Category Archives: Home & Garden

How To Save Money On Your Water Bill

By Article Contributor, Monday, September 16, 2013

Man Drink Water Faucet 389x318 How To Save Money On Your Water BillNot only does reducing your water bill have a positive influence on your wallet, you’ll also feel good about the impact you’re having on the environment.However, knowing where to start when cutting your water bill can be a challenge, particularly as simply saying ‘use less water’ is very ambiguous.

Here are some great ideas that you can put into practice immediately that will help you enjoy significant water and financial savings.

Turn the Water Off

If you suspect you might have leaks or drips in various places around your home, turning off the main water valve is the simplest way to put a stop to it. That is only a short-term solution, however, and the obvious step you need to take is to hire a plumber so that you can prevent leaks and unnecessary water waste without having to turn the main supply tap off!

Look at Your Water Use

Think about the ways you use water around the home. The specific areas that you ought to consider are those responsible for the majority of your water use, which will be the bathroom, kitchen, and garden. What can you do in each of these locations?

Bathroom

Your bathroom is responsible for the majority of your water use in your home, predominantly from the toilet, but also from your shower and bath. Saving water when you flush the toilet is easy; simply call your water company and they’ll provide you with a device that reduces water flow by as much as a third.

By buying a shower flow controller from Agua Flux, you can also cut your water use in the shower by half. You’ll also save a small fortune on your energy bill, given that you’ll also be reducing your water heating needs by the same amount.

Kitchen

The biggest saving to be found here is in your own approach. You immediately need to stop cleaning dishes under running water and leaving the tap running to wash vegetables. Even running the cold tap before filling a glass of water can waste dozens of litres a day, so stop doing it!

Elsewhere, ensuring the dishwasher and washing machine are both full prior to using them will ensure you aren’t creating more unnecessary water wastage.

Garden

Buying a water butt to collect rainwater can reduce the water volume you take from the mains supply to zero, and if you live in the United Kingdom, you can also receive a rebate on your bill owing to the reduced ‘run off’ from your property. An alternative is to pave your garden, or buy plants that require very little watering.

Create a Savings Chart

This won’t save you water directly, but it will motivate you and everyone in your household to be mindful of your water use. How much money will you save, for example, by only spending five minutes in the shower? Get everyone together and create a fun chart of what you could buy with the savings; it might be an exciting new product for the home, or a family holiday.

Motivate everyone in your home, know what you need to do, and you’ll find yourself enjoying dramatic water savings now and in the future.

Image c/o Joseph Russell

DIY: How To Clean Up Fire And Water Damage

By Article Contributor, Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fire Water Damage House Horror DIY: How To Clean Up Fire And Water DamageFire and water damage to your home can be pretty devastating as well as a bit pricey to repair. To cut down on cost, homeowners can actually do some of the fire and water damage restoration themselves. Notice I said “some”…some things the homeowner can do while other things should be left for the professionals to do. So roll up your sleeves and see how you can take a pro-active approach to repairing your home.

Call Your Insurance Carrier First

Always call your insurance carrier first to see how much they will cover in cost for repairs. The insurance agent will be able to determine how much money, if available to you, that you will receive which will give you a clearer sense of how much money you’re working with for the cost of repairs and professional services.

Ventilation

Open windows and doors throughout the house to increase ventilation. This will help to stop or slow down the growth of mold and mildew. Also, place a few fans in the home and turn them on. This will help with the circulation of the air. It may also be wise to wear a mask while working in the home. This will prevent breathing in any soot or chemicals used.

Mop Up the Water

Get a good absorbent mop, and wipe up the water on the hardwood floors. Place fans near the floors so the areas between the boards can dry thoroughly. Once the floors have dried, if there’s extensive damage you may have to refinish them.

Move Furniture

Move all furniture and any important information or documents to a dry location. Leaving your wood furniture exposed to water can damage it, so it’s best to move it to a dry area as soon as possible.

