Category Archives: Home Improvement

5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Lunch Box Clean Throughout the Week

Did you know that your child can get food poisoning from food that has come in contact with the interior of her lunch box? To avoid food borne odors and possible food poisoning it’s important that lunch bags or boxes are routinely cleaned.

Whether you’re packing lunch for your kid or you bring your lunch to work every day, you probably aren’t washing your lunch box often enough. It’s easy to just think of it as a vessel — like a purse or backpack that you’ve probably never, ever washed. But it comes into contact with food and moisture just about every day, which means it’s teeming with bacteria.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Instead of ignoring your lunch box and letting it fester away, take these little steps to keep your lunch box clean throughout the week.

1. Start with non-leaky containers.

If you, like me, don’t like to throw things away, you probably have a few plastic containers you still use even though the lids are a little cracked or the seal’s not as tight as it used to be. Well, it’s time to let go. If juice leaks out of your leftovers and into your lunch box, it’s probably going to just sit in there until it evaporates into a little crust of grossness. Avoid that altogether and get some containers that do their job properly.

Read more: http://www.thekitchn.com/5-easy-steps-to-keep-your-lunch-box-clean-throughout-the-week-247061

 

Gutter Cleaning – It’s a Dirty Job, But Someone Has to Do It

When coming up with a home maintenance list, one should always incorporate gutter cleaning, especially the gutters that are outside the house. Dirty gutters can easily cease to be functional simply because they often get clogged with twigs and various other forms of debris. Nevertheless, many people overlook this since cleaning it out requires a great deal of time and energy. Similarly, since it is on the roof of the house the reluctance of a person to clean it out is twice as much.

If you choose to make use of a professional company to service your gutters, it is crucial to make sure you check their background, verify they carry comprehensive insurance and therefore are bonded. It’s also a good idea to question the crew which are there to see if they are knowledgeable about the maintenance they are going to perform on your residence. Nevertheless, you need to be able to spend some cash. But if you are performing it on your own, follow this advice that you could follow.

(C) Itasca Window Cleaning

(C) Itasca Window Cleaning

Should you clean your gutters yourself, then it is quite a simple job. You will need a ladder and gloves. Stand up on the ladder and scoop up the excess leaves out of the gutters. In the event you run into holes in the gutters, you may have to check with a professional. Should you not feel comfortable on a ladder then you might need to use a pressure washer. A pressure washer may be used to get the leaves out of the gutter. You may also use an old kitchen spatula to clean out the gutters. Make sure you clear out the downspouts before you rinse the leaves out. If this is not done, there may be a clog. If you get a clog, utilize a plumbing snake to remove the clog. When it’s cleared, continue to keep eliminate the debris.

After taking away the clogs and dirt, you should make sure that you did your work well by checking the gutters. Ensure that no leaf is left on the gutter system. Any remaining leaf or dirt might bring new small plant growth into life once the rain starts to pour.

New home owners might choose to jump into being a new repair person but most jobs may seem overwhelming. With regards to changing a light bulb that’s an easy task. Repaing leaking gutters is a daunting task that could send the novice running for the professionals.

Regardless of whether a home-owner decides to do repairs themselves hire a company, there’s a helpful information on the web. There is no wrong answer. It is your house and you may do whatever your finances allows. The internet has a wealth of information for anyone searching for both possibilities. There are local companies listed with customer reviews. There are many videos online which show the way to do just about any repair job out there.

 

The Benefits of Using Venetian Blinds at Home

When you decide the interior décor of your newly built home or when decorating your own house, one thing that needs to be determined is exactly what to use to cover the windows when you need privacy and need to maintain the sunlight from your own home. You have to select from curtains or new generation blinds.. When viewing long term benefits, venetian blind is among the best choice.

Venetian window blinds have been known to the mankind for centuries; the modern day Venetians have come a long way towards being a perfect window covering due to the rise of technology and various adjustments of the blinds which ultimately increased their features and value on the market.

(C) Blinds Philippines

(C) Blinds Philippines

They give you more control.

One primary reasons why venetian blinds are a common favorite is the fact that house owners find that they’ve got more control over the amount of light they wish to enter a room. With that in mind, they also have the control over the privacy they want. In order to control light, you can merely control the angle of the blind’s blades from a fully opened angle or a fully closed one. If someone wants maximum amount of light to enter the room, one has the choice to and can raise the blinds completely up so that you can let the light to fully go into the room. Privacy is uncompromised with this type of window covering.

These types of blinds are easier to install.

Besides giving another control, window blinds are user-friendly and therefore are much easier to put in. Those who have purchased a set of these blinds find that they do not have to worry about employing a professional to have them put in. These blinds can be custom made to match the type of window that house owners may have. One simply requires the handbook and a simple tools. Prior to buying a window blind, it is still important to properly measure the size of your windows. There are numerous online tools and videos which can help guide even non-professional on how to appropriately measure their window for window blinds purchases.

