes, seepage in the walls, and structural deformity. The issue is so crucial that knowing why it happens in our daily lives and avoiding it becomes imperative.

With that said, the following are some of the most common causes of water damage and ways of avoiding them.

The common causes of water damage and ways to avoid it

The most common places in our house consistently at the brink of being affected by water damage are the kitchen, bathrooms, hot water tanks, faucets. The list is long, meaning water damage can practically happen anywhere there’s water.

Various professional services provide support for water damage and advice on how to avoid it. If your property is a victim of water damage, click here to learn more about the reasons and remedies to prevent more damage in the future. Below we have curated some of the common causes of water damage and how to avoid them.

Extreme weather

Extreme weather like floods and hurricanes are common causes of water damage. These natural disasters are merciless when wreaking havoc on property. If water finds its way through cracks and openings, you’re in trouble.

Torrential downpours are another reason for causing property damage, especially if there’s no proper water flow system. The clogged water becomes detrimental to the structure of the building because when there’s no outlet for moisture to escape, it causes mold and weakens wooden frames.

If you reside in a flood-prone locality, you must be mindful of taking proper measures to protect your property against water damage. In severe cases, you can use the flood protection alarm system to help prepare for the worst with time to spare if you have to evacuate.

Acting promptly to alarm systems helps avoid long-term damages to property and, you’re always ready to cover up the damage with flood insurance well before time.

Leakage in the kitchen sink and faucet

The kitchen is among the most utilized places in the house and prone to get damaged the most due to clogged water. The kitchen sink and faucet are the most susceptible to leakage due to worn-out gaskets and washers.

Additionally, due to mold and corrosion build-up, the rusty moving parts of the faucets start leaking with constant water dripping on the floor, which can ruin the flooring and damage food items.

To remedy this problem, make it a habit to inspect your house every once in a while. This way, you can isolate and fix the issue before it goes out of hand. You may find a crack in the pipe, or the gaskets in the kitchen might be getting loose, and being proactive can save you a lot of trouble.

Leaking pipes

Leaking pipes are another cause of water damage. Older buildings with outdated plumbing systems are especially prone to water damage and can worsen if the house has underground or behind the wall pipes. With clogged water, the damage spreads across the wall, and control gets more costly because the entire area needs to be repainted after repairing the pipes behind.

You can spot a water problem in the form of bulges, stains, and signs of moisture. You may also find the paint flaking off the wall wherever there’s moisture inside the wall.

This can quickly get out of hand; therefore, it is always appropriate to systematically call a plumber to deal with the issue. Additionally, when buying or constructing a house, always have a detailed blueprint of the house to know about the plumbing system.

This way, you can spot the nearest water pipe or a junction in case of leakage and have it fixed before the damage worsens.

Clogged gutters

Having gutters is a common and yet excellent way to keep the water running and prevent stagnation on the roof. However, when leaves or debris block the gutters, it prevents the regular flow of water. Hence, the rainwater does not find its way for proper flow.

Stagnant water or leaky pipes can cause fungus on the roof, or worse, the water will inundate and fall through the sides of the wall. The unsightly streaks of dirty water on the walls, not to mention the water damage caused to the walls and floor, are unbearable.

Therefore, make an effort to clear the gutter opening, especially during the rainy season, to allow continuous water flow.

Conclusion

Water damage is a leading cause of concern in areas prone to storms and floods. According to an estimate, water damage is a rising concern in the U.S, with repair bills getting higher due to storm season getting more and more severe every year.

A proactive approach and timely action can avoid water damage in most instances. It is always prudent to look out for any signs of water damage in the form of mold, find an expert who can guide you, and manage issues like soggy and stained walls to avoid costly repairs.

As adults, we now have to be quite innovative, artistic, and imaginative to bust the boredom kids have from staying at home all the time. There is nothing like good craft projects to help them learn new skills and stop being bored all the time. Besides, there’s so much satisfaction and looking at something and saying I made that with my own hands. 

If you do it right, they will be talking about that project they did back in 2021 and how they remember spending time with you. You’ll hear the pride in their voice as they talk about the home project they completed with their mom or dad. You may even get the attention of your neighbors or local home buyers that are browsing properties. Here are some of our favorite and easy home DIY projects that you can create for your kids to enjoy.

