Kitchen Remodeling Ups And Downs

How often should you upgrade your kitchen?

How often should you update your kitchen? If you’re jonesing for a new kitchen, that’s the question on your mind. In most homes, the kitchen tends to be one of the rooms which is used the most. Giving you a place to cook, eat, and socialize, this space has long been a crucial element in a home, and it would be very hard to live without it.

With all of this use, though, rooms like these don’t tend to last quite as long as the others in your home. To help you to get an idea of how long most kitchens will last, this post will be exploring some of the key elements which make them age, giving you an idea of when your kitchen might be done for.

Update Your Kitchen According to Time & Trends

Kitchen decor is a surprisingly large area in the field of design, and there are loads of trends that are always on the move. This means that most kitchens will start to look a little bit dated as time goes on. Keeping a room like this in fashion will be essential if you want to host, while also making you feel better about the room as you use it on a day to day basis. Of course, though, there’s no need to move from a style if you still really like it.

Use & Abuse

Most people will use their kitchen least once a day. Here, they’ll enjoy cooking, with people passing through and using other parts of the space throughout the day. While they are designed to be hardy, this can make the room deteriorate very quickly. After a handful of years, it will be easy to tell that you have used your kitchen so much. And, the chances are likely you’ll become dissatisfied with its condition happy once it becomes very obvious. Cleaning can help with this, but nothing will beat a renovation.

The Environment

The high standards of energy efficiency being achieved today far surpass the standards of your old kitchen appliances. This means that owning washing machines, cookers, and other machines which are getting old can be very bad for the environment, especially when you use them each day. In most cases, enough improvement has been made in this area each decade or so to make it worth upgrading.TechnologyEnvironmental technology isn’t the only advancement being seen in kitchens, though, with loads of other techy gizmos and cooking gadgets which are designed to make life easier hitting the market. Of course, in this sort of field, staying ahead of the kitchen remodeling game can often be expensive. This will be worth it, though, especially when you are able to use your kitchen for jobs which you never thought would have been possible at home.

When Should You Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets?

When Should You Replace Your Kitchen Cabinets?Have you ever had an old car that required constant repairs? Eventually it gets down to the question: does it make more economic sense to get a new car, or continue making repairs? This same conundrum can occur with your kitchen cabinets as they begin to show signs of ageing.

It’s not uncommon for people to start resurfacing their cabinets only to realize it costs a lot more than they were expecting to make their old cabinets look new. Many homeowners begin restoring original cabinets, and get 70% through the project before wishing they had just replaced the cabinets. That doesn’t mean it’s always a bad idea to repair over replace, in fact sometimes it’s smarter to resurface cabinets than to buy completely new ones. Here we explain the difference between cabinets you should replace vs. cabinets you should restore.

Signs to Tell if your Kitchen needs Renovation

To fully determine if your kitchen needs even a FAST KITCHEN REMODELING, you must evaluate its structure and appliances objectively. Cracked tiles, water damage in the sink, filthy and uncleansed cabinets and drawers, and old appliances are signs that your kitchen needs a make-over. There are no general rules in kitchen remodeling, yet it is essential to check these things in your kitchen to confirm if you need to update your place.

These are some of the factors to check to help you fully decide if your kitchen needs a massive change this year.

Your kitchen is outdated

This issue is one of the usual reasons most homeowners decide to remodel their kitchens. If you sense that there are many ways to modernize your kitchen, then this is a good sign your kitchen has to undergo renovation. Updating an already outdated kitchen provides you with modern amenities and some items that are present in contemporary kitchens like a designated coffee area and a more and better storage capacity. Moreover, modernized kitchen means lesser clutter, cleaner lines and details, and neutral color combination. If you see updated kitchen trends that you want or can integrate into your area, all of these will be possible by a kitchen remodel.

You can afford a kitchen renovation project

Everybody wants to have a more appealing or modernized kitchen. Unfortunately, this desire for a newly-furnished kitchen challenges our time, but most of all, our pockets. Kitchen renovation projects are not cheap-it may even require you to spend some of your hard-earned savings to accomplish it.

For those who are not sure if they can afford it for now, why don’t you check your existing equity and determine how much it will you cost to renovate your kitchen first? But if you can spend some amounts of money to furnish your kitchen, feel free to make the most of it!

Your existing kitchen space isn’t functional anymore

They say that change is the only permanent thing in the world, and that goes with your kitchen. Maybe a few years ago, your kitchen fit just for you and your spouse. But as time went by, a new life with either a new career or the children makes your kitchen not working for you anymore. Maybe you will need additional space where anyone can do their stuff like doing homework or socialization. Regardless, whatever you need to make your kitchen more functional can be resolved by a kitchen renovation.

When Do You Need a New Dishwasher?

For many households, dishwashers are indispensable, providing a valuable way to reduce post-meal tasks and improve overall cleanliness. However, dishwashers get old, break, and need replacements during kitchen updates, just like any other appliance.

Modern dishwashers are designed to last around 10 years, but if you start seeing these signs of wear and tear issues before that point, it may be time to invest in a repairman or a new dishwasher:

  • Rust on the exterior that can indicate a water leak that isn’t necessarily visible
  • Standing water in your dishwasher, indicating a serious clog
  • A door that doesn’t properly latch or lock
  • Cold dishes following a cycle
  • Cracks or damage to the door or frame
  • Leaking water on the floor under the unit
  • Dishes that are spotty or dirty after a wash cycle

In some cases, a repair or parts replacement can fix these issues, but most of the time, a full replacement is the best option. Replacing a dishwasher will increase energy efficiency and improve the quality of your kitchen cleaning endeavors.

Top Signs Your Cabinets Need To Be Replace

Kitchen cabinets are exposed to more water, steam, and other damaging elements than cabinets in most other parts of your home. Because of all kitchen cabinets must endure, they often need to be replaced before other cabinets in your home installed at the same time. Here are 5 signs you should consider replacing over refacing your cabinets.

Water Damage

Are your cabinets swollen, not properly closing, or showing dark color spots? If yes, your problem might be water damage. Since most kitchen cabinets are crafted from wood, water damage is a likely occurrence. Wood can easily be damaged by water, and in your kitchen there is always a lot of water, especially if you have a leak somewhere.

In some minor instances, water damaged cabinets can be fixed. Here are signs of more serious water damage if the:

  • Wood has started to warp.
  • Cabinets are bubbling up on the inside or outside.
  • Outsides are de-laminating.
  • Wood has started to blacken, or otherwise change colors.
  • Cabinets show signs of mold.
  • Cabinets do not open or close properly.

The first step is always to find and then stop the source of the water from getting into the wood. Next, you want to sufficiently dry out the cabinet. Once dry, the appropriate repairs can be made, if possible. This will include replacing certain parts and bleaching out stains, a process that can take some time and money. You want to be sure that it is possible to repair your cabinets before embarking on the task.

Overall Function Is Frustrating

If the overall function of your cabinets does not work for you, this is another sign that you may want to replace instead of repair. No matter how aesthetically pleasing you refinish your cabinets to look if they do not efficiently function you will still be craving a remodel.

Signs the design of your cabinets could benefit from replacement:

  • If your cabinets are hard to access and require removing items in order to reach other items tucked in the back.
  • If the cabinets open up all wrong. For instance, if you open 2 cabinet doors at once and they slam into one another.
  • The drawers do not open without getting stuck, making an odd sound, or causing some sort of issue. This is a sign of further damage beneath the surface. Simply removing the drawers and refacing them will not fix the problem.

“Soft” Cabinets

Have your cabinets gone soft? Push on the sides of your cabinet walls, do they feel soft at all? If so, this is a sign that your cabinets are badly damaged will soon fall apart completely. The sides of your cabinets are SO important, if they are not in good condition there is no point to waste money making aesthetic changes.

Moldy Cabinets

Mold can grow from so many different surfaces, including your kitchen cabinets. When mold is caught early on it can be cleaned up and stopped, but when mold is left unidentified it will continue to grow and worsen. Not only can mold compromise the general integrity of your cabinets, but also large quantities of mold can hamper you and your family’s health. Mold is usually caused by a water leak somewhere, so at the first sign of mold you should identify the source of water so that the problem does not continue to occur.

