Tag Archives: maintenance

5 Tips For Preparing For Your Next Dinner Party (While Quarantined!)

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5 Tips For Preparing For Your Next Dinner Party (While Quarantined!)

As we move into warmer months ahead, you may be nostalgic for the days of sunshiny afternoons and barbecues with friends. While many of us are still in quarantine, we’re all hopeful that life can go back to resembling some form of normalcy in the coming months.

What are some of the things you could do now to prepare your home for friend get-togethers later when the world starts reopening? Let’s go over five easy tips to help you prepare for your next dinner party… all while you are quarantined:

Get your yard under control:

There’s no time like the present when it comes to doing yard work. Trim hedges and bushes. Power washing any exposed concrete, deck boards, or sidewalks is a great way to make your home really seem well taken care of. If weeds are starting to crowd out plants now, get on top of them since they will only get worse as the weather gets better.

Get those windows washed:

Better yet, consider hiring a monthly window cleaner to make sure your house windows shine like the top of the Chrysler building. Smudges from dirty fingers, dog and cat noses, and bugs make a home look messier than it is.

Speaking of bugs…

Call a local pest control to make sure you don’t have any potential critters coming. Yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps are best taken care of in late spring or early summer months, and nobody wants those bugging them at our friendly get-togethers. Mosquitoes, ticks, and other yard bugs can be controlled with a semi-annual pest control visit.

Do that deep cleaning you’ve been putting off:

You can check out an older blog that mentions the cleaning musts that many of us forget when doing deep or spring cleaning. If you’re not a fan of scrubbing floors and the weird crevices in your bathroom, do all the basic cleaning, then hire a company to do the deep cleaning for you. If the weather has turned beautiful in your neck of the woods, open up those doors after you’ve cleaned to get any of the cleaning product scents out of the home while bringing in some fresh air.

Planning makes perfect:

Plan the perfect dinner party ahead of time. When you throw a get-together, it always seems to take more time to organize than what you expect. Run down a list of things that you need to do before you would want people eating and chatting over a delicious dinner at your house. If you need extra utensils, cloth napkins, citronella candles, or tablescape items like tablecloths and vases, research affordable ones and order them online or place a curbside order for them.

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Lovely!

Quarantine life has been difficult, but making the most of it doesn’t have to be. As we transition into some form of new normal, many of us are craving social interaction that we took for granted before. Now is the time to get your home in a great place to host the get-together we’ve all been dreaming of for the past several months once it’s safe to do so!

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Blog Maintenance Tips & Tricks

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Blog Maintenance Tips & Tricks

Hiii everyone and TGIF! While I was sick AF a few weeks ago, I found myself worrying a lot about my blog, because I was not well enough to take care of daily maintenance. But, upon returning back to a healthy state of being, I found that I didn’t have anything to worry about, because I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Daily blog maintenance is so important, even when you can’t do it daily. How is that possible? I’m going to show you how:

Prewrite, Please:

You might notice on lifewithlilred that all of my posts are published at midnight every night. That’s compliments of prewriting. At one time, I normally have three to four posts scheduled so that I don’t have to worry about three to four days of writing. That’s why, when I was sick, I could breathe a sigh of relief because I had articles on backstock being published every day. This is the perfect solution for those who don’t have the time to write daily, but might have a free evening to knock out several posts in one sitting.

But, where do you get ideas for multiple posts at once? So glad you asked, because this leads me to my next tip:

Take Notes:

This sounds so basic, I know. But, damnit, if it isn’t the most valuable tip on here. How do I get so many things to prewrite about? Because I take notes on anything and everything for inspiration for future posts. Even if I just need a reminder to write about something the following day, I make note of it, because god knows how easy it is to forget an important memo in one days’ time. My notes range from writing about a new pair of shoes that I just bought to taking pictures next time I go on a hike in one of Ohio’s amazing Metro Parks. Reviewing my notes gives me ample inspo to create daily posts, which is something that is important to me for lifewithlilred.

Create Goals:

This ties into the last sentence of Taking Notes. Creating goals for yourself and things that are important to you for your page definitely can help keep you on track. What’s important to you for your page might be different than anyone else, but that’s part of what makes your blog unique. My goals for my page are to maintain daily posts and to log on at least once per day to interact with my readers in the comments. Once you identify what is important to you when it comes to blogging, every thing else just falls into place.

