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How to Turn Your Home Into an Eco-Friendly Haven

The home you live in should be safe for both you and the environment. Unfortunately, a lot of the homes built today are the exact opposite. They emit harmful toxins into the air that damage the ozone and the health of its occupants. Over time, it can lead to all sorts of health problems, including infertility and respiratory problems. If you’re on the market for a house or want to make improvements to your home, then you should have eco-friendliness in mind. The following are some of the different ways you can enhance your home into a green one.

Eco Friendly Home

Build with Natural Materials

The materials your home is built with can be made with impure materials that are filled with contaminants like formaldehyde and lead. You need to make conscious buying decisions when renovating the walls and floors in your home. Everything from the plywood to the paint should be eco-friendly and safe for humans and pets. There are a variety of companies that have products that are designed for this very purpose.

Choose Hardwood Over Carpet

Many of the carpets used in homes today are contaminated with chemicals like formaldehyde and artificial dyes. These toxins are released into the air of your home, making it toxic to breathe. Natural hardwood floors like oak, bamboo and cedar can be used for the floors instead. These should be finished with natural products, otherwise your efforts are pointless. Wooden floors can be placed throughout the home, including the living areas, kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms.

Have Plants Throughout the Home

Air purifiers are great, but there’s nothing like having natural air purifiers in your home. Plants act as filters for airborne particles and toxins in the air. Unlike with mechanical air purifiers, also improve the air, providing more oxygen and other benefits. Certain plants can help keep bugs away, improve sleep and help with asthma. Some of the plants you want to consider include parlor palm, spider plant, snake plant and peace lily, to name a few. Place your plants throughout your home, in the bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms and living areas. Make sure they get plenty of light and water.

Choose Non-Lead Paint

If you’re going to redo the paint inside and outside of your home, then make sure it doesn’t contain lead. This is especially important if you have young children. Chipped paint can be consumed by little crawlers, which puts them at risk of poisoning. Lead is known to cause all sorts of adverse affects, so it should be avoided at all costs. You can opt for green paints made by eco-friendly companies. There are more and more color varieties becoming available, so your options aren’t limited.

Add More Windows to Your Home

The winter months can get very cold, depending on where you live in the nation. You can offset your power bill in the cooler months by installing more windows, so that more sunlight can get in and warm up your home. This also adds plenty of natural lighting, which means less lights that need to be operated during the daytime. If you have a smart thermostat, you can use your Microsoft computer or smartphone to create settings so that it doesn’t turn on until right before you come home.

Moving to a New Home: Preparation and Challenges

Before moving to a new home or office, make sure that you have enought time and resources to do so. You should have atleast 8 weeks to prepare for it. While moving can also be done in a shorter period of time, there are other factors to consider to expedite the process.

MovingHave a moving house checklist to help you through the process. This is available online from great relocation and moving services company like Bill Removalists.

Here are some of the things to consider before you decide on the moving date and contact moving contractors:

1. Estimate Cost
How much are you willing to spend for the relocation? Do you have alloted budget for it? These are just some of the questions you have to ask yourselves. When we say cost, we are not just referring to the rate of your new apartment but the amount you are going to spend during the moving process. List all the possible expenses such as fee for moving services, home repair if necessary, and more.

2. Work Schedule
If you or any of the family member is working, moving might have an impact to their current job. Make sure to consider everyone and take note of their schedule. There might also be upcoming important events so always refer to your calendar and plan everthing caarefully.

3. Movers Availability
Choose a relocation and moving services company that can cover your needs. These professionals can help you move safely and on schedule. They can help you with your furniture and appliances. They have padding, wraps and moving boxes to handle them with care. They can help you dismantle and reassemble your possessions.

It’s easier to figure out the best moving date if you will plan ahead. You can also talk to moving professionals so that they can advise you and help you with your concerns.

Different Ways to Protect Your Furniture

Your furniture is as much an investment as your own house is. It is an extension of your home, and is used every single day and therefore prone to wear and tear. So it is only proper that you give them the proper care they deserve.