Wipe Everything Down

Using a damp cloth, wipe down the water damaged areas in the home using plain water. Also, wipe down any personal belongings as well to remove soot and debris. Then place your belongings in the area where the fans are set up to help increase drying time.

Twenty Four Hour Window for Copper and Brass

If you have any belongings that are made of copper and or brass, you have a twenty four hour window to clean them before the smoke damage sets in permanently. Act quickly, and use a cleanser that’s specially formulated for removing smoke residue from copper and brass.

Remove the Soot

Using a sponge containing only the appropriate cleaning chemicals, wipe down the walls, ceilings, and floors of any soot that has collected on them. Don’t use water on the sponge as that will only make the problem worse by smearing the soot.

Call a Professional

When dealing with the removal of smoke odors in walls and fabrics, call in a professional that specializes in fire and water damage restoration.

Repairing your home after fire and water damage is a very extensive and timely process. If your home is safe to enter and you’re willing to put in the work, you’re certainly capable of doing some of the repairs yourself…and leave the rest to the experts.

Kay Kissinger is a stay at home mom who love DIY projects and writing

Reveal Shine And Elegance By Deep Cleaning Wood

By Article Contributor, Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wood is a wonderful material because it has a unique characteristic and it exudes elegance too. Not only is it a tasteful and traditional choice, but it is also often incorporated in many modern designs as well. But it does require care and maintenance because it is a natural material that will deteriorate over time and most especially if it is not properly taken care of.

Cat Sneaky Feet Couch 389x262 Reveal Shine And Elegance By Deep Cleaning WoodWhat Lies Beneath

You regularly mop and wax your hardwood floors, and it looks nice and clean afterwards. However, did you know that dirt, grit and grime can stick in minute crevices? In time, these will damage an expensive wood surface because these might contain substances and organisms, like molds and mildew, which will hasten wear and tear and worsen current problems. So, how do you take care of such problems? If you are worried that your wood flooring and furniture aren’t receiving the TLC that they require, you should seriously consider hiring a professional cleaning service. You can also do the deep cleaning technique on your own. But before you do, make sure that you are fully aware about what should be done and you have the skills to do the job correctly to avoid permanently damaging wood surfaces.

The Professional Deep Cleaning Process

1. Consulting

The first step is to call the experts who will then visit your home to see the area that’s going to be cleaned. They’ll check, assess, and analyze. Afterwards, they’ll give you a rundown about what they can do. This is also the part wherein potential or present problems are recognized, and you will be informed about it too.

2. Preparing the Surface

If you agree with their plan, you can schedule the event. Before they begin deep cleaning, workers will first prepare your floor. This involves vacuuming carpets, cleaning debris, and, if necessary, removing baseboards in order to get to all those deep-seated filth. Because dirt and stains can be pretty tough, especially those that have been ignored for a long time, surface preparation might also require the use of powerful cleaning agents and electrical tools, such as a high-speed rotary brush. All these things will help in breaking up dirt and deposits. Attention is given to difficult-to-clean edges and corners as well.

3. Removing Loose Buildup

It is a must to remove any loose grit or debris as these could easily become trapped in edges or small cracks. You really want everything to be squeaky clean before the wood is waxed or resealed. So, machines are again used to thoroughly clean surfaces. Sometimes, professional cleaners also use water to remove dust and other particles.

4. Restoring pH

Spraying water and using chemical cleaning agents will create an imbalance in the wood’s surface pH. It is important to restore pH to its proper level prior to staining or resealing in order to discourage the growth of mold and mildew. The proper pH should be below neutral, which means that it should be slightly acidic. Once this is properly done, the surface is allowed to dry completely. Afterwards, the wooden surface will now be ready to accept any type of finish that you prefer.

Featured image:

This article was contributed by Claire Flint, a freelance writer who often blogs about home improvement issues. Many of her articles about general cleaning, DIY projects, and other related topics have been used by http://www.cleansweepbayarea.com/ and other known sites.

