Tag Archive for: Guest Post

Ways To Maximize Natural Light in a Space

Ways To Maximize Natural Light in a Space

Ways To Maximize Natural Light in a Space

 

When a potential buyer walks into your home, what is the first thing they see? The size of the room? The color scheme? Actually, the first thing anyone sees when they walk into a space is the lighting. No, we don’t mean the sleek recessed lighting in the kitchen or the antique table lamp you thrifted for the bedroom. We mean the light itself.

Light is how our vision works, and it impacts the way we perceive the size and color of a room. The best lighting to make your home look good, especially here in sunny Arizona, is natural lighting. Finding ways to maximize natural light in a space will help you make the best first impression on your potential buyers.

Window Trimmings

In order to bring in the most sunlight possible, it’s best to start at the source: your windows. In most cases, you can’t help the size and placement of your windows unless you want to go on the costly and complex renovation escapade of installing new windows. (Trust us, you don’t!) But you can help the windows that you do have shine more effectively by choosing window trimmings that maximize light. Avoid heavy drapery, shades, or blinds that block out more light than they let in. Instead, opt for light sheers and drapes.

Focus on Color

All you have to do is walk outside during a blazing Scottsdale summer in a black shirt to know that light interacts with color. Black absorbs light, leaving you sweltering, whereas white reflects it, keeping you a little cooler. The same is true visually. Light-colored rooms tend to reflect light, making them appear brighter than dark-colored rooms. And you can do all this without changing the size of the windows.

This doesn’t mean that white is the only answer when it comes to maximizing light in a space. In fact, some spaces, such as rooms where the windows face north, have a weaker or cooler colored light. Because of that, plain white walls may actually make the room appear darker. You have to strategize when coming up with a color palette for north-facing rooms. Focusing on light colors with warmer undertones will help the room seem bright and cheery.

Utilize Mirrors

Our vision depends on light, and when glass surfaces reflect light, we are able to see ourselves. That’s why we can all relate to the experience of being blinded by the glare from a mirror. We can use that light to our advantage in a room. Adding a wall mirror and other shiny, reflective accessories to a space will add more light to the room. They also have the added benefit of making a room look bigger to those who walk in.

 

The Best Ways To Decorate by Mixing Metals

The Best Ways To Decorate by Mixing Metals

The Best Ways To Decorate by Mixing Metals

 

Whether you’re new to the idea of home decorating or have been at it for a while, there are some unspoken rules that people seem to follow. Some of these rules are better than others, such as never painting a room pure white or not putting carpet in the kitchen. Other guidelines, however, are a little more flexible. Take mixing different metallics, for example. It’s not something many people encourage or try, but it can make quite the statement. We’ll show you the best ways to decorate by mixing metals so you can try it out for yourself.

Choose One Dominant and Accent

You can see the mixing of metals a lot in architecture; it helps to break up the look of all that monochromatic material. For your own home, you’ll want to decide on one metal as your most dominant metal. You can then add another contrasting metal as an accent to break it up a little bit. It will give your space a bit more depth than if you only used a single color. You can also use it to draw attention to specific areas by using the accent metal strategically in those places.

Use Different Finishes

Not all metallics use the same finish. One of the best ways to decorate by mixing metals is to use these different finishes in separate parts of the room. For example, if you have a lot of bright silver all over the room, consider accenting a specific area with a more rustic, tarnished version of silver to make it pop even more. Gold also has various finishes—hammered, brushed, polished, antiqued—that can all go together while still adding variety to your design.

Beware of Clustering

When trying to mix metals effectively, another common mistake is to cluster all metals of the same color together, separate from the other metals. You want to avoid doing this as it can give the room a very segmented and disjointed look. Instead, scatter your accent metal lightly among the dominant metal. This technique makes the room feel more cohesive and logical.

Use Darker Metals as Neutrals

To bridge the gap between two very different metal types or colors, you can use a darker metal as a neutral base. Look for metallics with colors such as gunmetal, iron, or dark bronze, and sprinkle these in around the room to add a little more interest to your accented metal colors. Darker metals like these tend to fade into the background and don’t make such a powerful impression on the room’s overall look.

 

Tips You Should Know Before Replacing a Roof

Tips You Should Know Before Replacing a Roof

Tips You Should Know Before Replacing a Roof

 

Replacing a roof is a common occurrence for many homeowners. Some folks treat this project as a routine without considering the steps required to make it an incredibly beneficial experience. These tips you should know before replacing a roof will help you invest in the right resources for such a project.