Garden Furniture

But what can one do to help prolong your furniture’s durability and overall condition to help keep your furniture looking good as new and last for a long time?

Use Wraps and / or Pads when moving furniture in or out

One easy way of dinging and ruining your furniture is when you move them in our out of your home. It can get caught on walls, doors, and other obstructions and can cause marks and scratches on the wood or leather. For small furniture, use industrial wraps (much like the cling wrap you have in your kitchen). For bigger furniture use pads similar to those you see in the gym to wrap your furniture or the surfaces where you’ll be passing furniture through.

Clean your furniture frequently 

No need to use cleansers or cleaning sprays. Just wipe with a dry rag or dust off your furniture once or twice a week, or more frequently if you can. Once in a while when scuff marks appear or when there’s accidental spillage, you can use a mild cleanser or just a plain wet rag or towel to wipe off, then dry off with a dry towel.

Use furniture covers 

Especially outdoors, it is wise to invest in special patio furniture covers to keep your lawn furniture protected from the heat, rain, and pets. Most patio furniture covers come with garters that ensure a perfect and snug fit to avoid getting blown off by the wind. Think of them as insurance for your outdoors furniture.

How to Use Natural Elements to Enhance your Store

Natural elements will help create a store that offers an eco-friendly look and feel. Eco-friendly values are becoming increasingly important to customers and consideration of these is important in the design of your store. Many consumers are seeking a greener shopping experience and will be positively influenced by natural elements in your store’s décor.

  • Discerning Clients

Green design will attract today’s discerning consumers. Research shows clearly that consumers making green choices are on the increase. If your design contains lots of natural elements it will subtly appeal to this growing trend for all things natural. Mainstream retailers are now responding to the trend by integrating green elements into their store design.

  • Natural Design

Store - Natural Design
Store owners are choosing natural design principles over more traditional store designs. For great examples of energy efficient construction, click here and be inspired. Natural sustainable design features offer long term savings and improve your bottom line as well as looking good. Using skylights, for example, will reduce your electricity bill and will appeal to clients by offering lots of natural light. Natural light makes people feel good whereas bright fluorescent lights are unappealing and harsh.

  • Natural Elements

The beauty of natural objects far surpasses anything man can make, which is why the introduction of natural elements into store design is becoming such a strong trend. Plants, shells, rocks, sand, water, trees and flowers can add a stunning addition to your store, although placement is an important consideration.

The addition of single striking natural object can become a visual highlight in your store. Look for interesting shapes and textures. A twisted piece of driftwood can become something beautiful to hang necklaces from. Use your imagination. To compliment natural objects you can add cushions, pillows, rugs and fabrics that feature natural motifs.

  • Go Rustic

Good old fashioned rustic simplicity will also create a natural look in your store. Weathered timber tables, old wooden milk crates, aging cabinets, wicker and sun-bleached finishes will help to enhance the natural feel of your store and create a country vibe.

  • Mixing and Matching

When it comes to natural elements it is great to mix things up. You can place shells with river rocks and palm fronds for example. Natural elements combine beautifully and an eclectic collection will look fabulous and create an attractive natural style.

  • It Looks Amazing

Over recent years natural materials and designs have been the focus of much attention by both architects and designers. And the results are amazing. Modern cardboards, recycled wood and glass look more like artworks than sustainable materials. Eco-friendly designs are anything but boring.

  • Creating a Natural, Green In-Store Experience

Using lots of natural elements in your store design will help to create a ‘green’ in-store shopping experience. If they see natural fibres and materials, if they see your tags are printed on recycled paper, if in-store signage is on recycled cardboard, your customers will feel part of the green mission. By spending time in your store and buying your products they will feel like they are doing their bit for the enviroment.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Take On A DIY Renovation Project

A lot of people are excited about the prospect of DIY projects, but are they really worth the extra effort? Can you afford the costly materials from the local hardware store? And are you sure that online tutorial really taught you everything you need to know? If you’re adamant about completing the DIY renovation project yourself, here are five questions to think about before going ahead from click here .

