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Simple, Inexpensive Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home

Are you considering placing your home on the market? If so, you should first make sure that you're maximizing your home equity. Many homeowners engage in large-scale home improvement projects to make the property a lot more appealing to prospective buyers. But things can go wrong if you aren't careful. Instead of shelling out thousands of dollars on large-scale projects, check out these DIY remodeling projects that can still effectively increase your home's value.

1. Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

The kitchen is said to be the heart of every home. If the style of your kitchen reminds you of what's it like to live in 90s, then you should consider giving it some much needed facelift. If your cabinets have scratches and nicks, a simple paint job using neutral colors can effectively hide these blemishes without breaking the bank. You may also consider installing new hardware such as modern cabinet and drawer pulls. This simple change can significantly improve the overall theme of your kitchen. Old appliances can also be painted to give them a fresh, new look.

2. Tidy Up the Bathroom

A lot of buyers carefully look at the bathroom when evaluating a home, so it's important to keep it as clean as possible. If your bathroom is filled with old fixtures, it's a must to have them replaced. This is an inexpensive way of enhancing the appearance of your bathroom while also improving its functionality. The walls of the bathroom can also benefit from a fresh coat of paint. But you shouldn't forget about the cheapest DIY job for your bathroom, which is some good old scrubbing.

3. Eliminate Clutter

Never make the mistake of letting potential buyers in when your home is still filled with clutter. It can be a big cause of distraction, making it hard for buyers to imagine what it would be like to have their belongings in your home. By eliminating clutter, you make it easier for the buyer to see what they're actually buying. This also makes your home appear more spacious, which is always a plus. Getting rid of useless items sitting in corners of the rooms, arranging bookshelves and keeping desks organized are all simple ways of giving your home additional appeal for buyers. Consider a closet organization system to help get organized. You can have one professionally installed or put one in yourself. For professional help, check out http://closetwizards.com.

4. Improve Lighting

Not having enough lighting or using outdated fixtures can cause buyers to miss the most attractive elements of your home. Investing some money on new fixtures is a great way to update the look and feel of your property while also enabling buyers to better focus on your home's best features.

5. Embellish The Exterior

First impressions last. This old adage applies to buying a real estate property. Buyers consider the exterior of your home just as much as its interior. You can make a good first impression by engaging in some landscaping work. Removing weeds, cutting the grass and raking up leaves can go a long way in making your home a lot more beautiful from the exterior.

Making small improvements to your home can help increase its value. The home remodeling projects above should help you boost the value of your home without having to damage your pocket.

Choosing The Right Window Tint

If you're thinking about getting some windows tinted, whether it be residential or commercial, then there are a series of points you should understand so you make the best possible decision for your particular environment and circumstances.

The number one and undoubtedly the most important thing you need to understand about window film is the difference between good quality window film and poor window film. And this is why:

Good window film will last for the life of your windows whereas poor quality window film will only last a few years, depending on the rigours of your environment.

The only way for a novice to discern between premium quality and poor quality film is price and guarantee. When inquiring with a supplier, ask how long the film is guaranteed for. If it's not at least 12 years don't buy it. And also beware of the unscrupulous operator who offers you a guarantee on cheap film and hikes the price, to make it look like it's good film, but will either not be around, or simply do nothing if you get back to them because your tint has spoiled.

Here's the tip, (and by the way I've found this to be true with most things in life), if your only motivation in getting quotes is looking for the lowest possible price, then you will naturally find yourself with the poor product and the real price you pay will be in 2-3 years when your windows start to blister, fade and/or peel and look awful. Be warned, the cheapest price is usually just crap!

REASONS FOR INSTALLING WINDOW FILM

There are many and varied benefits you can get from window tinting, and each particular film you use will encapsulate some of these benefits, so the first thing you need to be sure of is the most important benefit. Lets look at each advantage in a little more detail so you can identify the most suitable solution for your environment.

Heat Rejection: Good quality window film rejects heat by blocking as much as 73% of infra-red radiation through windows. That really is cool!

UV Rejection: Premium window film stops up to 99% of IR radiation from penetrating windows. And as a bonus, it also blocks 93% of glare, which does wonders for your view and makes things look cool!

Privacy: The right film will also provide daytime privacy, allowing everyone inside to be cooler, enjoy the views, and at the same time have total privacy from onlookers during the day.

Impact Safety and Security Films: These specially designed films stop glass from fragmenting on impact. Safety films are made to withstand the force of human impact, while security films can withstand a bomb blast without shattering. Since the collateral damage from accidents where windows are broken comes from shards of glass flying like shrapnel, or large sections of glass dropping like a guillotine, the major issues around safety are mitigated. It also stops your windows from being a soft and easy entry point for burglars, because both the effort and noise required to force entry is so noticeable thieves, would rather simply move on in search of an easier, 'softer' victim.

Style: Finally of course there's the matter of style. Good quality window film also makes windows look cool; and for many people it's the aesthetic charm that tinted windows add that is the driving force for their installation.

ISSUES RELATED TO CARS AND VEHICLES The next point I want to discuss is relevant to drivers and it concerns installing the darkest legal tint on your car or truck.

