4 Funky Ways To Update Your Home’s Exterior This Summer

Here’s something you might not know about your home: the exterior is as important as the interior. Shock! Of course, think about it logically and this statement makes sense. The outside of the property is the first thing anyone sees when they roll up on the drive or cruise past, so kerb appeal plays a significant part. And, if you can make an excellent first impression, then you can add value to your home.

A lick of paint and new windows and doors, however, won’t cut the mustard. To update the outside of your house and add value, you’ve got to get funky.

Aluminium Gutters

The gutters are practical, but they’re not stylish. And, why should they be when they collect rain and leaves over the autumn and winter? The answer is simple: they act as a focal point. Considering there isn’t going to be much rain during the hottest days ever recorded, you might as well get use out of them design-wise. Replacing cheap plastic with shiny aluminium or steel makes the exterior appear less tired and outdated. This technique works well if you have big, open windows that let in lots of natural light.

Solar Panels

No, they aren’t ugly! They are different, but that’s what makes them a funky and eye-catching addition to your roof. Plus, there’s no doubt that solar panels bring contrast too. The black, reflective surfaces of the panels work well against the backdrop of neutral stone or redbrick. You can invest in stand-alone panels if you feel they would make a better addition to your garden or backyard rather than your roof. Buyers love panels in Australia because, well, it’s always sunny! If they can offset the cost of installing them by purchasing a ready-made property, it makes them well worth paying for in the long-term.

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Roof Garden

There is a lot of hard materials on the exterior of your property, and it would be nice if you could soften them a touch. However, swapping them for lighter materials isn’t practical if they aren’t as durable, right? Yes, that is true, yet there is still a solution: covering part of the roof with turf. An extension is a perfect option as it is usually smaller and easier to install. Then, you’ll get to mix textures and combine elements on the outside of your home that isn’t typically possible, meaning your property will be unique. And, originality goes a long way regarding added-value.

Natural Doors & Windows

Doors and windows take up a big surface area, which is why they are always going to be part of the conversation. What you want to avoid is following the crowd and fitting plastic or PVC entry points because they are more affordable and require less maintenance. Plastic is cheap, but it’s a bit tacky, too, and gaudy doesn’t add value. Natural materials, such as hardwood, are the opposite as the deep hues of the wood are soft and welcoming. Plus, they are sturdier, and that means you can promote a safer, more secure property.

Every buyer on the hunt for a property will pay more to keep their family safe.

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Would You Know What To Do If Your Home Was Flooded?

Whether you’re single, married or living with roommates. Whether you own or rent your home. Whether you have kids or not, it’s essential to know what to do when disaster hits your home. While, of course, emergency responders play a huge part in protecting us from the things that can go awry around the home, our reactions in those split second moments when we realize something’s awry can make all the difference.

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Because it’s winter and the weather can be unpredictable, today we’re going to look at household flooding. Floods can not only be caused by torrential rain and nearby rivers bursting their banks, they’re often also caused by damage to our home’s pipes and plumbing. We use so many modern appliances that rely on water it’s easy to assume that they work by magic. Until something stops working. In those vital moments, here are some things that everyone should do to mitigate the damage and ensure that they save as much of their home and their possessions as possible.

Stop the flow of water

Obviously, this can’t be done with rain or river water. But if your flood is caused by a plumbing mishap, the water is just going to keep on coming into your home and damaging everything it touches until you stop the flow. Your first port of call should be to shut off the appliance that’s leaking. If there are any valves near to it which you can get to, shut those off too.

If you’re at all unsure, shut off the water to the whole house. This useful guide will teach you how to find your main water shutoff valve. To be on the safe side it’s also a good idea to shut off your power, too.

Log all the damage

Don’t attempt to drain the water, just yet. First, document the damage by taking pictures on a digital camera or smartphone. These will be absolutely vital in backing up your insurance claim. Contact your insurance company straight away to notify them of the flood and check that it’s okay with them to start removing the water. Might sound silly, but you want to avoid doing anything that might invalidate your policy. You don’t want to wind up short changed after all you’ve been through.

Clear out the water

Time is of the essence, when it comes to getting the water out of your home. The longer you delay, the more damage will be done to your home. If you want to do it yourself, you’ll need to rent a sump pump and wet vac to remove the water and an industrial fan to dry out your carpets and flooring. These are available from most hardware stores. However, if you’d rather leave it to a professional, contact a reliable Disaster Restoration Contractor. Not only can they help you save your home and possessions, they may even be able to identify and fix the source of the flood.

