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Home Improvement

With extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of renovation, hiring a contractor comes with many perks. Not only are they the point of contact for the owner of the project but for the other teams on site. One of their main functions is increasing communication while decreasing confusion in the process. However, those are not the only benefits to trusting a contractor with your project. 

Contractors are experts at fixing issues with properties. If you find yourself trying to sell a hurricane-damaged house, there’s most likely a ton of work to be done. Not every renovation is possible to complete by doing it yourself. Here, we outline several benefits that come along with hiring a contractor to fix a house damaged by a hurricane.

1) Material Cost

In most cases, anyone will tell you that it is the labor and not the materials that will cost the most. However, in a large project with water damage from a hurricane, the cost of materials can add up fast. For instance, running a gas line can start at $12 per linear foot. Unfortunately, it fails to take into account a few things key points:

  • Type of gas line (and how much)
  • Additional appliances being installed 
  • Splitting the meter if necessary

This is a small sample of what projects containing gas lines can entail. Your contractor will review the details of the project and can negotiate better pricing on your behalf.

contractors
Image by rawpixel.com 

2) Sub-Contracting

This will be a large part of what your contractor will perform. After all, they can not do the entire job by themselves. For instance, if the roof is caved in from water damage, you may need to bring in a roofer to handle that part of the renovation. Your contractor will allocate work to the proper people.

By subcontracting, you are assured that the different aspects of the project are being managed, and in turn, someone is managing them. The general contractor should review any safety tips required to know before starting the job. Moreover, you can trust that someone will be available to give a breakdown of the current progress.

3) Money Management

As previously mentioned costs can quickly escalate if those watching the process are not paying attention. Watching the money is another important part of what your contractor will deal with. A project will grind to a halt if materials and labor are not paid for. 

However, when needed supplies and people do not arrive, it is also their job to find out why. Consistent delays can cause a large renovation to come in over budget and keeping the project on track is part of the job as well. 

Photo by Blue Bird from Pexels 

4) Project Management

The world of a contractor in any industry is a tiny one. The longer they have been in the field the stronger their connections to necessary people and materials will be. Contractors work with only the most reliable of teams and will steer clear of any who tend to over promise and under deliver. 

Large renovations due to hurricane damage require a ton of coordination between different technicians. Various portions will need to pass county inspection and delays will slow projects down. Your contractor will help coordinate the inspection with the sub-contractor to minimize project time. 

County inspectors do not work for contractors. They work for their respective counties. Hiring a contractor on a large renovation project will be one of the best decisions anyone can make. Properties that suffer from hurricane damage or flood damage are no joke. With so many moving parts, it is important the person overseeing the project understands who should be taking care of what.

We’ve all heard the mantra about how it takes money to make money. It may sound cliché, but according to Usaj Realty, it’s true. The thing is, it’s not just a case of launching buckets of cash at your house. You have to be smarter about it. 

Kitchens

Kitchens are key. Even folks who seldom cook at home want a certain kind of look to their kitchen areas. It’s just one of those things in real estate. Depending on what your plan is, you can go big on things or make smaller changes. On the small side, there are still effective changes you can make. Putting in new backsplashes and touching up some cabinetry won’t cost the world and can make all the difference to the feel of the space. New lights and taps are other easy fixes. If you’re budgeting bigger, you can think in terms of increasing storage space. Installing new cabinets throughout is sure to add value to your home. Another feature that seems big and flashy is a center island. It has a high visual impact on your buck. 

Bathrooms

On a tighter budget, a retile might be your best choice for the visual pop. It won’t cost much and can totally change up a smaller space like a bathroom. If you’re feeling a little more generous, maybe throw in a new set of taps to top it off. For the adventurous at heart, there’s the full refurb option. Get everything out of the room, and give it a total makeover. New toilets, tub, basin, the works. It will be on the hefty side, but you’ll see the rewards if you do it right, especially if the old stuff isn’t great. 

Living Areas

People like space. Living areas ought to be spacious and airy, with as much natural sunlight as possible. On the thrifty end, this could involve as little as lighter coloring and maybe some clever lighting installation. If you’re up for the whole hog, you can literally open up the space. Find out which walls can go, and make things open-plan. Similarly, you can widen windows and doorways where possible, bringing in that sought-after sunshine. 

Bedrooms

What a lot of people look for is clever storage that saves space in a bedroom. Having tall closets can be really helpful, especially ones that are built into the walls. It gives the sense of there being more room when the closets are recessed. Stylistically, creating a smooth and uniform effect is a decent plan. Using lighter colors and having that sense of spaciousness enhanced by closet space going into the walls achieves that effect beautifully.

When in Doubt, Clear Out and Paint! 

This one is true inside the home and out. Clear away as much needless clutter as possible, and paint all surfaces. It’s probably the biggest and cheapest effect out there, and it genuinely makes a huge difference. A fresh lick of paint can enliven any area, especially when you opt for lighter tones. A medley of creams, whites, and off-whites seems to make spaces wider and more appealing. If you can’t do every surface, you should at least touch up the worst ones. 