Outdoor Furniture

When feeling stuck inside, having outside furniture to relax on can make you feel great. You can create something from scratch, or find some old furniture to refinish and spruce up. Paint a table or a bench. Make a decorative stool from an old wood stump. Finish with a few layers of clear coat varnish to make the paintings last, or you can even mix a clear epoxy coat and pour it over the artistic efforts. Imagine what a fresh coat of colorful paint can do to an old wooden chair or what would happen if you gave your children creative license to paint the furniture with cool colors and beautiful pictures.

After it is all finished, you can add embellishments, such as ornamental hardware, or paint the details to the outside surfaces of the furniture. There are all kinds of crafty things you can do to outdoor furniture. You have to think of it to find fun projects that you can all enjoy.

projects Photo by Gary Barnes from Pexels

Make a Sandbox

A sandbox can be a fantastic addition to your existing play space for your kids. You can add borders in a rectangular or round area of your yard. Consider adding soft river sounds to make a fun place for the kids to play outdoors. Ask the kids to help hammer the boards of a wood frame together and then embed it in the yard. From there, you simply add sand and your kids are ready to enjoy their own personal miniature beach at home.

Create a Tree Swing

Find a big tree and an excellent sturdy branch with plenty of clearance underneath to start this project. You have several options when deciding on what type of swing you want to add. For example, you can add a big tire with rope, or make a rectangular seat that hangs from the branch. 

Hardware stores have hanging supplies that you can purchase for these types of tree swings. You can involve your kids in the entire process, from purchasing the needed items to handing you the ropes. Knowing that they were a part of the creation of such a fun project will make it even more sentimental to them.

Photo by Anthony Duran on Unsplash 

Wildlife Feeders

Research what local birds and other small animals inhabit your area. Some places commonly have deer, fox, and other smaller mammals that roam around. You can create a feeder or birdhouse and hang it from a patio or a tree. This can be an educational experience because it gives the kids an opportunity to observe the local wildlife right from the inside of your home.

 

There are a ton of home DIY projects that you can do with the kids. Consider which would be the best fit for your children and your home. At the end of the day, you will have an exciting home accessory and a conversational piece for the family for years to come.

If you’re not a professional architect, it’s easy to make mistakes when choosing the best floor plan for your home. Some mistakes are made because you choose a design that would fit you at that moment without thinking about the future, and some mistakes are made simply because of the lack of knowledge. And no, spending hours building your perfect home in The Sims does not count as knowledge. Nevertheless, if you’re looking to build a perfect home that’ll suit you for years to come, here are some tips that should help you.

Think about your lifestyle

First thing’s first, you need to take into consideration your own lifestyle. Not every floor plan can fit your needs no matter how interesting or attractive it might look. So, imagine your life in your new home; do you want to have an open floor plan or do you prefer more privacy? Do you work from home and need your home office to be as quiet as possible? Determine what it is that makes a home perfect for you, and go from there.

Be realistic when touring a model home

If you’re shopping for a home or simply looking at example models for inspiration, try to be realistic. The thing is, there will always be some renovation made purely for the purpose of making the house look more attractive. However, they don’t come with the layout. So, ignore the gorgeous carpets, wallpapers, finishes, and all the other accessories, and focus on the flow of the rooms and the floor plan itself. It’s the only way to know exactly what you’d be getting.

You don’t need to understand everything

If you’re not a professional architect, it’s completely normal not to understand architectural drawings. There are many symbols and numbers, and there’s no reason an average person should have to understand them. You don’t need to know how every door and window should look like on a floor plan drawing. After all, that’s one of the reasons for hiring an architect in the first place – and don’t hesitate to ask them everything you don’t know.

Use what you have

If you already own the property where you plan to build your home, make use of what you have. For example, if it overlooks a gorgeous landscape, face the living room and the backyard patio that way so you can enjoy the view while entertaining your guests. Or, if there is a water stream or a lake nearby, plan your bedroom or study near it so you can enjoy the soothing sounds of birds and water while you rest or work. Also, if the land on your property is sloped, make sure to mention it to your architects, since the floor plan for sloped land is not the same as one for flat land.

Don’t overlook the future

There are many amazing architectural features that look great on a floor plan, but once you actually create them, they may turn out to be quite costly. For example, floor to ceiling windows are a great way to let in plenty of natural light, but they are also a great way to break the bank on your heating and cooling bills. This is why you should think in advance before choosing any features that can indirectly affect your energy use.

Measure everything

In order to avoid realizing that your existing furniture is too big for the already finished room, make sure to measure everything before you decide on the dimensions of the rooms. If you’re not sure how big a certain room should be, it’s always better to add a bit more space than to not have enough of it afterwards. After all, extra space can be filled in many ways, but you can’t exactly expand a wall once the room is finished.