In the days after the water is cleared keep an eye out for mold which can crop up in the aftermath of a flood. While you may face a little disruption in the days that follow, your swift thinking and reactions will have saved as much of your home as possible!

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How Do The Professionals Protect Their Properties in Style

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Let’s face it; properties are the biggest financial assets that most people will ever possess. Consequently, then, it’s vital that you look after it. Without the right protection, your most valuable item is at danger.

Maybe you’re hoping to settle your fears as a first-time homeowner. Or perhaps you’re a new developer hoping to make the most of an investment, or wishing to upgrade your home. Either way, Taking some tips from the pros will put you on the road to success. Here are five things that the best always do, and you should too.

#1. Invest in security

It’s a little obvious, but investing in quality security is always one of the most important factors in protecting the property. Surveillance cameras with remote tracking, advanced alarms, and automated gates are all good moves. Aside from the direct benefits of keeping intruders at bay, the use of improved security features will provide huge peace of mind. Whether living in a city apartment, or a suburban house, this should be the first item on the agenda.

#2. Consider the elements

While intruders may be the biggest source of fear, adverse weather is arguably the far more likely problem. Upgrading to double glazing and investing in shutters can protect the property against high winds. Depending on your location, it’s important to prepare for potential floods or the impact of intense sunlight. Flood barrier can be added to the doors as well as the garden while protection for the foundation is another step in the right direction.

#3. Stay vigilant

The home is a living environment. As such, you can expect a number of problems to arise over time. Quick action is the best way to prevent escalating damage to reduce the costs and time of repair work. Leaking roof? First steps to take in those situations will protect everything below. Likewise, damp, boiler problems, and related issues must be treated quickly and efficiently. Conversely, leaving the damage untreated will result in expensive and time-consuming damage.

#4. Find better insurance

Even when you take the necessary precautions, it’s impossible to rule out all potential dangers. Therefore, it’s imperative that you find the right type of home insurance coverage. While getting a cheaper premium is always a positive factor, you must not miss out on potential key features. If an issue does surface, you’ll want to know that the problems can be resolved ASAP. When the home insurer boasts a good payout, fast service, and tailored package, you won’t go far wrong.

#5. Keep it clean

It’s far easier to protect the look and health of the home when you maintain a good relationship with it. Cleanliness is one of the most significant factors by far. Short of time? Robotic vacuums and other appliances can do a lot of the hard work for you. Similarly, opting for a simplistic and uncluttered home design can have a truly telling impact. It saves you the hassle of getting into hard to reach spaces, meaning you’ll spend less time tidying and more time enjoying the property too.

Follow each of the above steps and your home will stay, well, as safe as houses.

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Contractors: Why They Are Better Than DIY

Home renovations can be hard work and a very stressful job. Getting the job done to a high standard should be your number one priority, but you will also want to think about how fast you can get this work carried out.

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DIY, A False Economy?

Cost is also an important factor for anyone, and you may be tempted to cut the expenses by doing the job yourself. But, before you head off to the DIY store to buy all of the things that you think that you may need, consider whether that is the best idea. Yes, you can work for free and when labor costs represent a large proportion of the cost of the job, then you will be justified in wanting to remove this cost from the task.

But, think again. Are you experienced enough to carry out this work? You may be quite good at a lot of handy work around the home, but are you going to be any good at doing a major project that you may not have any previous experience of doing?

Calling a contractor to do the job will probably be the best option. If things go wrong for you while you get the job done, it may cost you in replacing damaged or wasted materials. You may find the finish that you achieve is far from professional either, and you will regret not getting a professional to do the job every time you look at it.

Get Recommendations And Quotes

You will need to find someone who will be able to do the job to a high standard and who will be easy to deal with, but with so many contractors out there, how do you know that you are going to get a good one? Ask around friends and family or put a post on Facebook asking for recommendations. The best way to find a reputable contractor is through word of mouth. You may also want to check out ratedpeople.com for recommended local tradespeople.

Once you have found contractors that you have heard good things about, get them to quote you for the job that you need doing. Be specific about everything that you want, for example, if you want panels from Nichiha.com let them know so that they can quote you based on the specifics.

Getting The Job Done

Once you have a quote that you are satisfied with, then you can let the contractors get to work. It can be very difficult to allow other people to set to work on your home, but you need to have faith and trust that they will complete the job in a professional manner. Avoid being an armchair foreman, and let them do the job.

