A brand-new home is a lot easier to maintain than existing construction, since you do not
have to deal with another person’s previous management of the property. With these tips,
you can preserve your home’s new qualities for longer.
1. Organize Manuals and Warranties
When you do the final walk-through and approval of the home just before you close, you
will probably receive a whole host of documentation, manuals and warranties for the
various systems of the home. Everything is new, so most appliances may have a warranty
of some kind. You may want to make a note of when the warranties run out on each piece
of equipment, so that you can make sure they are in good working order before the
2. Set Aside Money for Funds Maintenance
Buying a home is a significant purchase, but working on your home also costs money. A
general rule of thumb is that you should expect to invest at around 1-2 percent of your
home’s value in yearly improvements and repairs. Although purchasing a new home will
probably decrease the amount of money you initially have to spend bringing the property
to your liking, you'll likely feel more secure setting aside some cash for the unexpected.
Be sure to include funds to pay for labor on anything that requires professional service or
that you plan to hire out, including landscaping, plumbing, HVAC, carpet cleaning and
3. Create an Effective Upkeep Schedule
The best way to keep your home in ideal condition is to maintain it regularly – and if
you've been a renter up until now, getting used to doing some of this maintenance will be
a bit of a transition, but it is certainly doable. How often you need to perform certain
tasks depends on the season, the equipment, its age and condition. Your landscaping may
call for a great deal of work in the spring and summer, but less may be needed in the fall
and winter. You may attend to your HVAC equipment in spring and fall, related to the
particular appliances you plan to use. All other systems should have a thorough cleaning
and inspection at least once a year. If you build a schedule for all of the services and
upkeep, you can preserve the condition of the home without crowding any one month of
4. Choose DIY vs Professional
As a homeowner, you probably know that the pressure is on to prove that you can handle
all the maintenance and repairs on the home yourself – at least the basic ones. Depending
on your skill level and general expertise with your home’s systems, this could be a real
money-saver or a big mistake. Do some research on the various aspects of your home and
separate out the ones that you feel like you could do on your own. The next step is to
confirm that you have the time and inclination to actually do it. For everything else, plan
to hire a professional to take care of the infrequent maintenance and repairs.
5. Learn How to Troubleshoot Minor Problems
Unless you are already an expert in home construction or home maintenance, there are
probably a few systems that come as a mystery to you. You may not want to be the one
responsible for major repairs, but it also does not make sense to be rushing to a
professional every time someone accidentally flips a circuit breaker or unplugs an
appliance. You can easily learn how to identify and manage basic issues with the home,
such as a clogged drain. Developing these skills will make you feel more confident in the
overall management of your home.
6. Get Recommendations for Expert Contacts
Ultimately, there may be times when you absolutely have to call a professional. Although
a lot of people wait to get recommendations until they have a problem to solve, some
issues are so acute that you simply cannot spend the time researching who to contact for
help. Once you move in, ask around for recommendations on a good plumber, HVAC
technician, roofing and siding expert, landscaper and professional cleaning service. Keep
this information where you can easily find it, preferably near your homeowners insurance
policy. You never know when you might need it.
A new home can stay new with the right kind of ownership approach. Using these tips,
you will have a home that looks better, feels cleaner and works perfectly longer.
Written by: Gary Ashton
Written by M.Pierce – Michael runs two websites dedicated to quality footwear – My Bootprint with special focus on work boots for constructors, and Shoe Matters – a site focused on comfortable footwear for different activities.
When the temperatures rise above 90 degrees, you need to think about the safety of the people working on your construction site. Excessive exposure to heat can lead to a heat stroke, fatigue, loss of concentration and other problems which can lead to accidents and reduced productivity. Here are 5 useful safety tips for coping with hot weather in the construction business.
1. This is the most important rule - stay hydrated. Make sure that all construction workers get proper hydration. Water is perfect, but can be interchanged with some electrolytic beverages, or some lemon slices could be added. In old times, construction workers were given salt tablets, but nowadays, the modern diet features sufficient amounts of salt for the body to replace the amount of salt lost through sweating.
Stay away from energy designer drinks, such as Red Bull. They do not provide sufficient hydration. Also avoid caffeine because it is diuretic and increases the risk of dehydration. If you prefer to drink lemonade, make sure you cut it half with water.