What are some of your goals for your page? What are some of your tips and tricks when it comes to blogging? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

A Quick Home Maintenance Guide For Homeowners

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A Quick Home Maintenance Guide For Homeowners

Homeowners need to get to grips with home maintenance if they’re going to keep their home running well and comfortable enough to live in. This quick home maintenance guide can give you a few useful tips that will help you to keep on top of things now and in the future:

Keep Your Furnace And HVAC Filters In Working Order:

If you don’t stay on top of your furnace and HVAC filters, dust and grime will accumulate and this will mean they run less efficiently, costing you more money. Allergens and pollutants can also get trapped, and you don’t want those being spread around your home. All you have to do is turn off the system and look at the filters to see if they are grimy. Check these over every year.

Recaulk Your Windows:

Heat loss in the winter happens due to cracks in the windows 80% of the time. Sealing the space around them will help you to solve this issue quickly, so you can keep your home warm and save money. Make sure that you choose the right caulk by speaking to a professional so that you can get it right the first time. If you book in a professional home inspection, they’ll look for this and give you tips on maintaining your home to help protect your investment.

Check Wooden Decks For Moisture:

Wooden decks must be sealed and stained to stop rot and permanent water damage. A splash test will give you a good idea if the sealant is still doing its job. You’ll see droplets on the deck if it’s working. If not, then you need to take the time to reseal your deck, doing this every 2-3 years in total.

Check For Water In The Crawl Space:

You want to avoid mold and water damage to your house as much as possible, so just grab a flashlight and take a look. Have a look for changes in color, the corners, and the edges. You can also use your fingers to see if you feel any dampness. You need to make sure this is fixed before rainy weather comes, as you don’t want to let any more moisture in.

Touching Up Your Exterior Paint:

Your paint greatly contributes to your curb appeal, and staining will help to protect your home from rusting and rotting. Take your time and look for chipping, peeling, blistering, or cracking on every part, every summer. You may, then, need to take your time sanding, scraping, patching, priming, and re-painting small areas.

Maintain Your Fireplace:

If your fire isn’t running the way it should, it could go as far as killing you with toxic gases. At the very least, it’ll take up a lot of energy. It’s always better to build a relationship with a professional that you trust to help you with this. If you have a wood burning fireplace, then it’s especially important to stay on top of maintenance. Creosote is a by-product of burning wood and this can build up in your chimney and create a fire hazard.

Keeping up with simple maintenance will keep your home running smoothly and will save you money in the long run.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

The Ultimate Guide To Appliance Maintenance

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Home appliances can cost a lot of money. If you are on a budget, then it can be a major blow to have to replace or repair one of your frequently used appliances. By taking good care of the appliances that you already have, you can extend their lifespan and avoid having to pay out for new ones. Here are some top tips for keeping your home appliances in good working order for the year:

Refrigerator Maintenance: Almost every home has a refrigerator in it, and you’d be pretty stuck without it, so it is a good idea to keep it well maintained. A good refrigerator can last you up to twenty years if you look after it properly, and you don’t need to do much maintenance on them. The coolant inside the fridge will never need replacing, you just simply need to vacuum the coils on the back of the fridge. A lot of new models these days come with a dust cover to stop anything from getting into the back, so you won’t need to do much maintenance at all.

Be on the lookout for water build up in the tray at the bottom of the fridge, which can cause mold. This can be easily stopped by emptying and cleaning out the tray once in awhile. If your fridge does end up breaking, it is cheaper to get it repaired than to buy a new one. Click here to find repair services in your area. But, if you do end up getting a new fridge, then you need to make sure that you properly prepare it before using it. It needs to be left for twenty four hours before being switched on otherwise the coolant will not settle properly.

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Stove Maintenance: There are many  different types of stoves, and most of them tend to be electric but a lot of people are opting for gas these days. If you want to make your stove last, then you need to give it proper, regular cleaning. Your oven may have a self cleaning option but this will use a lot of electricity and are not always as effective as putting some serious elbow grease into your cleaning. Cleaning it just after using is the best way to maintain your oven.

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Spick and span!

Washing Machine Maintenance: An older washing machine that is not properly looked after can be prone to leaks. This can be very damaging to your home and leave you with an expensive bill. But, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Most leaks come from the pipe in the back of the machine, so it is best to use a threaded pipe. Avoid over tightening it because this can cause the washer to crack and the washing machine to leak.

Putting too many clothes in at once will also damage the motor in your machine, and putting too much detergent in can cause clogging. Make sure that you measure the correct amount each time to keep your machine running longer. And, if you live in an area with hard water, then it is worth running some vinegar through the machine every so often to stop limescale from building up.

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Cleanliness is godliness!

The Forgotten Home Repair That Became Part of Your Life

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The Forgotten Home Repair That Became Part of Your Life

You’ve probably realized that in life, there are things that we always get used to and it becomes second-nature to us or we take it for granted. For instance, if you’re sitting at a computer right now or using your smartphone to read this article, then there are probably some muscle-memory maneuvers that you’ve practiced over and over again which became so natural that you don’t even think about it.

