Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Extending Your Home In The Right Direction

Thinking about adding to your home? Home extensions are a great way to give you and your family a little more space while adding additional value onto your home. It can also be a fun project to take on, even as a DIY job if you have the skill to handle it. For instance, a lot of people decide to build out into their backyard because this allows them to complete a home renovation, without buying up any additional land. At this point, you’re probably wondering what type of extension to build onto your home. We’ve got some of the best options as well as some advice on how to move forward with a project like this.

Loft Or Attic Conversion


On average, this is going to cost you ten thousand which we think you’ll agree is quite expensive. This will depend on the design of your attic. Some have very high roofs and if that’s the case part of the extension work has already essentially been completed for you. Rather than changing the roof all you need to do is add some insulation and work on the inside of the home. If you have an attic with a ceiling high enough to stand up with, it really is in your best interest to complete an attic conversion. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of a fantastic opportunity. Ten thousand might seem like a large cost, and it is, however, you can cover it with a homeowner personal loan. Homeowner personal loans allow you to borrow the money you need and pay for an extension like this. Once you have built the extension, you can pay off the money as you go along. With a loft or attic conversion, you can create an awesome game room or a stunning place for guests to stay. The choice is yours.

Sun Rooms And Conservatory


Looking over the fence, you might have noticed that your annoying neighbor already has a stunning sunroom in their backyard. It probably makes you green with envy, so perhaps you should think about building one yourself. Why not? It might seem like a great idea to build a glass roof as part of your sunroom. That way you get the full power of the sun. However, this will also make the room unusable in the winter and often far too hot in the summer.

Instead, you need to think about building a sunroom with a tiled roof. Don’t worry, it will still heat up nicely if you have windows all around the sides. But it will also be quite a pleasant room to sit in and watch the snow fall.

Room Extensions


Alternatively, you could consider extending a room inside your home, perhaps pushing out the front room a little more. This can be a great way to make your home appear more grand if you’re willing to give up a little garden space. With an extension like this, you will be looking at a few thousand at least depending on the extent of building work.

We hope this helps you choose the right new extension for your home.

The Post-Op Recovery Checklist


Surgery is a daunting prospect, no matter how minor the operation. Even the healthy among us may have to go under the knife at some point. There may be a problem with your appendix, or simply a broken bone that needs put back in place. Whatever the reason, the lead up is often full of worry.

So much so that many of us fail to consider what we’ll do during our recovery. We book the time off work, of course, but the thoughts go no further. Yet, the way in which you recover will make a huge difference to how long the process takes. Which is why we’ve put together a post-op checklist you should aim to follow. Save this for after your surgery. Or, print off a copy and keep it aside should you ever need it!

#1 Rest and relaxation is top of this list. If you push yourself before you’re ready, you’ll do more harm. Instead, take the chance to relax. When else do you get the opportunity to lie in bed all day without guilt? Listen to your body and stay there as long as you need to. Depending on the nature of your operation, this could be for a day, or a few weeks. Your doctor will let you know which. If you’re in it for the long haul, make the time bearable by stocking up on books and DVDs. If they lose their appeal, you could try some boredom busters like those mentioned on www.surgerysupplements.com. If you have a few weeks on your hands, these could be a real game changer.


#2 Thinking of the future may also be a good idea at this stage. You have the time, after all. Facing surgery often gives us a new outlook on life. You may feel the need to take note of your assets, or even protect your future by looking at life insurance sites such as lifeinsurancequote.co. This is one of those tasks many of us put off, so it’s worth turning your attention to it now. Your near-future should also come into account here, as you make plans about when you could return to work etc.

#3 Wean yourself off of medication. If you’ve been on bed rest for a long time, the chances are that you’ll be taking a fair amount of medicines. This is excellent because it keeps the pain at bay. But, it also has the downside of masking your recovery. So, there will come a time when you need to stop taking those tablets, to get an accurate idea of how you’re recovering. Do this gradually to ensure you’re not overwhelmed.

