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How to Prepare for a California Winter

Sunny, 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and not a speck of snow: That’s how most of the country understands wintertime in California. However, native Californians know better. West Coast winters, though considerably milder than cold seasons elsewhere in the world, can be surprisingly intense, especially if you aren’t prepared. Though average temperatures do not drop below zero ― or even much below freezing ― the winter chill is made more palpable with excessive seasonal rains.

Atlas map [Read more…]

Remodeling Your Home? Expect the Unexpected – And Plan for the Costs

It always looks so easy on the home improvement shows. The happy homeowners meet with a celebrity designer, they decide to gut their entire home and start over, and 28 minutes later they are surprised by the “big reveal,” oohing and aahing over the custom cabinets and shiny new floors.

Planning a remodel [Read more…]

5 Great Budget-Conscious Ways to Refresh Your Home

Whether you’re thinking of freshening up the home you adore and plan to remain in, or want to spruce it up in advance of selling it, you can get results you’ll love without spending a fortune.

Blue house

Houses show their age most dramatically in kitchens and bathrooms, and they’re obviously the places where you might need or want to spend the most money, especially if you’re replacing fixtures and appliances. But if a few bright and shiny rooms are going to make the rest of the place look left-behind, there are ways to make over the other rooms, too, without breaking the bank. [Read more…]

Simple Yet Effective Home Decor Changes You Can Make This Summer

painting the walls yellowWhile it can be exciting to go through a major renovation in your home, often you just won’t have the time or the money to do so. Happily though, there are many ways that you can update the look of your house without having to undertake major work.

From painting a feature wall, buying some new bed linen, adding a striking modern area rug, or retiling kitchen splashbacks, there are plenty of things that will add pizzazz yet not break the bank. Read on for some quick and easy decorating ideas you can implement over a weekend this summer. [Read more…]

What Your House’s Color Scheme Says About You

Driving through any neighborhood, you can probably tell quite a bit about a house’s inhabitants based on what they feature in their front yards. Those with tire swings and tree houses must have young, adventurous children, while those with lush gardens brimming with bright blooms must care greatly for the environment.

Paint colors [Read more…]

There’s an Easy Way to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Efficiently All Summer

air conditioner Air conditioners, like any other machine, need some basic maintenance to run smoothly and maximize their efficiency. One of the simplest things that you, as the consumer, can do to keep your air conditioner chugging along is change or clean the air filter on a regular basis. But if you’re like many homeowners, it never occurs to you to perform this simple maintenance chore.

The air filter in your air conditioning unit traps dust, pet fur, and other pollutants in the air, so that they don’t travel into your machine and clog up its inner workings. Air filters may simply protect your air conditioner, or they may even improve the air quality inside your home. Some units have reusable air filters that just need to be washed off. Others use disposable filters that need to be entirely replaced. [Read more…]

How To STOP Termites From Destroying Your Home

One thing you don’t want to encounter is a termite colony; one of them can systematically destroy your home, and where there is one colony there are often more. It can be daunting trying to protect your home from these highly destructive pests. Knowing what action to take is part of the battle, but it doesn’t always work.

How To Stop Termites [Read more…]

Redecorating Kids’ Rooms For A Good Night Sleep

child's room in pink

Furnishing a bedroom can be hard work, especially when trying to meet the needs and wants of a picky child! It can be difficult to choose the right options as we all know, kids grow up quick.  From cots to cribs, singles to doubles there are many different types of bed frames and furniture options available to give kids a great night’s sleep.

Growing room

The bed is the heart of the bedroom and for your kids it’s vital you buy the right frame and mattress to ensure they get that all-important shut eye. There are many different types of bed frames to choose from that vary greatly in cost, so it’s important to consider which type of bed frame will most suit your child’s needs. If you are looking to make a worthwhile investment it may be prevalent to consider buying a frame which is slightly bigger than the one you need. This will leave space for your growing child and could last them for several year.

Super Storage

It’s also worthwhile thinking about what storage requirements you have. If you’re decorating a smaller bedroom it could be an idea to get a raised bed which could provide you with ample space to fit additional storage underneath – there are even frames available with pre-fitted storage. Alternatively you could go for a single bunk bed, with many available that will provide you with space for a desk, sofa or even clothes hanging space. It’s wise to not get one of these beds too early however as your child should feel confident and safe scaling the ladder up to bed.