 

When selling a home, it’s best to get a certain balance right. You don’t want your renovations to seem bland, but you don’t want to be too niche either. Your remodeling should have broad appeal while still being interesting. If you are going to splash some cash, then the alternatives are endless. But, there’s no reason why even fairly substantial changes should break the bank. Ultimately, altering the right bits in the right way can add real dollars to your home’s value. 

Doing renovations or a remodeling job in a home is something that millions of homeowners do every year. While the average home renovation or remodel can cost tens of thousands of dollars, each job is different. Of course, there are a variety of things that can influence the overall cost.

For example, improving your credit score can make borrowing money to cover the renovations much more affordable (due to lower interest rates), and thus make the entire project cheaper. Be sure to use the right strategies for improving your credit score, of course.

But what else can dictate how much you need to spend when remodeling your home? Without any further ado, let’s take a closer look at some of the factors that influence just how much it costs to remodel and/or renovate a home.

How Much Work is Being Done

Of course, the amount of work being done in and around the home will directly factor into how much it all costs. Someone who is only replacing the tile in their bathroom will only pay a fraction of the price that someone who is remodeling their entire kitchen will.

The longer it takes contractors to complete the work, and the more there is to handle, the higher the costs will be. Sometimes, the complexity of the work can also come into play. Just because a job is large and requires heavy materials doesn’t always mean it will be the most expensive.

For example, electrical work only requires some wire and a bit of drilling in most cases, but it can be some of the more expensive work to do in a home due to how complex it is. Always do your research on jobs similar to yours and gain an understanding of what you could be looking at in terms of price.

The Company or Professional You Hire


In most cases, people will need to hire a professional contractor or company to help them with a major remodel or renovation. Each company will have different pricing, so the one you go with can be a major influence on what it ends up costing you. Always speak with multiple options to ensure you are getting a good deal, and not getting taken advantage of.

But while cost is important, you never want to make your choice solely on that. There are many things to consider when choosing a contractor. You should think about the quality of their work, how much experience they have and even when they are available to help you with your renovation.

The Materials You Use

Making renovations often features the use of a ton of different materials. Concrete, wood, metals, vinyl and many others are all often used and can have different costs. Not only that, but different types of each of these can have vastly different costs. Some types of wood are affordable and readily available, while others might need to be imported and can cost an arm and a leg.

Also, things like different fixtures and features can also come with different prices depending on how they look or how well-built they were. One bathroom renovation might only cost a few hundred dollars if more affordable materials are used, while others can cost thousands.

How Much You Do Yourself

The amount that you help out can also have an impact on how much you spend. In most remodeling jobs, there is a lot to be done before and after the actual “work” gets done. For example, before you can rebuild a brand new bathroom or living room, you need to tear down what exists there. Also, when the work is done, you can’t forget about the cleanup.

While many companies will handle these for you, it will cost you. Instead, you can consider doing the demolition and cleanup yourself, if you are physically able. This can take some time and effort but has the potential to save you a lot of money.

Of course, be sure to only stick to doing things you are comfortable with. If you try and do too much, you might end up doing more harm than good, and have to pay the actual contractors more to fix your mistakes.

In conclusion, the cost of remodeling or renovating your home can differ depending on a number of factors and the overall scope of the job.

All homeowners want to reduce their monthly electricity bills by implementing energy-efficient methods. While upgrading your property, you should ask yourself which type of modifications will add value to your home and save energy costs. You have to dig deep down and do complete research to understand the impact of any change or appliance on your home’s electricity. If you buy any electrical device, you should ask the manufacturer about its specifications to better understand how much electricity it can consume.

The primary causes to conserve energy is to secure the environment and save electricity costs. There are different methods to make your home energy-efficient. But it depends on your budget, needs, and how you want to optimize your home’s energy to save up on cost. Here are some ideas of home improvement that will help you control the energy consumption that will also positively impact your costs.

Install Solar Panels

Solar panels were not common a few years back as an energy-conserving method. With technological advancements, people started installing solar panels on their roofs top, and today it is the most valuable thing that any homeowner can have. Solar panels help you save energy big time. If your home is situated where your roof gets a lot of sunlight, solar panels could be the right fit for your home.

To have a clear idea of solar panel cost, you should do market research. It will make things easier for you according to your budget. Having solar panels in your home could be a wise investment to start reducing your monthly electricity bills. According to experts, solar panels contribute positively to environmental sustainability. Having solar panels in your home is a one-time investment that will save you from paying heavy electricity bills in the future. You will get real value in your life and house, so you must opt for this option to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Change Your Light Bulbs

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Those days are long gone when incandescent light bulbs were used in homes as they consumed more electricity. Due to the latest technological developments, light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have become one of the most acceptable energy-saving alternatives.