2. Be careful what you eat. Junk food and highly caloric foods should be avoided because they add stress to the digestive system and to the body. Instead of a heavy meal for lunch, it is better to eat a big breakfast, and have some salad or fruit for lunch. Also, a bigger lunch will prompt your circadian rhythm and you may become drowsy which of course will affect your productivity and could lead to loss of concentration, mistakes and injuries.
3. Reschedule the working hours to the cooler ones, if possible. Early morning and night shift are the best options. Also, if possible place umbrellas or canopies whenever it is possible to bring shade to the construction site. Wear wide brim hard hats, nape protectors as well as cooling bandanas and vests. Light colored shirts attract lesser sunlight. Choose garments which are breathable, have a cooling effect and absorb sweat.
4. Make sure that workers keep an eye on each other at all times to detect potential heat illness and heat strokes and other problems resulting from the heat. The first signs to look for are: lethargy, stumbling, clumsiness, disorientation and slurred speech. Heat stroke can be fatal, so make sure the worker showing one or more of the following symptoms is immediately cooled down and if necessary call an ambulance.
5. Know basic first aid. Put the affected person in a cooler and shadier area and let him or her lie down with their feet elevated. This will improve the blood flow to the brain. Take the work boots off. Lower the temperature with a fan, cold bottles or other. In case of unconsciousness - call 911.
Taking precautions for working in the hottest days of the year should be part of your safety and risk management plan for the construction site. Taking proper precautions and care can help keep the productivity level up and also decrease the risk of injuries due to heat illness or even fatalities due to heat stroke.
Steel has been in use by humankind in one form or another for thousands of years. In modern times, it is truly ubiquitous, and its unique qualities make it useful in human structures, vehicles, tools, and much more. But this invaluable metal has many other uses that individuals may be surprised to learn about. This article will shed some light on 5 interesting things that readers probably never knew about the redoubtable best friend of mankind known as steel.
1. Stainless Steel can Actually be Used as a Kind of Soap
No, that is definitely not a typo. Certain kinds of stainless steel have proven to be invaluable when it comes to getting rid of stubborn food based odors such as onion, garlic, fish, etc. A regular steel ingot is formed into the shape of a common piece of soap, and is then clad with chromium. When this nifty invention is rubbed on the hands after handling smelly foods, it reportedly does a great job of getting rid of the offensive smells. The jury is still out on exactly how it performs this trick, but many cooks swear by this method.
2. Steel Wool has a Surprising Number of Applications
Steel wool has been around for a long time, and is commonly used for cleaning cooking utensils and such. As it turns out, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the capabilities of this ingenious invention. Some other applications of steel wool include using it as a temporary drain mesh in sinks and bathtubs, as a countersink sealant when driving screws, to start a fire by touching a 9 volt battery to it, and even to prevent rodents from squeezing through holes around pipes.
3. There may be a Steel Manhole Cover in Orbit Around the Earth
The story of how it may have gotten there is quite interesting. In 1957, a physicist named Robert Brownlee was involved in the underground testing of nuclear weapons at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. During one test, the 500 foot blast shaft was sealed by a concrete plug topped by a two ton steel manhole cover. After the weapon was detonated, the steel cover was blasted into the atmosphere at an estimated 41 miles per second, which is some 5 to 6 times the escape velocity of satellites. To date, it has never been found.
4. Some sea Creatures use Steel as a Protective Shell
In 2003, ocean researchers discovered a unique species of snail deep underwater in the Kairei thermal vent field. This amazing gastropod actually has the ability to form an iron based shell that is impervious to just about any predator it is likely to run into. Not quite steel, but close enough.
5. Stainless Steel can be Worn as Clothing
When people think of steel, the last thing they envision may be steel cloth. In actuality, one of the most valuable properties of stainless steel is its ductility, or ability to be drawn into a very thin fiber. This capability allows it to be woven into a variety of cloths and materials, which include gloves and carpets.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading supplier of carbon, alloy and stainless steel pipe, tubes, fittings and flanges.
Outdoor Spaces Receiving Designer Looks To Compliment Homes
The outdoor spaces today are a far cry from the ones we used to have as kids. They have received a major makeover, as these spaces which where once tiny cement squares only large enough to fit a barbecue pit and lawn chair are now grand spaces that have full sofa sets, dining room sets, and outdoor kitchens. Outdoor spaces have become another extension of the home but sans the roof, as they are getting designer looks that match the architecture of the house. Here are some ideas on how to jazz up your outdoor space to make it a relaxing spot for the entire family.
