Saturday, December 26, 2015

A New Color For Our Home Sweet Home

I remembered to have posted here few months ago that I have chosen orange color for our home interior and this made our home really warm and inviting. The paint lasted for almost 5 years I guess before it finally shows some signs of chipping.  Since we are a family who loves to maintain the house and because we have finally decided to introduce a new color for the new year, we have decided to choose earth color for our home this time.  This is both on the exterior and interior of the house.  This is actually a total make over. We have chosen a lighter shade for the house interior though for a change.  The cappuccino color seems to be clean and neat and looks really decent. It matches perfectly with the Maple accent.

Earth color is our theme for the coming year and I love that we were able to get the perfect shade that we want. It's really different when you're comfortable with your home, it gives you a sense of happiness and satisfaction.  You will feel like it's okay to be at home most of the time as you can feel relaxed and  comfortable.  A perfect feeling for a homebody like me. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Costs To Factor In When You Wish To Buy Your Own Home

Buying and owning a home is everyone's dream. We get that special kind of fulfillment when we know that we are assured of a comfortable place to stay until our old age.  Most families work very hard just to fulfill their dreams of buying or building their dream homes.  However, going into the first step is very crucial.  The value of real estate properties now is getting higher and higher that sometimes, we think that owning homes is more to a luxury than a necessity.  Those who had normal jobs earning a little more than what they need is having difficulty saving even for the down payment for a decent house.  Not only that, there are a lot of costs to factor in when you wish to buy your own home.

First is the property taxes that we have to pay annually.  Depending on the appraised value of your homes, the amount you need to save to pay for the taxes should be taken into consideration when preparing your monthly budget.  Not only that, purchasing a lot means you have to bring out some huge amount of cash to pay for the capital gain tax, this of course depends on the agreement between you and the seller not to mention the other incidental expenses such as the transfer taxes and other required fees for the transfer of the certificate of title.

Second, you have to think of whether you would consider getting an insurance which of course in most cases is required if you apply for a home loan.

Third, what about the home maintenance?  It's very costly, I tell you.  Our obligations do not end right after we bought the house.  Keeping the property in tip top shape is a must if you want to keep your home as a valuable asset.  A lot of things should be factored in like paint works, sewage clean up, mold remediation and removal, pests control, water damage restoration as well as fire damage restoration  in some cases.  Good thing that there are companies providing their expertise when it comes to this thing such as water damage restoration Cincinnati Ohio.  However, you should be ready with the budget required for these maintenance costs.

Lastly, health and safety considerations.  You have to invest on some reliable fire fighting equipment. You might consider installing water sprinklers, smoke detectors and the likes if you think that there is really a need, however these are only optional and would always depend on your budget.  Now a days, installing a CCTV system has been a major consideration as well most especially that house breakthrough has been a common item in the daily news.  

All of the above things mentioned required budget, so if you are planning to buy a home, these are some of the costs that you need to factor in.

Owning a home remains to be a top priority for most people and this dream is not impossible to achieve given the right mind set.  You just have to plan, save and prepare very carefully before you go into that great leap of owning your dream homes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Refresh Your House With Paint

Like what we usually do every time hubby comes back home for a vacation, we have allotted specific budget for house paint.  Hubby usually make some touching up in the house like spot painting of dirty walls or putting a remedy to steel fence beginning to acquire rusts. However this time, it's a little bit different, as we are going to paint the whole house.  We are both convinced that the house needs to be freshen up and there's no better way than to do it with paint.  After all paint is the cheapest way to liven up a house and make it looking fresh and new.

So our first task was to choose a color.  Well, we had series of arguments here, my daughter likes cappuccino and maple and I prefer something darker in shade like mocha.  Well, we've tried my daughter's suggestion first, hubby bought a pail of cappuccino and about two gallons of maple and tried it at the back of the house, in our dirty kitchen. The result is okay except that I am not really super satisfied with the look that I want.  So we have decided to keep the remaining paint for the entire fence of the yard.  

 mocha and maple combination

 cappuccino and maple for the fence

So far, we have achieved the new color that I really want for our house and it gives us great satisfaction knowing that we have given our home sweet home the much needed make over.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Preparing Yourself and Your Home For Winter

I was told by my son that he's going to experience winter soon and this probably will start next month and as early as now, he could already feel the extreme cold weather as early as now.  I told him to get ready for winter as this is going to be his first time to experience it.  I told him that it would be more appropriate if he could shop for winter clothes as early as now as these will get expensive during the winter holidays. For his convenience, I advised him to check cozy winters reviews to get the latest updates on their products and services.  Some of his co workers requested for heating system to be installed in the house, others are already starting to shop for heated gloves, blanket warmer and other similar products that will help them cope up with winter.