According to a study, LEDs consume around 25 to 80% less electricity than traditional bulbs. Although you may find prices of energy-efficient bulbs are higher, but in the long run, they will help you save a significant amount of cost and energy.

Observe your Daily Behaviors

You do not necessarily have to invest in costly options to optimize your home energy. By adjusting your daily behaviors, you can also save up on your home energy and cost. You can do it by adopting simple habits like turning off appliances or lights while not using them. Also, doing household tasks manually will prevent you from using energy-intensive appliances. For example, you can use the hang-drying method instead of using the dryer to dry your clothes.

Keeping an eye on your daily behaviors is the key to your cost savings. You should also avoid unnecessary use of air conditioners and use thermostats smartly in winters. Heating and cooling systems cost around half of the utility bills of a home. So, by reducing the frequency and intensity of these systems, you can save a significant number of costs. You can also leverage different tools and applications to figure out which appliances consume the most electricity daily.

Place Energy-efficient Windows

Windows are one of the significant sources of energy waste. They have a substantial share in your total heating bills. If you want to control the heat loss through your windows, you should install single-pane windows. If you live in colder regions, then gas-filled windows having Low-E coatings can help you ample time to reduce the heating expenses. Additionally, the interior and exterior storm windows also help prevent unnecessary heat loss by 12 to 20%. If your region experiences extreme weather conditions, then you must consider having storm windows.

In warm weather conditions, heat gain through windows can be an issue. Besides reducing heat loss, Low-E coatings on windows also help minimize heat by reflecting more light and reducing the thermal energy that enters through windows. You should also consider having shutters, screens, awnings, and shades to have the extra insulation layer between the outside temperature and your home. It will help you to conserve more energy efficiently.

Control your Water Heating Expenses

Water heating is one of the major contributors to increasing your electricity bills. You should follow simple methods to save energy and electricity costs. You should turn off the thermostat on the water heater or use less heated water. Also, you can think about having efficient water heating devices that consume less electricity.

High electricity bills are the biggest headache for all homeowners. You have to follow the latest energy-efficient methods and upgrade your home accordingly. Also, keep an eye on your daily activities that increase your house’s energy consumption. It will help you optimize your home energy and to reduce your cost.

When there’s a storm, the last thing you want to do is spend time cleaning up your house. Some people might think that it is a waste of time to clean up after a storm, but the truth remains: housework will help you feel more relaxed and less stressed. Most homeowners fear the aftermath of a storm much more than the destruction itself. You see, the roof, exterior walls, and other structures serve as a protective shield during a storm. But once the storm subsides, it’s crucial to assess the damages and take measures to prevent the shields from deteriorating. Minizming water damages are the first and foremost priority, followed by debris removal and electrical safety procedures.

Keep reading to learn more about cleaning your house after a storm.

Minimizing & Preventing Water Damages

Fierce storms and heavy rains set the stage for flooding, and you must do everything in your power to prevent a flood. Water gushing through your property will likely destroy everything in its wake, creating fire hazards and structural damages. It would help if you focused on preventing water from entering the home. If that’s not an option, you need to dry everything out to prevent moisture from seeping into the structure.

Drying out a property isn’t as easy as it sounds. If the water level is higher than any of the electrical outlets, vacate the property immediately. If the water reaches the main breaker or any outlets, it can create fire hazards. You don’t want to wade right into a pond of electrified water, risking your life and belongings. It’s wise to consult professionals for water damage restoration, as drying out electrified water demands a specialized skillset.

Professionals will bring in designated equipment and tools to prevent flooding and dry out your living spaces. They will provide thorough cleanup and eliminate water from all the nooks and crannies you cannot access. This step is crucial because the water can seep deep into the structure while you’re busy cleaning out the basement.

Preventing Mold Growth

Water damage and moisture build-up set the stage for mold growth, making your property increasingly vulnerable and hazardous. How can you avoid this nightmare of a situation? First off, you need to take all your belongings and fixtures outside and dry them out. A thorough cleanup is crucial to rid your home of the contaminated, debris-ridden floodwaters.

Once the house is water-free, you need to dry out the structures, belongings, and fixtures. Most homeowners tend to fixate on the walls, basement, and attic while preventing mold. It would help if you took measures to avoid mold growth in the furniture, wooden fixtures, and hardwood flooring.

Debris Removal

It’s heartbreaking what a violent storm can do to your beautiful backyard or lovely front lawn. Avid gardeners find the debris removal process extremely overwhelming and hurtful. But it’s necessary to clean out the property and ensure all components and home systems work efficiently. For instance, gutters clogged with debris and leaves can cause many inconveniences and water retention.

Removing damaged trees isn’t as simple as it sounds; in fact, it can prove quite dangerous if done wrong. So, be sure to clear out all the fallen trees, broken branches, scattered leaves, and other debris littering your property. We advise hiring professionals to clear out the damaged trees, especially ones mingling with electric wires.