This is just the result of our brain getting used to something. If we repeat a task long enough, it becomes something that we do without thinking. This is, sadly, something that can have both a positive and negative effect. The negative typically comes in the form of things that we do at home and most of the time it has to do with home repairs.

Think about your home and try to pinpoint some home repairs that you never got around to. That crack in the wall near your front entrance? Yes, the one you’ve hidden behind a painting for how long. Or what about the lower water pressure on one of the taps in your bathroom? You didn’t think it was much of an issue and you deal with it every morning, but is it really normal for a tap to dribble water like that instead of pouring it out? The answer is no, btw! Here are some things that you should look into getting fixed before it causes any more problems in your home:

Fixing things before they get too bad:

Faults around the home are often the result of some underlying issues. If left for too long, it could negatively effect our lives and even cause more damage than you’d expect. For instance, a leaky pipe might not be much of an issue now and you’ll probably deal with it by putting a dish underneath the pipe to collect the water, or you might take it a step further and plug the pipe with something. However, that doesn’t change the fact that you have a crack in the pipe that can grow larger and eventually cause a lot of damage to your entire plumbing system. A quick Google search of “plumbers near me” will reveal dozens of services that are more than willing to perform inspections and fix your issues, no matter how minor they seem. Just remember to take every home repair seriously so that they don’t spiral out of control.

Fixing things before you need them:

Remember that faulty air conditioner in your home that broke towards the end of last summer? Perhaps you haven’t used your air conditioning unit for a while because we’re only in spring, but why not fix it before summer comes? A broken air conditioner that spits out less air or isn’t as cool as it should be is a faulty one. Perhaps you didn’t mind because it was the tail end of summer and the days were getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean that you should leave it broken and force it to become part of your life. Never settle for broken or faulty appliances and always repair them to get the most value out of them and to prevent them from developing more faults!

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Things To Fix Ahead of Summer

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Things To Fix Ahead of Summer

Summer is such an amazing season. The weather gets warmer, people get happier, things are generally a lot more relaxing and laid back. There’s not a lot to grumble about – unless you haven’t made the preparations to enjoy this time of the year as much as you could have done. The more dormant months that make up winter into spring are the ones that need to be utilized in order to get everything ready and raring to go to make this year a summer to remember!

In The Garden: There’s a lot in the back yard that we put to good use in the summer months. Things like barbecues, furniture, and the garden in general all need a good seeing to before the warmer weather hits. Ideally, barbecues should be stored inside a place like a shed or garden room in order to prevent rusting or at the least have a cover on them to protect them from the colder weather that the winter months throws at them.

If you haven’t done this, now is the time to get out the wire brushes and go to town on cleaning it down and making it safe for further use. Furniture, especially if wooden, needs to have a lick of weatherproof paint to keep it in excellent condition for the next couple of months. While plants and grass tend to get out of control once the sun starts to beat down on them, there is a time when they are dormant and more manageable. Getting on top of the garden before the garden gets on top of you is definitely the way to go!

In The House: We all know that summer, in the majority of cases, means warmer weather. This means that we need to make plans for getting ourselves cooler and back to a normal body temperature again. It is so easy to overheat without realizing it, and the chances of dehydrating yourself are greater during this period of the year. If you know that your air conditioning was giving up the ghost at the end of last year, consider getting an ac repair service done to get it back to good working order. Ensure that everything that keeps things cool is working, like your fridge and freezer. The last thing you want is for either of these things to fail in weather that the food is more likely to turn bad in. And it would be a shame for all of those delicious popsicles to melt into a sticky juice!

In The Car: Unsurprisingly, most car failures happen in extreme weathers of either hot or cold. Making sure that you are carrying a spare bottle of water around with you, should your car start to overheat, can be a lifesaver if you’re stuck out on the road without a service station nearby. Make sure that you pack extra snacks and water for yourself, too, just in case the worst happens. The last thing that you want is to be stranded with your tummy rumbling – especially in the heat! #myworstnightmare

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Home Upgrades Guaranteed To Attract Buyers

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Home Upgrades Guaranteed To Attract Buyers

Buying a home is a momentous occasion in many people’s lives. The process can be daunting, long, and full of highs and lows –  most of us have experienced the drama of finding our supposed dream home, only to lose out on it at the very last minute. Yes, the property market can be fickle. But it is also worth being realistic about it. Very few people actually stay in their first home, or even their second homes, forever. As homes are progressing in value all of the time and as people start to need more room for whatever reason (children being the most common cause), buying and selling property is something many of us do every few years.

But, if you thought that buying a home was hard, just wait until you start selling! Trying to find a buyer for your property that meets your requirements can be a laborious process, and there’s nothing worse than having to drop your asking price because you’re not sure how else to attract a buyer. This, however, should only ever be seen as a last resort. There are plenty of other things that you can do to raise the value of your home so that when it’s time for it to go on the market, you just know you’ll be swarmed with offers:

Get Any Maintenance Issues Fixed: If you’re planning on being out of your house in a few months, it can be tempting to leave that annoying maintenance issue for the next tenants to deal with. However, this could potentially cost you the sale of the house. Buyers aren’t stupid, especially when there is such a huge amount of money at stake.  Don’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, because you just risk the buyer pulling out at the last moment when they find out what is truly wrong with the house. Spend some time and money getting any outstanding issues fixed – it will pay off, we promise!

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Handy is dandy!

Spruce Up The Outside Of Your Home: It’s easy to see why most people spend money on decorating the inside of their homes as opposed to the outside – after all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? Wrong! Well, to an extent anyways. Most buyers now turn to the internet to seek out available properties these days, and the first picture that they are likely to see will be a shot of your home’s exterior. This is your one chance to make a good impression, so make it count! If, for example, you have a large double garage, but it is let down by some ugly titanium doors, find somewhere local that can provide great garage doors to spruce the exterior up a little. Giving your door a lick of paint and adding some shrubs and plants to brighten the place up can also increase the value of your home more than you might think.

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Focus On The Kitchen & Bathroom: If you have a limited budget for the pre-selling remodel, it is wise to focus your attention on either the kitchen or the bathroom. These tend to be the most used rooms in the house, and for that reason, they are also the most expensive to remodel. Your buyer will appreciate having a ready-made kitchen or bathroom that they can start using straight away, so if you are going to remodel any part of your property, make sure it is one of these two rooms.

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The Eiffel Tower is a nice touch! 😉

Give the inner and outer exteriors of your home a run through, and nitpick what you can find to fix or spruce up to raise your property value today!

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Miracle Maintenance For Your New Bathroom

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Miracle Maintenance For Your New Bathroom

So, you’ve recently had some bathroom upgrades? Good for you. Too few of us treat our bathrooms with the love they deserve. And, having a good looking bathroom is as important as any other room in the house. More, in fact, because it gets so much use! But, getting the place looking the way you want it is only half of the battle. Because of the very nature of the room, it can be harder to keep things looking nice. There’s water, muck, and other things we’d rather not mention… As such, your bathroom is going to start looking grubby sooner than you anticipate. That’s why we’re going to look at how to keep it looking better for longer. Your bathroom is worth it!

Water, Water Everywhere: Water is the biggest problem because, in short, there’s a lot of it! As most of us know, large amounts of water do not mix well with beautiful decor. You have to tackle splashing, condensation, and general water build up. Within no time, your wallpaper will start to peel or your paint will become bubbly and faded. There’s not much that you can do about the amount of water in the bathroom. You have to wash, after all. I mean, your bathroom is important, but not that much!

But, there are steps that you can take to reduce the damage. The less water that escapes from your shower, the better. That’s why it’s worth looking at something like this stunning range of shower enclosures. Keeping the water contained will make a huge difference. It’s also worth investing in a bath mat. That way, your floor is safe from any puddles. And, don’t forget to turn your extractor fan on whenever you’re washing. The more condensation you clear, the better.

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Grab a towel, STAT!

Clean, Clean, CLEAN: The reasons for keeping your bathroom clean are evident. But, cleanliness aside, cleaning will ensure that your decor and appliances stay spick and span. You should give the room a once-over every few days to keep things looking sparkling. Letting this slide will lead to yellow toilet bowls and moldy bath tiles in no time (ew!). And, once you let these problems grow, they’ll be a lot harder to solve. It’s also worth looking into the best cleaning methods. This is especially important when it comes to getting between your tiles. It’s not an easy job, but it’s important that you stay on top of the problem for floors so clean you can eat off of…But not really though, please!

Redecorate Regularly: You heard right, we’re afraid. Despite your best efforts, there’s going to come a time when you have to redecorate. There’s a reason so many people have peeling paint in their bathrooms. Blame that good old damp again! But, peeling paint is not going to fit with the beautiful look that you’ve created for your bathroom. The good news is, is that it’s a small room to decorate, so it shouldn’t take an enormous amount of time. Save any leftover paint you have from the first time around and as soon as you notice your paint is suffering, consider redoing it again. It’s the only way to keep things perfect!