I think going through the cozy winter reviews website and make an inquiry online is fast and easy and will help you save a lot of time and effort.  There's nothing more comfortable than getting the service or product you require in just one click.  Also, another plus factor is the opportunity to see the reviews of previous customers which could be a big help in your decision to avail their products or services.  I think, getting testimonies from previous customers themselves will be more convincing. Since both bad and good reviews are being published, you could be assured that there will be no bias as far as rating their services is concerned.

My son is equally excited and scared experiencing the winter season for the very first time but I guess he's prepared for whatever this will bring him. :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Gardening As A Hobby

Gardening is one of my many hobbies and this is something that I cannot do without.  I don't know but there's a kind of excitement and happiness every time I tender my garden.  No doubt, it's time consuming but I derived a great pleasure just by watching my plants grow.  In fact, I am long been planning to go to vegetable gardening as well.  Just few weeks ago, I tried to plant bell pepper seeds in an empty pot of soil in my garden and guess what? I could now see the bell pepper plant about 2 inches in height but already have flowers...meaning to say, I would be seeing my bell peppers soon! It really excites me because I just planted from scratch.  In fact, the seeds were just taken from my kitchen scraps.

I used to propagate my plants by cutting the stem and re planting.  I considered myself having a "green thumb" since it seems to be very easy for me to grow plants even if I planted these without roots.  I believe in the old folks saying that if you treat your plants with tender loving care, they will also love you in return.

These are the photos of my ornamental plants which were propagated through "cuttings".  From the leaves alone, you could see that these plants are healthy. :)

Aside from giving me a fresh air to breathe, these plants really beautify my porch and yard.  This, I think is the cheapest way to decorate your homes.  No matter how small or simple your house is, try surrounding it with lots of plants and you will be amazed with the result... your house will appear to be very attractive and beautiful.

This is why I love gardening, I get all the benefits and it keeps me stress free. :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Five Ways to Increase the Air Quality in Your Home

Poor air quality in your home can lead to a wide array of problems. Those who are sensitive to dust in the air can have breathing issues. There can also be problems for people with allergies. This can affect people living in the home as well as pets and anyone visiting your home. The solution is to improve the quality of the air in your house, and there are several things you can do to achieve this. 

Have the air tested
If you are not sure about the quality of air inside your residence, you can have a professional air quality testing tampa firm analyze it. Even if no one has noticed a problem, if the air is dirty, it will only be a matter of time before a member of your family begins to experience issues related to the air. If there is a problem, the following five steps can be taken.

Change the air filter

People often forget to change the filters for their heating and air conditioning system, but without doing this, you can never have clean air. You should purchase several of these filters and change them on a regular basis.

Have the air ducts cleaned

These air passage ways will gather dirt over time and need to be cleaned. If you have a new air filter, it will not do much good with dirty ducts. There are companies that specialize in this type of work and can do a thorough job of cleaning all of the air ducts as well as the air vents in all of the rooms. 

Have your air conditioning and heating system serviced

Your AC may be cold and your heater putting out hot air, but it doesn't mean that the air is clean. Your system may be putting out dirty air because normal maintenance of the system has not been done on a regular basis. The source of dirty air can be something as simple as the fan blower.

Have mold removed

If a testing of air quality finds that there is mold spores in the air, you will need to hire a company to find the source of the mold and have it removed. There is no other way to solve this type of problem. 

If you suspect an air quality issue, some of what is mentioned above can be done, but if the problem persists, you will need to have the air tested, and then locate the specific cause of the problem. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Purify Air Through An Electronic Diffuser

This is the new electronic diffuse that I recently ordered online.  I long wanted to have this at home but I am thinking if it would be useful or would it just add up to my utility expenses or if I just have to shed extra money buying essential oils or would it be well worth it?

After much dilly dally, I finally decided to have one.  I've always been a wise spender and would always assess the value of every item I bought.  I was thinking that since I have pets at home and my baby shi-tzu always stays with us inside the house, I think it would be worth to have an air diffuser to purify the air and eliminate pet odor.  I also think that releasing the aroma of essential oil in the air would increase relaxation and have a calming effect, well at least for a workaholic like me.  Not only that, as it purifies the air, it eliminates unpleasant environmental odor and create a healthy environment.

