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Top Renovation Works that Will Add Value to Your Rental Property

Rental properties are important and costly investments that need great care. From time to time, rental properties do wear and tear and lose their appeal and value as well. However, as a rentals owner you can always get around and give them a facelift that will enhance their value in the market place. With the aid of a good real estate and property management business like Pyramis Company, you can undertake some key and strategic renovations works that will make sure that you have sought-after property in the market. This article therefore seeks to share out some of these renovation works.

Painting

wallPainting is a great face lift strategy. This is because before someone moves into your property to lease they will first look at it. The impression that they will have from the appearance of the property will greatly influence the kind of decision that they will make.

Make sure that you repaint the house with fresh and inspiring modern colors that will not fade or get outdated too soon. This is a key investment that will pay for itself within a reasonable span of time.

 Add an extra bedroom

Adding an extra bedroom means that you are increasing the capacity of the house to attract more rent. This is a simple and easy process that is rewarding in the long term depending on the location of the property.

The kitchen

The kitchen is another strategic place that you can target and improve the market value if the property. This is because the kitchen occupies a pivotal place and role in the economy and running of every house. The quality of your kitchen alone can be a reason enough to turn away a potential tenant to your property .That is why it is estimated that at least 2% of the market value of a residential property goes to the kitchen.

You need to give your kitchen a renovation style that is acceptable to a greater majority of the potential tenants. Make sure that the fixtures and materials that you use in the renovation is relevant and appealing to the quality of the renters in the area. The average cost of renovating an average kitchen is in the range of between $7,500-$20,000 depending on its size, type of surfaces you elect to install and the quality of the appliances that you will install in the kitchen.

Upgrading the bathroom

post8The bathroom is another key area of focus that needs to be attended to. In fact, the bathroom is the second most important room in the house after the kitchen. If the bathrooms are renovated well, they are a great addition of value to a rental property. Remember that a modern bathroom is more than just a convenience room, no; it also offers other services such as entertainment, relaxation, light exercising etc.

In the current market, you can aim to spend at least 1.5% of the total property value on the bathroom. If you are on a lean budget and you would like to save some bucks, you can consider going for cost-effective improvements and changes. To achieve this, you can choose to spray the tiles and fixtures of the bathroom. There are low-cost modern tiles available in the market and you can capitalize on them to get a decent and affordable renovation for the bathrooms.

Upgrade the front façade

The front façade of your property is the first part of the house that people will see, including potential tenants. If this place is well taken care of, it boosts the confidence of prospective tenants. Remember that first impressions count so give adequate attention to this area. Additionally, you can carry out the renovations of the front façade by yourself as long as you have gifted technical hands.

Remove internal walls

Another form of renovation works that will add value to your property is the removal unnecessary walls that are not carrying any supportive weight in the house. You can pull down such walls and create rooms that look bigger and better. It may cost you some bucks to do this but in the end the whole process will pay off.

Upgrade the landscape

Another area of focus during value-adding renovations is the landscape. You can improve the landscape of the property by making highly affordable changes. Some of these little modifications will include the installation of a garden bed, adding bark, pebbles, and plants.

Additionally, you can plant grass and improve on the pavements to make sure that the landscape has the best appeal that will capture a potential tenant. Other renovation works that you can undertake include cutting back and reducing foliage, installing a perimeter wall around the plants and beds. All these simple and cost-effective works will go a long way in ensuring that your property remains a hot cake in the market.

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Tips on How to Remodel Your Bedroom

The bedroom is the bedrock of every house. It is the first and the last place we interact with because that is where we start and end the day. Additionally, it is the place that offers every human being the best form of rest and relaxation called sleep when we switch off from all the distraction and hassles of life.

bedroom post 8Because of its supreme value and importance, the bedroom deserves supreme attention and priority as far as remodeling plans and projections are concerned. It deserves to be a place that offers not just “statutory” relaxation through sleeping but also a great level of refreshment and enjoyment before you close your eyes and sleep.

That is why the best way to elevate it to such levels is through well crafted and designed remodeling. However, the process of remodeling needs to be done in conformity to some basic principles and considerations .It is with all this in mind that this article is written to unveil to you those universal principles and how you can customize and integrate them into your personal remodeling project.

Get the end product in mind

Before you move on and pull down that bedroom you must have seen something inside your mind or somewhere that tells you that your current bedroom is not up to date. You should be having a picture inside your mind that you would like to see replace the current picture that your natural eyes are seeing in your bedroom. It is that thing that you need to harness and harmonize with your current and future needs to start off the process.