5 Ways To Save Money When Living In The City

By Petar Bo, Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cheerfully living on less these days is more of a necessity than the latest middle-class or educated people’s whim. Aimless spending (buying a pair of jeans when you have five new pairs at home), ever increasing consumption of unhealthy food or burning gallons of gas to work (when you can commute and share the expenses with at least fifty other people) slowly brings humans to a demise of their own making.

But if for one or another reason you have chosen the path to save money even living in the City and we all know how expensive dwelling in a big city is then you can find several noteworthy ideas to cut your expenditures. You’ll be amazed how many insignificant at first sight steps result in thousands saved for you and the family. Let’s this article be your starting point for spending smarter, consuming less and enjoying your life to the fullest. Continue reading

Use Home Staging To Sell Your Home

By Petar Bo, Thursday, July 25, 2013

When you’re selling your home today, just placing a for sale sign and hoping a swarm of would-be buyers to invade your house, probably won’t happen. In a tight property market and dried-up credit, homeowners have to go the extra mile to sell their home. If you try to make a lasting first impression and want to sell a property fast, home staging is an important first step in the process. When your staging is successful, you’ll be able to win potential buyers attention and cash. Continue reading

Exterior Decoration

By Serven, Thursday, July 11, 2013

The exterior of a house is as important as the interior. In recent times, people have neglected the importance of exterior decoration in houses but now to make their homes look even better they have started to focus on also decorating the exterior. Exterior decoration is very different from decorating inside the house and there are very less accessories that are available for exterior decoration. Hanging frames and wall canvas art is not the easy solution for outdoors. People need to be careful about what to keep outside, it shouldn’t be too expensive but at the same time it should be beautiful. Following are the things that people can keep outside the house for decoration purposes.

  • Seats and Cushions

To sit outside with friends and family, people keep chairs and tables in the lawn or they can also be kept on the roof or terrace etc.. Seats should be comfortable and must look good. Keeping cushions with colorful covers can make sitting outside comfortable and bright. Cane is a material often used which also represents nature and works great for gardens.

decorated 389x653 Exterior Decoration

  • Welcome Mat

A good and elegant door mat outside the front door makes the entrance to the house attractive and welcoming. Mat also keeps dirt from coming into the house with shoes and at the same time makes the entrance look good especially if you go for a decorative welcome mat.

  • Flower basket

Flower buckets can be bought or made in house and people can hang it outdoors nearby the entrance. People can make the entrance gorgeous by adding beautiful and colorful flowers of choice and season.

flowers decoration 389x518 Exterior Decoration

  • Lighting

At night, it’s important that lighting is perfect outside the house. If you want lighting to be as beautiful as the decor you can add patio lights near the entrance and the main gate. These comes in different shapes and designs and are available in any decoration shop. Further choices include high beam, blinkers and even colorful lights perfect for a tree you want to show off.

home lighting decoration 389x259 Exterior Decoration

  • Wind Chimes

Wind chimes can be hanged outside the front door or outside windows. These chimes have a pleasing sound and come in different shapes and with different sounds. A bunch of these grouped together always looks pleasing and attractive.

  • Ornaments

Flamingo ornaments can be kept on the lawn or the yard. Many ornament are available in the market which can be kept outside and are available in many styles and can fit anywhere outside. Mushrooms, plants and pots, ducks or statues etc, can be purchases.

A hummingbird feeder can also be placed outside house, and potted flowers of different sized pots and different colorful flowers. These things add to the beauty as well as keeping everything natural. Near the entrance people can also add a picture canvas to represent nature or a welcome message which can be hanged on the wall to make the exterior of the house attractive and beautiful.

Author bio:

Serven Wilson is a designer and writes on recommendations for people decorating exterior of the house using printing photos to canvas and wall canvas.

Top Tools for Serious DIYers

By bec, Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tools DIY 389x255 Top Tools for Serious DIYersPastimes don’t come more practical than a spot of DIY. Carrying out home improvements can be therapeutic, rewarding and beneficial to your property, but with a serious DIY attitude comes the need for seriously good DIY tools. If you’re looking to update your equipment, here are some of the most appropriate DIY investments:

Power tools

If you want to get the job done fast, yet with precision, power tools are the solution. Whether you upgrade to a power drill, electric screwdriver or jigsaw you’ll find products to suit every DIY budget. If you opt for a cheap, basic power tool product be sure to check warranty details and make a note of any extras. You’ll find the cheaper models don’t come with all the spare drills, bits and blades which more expensive brands offer as standard.