Clean Up

You can clean up the house and scrub the floors after removing stray branches, fallen trees, and debris. It’s easier to clean the property after you’ve cleared out most of the mess. It’s crucial to dry out the floors with a vacuum cleaner, especially with hardwood floorboards. Wipe away all the dust particles and debris from each surface in your home.

Assess the Damages

Once you’ve cleared out the debris and dried out your property, it’s time for a thorough damage assessment. Your insurance provider will need images and a detailed inspection to provide financial coverage for a renovation.

You can start by assessing the damages in the most vulnerable areas, the roof, attic, and basement. Be sure to inspect the interior and exterior walls for signs of dampness and moisture retention. If the damage is unprecedented, let the professionals handle it without delay and take pictures of the affected areas.

Capturing photographs is crucial to substantiate your claims with evidence. It would help if you compiled a checklist of all the damages and repairs, prioritizing areas that need immediate attention.

Wrapping Up

Cleaning up after a storm isn’t easy, but it is of the utmost significance. You see, delaying the cleaning and drying out processes can cause unprecedented and aggravated damages. Homeowners need to act fast and decisively. We advise hiring professionals in cases of flooding and severe water damages. You see, it doesn’t take long for electric mishaps and disasters to ensue when water enters a property.

Deep cleaning your property not only helps it look cleaner and more attractive to potential tenants but also clears up the bacteria that may be lingering around to improve air quality. If you’re a landlord looking for someone new to move into their rental home quickly without any additional hassle or time spent on long-term cleanings yourself, deep cleansing is worth considering! Cleaning between tenants is a hassle for landlords, but there are many benefits. From staying in compliance with legal obligations to maintaining healthy living conditions; it’s always worth the effort.

Creates a Healthy Living Environment

Mold, dampness and poor air quality can make tenants feel ill. Tenants who claim to have health issues because of the home you are renting them could be expensive for a landlord like yourself. Deep cleaning is one way that such problems might be prevented or remedied in the event they do occur – evidence from deep cleanings shows landlords take their responsibilities seriously and may help if someone does file a complaint about living conditions with your rental unit.

Raises the Bar for Future Renters

When your past renters left home after doing a thorough job called ‘The Deep Clean’ did they also give your property that sparkling appearance? A rigorous scrub down from top to bottom makes for an awesome return on investment in many cases. If this sounds like something you want or in case you need extra clarification on the property contract, then contact your property management company right away.

Deep cleaning your property before a new tenant moves in is an excellent way to set the tone for how you expect them to treat it. By starting fresh, they are more likely to respect the house and keep it clean over time!

Avoids Bigger Problems

You might not be able to see it, but bacteria are thriving in the darkest corners of your home. Anti-bacterial wipes may help you clean up surfaces for a while, but they won’t get rid of all those pesky germs and nasty bugs hiding out under appliances, on your gym equipment, or inside cluttered closets. Catching these before they turn into bigger problems like mold can save you big money on structural repairs down the road!

Keeps Things in Order

Photos of fixtures and fittings are a necessity for any professional deep clean. Trying to remember the locations where everything was stored before can be tough, so take pictures as part of your inventory to prevent spurious claims by tenants about what they left behind. This way you can know everything about your place and stuff, and in case something goes missing you will notice. Moreover, it will be easier to bring things back to order after the deep cleaning process. You wouldn’t want to forget where your aqua water filter was placed before you started cleaning the house and later misplace it after you’re done.

Increases the Value of your Property

Deep cleaning between tenants is the key to protecting your property, both in value and quality. The process of deep cleaning should be a part of any good landlord’s maintenance schedule as it helps protect against dirt deposition from new residents moving into an old home or apartment space without first getting rid of their grime. While you can do this work yourself with some elbow grease, many landlords find that they often don’t have enough time for such big projects themselves so hiring professionals will save them much-needed time while still providing excellent service standards!

Final word

The rules of the landlord and tenant’s responsibility for cleaning are typically laid out in a contract. A typical rule is that tenants clean before they vacate, but landlords have to check if the property is properly cleaned before new tenants can move in. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have everything ready for the new tenant. This means arranging furniture or appliances around and cleaning up during this brief period between tenancy periods.

A home is a place where you can feel at ease. The way you can be comfortable and feel secure in your home, you cannot do that anywhere else in the world. However, we cannot overlook the fact that a house is, after all, an object which needs continuous retouching and repairing. Without it, no house would be able to survive the test of time. Are you just looking for ways to make your home more attractive for your comfort, or want to keep yourself and your house updated with modern trends? Follow these tips given below to transform your house into a modern house.

Keep it Clean and Organize

The easiest and simple way to make your house feel good and look attractive is to tidy things up a little. No one wants to have their house dirty. However, often people don’t have enough time to clean it thoroughly. Therefore, they overlook the impact an in-depth cleaning can have on the visual appeal to the house.