I bought a bottle of essential oil separately, as the free essential oil that comes with my electronic diffuser is not water based and cannot be used with the unit.  I wonder why the online seller didn't realize that! Why they would give something that cannot be used anyway. any rate, after I bought an essential oil (I choose the fresh bamboo scent from Mia Maison), I tried it with the electronic diffuser and wow, I really love the scent, very calming and relaxing and my house smells like heaven. :)

Essential Oils (the genuine ones) are not really cheap, mine is like 30 ml and it costs around Php650 per bottle.  But after I used it, I discovered that it's still worth it coz just a few drops will last for hours and you can't even finish 1 bottle in 1 month especially if you don't really use it everyday.  I normally use it when I feel tired and needs to relax or especially if I want to get a good sleep and it's also very useful during rainy season where bad environmental odor is really very evident.

You can diffuse oil as often as you want, it really depends on what you are using it for.  I feel happy and satisfied with this purchase and I recommend this for anyone who loves the spa atmosphere.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cow Rugs - Versatile And Stylish Rugs For Your Wooden And Stone Flooring

Many people want to incorporate a beautiful natural element into their space, but they struggle to find the right decorative pieces to add to their rooms. While using potted plants and vases throughout your space is one idea, you may be looking for a different way to bring natural elements into your home. A more unique idea is to use a cowhide rug for home decoration. With a closer look at how cowhide rugs can be used to decorate your wooden and stone floors, you will see why these may be the perfect solution for your home decorating challenges.

The Versatile Style of Cow Rugs

When you think about cowhide rugs, you may think about them in a rustic or country home, but their versatile style also makes them a great choice for homes with traditional décor, modern or contemporary décor or another look. Cowhide rugs are available in a wide range of colors and styles, making them well-suited for many home decorative styles. They are available in colors that include buff, beige, tan, rust, black, white and more. Some are a solid hue, and others are mottled or speckled with two or more colors. They can be used to gracefully add natural softness to hard floor surfaces while also enhancing the décor in your room.

The Durability of Cowhide Rugs

While many people are drawn to the beauty and style of cow rugs, there are other reasons why cowhide rugs are popular as a decorative material in homes. Cow hide is among the most durable types of floor coverings available. You can easily place this floor covering over even the most frequently trafficked areas of your home, and you will not have to worry about the rug showing wear. If you are looking for a decorative rug that you can get a lot of use out of, cowhide rugs are a great option.

A Hypoallergenic Material

In addition to being stylish and versatile, these rugs are also hypoallergenic. Many types of rugs have allergens that can create respiratory issues for those inside the home. These are rugs that you can easily place inside a home with allergy sufferers, people who have asthma or those who have other respiratory health issues.

Dressing up your home's hard floors with the soft texture of a beautiful rug is a wonderful idea. While there are many types of rugs that you can choose to use for home décor, there are considerable benefits available to you when you incorporate cowhide into your space. Take a closer look at some of the beautiful cow hide rugs available, and you may discover the ideal option to sprawl across your wood or stone floors.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pet Feeding Station

Having 5 dogs at home is no joke! Feeding them and taking care of them eats up most of my time. Although I share the job with my daughter, I am the one who does the job most of the time.  Feeding time is always the busiest time at home as we have to prepare 5 different set of foods.  We don't give the same kind of foods to everyone that's why it's a bit difficult to prepare foods for each of them. Our 2 year old shih-tzu cannot eat chicken as he got a sensitive skin, so most of the time we feed him with beef or pork liver and rice.  He eats dog foods (Alpo) only for breakfast and snacks, he likes rice for lunch and dinner.  Our Golden Retriever who is less than a year old but very big now only eats rice mixed with dog food.  Their dish bowls, dog food supply, and other paraphernalia are placed everywhere in the house and I find it to be too messy.  Because of this, I am thinking of fabricating a pet feeding station where I could put everything in one place. Less mess...less eye sore.

I am considering the following designs:

I'm pretty sure any of these feeding stations can help us organize our pet essentials better. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Extending the Life of Your Industrial Equipment

An industrial pump can be a major investment for your company. Because of the amount of money you spend on it, you want to keep it in the best condition possible to ensure you get the most use out of it. When you suspect that it might be wearing down and in need of repair, you may find that you are unable to take on this kind of work. Instead of tossing out your costly pump, you can have its life extended by working with a company that specializes in servicing equipment like FMC pumps.

When you contact a company that can repair your pump, you can have the peace of mind in knowing that your pump will continue working for a while longer. If you lack the money right now to buy a new piece of equipment, you may find it more economical to buy the parts and pay for the labor of having the pump repaired. If you can use the pump for several months or even years longer, you may find that the repair job was well worth the money that you spent on it.