How To Do Drywall Repairs In Your Home

How to Repair Mold-Damaged Drywall

Mold damage to drywall can occur due to different reasons. For instance, if there’s a roof leak or the vapor barrier wasn’t properly installed, the mold may begin to form on the walls. Whenever there’s constant moisture exposure, mold happens. The mold attaches to the paper facing of the drywall and causes extensive damage. Prolonged exposure to mold can contribute to serious health concerns. You should consider hiring a mold removal expert to get rid of the issue and also identify the main cause of the mold in your property.

Can you remove mold from drywall?

Very often people are wondering if moldy drywall can be cleaned. No, mold cannot be completely removed from drywall, drywall surface must be removed and replaced. If you discover mold on your drywall, it’s important to take the necessary steps in order to prevent further damage. If you consider yourself a handy person, get the necessary drywall supplies and replace the mold damaged panels. You don’t really have to replace the entire drywall. There are ways to remove the affected areas.

Why Can’t Moldy Drywall Be Cleaned?

It is very difficult, usually impossible, to adequately remove mold from porous materials, and that includes drywall. Why? Well, porous materials aren’t entirely solid, even if they appear solid to the naked eye. Materials like drywall have very tiny holes, or pores, in them, much like the pores in your skin. Microscopic mold spores can remain unseen in the pores of the drywall, even when the drywall appears free of mold. It’s similar to the way dirt or oil can be trapped in the pores of your skin, even if you don’t see it.

Much like how dirt or oil trapped unseen in the pores of your skin can lead to acne or other skin problems, unseen mold trapped in the pores of drywall can grow and spread and can also cause health problems. Since there is no effective way to remove mold from the pores of the drywall, the affected drywall must be removed and replaced.

Remove Mold-Damaged Drywall

  • Mark the damaged drywall with a pencil after you determine the area of drywall you want to remove. Use a straightedge to mark lines vertically and horizontally on the face of the drywall. Whenever possible, have the lines fall over the centers of the framing members behind the drywall; this will provide backing and a fastening surface for the drywall patch.
  • Confirm that there are no electrical or plumbing runs in the wall behind the marked cutout, then cut out the damaged drywall section with a keyhole saw. Wherever a cutting line intersects with a stud or a joist behind the damaged drywall, saw through the drywall at a shallower angle cutting the drywall until you reach the surface of the wood.
  • Cut into the vertex of corners with a razor knife. Make corner cuts wherever the section of drywall you are removing is attached to an inside corner. Cutting the corners reduces damage to adjacent walls or ceilings as you remove the damaged drywall.
  • Make a hole in the damaged drywall with a hammer. Grasp the drywall with your gloved fingers inside the hole, and pull the damaged drywall away from the wall. Remove the entire area of damaged drywall one piece at a time. Take your time and minimize any damage to the drywall adjacent to the section you are removing.
  • Remove all of the drywall from the wall if the wrong type of drywall was initially installed. On rare occasions, mold damage results from using the wrong type of drywall for a particular application. The two most common causes of mold damage, not created by water leaks, are drywall installed behind tile, or regular drywall installed in a bathroom instead of mold resistant drywall.
  • Remove any drywall nails or screws from the facing of the studs or framing. Often the fasteners will remain in the wood after you remove damaged drywall.

Select a mold killing cleaning agent

Ranging from mild to potent, the options are available in both chemical and natural alternatives. Depending on the severity of black mold problems, you may go for a stronger chemical if needed. The main options are:

  • Baking Soda: Create a cleaning solution with one part of baking soda added to five parts of water. It will be the mildest yet safest cleanser to use.
  • Vinegar: Mixing vinegar with equal parts of water can be a slightly stronger cleaning solution. It is completely natural and safe when you have pets or children around.
  • Detergents: Use detergents as per the directions on the bottle. These are completely safe to use with children or pets around.
  • Bleach: Not everyone recommends using bleach as its fumes can be harmful to breathe in. However, it can be a strong effective cleaner that is safe for removing mold on drywall. Mixing one part of bleach with three parts of water can offer you a strong solution.

Using A Mold Fogger

There are some occasions when there is just too much mold to remove by hand. When this happens you can either rip all the drywall out and start again or you can try using a mold fogger. Foggers produce a fine mist of Concrobium mold control that evenly covers all surfaces in the room. It not only kills mold, but also creates a protective barrier to prevent mold from re-growing.

How to Become A Transmission Repair Technician

Is a technician the same as a mechanic?

Remember when ‘mechanic’ was a dirty word? A mechanic would typically be portrayed with grease down their overalls, they used to fix cars with little or no explanation about the work they were carrying out and drank more cups of tea than they actually serviced vehicles. We’re changing that. In fact, times have moved on so much since the days of the ‘greasy mechanic’ that we don’t even call them mechanics anymore – they are technicians. Why? Because ‘mechanic’ just doesn’t do them justice any more. Vehicles have moved on at lightening pace over the last few years. Electrics have become more complicated, engines are more sophisticated and often, a simple toolkit just doesn’t suffice. Today, garages need diagnostic equipment and access to the latest technical training courses.

Just to put into perspective the way that we have moved the motor industry forward in recent years, below are five typical connotations of a mechanic and five genuine traits of technicians. Which one would you want looking after your vehicle?

Typically, a mechanic would:

  • Throw multiple spare parts at a problem until they came up with a quick and easy fix – usually cheap “pattern” parts of dubious quality but high profit margin
  • Have the opening line ‘I can fix it, but it’s going to cost you’, no matter what the problem was – usually accompanied by a sharp intake of breath!
  • Have a shaved head, but don’t be fooled; this isn’t to keep up with the latest catwalk trend, but it’s quicker to wash the grease out like that
  • Not have “nice” clothes, as everything on a mechanic is stained heavily with oil- much to the dismay of their washing machine and the customer’s car
  • Measure time in cups of tea, and a mechanic can’t possibly start until the first cup has been drunk

An Automotive Technician….

  • Has clean clothes all the time because they protect themselves and your car with  clean overalls, wing covers and seat covers – treating you and your car with respect
  • Views “can you fix this?” as a fresh new challenge, rather than a question
  • Identifies faults by using a logical process and sophisticated equipment supported by a significant investment in technical training and personal development – and explains in detail to you what the problems with your vehicle are before carrying out any work
  • Is completely transparent about pricing and quotes for any work before they undertake it. Will always offer you a choice of genuine manufacturer parts or “matching quality” parts from a reputable supplier
  • Can be trusted to provide you with an honest and professional service, every time you visit them

Auto mechanic role

One glimpse at the word auto mechanic reveals the nature of the job as it involves the mechanical aspects that come with repairing vehicles. Historically, that involved the basics of auto repair and developed the stereotypical image of a mechanic working in a garage while being stained with grease. However, that is not the case in the present day.

Vehicles have been advancing at an extremely rapid pace. It no longer takes a wrench and socket set to fix engine problems. Computerized systems have become so integrated with engine systems that there is a higher level of sophistication in the way vehicles function. All repair shops must now be equipped with diagnostic tools that are specific to auto repair. That means anyone working on a vehicle will need to know how to use these advanced tools, thus diminishing the old image of a traditional mechanic.

Auto technician role

The mere title of auto technician implies that the job is comprised of technical components. There is no denying that there are a lot of diagnostics involved with repairing newer vehicles, which makes it essential to understand how all of those parts work cohesively. Auto technicians are skilled in diagnosing engine problems and also use the latest diagnostic tools in the process. However, their work does not end there.

Repair shops are not going to hire an automotive technician to simply diagnose problems and then hand off the second part of the job to someone who is labeled as an auto mechanic. Auto technicians typically take care of the diagnosis and repair. Otherwise, it would cost a repair shop much more in terms of paying its employees.

The term technician seems to carry more respectability, although it may be a case of mere semantics. In many repair shops, auto technicians perform the same duties as auto mechanics. In some instances, auto technicians have a bit more experience. Entry-level mechanics may attend to simpler tasks, such as oil changes and tire rotations. However, auto technicians may be more suited to provide more in-depth diagnosis and repair. A lot still depends on the level of certification as that is a telling sign of how skilled an auto technician may be.

What Is the Difference Between a Maintenance Mechanic and a Maintenance Technician?

