Thursday, 17 January 2019

6 Areas To Consider Before Renovating Your Home

There are many reasons as to why you might want to undertake a home renovation. You could be looking to update your property to bring it in line with 21st-century fashions; you might need to renovate as a practical necessity if you need more living space or a bigger bathroom or you might simply be looking to increase the properties value ahead of selling it.

Whatever the reasons, you need to prepare properly for a renovation. It is a costly, time-consuming and often stressful experience that requires proper planning. From color schemes to contractors, if you don’t want your renovation to go off the rails, then you need to make sure you are prepared.
Here are six areas you need to consider before renovating your home.

Know out what you want
You might think that knowing what you want is the easy part – a brand new bathroom, of course. A brand-new bathroom can mean many different things. Do you just want a new sink and shower put in are you wanting to completely reconfigure the design so that everything moves or around? You might even want to knock down a wall and enlarge the current space or move it all together.

Each of those options has varying degrees of cost and complexity. Deciding on exactly what you want is the first step towards ensuring that your renovation is both viable and can be a success.

Check the budget
Can you afford the work your going to carry out and is it likely to add value to your home? A general rule of thumb is that a renovation project should cost around 7 percent of the value of your property. Before you get too attached to the idea of installing an exact replica of one of the the six best celebrity kitchens of 2018, make sure you can afford it.

The budget stage is also a good time to consider how you are going to pay for the upgrade. Are you dipping into savings or have you had an unexpected windfall? There are of course a number of loan options that you could consider to help finance the renovation, including online payday loans direct lenders which can help give you access to money fast via guaranteed payday loans. Although not particularly useful for financing the whole project, they can be a vital source of quick finance should any problems arise during the process.

Consult a professional
Your dreams for how to renovate your home might come up against the cruel realities of the real world, so it is best to always consult a professional before setting the plans in concrete. You might, for example, want to knock down the wall between kitchen and dining room to create a more open environment. A great idea in practice until you find out that you are actually about to remove a load bearing wall which could have severe consequences for the stability of your home.

That is why it is always best to consult a professional before proceeding. They can advise you if what you are doing is both safe and workable. If it is, then it’s full steam ahead. If it isn’t, then it will be case of back to the drawing board.

Decide who is carrying out the work
Unless you’ve got specialist skills, it’s nearly always best to call upon a professional contractor to do the work. While it may seem like an idea to do it yourself, you may not actually have the skills you need for the job. 

You might think you can take the challenge on, but if you do it is going to a far lengthier project as you’ll be trying to fit it in around work and leisure commitments. The final renovation might also lack the quality you’d receive from a professional tradesman, not to mention the possibility of something going drastically wrong which you are then unable to fix.

Get the right contractor for the job
When hiring a contractor, most people focus on their qualifications and their qualifications only. Of course, this is important – you need them to be fully qualified, have a contractor’s license, a certificate of insurance for general liability and workers comp, lien history and a bond number and certification.

One aspect that often goes overlooked, however, is that you need to get on with the contractor. They’re going to be spending many hours working in your home and as a result, they need to be a good personal fit with you. Over the course of the weeks and months it takes to complete the renovation, they are almost going to be like a housemate to you so if you don’t get on or you can see them grinding your gears during what is already likely to be a stressful process, then they might not be the contractor for you.

Test out colors and materials
There is nothing worse than undertaking a costly renovation, only to realize at the end that you don’t actually like it. You might think that you’ve decided on the perfect peach color for the bedroom, but you need to test it thoroughly – and that means getting your hands on plenty of samples.

Colors and patterns change with light throughout the day. What might look good as the brilliant sunlight of dawn pours in through the windows can take on a completely different and less alluring appearance under electric lighting once evening arrives. A carpet material that is soft and bouncy at first might turn out to be a cleaning nightmare once you accidentally drop a packet of potato chips on it.

That is why testing out colors and materials is so important. You need to be able to live with the colors for at least a few days, constantly walking past at different points to get a feel for what you really want. Never be afraid of having too many samples either – cover your walls with as many different paints as you like to make sure that the one you settle on is definitely the right choice.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

How to Settle into a New City with Ease

Moving to a brand-new city is anything but easy. Not only will you need to find a new home and job, but you’ll need to adapt to a whole different way of life, which can be a culture shock.