Organizing and decluttering are pretty basic things but can go a long way, whether the furniture in your living room, the crockery in your kitchen cupboards, or the shoes in your entryway. All of this, when kept in an organized manner, can help you feel calm and productive. It will also help you save time and feel less stressed out.

Focus on the First Impression

When you come home from a tough day, you want to feel happy at the sight of your house. That first look can make you feel content that you live here. It is known as curb appeal, which even adds value to your property. It can be done by taking small steps like planting trees and colorful plants or getting your house remodeled. One budget-friendly way to update your house is to install rock veneers for your exteriors, such as walls or facades. You can find professionals around your area for this job. For instance, if you live in Dunn, North Carolina, you can go for the companies like RockSolid Veneers, LLC that offers a wide range of stone veneers.

Pay Attention to the Details

Often while cleaning, organizing, or even renovating, we overlook the nooks and crannies of our houses. However, it does not mean that those areas do not have a part to play in making your house fresh and pleasant. Often these nooks and crannies are high-traffic areas and thus get overlooked. Nevertheless, these small details can go a long way in improving the overall look of your house. Therefore, it is advised to clean and organize them fortnightly or at least once a month.

Make it Green

Having indoor plants can give your house a lively look and make it appear eco-friendly. There are so many added benefits of having plants in your house that making your home greener is an easy bargain. You can expect your green friends:

  • To help clean the air, you breathe in
  • Make you more productive by increasing your creativity and overall boosting your moods.

It will, in turn, lower stress resulting in a happier and healthier you. The indoor plants will give a visual appeal to your house and add a therapeutic factor. It will not only help you feel calm but, whenever someone visits your house, they will also feel the same bliss.

Make Good Use of Your Space

Sometimes overcrowding your rooms can even make the big ones look smaller and congested. This jammed and overfilled look of your house can make you overthink the size of your rooms or even the house itself.

Therefore, it is essential to make effective use of space. For example, using space-saving compact furniture can give a minimalist look to your house. Similarly, installing shelves will save floor space and make the room look more spacious. Another way of making smaller rooms look bigger is by adding mirrors.

Lighting

Dark and dull places are never soothing for anyone. It is always better to have proper lighting in all of your rooms. It will make the environment of your house constructive. Anyone who walks into your well-lit house will feel active and energetic instead of feeling as if they had walked straight into a dungeon with dark alleyways.

Paint

Another way to make your house more welcoming and inviting is to choose proper paint for your walls. Choosing the right paint can make all the difference in the world. You can even use paint to make a small room look bigger by choosing light paint color for your walls. Additionally, the color of your walls can induce different emotions.

Conclusion

An attractive house is, in fact, a happy and livable home. There are numerous ways you can make your house look attractive even if you are on a budget. From simple things like cleaning, organizing, and decluttering to painting the walls and upgrading to stone veneers. Everything can make your house look more inviting and attractive if done rightly. You can add plants or mirrors if you do not want to spend a lot. The critical thing to remember is that your house should still feel endurable when you are done with your renovation projects.

Lastly, remember that a good house is a good home. Instead of blindly following every home renovation video or blog, you must do what makes you feel comfortable. The key is to make your house livable.

What’s the importance of the construction industry in the Australian economy? A report by the National Industry Insights shows that this industry produces more than $360 billion in revenue that generates 9% of the country’s GDP. It’s estimated that, by 2024, the home improvement and construction industry will employ 1.28 million Australians as well. But occupational hazards have made construction and home remodeling/renovation one of the most dangerous industries in the country. According to Safe Work Australia, 17 construction workers died in 2020, and this industry was considered the second-worst for employees in the same year. So, how can employers ensure the safety of their workers? We’ve compiled some suggestions here to help constructors enhance workers’ protection:

Organize health & safety training

It’s the employer’s responsibility to prepare employees for occupational hazards associated with the construction industry. Therefore, health & safety training ensures that workers are familiar with the dangers that can befall them and strategies to prevent such accidents from occurring. Even OSHA recommends similar training sessions for construction employees. These sessions teach them about escaping dangerous situations, e.g., working at height, in confined spaces, or with heavy machinery.

Establish a safety culture

Worksite managers and home improvement contractors need to establish a culture of safety in the working environment. Prioritize workers’ health, safety, and overall well-being. Safety culture includes not just implementing the suggestions we’ll talk about now. But it also means that you must remove hazards even before they harm your workers.

There have been several instances where construction workers were diagnosed with mesothelioma – cancer caused by asbestos exposure. So, eliminate all traces of dust, mold, and asbestos. If you’re working in Southeast Queensland, look up “asbestos removal Brisbane” on the internet to get specialized help for clearing toxic substances from the premises. Similarly, run a quick local search to identify companies in your neighborhood that provide niche services to keep your worksite safe and enhance your safety culture.