While maintenance mechanics and maintenance technicians are very similar roles with similar responsibilities, there are some subtle differences. Both positions include repairing and maintaining various types of machinery. However, a technician is more likely able to tell you exactly why a certain part of that piece of equipment broke or required fixing, whereas the mechanic may not be able to explain it. The technician may possess more knowledge in the problem diagnosing department. For example, an auto technician is trained to use the vehicle’s computer system to fully understand and identify the issues, whereas a mechanic may just be trained to fix the problem.

What Do Maintenance Mechanics Do?

Maintenance mechanics can do a wide variety of tasks depending on their chosen niche. If you work in construction, you should know how to maintain and repair a variety of structures from roofing, concrete work, framing, cabinets, windows, and doors, to general construction practices, carpentry, and more. Duties may require plumbing knowledge, so you should have an understanding of pipework, quality standards, design, and how to read blueprints and technical plans. Qualifications for this career can include experience with many kinds of equipment and power tools. Strong mechanical aptitude and an understanding of different motor types, HVAC systems, and utility or industrial equipment are also crucial for this job.

Why You Should Hire An Immigration Lawyer For Your Green Card

How do I become a U.S. citizen?

To “naturalize” means to become a citizen.

Lawful Permanent Residents in the U.S. may apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens by filing Form N-400 and supporting documents once they meet certain requirements. When the N-400 is approved, applicants are able to live, travel, vote, and run for office in the U.S. like  natural-born U.S. citizens. In most cases, applicants are able to retain citizenship in their home country and become a dual citizen of both countries.

Who is eligible to naturalize?        Collapse

The primary requirement that must be met is the amount of time spent as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). In general, individuals become eligible to apply for citizenship once they’ve had a green card for 5 years. If an LPR has been married to a US citizen continuously, they may apply for citizenship after 3 years instead of 5. In this case, eligibility for naturalization depends on the genuine, bona fide marriage. Eligibility is also dependent on continuous residence and physical presence in the US and ability to show “good moral character” (more on this later).

General eligibility requirements

At least 18 years old

Permanent resident for 4 years and 9 months or longer

Have not been out of the country for 30 months or longer since becoming a permanent resident

Have not taken a trip outside of the US that lasted longer than 1 year

Have resided in current state of residence for at least 3 months at time of application

Can read, write, and speak basic English

Eligibility requirements if applying based on marriage to a US citizen

At least 18 years old

Permanent resident for 2 years and 9 months or longer

Married to a US citizen for 3 years or longer

Have not been out of the country for 18 months or longer since becoming a permanent resident

Have not taken a trip outside of the US that lasted longer than 1 year

Have resided in current state of residence for at least 3 months at time of application

Can read, write, and speak basic English

What’s the difference between 3 and 5 year eligibility?      Collapse

In order to become naturalized US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) must meet specific residency and physical presence requirements. For most applicants, this means being an LPR for five years, and being physically present in the US for more than half of that time.

Immigration Lawyer

an incredible city to live and work in. It has something for everyone. Whether you are passionate about history, love sports, or want to experience an incredible culture

However, as a foreigner, making the move to this great city can be a little complicated. The biggest hurdle you will have to deal with is getting your visa. An immigration lawyer can make things a lot easier for you.

Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as housing. can be quite expensive, but there’s also a lot of competition for rental properties. It can sometimes be difficult to secure a home.

However, with the help of a company like Blueground, your move will be much simpler. They offer great apartments in some of the best neighborhoods. All the properties are smartly decorated, completely furnished, and fully equipped. They’re even serviced, which will make your life much easier while you adjust to your new home.

Do you really need an immigration lawyer?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services say you can represent yourself and a lawyer is not necessary. However, once you start getting into the details, you’ll discover that a good attorney can be worth their weight in gold.

Finding the Right Immigration Lawyer: Useful Tips

When it comes to immigration and having a visa granted, there are a number of government sanctioned terms and conditions that you might need to fulfil. One way to do this would be to see it through on your own. Of course complying with such stringent terms can be a hassle, especially if you are a working professional or family person with other obligations on your plate.

Useful Tips when Hiring a Immigration Lawyer

A immigration lawyer will ensure that all your paperwork is in order and in accordance with the recommended requirement. Being well versed in current immigration laws and any associated loopholes, a good immigration lawyer makes the entire process a lot simpler and raises your chances of having the visa you want granted.

Background Work

Don’t just jump into the process in a rushed or careless manner. Though immigration is an exciting process, make sure you do your due diligence every step of the way! When it comes to hiring an immigration lawyer, don’t just go for the first charming option.

References and Documentation

Another thing you will need to pay attention to is references and documentation. If you feel the lawyer or firm you have chosen seems okay but want to really be sure, ask for references. See if you can connect with previous clients and ask how their experience was.


As with any service offered, prices may vary. Where some firms and lawyers may be very affordable, others might cost you a bomb. Don’t worry! Just make sure you have the funds to pay for the services of the professional or firm you have chosen.

Get the Best Immigration Lawyer

The process of becoming a naturalized US citizen starts with an N-400 application being filed. You are expected to submit the relevant documents along with the N-400 form, which may vary depending on the individual circumstances. Upon submitting all the paperwork, USCIS will send you a letter of appointment to have your biometrics taken.

USCIS will arrange an interview after the biometrics appointment where you will need to answer questions about your application and history, as well as take the English and Civics exam. By law, you are allowed to have an attorney present during your interview.

If you are an immigrant ready to invest in your future, it is important to find an immigration lawyer who has both skill in immigration law and a genuine caring for their clients

The initial prerequisite for all applicants to naturalize as a citizen of the United States is to be a Permanent Resident (i.e. have a Green Card). You’ll need to have been a permanent resident for at least three to five years prior to applying for citizenship, depending on your case.

Additionally, when you file your naturalization application you must be at least 18 years old; be able to speak , read and write basic English; and be a person of good moral character. Many exceptions exist to many of the criteria and it’s important to check with an attorney to see whether you qualify for exemptions from criteria.


attracts a great number of foreigners on a yearly basis. The good economic and labor conditions the country offers, together with the legislation which encourages foreign investments to attract many overseas individuals who relocate to for work or business reasons. is also part of the European Union which facilitates the transition to other member states.

With the help of our immigration lawyers, foreigners can benefit from complete services related to moving to this country. With a vast experience in immigration matters

Who is required to apply for a visa?

is an EU member state which means that citizens from EU countries need not obtain residence permits when relocating here. However, they do need to register with the local police station in the city they live within 8 days from their arrival in the country.

For citizens of non-EU countries, the requirements are more stringent, meaning that these persons need to apply for one of the available types of visas prior to entering the country. Luckily, is one of the most open European countries when it comes to immigration. The government provides for various types of visas that can be obtained by citizens of non-EU countries.

Foreign citizens can rely on the following services if they want to immigrate:

 assistance in obtaining various types of visas for immigrating;

assistance in obtaining citizenship under the local legislation;

assistance in applying for residence permits with the authorities;

assistance in applying for appeals related to immigration;

assistance in applying for work-related permits;

guidance in corporate and business immigration – obtaining golden visa.

Posted inLegal

Help With Your Next Home Renovation Project Around The Home


It was purchased knowing we’d have many years of home renovations on our hands but the lot and location sold us, along with the dream of making it our own. We were a newly married couple who fancied themselves as quite handy but we were a bit naive and didn’t forecast the hurdles we would face.

plan for the first year was to remove the dusty rose carpeting, pull down walls on the main floor to make it open-concept, and do windows. We felt prepared and aware when we moved into this 1970’s raised bungalow but within a month of the first winter it became clear that the state of the windows and roof was word than our inspector had thought as the melting snow began to pour into the house. Our plans of beautifying the home were put on hold as we redirected the monies into the roof, insulation, front door and windows.

One of our larger projects (excluding the foundation repairs, furnace replacement and other BORING things) was putting in an in ground pool. This was done in 2008 when we still had many interior upgrades to make but we decided that we needed the outdoor space for the kids in the summer. It was a HUGE undertaking which I wrote about more with my post Thinking of a Home Renovation? Installing the inground pool hasbeen one of the BEST investments we’ve ever made! The kids are super active in the summer because of it and with me working from home now, my summer office is quite lovely.

Right now we are under renovation again and this time it’s one that may challenge my sanity. Our home is a 1300 square foot bungalow with a basement we use. The current basement is brought to us straight from the 1970’s complete with the wood panelling and freezing cold floors.