You have got to define with clarity what exactly it is that you want out of the remodeling. Do you need more space? Do you want better arrangement and design? Do you want enhanced esthetic appearance? If that inner picture answers all these questions, then you have not just started, but you are already through with the whole process.

Get the right team in place

A man who runs alone goes fastest; but a man who runs with others goes farthest. You cannot accomplish the best bedroom remodel alone. You need expert input in place. You can have a sketch in mind and draw it, but you need an architect to fine tune it into a blue print that a builder can use to build. You need to get the right professionals in time beginning with the architectural designer, the builder that will implement the master plan, the plumber and electrician who will handle the bathroom and wiring matters if indeed you want to overhaul them.

Prepare for the inconveniences

All remodeling works will have to inconvenience you and so you should be ready with a plan to handle them. If your bedroom will require pulling down some walls and erecting others, then you will have to get an alternative bedroom. This means that you will be “grazing on a shorter leash” because some of your master bedroom facilities will be suspended.

Come up with your budget, not a budget

This may sound and seem to be too obvious, but in life people do not stumble on rocks but on pebbles. Most of the biggest and costly blunders that people make revolve around the “small things” that are usually ignored. You need to draw a budget that you, and not so and so, can comfortably fund and that is why it has to be your budget because it is you who will fund it. I can’t explain that further.

Be specific but also flexible

post 8At the start we saw that you need to be particular with what you need. Then from there we saw you integrating other people into the plan before it is rolled out. When you submit it to professionals, they can come up with suggestions that can actually enhance your project or even save you some costs. Do not be rigid but rather listen to them because if they are really seasoned professional, they have handled many other successful projects before and they know what you don’t. Keep in mind that your initial plan may look to be very “wow” until it is subjected to other people for review that you just discover you had omitted something that you really needed or you had included something that you really didn’t need. Be flexible.

Do further search

It is not a crime to ask and learn. There are many awesome magazines that offer free advice and ideas on bedroom remodeling. Do not just cling to what is in your head but on the contrary go through some of those models in order to embellish your planned project. Get inspiration and ideas and then customize them to suit your needs, current space, and budget.

Consult wide and wild

This tip is an enforcement of the preceding tip. You actually have friends and family who have done some bedroom remodeling before. Feel free to consul them and get some few nuggets of wisdom that will enhance your project. It is wisdom to ask when you don’t know but it is unwise to refuse or be afraid to ask and yet you don’t know. Get wise counsel.

Remember your water level

This is another area that seems too obvious bet most folks make too obvious blunders as well in this area. Come up a remodeling plan that will suit you and your family and not one that will match that one of so and so. Do not try to do everything at the same time and be in a hurry to achieve “big time”. Take your time and even if there are some components that you badly wanted incorporated for now and they can’t fit your budget, there is tomorrow. Remember, every dog has his day and that through patience, the tortoise and snail entered the ark even though the cheetah and hare were there long before!

Deal with the clutter

One of the things that make a bedroom begin crying for a makeover is clutter. Check out and see if there are things in there that you no longer need or use. Remove all such stuff and create extra room for redesigning.

Replace the bedding

The state and quality of the bedding you are using currently could be part of the reason why the bedroom needs an overhaul. Get new bedding with a new color and design theme that matches the new theme of the remodeled bedroom.

Update the windows

post 8 editWindows are an integral part of the bedroom. If they are not in right shape you may consider replacing or repairing them. Check out the curtains and blinds to see whether they match the new modeled bedroom in color and design. If they are too “tired” then replace them.

Bring in the breath of life

Try to incorporate some life into the design. Get some beautiful plants into the new bedroom. You can also get an aquarium so as to create a balanced eco system.

Repainting

You also need to deal with the painting of the renovated bedroom. Repaint it using warm and natural colors in order to achieve shades that inspire comfort and simplicity. Make sure that the painting color scheme matches other bedroom decors and linens.

Take advantage of recycled materials

If you are on a tight and lean budget, this tip is just for you. You can take advantage of affordable and recycled materials as tools to come up with great decor. You can use reclaimed lumber to craft trunks and nightstands.

Replace light fixtures

The kind of fixtures that you will install will depend on the new theme and style of your remodeled bedroom. Make sure that you get fixtures that will serve their purpose in a bedroom setting, not too much or too dim light.

The overall layout and design

You will now need to come up with a new design of the bedroom. The new layout will depend on why the bedroom has been redesigned. This will determine where to place what.

A window seat

If you overhauled your window and replaced it with a bigger one or you added another one, then you can add a new window seat. The new seat will give you a new sense of relaxation as you watch nature through it and enjoy some cool breeze. Alternatively, you can also make it a part of your study kit if you elect to incorporate a small personal study room into your bedroom.