They are easier to clean.

Homeowners find blinds to be low maintenance and easier to clean. Unlike fabric blinds, which have to be taken to the cleaners to keep them looking their best, venetian blinds may be cleaned through a damp cloth or by means of a feather duster. It’s just that simple. A vacuum cleaner can also be used each six weeks to ensure that blinds are clean and dust free.

Apart from being elegant and trendy looking, venetian blinds can provide many first-time house owners with a lot of advantages that may brighten their home. It’s recommended to choose venetian blinds for a low maintenance upkeep of one’s residence.

 

Styling Tricks for Round Coffee Tables

Are you sick of your round coffee table in your living room? Do you want to put something different in your space? This article throws some light on using these tricks to style your ordinary coffee tables so it can add value to your aesthetic value to the interior of your home.

Recently, we shared our expert tips on how to style a coffee table. The table we used specifically, though, was rectangular, and some readers chimed in to request help with how to arrange a round coffee table. Though most of the same principles apply no matter what shape you’re working with, I’ve rounded up takeaways and inspiration for round tables.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Go for two

This tabletop shows off the power of divide and conquer (that is, dividing the table in two, and conquering each side!). In the Nashville home of Katherine Vo, the blogger and stylist went for a more relaxed (yet sneakily organized) approach to her coffee table styling. On one portion, hefty pillar candles, magazines and free-flowing eucalyptus command attention, while the other side showcases more delicate flower buds and taper candles. The rest of this 500-square-foot apartment is a must-see on The Everygirl.

Equally divided sections are your friend

If you’re styling a round coffee table and you want a simple, arranged look, try dividing your table into thirds or quadrants. Here, from Laura Trevey’s blog, homeowner and interior designer Angela Elliott opted for three sections atop her gorgeous acrylic table. A grouping of books topped with dazzling objects occupies each portion.

Read more: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ideas-for-how-to-style-a-round-coffee-table-246869

 

11 Smart Ways to Maximize Desk Space

How should my office be organized so I can be the most effective? Here are a few things to consider but first and foremost it should start on your desk.

A few years ago, I had a large office with a big desk at work and my home office was a 500 square foot unfinished basement with six tables set up to make a very large desk area. Fast forward to today, and my workspace has been reduced to a small cubicle at work and no desk space at home. Yet I am more productive than ever. How did I increase my productivity after losing almost all of my desk space?

(C) hercampus.com

(C) hercampus.com

For one thing, I wasn’t getting much value from my copious amount of desk space. I used my work surfaces mostly to store stacks of papers and research materials I was saving and various office equipment and supplies. It was sometimes handy to have most of my stuff out where I could see it, but the chaos of this arrangement outweighed any real productivity benefits. With all of the stuff piled around on my desk space, I effectively had a small desk anyway!

Having precious little desk space has forced me to stay highly organized. Instead of setting things aside to sort or file later, I take control of potential clutter before it takes control of my desk. When I am ready to work on something, I can quickly find the needed items and get only these things out to work on. It is easier to focus on the task at hand without so much unfinished business staring me in the face from all corners of my desk.

Read more: http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-maximize-desk-space

 

Top 10 Tips for Renovating for Resale

Can renovation or additions help raise the price? When it comes to renovations that add value to your home, you want to stick to the trends of the day. You will have to consider a lot of factors in renovating your home allowing you to sell it easier.

Everyone has an opinion on how to achieve the best result in terms of adding value to a home; after all, we Kiwis are fanatical renovators. Luckily we’ve got expert advice from Barfoot & Thompson on the top 10 projects to consider when you’re renovating for resale.

(C) dinggo.co

(C) dinggo.co

The main thing to remember is no matter which areas you decide to focus on, make sure your renovation budget is relative to the overall value of your house. If prices are modest in your neighbourhood, for instance, there’s no point in installing a new state-of-the-art kitchen or a fancy outdoor fireplace.

1. Consider your street appeal

‘Street appeal’ is a term much loved and there’s no doubt that the first, outside impression of a home can dramatically influence its saleability. Start by cutting back overgrown trees and replacing tired plants (including the lawn) to make the property look fresher, lighter and more spacious.

Or you could invest a little more money by resurfacing a cracked driveway, repaving and widening an old footpath, adding an off-street parking area or building a larger front porch. Does the front fence need repainting or replacing? Likewise the letterbox, front and garage doors? Even a new house number in a style that complements the architecture of the house can help revitalise the exterior of a home.