 

If you want your home to be perfect for you and your family, there are some things you need to take into consideration. If you design it according to your lifestyle, plot features, and future plans, you’re less likely to make any unrepairable mistakes and more likely to enjoy it for a long time.

 

 

 

Getting the proper layout for your kitchen is the most crucial thing in ensuring a practical and functional kitchen area. Whether you are operating in a small cramped kitchen or a large, expensive one, creative kitchen layouts are important in ensuring that you get the most of this room. In the kitchen, there is a lot more than just the arrangement of furniture and cabinets. Ergonomics is another critical factor—ensuring there is enough space for movements, having the right heights, ease of use, and appliance placement are essential to your room’s enjoyment.

Although your house floor plan will determine the layout for your kitchen, you can easily customize and optimize the room to look more comfortable. A newly redone kitchen can increase the resale value of a home. If you plan to sell your home later on, improving your kitchen’s layout is a worthwhile investment. Here are the top four unique kitchen layouts that will not only add value to your home, but will also increase its appearance.

layouts Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash 

1. L-Shaped kitchen layouts

This layout tops this list as it helps you solve the problem of optimally utilizing the corner spaces. It’s also an intelligent design in case you have a limited kitchen space. The versatile L-shaped kitchen features countertops on two walls that meet at a perpendicular angle. The length of the L legs can be as long as you want them to be. But it’s recommended that you keep them between 12 and 15 feet to ensure that space is used efficiently.

This layout is also better in eliminating traffic in the kitchen—the kitchen won’t become like a street because the shape automatically eliminates the possibility. Besides, with this renovation, you can add more work zones or dining space.

layouts Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

2. Horseshoe kitchen design

This layout is also referred to as a U-shape kitchen layout. It features three walls of cabinets, along with storage sections for appliances. In the modern days, this layout has gradually graduated into an L-Shaped layout but with an island. The U-shaped kitchen layout is preferable because it allows traffic in the kitchen without congestion.

layouts Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash 

3. Kitchen with an island

The island kitchen layout is a trendy layout owing to the fact that it offers ample working space at the center of the kitchen. The island incorporates the cooking surface and can also be used as the food preparation area. While you may require a large enough space to leave an island in the middle of your room, the island is a great way to minimize traffic and congestion.

layouts Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash 

4. The peninsula kitchen

This layout is closely related to the island kitchen incorporating a countertop jutting out of the wall or cabinetry. This is an excellent way of creating more space where you have a limited kitchen space to allow for an island. This area can be used for preparing food, taking the meal, and other essential kitchen chores.

 

With urban house sizes and spaces shrinking every day, you want to make the most out of every inch at your disposal, especially in the kitchen. This is why going for the most creative kitchen layouts is paramount. Having the best kitchen layout doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg. The above ideas will help you to turn odd into bespoke with the minimum cost possible. Choose one of the kitchen layouts above to kick-start your modern kitchen layouts that stands out.

During the pandemic, home is where we found refuge and solace. Therefore, our houses must be peaceful, serene, and aesthetically pleasing, which is the opposite of a rental bathroom. Think about a rental bathroom, and what is the first image that comes to mind? Mismatched fixtures, insufficient lighting, and outdated color schemes. This image is enough to give us chills and keep us up at night.

The best idea is to redecorate your bathroom. But renovation costs are very high, and a bathroom makeover can be twice as expensive. Why is that, you ask? Because for a successful bathroom project, you have to hire many different people. Many people have a hand in the project, from the electrician to the Floor installer to the plumber. The average cost of a bathroom renovation can be at least $12,000 for minor upgrades.

A bathroom model is expensive, but it can increase the value of your property. According to the National Association of the Remodelling Industry, homeowners can get 50% of the cost they invest in bathroom renovations. Therefore, experts suggest fixing up your bathroom before putting the house on the market. A bathroom can make or break a real estate deal.

A word to the wise

If you are going to remodel your house, you have to provide high-quality bathroom services to the laborers. Therefore, rent portable bathrooms from companies with excellent reputations. For example, Oregon residents can rent porta potties from American SaniCan in Oregon for the best service.

Furthermore, we recommend doing most of the work on your own to cut down costs. It is better to make small changes to your bathroom instead of doing a complete overhaul. Try to update old items and modernize fixtures. Since bathrooms usually have limited space, it is better to make functional changes to the design.

