Tag Archives: project

Is Your Home Ready For Winter?

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Is Your Home Ready For Winter?

The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and winter is officially among us. The temperatures are dropping and you don’t have to be an expert to know that you have to get yourself ready for the cold. As a person, you bring out the winter coats and sweaters, swapping sandals for boots and wrapping up in scarves and fluffy hats. Preparing yourself for the cold is easy, but you need to think about how you’re preparing your house for the battering of the wind and rain that’s bound to happen. There are a lot of things that you could be doing to make sure that your home is as ready as possible for the season.

Getting your house ready is not just about keeping the cold out of the house. It’s about making sure that you’re not paying out damages because your house hasn’t managed to stand up under the freezing conditions. So, with all of that in mind, you need to consider what you should be doing to get your house ready for the cold months and how to ensure that it doesn’t become damaged in the process:

Clear Your Gutters:

Rain and wind whip up leaves and debris, blocking the gutters and causing a sloppy mess to clog the drains. With the freezing temperatures, you end up with frozen water behind the gunk in the gutters. This causes a blockage, the gutter to crack, and an overflow issue that could turn into icicles over the side of the house. The problem with this, is that if they break up and fall, it could cause a lot of damage for cars – and people. Clearing the gutters should be a job that you hire out for someone else to do, but it’s one of the most essential tasks on your to-do list if you don’t want leaks in the roof and the walls of the home.

Check Your Boiler:

One of the worst things that could happen to your house during the winter is the loss of heating. Over the winter, the last thing that you need is to have freezing cold kids and be able to see your breath in the house. The one thing that you need to do is get your boiler serviced before the cold really does set in. making sure that your engineer is able to check over your boiler is important, and they will be able to catch any issues before your boiler breaks down and you lose your heating or hot water in a sudden breakdown.

Watch The Foundation:

Did you know that the cold has a huge effect on the foundation of your house? Fixing a foundation crack is only easy if you can find the crack and know what caused it in the first place. Soil heaves and contracts when the ground freezes and melts, and this is called a frost heave cycle. It’s also the cycle that has a negative impact on your home’s foundation. They are dangerous and can be incredibly expensive to repair. The damage can and does occur before freezing point, too, and if you don’t take care of the foundation, you risk huge damage to the rest of the house.

Sweep The Chimney:

Not everyone has one, but if you have a chimney that you need to maintain, it’s time to call in the professionals. Chimney fires are caused by unclean chimneys that haven’t been looked after. You could severely underestimate the severity of a chimney fire, forgetting to clear out the chimney altogether. They do occur frequently, though, so think about bringing in the professionals now and get it cleared so that you don’t end up with a house fire to end all house fires.

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Sweep that chimney!

Insulate Your House:

You invested in a proper winter coat, with scarf, gloves, and a hat for yourself. The thing that you have to do next is ensure that you’ve insulated your house well. Most of the heat in the home is lost through the roof and this means that insulating the loft is the best thing that you could do for your home. Cavity wall insulation is the next thing that you can invest in, and if you are really wanting to invest in some insulation, think about providing your house with extra carpet offcuts, rugs, and curtains! Any way that you can insulate the house should be done, and you should do it early so that you don’t end up with a house that is losing energy.

Hug Your Pipes:

Speaking of insulation, have you invested in pipe insulation yet? These look like pool noodles covered in electrical tape and they are the best thing that you can put around your pipes to make sure that there isn’t any freezing water in the pipes that could cause them to burst. It’s not just a way that you could flood your home, it’s also a way to have a very expensive repair bill when you have to replace your entire plumbing system. Go around your pipes and insulate them well, removing any vegetation as this can also cause damage to the pipe systems.

Being ready for winter with cute boots and a new thick coat is one thing, but you have a house to prepare, too. Get warm, get the right people, and make your house the coziest ever this winter.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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Solutions For A Home That’s Seen Better Days

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Solutions For A Home That’s Seen Better Days

It might be tempting to throw in the towel if you’ve grown tired of your home’s appearance. As the years go by, a household’s design can quickly become dated and forlorn. Things start breaking, clutter starts to shrink the rooms, and your house no longer feels as fresh as it once did. If you’re out of ideas to improve the situation, then here are some solutions for a home that’s seen better days:

Do more with your space:

The first solution that might help a worn-out home is to do more with the space. For starters, you should consider decluttering. Sometimes, a household simply appears old and worn out because it’s cluttered. Getting rid of possessions you no longer need will help to open the available space in your home and also create a minimalistic layout. With increased spaciousness, there are more opportunities to reinvent your humble abode.