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Straight Talk about Bathroom Renovations

post 7The modern bathroom is one of the most important rooms in a house. It is no longer just a place to take a bath or shower and disappear. It is also a place of o relaxing, refreshing and recreation. The modern bathroom, fitted with entertainment channels, both audio and visual, can be a wonderful and soothing hub as well.

However, all bathrooms do age and at times get outdated. One of the beat ways of dealing with this is through renovations. This article therefore seeks to point out the nitty grities of carrying out great and impressive renovations in the bathroom. Stay on to discover all that you need to know and do as you undertake bathroom renovation works.

Fixtures

Fixtures speak a lot of volumes about your bathroom. Choosing the right fixtures will ensure that your bathroom retains a outlook of elegance and glamour. For instance, you can go for a pedestal sink that is embellished with lines instead of a block cabinet fixture.

The bathtub

post 7 edit 7The bathtub is another key part to factor as you undertake the renovations. Make sure that you buy the right tub that fits the needs of all the users in the home. A good bathtub doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be very big, no. A 60-inch tub is ideal for most folks. It has enough room to accommodate users and also a better foothold that will ensure that you don’t disappear into the water once the tub is full. Check out how much comfort and support it offers for the back and neck.

The floor

The floor of the bathroom is a multipurpose fitting. It serves as an esthetic enhancement in the bathroom as well as a safety fitting because fixing the wrong floor material can cause skidding and accidents in the bathroom. Make sure that you go for materials that warmth, beauty and durability.

The mirror

Do not attempt to fix the whole bathroom with mirrors. It is better that you go for one elegant mirror that will serve the purpose. Get a mirror that has style and reflects elegance and compliment it with an adjustable make up mirror. Remember to install a shaving niche in the shower stall.

Optimize the available space

If there is any space between wall stud, use it to install a tall storage cabinet so that you can save the floor space, and optimize the vertical space. Another way to maximize limited space in a house that has back-to-back rooms is to have a shared shower that has a common access point. Alternatively, you can convert a nearby closet into an ensuite with access to the next bath.

The shower area

Construct an open shower area that does not require a door or curtaining. Additionally, make sure that you install a proper drainage system and a rain showerhead that is installed on the ceiling so that it does not splash too much water.

Good lighting

The bathroom is a place that needs to be accessed any time of the day or night. This means that proper lighting should be given priority. You need the right combination of luminosity and reflections. A halogen pot light will do well if it is blended with wall sconces.

The right toilet

When buying a toilet, go for something that is decent, but not necessarily costly. Go for a model that is designed to offer utmost comfort. A model that has elongated seats and bowls will serve better.

A little luxury will go a long way

post 7 editFrom the beginning, we saw that the modern bathroom is not just a place of performing “statutory” duties of bathing and leaving. A good modern bathroom serves beyond just convenience and hence integrating some kind of luxury is a highly welcome idea. You can incorporate audio-visual entertainment gears, a fire place, and exercise equipment so that you get it beyond the “statutory” levels of convenience.

Common blunders to avoid

Well, the renovation process comes with a lot of excitement due to the expected enjoyments that the bathroom will bring about. However, there are a few blunders that threaten the process and if they are not well taken care of, they can become an anticlimax to an otherwise great process. Below is a highlight of some of them.

Inadequate planning

True is the adage that if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Make sure that you have done all the necessary planning on time so that you don’t run into last minute inconveniences and emergencies. Ensure that you have consulted with all the relevant stakeholders who are supposed to facilitate the success and process of the renovations.

Ignoring the fundamental

This is another blunder that most folks make. Ensure that you factor the layout of your current bathroom before you move on with the renovations. Take into consideration the existing plumbing, floors, walls and ceilings.

Poor quality materials

If you use poor quality materials, you will have a poor quality bathroom. Make sure that you go for materials that will fit and work well with your dream bathroom. Pay attention to the quality of the parts, more than the quantity of the money that you will spend on them. Remember that bathroom renovations are not a cosmetic exercise that you will keep repeating every now and then. So, better spend once and get the right things once and for all.

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Simple Ideas for Great Landscaping

post6Landscaping is one of the best outdoor investments that a family can make on their home. It brings in the marvel of nature and gets you close in harmony with the greater cosmos that we are all a part of. Coming up with a landscaping plan for your home is thus an idea whose time is always ripe. The only reason why it may not be done promptly lies with individual, but not the idea.