Consider re-roofing over existing materials

Re-roofing sometimes requires tearing off the old material to make way for the new one. However, one of the best tips you should know before replacing a roof from an eco-friendly standpoint is to consider leaving that old roofing there.

In many cases, you can install a new roof right on top of your current one, especially if they’re asphalt shingles. Unfortunately, your capability of doing this depends on certain factors, including building codes and the specific roofing material you’re installing. Take the time to look into building codes and talk to a contractor about the possibility of installing a new roof over your old one.

Invest in more sustainable materials

As a homeowner, it’s essential to learn how to spot the signs you need to replace a roof. The reason for this is that you probably have asphalt shingles, which are possibly the most common form of roofing around. Unfortunately, asphalt shingles are prone to damage and can require replacement by the 12-year mark. Instead of investing in re-roofing once a decade, invest in something more sustainable, like metal.

High-quality metal roofing offers immense durability, lasting upward of fifty years in most cases. Metal roofing is long-lasting, visually appealing, energy-efficient, and can withstand the elements with ease. It might cost more upfront than an asphalt shingle roof, but metal is perfect for homeowners who want to invest in quality and longevity.

Be careful with your contractor choice

Seeking out a contractor who can install your new roof takes time and patience. Instead of choosing someone solely on their price, consider their value. As such, when you’re considering a contractor, look at any proof of previous work and online reviews ahead of time.

Plus, ask the contractor about how many years they have in the field, what materials they have experience with, and whether they have the proper certifications and insurance to get the job done right. Always hire a contractor who is both reliable and has experience with your roofing materials. Metal roofing is excellent, but a poor installation will diminish its benefits.

 

Top Flooring Trends To Try in 2021

Top Flooring Trends To Try in 2021

Top Flooring Trends To Try in 2021

 

Floor styles last longer than trends in paint colors and kitchen finishes, so there’s no need to rip up any carpet immediately. But if you have any projects in the works, the gray movement seems to have run its course. Read ahead to learn about the top flooring trends to try in 2021 and the next few years.

Paler Wood Stains

These days, homeowners are installing hardwood everywhere, from entryways to kitchens to bathrooms. If you follow suit, remember that it’s a serious investment. Do your homework before you commit. Hardwood floors in gray tones and weathered finishes have been setting the pace for almost seven years. Now, the style is trending toward more natural, light-brown shades to tie color schemes together. All-white kitchens are on the way out, and more traditional oak floors offset dark cabinetry well. Walnut is having a moment, too. Matte and satin finishes are eclipsing high-shine coatings.

More Area Rugs

As hardwood gains on carpet in terms of popularity, people are remembering that they still need to warm their toes some way. A fun, more temporary solution is an area rug that adds a splash of color and personality. Use them to highlight paint and wallpaper colors, or give a room a new vibe by coordinating throw pillows with the rug. They help protect those wood floors at the same time. When you want to change things up, just buy a new rug.

Black and White Tiles

HGTV’s Joanna Gaines has sparked the rage for black-and-white tiles in small areas like bathrooms. Rather than strictly geometric, the patterns are delicate, flowery, and European. They can work as art nouveau accents or fit right in with French country styling. If you try this flooring trend in 2021, you can use it to start a recurring theme throughout your house. Add variations on backsplashes, fireplaces, stairways, and in the foyer. It won’t look bland with diverse patterns and different accent colors.

 

What To Know Before Starting a Backyard Landscaping Project

What To Know Before Starting a Backyard Landscaping Project

What To Know Before Starting a Backyard Landscaping Project

 

Embarking on a backyard landscaping project is often a great way to increase the appearance and value of your home. However, a well-planned project can quickly go downhill if you don’t take the time to prepare properly. In order to ensure that your project is a success, here’s what to know before starting a backyard landscaping project.

Your Budget

Before starting any home improvement project, it is crucial to nail down your budget. Many ambitious homeowners end up abandoning their projects mid-way through because they cost far more than expected. To avoid any unpleasant surprises throughout the project that may cause you to put it on hold, make sure to write out a detailed budget. Generally, you should also plan to leave a bit of cushion to account for any potential issues that may arise throughout the process.