Look around

Spend some time planning your bedroom refurbishment, look online for the best deals or consider buying a complete bedroom set to lower the overall cost and achieve that effortless yet consistent look.

Try to think a few years ahead when planning to see if your child will grow out of their chosen style too quickly. If possible, opt for neutral colors and styles over the newest fad to provide longevity to your refurbishment, providing you better value for money in the long-term.

Things To Know When Remodeling Your Kitchen

Are you giving your kitchen a makeover this year?

Kitchen cabinets

Frameless Cabinets vs. Framed Cabinets

There are two standard types of kitchen cabinet constructions, frameless or framed.

Framed Cabinets

These cabinets have face frames. The doors attach to the frame. The face frame will have vertical styles and horizontal rails. Three variations make up this form of cabinetry. There’s traditional overlay, inset and full overlay. The difference between these categories is the face frame.

Frameless Cabinets

Frameless, or European, cabinets don’t have a face frame. Hinges are fastened to the interior of the cabinet. The door overlays the cabinet box so when the door is closed space is minimized. Maximizing drawer width and interior storage space, this construction offers a symmetrical look between door and drawer lines and easier access to the interior. Cabinet lines can vary with the door tightly hinged to the side panel. Frameless bottom cabinets may have legs.

Frameless Cabinets vs. Framed Cabinets

Framed are more common. The biggest disadvantage to utilizing this construction is that the trim boards tend to block access. That makes it a little difficult to fit large sized containers in them. You also won’t be able to install cabinet width pull out drawers.

Frameless cabinets will require greater stability. That’s because of the lack of trim boards that are standard in framed construction. Frameless cabinets will have thicker side panels. They also offer better accessibility to any contents.

Many contractors prefer frameless construction. For the eco-conscious, it’s considered green as it reduces the number of trees harvested for construction. The standard framed cabinetry project can use up to 30 board feet of wood. That’s about one-third of a tree. As the frameless doesn’t require that installation, it reduces the impact on forests and our carbon footprint.

On the other hand, with the three styles that framed cabinets offer there are more options for a unique look. You can choose overlay, full overlay or inset and then pick one of the many different styles and details to enhance the look. While frameless may have the same detail availability, they all come with the standard overlay look. Yet, it can still have a variety of appearances that include contemporary, country and traditional.

Ultimately, if it is frameless cabinets vs. framed cabinets, the bottom line is going to have to be personal preference and budget. Neither is particularly less costly than the other and both come with durability and quality. It’s simply two forms of construction that will look different.

Inexpensive Ways To Decorate For Christmas

Christmas is definitely one of the most exciting times of the year for children and decorating the house is all part of the fun in the run up to the big day. The festive season can also bring a large financial outlay and if you’re looking to cut costs why not try these low cost Christmas decorating methods.

Cheap Centerpiece

Three Easy & Inexpensive Ways To Decorate For Christmas

  1. Inexpensive centerpieces – Natural Christmas decorations such as pine cones are an effective and inexpensive way to add a seasonal touch. You can easily find pine cones at local parks or they can be bought cheaply at garden centres. You can choose the option of spraying the pine cones with metallic paint or simply place them in bowl with sprigs of holly. Seasonal unshelled nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans can also make a great centerpiece when placed in a bowl.
  2. Getting the kids involved – Getting creative with your Christmas tree decorations is a great way to get your kids involved in the fun. Tree decorations can include home-made gingerbread men and you can also shape these biscuits into snowmen or angels before baking. If you have old Christmas cards with seasonal illustrations then these can be cut into a variety of shapes and hung from the tree. Ribbons are another inexpensive way to decorate the tree and can be shaped into bows for an eye-catching effect.
  3. Don’t forget the candy – If you want to get your kids interested in making Christmas decorations then break out the candy. Lollies and candy canes are traditional tree ornaments but consider little net bags filled with jelly beans and gum drops that can be hung from the branches. You can actually create baubles from candy such as jelly beans by sticking them together with edible sugar glue and hanging them from the tree. Let the kid’s imagination take over!