So what ideas are there that will enable you have a great landscaping in your home? How can these ideas be customized to suite your home and get implemented in a manner that suits your level. The answers to these questions are the reason why this article is being drafted. Read through it and discover these principles and ideas that will guide you as you come up with a successful landscape plan that will enhance the value and beauty of your home.

 Get to define and outline what you need

This is a universal principle that applies to landscaping. This is because you are coming up with project for you and your family and hence everything needs to suit and meet the needs of your family for now and the future. This part is important because it will affect the space that your family members use. For instance, if you want to set up a project on a piece of space that your kids use for playing, you need to get them on board and show them how the landscape will benefit them. With the input and support of your family, come up with a plan of what exactly you want and how the finished product will look like.

 Get nature on board

As you plan to come up with your project, you need to factor in nature. This is because these forces such as the sun and certain winds do behave differently at different times of the year and the day. This will help you know where to position different parts of the landscape. For example, if you want to enjoy a patio in the morning, then you will need to position it in the east.

 Follow due process

Do not try to come up with this “next big thing” that will impress everyone. Do not try to run while you can’t even crawl; follow small but stable steps that your ability at every level enables you to manage and sustain. You can start off with a small flower bed and then observe how best it is going to get you closer to the final product that you had in mind.

 Determine and work around a cynosure

This is a fundamental principle that you have to consider. What is the cynosure of the landscape? You can fill in there anything that will create a sense of skillful admiration, attraction, and wonder. You can decide to set up a fountain, an exotic plant or flower or anything that your creative and artistic genius will find appropriate.

 Adaptability

post 6 editThis dimension comes in a s balance to the first principle. When we started, we saw that you need to be very clear as far as what you want and need is concerned. However, being particular in defining your envisioned needs only acts as a guideline to where you want to land. That is why good judgment and maturity demands that you be open to changes in the future. This is because as we all go through life, our instincts and perspectives towards some things change for the better, and that is called growth.

What does this mean? You need to be open to positive and beneficial changes to plan and design of the project. If you manage to stumble upon a new idea that can enhance and embellish the project, incorporate it wisely because coming up with a perfect landscape takes time and time well used exposes us to better things.

Don’t forget the curvatures

Remember that landscaping is an artistic expression and hence it is not subject to rigid formulas that define everything in black and white. Incorporate decent curves that will give the landscape a flow beauty and artistry.

 Give it a sense of life

Remember that a landscape is not a computer drawing. You need to design it in such a way that it becomes a buzz and vortex of life. Plant trees and create waterfalls that will attract birds, butterflies and water animals so that they can add the sound and breathe of life to the scene.

 Consider the future

Coming up with a great landscape is an investment that will cost you time, energy, and money. You do not want to see your beautiful garden being brought down some time in the future. This means that as you plan your landscape, factor in the fact that sometime in the future there will arise a need for some heavy moving machinery to move into your home. If you designed your landscape without factoring in this, you will tearfully and regrettably end up cutting down your beautiful plants.

Let your house benefit also

Landscaping is intended to improve the general outlook of your home. Your house is a part of that home and hence you should design the landscape in such a way that some parts and aspects of your home are going to be incorporated into it. But do it in manner that will not “swallow” in for instance in a forest of flowers. Your artistic genius will guide you in drawing the middle line of balance.

Take advantage of obstacles

This is another great idea that will help you make optimal use of the existing and available space in your home. For instance, if you moved into a home that had existing features that may stand in the way of your envisioned landscaping outlook, you need to remove them. Do not try to “go around them” because this will limit your horizon of possibilities. For instance, you may find a gigantic tree standing in the path of you watching the sun rise or set. By felling such a tree, you can create room for a sun gazing point in the garden.

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15 Outstanding Tips for Great Kitchen Remodeling

kitchen postThe kitchen is one of the most important rooms in every home. It is the most important production room that is responsible for the production and serving of food and good health. That is why the kitchen occupies a great and important place of priority when it comes to home improvements and remodeling.

However, carrying out a kitchen remodeling is not as simple as it may sound and it is because of such technicalities that there is need for proper guidelines that will help you navigate through the process in a successful and fulfilling manner. It is because of this article seeks to unfold some of these basic tips that will help you set up your dream kitchen.

Tip 1: Start at the end

By starting at the end I mean you got to envision what kind of kitchen that you want as opposed to want you currently have. Get all the specifications and outlook on paper. If you can’t see the end, then do not start because you will not finish; and even if you do finish, you will do so on a bad disappointing note, an anticlimax.

