Rooms to focus on when selling your home:

So, you want to sell your house and move into another? That’s a hard decision to make, so good job making a choice. Of course, when it comes to the sale itself – as well as the purchasing of a new home – you’ll have keep in mind which rooms are more valuable than others, so you can get the maximum satisfaction out of the entire process.

Not every room in a house is equally important. The definition of “important” changes from person to person, but it’s hard to deny that a home is only a home when it’s got all the right pieces in it.

The Bathroom

Obviously, bathrooms are meant to be clean, so make sure you thoroughly clear out your current one if you’re planning to sell your home. That doesn’t mean you need to rip all the plumbing out of the walls – just make sure there’s no stains, suspect smells or other indicators of heavy use anywhere.

When you’re moving into a new bathroom, it’s equally important to check the cleanliness and level of ‘use’ present in the fixtures, since a poorly-cleaned bathroom may be an indicator that the owners haven’t tried to clean up damage or wear much in other rooms as well. [Read more…]

The advantages of building in winter

Building in winter months may bring to mind images of tradesmen shuddering under sub zero conditions and falling behind building schedules. In reality, though, perceptions and technology have improved so much over the years that building in winter is now being embraced more, as people find ways to make it a success.

With so many advantages of building in the winter, I really would encourage people to put all their negative perceptions aside and pick up your tools and get to work. Here are three key advantages of building your home in winter:

More builders and tradesmen available for you to choose from

It is well known within the building industry that there is less work for builders and contractors during winter. This is because of perceptions about the winter months and people not wanting to build their homes during winter. What this means for you is that you will have many more tradesmen available to choose from during winter than you would in warmer months. When it comes to building your home, this is one advantage you really cannot overlook. [Read more…]

Pre-Finished, Unfinished, Veneered – Explaining The Lingo of Internal Oak Wood Doors

Oak wood doors have become ever more popular within the home and are often the wood of choice used in construction. The thing that makes oak doors so attractive is the versatility, whether you’re after a traditional look or feel or something modern and design lead, there will be an oak door to suit your requirements. The wood itself gives a nice warm and radiant feel, and can be finished to a variety of shades.

Oak doors are perfect for both internal and external use, and can be purchased un-finished or finished. We are going to explain some of the lingo, and offer some tips and advice surrounding oak doors.

Oak Wood Doors

Pre-Finished Internal Doors

A pre-finished door will have already been oiled, waxed or varnished, and you should be able to ask the manufacture which products and shades have been used. This may be important if you ever decide to change the finish or maintain the door for wear and tear. Keep a note of the information.

Unfinished Internal Doors

Unfinished, or natural doors, come as a blank canvas. There are a huge variety of products available which will offer alternative looks and shades, from varnishes and wood oils to waxes and stains. It’s important to read up on any products before applying them, as some can dry darker or lighter than stated, but the tin should let you know if this is the case.


Veneered wooden doors are often hollow, or consist of a cheaper wood being used which is then coated with a layer of oak to finish. The quality of the door will depend on the thickness of the veneer (the oak layer) and the wood used within this. The hollow versions are often very light, and can be prone to damage. You may find that veneered doors come with advice stating that certain products should not be used on them, this is in case they seep through and interfere with the glue bonding the two woods together.

The Natural Look

A lot of people love the natural wood look an internal oak door offers, and want to keep this within the home. It isn’t just a case of using clear products, as clear products will bring out the natural colours of the wood, leaving a darker and more golden feel. A great way to check how your oak door will look if you use a clear products is to apply some water to a small area, as wet wood looks very similar to wood treated with clear products.

The closest you’ll be able to get to a fully natural look will take some experimenting, as clear products will make your doors darker, you’ll need to add a little white before applying them. It’s essential to do a patch test, as how much white will depend on the wood.

Another option is to use a clear wax polish. If a clear wax polish is used on a natural or bare oak door, the colour should stay pretty much the same. The only problem and consideration is whether the wax will be durable enough over time. As internal doors aren’t often exposed to the elements, and it’s only really the handles which are continually touched, a wax finish can be perfectly fine.

Modern Radiators, where design meets efficiency

Radiators can often go unnoticed. It’s commonly accepted that though they can be a little uneasy on the eye, and sometimes that they get in the way of a room’s layout, often finding themselves behind sofas or other furniture, that they are essential within the home. Although they are a much needed heating source for the home, they no longer have to cause upset. There have been significant improvements in the offerings available, allowing flexibility and a personal touch.

More and more people are choosing to rip away the old radiators and replace them with vertical models, designer units, or antique ones. Whether you’re considering changing your radiators due to wear and tear, or you’re just sick of your current ones and want something more suited to your home, there are a few things to consider.

modern radiators

Most modern radiators work independently of the gas central heating and are powered by electricity, making them easier to move and install than ever before. There are no pipes or waterworks to be considered, allowing you to change the position of radiators to utilise the most space within your room. These are great for their flexibility, but can cost a little more to run.