Keep the first-aid kit at hand

Accidents are often unprecedented and require instant action to reduce their consequences. Thus, ensure that finding the first-aid kit isn’t difficult. Employees must know how to locate it. Ascertain that it’s visible and accessible to encounter accidents when you least expect them. Remember that “time is of the essence” when a worker gets wounded. A quick remedy can potentially save a person’s life. Hence, delegate to one employee the task of keeping the first-aid kit well-stocked for disasters.

Avoid crowded areas

Ensure that the workplace isn’t crowded to avoid unfortunate accidents. People often assemble to watch heavy machinery at work on-site for enjoyment. Caution dictates that spectators should keep their distance from these machines and must never approach them beyond the limit of safety. Moreover, healthcare guidelines during this pandemic discourage crowded workplaces to eliminate the risk of infection among workers. So, ensure people remain distant from the operating location.

Wear head protection

Ensure that construction workers have access to proper PPE (personal protection equipment) to avoid injuries/fatalities. Falling objects contribute heavily to workplace accidents. Protective devices – therefore – eliminate dangers associated with threats such as exposed wiring and low-hanging items. In areas where workers are vulnerable to falling objects, wearing “hard hats” ascertains the safety of your employees. This piece of equipment protects workers against hidden/sudden dangers on-site.

Ensure forklift safety

According to OSHA, forklifts account for 100 deaths and 95,000 injuries annually in all industries. But further injuries/fatalities can be prevented by implementing forklift safety measures. Forklifts are dangerous machines only experienced professionals must operate. These machines are also operated nearby other workers so injuries can be diminished by strict regulations. These regulations dictate how forklifts must now be modified with prior approval only.

Implement fall protection

Poor scaffolding contributes to several wounds/deaths in the home improvement industry. OSHA reports that around 2.3 million construction employees use this technique annually. It’s even dangerous when appropriately erected, and only alert workers can escape falling. So, it’s essential to inspect scaffolding for stability. Transport material carefully upwards and consider weight limits when ascending them. Also, keep framing 10 feet away from power lines to make them safer for your workers.

Display clear signs

Accidents don’t engulf construction employees only, but even bystanders are also vulnerable to such dangers on-site. It’s crucial to display clear signs of danger for both workers and onlookers. This practice will highlight the risks associated with the workplace and strongly advise people to take precautions. For instance, these signs can indicate hazards, including falling objects, chemicals in the vicinity, or heavy machinery nearby. It constitutes a cost-effective method of saving people’s lives.

Employee wellness programs

Many employers organize employee wellness programs targeted towards improving the mental and physical health of construction workers. These programs will cover workers’ dietary habits, obesity management, hypertension screening, and alcohol abuse to prevent burnout in your organization.

Moreover, employers must ensure that workers aren’t consuming junk food on-site. Focus on healthy eating/drinking with fruits and vegetables. Keep food trucks off the location and promote nutritional meals among employees.

There’s an app for everything

We’re living in a modern world where there’s a smartphone application available for anything you need! Similarly, we have digital applications for the construction industry you can install to monitor the workplace effectively. We have wearable devices that alert everyone when an accident occurs. These devices have become popular among construction employees because they minimize danger to workers. So, use these “smart” solutions to enhance the safety of home improvement workers.

Conclusion

What job is the most hazardous for an Australian worker? Experts have listed all occupations based on hazards associated with them, and construction – after agriculture and transport – ranks third! Some calculations show that 123 construction workers died during 2008-09 to 2012-13. These deaths were caused by falling from heights, being struck by falling objects, or getting electrocuted. This industry also accounts for 16% of workplace deaths and 11% of workplace injury claims. Investing in workers’ safety isn’t just mandatory for employers, but it is also cost-effective since every dollar spent on safety training saves you 4-6 dollars! So, do implement the safety tips we’ve mentioned in this article.

Every year, low temperatures, high winds, and sudden rainfalls create many problems for homeowners. Sometimes, they notice water dripping from the ceiling, while often, cracks start appearing on walls because of plumbing issues. One thing for sure is that the temperature within the home doesn’t match the temperature outside. As a result, the conditions outside start affecting your home from the inside.

The only way to go about this problem is by weatherproofing the entire house. From windows, gaps in the walls, leakages to doors – you have to ensure the weather doesn’t affect your home’s structure. Perhaps, you can get a thermostat to keep tabs on the temperature, seal the gaps, and install a ventilation system. A few amendments would reduce the chances of wear and tear in the house, improving longevity and durability.

However, if you don’t know how this will work, let us show you the ropes. Here we are listing seven tips for weatherproofing your home.

Fix Leakages

At times, rusty and broken pipes create a lot of mess inside the house. As soon as it starts raining, the water comes dripping from the pipes, straight into the kitchen sink and bathrooms. If you have come across something similar, it is time to fix these leakages. First, grab your plumbing supplies and try fixing the leakages on pipes. Change the ball value and install brass fittings to strengthen the pipes’ grip. Also, use cover plates to conceal the significant gaps around the pipe.