If you want your equipment to last even longer while minimizing the amount of money you spend on its upkeep, you can also contact the business about doing routine inspections on your pump. When you have it inspected regularly by people who know what signs of wear and tear, as well as damage to look for, you can get a heads-up well in advance about what will need to be done to prolong the equipment's life. Fixing minor things on the equipment now can save you a lot of money in the future if you have to pay for more extensive repairs or buy a new pump altogether.

Preventative maintenance also can help you keep your machinery in good condition. Simple things like having the filters changed or updating the hoses used on it can go a long way in preventing dangerous damage that could shorten its life. The people who service your pump can perform routine inspections with each maintenance check. You in turn can spend the minimal amount of money keeping up a piece of equipment that otherwise has been a great investment for company. You can find out more about these services and what parts are available by going to the company's site.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Housewarming Gift Idea

I've seen this sheet music candles via Pinterest and somehow, it gave me an idea that this could be a nice housewarming gift especially for the newly weds. You could choose any romantic song you like, better yet the couple's theme song and have it printed with the corresponding musical notes. Best for candles of different sizes.  This could also be a gift to a friend who is into music.  Of course, you may prefer to give what musicians friend used but in case you are on a tight budget and you want to come up with a more personalized gift, then I think this could be a nice option. :)

Actually, I prefer to give DIY gifts because it shows how creative you are and create that impression that you are not only giving them a plain gift but a gift of your time, as well.   

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bonsai Basics for Beginners

If you’ve never heard of Bonsai before, it is basically the art of artificially growing a miniature-sized tree. They are grown in pots, but would grow into full sized trees under ordinary circumstances. It allows you to watch miniature versions of large trees right in your own house/yard, hence the beauty (and complexity) of the art. While the art of raising Bonsai trees is intimidating, most people can get by with basics.

Some of the materials you would need are: hammer, drill, safety goggles, drill bit, screen filter, bonsai shears, bonsai wire, volcanic rock, potting soil, spoon/chopstick, planter and plant of choice.

There are many trees with which you can begin your Bonsai journey, but you should select a tree that is appropriate to your circumstances. You should consider if you plan to keep your trees inside or outside. It is best to select an indigenous tree species. Once you are ready to purchase, you can either buy the Bonsai plant outright (at a hefty price) or you can simply purchase a prebonsai. A prebonsai is the material you will need to shape the tree into a Bonsai yourself. You can also collect the prebonsai directly from nature or, simply grow the tree yourself from the seedling, which takes more time.

Once you have your prebonsai, you can begin cultivating it using a variety of methods. This is the most difficult, yet fun part of Bonsai. The most important skill to master is pruning. This enables you to successfully manipulate the size and shape of the tree. Spring and summer are the seasons during which the most amount of pruning is done, depending on the species, and ideally you should use a good concave cutter for pruning thick branches. When should a branch be pruned? Each tree has its own pruning requirements, but here are some general guidelines:

• If two branches are of the same height, remove one while leaving the other.
• Branches that appear to be twisting and turning unnaturally should be cut.
• Branches that are too thick as compared to the other branches should also be pruned.

Wiring is another vital technique for Bonsai cultivation. You can wrap the wire around the branches to bend and shape them. Be sure that the wire is removed to allow the tree to grow without scarring.

Watering must be done properly to ensure maintenance. If you over water your Bonsai masterpiece, this could be fatal to the tree. You also need to choose the right mixture of soil and change the pot regularly so that water is not soaked up quickly. Be sure to keep the Bonsai tree free of pests and diseases. Make sure the environment is well-ventilated and lighted.

Picking the right environment is important for a successful Bonsai project. Consider a property with enough space to accommodate your Bonsai hobby. Zipmatch, an online property finder in the Philippines, which lists thousands of properties across the country, will make your search for a Bonsai-friendly space easier and faster.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Prayer Room and a Meditating Space

How would you like to have a relaxing space right in your own home?

Well, I would absolutely love to, in fact, I am looking into creating a "prayer space" once I am ready with the home expansion that we're long planning to have.  Actually I want a small prayer room but it would cost me a bigger space and perhaps this couldn't be afford by our tight budget. :)  I want something like the one shown on the above photo but perhaps, I would just add up a prayer altar.  Not so sure, but I am looking into a Zen concept where you could feel the tranquility of the place.  This could be good for meditation, too.  I'm not a very religious person but I love to pray and talk to God especially when I want to thank Him and consult with something.

I know praying can be done anywhere but if you have an extra space in your house for this, then that would be great! There are few requirements though if you want to achieve a perfect space for praying or meditating.

