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Having a wet basement is a nightmare. Not only is it damaging to your house, but it can lead to some serious health issues. This is particularly the problem if you want to turn your basement into a living space. You will risk having mold, which very often provokes allergic reactions. And aside from it, you will also be faced with pests, dust mites and bacteria whose prime breeding ground is a moist environment. Thus, with the aim of making your life easier, we have chosen 8 ways in which you can dry up your basement in no time, both in case of outside and inside damage sources.

Eliminate all the damaged items

If you want to successfully fight against the consequences of moisture, you must get rid of all damp things from your basement, starting with the carpet, wooden floor, etc. It may seem extreme, but you have to realize that these things have become the perfect home for mold, which you certainly don’t want to have in your basement.

Basement Waterproofing Tips & How To Fix A Wet Basement

Repair the cracks

Cracks in the concrete are one of the most frequent reasons why your basement is wet. They can occur even in newly poured ones, and this is why you have to act fast. In order to avoid the rain finding its way to your basement and pooling in it, use patching cement to fill and seal all the cracks and the holes in the walls.

Call the experts

In some cases, your DIY abilities are not enough to dry out your basement. So, don’t shy from contacting an expert who can build in basement drainage sheets, which will certainly provide effective drainage. They represent a waterproof protection which will reduce the level of moisture in your basement in no time, thus reducing the possibility of mold appearing.

Basement Waterproofing Tips & How To Fix A Wet Basement

Keep the water far away from the foundation

This advice is particularly important when the cause of the moisture is coming from the outside. When it is raining or when the snow is melting, it can happen that the water is directed down your foundation directly into the basement.  The best solution for this issue is creating a slope which will divert the water away from the foundation.

Extend Downspouts

Very often downspouts cause basement moisture. If they are too close to the foundation, the water, instead of being directed away from the house, will flow down and flood it. For this reason, you should extend your downspouts so that the water won’t get close to the house. Or you can even connect them to buried drainpipes.

Basement Waterproofing Tips & How To Fix A Wet Basement

Insulate pipes

The water coming from the outside is not always the source of moisture. If you have pipes in the basement, it will be desirable to insulate them because when they are cold, the water condensates and it drips from them making your basement a humid place. You can pay a professional to do this job, or, if you have time, you can do it yourself as well. The second option is much better since it is cost-effective, and the results are the same. The foam insulation is inexpensive and you can easily cut it with scissors, which will spare you any hard work.

Insulate walls

If the cause of moisture in the basement is condensation, insulating the walls is a good solution for this problem.  Not only will they prevent condensation, but they will also save the energy spent on heating the space. On the other hand, you should avoid doing this if the water is coming from the outside because it will only cover the problem and create the perfect environment for mold to develop. In cases like these, it is highly recommendable to deal with the source of flooding first, like in case of wall cracks that we have mentioned.

Basement Waterproofing Tips & How To Fix A Wet Basement

Install a dehumidifier

A high-quality dehumidifier is something certainly worth investing in. This is an electric appliance which can do wonders. It will remove moisture from the interior air, and thus turn your basement into an area suitable for living, instead of being a home to mold. There are various types of dehumidifiers which differ in size and strength, so you just have to make sure to find the right one for your place.

As you can see, drying out a basement is not an easy job; however, if you carefully consider the ideas from this article, you will realize how much you can do by yourself. And if you can’t, the experts will always be there to help you.

Recent gardening trends mostly concentrate on eco-friendliness and experimentation with technology and gardening philosophy, compared to past years where the color of flowers was the main concern. This is due to our rapidly-changing climate that poses a threat to human survival, especially if we keep on wasting resources. So, if you’re interested in becoming more sustainable, here are the most interesting landscaping trends to keep an eye on.

Water conservation

Water conservation has been a buzz subject in the landscaping industry for a few years now, but this season it will be on everyone’s lips. It’s actually more than a trend, but more of a guideline for new garden designers and outdoor architects that will completely change the way landscapes are created. The use of drought-resistant plants, smart irrigation systems and xeriscaping will soon become a norm in every garden.

Planning with climate change in mind

home weather
The climate is getting more and more unpredictable and with it comes the need for more resilient landscaping that can survive these capricious weather patterns. For instance, extreme heat waves that often strike Australia, especially Sydney, can be destructive for many plants, but they can also ruin the garden’s functionality. However, planting greenery and building protective structures with weather in mind can allow people to use their outdoor spaces even during the most extreme conditions. Resilient plants that provide shade combined with pergolas with ceiling fans in the summer and patios with heaters in the winter will allow homeowners to push through the extreme temperatures. Consulting with professionals in landscaping who know the punishing climate of Australia can help many Sydneysiders get the garden of their dreams.

Implementation of tech

Technology is slowly making its way into every aspect of life, outdoor spaces and landscaping included. So, it’s not a surprise that many designers and architects opt for tech implementation in gardens that can help people get more personalized outdoor spaces that require very little care. Traditionally pieces of gardening equipment like lawn mowers and leaf blowers are getting replaced by battery-powered models that create no pollution and have a reduced noise level. Additionally, there are also robotic lawn mowers and smart sprinklers that reduce maintenance time and water waste.