Get the Right Amount of Shade
Depending on which side of your home that your outdoor space is located, there may be only certain hours of the day where you can use it. The bright sunlight can actually be too harsh and hot, as you either have to wear sunglasses or use an outdoor umbrella to get a bit of relief. Pergolas, arbors and trellises covered with vining flowers can give you the right amount of shade while still offering an airy environment in your outdoor space. They also offer just the right amount of elegance while matching any decor theme.
Lighting Allows for Night Use
While the day offers a fun time for the family to play and be active outdoors, the nighttime can also offer a bit of relaxation and fun. Skip the candles and strings of holiday lights draped over the railings and instead add more modern lighting options such as fire pits or pendant lights hanging from pergola roofs. When you are hosting an elegant dinner party outside, you want the lighting to match the mood you are creating.
Ultimate Outdoor Kitchens
Outdoor kitchen options have also expanded as you can literally have everything you possibly need to cook a meal in your outside space. Pizza ovens, cook-tops, grills, counter spaces, cabinets, mini fridges and kitchen islands will offer all the functionality you need to create the right cooking space. Add in a wet bar, and you may use your indoor kitchen less during the summer months.
Separate Lounge Space
You can often have a love/hate relationship with your lounge chairs and other seating options. You want seating that offers the ultimate comfort, yet can also be left outside during the occasional summer rain shower. Materials for outdoor use have expanded past the usual plastic lawn chairs and now offer you a wide range of wicker, metal and wood seating with soft cushions that have weather-resistant properties. You can end up having an outdoor living room that offers the perfect relaxing atmosphere.
Make the most out of your outdoor space so that it is functional and beautiful starting this summer!
Know What It Takes to Fix the Past Renovation Mistakes of a Home
You found the perfect home in Southern Oregon. It has everything you want, even a fantastic outdoor space with a heated pool. Before anybody can talk you out of the deal, and before you wonder why the house has been sitting on the market for so long as the price has been reduced multiple times, you lay your money down on the table and sign your name on the closing agreement. The house is now yours, along with all that is hidden inside.
The Ghosts of Past Renovation Mistakes Slowly Reveal Themselves
Some renovation mistakes made by previous owners can be pretty obvious. They may have tried to add on an addition and ran out of money halfway through or didn't have the right permits as the inspector pulled the plug on the project. Other problems can be much more insidious, as you might find a horrible wiring job behind the walls that is not up to code, or the foundation was laid above an underground river which is creating a sinkhole around the house. It is these massive mistakes that can stress out your patience and your bank account to the point where you want to throw up your hands in defeat, try to resell the house, and hope someone else will deal with the issues.
When you purchase a home, especially a fixer-upper, you have to go in prepared to find a few problems. While you can cockily assume that there is nothing you can't handle, sometimes it is best to swallow your pride and really evaluate what you are getting into before signing the closing agreement for a new home.
Take your time to research the history of the property, look at the inspection reports, and have a trusted contractor perform a walk-through with you to spot problems that need addressed. These factors will allow you to decide if you want to purchase the house as-is and fix the problems yourself, have the homeowners perform some repairs, or negotiate for a lower asking price.
Correcting Past Renovation Mistakes
Once you have a qualified contractor involved with the process, you can successfully tackle the mistakes left by past renovation projects. Always ensure that you fix the mistakes the right way and don't try to just temporarily bandage the problem while hoping your quick fix will last a few years until you decide to resell the house. Take your time to do things right, plan ahead with how you want to correct the mistakes, and then create the home of your dreams.
Why We May Believe There is No Place Like Home
There are so many sayings associated with our homes. "Home is Where the Heart is," a Man's Home is His Castle," and "Home, Sweet Home" are just a few of the affectionate phrases we use to describe our dwellings. We strongly believe with all our hearts that there truly is no place like our homes.
Yet why do people believe this? Why is it that while many other creatures that share this world will not create permanent shelters, it is humankind who will set down roots and stay in one location for five years, ten years or a lifetime?
A Look on Why We Cherish Our Homes
There might never be one real reason on why we cherish our homes. Some people look at their homes from a materialistic approach, as they might cherish the appearance or decor theme of each room. They may have some type of special possession that causes a specific feeling inside, or a memory of the past that is cherished. Other people might feel pride in their homes because it is unique, or it shows all the accomplishments they made throughout their lives.