If you already have a central heating system in place and your current radiators are plumbed in to this, it can be a little harder to start moving the location of the radiators. You can still change the look though, by simply replacing the old unit with a newer model. You’ll have to plumb this back into the original pipework.

When it comes to choosing a radiator you’ll need to consider what it is made out of. Some metals are going to stay warm for a lot longer than others, making them more cost efficient to run, however, they will often be more expensive to buy. Aluminium is the most effective, but steel and iron models look great, especially within traditional decor homes. You’ll also have to choose between single and double panel units. Single panels are great for saving space and looking sleek, but they won’t generate as much heat as a double.

Having said all of this, modern radiators will often work almost identically to the older models, the main selling point is the design aspect. With a vast range of models and colours available from companies like CNM Online, you’ll be able to tailor your radiator to the look and feel of your home. Designer doesn’t always have to mean expensive, some of the radiators available won’t cost you much more than a standard model.

How to pick the perfect Hand Knotted Oriental Rug

When it comes to purchasing the right hand knotted oriental rugs, there are a few things to keep in mind so that you get exactly what you are seeking. Hand knotted rugs by their very nature are not going to be machine perfect, but that is part of their charm. The advice here is primarily for oriental rugs, but it can also apply to Persian rugs as well.

The Characteristics of Hand Knotted Oriental Rugs

There will always be a little irregularity even in the best hand knotted rugs. This is because the time honored process which is done by hand uses devices that are not precise, but actually add the character of the creator into the process. These irregularities are not defects, but merely the characteristics of the hand-crafted process that was used.

Hand Knotted Oriental Rug

Lies Flat on the Floor: A good rug will lie flat and straight with no raised areas or knots that create bulges in the rug itself. This means that you should get a high quality product when purchasing a hand knotted rug.

Lively Appearance: The materials used will create a warm, lively look to the rug is unlike its machine counterparts. The colors will be very balanced with no fades or bleeding and it will be finished in an intelligent manner so that it does not appear either washed out or unnatural in its look.

Sophistication: Finally, the best type of oriental rugs will have a sophisticated quality to them that is unlike any other. You see the quality and craftsmanship that can only come from a hand-made rug.

How to Choose the Right Rug for Your Home

Now that you know what the general characteristics are for hand knotted rugs, the next step is finding the right one for your home. [Read more…]

The Best Ways to Budget Your Next Move

Moving can be an exciting but expensive adventure. In today’s economy, it’s important to stretch your dollar as far as it will go, especially after putting a down payment on a new house. Here are some ideas for preserving your budget when trying to make your move as cheap as possible.

Get Rid of Excess Possessions

Almost everyone is guilty of holding onto things they don’t need. Getting rid of extra items, like old clothes or unused exercise equipment, is a great way to cut down on moving expenses.

moving tips

Although a garage sale might seem like the most lucrative way to downsize your belongings, it might actually save more time to simply donate your things to a thrift shop or a charity. Goodwill is always looking for extra clothes and toys. You might even be able to write some of your donations off on your taxes, saving more money in the future.

Get Free Packaging

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t have to spend any money on, it’s packaging. Almost every single grocery or department store discards empty cardboard boxes at the end of the day. If you call ahead of time you might be able to snag a bunch to pack your home away. You can also search online listings for used packing materials like bubble wrap, or even use towels and other linens to protect your more fragile belongs.

Do It Yourself

It’s tempting to shell out the cash to have professional movers pack and transport your home for you, but you can save a lot of money by simply buckling down and doing the dirty work yourself. If a friend drives a truck, they may be willing to help you move a few extra boxes to your next location. A lot of people can be bribed with pizza and drinks, so turn your move into a fun gathering and save money in the process. [Read more…]

3 Classic Roof Materials

Thinking about a new roof? We totally understand: even though it’s an expensive decision, you have to eventually invest in your home in a big way. Your roof serves you silently in all seasons, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It’s very important that you are looking at how to get a new roof without breaking your budget.

The first thing to know would be what roof materials are involved with your new roof. Think all materials are pretty much the same? You might be in for a big surprise. You have to start looking at the different materials before you shop, so you can get the best deal. While cheapest isn’t the best, there’s no reason to buy the super top of the line and end up leaving yourself without money for any other repairs. That would just be silly!