#4 Knowing when it’s time to get moving is about as crucial as your bedrest. If you don’t get going as soon as possible, your injury could fail to heal or you could lose strength. It’s a delicate balance and one that can be tricky to overcome. And, make sure to liaise with your doctor throughout.

It's Never Too Early To Start Saving For Christmas

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Now we know it is only September, which means Autumn has barely had a chance to creep onto people’s lips, but we need to talk about Christmas. Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you where to get the best advent calendar or anything trivial like that. Instead, we’re going to give you some advice on how to save money in what is - let’s be honest - the single most expensive time of the year.

There is now less than 100 days until Christmas and, as any financial-savvy superstar will tell you, the best way to avoid being cash-strapped is to be prepared well ahead of time, instead of scrambling to pick up some extra shifts in the middle of December just so that you can afford that turkey you wanted.

Read on to see our top tips on how to reduce the cost of Christmas:

Set Aside Some Cash Now
This isn’t just so that you don’t spend all of your money in the build-up to Christmas, but also because you could see your money work for you between now and then. By putting some of your money into a savings account, you could see it earn a little bit of interest. So find which bank is offering the best rates and stick what you can aside.

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Decide On Presents Now
It may seem way too early to broach the subject of presents but, by knowing who you are buying for and how much you may spend, you will be able to prepare a lot more efficiently. It could be that you and your friends agree not to buy each other presents this year. Perhaps you set a budget for presents with your siblings. Or decide that you will just buy gifts for the children. Whatever it is, now is the time to decide so that you can budget better and even look out for deals.

Time For A Bit Of Refinancing
This could be the perfect time of year to refinance your home through someone like homeequitylineof.credit. It is a big decision, but it could be the best decision you make and the one that frees up the most cash this Christmas. To name just a few of the benefits, going down the refinancing route could lower your current interest rate, reduce your repayments or even shorten the term of your mortgage; all of which could save you hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars by the time December hits.

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Switch Up Your Supermarket
One of the major outlays in Christmas is food and drink. This is an expensive business. That is why you should look at switching your supermarket so that you use one of the more discount stores, such as Aldi or Costco, both of which feature on this best supermarkets list clark.com. It could just be that you make the most of any coupons that are being offered. It could be that you bulk buy your party-foods from a frozen food company while nipping into another supermarket to get their discount desserts knowing that they taste as good as any of the more expensive options. Whatever your tactic, there is money to be saved by the savvy.

Please add your own hints and tricks in the comments.

Become An Insurance Expert With These 5 Tricks

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Many of us pay a fortune on insurance in order to protect ourselves against the unexpected. In some cases this insurance may be mandatory (such as vehicle insurance), whilst others may be optional (property insurance). Insurance companies know how to weigh up the risks in order to get the most money out of you, but this doesn’t mean you can’t beat them at their own game. By learning a few tricks you could save a decent amount on your insurance rates. Here are some of those tricks…

Save money with precautionary measures

There are many cases in which you can take precautionary measures, which make you less of a risk to insurers and therefore lower your rates. For example, when it comes to motor insurance, parking your car in a garage or fitting a wheel lock can save you a lot of money. There are times when precautionary measures may not be worthwhile however. The cost of renting out a burglar alarm for your home may not be worth the lowered property insurance rates that it gets you. That said, you may still find that a burglar alarm is a handy feature to have (also, it must be noted that some companies won’t even pay you out if you don’t have a burglar alarm).

Use comparison services

You should always shop around before taking out a policy. Nowadays there are plenty of comparison sites for doing this. There are even sites such as HealthInsuranceQuotes.co that can get quotes for you and weigh up various perks and applicable fees. It’s worth taking a look at these every couple years just to ensure that there isn’t a cheaper rate out there.

Use group policies

Sometimes you can save money with a group policy. This may insure multiple people under one policy, such as a family under one medical insurance policy. Alternatively, you may find an insurance policy that includes multiple types of insurance. For businesses, there are many business insurance packages that may include different coverage such as employer’s liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and perhaps even business property insurance. There are even some general insurance packages that combine vehicle and property insurance.