Tip 2: Put together the right team

Kitchen remodeling is a construction project just like any other. It will need proper architectural design which means you will need an architect. It will also need a builder, electrician, and a plumber. Make sure that you get to contact the right professional at the right time. Here, the architect will come first to assist you with a blue print. Other players will follow on later as the project advances.

Tip 3: Arrange for an alternative kitchen

Another factor that you will need to consider is making arrangements for an alternative kitchen. Get a spare room where you can move in some of the basic kitchen appliances so that you are not completely inconvenienced.

Tip 4: Prepare for the inconveniences

All renovation works have their own load of inconveniences. For your kitchen, you will be forced to forfeit some of your facilities for a while. Be ready to endure the clutter and noises that accompany constructions. If you happen to live with pets in your house, most of them may not endure the noises and hence you will be forced to make arrangements for temporary accommodation.

Tip 5: Draw a realistic budget

There is no harm in you living within your means. As you budget for the remodeling, remember that you are not budgeting for Bill Gate’s kitchen but your own kitchen and set a budget that you will be able to fund, without unnecessary financial burdens and debts. Remember to give a 10% allowance on top of your budget to cater for contingencies that you cannot foresee or control.

Tip 6: Be flexible

kitchen tipsThere is no sin in you dreaming big for your kitchen. In fact, it is even better off to dream biggest! However, no matter how good and sweet dreams are, you cannot live in dream land and hence you can only remodel a kitchen based on the reality of your present ability.

If you happen to have envisioned some “great” things and then after sitting down to plan you find that they are not achievable (not wrong) at the moment, be flexible and shelve them. Being flexible to reality will help you come up with something good and affordable for your level.

Tip 7: Get some external inspiration

Here is no weakness in you learning from others. This means that you have a constitutional “copy right” (your right to copy!) and you can make the best use of it to get an inspiration for you remodeling. You can wade through good sites and magazines that are authorities in this field and look at some of the photos they have. But this does not mean that every photo you see may be directly reproduced in your house. However, it will give you some inspiration from which you can come up with sketches of what you want for your house. There from, you can submit the sketches to an architect to fine tune into something that suits your current space and needs.

Tip 8: Look for cost saving possibilities

This point applies to those who are working on a lean budget. There are always loopholes in the plan that can be used advantageously to save some good bucks. Look at the floor, the electrical wiring, and plumbing and find out how you can retain them the way they are. You can also decide to carry forward some of your current cabinets as long as they are in good shape. This will give you room to revisit them in the future once you have another budget for the. Remember that you are remodeling the kitchen and hence it should not be talent as a campaign against everything you have at the moment. You can still decide to mix the old and new wine and move on.

Tip 9: Get some wise counsel

It is not weakness to ask and learn. Remember the great sage Solomon said that “There is nothing new under the sun, for everything that is now, was once there”. This means that you are neither the first nor are you the last person to come up with a “great” renovation plan.

Because of the above, consult those who have done it before and get to learn from their experiences and mistakes. They may know something that will save you very costly blunders. Remember the great sage Solomon also said that, “In the multitude of counselors, there lies success, and plans are established through counsel”. Going for accurate advice is wisdom for in it lies strength and so, consult wide and wild.

Tip 10: Don’t rush, you may crush

All-IN_GRANITE_Kitchen_RemodelingNo matter how bad you are dissatisfied with your current kitchen, do not jump into a “Usain Bolt mode” and sprint into “action” immediately. Do things the “Paul Tergat or Catherine Ndereba” (I beg that you don’t tear or burn this article for being pro Kenyan!) way, the marathon way. As they say that if you rush you may crush, this advice is true and hence you got to subject everything to a timely and affordable budget.

Tip 11: Use the right quality of materials

This is another basic factor to consider as you roll out the remodel plan. The quality of material you use will determine several things. First, it will have a direct impact on the final outlook of the finished work. Second, it will impact the durability of the remodeled kitchen, which in turn will have long term financial implications. So, it is better you spend more on a few qualitative materials rather than save costs too much and end up with something mediocre.

Tip 12: Consider some little office space

This is a great addition that you can incorporate into your new kitchen. You can set up a small personal office where you can put your computer and a few stationeries for your personal use.

Tip 13: Take advantage of the ceiling height

You can optimize the usage of the floor space by taking advantage of ceiling heights. For instance, if your current kitchen has eight foot ceilings, you can install taller cabinets so that you can have bigger storage space upwards while you use the floor space to do other things.

Tip 14: Select an appropriate counter top

Choose a counter top material that will give the kitchen an elegant finish and esthetic outlook. The market offers all manner of countertops. You can choose from marbles, limestone, and plastic laminate. With all these varieties, you will be spoilt for choices but make sure that you don’t spoil the choices. Go for something that is warm and splendid, but yet easy to maintain as well.