First, you have to choose that perfect spot in the house where there is a lot of fresh air, good lighting, clutter free, and of course....with a nice good smell.

Second, if you could make it appear to be fresh and cool by incorporating a lot of plants around the area.

Third, there should be a mat, or a prayer chair where you could sit or kneel comfortably.

Lastly, it should be quiet and free from any disturbances.

This area could also double as a reading nook where you could have a good read of your favorite book or the Bible.

There are lots of designs that you could choose from actually, the most important thing is for you to achieve the requirements listed above for that wonderful praying experience.

How To Organize And Clean Your House

‘A tidy house is a tidy mind’ goes the old adage and for anyone that struggles with keeping a clean house, organization is key to ensuring your home becomes, and remains, spotless.

The first step in understanding how to organize and clean your house is to make sure that everything that is within your house is both necessary and needed. A house full of clutter, however artfully arranged, can be visually disturbing and it is also harder to clean. Imagine what other things you could use your time for rather than cleaning ornaments on shelves.

Decluttering can be both a tedious and emotional task, but it isn’t a task you have to undertake alone. Invite a friend and spend a day trying to organize your things together. Make three piles, throw away, give away and keep. Try to make sure you that don’t have more than one of anything, don’t keep anything that is broken or tired, and if tempted to keep an item ask yourself, do I use it/ will I wear it. If you haven’t used that item for over a year chances are you never will, or not frequently enough to be of use to you. If there are items you simply can’t bear to part with, consider how else you could store them: Art from the when the kids were young? You could take a photo and create a digital archive or even a photo book. Old CDs? Can you copy these to your iPod and donate the hard copies to charity. Even just think about storing mementos in box in the loft rather than on the mantelpiece.

Once you have decluttered you should carefully consider a place for everything. If items are going back into a drawer, buy a drawer organizer to ensure you can find everything later.

Place small kitchen items into baskets and boxes, rather than leaving them loose or lying around drawers.  Organize plates, bowls, cups and glasses by size and stack them together. If they are mismatched, consider new ones.

Put food into storage jars and tins, as well as avoiding cupboards overflowing with packets and boxes, you can even use these as a feature by putting up shelving and displaying them.

Scour shops for antique vases and jars and use these to store your bathroom products. Place them on shelves rather than throwing them all into a cupboard, this will also allow you to see what you have and what is going out of date.

Consider using labels on shelving so that you know where everything should be. This is particularly useful for closets and laundry cupboards.

Put up coat hooks and shoes shelves by the front door and stop people throwing coats on the nearest table or chair.

With these few organizational tips your home will be transformed. Less clutter, more space and knowing where things belong, will make it easier to clean your house. By ensuring everything put back in its rightful place straight away and doing a speed clean every day, you will keep your house looking show home perfect all the time, and put an end to spending most of Saturday doing the ‘big clean’. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Designing Small Balconies

It's always been a requirement for most home owners to have balconies or porches in front of their houses which I completely understand.  It's really nice to have a space to relax, drink coffee and get a breath of fresh air.  However, the challenge in most cases is how to decorate a small balcony space and this is particularly true on apartments and condominiums where space is always limited.

You maybe surprised that there are a handful ways to design even a small balcony space but the common denominator on most designs I see, such as the designs here below is the presence of potted plants.  To give your balcony space a "homey feel", plants should always be incorporated in your design.  These should come in cute chic containers and painted anyway you like it.

Outdoor furniture should be kept to a minimum and should always consists of a coffee table and a couple of chairs.  Other accessories, of course will be according to the space available but I guess, the lesser, the better. :)

Remember that fabrics and colors usually give a magic to your designs and depending on your personality and preference, this could definitely add to the overall impact and appearance of your small balcony. :)

Let not space define your limit!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Essential Power Tools For Your Home DIY Projects

Although, most people won’t agree that power tools are the best replacement for hand tools, but, they can’t disagree that they make your job faster and easier. They are the best option for mundane jobs and heavy duty jobs where time is of the essence. There will be plenty of cases where hand tools give better results, but there are also numerous daily activities that need power tools to wind them faster and possibly of the same quality as that of hand tools. Most power tools can yield results a lot faster and better like making precision cuts, angle cuts or drilling a straight hole and many more where technology plays better than human beings.

Cordless Drill

This is one of the essential of the most essential tools in the kit of a modern handyman. In any case it can put even the best of the hole-drillers to shame with its efficiency, might and swiftness. It is easy to carry and use and with recent advancements in battery technology they are becoming more friendly, versatile and reliable.