Digital angle finders

Accuracy is essential to a serious DIYer, so that’s why digital angle finders are becoming a must buy for home improvement. Whether you’re hanging a photo or building a cupboard, a digital angle finder can give you exact measurements in a clear digital format; no more squinting to guess whether that shelf is straight!

Laser distance measure

Need precise measurements across long distances? Choose a laser distance measure which will send out a laser beam across the area in question and provide a reading when it hits an obstruction. Great for quick measurements in large rooms or across the garden. A laser distance meter is far less hassle than getting out an extra-long tape measure.

Electrical test equipment

Unfortunately over 1,000 people each year are injured in electrical accidents at home and at work, some of these cases were fatal. Having safe wiring is highly important and should not be an area of DIY that you neglect. To reduce your health and safety risks make the most of electrical testing devices which can detect anything from AC current leakage to cable locations.

Light meters

Are you conducting DIY in your work place? The right lighting is vital not only to the health and safety of your workers but to the success of your business. You may need to provide more lighting in an office environment or provide shade in your outdoor spaces. Light meters are a very simple way to establish the brightness of any room.

Environment meters

If you want to create the ultimate in peaceful and relaxing environment, it takes a little in-depth research. With digital environment monitoring devices you can accurately measure sound levels, light levels, air flow, humidity and temperature and from there calculate exactly what else is needed to perfect your space – air conditioning, sound insulation, etc. If sound alone is an issue, sound level monitors are available separately as handheld devices.

Whatever you current DIY projects, investing in the right tools is the only way to ensure that you’ll get things done to a top standard. If you frequently do your own household or business fixtures, fittings and improvements, just a fraction of the money you’ll save on hiring handymen could be put to good use on new equipment.

This article is brought to you from Planttool Hirecentres, a leading supplier ofDIY hire equipment Floor sander hire machines.

Senior Homeowners – A Little Reno Can Go a Long Way

By Alexander Guest, Tuesday, May 7, 2013

cottage 389x260 Senior Homeowners   A Little Reno Can Go a Long WayIf you are currently a senior residing in your own home, or you are approaching senior status and are worried about having to leave your home-your ultimate place of comfort-your worrying can end now. If you want to age comfortably in familiar surroundings, there is absolutely no reason you why you cannot remain in your own home for a long period of time to come. Simple, minor adjustments can be made to ease access, safety, and comfort, ensuring you feel more secure and can help put an end to the worrying of caring relatives. You can manage in your house for years to come!

Make Minor Adjustments

Okay, we know you are dying to show the world that you “still got it”, but the fact of the matter is, an aging body requires more care than that of a twenty year old. People of all ages succumb to injuries, whether it be breaking a bone or pulling a muscle, so try to be extra careful when performing various maneuvers because your body is more prone to pull those muscles or break those bones than that of your youthful counterparts. I know it hurts to hear these words, but try not to be too stubborn when it comes to the physical.

Regular Up and Down

You are getting older, and things that used to seem so simple are becoming slightly more difficult. Changes can be made in your home to aid in various tasks such as using the toilet, bathtub, bed, or chairs. Rails and poles can be installed in these places or anywhere else you regularly get up or go down, making your lifestyle not only easier on you, but also safer. Rails can be installed on both sides of the staircase in the home, and it is best if the pathway is clear and well lit for maximum visibility.

Easy Access for Daily Chores

It is a great idea to reorganize and rebuild certain spaces if necessary. Perhaps you want to relocate cupboards and shelves to accommodate ease of access without having to rely on pesky stools or ladders. Other changes that can be made involve widening hallway doors or eliminating floor level transitions to decrease from the hazard of stumbling.