Think about Textures

High-quality textures can instantly upgrade your bathroom. They create a cohesive look and create a visually dramatic anchor. Bold colors can give a modern look, whereas floral patterns add a vintage touch.

Keeping this general advice in mind, we have a list of seven ways you can spruce up your bathroom.

Change The Ceiling Tiles

If your bathroom has a busy pattern on the ceiling, then your bathroom can end up feeling too congested. It is better to use simple coverings and monochromes to cover up the roof. There are two ways you can go with this. Either cover the ceiling with epoxy color or use contact paper. If you want to use epoxy paint, keep in mind that it is a very labor-intensive process. Not only do you have to paint the surface many times, but you also need much ventilation for drying. Contact paper is a comparatively quicker fix.

Pro Tip: To deflate any bubbles in your contact paper, stick a pin in them. They will automatically flatten.

Lay Down Some Flooring

You can lay down tiles or use the other method by laying down vinyl sheets. We recommend using vinyl. Not only is it easier to handle this covering, but you can also change the look when you get bored of it. The best way to go about it is by measuring twice and cutting once. As a rule of thumb, always buy extra tiles in case of mishaps. You can use masking tape to map out the floor and cut your sheets accordingly. Give the bathroom a good scrub and wipe the surface with rubbing alcohol before beginning.

Hang A Shower Curtain

Sometimes renovation can be as simple as just hanging some curtains. A curtain can change the look of your bathroom and secure your privacy. It is a great strategy to hide a permanent fixture without spending too much on demolition. Remember to buy curtains with a different texture to give an overall pleasing effect. For a more personalized touch, sew your curtain yourself with a mixture of plains, patterns, and prints.

Paint Your Bathroom

Decorators suggest painting as a quick way to refresh your house. Ask your landlord for permission before you paint your bathroom. If you want an elegant look, then dark colors are the way to go. But, if bright and cheerful is more your style, then choose a pastel color. Pastels go well with vintage fixtures as well. Not sure about which color will look best? Color it all in neutral and classic tones to make it feel less cluttered. You can create an accent wall to create a dramatic impact without putting in too much effort.

Change The Light Fixtures

Rentals usually have outdated fixtures in bathrooms that give a very dull look to the room. Fortunately, there is a quick face for this. You can either change the shades or replace fixtures with modern lighting. But electrical work is dangerous, so take all necessary precautions before you try to do it on your own. If you find yourself too out of your depth, then you can follow an online tutorial on the subject.

Storage Ideas

Storage can play a decorative role as well. Try a floating shelf if you have limited space. You can also use your imagination for unconventional storage options. For example, use a vintage cart to add an eclectic touch to your home. For a more ethnic touch, use rattan baskets that add character and functionality to any space.

Other Ideas

You can retouch the grouting. Not only will it beautify your tiles, but it will also prevent water damage. Watch this video to learn how you can do it on your own. You might also add fresh plants for a splash of green in the room. Furthermore, plants can keep the loo fresh smelling. Get colorful towels to introduce color to your bathroom. Give your fixtures a good clean to reveal bright surfaces. Soak cotton balls in lemon juice and wrap them on your faucets. Keep it like this overnight, and you will get a sparkling bathroom. Add a mirror to your bathroom to bring some light to the area. Wall mirrors can also conceal flaws and give a modern touch to the place.

Conclusion

A home improvement project can add much value to your home. But, if you live in a rental, then the rules are different for you. People who live in rentals can not make any lasting changes to their homes. Always get prior permission before you make permanent changes to the structure. Furthermore, keep everything you remove from the bathroom so that you can return them when you move out. Lastly, leave the tough stuff to the professionals.

Our homes should bring a sense of comfort, ease, and security. Modern life sometimes gets in the way of these. Knowing how to protect your home—and your family—from the threats of modern life is essential. 

These products and lifestyle tips herein will help piece together a more holistic approach to keeping your house healthier. This includes healthier food, healthier activity, and—the one most homeowners overlook—a healthier living environment.

Don’t Track in Dirt

Our shoes get dirty throughout the day. Whether you’re walking on pavement, hiking trails, or just scooting around the office—the bottoms of your shoes are picking up a sample of everything! Establishing a “no-shoes” policy in your home can help to limit the amount of outside contamination you bring into your home. This will help you in creating a healthy home.

This can help reduce bacteria, fungus, and other potentially harmful compounds from making their way into your home. Having a shoe rack next to the entrance of your door can help remind your family to change into their indoor shoes when arriving home.