Read more: http://www.homestolove.co.nz/inside-homes/renovations/top-10-tips-renovating-resale

 

Basics of Chimney Cleaning

A chimney is a structure built mainly for venting out smoke or hot gases. Chimneys are available in residential homes, buildings, ships, and steam locomotives. In countries where there is winter weather, people make use of fireplaces and chimneys to ensure they are warm in their dwellings. Nevertheless, to make certain adequate functioning of their chimneys, it is best that they accomplish regular chimney cleaning one or more times a year.

(C) Burlington Fireplace

(C) Burlington Fireplace

It doesn’t matter whether you have the chimney cleaned by a professional sweeper or you do it yourself, you ought to have know how about the cleaning process in case you have one installed at your house. Some of the tools and stuff which will be needed in the cleaning of the chimney has gloves, a chimney brush, a ladder, dust mask, a rope, flash light and protective goggles.

‘Top-To-Bottom’ technique with flexible rod is most preferred method for professional chimney cleaning. With this method the debris, soot and creosote all are cleaned without letting them get over the floor and furniture in the home. Through the help of ladder, sweeper has to reach the top of the roof and open the chimney cap. A suitable sized chimney brush is connected to the flexible rod and placed from the top of the chimney to scrub the chimney liner from top to down and dragging the brush back to the top via flexible rod till the chimney is cleaned and verified by flashlight or mirror or both.

In case of longer chimneys (height), you may adopt the application of weights method to clean them more efficiently. Put a suitable weight on one end of your brush, take care of the weight, it shouldn’t be large because it could cause you a lot of difficulty in cleaning and could distress your hand leaving it with a lot of pain as soon as the cleaning is carried out. Then reduce your brush down into the chimney along side inner side walls.

The other method involving utilization of the rod is whereby a chimney brush attached to a rod is inserted from the bottom rather than the roof. This might however not be effective since it is difficult to seal the kitchen area. Soot will consequently spread all around the area.

The Duel line method is the another method that you will need 2 people. A rope (and pull ring for holding onto if you like) is linked to both ends of the brush. Each individual takes turns pulling the rope, in order to work the brush down and up to completely clean the walls of the chimney.

One reliable way in which does not need such cleaning material is using cleaning logs. These logs emit some chemical compounds which dissolve and loosen creosote so that it will not stick to the chimney walls. Instead, the soot drops to the base in which it’s effortlessly collected.

Preventative maintenance has always been the best way. It will save you from the expensive price of making maintenance when damage has been done. In addition that, regular chimney cleaning cannot only save money but it could also guard your investment and the lives of the people residing in your residence.

 

New Options in Home Safety

When it comes to your residence, you wish it to be your sanctuary, a safe place where you and your family can be cozy. Thanks to today’s technological advances, now there are many innovative accessories and tools accessible to make your home as safe as possible. Here are a few of the remarkable items you could add to your house.

Fire Monitoring

These fire monitoring and prevention systems are believed to be crucial for houses and market sectors. Equipment just like extinguishers, fire hydrants, sprinkler systems and emergency call boxes are simply a couple of first firefighting equipment that you can possess in the home. Additionally, technology has developed that equipment can easily detect fire such as smoke and fire safety alarms which alerts the residents, alerts people in the surrounding area and summons the fire service.

(C) Digital Trends

(C) Digital Trends

The Smart Home

Technology for home security systems is constantly progressing. While you can still find the conventional home security system, these day there are so many choices for everybody in the market. The new technologies are fascinating while giving homeowners better peace of mind. These home security systems developments consist of fingerprint door locks, surveillance camera, electronic pet doors and personal emergency response. Fingerprint door locks operates to allow someone get into a property using his fingerprint or a code. For surveillance cameras, this cannot be monitored at home alone but you will find today a system that you could keep track of your home thru mobile. While personal emergency response, this is a technology in which somebody ill or met an accident can call for help when nobody else is at home.

Seniors

Innovative gadgets and today’s technology are helping people to cope with daily life particularly older people. You’ll find devices that keep track of heart-rate and body-temperature changes with all the details being sent real time to medical centers or to family. Also, we can see wearable gadgets just like necklaces and bracelets which could automatically detect falls and send alerts to family members over the internet specifically for emergency condition. These devices may also be used by any family member to ask for assistance in serious conditions.

Lighting

Home LED lighting is certainly a cut above the rest when it comes to energy-efficiency. It really is the most effective lighting technology development that benefits not only the people but the environment as well. As compared to incandescent lighting, LEDs wins every time where energy utilization is involved. Its a powerful light output also causes it to be ideal for outdoor floodlighting and path illumination, thus protecting against intruders and burglars from targeting your home.