Not sure if you have the space? There are an abundance of resources to plan out these real life remodels. Check out the tools on Heather Mac‘s site to plan for these types of remodels before you invest your hard earned money.

How to Pay

If you have the financial means to support these changes- great, but even if you don’t, there are grants and tax incentives for seniors to aid in the finances of the renovations. Canada has the Government of Canada Healthy Homes Tax Credit for assistance, but if this is not enough financial support, most financial institutions will consider a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.

Just because you’re aging does not mean you have to give up the home you love and are comfortable in. With minor adjustments, you can grow old in your home happily and securely for years to come.

Great Ways to Organise Your Home For Spring

By Estelle Page, Saturday, May 4, 2013

Home for Spring 389x227 Great Ways to Organise Your Home For SpringSpring is coming and for many of us, our winter ‘hibernation’ period has involved us doing not much other than breaking all our New Year’s resolutions and slobbing around on the sofa.

But we pay the price for our laziness as clutter and disorder quickly starts to invade every corner of our homes, until we can’t find anything we need in all the mess. But where do we start trying to organise the entire house?

Here are some tips to help you tackle each room one at a time when spring cleaning and organising…

Hallway

The first place you enter the home is the first place that clutter will start to pile up. Combat untidiness on arrival by having a spot for keys, a rack for coats and bags and a tray for your post.

Get into the habit of hanging your coat, bag and keys up as soon as you get in the door, and resist the urge to leave shoes and post on the floor too. If extra storage is needed, a blanket box under an existing console table would come in handy.

Living Room

Keeping your living room tidy will make you more confident in inviting guests over to your home and they will feel more relaxed in your space – clutter isn’t very welcoming! Contain all your books, DVDs, photo albums and other items in their rightful storage ‘home’ and when you’re doing your weekly vacuum and dust, pick up any ‘rogue items’ and put them back.

Smaller baskets for the remote control and other frequently used items, like pens, will also help you keep track of the things that usually end up down the side of the sofa cushions.

Kitchen

Empty all the food from your pantry and sort it into keep, throw away, compost and donate piles, then give your empty cupboards a good clean. Take a cue from the way restaurant kitchens are organised and arrange your kitchen into working stations. For example, if you always chop vegetables in the same spot, have the knives stored somewhere that is just at hand.

Next, put things you rarely use, like Christmas platters, away in the attic so you can have a clearer, more organised kitchen the rest of the year.

Bedroom

Bedrooms are supposed to be relaxing places where you can escape the world and get a peaceful night’s sleep. If your room is full of clutter and things that are not conducive to sleep though, the resulting mess may start stressing you out.

Get rid of everything that isn’t bedroom stuff and find another place for it in the house. Go through your wardrobe and dressers and throw away, or give to charity, anything that you haven’t used for a whole year. Be ruthless and don’t forget to check under the bed too.

Office

With more and more of us working from home now, home offices are an area that can attract a lot of untidiness. Sort all your paperwork into piles: stuff to keep, stuff to shred and stuff to recycle. For the stuff you need to keep, like tax information, install some office shelving above your desk and organise the papers into labelled folders.

Also, set up an in-tray system with an area to put paperwork that needs to be processed. It’s important to make sure that you remember to store the item properly once it has been sorted, to avoid stuff piling up.

Get behind the desk and untangle and dust any computer cables that don’t see much of the light of day too, while you’re at it. Hate ugly cables lying around, but can’t afford wireless equipment? Turn those cables into eye-catching artworks and display them proudly!

Bathroom

Clear out the empty packets from your medicine cabinet and gather together all the half-used toiletries into a basket. Make a pact with yourself to use up all of these products before you buy new ones.

Yes that may mean using inferior moisturizer for a while, but at least once it’s gone, it won’t be cluttering up your cabinets anymore.

What other tips do you have for organisation in your home? Share in comments below.

Estelle Page is a writer and interior designer from Sussex. This expert organiser likes to share advice on keeping homes clutter-free and she writes on behalf of Rapid Racking.