If repairing the pipes seems impossible, you can replace the pipes with new ones. Here, you would need help from expert plumbers since they have to tear down interior walls and fix new pipes. It might seem like an extensive process, but it would save your home from harsh weather conditions in the long run.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

With current weather conditions, the mornings and evenings are frigid; however, nights are chilly. Thus, turning on an air conditioner and then switching the heater at night seems impossible. So, why not install a programmable thermostat to avoid this hassle? It would adjust the temperature according to the weather without consuming a lot of energy. In addition, you can even program it to lower degrees during the day to let some cool air inside the house.

For people who have multiple climate zones in their homes, you can customize the thermostat settings. Perhaps, your parents might prefer a super warm room whereas you like your room a little brisk and cold. Alongside weatherproofing the house, it will ensure house members feel comfortable and cozy.

Overhaul Windows

Old and rusty window frames damage your home’s look and start to let the water in, spoiling the décor. Therefore, monitor your windows carefully to ensure they are in good shape. If you notice any signs of damaged wood or broken frames, try to fix them at your earliest possible. You can extract the damaged wood and replace it with new timber. Afterward, fill the holes with some sand and once it dries out, repaint the frame. Otherwise, you can even varnish it using exterior products.

By making these few amendments, you can weatherproof your home. The thick timber and sand filling would ensure water doesn’t enter through any of the windows. Also, it will protect your home from extreme moisture during the summer season, offering optimal protection.

Repair the Walls

In many homes, the puffed-out and cracked portions of the walls become a leading issue for people. Not only the water starts penetrating every nook and corner, but such conditions also cause structural damage, weakening the home’s foundation. Before weatherproofing, you have to get cracks checked by a professional to repair structural damage. However, if the cracks are small, you can fix them yourself by removing loose material and filling them up.

After that, you have to repaint the wall using high-quality paint. It would withstand all the weather, and the color will stay intact for years. Above all, it will keep your home protected from harsh weather conditions, closing doors for water-related problems.

Clean the Gutters

During the rainy season, clogging is one of the most common problems homeowners encounter. The leaves and debris stuck inside the drain trap the water inside the house that damages the structure. Due to this, water often starts dripping from the ceilings and edges of the home. Fortunately, you can eliminate all this mess by keeping your gutters cleaned. You can call in experts to remove trees, debris and unclog the drains.

In addition, you can get your hands on a plastic wire or a hedgehog gutter leaf-guard filter to clear up the mess. It would also prevent future build-up, weatherproofing your home in the best possible way. Remember, you have to clean gutters after every season to remove any added strain on the system.

Install a Ventilation System

Not having a ventilation system inside the house can significantly affect the air quality. After all, you would be breathing the same contaminated air 24/7, leading to respiratory problems. In addition, your home won’t be able to shed the hot and cold air it doesn’t need. To weatherproof your house, invest in a ventilation system. You can check the vents connected to the HVAC system and ensure they are clean before installing the system.

Moreover, ensure all the vents leading to the attic are free of dust and debris. After all, blockages can trap heat in the vent, causing your ventilation system to run less effectively. Besides this, having a proper plan will come in super handy, especially during harsh weather conditions.

Seal the Gaps & Cracks

Are there any gaps around your doors and windows? Even a 1-2-inches gap between the window or door can invite humid and cold air inside the house. Therefore, you have to seal the holes and cracks around the non-moving parts of the windows and doors. For this, you can either use caulk or foam sealants to bridge and conceal the gaps.

However, if any of the moving parts have cracks, air sealing will work better. You can opt for weatherstripping on the exterior side of the house and seal the unwanted outside drafts. It would prevent moisture and dust, closing doors for heat and mold. Besides this, proper weatherstripping will also improve air quality while keeping small insects and bugs out of your home.

Final Words

As the weather conditions change in a blink of an eye, homeowners have to weatherproof their homes. In addition to eliminating damages in the long term, it will close doors for wear and tear. However, weatherproofing doesn’t require massive repairs or overhauling; instead, a few amendments will be enough. You can clean the gutters, fix leakages, seal the cracks, or install a thermostat to weatherproof your house.

If you like home renovations, you’re no stranger to knocking your walls down, drilling, and even fixing tiles. However, while you may enjoy making your house beautiful – or those of others if you’re a professional renovator, you may be exposing yourself to asbestos. Asbestos is made of naturally occurring fibrous silicate used construction products.

So you have material mixed with asbestos throughout your house. When these products sustain damage, microscopic fibrils enter the atmosphere. These thin fibers are toxic to inhale, and long-term exposure can lead to cancer. Hence, while renovating, you need to be mindful of a few things in your house. Here’s how you can ensure you work around asbestos and avoid exposure:

Don’t touch asbestos

Suppose you feel like you can see traces of asbestos, such as a damaged, brittle insulation material in the drywall. Even if you think you can handle it, you should avoid going anywhere near. Look up asbestos professionals online who can help you get rid of these products. A professional can also help you confirm if you have asbestos in other components of your house.