Purify Your Home’s Air


Air purifiers can help remove airborne toxins like mold spores, dust mites, and toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you have an HVAC system, it would be prudent to install MERV or HEPA rated filters. To take things one step further, however, installing additional air purifiers throughout your home can help limit the overall particulate count considerably. 

Air purifiers come in a range of choices. There are air filters, air purifiers, air scrubbers, and air ionizers. To some degree, these terms are synonymous. However, there are some important distinctions to make. Air filters generally use a fan to force air through a filter that catches particles. This is ideal for dust and larger particle matter. Other products such as ionic air purifiers use electrical current to scrub the air. This addresses finer particles and even gasses like VOCs and endotoxins.

Washing Your Hands

As simple as this may sound, establishing a more rigorous hand-washing routine can have a tremendous impact on family health. Hot water, soap, hand-sanitizer—these are a few of the most-effective means of reducing infectious germs in the home. Good times to wash your hands include when you first get home, after eating, after any trip to the bathroom, and before food preparation. These simple times are the highest-risk for spreading infection.

Drinking Filtered Water

Municipal water uses a medley of toxic compounds like Chlorine to ensure that potentially deadly pathogens aren’t able to colonize. This is great for reducing bacterial risk but absolute garbage for providing quality, toxin-free water supplies. Wash your hands with city water, water your garden with city water, but do not—under any circumstances—drink city water! 

There are dozens if not hundreds of harmful compounds found in municipal water supplies. These include things like trichloroethylene, benzenes, and chlorines. Aside from the known compounds, trace amounts of anything residents are putting down their sinks and drains may show up in trace amounts. You can protect yourself from such toxins by making it a habit to drink purified or spring water. Water delivery services provide a convenient way to ensure your family has access to safe, pure, and toxin-free water.

Watch Out for Mold


Mold from water damage or overly humid environments can quickly lead to mold issues in homes. The impacts of mold on health are not well-known yet—but what we do know is bad. Acute exposures to mold cause severe issues like respiratory infections, cognitive impairment, and can even lead to death. Chronic, low-level exposures, to the biotoxin compounds produced by mold, are lesser studied, however. 

These types of harmful compounds may be produced from unseen mold growing behind walls, in crawlspaces, attics, or even seeping through foundation walls. Closely monitoring your home’s humidity can help lower the risk of mold. Another prudent step is to develop a monthly mold-killing routine. This can include mold-fogging, surface scrubbing, and should probably start with a mold inspection.

A Healthy Home is a Happy Home

These are only a few ideas on how to create a cleaner, healthier home for you and your family. Modern life is full of unseen and unrecognized threats to our health. Whether these threats are from bacteria on the ground, toxins in our water, or VOCs in the products we buy—it’s prudent to always be on the lookout. Addressing as many issues as one can help provide the comfort of knowing your family is safe from toxins, at least as much as you are capable of helping them to be!

There are always ways to save money; especially in a society like America or Australia. We just become so used to creature comforts we forget we don’t need a majority of the things we spend money on.

There are options for saving money you may never even have considered. Here we’ll cover five ways to cut down your electric bill in a practical way that doesn’t involve anything too extreme, but a few things you may not have considered.

Carefully Monitor Electricity Use To Find Eliminate Waste

Where is the highest draw for your electricity? Is it in heating, in A/C, among the electrical devices you use? Look at the things in your home that use electricity, monitor how long they regularly operate, and calculate out what percentage of your monthly bill they represent. Toasters, washers, dryers, dishwashers, HVAC—these tend to be the high costs.

That said, lights can be expensive, too. It’s much like a leaky faucet. Sure, it’s only a drip every two seconds; but you’re losing a gallon a day. Well, leave the lights on all day and night, and that costs you money. When you leave a room, turn off the lights.

Invest In “Low” Or “No” Energy Appliances

There are actually low-energy lighting fixtures that use motion sensors to illuminate a space when someone walks through, only turning on when people are in the room. Additionally, you can buy low-energy appliances built to use a minimum of electricity. Beyond that, certain products exist that use no electricity at all.

For example, there are gravity lamps that work sort of like a cuckoo clock, where weight in conjunction with a fulcrum provides energy. When the weight hits the ground, you just reset it, and off you go.

Lights like these being used as alternatives to primary lighting can pay for themselves over time. Beyond gravity lights, consider LEDs as a replacement for incandescent bulbs. These provide high levels of light for low levels of electricity, and may even be more energy-efficient than things like gravity lamps owing to initial purchase expense and overall lifetime.