Prepare a Budget. I can dream of having 10 foot ceilings in my basement but if I don’t have the budget to dig into the foundation, well that’s not happening. By compiling a realistic budget and factoring in our wish list I’ve been able to cross things off and add here and there by researching the actual costs involved. Know your budget in depth and plan

Know your why. What problems are you trying to solve? Most renovations begin with practical issues such as your bathroom may be cramped, you need more storage space in the kitchen etc. Keep this in mind as you plan and don’t get swayed.

Evaluate the structure, systems and general condition of your house. The best start to any renovation is to assess the current state of the bones of your home. List any repairs and replacements which are required over the next 5 years before you spend your money elsewhere.

Don’t cut corners to save a few dollars! Stretching a budget is a good thing but if you’re compromising quality you will be sorry. There may be ways to stretch a limited budget or you could do it in phases over time. But don’t compromise on quality-instead focus on quality work and do it over time if you have to.

Check the local bylaws. We had grand ideas of building an addition but after checking with our local bylaw office we realized it would be much more cost effective to build our living space in the existing basement rather than facing the permit fees involved in a new build.

Look at your neighbourhood. Each home and neighbourhood had an intrinsic value, be certain that the renovation you’re planning won’t exceed the future selling value of your home or neighbourhood.

Don’t focus on trends. Home design trends come and go and much like having the staple items in your closet, plan your renovation to stand the test of time. Use your “WHY” to help you plan out the space and then decorate with the trends other wise you could find that you’ll be regretting it like I regret the wood panelling in my basement.

Keep it simple. Construction and design isn’t cheap! I may want rounded walls all around my home but the cost of that isn’t worth it to me. The more complex the design the higher the budget, keep it simple in order to reduct costs and achieve the same goals in your WHY.

Renovations are uncomfortable. If you’re living in the home you’re renovating be realistic about how uncomfortable. There will be the sounds, smells and DUST of renovations as you live there. We will have no laundry and because the contents are being moved upstairs, we know it will be crowded. Look at your project and be realistic about what your life will be like during renos, if it’s too much consider moving out for the duration.


Choosing to do a whole home renovation is a significant undertaking that is bound to be filled with unrealized expectations, numerous planning changes, and unforeseen surprises that hit your budget. It will be a daunting experience, however, the renovation will be extremely rewarding once all is said and done. In order to get the end result that you want, there are a few things that you should know about before beginning this complex process

Check Your Home for Asbestos & Lead. It is important to know that you should ALWAYS get a home inspection done before ripping out any walls, flooring, or roofing. This is because older homes may have asbestos and lead in them, which requires specialized handling and certifications. Preventing the exposure to lead and asbestos is key to doing proper renovation and that is why you should always get the areas you are renovating tested. With this said, if you go ahead without checking for these items, it’s going to cost you tons of extra money that your budget may not be able to handle. It is important to recognize the laws set in place to protect your health and well being put in place by Cal OSHA. Knowing what you are dealing with beforehand is imperative to making sure that the project goes smoothly and is executed correctly.

Have Your Furniture Taken Care of By a Third-Party?  Do not leave your furniture in your home during a whole home renovation. Ensuring that your furniture is in the condition you left it should be carried out by having a contents specialist to assist you in relocating your furniture and belongings in a facility where it will stored away until your renovation is complete. It is bound to get in the way and can potentially be damaged by those who are working around it. It will most definitely save you the stress of having to always keep an eye on your furniture while work takes place in your home.  

Find Another Place to Live During the Remodeling Process.  Running your daily life during a home renovation is going to be near impossible. You will not have access to the majority of your home’s rooms and the noise is going to make it unbearable to stay in during the day. It’s easier to find another place to live during the process. This will ensure that you go about your daily routine and get through your days while the magic happens in your home, creating a efficient environment for all that are participating.

Decide on Scope of Work & Lock in Timelines.  Before you can get to deciding the scope of the work, you need to have a solid budget in place that helps keep the costs in check. It can be very difficult to balance between the dream designs you want and the amount you are financially capable of funding. It is critical that you get a true understanding of the price of both materials, labor, and design so that you can gauge your expectations going in. Once this is done and you have a realistic budget in place, you can clarify exactly what work needs to happen and when it needs to happen during the project timeline.  By locking in your timeline, you can most definitely  lay out ground rules, determine scheduling, and understand how the project will come together.

Make a List of Questions to Ask the Contractor.  Always come up with a set of questions to ask your contractor beforehand. It is always important to address everything that is concerning you or that of which has you most curious about the process. This will give your clarity and understanding and keep you out of the way during the home renovation project. While it is okay to have questions along the way, it can slow down the contractor and delay the process so ask away beforehand so that the contractor can deliver your vision. Remember, it is always encouraged to ask question, it is your home, however, clarifying everything in the beginning is the best way to kick off your whole home renovation.

Create a Clear Vision of What You Want.  You need to have everything picked out before the project begins. This includes what tiles you want, what paint you want, and which appliances need to be bought and installed. By knowing exactly what design you want and how you want each room to look, you will be better at making tough decisions later down the line. Build your vision so it can be brought to life in the manner that you want it!

Know Who You Are Hiring.  This is one of the most important aspects of a home renovation project. You need to know who you are hiring, what their reputation is like, and what type of certifications they have and most of all, know what their character is like based off reviews and testimonials.  While word-of-mouth recommendations are great, make sure to look into who is being recommended and why, as you do not want to go blindly into signing a contract with them. Look at their lien history, their insurance, their certificates, and their bond numbers. Meet with them to make sure that they understand your vision prior to engaging their services. This will establish and solidify who it is that is the right fit for you to carry out your whole home renovation.

Determine Which Items Are Splurge Worthy Early On. When you are making your budget, you will want to determine which items are worth spending more money on. These items should be products that you will use frequently and thus, should have a higher-price tag to ensure that you get high-quality and longer life. If you have an extremely tight budget, choose to forego cosmetic furnishings in order to handle your project in manner you can navigate.

Understand the Inner Workings of Your Home. While it may seem simple to pop a new outlet into the wall, it can lead to you needing to rewire the entire home. So, make sure that you understand the existing conditions of your home and its inner workings. You do not want to short circuit the electrical system or blow a fuse. If you are curious or need assistance to identifying what conditions your inner workings are at, be sure to ask the respective party for an inspection (Electrician/plumber).

Decide on How Payments Will Be Made. You absolutely need a contract that will outline how payments will be made and when they will be made by. Ideally, you want to pay your contractor a retainer up front, 50% halfway through, and the remainder when the project done. This will establish a solid relationship with yourself and the contractor and have the efficiency you need. Deciding on how these payments will be made is important, as you will need to manage your finances around them.

Home Improvement Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

It doesn’t matter if you’ve bought a newly built home, a condo in a maintained community, or a fixer-upper—owning your own place brings out the home improvement itch in us all (or at least requires us to do necessary repairs and maintenance tasks)

If you were offered $100,000, no strings attached, what home improvements would you do? Chances are, a long laundry list of changes come to mind, from refinishing the hardwood floors to adding a new bathroom. Some home improvements, however, are more likely to increase your home’s value than others. Although you shouldn’t think of your home as an investment, with limited home improvement funds, it’s good to consider whether a project has a decent return on investment.

Whether winter is coming or you’re considering projects in another season, some home improvements are more urgent than others—saving you money immediately or preventing devastating damage. Sometimes it only takes ten minutes or less to make simple changes around the house that boost your living space.

Even if you’re a weekend warrior with a well-stocked workshop, not all home improvement projects are suitable to do yourself (or at least, without the help of a professional). Know your limits, start small if you’re a beginner, and then keep calm and DIY on (if you so wish).

Big projects or small, probably all of us could stand to learn some decent home repair or home improvement skills. (All around the home, there are things we should never have to pay others to fix for us.) Learn Bob Villa-worthy skills and help others at the same time by volunteering or through free clinics and other resources. Turn to great reading resources and try starter projects too. If you get stuck on a project, iOS app Fountain will connect you to a home improvement expert to answer your question for $5. (Also, did you know we have a home improvement subblog here at Lifehacker called Workshop?)