What Equipment You Will Need

Depending on the size of your landscaping project, you will likely need to either rent or purchase some additional equipment. Prior to starting your project, it’s important to determine what that equipment is and how much it will cost. In doing so, you can budget accordingly and avoid having to halt your project every few hours to acquire a tool that you need.

If you plan on using heavy equipment such as a skid steer, make sure to choose the right tracks. Choosing the wrong set of tracks could cause your lawn to get completely torn up and destroyed throughout the process. As such, it’s important to choose wisely and consider getting advice from a professional before renting out heavy equipment.

Zoning Laws and Necessary Permits

Another extremely important thing to know before starting a backyard landscaping project are the zoning laws in your area and the types of permits you’ll need. Failing to research the municipal zoning regulations and home association rules in your location could land you some significant fines if you end up violating them. Plus, you’ll likely have to undo all of that hard work you just put invested so much time and money into.  One company that can help you with zoning issues is Gilbert landscaping and tree experts.

Know the Locations of Pipes and Electrical Wiring

If you’re planning on digging up the ground or planting large trees, it’s imperative that you know where any pipes and electrical wiring around your home are located. Failing to identify the location of pipes could result in flooding if one gets hit or if there is a clogged pipe years down the line if a tree is planted directly on top of it. The risks of not locating any electrical wiring, however, are even more severe. Aside from power outages, accidentally hitting an electrical line poses the risk of electrocution, which may result in serious injury or even death.

 

Home Maintenance You Need to Do Annually so Your House Will Keep Its Value

Home Maintenance You Need to Do Annually so Your House Will Keep Its Value

Home Maintenance You Need to Do Annually so Your House Will Keep Its Value

Home maintenance is a process that consists of too many tasks to count. The only thing making this possible is the fact that not all of these tasks have to be performed frequently. There are some tasks that should be done on a weekly basis, others that should be done once per month, those that should be done seasonally or bi-annually and then, there are annual tasks. These are the tasks that should be performed once per year in order to keep the place functional and to allow it to keep its value. Here are several such tasks that you should keep in mind.

1.      Lubricating garage doors

A lot of people take the way their garage doors work for granted, however, in order to keep it so, they might want to grease their garage doors at least once every year. Just keep in mind that safety comes first. Garage doors are quite heavy, which is why the gears that control them are quite powerful. The last thing you want is to have your hand stuck in them. Also, you might want to buy quality garage door lubricant. Remember, you do this once per year, which is why saving money on this relatively inexpensive supply won’t make much of a difference.

2.      Cleaning septic tank

It’s quite easy to forget that you even have a septic tank, let alone a septic tank that needs to be cleaned. Once it is filled and starts overflowing, you will be reminded of your mistake. The easiest way to avoid a scenario where you even have to imagine this nightmare scenario is to clean it once every year. All you have to do here is contact a septic tank servicer and have them do the job for you. This way you don’t have to get your hands dirty and the problem will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

3.      Cleaning gutters

Keeping the gutters clean is incredibly important for any household. Now, some guides suggest that this should be done bi-annually but there’s really no objective reason for this frequency. Keep in mind that while you’re cleaning all of this debris from the gutters, it might be a good idea to look for a way to improve your drainage system. For instance, you could look for an efficient gutter replacement. Other than this, you could also look to install a new flashing for your roof.

4.      Cleaning sediment from hot water heater

Water is filled with sediment and since the water heater performs heating processes on the water in question, some of this sediment gets separated and it remains in the heater as debris. Over the course of time, your water heater tank will be filled to the brim with this debris. This will make it harder and less energy-efficient to heat it. So, once in a while, it might be worth your while to check the tank for sediment. Either hire someone to do it for you or even do it yourself.

5.      Look for termites

One thing that you need to do on a yearly basis is to look for signs of termites. Now, if you notice signs of termites, either by seeing actual termites or noticing damage in the home’s timber, you aren’t supposed to ignore them. However, once per year, you’re supposed to have one thorough termite inspection. Moreover, once every 4-5 years you should probably hire a professional to look for signs of termites. This will always keep you on the safe side. The crucial thing to bear in mind is that termites may work slow but the sooner you notice them, the better. If your home is old, it’s even more important to look for signs of termites on a regular basis.

6.      Washing your home

While this is not mandatory, it’s definitely recommended. While painting your home is something that you would do every several years and cladding/rendering it is something that you wouldn’t do as often, washing the exterior with a pressure washer is something quite simple. First, it can help clean years and decades of dirt and gunk from the façade. Second, while the pressure washer is in your possession, you can use it to clean the driveway and the pavement, as well. In other words, it’s an idea worth considering.