Explore Local Energy Rates—That Alone Might Halve It

The larger your community, the higher the likelihood you’ll have more than one choice for electricity. The way that electricity is produced, and the way the company producing the electricity runs itself, will do much to impact the price. Sometimes people buy a property with utility bills that they never question, they just keep paying.

Well, if you go to the following website, you may find that cutting the electrical bill in half every month is as simple as switching providers. Some energy operations use wind and solar, and the result is it costs them more to produce electricity. Traditional methods are often a lot more cost-effective.

Change Your Expectation On Levels Of Comfort

Electricity overuse often has to do with creature comforts. Maybe you’ve got a room in your house with a little fountain that plugs into a wall. It’s beautiful, and provides a fine ambiance—but it’s on 24/7; meaning it’s a constant drain costing you a predictable amount of money every year. Perhaps find another way of getting that ambiance, or eliminate it.

Off-Grid Alternative Energy And Associated Tax Relief

A solar array will cost about $100 per 100-Watt solar panel. A full family house will want about 50 panels; so you’re looking at $5k for those alone. You’ll probably spend another $5k on mounting equipment, cables, surge controllers, power inverters, and battery arrays—if you go the DIY route, which most folks can figure out.

For another $5k, you can install a wind-turbine as a backup. For $15k, you can be grid-independent. Add a diesel generator in the garage in the event the sun goes away or the wind stops, and you’ve always got energy when you need it in a way that’s totally independent of grid-based electricity.

Americans use about 10,909 kWh (kilo-Watt hours) of electricity a year, at about 13.31 cents per kWh. That’s a little under $1,452 a year. Spend $15k on grid-independent power, and in less than 10 years, you’ll be making money on your investment—you’ll have totally eliminated the bill; that’s a bit more than halving it! Also, some states offer tax incentives for green energy, which can offset installation costs.

Energy Reduction Options To Consider

Explore alternative solutions and tax breaks, change comfort expectations, seek cheaper electrical options in your area, invest in low-energy devices like LEDs or gravity lamps, and monitor how you use electricity to trim the fat. Moves like these cut your electrical bill in half, and may almost eliminate it.

You could live in a small apartment or in a large house, but space is always something you can get more out of if you are strategic in your choice of furniture. Instead of choosing items that serve one purpose only, go for furniture that works harder for you and that brings multifunctionality to your home without sacrificing style. 

 

Here are a few examples of types of furniture that accomplish more than one purpose: 

1. Entrance bench with storage

Make furniture work for you right from the entrance to your home. Add an entrance bench with storage capabilities in this area. The shelf or cubbies below can host the shoes you’re planning on wearing regularly. Find a wheeled one so you can easily move it around and even hide it inside a hallway closet if you’re looking to amp up the space.

Photo provided by STORAGECafé

2. Mirror with built-in hooks

Your entryway could also benefit from another dual-function item: a mirror that comes with hooks. You can check your hairstyle before leaving the home and also hang up your coat in the same spot!

3. Triple-purpose couch

Couch by day, bed by night, and with an additional bookshelf to add some much-needed extra storage. What item could spell multifunctionality better than this one? Feel free to mark down your calendar because you already have a bed for your next guests!

4. Coffee table and dining room table (two in one)

An instant dining room table or a versatile coffee table? You can pick the name, but this adjustable-height item can work as two separate pieces of furniture. Use it as a coffee table primarily and let it transform into a dining room table when you have guests over.

5. Vintage trunk side table

Shop the thrift stores for a vintage trunk with character that can be a great addition to your living room aesthetic. Besides, the trunk can also offer hidden storage for blankets and extra throws while hosting decorations or books on top. Who said functionality and style can’t come together?

6. Ottoman storage

An ottoman provides extra seating in your living room, but there’s more to it. Most ottomans come with extra storage. You can keep your extra magazines inside of it, for example. Also, if you’re in a crunch for space, use the ottoman as a coffee table if the surface is sturdy enough. 

7. Window bench with cubbies

You can get excellent use of the space under a window if you place a cushioned bench with cubby-holes there. They can hold magazines and books or they can be home to your child’s toys. You can use them to create a sunny reading nook where you can take in the natural light. 

8. Fold-out desk with wall-mounted shelf

For many of us, having a work desk at home became a necessity in 2020. Why not use one that folds out and provides the necessary storage space for your office essentials and more? Pick a fold-out desk that comes with a built-in shelf where all your files and pens can have a home. There’s also room for reference books or the occasional item of décor your home needs to feel cozy.