Home Renovation and Extension Tips This 2020: Important Things to Keep in Mind

Home renovations and extensions are a hodgepodge of ideas; these are dos and don’ts and considerations that homeowners are most likely to become overwhelmed. However if you take out the unnecessary ones and only keep in mind that which is important, you are bound to find yourself with a peaceful heart and a more beautiful home

Never Rush Designs and Processes

Planning your project may well take longer than executing it, but it is worth taking your time to get it right. Design every detail up front and build according to detailed plans. Don’t design on the fly with builders on site. What seem like small changes can have a serious knock-on effect if not planned properly at the start. Very few extensions or major renovations involving significant structural work and drainage alterations can be done to a good quality in less than five or six months. Internal reforms can be done more swiftly, but the last stages of any building job will inevitably slow down – if only, for example, to avoid carpenters creating dust when the painters are trying to get a flawless finish on their eggshell. Unduly rushed building work will almost always come back to haunt the client.

Ensure Great Builder Reputation

This will make your life so much easier. Ask friends for recommendations and take references. Tender your building works with at least three builders. It’s the only way to ensure you are getting good value for your project. Take the time to go and see some of their previous projects. It is also very important to see their work beforehand so that you understand the finish you will be paying for. If you are particular about the final finishes being perfect, then you need to ensure your contractor can produce this

Never Purchase Cheap Products

Projects often run into problems if clients opt for the cheapest tender. Small builders often don’t use quantity surveyors and sometimes get pricing wrong, or do not fully comprehend the level of detail involved in a project. Familiarise yourself with the actual pricing and be wary of those who offer services below the average price.

Consult Professionals

What with builders, architects, party wall surveyors and building control costs, professional fees will add a big chunk to your outlay. But unless you really understand the process, don’t skimp on experts if you are doing a big project. If you are undertaking a large project, especially one running well into six figures, a quantity surveyor is worth his or her weight in gold. They can drill down on the numbers to a level of detail that a builder won’t and this can really help you get your budgeting right and your costs low.

Home renovation: Two things to consider before committing to change

Home renovations can be a great way to revitalise your property, especially after living there for a long period of time. Now could be the perfect time to take out a home loan and begin brainstorming about all the various additions and changes you’ve ever wanted to make to your property.

Be realistic with your planning

Having ambition is a great trait to have in life, especially when it comes to building and renovating a home. However, you have to be aware of when your plans may not be realistic and achievable. Take into account as many factors as possible when creating your plan – everything from expenses and money costs through to time allowances.

How are you going to tackle this?

There are a wide range of professionals available who can come into your home and take care of your renovations. While this may seem like the more expensive option, it will also help to protect you from causing any damage through your own lack of knowledge or skills.

However, if you feel confident in your DIY abilities, undertaking your own renovations could be a cheaper option to consider. These are just two things to consider before committing to a full scale renovation of your property.

Pros And Cons Of Financing Your Plastic Surgery

What is Scar Revision?

As there is no method of eliminating a scar completely, surgery to address a conspicuous or painful scar is known as a revision procedure. The goal of the treatment varies based on the type of scar and your desired outcome. Scar revisions can be performed to:

  • Restore natural movement of joints when contracture occurs
  • Reduce redness
  • Minimize hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation
  • Remove scar tissue

How Long Does Scar Revision Surgery Take?

The size, location, and complexity of your scar affects the length of the procedure. In most cases, a scar revision procedure can be completed within one to two hours. However, if a scar is large, in an area that is challenging to address, or requires extensive revision and tissue repositioning, the surgery may take longer.

How Long is Recovery from Scar Revision Surgery?

It can take one to two weeks for tenderness, redness, and swelling to subside. Dr. Hyman will provide personalized instructions for how to care for the treatment site. These instructions will help mitigate discomfort and promote healing.

How Long Until I See Results from a Scar Revision Surgery?

Over the following weeks, the site will continue to heal. The scar will gradually fade over the next several months. You can expect your final results within about one year of the procedure

How to make surgical scars less visible

Most of us are so focused on getting in and out of the operating room we don’t think ahead about incision care. Healing those cuts becomes a big issue the minute we leave the operating room.

The first step is to make sure you have clear instructions before going home. When should you remove dressings? What about stitches? What should you use when washing? What should you avoid? Should you use bandages, Steri-strips, Neosporin, expose the wound to air, or what?

Don’t Google, guess or ask a friend because the answers are highly individualized.

Every surgeon has their own regimen for patients to follow during the first few weeks after surgery. You will get detailed instructions as to how to care for your incisions, After a few weeks, when the incision has healed, you can begin long-term care to minimize the scarring.

following to help you minimize scarring after incisions have healed shut:

  • Smooth a silicone-based cream over the incisions(s). Silicone is the best ingredient science has shown yet to treat scars.
  • Stay out of the sun. Fresh scars that are exposed to the sun will stay red longer.
  • Always use sun block.
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats for scars on the face.
  • Vitamin E and steroids have been shown to minimize scars.
  • Avoid excessive pulling and tension, which causes scars to widen and stretch.

The four phases of wound healing

Our bodies have an enormous capacity to heal themselves thanks to our immune system. When an injury occurs – or in this case, a cosmetic surgery procedure – the immune system is designed to launch an intricate reaction on the cellular level in order to restore tissue integrity as quickly as possible. This built-in response to wound repair occurs in four distinct phases.


When surgical incisions cause injury to the tissues and blood vessels, the vessels have the ability to constrict themselves, reducing blood flow. This is referred to as hemostasis, which simply means “the stopping of blood flow.”


After hemostasis occurs, a series of cellular reactions begin, signaling the body to introduce inflammatory cells to the injured area. The area may then become warm, red, or swollen as the inflammation initiates blood clotting and the first steps of healing. This form of inflammation is beneficial. Powerful immune cells quickly infiltrate the wound, and will continue migrating to that area over the next 48 hours. From this position, they are able to fight against any pathogens that try to enter the wound, consuming or destroying them with their own toxic substances. This helps to sterilize the wound.

For the first 48–72 hours after the injury occurs, an entire range of immune cells move into the wound where they begin to build a new network of tissue and remodel the collagen. The inflammatory stage will last as long as the body needs in order to heal. If you experience any prolonged inflammation, you should let us know immediately, as this could indicate an infection or another problem.


Generally, the signs of any serious disease-causing bacteria or viruses will disappear within 3-10 days. At this point, the inflammatory response declines, and the body will reach the proliferation stage, which is where most of the tissue repair occurs. Through the intricate process of cellular action, the body will begin to repair any damaged blood vessels. Cells will then start to lay down new structural proteins and remodel tissue by producing collagen and the other fibers that form the structures of the tissue.

Tissue remodeling and maturation

After a week or so, wounds will begin to contract. The cells pull together more tightly in order to reduce the area that needs healing and to allow the formation of scar tissue. This is the most important phase when it comes to the visual appearance of scars. Any disruption during this stage could lead to a contracture or a scar that is not cosmetically appealing.

As the wound goes through the healing process, scars will usually appear a light red or pink at first, then begin to fade over time. The entire tissue remodeling stage can take up to two years to complete, but generally speaking, the tissue is recovered enough after a few weeks that normal daily activity can be resumed.

How to minimize scarring after plastic surgery

While there will always be some genetic component to the way you heal, there are a couple of therapies that have been shown to successfully minimize scarring after plastic surgery.

Scar massage

During the second phase of wound healing, the new scar tissue is immature. With adequate massage therapy, you can sometimes prevent this scar tissue from becoming permanent. Frequent, vigorous massage of the area can improve its appearance over time.

Silicone Sheeting

This option has been clinically studied extensively. A sheet that is lined on one side with silicone gel is placed directly over the scar, relieving redness, pain, and itching while improving the overall appearance of the scar.”

The position or alignment of the scar on the body can play a large part in its appearance, and some scars may require methods such as steroid injections to improve their quality. However, elective cosmetic surgery comes with the benefit of preoperative planning, allowing our surgeons to place scars in the most inconspicuous positions. These types of wounds often heal more favorably thanks to the ideal conditions under which they occur, and because you will know the exact location of the incision prior to your surgery, you’ll be able to plan ahead for any recovery outcome.

Progress and healing

The initial healing phase of a surgical scar revision may include localized swelling, discoloration or discomfort and may take 1 to 2 weeks. Healing will continue for several weeks and as the new scar heals it will slowly refine and fade. With dermabrasion, chemical peel or laser resurfacing, you will experience similar conditions at the treated area, in addition to overall sensitivity.