It is also a possibility that a home inspires a specific emotion inside a person. Their home could represent family togetherness, relaxation, love and tranquility. It is the place where they can shut the door from the stress of work and school and rejuvenate their mind, body and spirit in the peaceful atmosphere so they can tackle the challenges that will appear the next day. Their home may also feel like a security blanket where a person feels safe as they are in constant control of their indoor environment at all times.
Love the Home You Have Wherever You Are
The one thing to keep in mind is that we create and define the homes that fit our lifestyles. If something comes along to change this situation, we do have the ability to start over again to make another home that is even better than the last. Setbacks should never hamper our ability to create the home that we can cherish with the people that we love no matter where we should set down our roots.
Think about what the term "home" means to you, and then seek out the best way to have the place that fits into your ideals. Tackle all of life's challenges, and then seek out the home that you are proud of, will love, and can inspire you to be a better person. There truly is no other place that is so special.
Cabins that Will Make You Dream About Better Places
Stuck in a tiny cubicle for 8 or more hours a day can sometimes send your mind dreaming about other places, whether you want to take a vacation to a remote paradise or a mini weekend up in the mountains where you can turn off your cell phone and be unavailable for a specific amount of time. While some people think about a cabana on the beach, you may prefer a cabin in the wilderness where you are able to be surrounded by nature and pursue the hobbies that you love.
Cabin Creations That Are Much More Than the Regular Log Cabins
Forget the standard log cabin designs. You can get some pretty quirky, fun and functional places that fit into your preferences. Think about these unique cabins that offer some very relaxing spaces.
Light-Filled SpacesSometimes you only want to go to the cabin to enjoy the scenic views of the forests, mountains and lakes. Cabins are forgoing the standard small windows and are instead adopting large glass doors, walls and picture windows to bring in more light and the outdoor tranquility into the cabin space. One of the worries of building cabins such as this is that all that glass invites intruders or the harsh mountain elements to try to break the glass. Yet window shutters and steel cladding that can slide into place can keep the cabin safe and secure when you aren't around.
Prefabricated Cabin DwellingsMost people have heard about prefabricated homes. House builders have taken this design a step forward and now offer prefabricated cabin dwellings for people who want to have their own dream cabin with less building construction involved. These mini houses offer a way for people to get out into nature by providing as many features as desired. So you can select a basic design that doesn't feature a kitchen or bathroom and add on additional amenities, such as a sauna, as modular units to make it the perfect cabin dwelling.
Separate Private SpacesThere are times when you want to have your own private space away from the other areas of the cabin. When looking for privacy, you may want to consider a cabin that has each of the living spaces separated from the other as the pavilions are connected outside with a deck. So once you cook your meal in the kitchen, you can go into the living room space for some "me" time. This setup is ideal when you have a group of people playing games in the living room and you can have a good night's sleep in the pavilion used as the bedroom as you won't be disturbed.
Living the High LifeSometimes the outdoor conditions can dictate the type of cabin that can be placed in certain areas. When you love the mountains yet the rocky outcroppings and winter snow pack makes building one a unique challenge, you may decide to build up into the sky. Deep foundations and steel or wooden supports can allow your cabin to sit above the ground while a corrugated snow roof helps the cabin shed heavy snowfall without the fear of collapse.
Here are just a few ideas about the cabins that you can dream about to make your workday pass by. When you go home, you may even consider building such a place to have the perfect getaway retreat.
Want an Art Gallery in Your Home? Combine Art Deco with Functionality All Under One Roof
Most homeowners simply have a few art pieces hanging on the walls that they love and want to display. Unless they have an artist background or ambition, they will only add a few pieces to brighten the walls while they focus on the architecture of the home and the design of their furniture pieces to show their artistic sides. In very few homes will a person see the combining of an art gallery integrated into the architecture of a home because people do not usually see art galleries as functional living spaces.
Super-Friendly Art Gallery in the HomeYet people are changing the way we think of art galleries by mixing genres while still having a home that is super-friendly and works well for the family. This concept was first thought up by Veerle Wenes, an architect in training, who always had an interest in hybrid designs when co-curating an art exhibition at the Belgium Musee des Arts Contemporains in 2009. Creating an exhibition featuring well-known and little well-known artists, she sought a similar art deco concept in her own home to better incorporate her art gallery.