DIY Project at Home

Is It Safe?
The most important factor in DIY projects is safety. Is there a chance you or someone in your family can get hurt? If so, then it’s probably worth calling in the professionals like Allstate Roofing. If you’re not comfortable climbing ladders or safely operating a chainsaw, call in a contractor who has the skills to safely do the project for you.

Are You Prepared For Unexpected Costs?
Many projects don’t go according to plan the first time round. Because of this, it’s important you are prepared for unexpected costs in case something goes wrong and you need to pay for urgent repairs. Hidden costs can drastically increase your projects budget, and may even cause a stop to it altogether. If you don’t have an adequate fund in place, you should consider hiring a contractors who will be able to take care of unexpected costs should they arise.

Do You Really Have Enough Time?
You might think that DIY projects are only good for saving money, but do you realise how long it is going to take to complete? It is often the case where ‘real life’ gets in the way – such as family outings, football practice, and long afternoons at work. Your time is valuable to you, so it is important to spend it wisely. If you believe your project will interfere with your work or social life, then perhaps it’s necessary to call in an outside contractor to do the
job for you.

Do You Need Any Licenses Or Permits?
A lot of DIY renovation projects require specific permits and licenses, especially those that involve wiring and digging. Before you start your project, you need to make sure you call a professional who can do these jobs for you, as getting permits can often be a hassle, and re-wiring can be dangerous if you don’t have the proper education and experience.

Do You Have The Right Tools?
Most people believe they can complete their DIY renovation projects with the tools in their shed, but most of the time extra machinery is required for specific tasks. A lot of the time these will incur extra costs that will quickly add up and may go over budget. It may be cheaper to pay a flat fee to a contractor who already has the necessary equipment and skills to do the job for you.

Remember – if you’re venturing out into the DIY world, it is important to remember to use the right equipment and stay safe at all times!

5 Bushfire Safety Tips for your Backyard

Bushfires can be tragic, destroying property and lives. But bushfires are a part of Australian life, so we need to take the necessary steps to protect our properties. While we cannot remove the threat of bushfires, we can work to minimise its effects.

Bushfire Safety

Be Prepared
It is important to be prepared before fire season hits. There are many things you can do to minimise risks to your home.

Clear the Property
Many times a home does not burn down from the main fire but from embers or burning debris, so the less flammable material you have around your property the better.

Prune trees that are close to the house and saw off any branches that are overhanging the roof. You should also clean out all gutters regularly. Leaves are highly flammable. If you have wood stacked in the yard, keep it as far away from the house as possible.

Keep your lawn cut short, rake up any leaves and use a brush cutter to clear away weeds, vines and other plant matter. In short, keep the yard well-trimmed. It is a worthwhile investment to buy a range of Stihl power tools , things like a chainsaw, leaf blower and brush cutter, to facilitate the easy clearing of your yard.

The more attention you pay to keeping the yard cleared, the lower the fire risk at your property, so keep at it.

Storage Safety
Don’t store cardboard boxes or papers in or near your home. If you collect these to recycle, keep them away from your home or keep your stocks limited. Also ensure that all flammable liquid is stored away from your house, this includes paint, thinners, petrol and oils. These can easily explode and create a fire ball under intense heat. If you have LPG gas, make sure the valve faces away from the house.

Water
Have at least one good garden hose that will reach right to the permitter of your property. If you are in a fire prone area, it is good to have other water sources in case of fire, a water tank, dam or swimming pool for example. You will also need a portable pump to pump the water to fight fires.

An Evacuation Plan
If you are warned to evacuate you must follow orders. No property is worth your life. The greatest risk to life is when occupants stay too long at their property. Have an evacuation plan and make sure the whole family is clear on what that is. Have any treasured possessions and household pets close at hand and ready to grab if you need to evacuate.
For Renters

If you happen to rent a home in an area at risk of bushfire, you should make a point of talking to your landlord about fire safety. If the property does not meet fire safety standards and the landlord will not cooperate, you should speak to your local fire service.