You can drive fasteners to bolts, drive small pilot hole to large ones to carry electrical cords in seconds. Dewalt, Makita and Bosch are some of the best equipment manufacturers in the market that produce 18V drills. You also get 12V drills in the market. This is a definitive piece for everyday job and gets a nice one at $100-200 that goes on for years.

Oscillating Multi-Tool

The essence of destructing is the next most valuable task in construction. This is an art that is studied in its glory. The power tool comes with very small but ultra-fast vibrating pieces that fixes with blades of variety of shapes and sizes and chips though every known material. If you want to break through a wall, cut wood, clean the grout, prune the trees and anything like these, go get one for you. It can cost around $100 at their starting prices. Do take care and use the right kind of blade, mostly while cutting through walls because they might contain water or the electrical cable. It has a lot of accessories and is far more skilled than you can possibly think of. It is useful for scraping to cutting.

Reciprocating Saw

This is also popular as the Sawzall Miluwakee and is used for all demolition purposes. It can cut through, wall, pipes and plumbing tubes, wooden work, trees and all that can be chipped. The blade is good enough if you used the right one. They have models with rotating handles that might be useful in some cases. They are the best if corded because they are meant for only heavy duty action and need enough power that cordless ones can’t supply. In all the circumstances blades are critically important.

There might be other tools like a circular saw, a miter saw and such pieces that are in use, but the most essential and needy ones are listed above. Of course, this is for general purposes.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chic Stands For Your House Plants

Probably, you have a green thumb and you have tons of plants to display inside and outside your homes, well I could say you're not alone, I so love plants and I find it to be the easiest and the cheapest way to decorate your homes and make it look awesome in an instant!  As a matter of fact, as early as now I am planning to put additional plants indoors as part of my preparation for the holiday season but I am still waiting for hubby as he is set to have his vacation soon.  I actually would like to ask for his help to have my plant stands fabricated.  We have some scheduled projects at home once he arrived, so I am thinking of doing these planters all at the same time to save on labor cost.

I have collected some cute designs for my house stands and here are few of my favorites:

There is no doubt that indoor plants are not only easy to have, it helps to clean your environment at home too not to mention that it is one of the easiest decorating tool.  The secret is choosing the right kind of plants for your indoor garden as not all can survive the absence of sunlight and air.  I've been experimenting with a lot of plants and most of them could survive indoors.  It's only that you should have the patience to bring them out of the house once in a while to get enough amount of sunlight.  If you have an open patio or porch, I think it would be a lot easier as you could just leave your plants there especially in the morning and just bring them back home afterwards.

I am just so excited to have this done pretty soon.  I really needed to have a breath of fresh air inside our home!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Choosing The Right Home For You

Having invested on properties myself, I have undergone a lot of experiences building my own home. Our first home was a spec home while the second one from where my family currently lives in is a custom home.  This puts me on a better position to make a comparison between the two.  Our first home was bought under a time constraint, we really need a place to stay at that time and that explains why we have to go for spec home.  One advantage of a spec home is that it is readily available, no waiting time required.  Also, because this is more of a generic house that was built with no specific buyer on mind, specifications are standard, thus budget wise, this is definitely affordable.

But why did I bought another home that is custom built?  The answer is simple, during the years that my family lived on our first home, we feel the lack of special features that we certainly look for in a house, like it doesn't have a proper garage, enough garden space, a running area for our dogs,etc.  I find the bathroom to be too small too.  These inconveniences led us to buying our second home which was built on our own specifications.  Also, we could personally witness the construction process, thus we were assured of getting the details according to what we wanted.

But the way I look at it, it wont hurt you as well if you will combine the best of both options.  I think if you have a problem on the budget especially if you are just starting to build your family, you could opt to buy a spec home, then later introduce some improvements.  Same thing goes through with custom homes.  These can be remodeled anytime you feel that there is a need to.  Sometimes, our family gets bigger and we also get better in terms of our finances, so remodeling is definitely not far from our plans.  As a matter of fact, I am so fascinated with custom home before and after photos I am seeing online.  This only proves that expertise, experience and professionalism of a home builder really counts if you want to increase the value of your home while being free from all the stress associated with home renovations.  A beautifully remodeled home does not only increase it's value but will definitely improve your quality of life in the long run.