Forgoing the sterile white concept that we often associate with art galleries, she instead sought a combination home and work space that captures the warmth of a welcoming home while still allowing the artwork to take center stage. Taking some time to pick out the right property, a 1979 Antwerp home where parts of the architecture dates back to the 19th century, she renovated the space to have a large art gallery featured on the first floor. Radiating out from the central area is the dining room, living room and glass-walled kitchen where people can view the artwork. Then an elevator takes people up to the bedrooms and other home spaces.
Placing the Same Concept in Your HomeWhen considering an art gallery in the home, you have to think of how each room can accommodate both concepts. While the dining room offers a place for the family to relax and eat meals, it can also double as a reception space during exhibit showings. Placing in glass walls instead of drywall increases the expansive feeling of the home while still allowing the artwork in the gallery to be viewed from other areas of the home. Everyday items such as lamps, furniture and even cooking utensils can also adopt a deco design to draw the artistic touches from the gallery into other spaces.
Even consider taking an artistic approach with the furniture in your home. Instead of placing uniform cabinets in a straight row against the wall, select different sizes and stack them together into unique patterns. You can also get playful with wall colors by using gradient hues, as you can place the stark white color in the art gallery and then have bolder and richer colors when moving into the other spaces of the home.
Expand the Possibilities in Your Art Gallery HomeAs an artist, you want to let your creativity shine through in everything that you do. You don't want to have it confined to only one space in a small rented art studio pad. You can create the ultimate art gallery inside your own home while still making it a super-friendly and livable space.
Booklovers Can Maximize Bookshelf Space With These 8 Tips
You are the type of person who can control their chocolate cravings when going down the cookie aisle in the grocery store, yet will walk out of the bookstore with ten new novels under each arm as you happily skip down the street. You are a booklover. You have books resting on the nightstands in every room, a stack of books on the back of the toilet tank, and novels tucked away in the clothes closet.
Maximizing bookshelf space is essential when you want to keep the collection of hard covers and paperbacks from growing into mountains and toppling over onto any unsuspecting guest into your home. Here are 8 tips to maximizing your bookshelf space so you can have the perfect home for all of your reading materials.
Stairway BookshelvesOften neglected and barren, stairways can give you plenty of extra places to store your book collections if you have the elbow room. You can place floating shelves all along the wall to encourage your family to pick out a book as they make their way up and down the stairs.
Landing ShelvesLandings are the areas at the top and bottom of the stairs where you enter into a room, got outside an exterior door, or move along the hallway. Some landings usually have sparse walls and little decorations except maybe a painting or a tiny window nook. Creative ideas for these places are making set-in wall bookcases so the area around the stairs remains clear while still housing some of your favorite must-read books.
Floor-to-Ceiling ShelvesSometimes you have to just ditch the traditional bookcases and go for the gusto. If you have the wall space, you can create entire floor-to-ceiling book nooks to hold all sizes of tomes. Having the books sitting into spaces inside the walls have become the ultimate space solution without having large pieces of furniture against the wall poking out everywhere.
Garage ShelvingWhile you may have never considered placing bookshelves into garages, you might want to take another look at this space for possible storage solutions. Many people are transforming their garages into home offices and craft work stations. Placing in a bookshelf can be very ideal as it can house gardening books, car maintenance manuals, and craft books. Just keep in mind that you want a weather-protected and fire-protected area for your books. One idea is to have a bookshelf that has a stylish, swinging door in the front.
Freestanding ShelvingFreestanding shelving can be the optimal way to have book storage space without altering any of your walls by hanging shelves or blocking them with bookcases. If you select this route, make sure to pick out standing shelving that is durable and sturdy as it cannot be pulled down by small children.
Dining Room ShelvingThis solution is a clever way to transform a dining room into a library. Along one wall you place in nooks and shelves holding books. A second movable wall mounted on tracks can act as a door and room separator as it has an opening where it can slide above the dining room table. Pulling the movable wall along the track, you can cut the room in half. One side of the wall, people can use half the table to eat while on the other side of the wall a person can use the other half of the table to read a book.
Butcher Block ShelvesTake some butcher block countertops and some brackets, and you can transform any wall into available bookshelf space. Hang shelves above doors, inside closets, along hallways or on an available wall where you can place shelving that doesn't get in the way with your normal lifestyle.
Book OutletsNot only do we have to consider space for our paper books, we also have to consider the conveniences of our digital book collections. Finding outlets to plug reader devices can be a premium in your home. One simple idea is to hide an outlet specifically for your digital reader inside a book on your bookcase. It is a clever way to disguise the outlet out of sight and still celebrate your love of reading.
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