Destruction at the Construction Site – How to Break Up Tiles, Tree Stumps and Walls Efficiently and Safely

By Guest Blogger, Saturday, April 6, 2013

 

If you work in manual labour on a building site then you will often say that you work in ‘construction’. While this might be a generally accepted description of what you do though, technically it really doesn’t describe every aspect of the job you will be doing on a day to day basis and it really does leave out one of the more major elements of your job – destruction (or demolition as most people prefer to call it).

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The fact of the matter is that while you’ll probably mostly be hired to build things and create annexes and home extensions, in order to do this you will normally have to start by breaking things that are already there. In order to build something new you need to move the old out of the way.

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Here we will look at how to do this on a small construction site (we’re not talking about sites that have heavy metal machines like bulldozers) and how to choose the right tools for the job, how to get it done quickly and efficiently and how to go about avoiding an injury or accident.

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Manual Tools

For smaller jobs, and for companies that can’t afford power tools or the generators to power them, using manual tools is one way to demolish existing structures and elements. For instance then, if you have to break down a small brick wall or some floor tiles then one method would be to use a sledge hammer which is a large and particularly heavy hammer that you can get a great swing on, while you might use a saw in order to cut down a tree or to break up wood to fit into a smaller container. This method has the benefit of not requiring any external power source (which costs money to transport and run) and of never failing. If it’s a small job then this is quick and easy to use but it’s paramount to take every safety precaution and not to be blasé – a sledgehammer for instance can be very dangerous if a worker hits themselves with it, or if debris is launched on impact. Look for ways to reduce stray rubble, to minimize risk and to protect the employee with the right safety gear.

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Power Tools

On the other hand it’s also possible to use power tools for much faster and more efficient demolition. This means using something like a power saw, power drill or jackhammer in order to do your work much more quickly and this also has the advantage of being much more precise meaning your less likely to cause unwanted damage to other areas of the site. The amount of time and energy saved by using power tools normally means that they pay for themselves and are a smart investment for construction companies, regardless of having to transport and run an air compressor or electric generator. For smaller jobs of course though the hassle involved in setting up may not be worth the time saved so choosing the right tool for the job is very important.

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Safety Precautions

In either case there are many potential associated risks so it’s crucial to manage these however possible. To start with then, make sure you invest in all the best safety gear and power backups, and at the same time make sure that you send your staff on training courses to make sure they are able to operate the tools safely. Finally, making sure to clean up the site as you go to reduce trip hazards and distractions can also be very helpful and help you to see what you’re doing and what remains to be done much more clearly.

How to Paint Your Dinning Set

By Estelle Page, Saturday, March 9, 2013

Paint Dining Chair 389x583 How to Paint Your Dinning SetLonging for a new dining set but your wallet isn’t quite pleased to oblige? Dining sets can be quite expensive but with a little work (and a lot of imagination) you can easily make your old dining table and chairs look brand new by simply repainting them! And, unless you’re much in favour of Mr.Bean’s redecoration methods (i.e. blowing up a pot of paint in your apartment), here’s how you do it:

Preparing the Furniture

Your big painting adventure will start from the least pleasant part – stripping off layers of old paint and varnish. Methods vary, depending on the paint and finishes previously used on the furniture. Finishes like shellac or lacquer can easily be stripped using alcohol or lacquer thinner and some rubbing, so before you turn to meaner methods (chemical compounds), simply test the furniture with denaturated alcohol and lacquer thinner.

Stripping Off Paint

To remove paint and varnish from your furniture, first get rid of all the hardware like its knobs, handles, hinges etc. You also need to remove the upholstery of your dining chairs, whether or not you intend to replace it. Richly apply your paint remover, working in small sections, and let the remover do its work for 25-30minutes, covering the area with aluminium foil. Then strip it down to bare wood.

Sanding

If you want to save your precious time (and hands) you can also use orbital or straight-line power sander for removing the paint, or sand it off manually. Even if you’re using a paint/varnish remover, it is recommended to lightly sand the piece of furniture before re-painting it. Wipe it down after sanding.