9. Murphy bed

The functionality of the Murphy bed can’t be beat, but when you add a built-in shelving unit above the bed you get so much more! The shelves framing the bed will allow for ample storage room for your essentials, whether you have an impressive book collection or you’re looking to incorporate your bedroom essentials into the décor. For maximum utility, make sure to get a Murphy bed that also offers closet capabilities when you fold it up. 

Photo provided by STORAGECafé

10. Mirror with storage ladder

There never seems to be enough space to hang everything, so a dual-purpose mirror is exactly what you need. Place it on the floor and use the ladder at the back to store blankets that you’re not using or other small items that need a temporary home such as scarves or other accessories. 

11. Wheeled kitchen island

There isn’t much a kitchen island can’t do for you, especially when it’s on wheels! Use the surface as a cooking station, while the top drawers are the perfect places to keep smaller kitchen utensils. The lower built-in cabinets can host all manner of kitchen appliances and accessories that you frequently use. The beauty of this item is that you can move it out of the way if you have guests and you could use that extra space.

12. Bathroom bench with storage

Add a cushioned bench in your bathroom close to the shower, in an area that rarely sees practical use. The drawer beneath is the perfect spot to store toiletries and towels. This is a perfect addition, especially if your bathroom lacks the cabinets needed for all the products you regularly use there. Make sure the cushion above the bench can withstand the moisture in the room.

13. Green lawn seat

Your outdoor space can also benefit from smart setups that bring more than one use for you. If you’ve always wanted a bench and a planter but space isn’t on your side, there’s a solution that helps you avoid that problem. You can have both: Add two planters and connect them with a plank to create that much-desired bench. Now you can smell the roses while you take a rest in your new favorite outdoor spot!

Declutter and store extra stuff away from home

A lot of times, home storage solutions do not suffice when it comes to accommodating all your household items. In that case, you can turn to self storage to help you keep seasonal clothing, hobby gear, home appliances, holiday decorations or even some furniture so that you can enjoy a clutter-free life. If you live in a place where the climate is humid, such as Florida or Texas, make sure to consider a unit with a climate-controlled environment to protect your sensitive items. Climate-controlled storage units in Miami, for example, are easy to find and are relatively inexpensive, so that turning to storage away from home won’t hurt your household budget much, all while giving you more room to breathe at home.

 

Did we help you find the multipurpose furniture you were looking for? Let us know in the comments section below.

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems have become a bare necessity these days. As the global climate is changing, summers grow hotter, and winters turn colder. To fight off the weather extremes, we all rely on the HVAC systems. They keep us cool in summers and cozy in winters. Chances are, you already have one at your home. But if you don’t own one yet or are looking to replace the old one, here are the six ways to pick the right HVAC system for your home.

Decide on the Equipment

The term HVAC systems is an all-inclusive expression. All the climate control appliances from furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners come under it. So when you are purchasing a new HVAC system, the first thing you should do is decide on the equipment. If you want a cooling system alone, invest in an air conditioner. And for warmer in-house temperature, explore different options for a furnace. And if you want an all-in-one heating system, consider getting a heat pump. It functions as an air conditioner on cooling mode. But you can reverse the direction to bring the warmth inside your home. So choose wisely and pick up the right HVAC system for your home.

Prioritize Maintenance

An important consideration while buying an HVAC system is its maintenance. While routine professional maintenance is necessary, there are some other maintenance aspects that you have to take care of too. Changing the filter is the most frequent aspect of HVAC maintenance. Different systems require to replace air filters between one and six months. The higher the filter quality, the longer it will last. Air filters like 16x25x4 Glasfloss are some of the best on the market. Don’t hesitate to pair your new HVAC system with one of these.

Know the Right Size

There is a measurement that requires precision. The right sized equipment will adequately regulate the temperature of your home. An undersized system not only causes but also fails to go through healthy on and off cycles. And contrary to what most people believe, a large system will again do no good. It will quickly regulate the temperature of your home and then automatically gets shut off. In both cases, the on and off cycles will increase your energy bills and wear the system as well. You can ask a professional to adequately measure the size of the HVAC system for your home.

Buy From A Reliable Brand

HVAC is a popular industry. That’s why various products have flooded the market—some are better than others in terms of quality, prices, and services. You can shop for an HVAC system online or in-person from a contractor. No matter what you choose, we stress that you should always purchase from a reputable and reliable brand. Such brands monitor the quality of their products closely and back them up with extensive warranties. And after purchasing, even if you end up with a lemon, they will not hesitate to replace it for you.