Roof Materials

One of the guiding decisions behind your roof material will be how steep the slope of your roof is. Most people turn to asphalt shingles because they’re affordable, and they also come in plenty of different colors. They’re incredibly durable for the amount that you pay, so it’s easy to get something that’s going to work well for your home. You can get shingles that have been treated with algaecide. You have shingles that are made to different thicknesses, for a look that will definitely get attention. Most people buy self-sealing asphalt shingles because the heat of the day makes each one stick to the shingle below it. This can help block the wind’s natural ability to peel the shingles up and then off the roof. [Read more…]

Understanding House Foundation Problems and Fixing Them

The best way to protect your investment in your home is to fix problems before they grow. Yes, that means that you might have to put off other purchases. You might be dreaming about a new car, and taking advantage of several deals in the marketplace right now. But the reality is that you have to start looking deeper into any and all problems that are in your home.

Your foundation, for example, could be problematic without you even realizing it. Like the name implies, foundation is necessary for your home to continue taking care of you. A bad foundation weakens the entire structure of your home.

House Foundation

There are plenty of signs indoors that will help you identify what’s going on in your home. For example, have you noticed a door that seems to never shut properly? You might have tried to oil the hinges to push it in a bit better, or you’ve gotten used to just slamming it shut. But this is one of the biggest warning flags that all might not be right with your foundation. Some people might tell you that you’re overreacting about your home, and it’s nothing to worry too much about. They’re half right, so to speak: houses do indeed settle and shift a bit over time. You’re not going to have a perfectly even house for very long, so worrying about every little thing is a bit much. But this isn’t a little thing: it’s something that can weaken your entire home. If you end up filing a home insurance claim over structural problems, your insurance company may not pay out until they feel satisfied that it wasn’t caused by your negligence.

Another thing to notice would be any cracks that pop up around doorways and at the junction between the wall and the ceiling. Cracks around windows can also reveal foundation problems with a home. If you have problems with closing windows, this could also reveal problems with the home. [Read more…]

3 Tips to Better Roof Repair

A leaky roof is a terrible problem to have, because it means that it threatens the overall structure of your home. Your roof is designed to protect your home against the elements. So if you have vulnerabilities within the roof, you’re going to have weak spots that can really cost you a lot of money in the long run. A heavy rain could bring a flood of water into your home, ruining your belongings. Computer equipment? You might as well start shopping for new ones if water starts flooding in from cracks in the roof.

But you can’t just go about roof repair any type of way. You have to make sure that you’re following a few points before you actually contract out the work.

The first step is to really take a good look at the damage. You need to know what’s going on to the best of your ability. Of course, there may be damages that you aren’t able to see, but the contractors you hire, such as Otto’s Exterior, will be able to see what’s going on. They just need to have a basic idea of what’s going on. In order to get the most accurate quote possible, you’ll have to have them come out to inspect it.

Roof Repair

At this point, you might think that you can do this yourself, if you only see a little bit of damage. Most people cannot handle their own roof repairs as a DIY project, so this is really something that you need a professional to handle.

From here, you need to start looking at reviews of professionals. While you’re on the phone with different contractors asking questions and finding out more information, someone else should be going around the house and protecting everything of value. Until you know where all of the leaks are, why take any chances? [Read more…]

Could a Functional Garden Improve Your Property Values?

Anything that we can do to improve the value of our homes is a really good thing. The rush that we get touching up our homes and turning them into something that we can be even more proud to call our own is amazing. But there are little projects that can turn into big investments for your home. One of them that we’ll discuss today would have to be a functional garden. Now, we’re not just talking about a lot of flowers, even though flowers are extremely important. Without flowering plants, bees have no food source and therefore can’t make the honey they thrive on. We need bees in order to keep the food cycle going.

So, the garden that we want to build should have more function than just flowers. Growing a “salsa” garden will give you peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and onions. These are all things that go great into a salsa, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop there. What if you wanted to focus on salad greens as a way of supplementing your groceries? You could do both of these in a garden, if you have enough space.

Building a great garden

Building a great garden takes time, planning, and resources. This is even more the case when you want to build something functional. For example, do you know what plants you’re going to buy? Even if you have a list, it goes deeper than that. Some plants need full sun, while others need partial shade. You need to buy plants that match your gardening zone for best results.

Drainage is going to be another issue that you’ll need to tackle right away. Every plant has a different need for drainage. In other words, it’s all about how packed the soil is. Some plants thrive on a tightly packed soil, while other plants really need room for their roots to branch out without hitting hard packed dirt. You’ll need to do your research on what setup will work best for you.

Watering is going to be another issue. If you’re somewhere that has drought regulations, you’ll need to abide by those. But there are people that grow food in drought-stricken conditions all the time. The path that you’re about to embark upon isn’t new, so you should find that comforting. Many plants need a lot of water to grow. If you’re on a budget, you’ll need to adjust your water bill accordingly, or start collecting rainwater. [Read more…]