In conclusion

The very last thing worth keeping in mind is the fact that these tasks aren’t done as frequently might play against you. You see, it’s quite easy to forget them. Also, some of these should be done during specific seasons, which is why it might be hard to schedule them all at the same time. Fortunately, in the age of apps and smartphones, you can make your own schedule and set reminders to specific dates. Just make sure that you schedule on weekends and that you set a notification for at least one week ahead. This way, you’ll make it all much more convenient.

How to Find A Reliable Blocked Drain Services Provider in Your Town?

How to Find A Reliable Blocked Drain Services Provider in Your Town?

How to Find A Reliable Blocked Drain Services Provider in Your Town?

 

A blocked drain is not a new problem for homeowners. Regular use, deposition of grime, food scrapes, kids throwing their toys in the toilet, and so much more, often lead to a blocked drain. Even if you plunge the toilet and sink and add the best sink cleansers into it, the problem just seems to be coming back. So, what is the reason for this? There can be several reasons for blocked drains like you have a broken lining, calcium deposition inside the sink, and other issues. Hence, you need a reliable blocked drain services provider. You can trust such professionals with their services, thus ensuring that you do not have to face plumbing issues again and again.

 

What Problems Can a Reliable Blocked Drain Services Provider Solve?

 

These problems may not appear to be a big one initially, but over a period, they tend to grow, and you must go with complete replacement of the entire drainage system. So, why not hire the best and reliable blocked drain services provider in time when the problem arises, so that it does not aggravate. The following steps are going to help you find the best plumber for this task.

 

Steps to Find a Reliable Blocked Drain Services Provider:

  1. Begin with the internet search– Well, the answer to most of the problems is the internet search. You will find a plethora of options in the market. While searching for a blocked drain professional, your focus should be to find the one who has expertise in this domain. You can choose them based on their expertise, reviews, and ratings. One of the key parameters that you must not miss while looking for a professional is their experience. Here are some of the basic factors you should not miss while shortlisting a blocked drain service provider:
  • Experience
  • Proficiency
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Testimonials
  1. Speak to them individually– Once you have shortlisted the names of some reliable blocked drain services providers, your next move should be to speak to them individually. Since there are several such service providers, there is a probability that you may get swayed away by their tall claims. Instead of relying on what they advertise, you must make it a point to speak to them individually. This will give you confidence that these plumbers can take care of the blocked drain and will mend it completely. Also, while speaking to them, you must ask whether they provide a guarantee of their work. A professional and reliable plumber will not hesitate to provide a guarantee on their work.
  1. Ask them if they have license– Continuing your conversation with them, you must not miss asking them if they have the license to operate. A licensed professional is reliable. This license is a guarantee that they provide quality work and that they have the expertise to perform their work in the field.
  1. Ask about the quotation- The next step that you need to follow is to ask them about their price quotation. There may be visiting charges and miscellaneous charges, which depend on the type of issue to be solved. For example, a blocked drain that results because of breakage in the pipeline will need relining of the pipe. In this case, the charges may be quite high. So, you must ask them about an estimated cost before starting the work.
  1. Ask for references– If you do not want to do such a detailed procedure, you can rely on references from the ones who have previously availed their services. They will let you know whether the plumber is reliable one or not.

 

Remember, when it comes to dealing with plumbing issues, your final call should be settled with the one who is reliable and experienced. Use the above tips to choose a reliable blocked drain services provider and get your job with safety and expertise.

How to Hire Trustworthy After-Hours Locksmith Services

How to Hire Trustworthy After-Hours Locksmith Services

How to Hire Trustworthy After-Hours Locksmith Services

 

It is a common experience to face problems with the locking system; it can be your home-lock or car-lock. You can lose your car keys and find yourself abandoned in the middle of a highway. So always keep your car keys in a secured place while you are travelling for a long distance. However, if you lose your car key, then you can call a professional locksmith service.

 

Tips to choose the Best Locksmith Services:

Locksmith services not only repair your keys or locks, but they can also replace your old locking system with an advanced one. Trustworthy after-hours locksmith services operate their business 24×7 and you can call them anytime according to your needs. However, you need to consider the following factors to choose the best services:

 

  • You can ask for some recommendations from your friends and relatives to choose trustworthy after-hours locksmith services, and you can check their online reviews before you hire. A local locksmith can save your cost. For example, if you contact your dealer to issue a duplicate key for your car, then the dealer will hire a locksmith and they will charge a third-party fee. To avoid such additional cost, you can directly hire a locksmith from your locality.