Check the Warranty Terms

Checking the warranty is an essential step for buying an HVAC system. With every new HVAC system, the consumers receive warranty coverage for certain repairs, replacements, and a guarantee for faulty equipment. Different suppliers offer different warranties over their systems. Be sure to check out the terms and conditions of the unit you plan to purchase, as this will give you a clear idea of how your system will perform.

Carefully Consider the Cost

When contemplating the price of an HVAC system for your home, you have to consider two components. The first is the upfront cost of the system. Do your research, think carefully, and compare the prices of the HVAC systems from different suppliers. Once you are sure, purchase the best system that falls within your budget. The second component is the long-term cost, including installation, maintenance, parts, and operation costs. You will notice that high-efficiency products often have higher upfront and installation costs. But their long-term prices are generally lower than appliances with low Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings. So pick the HVAC system that is more cost-effective and in line with your budget.

Conclusion

Picking the right HVAC system for your home is not easy. The decision becomes more challenging when you don’t know what you are looking for in HVAC systems. We have presented six ways to pick the best HVAC system for your home. This helpful guide will help you through the daunting task. And trust us, you won’t regret the decision you make.

Home improvement seems fascinating to many people as people see the outer picture of beautiful decorative homes and do not consider the hard work that goes into it. It can be overwhelming as renovation needs you to indulge in extensive work, but most of the time, results make all the hard work worth it. Renovation is a game of creativity and aesthetics, and it has no right and wrong in it. People can be innovative with their designing approach and bring new things to the market. A lot of factors contribute to making a home improvement project a success. It is unlike any 9 to 5 corporate job, and some projects demand that you put long hours in it.

Appropriate planning is the key to make a home improvement project a success. The following are some of the planning tips which will help you significantly in your next home improvement project:

Construct a plan

The first of any home improvement project is to plan things as per the clients’ guidelines. Planning before beginning the project is crucial, and it will help in carrying out your tasks. Using technological tools to create a soft copy of your end goal will ease planning things. If you are getting into an extensive home improvement project, make sure you have taken all the necessary permissions. Constructing a plan will outline the things that the project would require, which will save you from the hassle of acquiring items at the last minute.

Keep things secure

Keeping things safe should be the topmost priority. For that, experts advise that people either move to some other place or keep their belongings secure somewhere. A lot goes on during renovation, and different people visit the location. In such cases, a better approach is to avail storage facilities and make them the caretaker of your precious belongings. People residing in Texas can take advantage of self storage in Amarillo without having any iota of doubt. They have earned a reputation for themselves in providing exemplary services. Storage units have cameras installed, and they guarantee that they will return your things in their original positions.

Set a budget

Allocating a budget should be a prerequisite to any home improvement project. Costs of different things vary at various locations, and sometimes prices see a hike in a particular season. Before you begin any renovation project, set a budget aside, and have a list compiled of all things. From laborers to building materials, you must determine the cost of everything. Moreover, imposing a 10 % extra money aside is essential. It is likely possible that your project runs into an emergency, and you need some additional funds. Whether you renovate your home or do a client project, a detailed plan with a proper budget should be in place before commencing it.

Devise timeline

Experts suggest that you should give yourself a deadline as it helps in keeping you focused. It would be great to set a realistic timeline and ensure that you get sufficient rest during projects. Some people want to get done with their job and invest in long hours at it. It may result in several health problems, and hastiness often leads to unsatisfactory work. Besides, when you put in extra hours at work, it starts demotivating you as you do not get enough time to rest. A better way is to have a timeline for every activity. For example, set a few beginning days for a clean-up, some days for a carpenter, and so on. Devising a timeline helps keep things organized, and people do not get carried away with the burden of work.

Effective communication

Home improvement is not a one-person job. Multiple people indulge in projects to give a house a desired outlook. While you are at it, ensure that communication flow is seamless and there are no hindrances. Misunderstandings may lead to unnecessary expenditures, and the end picture may not align with your original idea. Home improvement is teamwork, and effective communication is vital for a group of people who work for a common goal.

Conclusion

Home improvement is disruptive and can be more expensive than one can imagine it. Before you begin any project, you must go through every aspect and understand what clients want so that there is no misunderstanding. Renovation is time-consuming, and you must be patient while the project is underway. Home improvement adds value to your home and enhances your lifestyle, but the task can be stressful. Immaculate planning and extensive preparations prevent mishaps and make the project a victory.