Finally, make sure you are adequately insured for loss in the event of fire.

Reasons to Install a Pool in your Backyard

Many properties in Australia have pools for a variety of reasons. They can provide cool relief in the summer, provide a great looking outdoor setting and offer a location for regular exercise. In addition to this, a pool can dramatically increase the value of your property both in terms of the monetary resale value and the value gained by the occupant.

Health and Fitness

Swimming Pool for FitnessPools are extremely convenient ways to cool off and exercise at the same time. You can use the pool without having to leave your home or pay to go the beach, gym or a public swimming pool. Swimming is a great form of cardiovascular excessive, and the addition of a pool can change your lifestyle to a more health and active one. So if you plan on using the pool for exercise ensure you build a swimming pool that large enough to swim lengths. Pools can help you create a more regular exercising routine in the comfort of your own home.

Aesthetic Value
A pool can be a great design feature to a home. With the addition of tropical vegetation, artistic rock arrangements and tiles, gravel or pavers to surround the pool, the pool area can become an aesthetically pleasing outdoor area. With an outdoor dining set, a barbeque, and or a gazebo, the pool can become a social gathering point, where you can entertain family and friends. It’s easy to create an outdoor pool area that is both beautiful to look at, and relaxing to spend time in.

Family Fun
In the midst of the summer heat, there are few things that are as nice as taking a dip in the pool. If you have children, pools are great way of getting your kids outside to exercise, socialise and have fun. Pools are great spaces to hold water balloon or water pistols fights or to play a variety of pool games. Adults too can enjoy relaxing in the pool, sunbathing around the pool or having friends over to entertain around the pool. The addition of a pool can be great fun for the whole family or a place to hold parties and social gatherings.

Property Value
In Australia’s hot climate, homebuyers tend to gravitate towards properties with pools. Many people see the addition of a pool to a property as a sign of luxury. Buyers see pools as a great lifestyle amenity, which is both aesthetically appealing and practical. The addition of a pool to your property will boost its property value and give your house an added selling point. The extra money you make on the sale of a house with a pool has the potential to be significantly more than the initial cost of the pool.

If you are considering installing a pool in your backyard you will need earth moving and construction machinery. With the right equipment for the job, you can have a pool installed in no time and enjoy all the benefits a pool has to offer.

Water Heater Installation: Approximate Cost of Water Heater Installation and Repair

In our modernized world, it’s easy to take for granted all of the wonderful things that make our lifestyles what they are.  That is of course, until those wonderful things such as plumbing, electricity, air conditioning and the various other utilities we use stops working.  Categorizing which circumstances are worse is up to subjective opinion.  And although nothing ever lasts forever, this is especially true for your hot water heater, which is one of the most common utilities that breaks down in America homes.  Hot water heaters are pretty general, and pricing is pretty competitive and affordable for homeowners.  However, how much should you pay to have it installed?  There are many variables to determine the price of your installation and chances are it may be considerably more or less than it costs your buddy who just had a new water heater installed.

Just like any large utility installation, a reasonable estimate will not be reliable without first examining the installation site of the water heater.  There are several variables that arise as the installation site is examined including; the physical setting i.e.: closet, garage, utility room, etc…the model of the new water heater they wish to install; the plumbing connections the home offers, plus updating the plumbing and setting the water heater to the updated county code.

If you are pretty handy and comfortable at performing many trades, then installing a water heater yourself should be a pretty fun and slightly time consuming task.  However, if you are not comfortable with plumbing, electricity, gas, and in some instances carpentry and drywall, then it is highly recommended to hire a licensed and insured contractor to install your new water heater.  A professional contractor will make sure that any modifications to the home’s plumbing, electricity, or gas lines are done safely and correctly.  If a lack of hot water is your dilemma, I guarantee an incorrectly installed hot water heater will bring on much greater issues to you and your family including flooding fire, or gas poisoning.  An electric hot water heater is one of 3 utilities in a home that requires 240 volts of electricity making it fire prone.  And gas water heater is capable of producing poisonous carbon monoxide gas due to combusted fuel.  If not professionally ventilated, you run the risk of gassing you and your family.