 

4 Tips to Determine If You Need a New Roof

Walking on your roof could cause damage, it’s especially harmful in the event the roof is at extreme temperatures. This really is one of many hardest parts for many property owners, how will you truly evaluate your roof? Most house owners don’t even own ladders reaching the top of their roofs and some wouldn’t climb up there when they did

Many roofs have a life expectancy of 20 years. Only when it’s time to get a new roof, you will see signs. These do not include leaking simply because whenever you notice leaking, it implies that the issue might need a lot more extensive fixes since now the home structure may be compromised. You don’t want to wait until you have to use your unused pots to collect rain water in your home. As you can always fix a small problem every now and then, a replacement may be needed before you know it. Here are the to signs which will let you know if you need new roofing for your residence.

Step 1

(C) the journal record

(C) the journal record

Many indications of damage are visible from the interior of a residence. A damaged roof lets extra moisture in to a home, which can further damage the framework of the house. You might have a problem if you see water spots or obvious leaks in the ceiling. Other things to watch out for include cracked walls and paint, peeling wallpaper, mold, discolored plasterboard, or obvious signs and symptoms of moisture in an attic.

Step 2

Is there a light shining through your ceiling? Chances are your homes roof has missing shingles. This usually takes place when the pieces aren’t fastened securely or when strong gusts of wind blow them away.

Step 3: Metal panels buckle as a result of weather exposure and wrong installation. In the first case, many years of exposure to fluctuating temperatures may warp panels, or the widening of the screw holes and the deterioration of joints may allow wind to raise the panels up. It doesn’t matter what causes the panels to buckle, they pose two problems: they cause leaks, and they could blow away during a storm.

Step 4

With respect to the specific materials utilized, the average life span of a structure is about 20 to 25 years. For those living in a place with heavy snowfall or high humidity, this life expectancy may be relatively shorter. The best way to identify the integrity of your roofing structure is to hire a contractor who can carry out a thorough inspection.

If you wish to confirm if you need to obtain brand new roofing, contractors are the go-to-persons. Ask what plan of action they advise and get an estimate of the costs it’ll incur. Bear in mind removing and replacing your old roof isn’t a DIY-type of project. You will need the assistance of roofing contractors to make sure you are starting over on the right track.

 

How to Maintain Home Appliances

We all adore to embellish and organize our things in the home. We tend to obtain different decorations to make our home more lovely and desirable for the guests. Not only that, we even purchase several home appliances that we require and those which we simply love to display. But then, there are occasions that we feel idle to clean up the appliances we’ve got and we barely had the capacity to maintain some of our appliances for the home. This may not be good since our appliance can possibly be ruined, appear old or may even contribute to accident if not appropriately maintained. Looking after your home appliances is simple when you know the basic tips that ought to be carried out to make sure that your home appliances are in great working condition and will work for a long time.

Not all the appliances we’ve got, demands the same maintenance. The appliances we’ve got such as kitchen range, oven, refrigerators, washing machine, dishwasher and more at home will need different cleaning techniques so you should be extra careful in doing so. There are those who are just easy to clean but there are also those that are intricate.

(C) JX Baby Home

(C) JX Baby Home

Freezer. The very first thing you have to bear in mind is to clean the interior and exterior of the fridge weekly. Wipe the spills and stains and remove the old food. The next phase is to clean up the drip pan and drain hole. The drip pan ought to be removed, extensively scrubbed and cleaned, then place back in position. Should your refrigerator includes a built in water or ice dispenser, then you’ll definitely need to clean that as well.

Washing Machine/Dryer. Clean the washer by putting lemon juice or two cup vinegar along with hot water. Then, put in a hot water and run the washer. While the washing machine is working, check all the hoses for leaks because this can lead to leaks and bursts.

Microwave. In a small microwave safe container and put 1 cup of warm water and a number of drops of dish soap plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Mix the mixture and cook on high for 3-4 minutes. As soon as the time is up, leave the door firmly shut for a additional 15 minutes before opening..

Dishwasher. Be sure to clean the dishwasher at least once a month to make sure that your dishes are being released clean. Clean the spinning arms with cloth and ensure that the holes on it do not have debris inside. Then you’ll need to clean the doors and the bottom of the dishwasher and wipe away any debris with a wet cloth or sponge.

TV/ Computer. Make certain you only use damp cloth or paper towel in cleaning its surface as you do not want it to result in scrapes of marks.

Kitchen Range. Baking soda is ideal for stuck on food particles in your kitchen range. It is important to wipe the mixture gently with soft cloth.

In general, appliances must be cleaned at least once per week to ensure that they will work well. It’s also advisable to check their plugs and if the appliance should be repaired, call a skilled repairman or electrician. Do not attempt to fix it yourself for it could cause more harm to the appliance. Allocate time to clean your home appliances so that they’ll last long and you won’t have to frequently buy new appliances.