Of course, if you assess that your home is just too small for you and your family, then it might be time to move on. You should do some research on the real estate market if this is the case. You might be able to find a property that’s better suited to the needs of your family. If you’ve cleared out your house and still feel like it’s too small for you, then this might be your best option. On the plus side, a minimalist aesthetic is more attractive to potential buyers. If you’re going to sell your old house, then stripping it back in terms of design might help you on your mission.

Give it a better external face:

If you really want to improve your worn-out home, then you need to give as much attention to its exterior design as the interior. A modern household on the inside might not have the same impact if it looks shabby on the outside. Start off by cleaning up your front yard. Putting away loose items, pulling up weeds that are coming through concrete cracks, and cleaning the driveway are all simple ways to spruce up your household exterior. Maybe you should plant some flowerbeds and even get hanging flower baskets for either side of your front door, too. This will give your home’s front face some eye-grabbing visuals.

 

Use lighting to create an impact:

Lighting can really create an impact in a home if used correctly. As shown in the picture below, neutral wall paint can help to reflect daylight and brighten up a room. Even using different flooring can help to put your house’s lighting to better use. Rather than using carpet in your home, which can quickly become tacky and unappealing, you could use laminated wooden flooring to help reflect light and brighten up your home. If you want to retain the comfort factor, then rugs can easily achieve the same effect as carpet without losing the chic aesthetic of wooden flooring. Plus, natural materials such as wood are classic and timeless; your home will look fresh and modern on an endless basis.

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Windows on windows on windows

Every home needs freshening up now and again, so use the above tips to get your house feeling back to how it did when you first bought it and experience a world of difference.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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.

improve3What a perfect color for the door! 😀

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!

Featured Image By: BlogSpot

Reader Map Update

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Reader Map Update

Hiiii everyone and happy weekend! So yesterday I was hanging out and listening to a little I’m From Barcelona and their song “Collection Of Stamps” came on. This song, a little ditty that gives an ode to friends and locations world wide reminded me that it’s been a while since I posted an updated reader map picture. So first, take a listen. And then, take a look!

(As always, I have no rights to this song. I just like it a lot.)

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I started making my reader map once I had a little over forty countries reading me with the pure intention of keeping track of them all. But now, with over one hundred and seventy different countries that are hip to lifewithlilred, this map serves as so much more than a location tracker. This little project that I began gives me such an immense feeling of pride every time I look at it – which is frequently, considering it’s located in my bedroom!

To know that the page that little old me started two and a half years ago is reaching locations that I never even knew existed completely blows my mind. This map has also made me SO much better at the geography questions on Jeopardy, which is a really nice added bonus! As soon as “Collection Of Stamps” came on, it made me think of all of my wonderful readers, friends, and followers in the blogging community and I just knew that I had to send a shout out to them in an Updated Reader Map post.

Thank you all so, so much for stopping by my page. If it’s as a one time reader or a loyal follower, I appreciate it far more than you know. Many well wishes and a ton of love to each and every one of you!

What country on my reader map would you like to visit some day? Where are you located? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Amazing DIY Projects You Need To Try Next Year

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Being able to make something out of practically nothing is pretty awesome isn’t it? There’s nothing more satisfying than starting out with just a few chunky pieces of wood and ending up with something super awesome to fill your home or garden with.

Furniture and decor these days is so stupidly expensive that it makes sense to do it yourself. Even the pieces that are supposed to look old and shabby cost a fortune these days, if not more, so why bother forking out all of those extra dollars when you can do it for a much cheaper price yourself?

DIY projects aren’t just great for the final result, either. You’ll have something to fill your time with, a new set of skills, and, of course, the patience of a saint afterwards. If you’ve got some spare time on your hands (or little to no spare cash), then try these DIY projects and kick start your new year in style.