The results will be long-lasting

The final results of your scar revision surgery will be long-lasting, however it may take several months for your final results to become apparent and in some cases it may take a year for the new scar to fully heal and fade.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there are no guarantees; and in some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

Plan For A Successful Local Moving

Living in, Moving to

Places to Eat, Things to Do, & Shopping

While residents living are only a couple of miles from all the great things to do, they also have plenty of enjoyable activities close by within the neighborhood’s borders as well.

Great Restaurants

With a handful of good places to eat, one of the top spots is Pier 6 and its delicious seafood. The restaurant offers waterfront views and a deck on the roof that gives diners a nice look at the rivers nearby

Local Activities

In one of the most history-filled cities across the United States, people moving to the neighborhood will love all of the American Revolution sites and scenery found around the area

Convenient Shopping Destinations in Charlestown

If you want to make sure there are good shopping areas in the area before relocating, you’ll be happy to know there is easy access to the nearby

“media CEO” with Lookout, his plan for quality local news

Lookout doesn’t want its local news sites to be a supplement or alternative to the local daily. They aim to be the news source of record in their communities, outgunning their shrunken newsprint rivals from Day

The easiest way to criticize a journalist is to point out the distance between their position and the subject they’re writing about. How can you be an education reporter if you don’t have kids

You think you can write about football, but you can’t even throw a spiral! You bike to work — what makes you think you can cover the auto industry?

Many of these complaints are dumb ad hominem attacks that seek to delegitimize questions raised by outsiders. But some draw blood. The question is even more complicated for those of us who write about the media; our jobs and our beats intersect in all sorts of ways, of course, but plenty of journalists and news executives still downgrade any criticism coming from someone they think doesn’t “get it.”

So it’s noteworthy when a journalist moves from critic/analyst to builder/CEO. And in this case, the person stepping into the arena is Ken Doctor, who has been writing about the travails of the news business — most prominently the local newspaper business — here at Nieman Lab for more than a decade.

makes good on move

friends and invited guests discuss a myriad of topics from the existence of extraterrestrials to the current struggle against racial inequality in the country.

A frequent topic of the podcast is the current health crisis, which among other things, halted comedy shows for comedians across the country. During a podcast in late July with CEO and founder of the Spartan and Death Races

“I think that where we live right here is overcrowded and I think most of the time that’s not a problem,” Rogan said on the podcast. “But I think it’s exposing the fact that it’s a real issue when you look at the number of people that are catching COVID because of this overpopulation issue.”

Services to Make Your Move to a New City Less Stressful

Anyone who has taken the plunge and moved to a new city can attest to why moving is consistently labeled one of the most stressful life events. In fact, a recent study found that only loss-related events — such as the death of a loved one or going through a divorce — scored higher on the stress scale.

Moving Day

Moving companies are notorious for extraneous fees and the even more infuriating practice of holding your belongings hostage until you grudgingly acquiesce to pay a higher-than-originally-agreed-upon price for delivery. To ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck and that you’ll be handing over your possessions to quality professionals, there are a number of helpful services and sites available to vet and compare moving company reviews and quotes, as well as platforms and apps to handle all of the miscellaneous details that go into a long-distance move.

online review sites are extremely helpful during the hectic relocation process. While the Internet has yet to produce a 100% trustworthy online review service, it’s still worth doing due diligence on a moving company before agreeing to hand over all of your worldly possessions to a couple of strangers with a truck.

Double or triple checking reviews across a variety of sites can help narrow down your selection of reliable moving companies.There are also a number of review and quote comparison sites targeted specifically toward moving companies: Compare My Move, Hire A Helper and Truck Please are a few notable names in the moving game that are worth investigating.

If you’re really trying to streamline the process of moving and don’t have the time (or energy) to conduct a thorough vetting process on your own, relatively new startup Moveline promises to take the hassle out of the whole ordeal. There are two levels — Basic and Plus — to choose between, depending on if you’ll be loading and unloading your belongings yourself or wish to leave the heavy lifting up to the pros. The platform has received a fair amount of press and closed $3 million in funding earlier this year — and so far, users seem satisfied with the service.

Moving Safely in a Pandemic Takes More Planning, More Money

Many Americans may be forced to consider moving as federal foreclosure and eviction moratoriums expire. In the first week of July, 32% of Americans did not make a full, on-time housing payment, according to a nationally representative survey by the website Apartment List. Others may relocate to save money, be closer to loved ones or simply leave a densely populated area.

Budget for extras

Aside from the usual expenses like buying boxes, renting a van or hiring movers, plan for extra costs because of the pandemic.

You may need to buy heavy-duty supplies to deep-clean your old place, for example, or to sanitize your new accommodations. If you are moving out of a rental unit, some landlords may ask you to pay for professional cleaners or take the cost out of your security deposit.

If you are receiving unemployment benefits, check the rules on how your benefits carry forward in your new location and what the taxes are if it is a new state

You might not be able to really get to know your new place until you’re living there, so prepare yourself (and your wallet) for surprises like leaky faucets or broken appliances

Save Money By Inspecting Your Interior Walls Before The Home Inspection Arrives

COVID-19 and Home Inspections

Things are crazy and unprecedented in the home inspection world. Last week brought some major changes to our everyday lives, and I expect to see more changes this week.

The new standard of care for home inspection attendance

I recorded a video 10 days ago and released it with last week’s blog post, where I mentioned that we’d prefer for our clients to not attend the home inspection. I didn’t want to prohibit our clients from attending the inspection, but that has changed in the last week.

been in close contact with several other large home inspection companies* throughout the country as well as here in Minnesota, and we’re all in agreement; the new COVID-19 standard of care is to have the home inspector perform the home inspection alone.

implemented this new policy on Saturday evening, and all of our clients and their agents have been very understanding of the situation. It warms my heart to know that people are so willing to adapt.

Safety precautions

While on-site, home inspectors throughout Minnesota should be following these steps to help maintain a sanitary environment in people’s homes:

Wash hands multiple times during every inspection, especially after touching things like faucets and door handles.

Bring hand towels or paper towels for drying our hands.

If available, keep hand sanitizer nearby and use it when needed.

If available, use disinfectant wipes or the equivalent on faucets and door handles.

If any inspectors have a fever or cough, do not conduct the inspection.

Certified Home Inspections

If you are reading this, you are likely looking for a quality home inspector and I am the inspector for you. Trained through College and using the best home inspection software along with superior inspection equipment, I will make every effort to detect and report to you any defects or areas of concern.

have the capability of printing quality reports, including pictures with captions on site for your immediate review as well as allowing you the ability to review the report on-line at your convenience. I will work for you, with your best interests in mind

professional, thorough, and answered all of my questions. He explained what he was looking at during the inspection, and took photos throughout the property. His inspection report is very detailed, and easily readable

quickly performed the inspection.. and provided a detailed report that evening

extremely professional and thorough. also made the report very easy to read and understand which is so helpful for someone like me that doesn’t have much knowledge in this type of thing.

Everything You Should Know About Home Inspections

So, you’ve found your dream home and are ready to sign on the dotted line? Pump the breaks! Though it may seem like the fastest route to getting everything you want, prematurely signing documents could also quickly become the cause of unnecessary headaches—and costs.

Before signing anything, knowing all of your options is a must, since the home-buying stakes are too high to gamble with, especially when it comes to having an inspection.

What Are The Rules?

Though inspections are optional, it is always a good idea to pay the money to have one done before buying a new home in order to prevent you from being blinded by extra costs and repairs after you’ve settled.

According to Freshome, exceptions to this rule arise if your home maintenance is covered by an association (i.e. condo life). But, either way you should always check with your bank to see if they require one. If you’re going to have an inspection done, pick a date and time that fits with your schedule and attend it—ask your inspector all the questions.

How Much Does It Cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the average home inspection in the United States costs about $326. While some can be as low as $200 or as high as $483, they typically range anywhere from approximately $278 to $389.

things every buyer should ask about home inspections

When you have bought and sold as many homes as I have, you know that a lot can go wrong between offer accepted and done deal, pop the champagne. Loans fall through, properties don’t appraise, titles have surprises, buyers get cold feet, home inspections turn up literal skeletons in the closet, a sinkhole opens in the backyard, the neighbors start running around the street with lampshades on their heads. You just never know

How often does an inspection kill a deal? Seldom, Lesh said. Fewer than one in 50 deals go south as the result of an inspection report, he said. About 4 percent of houses that go under contract have “sale fail,”

How can inspectors make or break deals? “Home inspectors are by nature fault finders,” he said. “The key is how they convey negative information.” Good ones put problems in perspective. They neither marginalize a big problem nor magnify a small one. They are frank, without being alarmist.