Before and After Photos courtesy of hgtv

Imagine living in a home that fits perfectly according to your life style?  This is definitely possible with the right builder and for this reason, it is just wise for you to choose the best one that could live up to your expectations and give you back your money's worth.  After all, we deserve to have the best from our investments.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

What Do You Want For An Outdoor Room?

photos courtesy of hgtv

If I have to redefine my outdoor room, I would choose it to be simple yet nice and of course, with enough privacy! My current porch is not enclosed and quite close to the main gate so privacy has always been a problem to me.  I want to have a serene space which is bright and airy where I could sit and read a book or write some posts from my blogs.  Sad to say, I couldn't do this now because of my open porch.  The photos above gave me an inspiration.  Nice fabric curtains could be installed to cover the area as well as trellis or wooden panels or perhaps a removable divider.

The addition of small lights on the ceiling (first photo) gave the outdoor space an added drama and I could imagine this to be very nice especially at night time.  I get attracted to the design on the second photo because of it's simplicity and the presence of so many plants that come in a variety of sizes and colors, as well.  The addition of the white trellis and a removable divider on the third photo made that outdoor space interesting although I am not in favor of the fabric shade as this is not applicable during rainy season and probably wouldn't even be enough to protect you from heat during summer. 

There is one common denominator though on the 3 designs, these are all built on a budget and that's quite impressive.  Whatever design you wish to have for your outdoor room, the basic thing that we have to remember is that, this should fit our life style, made us feel comfortable and allow us to do our own chosen activity at home.

What's your idea of a perfect outdoor room?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Prepare Your Home for Winter

Despite the fact that they are in the business of selling energy to customers, utility companies, like Columbia Utilities and others, actually prefer customers to reduce their energy consumption by preparing for each season. With winter months approaching, there are a few tips you can take now that could reduce your energy bills over the cold months ahead.

Get Your Heating System Inspected

An inspection of your heating system will cost between $80 and $100, but it can save you far more than that in reduced energy costs. A system that is operating properly will provide you with heat at less cost than one that may have a problem, even if that problem is minor. In addition, the technician will also check for carbon-monoxide leakage. Schedule the appointment when the weather is still warm to avoid being placed on a waiting list during the busy season.

Caulk Around Windows and Doors

Caulk around windows and doors can crack or break, leading to cold air entering your home. If there are any gaps between door or window frames that are larger than the width of a nickel, reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for use on the exterior as it won’t shrink and will not be affected by elements.

Clean Gutters And Divert Water

Clogged gutters can lead to leaks and ice dams that may cause water to enter your home. They can also cause damage to the roof, siding or wood trim, especially in areas were hard freezes are common. Most gutters can be cleared of leaves and debris with a stepladder, but if you are unable to use a ladder or your gutters are too high, consider hiring someone to do it for you. The typical cost for cleaning gutters is between $70 and $225, but the cost far outweighs the possible damage caused by clogged gutters. In addition, add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least four feet from the foundation. You will also want to turn off outdoor faucets. If the pipes freeze and burst, significant damage can occur.

These are just a few tips that can help you reduce your energy costs and protect your home from damage during the cold winter months. Other tips include testing your sump pump and calling in a chimney sweep if your home has a fireplace. By performing these tasks now, you will be better prepared when the winter winds begin to blow.

Quick Fixes For The Most Common Home Problems

As a home maker, we do encounter a bit of problem here and there and just like me, I'm sure you are hoping that you could solve the problem by yourself instead of paying a handy man.  Sometimes, the problem is too minor and perhaps so easy to fix but because we used to rely to a handy man, we just sacrifice spending quite a big amount of money to pay for their services rather than trying to do things on our own.  I myself encountered this a number of times.  Sometimes, I'm just too lazy to find a quick fix for my problem and opted to call and pay a handy man.  But do you know that you could save a lot of money by knowing the quick fixes for these common problems.  After all, it may not be too difficult as we think they are.

Here are some quick fixes for the most common home problems:

  • You can actually use a single container of baby powder to tackle most common home problems at home.  Baby powder can be used to fix squeaky floor boards.  The same goes through with getting rid of oily stains on fabrics.You could also apply some baby powder to restore water damaged books, even remove nasty smell from old wooden furniture.  Not only that, this is also a good remedy for preventing pet odors.  Giving your dogs a dry bath using baby powder during rainy season will definitely help so they won't feel cold.
  • If you encounter stripped screws from time to time, the best remedy is to place a rubber band between the screw and the screw driver.  The rubber will help to grip the screw.
  • A tiny tear in your window screen could be resolved by applying a clear finger nail polish.
  • For clogged drain on bathroom and sink, your best bet would be a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar, you could lessen or add on the amount depending on the situation.  It works well for many home makers.
  • Loose laminate counter tops can be fixed by using adhesives. Apply it beneath the laminate and pressed down strongly or put something heavy until it dries up. 
  • Stuck up door locks or gate locks that's too difficult to open with the key can be fixed by putting some lubricants like grease oil or any oil that you have at home.  Let the oil sits in for at least 30 minutes before trying to open again.
Many annoying home problems can be remedied without having to ask for a professional help.  The key is just knowing the basic fixes that we could do using simple materials that we do have at home. This way, we could save some amount of money paying a handy man and use that money for other more important things.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tips In Maintaining Your House