  1. The Most Stylish Table Lamps You’ll Ever See: This one is actually amazingly cheap as well as super easy. If you have some spare wine glasses around the house and a few paper shades (if not, both of these items are easy to find and can literally be purchased for a few dollars), drop an LED tea light into the wineglass and cover it with a paper shade. These make the perfect dinner table lampshades that are both safe and stylish to use.
  1. A Side Table With Style: If you have some old window shutters in the garage that haven’t been used in years, then why not put them to good use? You’re clearly not going to use them for their original purpose again so, instead, make a table from them and have an amazingly quirky looking table in one of your rooms for little to no cost.

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  1. A Lick of Paint Never Did Anyone Any Harm: If you’ve opened a tin of paint recently and got all of your walls finished, then you don’t need to throw the leftovers in the bin. Paint is expensive these days so you don’t want to waste a drop! Use what’s left to freshen up the furniture around the house. Chairs, tables, display surfaces – whatever is looking a little downbeat, spruce it up in the simplest, cheapest, and easiest way possible.

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  1. A Little Woodwork Knowledge Goes a Long Way: If you’re not much of an expert where woodwork is concerned, then don’t worry because that doesn’t need to stop you from having great wooden furniture in your home. Simple projects like a stowaway bench will bring character to the kitchen or garden play area. For tips on what sort of equipment you’ll need to get the job done properly, check out Straight Kerfs’ homepage.
  1. Make Your Decor Pop With Mini Bursts of Color: If you find that your all white furniture leaves your home looking a little boring, then there’s no need to go out and spend a fortune on replacing it all. Simply cover the metal or wooden handles with patterned fabric swatches. You can mix or match and have your home looking far more colorful at the cost of just a few dollars.
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    Bring on the color for a fun new look!

How do you DIY? What is one DIY project that you’re really proud of? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: NCI Training Edition

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Monday Update: NCI Training Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday!! This past Thursday I had my training for the National Core Indicators (NCI) research project in association with the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio…What a mouthful! I had the honor of being one of fifty out of over five hundred selected to take part in this opportunity and I was so happy to be there – even though I had to get up at 4:15 in the morning to begin my day! Let’s discuss, but first take a look at some of the responsibilities that my new job will hold by watching some or all of this video:

My day began early on Thursday morning and didn’t stop until I got home at roughly 7:30 in the evening. After I finished getting myself ready for the day, I packed some snacks, made some coffee, and then hit the road. I live in Akron, Ohio and my drive to Columbus took a little over two hours. Luckily, I began my drive early enough to account for traffic because the rush hour traffic was insane! I had to be at The Ohio State University’s McCampbell Hall by 8:30 to begin checking in and because of my early start I made it right on time.

When I got to our designated room number, I was a bit taken aback by the fact that I was easily the youngest person there. Everyone was at least thirty or older and as I learned throughout the day, all of them had some type of job in the field of service for people with developmental disabilities. Other members of the research project had children with some type of special needs and there were also some fantastic self advocates taking part in the day as well. My parents were so impressed when I told them this and I have to say, I was quite impressed with myself, too!

Our day began at 9:00 sharp and we were introduced to the responsibilities we would have as members of the NCI research project. It’s going to be our job to interview people with developmental disabilities to make sure that through the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities they’re receiving the best care possible. It’s also going to be our duty to report anything suspicious to make sure that there is no negligence or abuse going on.

Throughout the day we watched and analyzed the video I posted above, learned how to report possible cases of abuse, and listened to speakers such as the head of the Nisonger Center at OSU who is assisting with this project, department heads at the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities, and the people in charge of the NCI project. It was so cool to be able to ask questions and interact with people who are in such high esteem in the world of developmental disabilities.

My training went on until five in the afternoon and I learned so much. We went over the survey that we’ll be completing in extensive detail and I feel confident in my ability to do it well. I have a folder full of paper with the slides of the Powerpoints that we were viewing too so I can look over them whenever I need. My mom read some of them with me too because she’s a developmental pediatrician and is always hungry for more knowledge!

My day was so jam packed with information that I couldn’t even begin to cover it all in one post. All of the speakers did a great job of holding my interest because it definitely would have been easy to zone out during the day! I am so happy to take part in such an important project and I can’t wait to begin conducting my interviews throughout the next few months!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: NCI Training Edition! How was everyone’s weekend? What are your plans for the holidays? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah