More Than Just a Fake Lawn

An artificial lawn has many advantages that add to the beauty of your property while eliminating mowing and other maintenance time and cost.

Granted that synthetic grass and the preparation and installation is expensive, it is also long lasting, trouble free, and will eventually pay for itself. Since you don’t have to water, mow, trim, fertilize, pesticide, kill weeds, or reseed, it is expected to pay for itself in approximately eight years.

Think of the benefits of not taking the time and back-breaking effort and getting sore ears from listening to constant nerve-racking noise from mowers and blowers that are needed for the mowing and other constant chores associated with real grass. The synthetic turf only makes a whispery rustle on occasion.

Artificial grass like that made by Titan Turf looks natural because of the way it is assembled. It also feels natural to bare feet and on your pet’s paws! Plastic is used to create long smooth blades of grass that look like real grass. It is laid down like a carpet over ground that has been properly prepared by putting down and compressing sand and adding a drainage system. The lawn is rolled out in sheets in such a clever manner that it is impossible to see the seams or the darts in the corners. The best artificial grass is comprised of yarn or fibers that are quilted or tufted into a backing to create the normal appearance of an organic lawn plus a material that keeps the grass blades erect.

Regular grass is also a nightmare for both the lawn and the environment, especially if you live in a dry climate where drinkable water by the millions of gallons is dumped into lawns every day. Imagine the conservation of water with synthetic grass and how you will also reduce your carbon footprint.

Hundreds of thousands of gas-powered mowers that cut natural grass, as well as leaf blowers, put 11 times more pollution into the air every hour than a car does.

You can get synthetic lawn that’s summer long or putting-green short or in between. You can choose from dark green or light green and even choose the color of the springy underlayer. There are variegated strands that have some dark and some light to make it look real.

Synthetic turf is also perfect for landscaping around swimming pools with its superior drainage capabilities. Even property developers are looking to turf for lawn solutions these days.

Artificial turf looks like you just put in the world’s most realistic looking pristine sod and have created the most beautiful and colorful lawn. You can let people think you have an extremely green thumb and a silent, invisible mower!

Getting a Little Help Around the Home

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Cleaning your home can be a time-consuming process, and with the busy schedules that people juggle today, it is not always feasible to find the time needed to do a good job at keeping a residence clean. Fortunately, there is help available for people who need a house cleaned while also meeting the demands of modern life. Professional cleaners who provide cleaning services can help give your house the attention that it needs when you are unable to.

There are many companies available to choose from when you need residential cleaning performed. Whether you are looking for a one-time cleaning or someone to clean to your home on a regular schedule, the flexible options that these cleaning professionals provide will be sure to satisfy your needs. Many residential cleaning companies also provide customized services that are suited for the nature of your particular residence. If there is something valuable in your residence that you wish not to be touched or only certain rooms that you desire to be cleaned, these cleaning professionals can accommodate you.

The larger cleaning companies are generally licensed, insured and bonded so that you have no need to worry about the possibilities of theft, damage or injury. They also provide all of the cleaning supplies and equipment that are necessary for your residential cleaning job so that you save money on having to stock those products. What your cleaning service will cost will depend on factors such as how much cleaning you are requesting and how often you need service.

With so many cleaning companies to choose from, there is almost certainly one available in your area that will help you achieve your cleaning goals. Contacting a professional cleaning company, such as Urban Outsource (if you live on the Northern Beaches) can be as simple as visiting its website or checking a phone book. Both nationwide cleaning companies and independent cleaning professionals are available, although the services the latter provide and whether they are bonded and insured will vary.

We are all incredibly busy these days and face challenges finding time to do everything that we need to do. Even if you have a busy schedule that makes it difficult to find time to clean your residence, there is a solution available in the form of professional cleaning services. These cleaners will come to where you live and take care of keeping everything clean for you. This means that when you find yourself with some free time, you can spend it comfortably knowing that cleaning your residence is something you won’t have to do.

Inspecting a Home Before You Buy

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If you think you’ve found your dream house, make sure it does not turn out to be a nightmare. Although it might look beautiful, there could be big defects lurking under the surface ready to take a bite out of your bank account once you move in. Make sure you hire a professional to perform a home inspection so you know what you are buying. Here are 10 key areas pre purchase property inspections should cover.

 

  1. The structure. How sound are the walls, basement foundation, floors and ceilings?
  1. The roof. If it is past its prime, replacing it is a huge expense. Check its condition as well as the gutters and attic.
  1. Exterior surfaces. How are the sides of the house? Is the siding in good shape? If the exterior walls are wood, brick or stone, are they in good condition? How about the drainage away from the house? Also look at the driveway, sidewalks, windows and door.
  1. Landscaping. Look past the pretty potted flowers. How healthy are the trees? Are there overgrown bushes that should be removed?
  1. Garage. If the house has one, make sure electrical outlets and switches work. Is the structure sound?
  1. Electric system. Is it sound? Is the grounding adequate? Is there enough power in key areas so you won’t be constantly blowing a fuse? Make sure all electric switches and outlets work.
  1. Plumbing. What kinds of pipes are used and are they in good condition? Consider toilets, bathtubs, sinks and showers. A handy guide to checking showers is available on the Home First blog.
  1. Heating and cooling systems. Make sure you won’t immediately need a new water heater or furnace. Check air conditioning and chimney.
  1. Appliances. If items such as refrigerators, washing machines and the like are included, make sure they work.
  1. Extras you may consider. If you are concerned about any of these special areas, make sure to get someone skilled in them to check the house for you: radon gas, lead paint, toxic mold and pests.

 

House inspections are one of the most important procedures in real estate sales. Once you have figured out the appropriate price for your budget, the neighborhood you want and the type of housing you desire, make sure to take the time to have potential properties inspected before you buy one. If the inspector finds significant defects, negotiate to have them fixed before you buy or see whether the seller will reduce the price to cove your repair bill. If this doesn’t work, walk away from the property and find one that truly will be your dream home.

Selling Your Home Through Facebook

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Selling a house is something that you should not take lightly. The method you choose to sell your house can literally be the difference between getting a great price, getting market value or getting less than your home is actually worth. Fortunately, there are more options available than ever before in terms of ways for people to sell their homes. The days of simply placing a classified ad in the newspaper are gone forever. The Internet is now playing a huge role when it comes to bringing buyers and sellers together in the housing market. Many of these connections have taken place on social media. This article is a great starting point for real estate agents looking to set up their own page, in case you’ve got an agent representing you at the same time and want double exposure. As you might expect, the biggest facilitator has been Facebook, the most popular social network by a wide margin. Facebook is now used by 1.3 billion people around the world, which is roughly half of the people who have Internet access. Let’s take a look at how a person should go about selling their home on Facebook:

 

What information do you put on Facebook?

The following tools can be used as a way of telling people your house is on the market:

  1. You can post a video tour of your house. Make sure your house looks its best when you record the video tour. Also, make sure you include all the important areas of the house.
  1. Post a photo album with a wide variety of photos of your home.
  1. Create a Facebook Note that includes important information about your house.
  1. If you have your house listed on a website featuring homes for sale by their owners, provide a link to this site so interested buyers can get more information about your property.

 

Privacy settings

Be certain that your link, Note, video and album are all set as “public” so all interested people will be able to view them. It is not necessary to make your account public in order to do this. You can also create a Facebook Fan Page for your home listing that you can share with others. You can restrict your personal details and wall posts to only the people you want to see them while you are selling your house. You can then leave your home info open to the public.

 

Should you do it all on Facebook?

While Facebook can be a great tool when selling your home, you should ideally use it in combination with other real estate selling resources. As mentioned earlier, there are sites specifically designed for people selling their own home to post photos and information about their properties. You can also start a website for the sale of your home that you can use in tandem with Facebook.

How to Evaluate Your Home Price Properly

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If you are contemplating put your home on the market, you obviously want to price it right to achieve your desired results as quickly as possible. Your goal as a seller will be to get the most money for your home that you can, while selling it in a reasonable time frame. A house that languishes on the market week after week and month after month can cost you money. When buyers see that a house that has been on the market for a long time, they will assume that it is overpriced or that something is wrong with it. An accurate property valuation is essential for selling your house for top dollar. This page is a good resource for people in Adelaide, to guage how much their house might be worth at a glance.

 

A real-estate appraisal professional is in the business of evaluating houses and determining their fair market values. Here are some of the criteria that real-estate appraisers will evaluate when determining the fair market value of a residential property.

 

Size Matters

The biggest consideration when determining a property valuation is the size of a house and yard. First, an appraiser will measure the square footage of each. Then he will look at the layout of your house and how it fits in with the neighborhood. Typically, most buyers look for three- and four-bedroom houses with at least two bathrooms. But that’s a very general rule. In a big city where apartments are prevalent, a two-bedroom, one-bathroom detached house can be very desirable.  More on the difference between valuation and appraisal here.

 

What Condition is Your House In?

Another very important thing that an appraiser will evaluate is the extent to which your house has been updated. An appraiser will look closely at the condition of plumbing and electrical systems. The presence of old copper pipes or knob-and-tube wiring can have a huge detrimental effect on the price you can expect for your home. The reason is that buyers purchasing a house that has plumbing and electrical systems that are not up to code will need to spend money to upgrade them.

 

What are the Comps?

“Comps” is real-estate lingo for “comparable sales.” An appraiser will call up a list of homes similar in size and condition of your home and located in the same neighborhood that have sold recently. The sale prices of homes similar to yours are indicative of the price that you can expect to sell your home for.

 

Deciding how much to list your home for can be very stressful. If the price is s too, high your house will sit on the market. If the price is too low, it will sell quickly but you’ll sacrifice profit. An appraiser can help you identify the price that’s right.

Design Your Home Online for Free

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If you are getting ready to build the home of your dreams, you have already spent hours pouring over blueprints and floor plans. You might feel that many of them are nothing more than cookie-cutter homes. In today’s world, you should not have to settle for something that is not completely and uniquely your own. There are many reasons to design your home online with one of the many online home designer tools like those available at http://www.digitaldecorator.com.au/. Many of these sites allow you to design your dream home and create blueprints at no cost.

 

Kitchens That Work

Every cook knows there is a certain way they like their kitchen to be arranged. From the placement of the sink to the location of cabinets, a kitchen design tool online free can help you create the perfect arrangement for your needs. Working with one of these online tools will help you maximize your available space or help you determine if you need to dedicate more space to your kitchen.

 

Dream Bathrooms

An online design tool can help you create your dream bathroom. With these tools, you can quickly move items around the bathroom space to determine the layout that will work best for your needs. You can choose a claw foot tub or garden tub and see exactly how they will fit into your new bathroom. You will be able to get a feel for how much space is available and make room for a linen closet or built-in shelves.

 

Bedrooms Shaped To Your Needs

You know how much space you need. A room designer tool will allow you to create a bedroom for twin sons or your large king size bed with oversized dresser and accent pieces. You will be able to design a seating area or a private reading nook in your bedroom. Perhaps, you want to maximize your available space by creating an extra bedroom with non-traditional shape and dimensions. An online designer tool makes this easy and fast.

 

Common Areas

Have you always dreamed of having a large laundry room? Creating your own floor plan online allows you to get exactly what you want. You can create common areas that open on to each other or section off each space with walls and doors. You will be able to quickly move these spaces around, adding walls and partitions as you like. You will be able to create your common areas in an arrangement that will work best for you and your family.

 

If you want your new home to fit all of your needs, then designing it online is your best option. You will quickly find that you are only limited by your imagination.

Taking Care Of Your Gutters

Caring for Gutters

The gutters of a home play a vital role, and they are crucial for the structure of a home’s roof. The main purpose of gutters is to manage the water flow of the roof by making sure the water flows in the opposite direct from the home. When the water is permitted to stay on the roof and thump the side of the house, it can cause tremendous damage. It is imperative that gutters are maintained and cleaned on a recurring basis to avoid clogs. Gutters should be looked over at least once prior to each season.

 

Inspecting The Roof And Gutters

Gutters should be consistently examined to make certain that they are draining properly. When gutters hold water, the risks of harboring debris, insects, and other objects increases. The weight of stagnant water can also cause gutters to pull away from the fascia.

When inspecting gutters, it is important to examine the slope of the gutters by placing a garden hose at the opposing end of the downspout. Turn the water on and check carefully how it drains. The water should flow effortlessly down the gutter and exit the downspout. While inspecting the gutters, it is an ideal time to inspect the roof as well for any wreckage, vulnerable sports, and broken shingles.

 

What About Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards are advertised as a means of helping gutters resist clogging from leaves, as well as water and debris – thus saving the homeowner from what could be a dangerous household task. Cleaning gutters is not easy!

 

The 5 main types of gutter protection include:

  • Mesh: This type of guard is composed of metal sheets filled with minute holes affixed to the roof shingles and covers the gutter.

  • Reverse Curve: This gutter guard moves the water downward while directing the leaves to the ground.

  • Bottle Brush: These gutter guards are manufactured from bristles that face perpendicular within the gutter. The debris sits on top as the water floats away.

  • Nylon: Nylon gutter protectors work quite well during winter because of their distinct design, which stops snow from accumulating and freezing.

  • Foam Gutter Protection: These are produced from plastic that fit right into the gutter, and assists with preventing debris from going into the gutter.

Note: Homeowners working on the curb appeal of their home should consider painting their gutters. This task does much more than increase the appeal of a home, when done correctly, painting gutters can also help improve the lifespan of the gutters as well.

The Benefits of Built In Wardrobes

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Are you wondering whether you should include a buit in wardrobe when you build your new home? The answer is yes. Built-in wardrobes have many advantages over their freestanding counterparts. Let’s take a look at five excellent reasons, according to Sliderobes, to consider designing a built in wardrobe for your home.

 

1. Get Exactly the Wardrobe You Want

You can design a built-in wardrobe exactly as you want it, and you can specify exactly the amount of space you want it to occupy. This is true even if you are working with plans that incorporate oddly-shaped or narrow rooms.

Does it drive you crazy that regular wardrobes don’t offer enough space for you to put your shoes away? When you design a built-in wardrobe, you can specify a shoe rack that’s designed for exactly the number of shoes you own. You can choose shelves, racks or baskets that would suit the belongings you plan to store in the wardrobe.

 

2. Smart Use of Space

Have you ever owned a wardrobe that didn’t quite fit in the space where it would have been most convenient to have it?

Have you ever had problems positioning the wardrobe in your room, because it seemed to look awkward no matter where you moved it to?

Have you ever ended up with wasted space in between the wardrobe and a wall, because it was too small to fill the allotted space?

When your wardrobe is built into the room it’s meant for, you’ll never have these worries. The wardrobe will fit seamlessly into the room, and it won’t waste any space whatsoever.

 

3. Just the Right Materials and Finishes

The woods, materials and finishes in your built-in wardrobe will coordinate flawlessly with the rest of the materials in the room where you are building it.

 

4. New, Contemporary Style

A built-in wardrobe differentiates your new home from older homes that don’t usually come with such contemporary features. It would be costly to remodel an older home to include a built-in wardrobe, but when you are building a new home it makes good sense to take advantage of the opportunity to include exactly the wardrobe you want.

 

5. A Smart, Tangible Investment for the Future

A built-in wardrobe is a tangible investment that you can use and enjoy. If you maintain it well, it can increase the value of your home, and make your home more attractive to potential buyers when the time comes to sell your home.

 

These advantages are well worth considering when you decide whether or not to include a built in wardrobe in your new home.

How Recent High School Graduates can Manage and Prevent Debt

How Recent High School Graduates can Manage and Prevent Debt

It seems like debt piles up all too quickly when you graduate high school. From paying for college to buying a new car to moving to a different town for school or work, there are a lot of new expenses that you need to adjust to when you leave your parents’ house for the first time. It may feel like it is impossible to keep yourself out of debt and create a stable financial future for yourself.

It is true that most high school graduates will need to take on some kind of debt initially to get them started, but this does not mean that you have to live with debt for the rest of your life. You can use credit wisely to create a better financial future for yourself. Here are some ways that recent high school graduates can manage debt and prevent excessive debt.

Take steps to build your credit

Your credit score is something that will be extremely important to you throughout your adult life. You will need to have good credit in order to have the things that you want in life, house, car, etc., so it is a good idea to start trying to build your credit score as soon as possible. One way that high school graduates can do this is by getting a credit card. Using your credit card correctly and responsibly will build your credit over time and prove to other lenders that you can use credit wisely.

Plan for the future with your student loans

One of the biggest expenses you will face after high school is paying for college. Most students will need to use student loans, but many adults struggle to pay off their student loans decades after they have graduated. Instead, you should have a plan for your student loan repayment before you even begin college. Most importantly, only take out what you need to pay for your school expenses and try to start paying off the loans as soon as possible. These actions will help you free yourself from student loan debt sooner.

Save money on new necessities

As was mentioned before, graduating high school comes will a lot of new expenses that many students did not have to pay for before. Living expenses make up a big part of this, and they add up quickly when you are unprepared for them. You can find a lot of ways as a student to lower your living expenses, like going to http://www.directenergyrates.net/ to find the best deals on energy for your home, living with roommates, or using student discounts at your local stores. Find out what deals you qualify for and combine as many as possible to save the most money.

Plan for emergencies

No matter how much effort you put into your new budget and how much you plan for your debt repayment, there is always a chance that an emergency will arise. It is a good idea to have an emergency fund set up, but many young people do not have the available funds to do this. Find out what other options you might have for getting extra cash in an emergency, like a small loan from TitleBucks, and know the best way to use it in case of an emergency.

Image: http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=2017

Author Bio:

Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on Twitter.

 

6 Tips to Reduce Heating Bills

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There are several reasons why each of us would want to reduce our heating bills. Firstly, of course, there is always a reason to save money by cutting down on unnecessary expenditures. Secondly, conserving energy is an environment friendly measure that helps to lower your carbon footprint. Producing as well as utilizing energy uses up precious resources and adds to pollution, which we can ill afford.

Lowering your energy bills is good for your pocket and good for the earth. We look at how heating and cooling Chicago or indeed heating in any other town or city can be done in a more energy efficient and economical manner.

1.     Insulation

Home insulation is important to prevent heat loss from the house. Older doors and windows may have some leaks and could be letting in more cold air, having to make your heating system work harder. So make sure that there are no leaks and that you use your drapes effectively to trap heat within the room. Attic insulation in particular can have a very beneficial impact on the home’s heating systems.

2.     Monitor your air quality

Clean filters and ensure that your ducting systems are clear. Not doing so will also increase energy consumption significantly.  During the colder months, when the heating system is working very hard, the filters can get clogged more frequently. Ensure that they are cleaned more frequently and if required, replaced. Filters, when improperly maintained, could lead to expensive repairs too.

3.     Use an energy efficient system

Ensure that the heating system you’re using isn’t power hungry. An energy efficient furnace could help you save up to 60% on your utility bills. Also ensure that maintenance and service checks are up to date. It is also possible to use a device such as a programmable thermostat to lower heating bills. These devices help you conserve energy by letting you program your heating system to go lower after you’re in bed. You can program it to lower or switch off while you’re out and to come on again when you’re due back.

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4.     Check the water heating settings

Do you really need the water in the taps to be that hot? Turning down the water heater settings can also help to significantly lower your heating bills.

5.      Use your ceiling fan

Many experts recommend that you use your ceiling fan in winter – for heating the room. As well we know, warm air rises while cool air descends. A ceiling fan will help circulate the warm air trapped at the top of the room to bring it lower and make the entire room warmer and more comfortable.

6.     Insulate yourself

Wear an extra layer when you’re hanging around the house. Place an extra blanket on the bed while you sleep. Use a fluffy throw to cuddle under as you watch a favorite movie on TV. Keep yourself warmer so that you don’t mind turning down the heating a bit. According to experts, each degree that you lower your heating thermostat can noticeably impact your heating bills.

 

About the Author:

Sarika Periwal writes home improvement and healthy living articles for online publications. She recommends All Temp for energy efficient temperature solutions for your home or office.

 

Image courtesy: http://www.pacific-tint.com/