 

  • You must check the physical address of the locksmiths. Online-presence is important, but it is not always reliable. You can visit their local shop and verify their business. Choosing trustworthy after-hours locksmith services is not like online shopping, and it is related to your security and safety. They can make a duplicate key and use it in future to enter your property. Even they can use a duplicate key to steal your car. So, you must check the authentication and reputation of a locksmith service.

 

  • Trustworthy after-hours locksmith services offer 24×7 services and you can call them on a weekend or holiday to confirm that they are available for emergencies. There are few locksmiths available that are listed as 24×7 locksmith services online, but you cannot find them after office hours. So, you must check such details before you choose a locksmith.

 

  • Always choose a licensed and insured locksmith service. If there is any issue or damages occur during their work, then the insurance company will take the liability, and you need not pay anything extra. License can ensure their trustworthiness and reliability.

 

  • You can ask for the quote from different locksmith services and compare their prices to choose an affordable one. Trustworthy after-hours locksmith services can charge you an additional fee for odd-hour services, and you can check their charges before you hire.

 

  • You must check their past services, and you can read their reviews and testimonials. You must choose an experienced locksmith service and you ask for some references. You can call their past clients to know about their services.

 

  • Before you hire a locksmith, you must check his specialization. There are some locksmiths available who can fix commercial locks, and few of them are dealing with auto-lock. They must have advanced tools for the digital locking system. Digital and biometric locks are difficult to fix. So, you must choose a locksmith who has adequate knowledge in this area.

 

You must ask about the expected time of arrival. Trustworthy after-hours locksmith services can send their locksmiths within an hour and you can hire a local locksmith during an emergency. Make sure you check their response-time before you hire.  Also ask for the warranty, and trustworthy locksmith services can provide a limited warranty on their locks and services.

 

4 Types of Items That Are Commonly Damaged During a Move

4 Types of Items That Are Commonly Damaged During a Move

4 Types of Items That Are Commonly Damaged During a Move

 

Whether it’s down the block or to an entirely different state, the process of moving into a new home always comes with a few risks. Certain items you take with you may be lost, and others might be packed in the wrong box. But it’s typically the worst-case scenario when some of your beloved possessions get broken in the transition. Fortunately, there are reasons why certain items tend to break over others, and knowing them could help set you up for future success. These are four types of items that are commonly damaged during a move and how you can help mitigate it.

Drinking Glasses and Flatware

It often seems like no matter how well you stack and pack glass tableware, they always still find a way to get broken. This is because glass has several different shattering points, and even the most thoroughly-packed boxes can still leave some of them exposed. So, when that parcel shifts or gets bumped, the chances are good that it’ll hit one of those points and break a glass. For this reason, one of the best strategies to use when packing glass items is to use as much material around, underneath, and between them as you can. Packing the box tightly so the items can’t move is key to limiting their contact with hard surfaces.

Lamps and Their Shades

Lamps and the shades that come with them are also something that tends to break while being shipped to your new home. Like glass tableware, these pieces of furniture can also be incredibly fragile and have a series of shattering points, depending on what it’s made from. However, what makes them so easy to break is their shape. Lamps come in a multitude of unique designs—meaning that there’s no one way to pack them. Therefore, it’s crucial that you use packing material in a way that accommodates its shape and keeps it protected.

Large Musical Instruments

Another type of item that is commonly damaged during a move are larger musical instruments. While small acoustic and wind instruments like guitars and flutes all come with their own carrying cases, large and heavy models like pianos don’t have such a luxury. This often leads them to be incorrectly secured in the moving van and susceptible to damage during the ride. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why pianos often need tuning after a move. Because of this, it’s crucial that you find a moving company that’s experienced with handling these items.

Electronic Equipment

Your electronic household equipment will need a bit of extra attention as well. Anything built with sensitive mechanical parts must be properly disconnected and emptied before being placed in their box. Otherwise, you risk something shaking loose during transport. It’s preferred that you pack the item back into the box it originally came with. However, if this isn’t possible, the next best thing is to find a container of similar size and tightly pack it with cushioning material.