The throne room may not be your favorite room to maintain for obvious reasons but with proper care and a little TLC, you can keep your bathroom looking better, longer!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Maintenance Checks for When Spring Has Sprung

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Many places might just be reaching peak winter conditions but spring isn’t too far around the corner. It will be here before you know it, so don’t despair if the cold weather is getting you down. If you can’t wait for spring to arrive, you can start thinking about how to prepare your home for slightly warmer weather. Winter can be harsh on some parts of your home and other things could be a little rusty from misuse. Take your spring cleaning to the next level by doing a bit of spring maintenance as well. These tasks will help get you started:

Clean Your Gutters: Wind, snow, and rain during the cold months can affect your home’s gutters, spouts, and roof. Leaves and other debris might block up your gutters, making it harder for them to drain properly. With rainy spring weather on the way, you need them to be able to cope with a lot of water. Cleaning them out, along with your downspouts, is an essential job to do before the spring. You should also make sure to inspect your roof to ensure that there is no damage. It needs to hold up through the spring to keep your home warm and dry.

Check Your Air Conditioner: Spring might not be the time to put your AC unit on just yet, but you don’t want to leave it until the last minute. Checking your air conditioner well before the summer months is essential if you don’t want it to suffer a sudden breakdown once it’s stifling hot. There are a few simple jobs you might do yourself, such as changing the filter. However, it’s a good idea to schedule an AC service from a professional to give it a thorough check. They’ll know what to look for to make sure that your air conditioner is working correctly.

Check Your Home’s Exterior: Winter can put a stop to working on the exterior of your home. Who wants to paint their house or fix any fences while it’s so cold? But once the weather gets a little warmer, it’s a good opportunity to do these jobs. You don’t want to do them when the temperature is through the roof, either! Check decks, fences, and other woodwork to see if you need to reseal them before the spring rains arrive. You might choose spring to paint your home’s exterior or maybe install some new siding.

Tend to Your Garden: When spring first arrives, it still might not be the best time for planting. However, you can start to prepare your garden for later. Turning over your soil once it’s not too hard to do so is a good task to start with. Start planning what you want to plant and when you need to plant it. It might be time to unwrap or replant some plants that you had to protect during the winter, too.

Spring is a time of renewal, so take the opportunity to refresh your home. It’s a good way to get your mojo back after a cold and blah winter!

Every Little Bit Helps – Subtle Changes to Make Your Home Look Like A Million Bucks

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If you’re serious about making your home look more awesome, you need to take action now. There are, of course, plenty of big changes that you can make. But, there are also subtle things you can do as well that will really make a big difference. So, check out these ideas and try to use them to make your home even better.

DIY Facelift: When it comes to subtle changes that will make your home stand out you need to think about what you can do yourself. Often you’ll find that a DIY facelift can have a great impact on sprucing up your home. And this is something you can do yourself without much hassle and for limited cost. Try to make some changes yourself where possible, such as painting the property and making repairs. These small changes can make a huge difference and they don’t have to set you back a lot of time or money.

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Make the Front Garden More Presentable: The front garden, in many ways, is the most important part of the property. This is what catches people’s eye and makes them want to see your home in the first place. When you’re looking to sell, the presentation is everything. And, even if you aren’t looking to sell, you still have to make sure you are proud of the way your property looks. There are subtle changes you can make to the front of the home to make it look better. For instance, you could check out mailboxworks.com residential mailboxes to add a post box and smarten things up. You might consider planting some colorful flowers and replacing the front door with something that looks nicer. Making random changes here and there can really help you make the most of the front of your home.

Have a Clear Out: You need to make sure you tackle the inside of the home and get rid of some of the clutter you have, too. We are all natural hoarders and we all have stuff that we don’t need. So, it’s time to declutter and get serious. Tackling major in home projects and decluttering will give you the opportunity to focus on small odd jobs that you need to do to spruce up your space. You might be surprised by how much space you can create by getting rid of the mess in the home. It will make your home look much better and more spacious as a result.

Artificial Lawn: How would you like to have a lawn that looks amazing all year round? Something that you never have to trim, water, or maintain, and it still looks amazing? Well, in that case, you need to consider getting an artificial lawn. There are so many reasons why you might consider getting a false lawn but the convenience and low upkeep are two of the most obvious. These days you can get artificial lawns that look so good you’ll barely know the difference. And, the best part about them is that they will look amazing throughout the year, no matter what the weather is like.

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An amazing looking home is all about making the right choices with projects large and small to create a pleasing aesthetic. And, despite what you might think, this doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of subtle changes you can make that will help to make the home look a lot better on the inside and out.