Tip 15: Make it more lovely and lively

Don’t just relegate the kitchen to the convenience zone of just performing “statutory services” of cooking and serving meals alone. Make it to be somewhere that you can enjoy staying even when you are not eating or cooking. Try to incorporate some little artistry and you can embellish it with some little antiques (if your budget allows).Think out the best ways that you can use to make it stand out unique but without having to be very or inconveniently expensive. Remember, many times excellence lies in simplicity and how creatively you can utilize the little that you already got.

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How to Deal With Common Electrical Faults

Electricity in the home is one of the greatest benefits that modern technology has bestowed upon this generation. Without it, modern life would become a non bearable, an unimaginable boredom and a costly inconvenience. However, as good as it is, electricity also has its own short comings, and thus there is need for proper management to complement the enjoyment and the benefits that we derive from it.

In the home, there are many types of electrical faults that can occur. Some of them could arise from the wearing and tearing of the system and apparatus that convey it while others may arise from mismanagement of the system by the end users. Even though some or many of these faults can be dangerous and even fatal, they can still be diagnosed and fixed safely with the help and service of a qualified electrician. That is why this article seeks to unfold some of these common faults and how they can be fixed in a manner that is effective and safe.

Blinking lights

bulbWe are all familiar with this common electrical fault. However, none of us enjoys living in a room that has lights that are switching themselves on and off every now and then. But what causes this annoying and disruptive fault and how can it be resolved? The most common cause of flickering lights is poor connection in the circuit.

If the problem is spread throughout the whole house and home, then probably there is an issue with the main connection wire.But is it happens that some lights are getting extra light while others are dimming, and then there is a connection problem with the main neutral wire. Other common causes of flickering lights power grid problems and too many electric devices being used at the same time. It is also advisable to replace the bulbs because they are not the correct match for that connection. Additionally, if the problem persists, call an electrician to fix it.

Dead electrical outlets

This another common fault experienced in homes. It is caused by tripped ground fault interrupter. You can rest the GFCI unit and breakers to rectify the issue. However, if it does not work, there is a connection problem somewhere along the circuit and it needs an electrician to fix it.

Circuit breaker problems

Electricians examining a circuit breaker panel in an industrial setting.Circuit breaker tripping is a common fault in homes. One of the common causes behind it is a short circuit somewhere in the connection. Circuit breakers also trip when high voltage appliances are in use.

Such appliances overload the system and to correct the issue, you will need to buy a new circuit breaker.Additionally, you can deal with the overload problem by turning off all the electrical devices that are not in use. Additionally, you can avoid circuit breaker tripping by replacing split and frayed wires. 

 Hot switches

It is a common occurrence for switches to overheat and in particular when they are running many high wattage bulbs. If this problem continues, call an electrician to fix it.

Light bulbs burning out too fast

Light bulbs dying before their expected life span is over is another common problem in some households. Below are some of the common causes behind these premature “deaths”. The first cause behind this fault is excessive fixture vibration. This can be due to the positioning of the bulb, for instance, on a ceiling that has a fan with defective blade. When the blade rotates, its vibration jiggles the filament of the bulb thus shortening its life. You can sort his issue by fixing the fan.

The second cause of this fault is using the wrong bulb. If you use a bulb that has a higher wattage than its fixture, it causes the fixture to overheat. This means that you may have to change either the fixture or the bulb in order to fix the fault.

The third cause behind the premature death of light bulbs is the quality of the bulbs. If you sacrifice the quality of the light bulbs for lower prices then you are most likely going to end up with short-lived light bulbs. The solution to this problem is to invest in quality bulbs even if that may cost you more.

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Basic Considerations Before Undertaking Home Additions

Adding some extra room and space to your house is one of the things that you will have to do, at least once or several times during your life time. One of the main reasons why families undertake additions on their houses is the need to add more room to their current house.

There are two main ways of making additions to your house. First, you can decide to make the addition on top of the existing house; which is called vertical addition. Alternatively, you can elect to do the addition by pulling it sideways; which is horizontal addition. However, the choice of either going vertical or horizontal will depend on the design of your current house, among other factors.

post 1Before proceeding with your addition plans, it is important that you establish the purpose that the additions will serve. This will in turn determine the location of the additions on the existing house. For instance, if you want a place to be relaxing as you enjoy sunset, then you will need to add it facing west. If you need an extra bed room for guests, location will not be a factor. The purpose of the addition will also determine the choice of construction material and ultimately, the cost of construction. For example, if you need an extra room for storage purposes, you may as well use cheaper material as opposed to if the addition was to serve as your guest room.