A house, just like your car or your body needs some maintenance, too.  After all, our house is our sanctuary, it is where we start and end our day, so it's just right to keep it in tip top shape.  Columbus water restoration companies come handy when it comes to house maintenance problems. Just as when we perform tune ups in our cars, we should also do some ocular inspection of our house and take note of the things that need to be fixed.  Preserving your house and keeping it in order is your prime responsibility as a home owner.

In my case, I always check on the exterior paint. Extreme weather condition can cause the exterior paint to fade over time. It won't really hurt if you repaint immediately after some signs of crack or chip. The roof is another area of importance.  Gutters should be kept clean regularly and roofing materials should be checked for possible leaks.  Window frames shall be checked for rusts and doors for broken hinges or locks.

Another pain in the neck as far as home maintenance is concerned is molds!  I do hate molds just like any other home owner.  If mold is growing in your house, you are up for possible health hazards like fungal growth. It's one great problem that could pile up over time if not addressed early.  If you think that there is a need to consult the experts, then by all means do it! It's one great step that you won't ever regret.  

The common mistake committed by home owners is neglecting small problems in the house without thinking that costly repairs is very likely to occur when things had already piled up. Regular home maintenance should be a part of your standard routine.  The choice is actually ours, we could spend a little to maintain our house now or wait until subsequent resulting damage occur.  

As home owners, we take pride in our beautiful and well maintained homes.  After all, it is a lifetime valuable investment that we could even pass on to our children.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Fascination With Tiny Houses

I would admit, my priorities changed greatly as I get older and this is something I never anticipated during my younger years.  Just like any normal woman in her twenties, I used to dream big and bold. I want a big house, tons of bags and shoes as well as clothes and other small stuff or "abubots" as others may call it.  I used to shop a lot and would always buy every little thing I deemed nice and cute. The same goes when I started to build my own family and had my first home.  I would buy any piece of decor that I would imagine to fit perfectly in my house.

Getting older, it was only recently that I have a shift of interest and opt for a minimalist life style.  If I would go back in time, I think I would love to live in a tiny home. Why not? I find it so challenging to declutter and organize.  This will also allow me to live simply and stress free.  Tiny houses are considered to be low in maintenance and depending on how you design it, is cool and cozy. Living creatively in a small space is both fun and rewarding.

Consider the following designs:

In the above designs, beauty and functionality go hand in hand.  Living in tiny homes does not necessarily mean sacrifice.  As a matter of fact, it could be liberating.  Using innovative designs, tiny homes could actually give you a fuller, simpler and happier life.

The key is on choosing the right design and style to fit your life style.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

3 Ways To Find A Reliable Renovation Contractor

When you decide to get renovations done to your home, the task of finding a reliable contractor becomes extremely important. A great way to find a reputable organization is to browse contractors on a site such as But there are ways you can enhance your online contractor search and come up with a company that you can really trust.

Look Around Your Area

If you spend some time driving around your area, you are bound to see contractors working on the homes in your community. You may even notice that there is one particular contractor that is doing work on several homes. It is a good bet that if your neighbors trust these contractors to do work, then you can as well.

If you know some of the people getting work done, then talk to them about the contractors they are using. Word of mouth is always the best form of referral and you can find out a lot about a contractor when you talk to the customers of that contractor.

Contact The Home Improvement Stores In Your Area

Many of the home improvement stores in your area offer renovation services that are carried out by local contractors. These stores can be an excellent resource for you to get information on contractors and find out which companies the local stores trust with their reputations. 

One of the helpful things about talking to home improvement stores about a good renovation contractor is that the stores usually do business with general contractors and specialists. This will allow you to get good information on several contractors that can handle your project.

Ask Your Family And Friends

If none of your neighbors are having work done on their homes, then start getting referrals from family and friends for good renovation contractors. The chances are very good that you will find more than one family member or friend who can recommend a contractor for you to contact.

It can be difficult to find just the right contractor for your home, because you want the work done right the first time. With some research online and a little investigative work on your own, you can find a few renovation contractors to talk to and get several quotes to choose from. Always ask to see the insurance and contractor's license for each company you talk to and do a personal interview with each company before making your decision.

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