Up your deductible

Your deductible is the amount you’re willing to pay out of your own pocket before claiming money from your insurer. Raising this can drastically lower you rates in many cases. Just make sure that if a disaster ever arises, you have the money to pay for this deductible. This could be a savings account with an emergency fund. Alternatively, you could pay with credit. The likes of CareCredit.com have zero interest cards that can be used precisely for this purpose.

Don’t protect a no claims bonus

Some insurers, particularly motor insurance companies, will have a no-claims bonus in place. This usually means that for every year you don’t make a claim, your insurance rates will get lowered. In the event of a car accident, some people will not make a claim so that they can continue to have lower rates. However, this rarely ever saves you money in the long run. Make a claim and get the compensation you deserve – it’s the reason we all pay insurance after all.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Is Your Family Ready For A New Addition?

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For a lot of people, a family just isn't complete without the addition of a beloved pet! There's nothing quite like the way that the addition of a new, furry family member can bring you all together and improve everyone's lives. It can give you a friend to keep your company, and it can teach your kids responsibility as well as giving them someone to play with. However, a lot of people end up realising that having a pet is often a lot more difficult than they initially thought. In order to prevent you from dealing with any nasty surprises, here are a few things to think about in order to make sure that you're ready to bring a new addition into your family.

Money

One of the most important things that you need to realise right a the very start is that dogs are expensive. Even if you adopt a dog rather than buying one, there are still a lot of costs involved. One of the most significant costs is, of course, food, but you also need to think about things like vet's bills and insurance. Pet insurance might not seem like a big deal, but it can save you huge amounts of money on things like vet bills further down the line. If you're worried about the cost, then check out petinsurance.review to find the best possible deals. You need to make sure that you add a new pet to your family's budget before making any decisions that you can be sure that you can actually afford it.   

Time

If your family is incredibly busy, then it might not be the right time to add a pet into the mix. Pets need your time and attention. Whether it's a dog that needs training, or a pet with a cage that needs cleaning, if you don't have the time to properly take care of them then your pet's quality of life is going to suffer pretty seriously. Make sure that everyone in your family is willing to take on the responsibilities of looking after a pet before you commit to anything.

Space

Even a small pet can end up taking up a surprising about of space in your home. Sure, a hamster isn't going to take up the same pace as a great dane, but you're still going to need to make room for its cage as well as having room for it to run around and get some exercise. Think carefully about how you're going to be able to make room for a pet before you bring them into your home.

Of course, you may well decide that all of these things are totally worth it because of the joy that a new pet will bring into your family, and that's great! But you need to be sure of your decision. If you decide after a month or so that it's too much work, then that's going to be incredibly hard not just for you and your family, but for your pet as well.

Is Your Home Damaging Your Health?

Have you noticed that your family has been getting sick a lot more than usual? Are you struggling to determine why that might be? Have you ever considered the fact that your home could be making you and your family sick? It’s a scary thought, but the fact is that sometimes the causes of health problems such as asthma or prolonged coughs and colds, are closer to home than we would like to think.

Is your interest piqued? Wondering how healthy your home actually is? If the answer is yes, then you will want to read on. Below, we are discussing how homes can actually damage our health.

Using harsh chemicals

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The fact is that everyone wants a spotless home because it’s a sparkling home that is meant to be good for ours’ and our children’s health. But what if the chemicals that you are cleaning your home with are actually doing more harm than good? They might kill bacteria, but what if the harshness of them is impacting your family’s health? The fact is that chemicals that give off odors can be dangerous and can have an impact on a person’s health. That’s why so many people are now choosing to swap to steam cleaning and natural cleaning products, to ensure that the fumes from chemicals aren’t making them ill.  

Asbestos fibers

A few decades ago, asbestos was a material commonly used when building homes. However, since then it has been declared severely dangerous due to the fact that its fibers if inhaled, can lead to lung cancer. That’s why the use of asbestos has been banned across the country. However, just because it’s been banned, that doesn’t mean that it is not still a part of some older buildings. If you live in an older property, it could be worth contacting your local asbestos specialist, to arrange to have the property checked for asbestos.