When they have completed the task there may be some snagging issues, this is normal so do not be alarmed if you have to get the workers to fix a few small things that are outstanding, or that crop up in the days or weeks after completion.

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Should You Renovate Your Home Before Selling Or Not?

When you are selling your house, you need to make sure that it’s in good condition. If it’s not, you may have trouble getting somebody interested in it. Some people insist that you absolutely have to renovate your home before you sell, while others say that it’s not worth it and you should try to sell it as it is. In truth, there are pros and cons on both sides and it depends on quite a few factors. Here’s how to decide whether you should renovate your house before selling it or not.

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Is There Serious Damage?

If your home has serious damage, like structural problems or a big hole in the roof, that’s not good news. It means that the house may be dangerous to live in and it’s likely to develop a lot of expensive problems further down the line if that damage is not fixed. Even a buyer that is looking for a place to fix up and is willing to do some work will be put off because it’s going to be expensive to get the house into a livable condition again. It’s important that you get a roof inspection and check out any cracks in the walls to make sure that there is no structural damage. If there is serious damage to the house, you will probably need to renovate before you sell because no buyer will be interested.

Are Buyers Willing To Do The Work?

If there is no serious damage, but there is a lot of cosmetic work and small repairs that need to be done, you still need to consider whether a buyer is willing to do the work, and there are a lot of factors here. Firstly, what is the scale of the work? If the house is looking a bit worse for wear, but a few coats of paint will bring it back to life, you should be able to find a buyer that is interested. But if you are trying to sell the house of a hoarder, for example, you have a much bigger job on your hands. It will be tough to find a buyer that is willing to clear out and decorate the entire house from top to bottom, so you may have to do a lot of the work beforehand, unless you find a company that will buy a house as-is.

The other thing to consider is the location because it has a big impact on the amount of work people are willing to do. If the location is great but the house needs work, you should still be able to find a buyer. But if the location is not very desirable, people will expect the house to be in perfect condition.

Will You Make Sacrifices On Price?

When you are trying to decide how much to sell your home for, you need to consider the work that needs to be done on it. If you are going to leave it for the buyer, that will push the price down. But if you do the renovations and budget them well, you will make more money overall from the sale, so you need to consider whether you are willing to make sacrifices on price or not.

If you think about these things, you should be able to decide whether you should renovate your home before selling it or not.

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When Family Life Is Put To The Test

Family life is never going to be easy, it’s a lesson we learn right from the end. But family life is one of the best things to happen to us all. Even if you never get to the stage of having your own family, you will no doubt cherish the hundreds of memories that you’ve been able to make with the family you’ve grown up with. From the family holiday’s, to the parties that you’d have each time a special occasion comes around. But that doesn’t mean that family life isn’t out to throw a few tough times at us, and when the calm is put to the test, it can often be hard to deal with. Some people are crippled with family issues that are going on at the minute. So we’re going to try and give you some advice with some of the problems that you might be facing at the minute. Just keep on reading, and see if you can relate to any of these problems.

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Family Fall Outs

Family fall outs are bound to happen at some people. As a family you’re such a close unit that’s around each other a lot of the time, and often that can lead to so many clashes that cause arguments. Time usually get tough when the family is strained. But there’s nothing quite like a family fall out, because those are the people who you need the most. So to get through family arguments like you should be doing, rather than dragging them out, you should be thinking about the different ways of communication and how you can approach it. Often people mistake communication with confrontation when a family is trying to resolve a problem, so always make sure that it doesn’t feel like an attack, and just get things back on track. Having a close family unit is so much better than having a distant one.

The Elderly Getting Older

The elderly getting older is a sensitive subject that nobody likes to talk about, but it’s definitely one that we should all be thinking about. Their lives are so important to us, and when their health starts to go downhill, your heart can really sink. Medicare Nationwide is just one of the sources you could go to for insurance that would make the whole process easier. No doubt they’ll need medical care at some point, and good insurance is going to mean the difference between good insurance and great insurance. But most importantly, make sure that you’re the support system that they need.

Family Money Problems

Pretty much every family can relate to money problems, because as soon as you go from having to pay for just the two of you, to having to pay for another little human to pay for, things can get tight. One good bit of advice we have is to use apps that help you to manage your money, so you can better understand where everything is going and how to put it to better use.

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