What if something happens to the house between inspection and closing? Most sales contracts require sellers to keep the house in the same condition it was the day of the inspection. So, if the roof blows off between the inspection and the closing, or the water heater springs a leak, the sellers need to fix it. Buyers have a chance on their final walk-through to make sure everything is as promised.

Should you rely on your agent to choose your home inspector? If you trust your agent, start by getting his or her recommendation, Lesh said. “Although agents have a personal stake in making sure the deal closes, pointing you to a weak inspector would be very short sighted of them.” Also ask friends for recommendations, then check the inspector’s credentials to make sure he’s certified and experienced.

Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Whether you’re a homeowner or buyer, there are certain questions to ask home inspectors who are accessing a property. These ten might just be the most important.

Always keep in mind that the inspector isn’t just there to identify flaws in a home. They’re also there to provide insight. You should never hesitate to request further information during any process of the inspection. If you’re stuck trying to figure out what to ask, the following questions are a good start.

“What credentials do you have?”

The questions to ask a home inspector don’t start on the day of the inspection. One of the most important pieces of information you’ll need should be gathered before ever hiring a professional. Figure out what their credentials are prior to moving forward. This will let you know if they’re qualified for the task.

“What is covered in the home inspection?”

You’ll also want to ask beforehand what the home inspection covers. There are a variety of assessments that these professionals can conduct, and not all of them will focus on the same things. If you’re only paying for a wood destroying organism (WDO) inspection, for instance, they’re unlikely to check for ventilation problems.

If you’re opting for a full home inspection prior to a home sale, you should expect the following to be investigated:

Cracks in walls.

Signs of water damage – such as warped walls and sloping floors.

Check that smoke alarms are properly functioning.

Unpleasant smells which may point to bigger issues.

Adequate water pressure.

Issues with appliances (e.g. furnace, water heater).

Gaps in kitchen and bathroom caulking.

Attic inspection.

Roof inspection.

Check for water infiltration.

Various signs of damage or disrepair.

Mold inspection.

Carpet Cleaning Myths To Junk

Carpet Cleaning

Cuddles Stay, Odors Go

Furry friends add fun to any home—but they can also add unwanted aromas. Traditional carpet cleaners rely on perfumes or deodorizers that add residue and work only temporarily to mask these odors.

Spills and Stains – Solved for Good

Deep stains in carpet or upholstery can ruin the look of a room. It’s tempting to think that it takes harsh detergents or strong chemicals to get stains out. However, the truth is detergents always leave behind a soapy residue—and soapy residue actually attracts dirt and oil towards the fibers of your carpet or furniture. Furthermore, some chemicals can damage fine fabrics.

Thorough Care for Your Thoroughfares

It’s easy to see discoloration in the high-traffic areas of many carpets. However, discoloration is often the first thing to reappear after a traditional carpet cleaning. Conventional cleaners use a lot of high-temperature water even though high-temperature water can damage a carpet’s backing and seep underneath carpet. When carpet is exposed to footsteps, stains rise up from the pad beneath.

How to Clean a Carpet: Super easy carpet cleaning tips and tricks

If you have carpets in your house, then they’re probably constantly bombarded will all kinds of stains and dirt. So, to maintain a clean domestic environment, it’s always a good idea to learn how to clean carpets without a machine. Keeping in mind that there isn’t a single best way to clean a carpet, we have gathered the best carpet cleaning tips and tricks to help you in your day to day battle with dirt.

How to vacuum carpets right

To achieve the best results in your weekly cleaning ritual, it’s always good to have some order in the way you take care of your carpets. To make sure you’re vacuuming carpets properly, follow the steps below and enjoy a clean home.

Dust surfaces first

The best way to start is to dust all the furniture, blinds, window frames, baseboards, and any other places where dust usually builds up. All the fallen residue will be vacuumed up after.

Prepare the room in advance

Go around the rooms and pick up any objects which might get in the way of the vacuum cleaner. This includes mainly the toys of kids and pets, shoes, and small decorative items. Don’t forget to look under the sofa, or any other piece of furniture to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Use the proper vacuum hose attachments

When vacuuming carpets, you will need different vacuum attachments, depending on the area you’re working on. For example, the edges of the carpets and baseboards are the ones collecting the most dust and they are the places you should start from. You can use a nozzle attachment for them and a cranny extension if there is any furniture you need to reach under to remove accumulated dust.

steps to take before getting your carpets cleaned

Grubby carpets and rugs? Say no more. Whether you’ve got one of the best carpet cleaners or you’re getting the professionals in to do the job for you, you’ll still need to prepare before you can get those carpets looking like new again.

Declutter and remove as much furniture as you can

Any cleaning job is much easier if you have a clear space to work with. Before you can even start cleaning your carpets or let the professionals work their magic, take out any potential trip hazards. Shoes, bags, and clutter that we’re all guilty of leaving around need to be tidied away or simply taken out of the area you need to clean.

Protect your walls 

If you’re getting a professional carpet cleaning company to do the work for you, it’s worth thinking about your walls. As carpet cleaners can be pretty bulky and some come with large hoses, consider using good quality painter’s tape where cleaning cords or hoses could leave ugly black marks. Problem areas normally include baseboards, doorways, and corners.

Hang up your curtains 

If you have curtains or drapes that reach the floor, now is the time to protect them from getting wet and dangling on the damp carpet after it has been cleaned. If you’re going all out and want your whole room to be spotlessly clean, now is also a great time to take your curtains down and wash them, or alternatively most carpet cleaners have attachments that are great for cleaning curtains or upholstery. 

Take your pets out

Your furry friends might be cute, but their hair and fur can get pretty much everywhere – especially when there are damp carpets for them to stick to. If you’re cleaning the carpets yourself, check out our advice on the best way to stay on top of pet hair. If you’re getting the professionals in, take your pets out of the room and make sure they’re not frightened by any newcomers in your home, as well as the noises and beeps some carpet cleaning machines can make.

Carpet Cleaner

Pay for carpet cleaners varies depending on skills, experience, and the type of work they do.

Carpet cleaners in training can expect to earn minimum wage.

After two to three years they usually earn $19 to $25.

Carpet cleaners who are qualified as carpet cleaning technicians can earn up to $30 an hour.

Carpet cleaners may do some or all of the following:

discuss clients’ requirements and assess what cleaning needs to be done

choose the best cleaning methods for the job

clean carpets, hard floors, chairs, sofas and curtains

remove or reduce stains

sell products for cleaning and protecting carpets and furniture

use sprays to control pests such as fleas, cockroaches and ants

Flood restoration technicians also:

assess flood damage to floors and upholstery from water, mud, sewage and mould

use specialised drying equipment such as dehumidifiers and pumps

wash and sanitise carpets and upholstery.

Carpet cleaners need to have knowledge of:

carpets and furniture fabrics

stain removers and other chemicals

how to use and care for their equipment.

How to Identify These Devious Carpet Cleaning Scams

Scammers are more common than most of us would hope. Although the majority of businesses are honest, you can usually find deceitful people in any industry, carpet cleaners included.

We all wish it wasn’t true, but there are some people out there that are just looking to fool honest consumers out of their money with carpet cleaning scams.

How to Avoid the Bait and Switch

Bait and switch is a common illegal practice and one of the most often used carpet cleaning scams. It begins with a company advertising prices that are so much lower than any competitors’ that it will always seem like too good of a deal to pass up. But if you take a step back and give it a second glance, you’ll notice that there MUST be a reason why the price is so low. This is the bait, and it looks mighty appetizing.

The Way They Pull This Carpet Cleaning Scam Off Might Surprise You

The second half of this scam happens once you’ve agreed with a price and the cleaner shows up for your appointment. There are actually a number of common excuses that scammers tend to use, but ultimately they are going to make a point to say that you need more done than what was previously agreed to.

These excuses will go something like:

You have a special type of carpet that requires a more complex cleaning method.

Your carpet stains are “extra stubborn” and require XYZ expensive product.

