Saturday, 22 April 2017

Kerb Appeal: Make Your Exterior Extra Special

How much do you spend on decorating each year? Maybe a few hundred dollars, or if you’ve got a big project on, probably a few thousand but the chances are it’s all for indoors as we often neglect our exteriors leaving them looking tired, run down and a bit worse for wear. However, it’s super easy to boost your property’s kerb appeal again so your home’s outside looks just as good as inside.

Get Out Into The Garden

The chances are your lawn’s probably not looking its best right now simply because we tend to leave the bulk of our landscaping till spring, or even fall. Now’s the time to get your gardening gloves on, spruce up those patio steps, power wash the decking and start planting new trees and shrubs while it’s still relatively cool and the soil’s not at risk of becoming dry and cracked due to the heat. Make sure your lawn’s free of weeds, including dandelions and the grass has been cut recently as it may be a simple thing to do but don't underestimate the appeal of a clean, freshly cut lawn.

If you’ve  got some brown patches, you can buy reseeding fertilizer, but if that’s not worked, you could be looking at having to re-turf the whole lawn which can become very costly. Of course, you don't have to returf the entire space; you could add in gravel paths, a water feature or even Buy a Conservatory to put on the south facing side of the garden where you’ll catch the most of the sunshine. Plus it’ll give you a fantastic entertaining space to boot.


Touch It Up

You’ve probably spent thousands on paint colors for your living room, dining room and bedroom over the years but when was the last time you touched up your exterior paintwork? Luckily, high-quality exterior paint should last around fifteen years, but if you live in an area that’s prone to wind and rain, it’s going to start to chip and peel.

Having said that, all it takes to restore your home’s outside to its former glory is some sandpaper, primer, outdoor emulsion and a couple of willing helpers. Painting is something you can get done in a single afternoon, although you should do the walls first and then look at repainting any window ledges or outdoor shutters. However, not everyone is a dab hand with the paintbrush or may not have the time to keep running up and down a step ladder. If this is the case, consider calling in a firm of exterior painters and pressure wash walls to remove any dirt or grime.

Roofing And Gutters

Whatever you do don’t neglect these as gutters and shingles that are blocked, missing or sagging will make your home look much more decrepit than it is on the inside. Do a spot check noting any overflowing water, blocked debris or mulch build up and consider having a roofing pro come do an inspection to rule out any more serious problems. Broken gutters can go from being a mild annoyance to a major headache as rainwater will run down into the foundations and could encourage damp to spread. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Gifts Every Man Will Love

Men are famously difficult to buy for, but this is a bit misleading. It’s not that they’re fussy about what they receive; it’s that they don’t really care what they get. However, don’t think that all gifts are all created equally, because they’re not - some will most definitely prick the interest of the male receiver. And in fact, you might say that it’s amazingly simple to buy for men, so long as you stick to a few tried and tested gifts.


Simple Joys

What do men really want? Well, for starters they wouldn’t mind if they can have a free pass to do what they want. A lot of their time is taken up by spending time doing things they have to do. Men don’t mind the parties, shopping, and restaurants, but it’s not really how they’d choose to spend their time. They want to be spending time watching the sports game or having a few beers with friends. When it comes to giving a gift, one of the best you could get is simply giving them a pass to do whatever they want for the weekend! They’ll love it more than any tie, we’re sure.


If letting them stay at home to watch a game just doesn’t seem special enough, you could always look at getting them tickets for an event that you know they’ll love. This could be two tickets [they can take who they want...but they’ll take you!] to see their favorite sporting event, or it could be front row tickets to see their favourite band perform live. Everyone loves going to events, and even more so when all the details are organised by someone else.

The Keepsake

The gifts so far have been nice, but they’re pretty temporary. If you want to get something that’ll last longer than just one weekend, look at and get them a piece of jewelry that they’ll cherish forever. It could be a chain or a ring; whichever you think would suit them more. In the future, this could become a family heirloom, making it a gift that gives again and again.

For The Home

Every home needs a woman’s touch, but that doesn’t mean that men wouldn’t like to have their own special corner to call their own, one where they can relax either by themselves or with friends. Take a look at and try your hand at creating a space you know they’ll love. You don’t even have to create it yourself; the permission for them to do it will be enough.

The Big One

For those really big celebrations [like 5oth birthday/retirement], you could make all their dreams come true and invest in the car they’ve always had their eye on. They’re unlikely to splash the cash on it themselves, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want it - they’re just being sensible! Take the decision out of their hands, buy it, put a bow on it, and present - they’ll love it.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Bathrooms that are a Breath of Fresh Air

If you notice damp, mould, mildew or condensation in your bathroom or wet room you could be suffering from poor ventilation. Damp conditions are the perfect breeding ground for bathroom nasties like mould and fungus, which are both unsightly and smelly and can cause health problems.

Damp bathrooms can also affect the rest of the home by providing suitable resources for home invaders like termites. Termites are a real problem for homeowners with more than 600,000 homes affected each year in the U.S. You can get easy treatment solutions such as those provided by but if you deal with the damp conditions you can prevent them from taking hold.

So on reflection it’s seems a good plan all round to let your bathroom breathe and save yourself the worry of damp disasters. Here are some cost-effective tips for increasing ventilation in your bathroom or wet room.

Feel the flow

A really simple and good habit to get into for excellent bathroom health is to keep the bathroom window open as much as possible, especially when you are running hot water to enable the steam to escape and not settle on the ceiling and walls. If you don’t have a window in your bathroom, invest in one, it really will save you thousands of dollars in damp repair in the long run. Keeping a window open all the time might not be practical if it’s a security risk so consider Trickle vents or window locks that allow windows to open slightly but prevents full access -  to increase the airflow and dry out the damp. You can find out more about window vents at

Installing an extractor fan

Most new properties will have an extractor fan fitted as standard because it is the law. Older homes though may not and they are also more likely to suffer from damp and poor air conditions. Extractor fans are a cheap and efficient way of getting the wet, hot air out of a property and allow the drier air to get back inside. If you’re handy around the house you could also probably fit it yourself to save money. If you’re bathroom or wet room is big enough you could also try a dehumidifier particularly if you’ve already got a damp problem and you want to tackle it quickly.

Keep your plumbing running smoothly

There’s nothing more likely to cause damp in your bathroom than dodgy plumbing. Leaky taps, inefficient showers and aging pipes will all add unnecessary moisture to the air.  Keep your plumbing up to date - either by doing it yourself or with regular professional inspections - and you can avoid more than just rising damp in the bathroom!

Once you have eliminated the cause of damp from your bathroom you can set about clearing signs of damp and mildew that might already have taken root.  Once your bathroom is bright again you can breathe a sigh of relief that poor bathroom ventilation isn’t choking your home.

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