As for how much you should expect to pay for installing a new water heater?  The only real way to know is to get estimates and get lots of them.  As for a dollar figure, the range is generally between a couple hundred bucks, however in some instances it can range as high as $2,000-$3,000 dollars.

Live in the Arizona metro area and need water heater repair?  Service Star is one of the top water heater repair specialists in Mesa AZ. Contact them for a quote on this installation if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.

How To Mop Effectively

One of the most important things that you should learn is how to mop the floor effectively. Since the floor often gets dirt due to shoes walking on it and or pets walking on it, it is necessary that you are able to clean this properly.

Step 1: The first thing that you have to do is to clear everything in the area where you are planning to mop. You will not be able to mop when there are various forms of obstruction scattered. Just keep in mind that if you plan to clean these furniture or obstructions, make sure that you clean them first so that any dirt or debris which falls on the floor can be cleaned when you start mopping it. Also make sure that no one walks on the area where you plan to clean, the same with pets. 

Step 2: Once everything is cleared, you can sweep or vacuum the floor. This is important because mopping the floor alone is not enough to clear any solid particles such as hair, dirt, crumbs, and other similar objects. 

Step 3: If you have a cleaner then you can use it and then put it on a bucket and fill it with sufficient warm water, enough to cover the head of the mop. Keep a portion of the bucket empty so that you have space where to dip the mop into and be able to keep the wringer out of the water. It should be built along with the bucket. Also make sure that you are familiar in using the cleaner, if not, it will not take much time to check the instruction manual for details. You also have the option of using an ordinary dish-washing detergent and pouring it on the water. 

Step 4: Dip the mop inside the bucket with the cleaning solution and allow it to absorb enough of it until it loosens up and then wring the excess solution from the mop so that it will not be that wet when you start mopping the floor. You should start in one corner of the room and clean the area surrounding it rather than jumping from one area to a farther area. Make sure that you exert a bit of effort and pressure in it when you are already mopping. If you see the mop looking dirty then it is about time that you dip and wring the mop again inside the bucket with the solution. If an area has persistent dirt in it, then mop it again as necessary. 

Step 5: Avoid stepping in areas that you had just recently mopped. Also keep in mind that dirt clinging in your shoes will cause the parts where you are stepping on to be muddy so it is necessary for you to mop them again. Give the areas which have been recently mopped enough time to dry thoroughly. It would be more effective if you are to open the windows or increase ventilation within that area. Once everything is done, you can now return those furniture or items back to where they were originally.

Tips When Dealing With Termites

Having termites in your home can really be troublesome and frustrating. Since their primary food is wood, termite colonies are often found in homes. Furthermore, they are also fond of eating papers, books, insulation and even go as far as feasting on filtration systems. In fact, they are considered household pests and can cause as much as billions of dollar damage in a given year. However, it does not mean that you cannot do some preventive measures like:

  • Moist often attracts termites and by keeping your home from being moist is a good start. Trimming the bushes and trees near your home and clearing the gutters of any water is also advisable.
  • Make sure that you dispose any wooden materials outside your house. Leaving them outside can attract termites which may potentially lead them to your house.
  • Having wooden structures touching the ground is not advisable because termites living underground can crawl up to it and eventually invade your home from there. If you are to put a wooden structure, make sure that it is at least six inches above the ground.
  • Use woods which are resistant to termite assaults like juniper, red wood, cedar and or bamboo. Though termites can still eat through them, they are not fond of eating these kinds of woods.
  • And perhaps the most important is hiring/employing the services of termite control professionals. They know how to handle this kind of situations and can give you sound advice on which termite control equipment you can take advantage of.

You should take the possibility of termite infestations in your house seriously because you may not know it but you might find your most treasured furniture being eaten down.

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