Get yourself tested

You may be inhaling asbestos unknowingly, especially if you’re living in a seemingly run-down house constructed before the 1980s. In that case, you need to reach out to your primary care provider and get yourself tested. A doctor can guide you better on mesothelioma symptoms and how risky it is for you. Also, hire a professional to get rid of all asbestos products from your current home or move into a new living space. Don’t prolong exposure even if you have minimal asbestos quantities in your home.

Be mindful of the way you dispose of asbestos

You can’t get rid of asbestos the traditional way. Your waste disposal system should only get rid of regular wastes such as those from your everyday use. If you mix stable waste and asbestos products, you expose a larger population to toxic fibers. A professional asbestos removal company can guide you on getting rid of these products or get rid of them for you. Your dumpster and recycling bin should only contain garbage that will not hurt anyone if they are exposed to it.

Don’t clean asbestos products

You may think that if you sweep asbestos off, you can get rid of it. That’s not the case. Your cleaning products can get tangled with asbestos fibers. As a result, when you clean other spaces of your house, you end up spreading more of these airborne fibers exposing yourself to greater risk. It would help to avoid damaging products that contain asbestos while regular cleaning activities. Abrasion can cause fibrils to break off and spread in the air.

Curb your curiosity

You may feel like getting your science on if you have asbestos in your house. However, never collect and test samples unless you are a trained professional. You can mishandle the sample and the apparatus and may cause more damage than good.

Let professionals clean your space

Only professionals can repair asbestos-ridden spaces. They can also determine if there is too much asbestos, they will either remove it or conceal it. However, avoid doing it yourself. If you feel demolition is the only solution, get the appropriate approval from your government and then work on your property. You should always hire professionals with substantial experience to make quick work of the process.

How can asbestos spread?

You can spread asbestos when you’re not careful while renovating and don’t know how many products contain asbestos. Companies can use them in construction materials. It could be in products such as insulation material. Here are some possible ways you can cause an exposure:

  • Renovation projections

Usually, when remodeling different parts of your house, especially the attic, you may cause an asbestos breakout. Asbestos is present in the insulation material packed behind the drywall. When you renovate them, the asbestos can crumble and fall on the ground. In addition, when you get rid of old insulation in your garbage, you increase the risk of exposure. So if you plan on renovating your space, you need to get a professional to verify if the walls are safe to drill. Never attempt a renovation before confirming your house is secure and you have approval.

  • Brake dust

Older brakes may contain asbestos. If you have a vintage car, you may notice that brake drums may have a layer of dust on them. This dust may contain asbestos. So when you go around cleaning your brake drums by banging them and using an air compressor, it can release toxic fibers into the air. While you may find this method easier to give your brakes a quick clean, in the long run, this is dangerous. The best way to take care of your car is to take it to a professional who knows how to handle it while being mindful of such risks.

  • Drilling into asbestos

If you want to hang paintings in your home, always check the walls first. You want to know what material is in the insulation. If you drill into asbestos, you risk fibers becoming airborne, which is dangerous since prolonged exposure increases the risk of developing health problems. Debris on the floor can also spread around your house when you sweep them.

  • Removing tiles

Tiles, especially vinyl, contain asbestos. If you have a generational house, it probably has vinyl tiles installed. When you start removing them with a scraper, you loosen the asbestos and spread the fibers. The best way to renovate flooring is to install the new one over the existing one. This method is far safer and also less time-consuming.

  • Removing popcorn ceiling

Popcorn ceiling takes tremendous work to remove. In most cases, you will need eye protection and a dust mask to scrape and sand while re-doing the roof. Popcorn ceiling contains microfibers of asbestos. So, if you attempt to remove/repair it, you’ll be spreading microfibers all over the place. Hiring a professional may cost you extra money, but it is the safest option. Don’t compromise your health for the sake of cheap renovations.

  • Insulation on pipes

Most pipes contain insulation that has asbestos. The insulation can deteriorate with them, especially around hot pipes. So if you try replacing old insulation by cutting into it, you risk releasing fibers. It is best if you don’t take matters into your own hands. If you know that the house you’re living in is old and the insulation needs repair, call professionals to get the job done.

Wrap up

Asbestos can spread via air if you’re not careful. The fibers expose you to the risk of developing mesothelioma – a highly lethal form of cancer. Have a professional survey your property to determine asbestos levels before renovating it. Don’t attempt any renovation projects that require you to scrape, drill, and cut without proper help, safety, and approval. Suppose you accidentally damage any product that may contain asbestos. In that case, you should move back and get professional help to ensure you can safely remove it. In addition, don’t attempt to clean the space and risk further spreading the asbestos. Last but not least, always ensure proper disposal of asbestos products to prevent cross-contamination.