While it’s easy to find the whole process a little overwhelming, it could be the perfect way to hit refresh on your life. If you want to feel at home as soon as you arrive, take a look at the below advice on how to settle into a new city with ease.

Create a New Home Checklist

As you might be eager to make the move to a new destination, you might be tempted to pick the first house or apartment you can find that complements your budget.

However, it is imperative to remember that the property you pick will determine how happy you are in your new home. For this reason, you should create a new home checklist to ensure a property ticks every box on your list. For example, you might need:

· Two bedrooms
· A big kitchen
· Spacious living room
· Good schools and transport links
· A safe neighborhood

Once you know exactly what you want, aim to find a home to match your budget. For example, if you are thinking of making the move to Florida, you cannot go wrong with a stylish downtown Tampa apartment.

Find New Friends

Loneliness can be an issue for some people when settling into a completely different city, especially if you have moved alone. Fortunately, there are many ways to meet new people with a proactive mindset.

For example, you could ask your new colleagues for after-work drinks; you could join a book club, volunteer for a charity to connect with different, kind-hearted people, or participate in a local sports team. Aim to be friendly and approachable to encourage conversation and connect with different people.

You could even reach out to people on social media or networking apps who are also moving to the city, so you can connect with a likeminded person and potentially make a new friend. You can guarantee they will be pleased to know someone else in the city, which could make their transition a little smoother, too.

Build New Traditions

Developing traditions in a new city will make you feel more at home. For example, find a favorite spot to go for a walk or read a book, as you will feel like a small part of the city now belongs to you.
You also should find your favorite spot for breakfast, dinner or drinks, so you’ll feel like a resident and not a tourist. It will help you to create a new normal, so you’ll no longer want to return to your hometown.

While moving to a new city can be tough, the transition might not be as hard as you think. If you follow the above top tips, it’s possible you will feel right at home in no time at all.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Restoring an Old House

Old homes or period places are beautiful. The ones that have lasted are often the most incredible examples of their time. They have all the character and history you could ever want from a property, but that does not mean caring for them and living in them will be a walk in the park. You need to know the legal requirements, the safety issues, and of course how to modernize your old home for the 21st century. By following this guide, you can accomplish all of this, and start to enjoy all the character and warmth your new home has:

Know The Legal Limits

Depending on where you live there might be restrictions on your property in terms of what you can and cannot change. These restrictions are in place, so that period pieces are preserved for future generations, and not torn down or warped beyond recognition. It is to preserve history, so check with your local authorities and work to preserve the character features that make this building so special.

Get it Checked for Lead Paint or Asbestos

Depending on the age of the home, there is a chance that lead-based paint or even asbestos and other materials that are dangerous to your health were used in its construction. Asbestos, for example, is incredibly dangerous and has been a proven cause of cancer. You do not want it anywhere near your family, so get specialists in to your home before you move in to check it out for any such dangerous building material, so you can clear out that issue once and for all.

Aim to Restore Before You Replace

Some materials are so beautiful and expensive that you simply must aim to restore them before even considering replacing them. Original wood features, stained glass, crown molding – all of these features are what make your old home so special. In some cases, the materials used would be out of your budget to replace in their entirety, which is where restorations come into play.

Say you have beautiful mahogany or walnut floors. Over the years these floors might have become quite scuffed from consistent wear and tear, but that doesn’t mean that they are a hopeless cause. Instead, you could hire professional French polishers to restore the wood and to preserve it for future use through an old and traditional polishing method. This will return the wood to its former glory and protect it for the future.

Non-Invasive Upgrades to Make

Invasive upgrades might be forbidden in your property, or too expensive to do in a home such as yours. Thankfully, there are many ways to improve your home without touching its structure. You can heat it up with these tips, decorate with tapestries and beautiful rugs and curtains, and even make use of any fireplaces your property has. There are so many ways to stay comfortable year round, without going in and installing or updating your central heating system.

Taking on an old home is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. You will have a character-rich home that is well-built and beautiful, and by restoring it and caring for it you will ensure its legacy will continue throughout the generations. 

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