Priming

It is essential to prime your dining set before painting it as it will help the new colour to set in properly and look smooth and even all over. Brush on latex primer, following the direction of the wood grain and let it dry for about 60 minutes. You can then lightly sand it again for a smoother surface.

Painting

Painting might seem like the most longed-for part but only until you figure how many surfaces you actually need to paint. Painting the table will be the easiest job, however, painting the chairs might be more interesting. You can either do them one by one or paint them all together in sections, starting with their seats, and then moving onto legs and other parts.

Just like with priming, you’ll have to paint in the direction of wood grain. Apply as many coats as necessary (definitely more than one layer for the seats) and allow them to dry completely before applying the next layer; you can also use sandpaper at this stage to fix any painting mistakes.

For that shabby-chic, distressed look that is everywhere right now, lightly sand through the paint in areas that would normally wear (e.g. sides and corners) to expose the wood again.

Varnishing

Once the paint has completely dried, you can apply varnish.  Using a semi-gloss varnish will create a highly reflective surface while satin varnish will create a softer effect. Let the light guide you through the process as shining it on the surfaces will let you spot any parts that you may have missed. Allow the varnish to dry for at least 24 hours before attempting to touch or move the furniture piece. Now you can put all the metal hardware back in place as well as your chairs’ upholstery.

 

While refurbishing your dining set might not be exactly rocket science, it can turn into quite a time-consuming process so arm yourself with patience and think of the first meal you’re going to have in your new, refurbished dining room.

Have any more tips for re-painting wooden furniture? Tell me in the comments below!

Estelle Page is a self-employed interior designer and a blogger who believes that all the greatest works in every house start with a great idea. When she’s not found redecorating for others, she blogs about her passion for Furniture Camden. Image by Horia Varlan

How To Avoid Frauds When Hiring A Place

By Grace Bailey, Thursday, January 17, 2013

How To Avoid Frauds When Hiring A Place 389x313 How To Avoid Frauds When Hiring A Place

So you have already found the home of your dreams. What is best the price perfectly fits your budget and you are ready to go on and sign the documents to make sure no one else will take the place. It seems like the easiest thing, just sign in the documents and you are the happy tenant of your first home. But hold on a while! Especially if you are hiring a home for the first time in your life. You should be aware of the fact that there is a plenty of extra expenses that might appear after you have signed the document. Read the following article to get to know where these expenses might come from and to be ready for them so that they will not harm your budget.

1. Make sure you are well informed what the monthly hire includes. Some rentals are based on the “all inclusive” principle but still make sure you have carefully checked what is included in the “all inclusive” as sometimes it is far not “all”. The most important utilities that you should check are the phone bills, Internet connection, electricity, gas and water. Practically all household expenses.

2. Ask the landlord whether there are any expenses that depend on the season and that are not included in the rent. These expenses might include air conditioning in the summer or heating in winter. Ask the landlord how the paying for the bills for these services is arranged.

3. Before moving to the home for rent carefully consider how much space you are going to need for your belongings. Some apartments’ closets are not big enough to hold all of your items. Others have storage but you have to ask the landlord whether the storage is free to use or there is an additional monthly rental for it.

4.  Consider the costs for transportation. If you have a car check if there is a parking place for it near to the place. And is there is ask the landlord if its price is included into the monthly rent or you will have to pay an additional cost for it. And if you do not have a car, make sure to check if there is regular public transport such as subway, trains, buses. Make sure if there is a public transport spot located near the home and the prices you are going to spend on a daily basis if you move there and travel every day.

5.  Very important one – check if the place has its own laundry. What is the price for using it and if there is no laundry is there a public one nearby. Check its costs.

6.  Check where the smoke detector is situated. Ask if it is into the construction itself or you will have to take care of buying batteries to keep it working.

7.   Last but not least – check the prices of the local supermarkets and groceries. People tend to ignore this but as prices are really flexible it is a must to check them as you might be unpleasantly surprised when the time comes to shop the food for the dinner.