As you plan for your addition, you need to take some external restrictions (that you have no control over) that will affect or even stop your addition plan. Area zoning by-laws can be at times inhibitive to what you can build on your compound and how to do it. Some of them will determine how high a building needs to go and this may force you to do the additions sideways instead of upwards. Make sure that the relevant authorities get to approve your plan first, before you proceed with it.

Unless the  additions you want to make are a birthday gift from a friend or family, you need to subject everything to a budget that you can fund. The kind of materials to be used and the design you choose will have direct cost implications. You are therefore required to choose the above carefully so that they fit in your budget. Remember that the particular contractor you choose will also affect cost and hence choose a qualified professional that will work within your budget.

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House Cleaning Tips Before You Move Into a New House

cleaning kitchenIrrespective of the reasons, moving from one house to another is a fantastic experience. However, the excitement of moving house is also coupled with a raft of responsibilities that are meant to ensure that the new house you are relocating into is in the best condition. Apart from necessary renovations, cleaning is one of the other most important activities that need to be performed before you move in and enjoy your new house. All this can be done with the help of cleaning services. But what is the best way of cleaning a house before new occupation and how best can it be done? The answer to this question and any other that may linger in your mind lies in the remaining parts of this article—keep reading. The cleaning process outlined below is used by a leading Chicago Illinois cleaning services provider and has been proven effective on over 1000 cleanings:

Cleaning the kitchen

None of us loves a dirty and disorderly kitchen. For all the obvious reasons, the kitchen is one of the most sensitive rooms in a house and hence it requires a lot of hygiene to be observed in order to avoid diseases. Being a semi food manufacturing unit, the level of its cleanliness will directly impact on the health of the whole family. Make sure that you clean every part of the kitchen thoroughly, paying attention to key areas such as cupboards among others.

Cleaning kitchen appliances

Electrical appliances are another area of concern and focus as you handle the cleaning process. You need to pay special attention to the following appliances:

  • The oven

Check inside your oven and if you find it necessary, apply an oven cleaner. Ensure that you clean beneath the oven’s hood and use a grease-remover in case the regular is not strong enough for this task. Clean the sides of the oven alongside its temperature dials and panel. You will also need a paper below the oven so as to collect the dirt that falls off from the oven.

  • The fridge

This is another important appliance that needs special attention as you clean. First of all, you will have to unplug the fridge before cleaning it. You will need to remove the drawers and bins and wash them thoroughly. Clean the inner walls and shelves separately in the sink and remember to clean the freezer.

Clean the back side of the fridge as well as well as its top and sides. Also remember to dust of the handles.

Cleaning the counters and cabinets

post 3 editClean the inside of the cabinet using a gentle cleaner. Go on and clean the top of the cabinets and their doors. In case the cabinets have a wooden surface, use a gentle soap to clean them or you may as well use a wood cleaner.If the surfaces have some grease stains, you can clean them using baking soda and water. You will first of all make a paste using the soda and apply it.

Give it some few minutes and the clean. Don’t forget to clean the inside of the drawers and the handles as well.After you are through with the cabinets it is now time to turn your attention to the counters because they do not require as much time as cabinets. Ensure that you clean in between the crevices using putty knife and get off every piece of debris. Using water and a gentle cleaner, you can clean the back splashes.

Cleaning the sink

This is another sensitive area in the home. You can clean it using water and a bleach as long as it does not contain chlorine. Use a spray gun to spray the sink and allow it some time to soak well then afterwards, you can rinse it. You will also need to bleach the sink’s plugs using bleach water and allow it some few minutes before you rinse it. To remove sink odor, use a baking solution and pour it down the sink’s drain.

Cleaning the walls

Start off by removing all the dust and the cobwebs in obvious areas such as heating vents and corners. You will need a sponge mop to clean those areas that are difficult to reach using warm soapy water. If the walls have a lot of stubborn stains, use a detergent to clean.

Wipe the base boards and molding too. Make sure you clean light switch plates. Remember to clean along the door frames.

Cleaning the floors

These are other key areas that require your attention after you are done with the walls. You will need to get your floor sparkling clean. You will have to confirm with the previous occupant if they had any pets sharing their house with them. If they did have pets, you will first have to disinfect it against fleas.

Sweep the floor well, whether it is made of wood or any other material. Using a gentle detergent or cleaner, mop the floor surfaces thoroughly.

Cleaning the bathroom

First ensure that you mop the floor of the bathroom. Clean the bathtub, sink and fixtures of the bathroom thoroughly. Clean the toilet on the inside and outside as well. Remember also to clean the mirror with a glass cleaner.