Mold growth

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The issue with mold is that often, you don’t even realize that it is there. However, as specialist sites like https://www.crawlspacecharlotte.com/ explain, often mold can grow in areas that you rarely spend any time in, which means that you don’t always know that it’s there. Just because you can’t see the mold, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t in your home, such as in your crawl space. Mould can be severely detrimental to your health, which is why it’s so important to prevent it from growing in your home in the first place.

Dust

Asthma is one of the most common childhood health problems, with a high number of children being diagnosed with it each day. Often, the most common cause of asthma in kids is dust particles, which is why it is so important to ensure that your home is as free from dust as possible. To learn more about the impact of asthma, resources like http://acaai.org/allergies/types/dust-allergy can be useful. The issue is that some vacuum cleaners don’t pick up all dust particles, so it is important to choose a vacuum cleaner that is as powerful as possible, to ensure that it is as effective as possible. Don’t attempt to dust with a duster as this just moves dust around; you need to vacuum it up and throw it in the trash.

There you have it, several things that you need to know about how your home could be damaging yours’ and your children’s health.

Big House Jobs That Need A Little Help

Moving into a fixer-upper of a house is an adventure for some and an absolute pain for most! When you choose to buy a house that needs a little TLC, you embark on a project that can be costly, stressful and needs a lot of your attention. Those who buy a house that requires that level of change often do so on purpose so that they can make a house entirely their own. It’s an adventure – albeit a stressful one!
Dealing in home renovations is costly, so before you buy that dirt-cheap house with the walls that need to be entirely plastered again, you need to weigh up the jobs you can do yourself and the ones you will need to call in the experts to help. We’ve put together a list of the biggest jobs that a home renovation requires and whether these are the ones you can do yourself!
Plumbing - A crumbling old home bought for a bargain at auction often has leaky, old plumbing. There may be broken toilet fixtures and only hot water to the kitchen and not the bathrooms. Unless you are a dab-hand at installing showers and baths, then it makes sense to call in the plumbers to help you with your water needs and pipes at home. Companies like this one can help you to plan your bathroom and get you everything you need in terms of modern plumbing installed. You may have bought a house without a shower, but it doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way!
Electric - Old homes often come with faulty wiring, so you’ll need It’s Electric Charlotte to come in and help you get your home wired the right way. The biggest issue with electrical wiring is the safety and you need to ensure that you’ve turned the electric off if you have exposed wiring anywhere. Sorting the wiring out before you actually move into the home is important, and it’s a big job – so get help!
Insulation - Keeping your new house as warm as possible is going to go a long way to ensuring your heating bills are low and you don’t freeze during the colder months. It’s a good idea to call in experts to efficiently insulate your walls and attic space – if you aren’t using it as an additional room, that is.
Gas - Are you hoping for a beautiful oven installed in the kitchen? Those gas ovens with six spider burners are good to go but only if you have a safe gas supply installed. You’ll also need to ensure that you have your heating covered for water and radiators: you can install a shower but you need hot water to flow through it! Call in a certified engineer to handle this for you!

You can do so much with your new house, but it’s these jobs that will take extra help, advice and money to be completed properly. Think about the added value that you can give your home with these simple changes.

Do an Autumn Cleanup In 3 Easy Steps

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Everyone has heard of a spring clean, but what about an autumn cleanup? Your home is your castle, and it deserves more than one mammoth clean every year. It’s vital that you stick to a weekly cleaning routine to keep your humble abode safe, tidy and hygienic. However, there’s nothing wrong with setting aside a day or two and really going to town disinfecting, bleaching and polishing every inch of your pad so that it emerges from the cleaning products you unleash upon it a sweeter smelling, more coiffed and beautiful home than ever before. Take a look at these three easy steps to give your home the ultimate autumn cleanup.

Draw Up A List

Imagine that you aren’t limited by time or money and create a list of every single cleaning job that you would love to see completed in an ideal world and prioritize them. This way, the most important jobs are completed. It’s all too easy to get the quick and easy jobs done first such as clearing out the kitchen cupboards and decluttering the sideboard. It’s the messier and tricker jobs that often get overlooked. If there’s a blockage in your u-bend, the autumn cleanup is the time to fix it.