The price costs more for “Deep Cleaning” or you carpets are heavily soiled and the basic service won’t work.

The price quoted was only for traffic lanes, so cleaning the entire room costs more.

Adding service charges, soap charges, equipment charges, etc.

Your rooms are odd shapes or too big, so it costs more.

Any other previously un-discussed charges that show up out of nowhere.

Composting Toilet Installation And The Water Shortage

Cost of Installing a Bathroom Suite

Installing a new bathroom suite is one of the major investments a homeowner has to make at least once over the ownership of a property.

The costs can vary, depending on whether you decide to do the work yourself or engage the services of a specialist bathroom fitter. The skill set you will need to possess is extensive, from electrics to plumbing, painting and decorating. This article will provide you with some guidance on how much it will cost to fit a new bathroom.

DIY or Professional Bathroom Installation?

As mentioned earlier, one of the first decisions you need to make when it comes to a bathroom upgrade is whether you will do the job yourself, or appoint an expert. Unless you are an accomplished plumber, tiler, electrician and painter all rolled into one, finding an expert is the most cost and time effective way to go. When it comes to costs and a DIY approach, you may be able to control the cost of the individual items such as sink, toilet, bath or shower. However, the quality of the installation may not be as perfect because of the lack of required expertise.

Factors Affecting The Overall Cost of Bathroom Installation

Once you have decided to go down the professional installation route, the next step is to have an understanding of how much each component of a bathroom installation costs. This will permit you to compare prices on a like for like basis.

Electrical Work

Depending on how old your current bathroom is, you may be looking to upgrade the lighting to led spotlights, both for their nice look and lower running costs. Other electrical work may include installing a hand dryer, shaving socket, extractor fan and power shower. Typical costs can be around the mark depending on other variables.

Brilliant Toilet Products That Will Improve Your Bathroom Life

Humans are a funny thing. People spend half of their effort trying to reconnect with their humanity, and the other half trying to cover up the natural functions that literally everyone has. Well, I’m not afraid to talk about brilliant products and accessories for your toilet that practically make it your throne, nor the essential functions that go on in it. Just like essential bacteria and the act of sweating, going to the toilet isn’t always considered ‘polite’ table talk. But it’s a necessary part of the body, and in my opinion, it’s high time people got comfortable with it

In fact, back when I was taking nutrition classes, excrement was a topic that came up in pretty much 15-minute intervals. Anyone who’s ever been a natural health practitioner knows it’s the second thing you seem to disclose about yourself after your own name. It’s estimated that we spend almost 92 days in the bathroom over the span of our lifetimes, and it’s also been asserted that you can tell a whole lot about your health solely by looking at your poop. Consequently, it’s time to get really comfortable in your bathroom, and these innovative toilet accessories can make things easier, more convenient, and significantly more enjoyable.

This innovative spray called Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go is made of essential oils, and its purpose is to create a smell-proof barrier on the surface of the water, in order to trap any and all smells in the bowl. Simply spritz the bowl before you go, do your thing, and flush away, leaving no indication that anything ever happened. It’s also travel-friendly for storage in your pocketbook. “A must have at the office,” says one reviewer. “This has taken the fear out of walking out of the bathroom and running into the person WAITING to go next!”

Recently, there’s been tons of talk about how squatting while on the toilet is a much more natural and effective way to go, because it “[opens] the colon,” making “elimination faster, more complete, and [less] straining.” The Squatty Potty is a convenient little stool that lifts your legs up to the position, so you can lessen constipation and improve elimination. It comes in two sizes and fits any standard toilet.

If you’re a midnight pee-er, this toilet bowl night light is going to save your retinas on a nightly basis. It’s motion activated and light sensitive, so it only turns on in a dark room when there’s somebody there, and it lights up 16 bright colors to give your bathroom a little style.

Bathroom Fitting

What order does everything happen in a bathroom refit?

I have a small ‘L’ shaped bathroom which I want to replace, as well as moving a stud wall back by about a foot to square off the room. I’m having a nightmare figuring out what order to do everything in so I can find the relevant tradesmen. Also, it’s our only bathroom so I want it to be out of use for as short a time as possible. It just seems like I need half a dozen different people which makes things very confusing for such a tiny room!

The jobs to do are:

– Remove tiles

– remove bathroom suite

– Replace window in external wall

– Install ventilation fan in external wall

– Move internal stud wall

– Plaster everything

– Install new suite

– Tile

– Install lights

if you are going to employ people to carry out the above I would put the job up on my builder you will find a tradesman probably a builder who will organise and employ the different trades you will deal with one person pay one person get your guarantee from him the whole job will be carried out in far less time he will come with some previous work and be rated by other my builder customers but all the same do not pay all the money over until you are satisfied with the finished job.

Take the whole bathroom out including removal of all the tiles, wall paper etc. Inspect your walls and take a decision as to whether they can be tiled over. If you are to fully tile your bathroom you wont need to have the room plastered or skimmed, you will only need to dry line (dot and dab) the walls. PVA the plaster boards prior to tiling. First fix all the plumbing and electrics, ply line the floor (PVA this also) . Tile as much of the bathroom as you can before you install any of the product, then install the bath and shower tray and tile down too these. Grout the bathroom and then second fix the rest of the products, ie shower valve and radiator etc. Clean down and when the bathroom has fully dried out apply a very good quality silicone sealant (everbuild forever white). I would advise you to hire a bathroom installation company rather than individual tradesman as there will be someone in charge of the fit and would make sure the install went in correctly.

make life easier for yourself and employ a bathroom fitter like myself. Plenty on this site in all areas. Just click on bathroom fitting.

Note:You should have a compliance certificate for electrical work carried out in the bathroom so be aware you should get one.

Installing Your Nature’s Head Composting Toilet

for My Tiny House installation?

If you are using 110 volt house power, you will need our wall transformer. If using 12 volt, batteries and or solar, the toilet comes with the necessary parts. Our PVC vent assembly is an easy way to vent through the wall or floor.

for My RV installation?

The toilet comes with the 12 volt parts needed. Only if using 110, house power you will need our wall transformer to plug into an outlet to power the fan. The mushroom vent is an easy way to vent through the side or roof. The PVC vent is good for through the floor venting.You may already have an existing vent to connect to.

for My Cabin installation?

The toilet comes with everything for a 12 volt system. If using 110, house power you will need our wall transformer to plug into an outlet to power the fan.The PVC vent is a good way to vent through the wall or the floor on a raised cabin.

for My boat installation?

The toilet comes with the 12 volt parts needed. The venting, you can use the mushroom vent for cabin side or roof. It can also be used over an old pump out fitting hole.

Hose Length

Some installations may require increased hose lengths which may be purchased on a per foot basis. PVC pipe, which may be obtained at most home improvement or hardware stores, may also be substituted for longer hose sections.

Squeeze an extra washroom into your extension, conversion or garden room for added versatility

Whether it’s to ease the morning rush for the bathroom, prevent you having to traipse up flights of stairs, or simply for use when guests come to stay, an extra loo is always a useful addition. However, installing a new macerator toilet can sometimes be less straightforward than replacing an existing one. Fortunately, there are a few options for making your new convenience more convenient.

How to plan your plumbing

The ideal location for any additional loo is above or below an existing bathroom, so that it can connect to existing pipework and the soil and vent stack. However, if it’s further away, one option is to add a new soil and vent stack either inside or outside your home, which works as long as there’s a sewer that it can flow into.

What are the pros and cons of a macerator toilet?

Macerators create more noise than standard plumbing and can be prone to blockages from anything other than toilet tissue, but the great thing about them is that they enable you to install a loo almost anywhere you fancy. Installing a macerator pump is also cheaper and easier than extending your existing sewage system. Plus, they are a safe, hygienic means of waste disposal.

How to get planning permission

Adding a loo to your extension or conversion will rarely require Planning Permission unless your home is a listed building, but Building Regulations will apply to plumbing, drainage and ventilation.

How to budget for the garden

Any new pipework should be buried in your garden or insulated, so it doesn’t freeze. You may be able to link to an existing soil drain or septic tank. A sewage pumping station with a macerator can also be used to remove waste – but you’ll need to add electricity to power this. Allow £2,000-£6,000 to add a loo to a garden room. A ‘dry’ eco toilet can be a more affordable option but requires maintenance.