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Great Tips on How to Maintain Your Deck

Decks are beautiful places and additions on homes. They serve as primary areas of recreation and relaxation. Moreover, they are altars upon which beautiful and lasting memories and bonding take place in the home. They give you space to sit and enjoy he beautiful breeze and warming sunlight as well as standing out as platforms from which you can enjoy the spectacular rising and setting the sun and also the comforting blazing of the moon and stars in the night. These are just a few of the beautiful benefits that a deck can give to a family.

However, the continued enjoyment of the above benefits does not come free of charge. There is a cost that has to be paid in order for you to continue using and enjoying your deck. Maintenance is the name of that price and it will ensure that your deck lives long enough to serve you for the better. This article is dedicated to bringing to your attention a detailed and simple manner by which you can carry out routine and regular maintenance on your deck.

Cleaning first

cleaning DeckOne of the major causes of mildew, mold, and rot in decks is dirt. When you do not clean your deck properly and regularly, you expose it to decomposing agents that expose your deck to premature aging and demise. Begin by removing all the debris that is hidden and trapped between the deck boards using a putty knife.

After you have removed the debris you need to protect the nearby plants and vegetations buy covering them with a plastic sheet thereafter, you can sweep the deck. After sweeping you now need to get your hand on the right cleaning materials that are appropriate for the right kind of deck.

The cleaning process

Make sure that you choose an appropriate day that is marked by fair and conducive weather conditions. Make sure you choose a cloudy day that is not rainy so that the cleaner is neither washed away by the rains nor evaporated by the sun.

For wooden decks:

Clean using a garden sprayer, and a paint roller. Make sure that he deck is not pooled till you have scrubbed it. Afterwards, you can let it soak for some 10 minutes before rinsing.

For composite decks:

You will need to scrub using a soft brush. Do not use a pressure washer. Use a deck brightener to remove any leaf stain and rust.

For vinyl decks:

Scrub the deck in circular motion using a stiff broom. Afterwards, you can give it a thorough rinsing.After you are done with the cleaning, give the deck some two days to dry and then apply a sealant. Remember this: composite decks do not require sealants, unless the sealant you are using is intended for composite decks.

Conducting repairs

post 2Dry weather is the best time to inspect your deck for any damages and fix them. As you conduct the inspection, pay keen attention to those areas that are close to the ground or close to water sources. Check out for any signs of rotting. Start at the stair case and in particular where the stringers connect to the ground. Try pushing a screw driver into a given deck area and see go deep it goes. If you can screw in at least half an inch deep, then there is rot taking place.

Another key area that needs to be inspected is the ledger. Remember, it is the ledger that connects the deck to the house and if it is damaged and not repaired, then there are very high chances that the deck will collapse. Ensure that the flashing of the ledger does not have any hole or rust because this will begin to let moisture get into the siding.

Other key areas that require checking are rails and boards. Make sure that the rail is not loose. Try shaking it to ensure that it still has the strength to hold weight safely. Also check for any cracks in the boards. If there are any cracks, plan for a replacement because all crack grow bigger with time and hence you need early prevention.

After you have checked these key areas of the deck, you can now turn your attention to other parts of the deck as well. Check the joists, beams, and posts of the deck to find if they have any rot, rust, or any other form of damage.

If your checking and diagnosing proves that there is a need to repairs, call an expert and let them give a rough estimate of the cost of the repairs. Remember, if you do not detect such repair issues on time, you will not take appropriate measures in time. The result will be that you will end up risking the lives of your family and your own life should the deck collapse.

Other preventive measures

Aside the steps above, there are other simple routine measures that can be taken to keep your deck in good shape. These measures are costless but if you ignore them, you may end up paying for them with money and the wellbeing of your family and friends who use the deck.

Debris and leaves: make sure that you do not allow debris and leaves to accumulate in the deck’s corners.

Moving planters and chairs:

do not move chairs and planters too often. If you do so, you expose your deck to unnecessary scratches. Likewise, the deck will lose its luster because of discoloration.

Plants and vegetation:

always keep the deck at least one foot away from vegetation cover by trimming them. The reason is that when trees are too close to the deck, they facilitate and expedite the growth and activities of rot, moss, and mold. Remember that rot and mold are some of the most common causes of damage to decks.

Parting shout

All these are simple preventive and maintenance measures that will ensure that you enjoy the benefits of you deck for longer and without unnecessary interference and inconvenience. If you follow them, you will have every reason to smile and never regret why you built your deck in the first place