Go Beyond The Norm

It’s easy to whip out the vacuum cleaner, the polish and duster, and the grease removing sprays, but what about when you want to strive for that deeper clean? Think about the different surfaces that you have in your home. You may have wooden furniture, granite kitchen worktops, tiled bathroom flooring and original floorboards in the living room. You can’t possibly use one product to clean every single surface.

Think about going a step further than usual and shampooing your carpet. Giving your flooring this luxurious treatment will see it emerge with a fresh new look in the same way you do when you leave the salon after a pampering session. Consider hiring or purchasing a special steam mop to fully disinfect your kitchen tiles. Head to the Steam Insider site to read up on all the benefits of using a hot steam cleaning routine over a traditional mopping method. No longer do you have to worry about the more resistant bacteria in your kitchen when you’re unleashing eco-friendly steam upon the little blighters.

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Head Outdoors

Even in the deepest of cleans, you may neglect your outdoor area. Head outside and climb a ladder to check out your roofing and guttering. The chances are that if you haven’t been up there in a couple of years, you’ll be needing a leaf blower to rid you of the damp, decaying foliage that has built up. You might want to get your hands dirty and clear off the moss. This moist and fast spreading plant can seep into the pointing in between your brickwork and could lead to damp mold patches appearing on the inside of your home, so it’s vital that you banish it from your gutters as quickly as possible.

Follow these three steps to see your home emerge from the end of summer refreshed and revitalized, ready to start the autumn season after having undergone an all-important cleanup.

3 Garage Problems You Don't Want To Deal With

For me, a garage is a really great addition to any home. If you use it conventionally, then you can get your car off the street and keep it safely tucked away. This reduces the chances of it getting stolen/damaged, which can actually decrease your car insurance premium! However, use it unconventionally, and you’ve got some extra space for your family to utilize.

Unfortunately, there are a few issues that come with a garage. Some can be very minor, while others are large problems that take up a lot of your time and cost money to fix. Keeping that in mind, here are the garage problems you don’t want to deal with:


(Image via: http://bit.ly/2fetDPV)

Pests

There are three main areas of a home that are susceptible to pests; the attic, basement, and garage. It’s very easy for little rodents to get into your garage if you’re not careful. While there they can build nests, breed, and turn your garage into a rodent farm pretty quickly. Regular readers will remember I posted an article the other week about dealing with pests. You can see it here http://www.atthefenceonline.com/2017/09/what-to-do-about-those-fuzzy-uninvited.html if you haven’t read the advice and want to learn how to keep rodents away from your garage. It’s not just rodents you need to be wary of, garages are also a popular place for wasps to create nests and wreak havoc. If you keep bins in your garage, make sure they’re properly covered and sealed as they can attract those black and yellow pests. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with any pest problems in your garage.

Broken Door

Having a broken garage door is one of the most frustrating things ever. They’re not like regular doors where you can maybe force them open again. They’re large contraptions that will be very hard to budge if they break and get stuck. Furthermore, fixing a broken door can be very expensive. As it states here https://www.tiptopgaragedoors.com/lp/charlotte, the best way to prevent a garage door from breaking is with maintenance. Ensure you keep maintaining and looking after your door, treating it properly, and you won’t have to face this very annoying problem.

Rubbish

Garages have a tendency to start off as something good and helpful, but transform into a mini landfill site. Everyone with a garage is guilty of using it as storage space from time to time. We throw old things in there to get them out of the house and free up space in the home. Before you know it, your garage is literally packed full of rubbish, and you can barely move. This ruins the whole purpose of a garage, and you won’t see any benefits of having one. Not to mention that clearing out all the rubbish will be very time consuming, stressful, and possibly disgusting. You can find advice here http://www.oprah.com/home/how-to-clean-out-your-garage-spring-cleaning-tips-peter-walsh if you want to learn how to clear your garage with minimum stress. In truth, the best advice is to not let it get to a bad state in the first place. Don’t fill it with rubbish and you won’t face this problem.


All three of these problems are so bad you don’t want to deal with them - ever. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment with any other garage problems you never want to face.