Landscaping design is also getting a tech-up. The use of 3D modeling, mobile apps and drones can help designers create and present their innovative landscaping ideas to clients.

Upcycling

Using salvaged items in the garden design can do a lot of good, both for your space and for your environment. Upcycling helps keep the landfills empty and it enriches your garden with many interesting and “think outside of the box” design and décor solutions. For instance, using old gardening boots as planters or old beer barrels as ponds is a very eco-friendly way to add some interest to your landscaping.  

Sensory gardens

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Usually, most of the garden elements are there to impress your eyes only. However, new gardeners and garden owners want to interact with their gardens a bit more. For instance, you can install a giant chess set that will entertain your eyes and mind and keep you moving and touching the pieces. Another way you can awaken the sense of touch is with reflection pools. These small water features will not only provide you with a beautiful visual effect, but also allow you to touch and play with water for a multisensory experience.

Meditation and mindfulness

For many, the hustle and bustle of urban living are becoming unbearable and they are choosing to retreat to their gardens. That’s why mindfulness, meditation and Zen spaces are becoming more prominent in gardens. In order to achieve this sense of tranquility, people choose to utilize mirrors, privacy screens, interesting planting, water features for relaxing sounds and strategically placed seating to help with relaxation and garden immersion. Early birds even choose to place their seating facing east to have a clear sunrise view every morning.

Gardens like these will both improve human interaction with their outdoor spaces AND protect the environment that needs all the help it can get.

The proportion of individuals and families renting properties instead of buying them is on the rise across the globe. This is good news for landlords who are planning on listing their homes for renting. However, just as modern home buyers, today’s renters are very demanding when it comes to property’s functionality and décor. So, if you are planning to rent your house, you should consider remodelling it to suits your future tenants’ needs and so you can ask for a higher rent, which is, in the long term, a very good investment. In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about remodelling your rental property.

First, check for issues

Regardless whether your house is five or twenty years old, you should still do a thorough examination of the house’s current condition. The first things to check are the ones that can backfire the most. Those are the foundation, electrical wiring and outlets, plumbing and water valves. Do this while the property is still empty, and if there is any need for repairs and replacements, do it before the other works start.

Establish a likely rent, and see where to make improvements

Avoid overspending. Not everything needs to be remodelled or upgraded. Try to establish the best assets of your property and how would you use them to get a good price, and see where you need to improve it to get an even better price. The usual selling-points are the kitchen and the bathroom, and these two already make substantial investments.

Kitchen makeover

Remodelling the kitchen can bring you the most thumbs up from potential renters, and it can be decisive when it comes to the height of the rent. While you should definitely install new kitchen elements if the old ones are dated, you should stick to a simple design and colour palette that can appeal to the average tenant. Since the most frequent renters are millennials which are demanding on trendiness, you should get informed about most popular appliances, and stick to energy-saving units.

Spruce up the bathroom

The bathroom is another room that can make or break the renting agreement. It is also a very expensive investment, but if your plumbing is in good shape, this will be much easier and more affordable. As with the kitchen, you should go with a neutral colour palette and a clean style. There are some ways to save on the bathroom renovation, such as getting lightly used or recycled fixtures, installing a sun tube instead of a window, using subway tile (much more affordable, and with the right décor, very chic), and limiting the tile to “water-sprinkling” areas, while painting the others with moisture-resistant paint.

Invest in floors and paint

If the house isn’t lived in for some time, it is highly likely that the floors and the walls aren’t looking very well. This is something that catches the eye of the potential tenants really fast, so it is a good place to invest.

  • Some affordable and durable options for flooring are wood laminate, bamboo and vinyl.
  • Paint should be bright and neutral so that the future tenants could decorate it according to their taste.

Subtle, but livable décor

Your tenants may decide to bring their own furniture and accessories, but it’s up to you to present them space as welcoming, and an empty house says everything but that. This includes some basic furniture, such as the living room sofa and coffee table, and details that will make the house inviting, such as greenery and fresh flowers.

Put the house on the market

Now that everything is done, it is time to get informed about the local tax laws and property rules. If everything is by the book, move on to setting a competitive price by comparing with the other rentals in the neighbourhood. Be realistic, don’t set the price too high. Expect that the tenants will be scouting around for better deals. Remember that being a landlord is a huge responsibility, so you have to screen tenants carefully because you need to be sure that they will treat your property responsibly and pay the rent on time. Once you find the tenant that you like, ask for a security deposit.

While it does bring a secure monthly income, being a landlord also brings many obligations, including adapting your home to the needs and desires of the people who are going to live there. Hopefully, these tips will help both you and the tenants have a mutually beneficial relationship.

So, you want to live on your own; you are too old to share the place with roommates or your parents any longer, but you haven’t decided where to live. Choosing a real estate property is one of the most important and difficult choices in everyone’s life. Everyone has a different lifestyle, habits, wishes… In accordance with our wishes, interests and abilities we are trying to create and organize our own lives in the best possible way. But, should you choose a house, apartment or condo? Check out the pros and cons.

Regardless of which of the three options above you chose, each of them has its pros and cons. To realize which option is the best for you, smart thing would be to compare them through several universal parameters.
Apartment

Maintenance

Condo: Living in a condo doesn’t involve a big commitment when it comes to keeping your living space well maintained. Keeping your condo clean and tidy is easy, fast and convenient. However, living in a condo involves dealing with other tenants when it comes to maintaining the mutual parts of the building (hallways, lights, heating  …).

Apartment: To maintain your apartment, you will need as much time and money as for maintaining the condo. But the big difference between condo and apartment is that you wouldn’t have to worry about the common parts of the building, if you chose the apartment, because there are none. The building is owned by one owner, who is leasing the apartments and taking care of its maintenance.

House: Home maintenance requires more time, especially when it comes to gardening; but many homeowners consider everyday chores as an excellent relief from everyday stress and other obligations.
House

Comfort

Condo and apartment: Your financial possibilities and individual choices are crucial for the level of comfort in the apartment or a condo. However, given that residential buildings are mainly located close to all necessary facilities, a gym, shop, park, market and other necessary facilities will be at your hand which is great comfort is to have. Bear in mind that if you chose the apartment or a condo, you will need to have consideration for other tenants and will have to reduce the noise and partying to a minimum.

House: The house is definitely the queen of comfort. Besides the fact that you can customize it and adjust it to your own requirements and preferences, you will be able to fully enjoy the privacy and peace. Also, you can enjoy the fresh air in your own backyard, save money if you make your house earth friendly and have any pet you want.
Condominium

Lifestyle

Condo: Condo is an ideal choice for those who lead an active life, regardless of whether it is a family or a single person. People who choose to live in the condo are usually those who spend a lot of time outside, working, traveling or enjoying the various events and outdoor activities.

Apartment: Ask yourself: ”How long am I going to stay in this city”? If you buy, you are attached to the location and it is important to know for how long you are planning to stay at one place. The real estate market is characterized by low flexibility lately and buying a real estate to own it for a few years is not a profitable investment. You should know that buying a property includes a number of other costs, taxes, real estate agency fees, etc. Overall, in the short term, that is less than 10 years (especially if your property is financed by loans), renting an apartment is always cheaper and smarter option.

House: The house is the ideal choice for people who like to spend time at home with maximum privacy. House gives a lot of freedom. Large spaces, privacy, nature, doing your favorite hobby in a workshop or a garage, uninterrupted playing or listening to music are just some of the privileges that homeowners have. If you’re thinking about starting a family, this is definitely the best option for you.
House, Apartment, Condo

With such important decisions, you need to realistically and objectively view the situation, evaluate your own capabilities, your lifestyle, needs and goals in life. If you think it through carefully, I’m sure you will make the right choice, if you are not sure – lease the apartment.

Selecting new windows takes more than just going with the looks that match the house they are about to be built in. Aside from acting as source of daylight and architectural accent, windows also give shape to the room, provide ventilation and emergency escape route. These are the most popular window styles.

Broad Division

Generally speaking, windows can be fixed or operable. Fixed windows re used solely as architectural feature in places where there is need for natural light and view but ventilation is not a concern. They often come in unusual geometric shapes like round-tops or relatively new type of seamless bent-glass windows that provide unobstructed corner view. However, operable windows are what most people consider for their homes. They can be sided sideways, vertically or hinged outwards or inwards on both vertical and horizontal panes.

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Image source: http://www.gharbuilder.com/

Double Hung and Tilt-Turn Windows

This classic design has survived centuries and not without a reason. Apart from having excellent ventilation control, they have a very simple construction. Their upper outside sash can be lowered, while the lower inside sash can slide up. Some types even feature sashes that can be removed easily for cleaning. A sub-variant of this type with only one sliding sash is called single-hung. Tilt-turn windows are popular in Europe. They tilt inside at the top but also have a feature that allows them to swing at 180 degrees for easier cleaning, which doubles as convenient emergency exit.

Casement Windows

These side-mounted windows are made in single or paired configuration and are operated by a crank that rotates the sash inward or outward. They can be fully opened for easy cleaning and maintenance, while their excellent ventilation properties come from their breeze catching effect, in which they act like sails on a boat.

Awning and Hopper Windows

It is easiest to describe them as horizontal casements. While awning windows are top hinged, so that they offer partial ventilation, unobstructed views and respectable security. Hopper windows are their inverted image. They hinge at the bottom and due to their very good ventilation properties are often used as a complement for a door or another window.

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Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/

Horizontal Sliding Windows

They feature a single or multiple panels that are fixed and one or more panels that slide in horizontal tracks. The drawback of this design is that in the best case only half of the window can be opened at a time, providing only partial ventilation. However, an advantage of sliders is that no space is required for a sash to swing in or out, making them ideal for small spaces.

Bay Windows

This three-window set is easily recognized from the outside as it protrudes from the house wall, and forms an interior bay. In addition to great light gathering characteristics, bay window offers much wider view angle than any other type, save the seamless corner windows. A central window is flanked by two side ones that make 30 or 45 degree angle with the house wall.

In order to fulfil their different needs, windows come in many sizes, types and functions. When choosing windows for your home, consider architectural aspect, the window purpose and budget.