In all States and Territories of Australia, the darkest legal tint legally permitted on a vehicle is one with a VLT (visible light transmission) level of 35%, on all vehicle windows (excluding the front windscreen, which cannot have any window tint with the exception of the visor strip across the top). The only exception to this are in the NT and WA. In the NT you are allowed a minimum VLT of 15% for windows behind the driver; and in WA you are allowed 20% VLT on windows behind the driver.

So here's the point. Most vehicles already have a slight tint in the glass in their front windows, so this should be considered when adding tint to a window. Here's what I mean.

If the factory installed windows on your car already block 30% of light, when a film with the "darkest legal tint" of 35% is added to this window, it will emit only 35% of light into a window that is already only emitting 70% of light, so the end VLT reading will be finalised by the addition of both VLT ratings.

This is critical because if a driver accidentally fails to comply with tinting regulations, the result can be a fine. But worse still, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and its illegally dark windows are considered by the court to be a contributing factor, this could result in the nulling of your insurance policy, leaving you exposed to the full financial implications of the accident. Furthermore criminal charges could apply if property is damaged or people are hurt.

The last thing to remember is that by modifying a vehicle with darker than legal windows, the vehicle is deemed to be unroadworthy, which means you can't drive the car again until it has been put through a roadworthy test, in which case the illegal tint will have to be removed. That's why the combined VLT of both the glass and film really should be considered when you're selecting the appropriate tint for your car.

So what's the moral of this story? When it comes to tinting windows, make sure you use a quality film and that your installer has the knowledge to be able to offer you the right solution for your circumstances. That way you'll end up with a range of benefits, rather than a bunch of hassles.

How To Choose The Best Vacuum Cleaner For Pet Hair



Pets are adorable and many of us cannot live without them. They are our buddies and our little sunshine at the end of the day. However, no matter how much we adore them or train them to have clean habits, pet dander is always an issue in homes where they are allowed to run freely around the house. Here are some of the important questions to ask and choices to make when looking for vacuum which is able to remove pet dander:

Portability:  Full-sized or handheld?

This is in reference to your particular setting of the house that you live in and the habits of your adorable companion. Canister or full-sized vacuum cleaners provide you with much more power. On the other hand, handhelds are much easier to handle offering you ease of use and better reach. This means less power but ease of vacuuming  those tight places when larger vacuums totally surrender to reach.

Capacity: Bagged or Bag-less?

While some of the vacuum cleaner don’t feature a  separate compartment to contain a large quantity of dirt, these bag-less vacuums often require cleaning and emptying of the dirt being collected in the canisters. On the other hand, those vacuums that support a separate bag and large room for containing heaps of dirt are often more expensive. That is why they are also advised for people suffering from allergies.

Lengthy Cords or Cordless Altogether?

Vacuums with lengthy cords offer movement while plugged in and having the extra power can be quite useful. Unfortunately, many find the cord themselves twirling here and there a nuisance. On the other hand, cordless vacuums are undoubtedly easy to handle but then again, they have to work with batteries that need to be charged at regular intervals.

The idea is to have a cordless vacuum that cleans without requiring to charge after every 20 minutes. Again the choice depends upon how much you can work with a single vacuum conveniently while letting go of the possibilities and features of other models.

Accessories to Look for

Vacuums nowadays come with a lot of available options and tools. Here some which you must prioritize:

  • Adjustability Options — it’s not like all situations are the same in every room of your house. You need tools that are compatible and give you lots of adjustable options that can help cater to your needs adequately. This translates to adjustable wands, speeds, and other features.
  • Accessory Kits — options like turbo and the ability to clean car upholstery are add-ons. Choose a product which best compliments your lifestyle.
  • Expandable parts—- extension hoses, and other customizable options give the vacuum the extra benefits and added edge over others in regards to cleaning your home free from pet dander.

There is no singular choice when it comes to choosing a best vacuum for pet hair at your home. It all depends on what you need and require in accordance with your type of home setting and pet together.  

 

 

 

 

3 Important Tips For Appliance Repair

Appliances have become a part and parcel of every house. They have made life so much easier that it is now almost impossible for us to live without them. It is for this reason that when any appliance repair is needed, whether it is a refrigerator repair, washer repair, dryer repair, washing machine repair or dishwasher repair we seem to get so frustrated.

In most cases, the problem with the appliance is a small issue that can be repaired immediately. In fact, some problems can be dealt with at home very easily. After all you are using the appliance day in and day out, so it should be expected that repairs will be required on occasion.

Here are 3 important tips for appliance repair:

1. Check if appliance is plugged on

One main reason why an appliance stops working is because they have not been plugged on. Appliances are electric machines that operate on electricity. If you forget to plug them in, then they are not going to work. So, if you notice your appliance is not working, before jumping to any conclusion, make sure it is properly plugged in. If you have plugged on, and still it is not working, check circuit breakers and fuses.

2. Adopt a safety policy

Before thinking of repair, make sure you take care of your own safety. Do not examine the appliance when it is plugged on or even while it is running. First unplug it, and go ahead with the inspection.



3. Seek professional help

It is always good to seek professional help if your appliance is not working. If you find the problem with your appliance is complicated and cannot be repaired at home, then contact an expert immediately.

Call a technician, and let him or her know what you have been doing. This will help rectify any mistakes you may have made while trying to repair the appliance yourself. There is no point in being embarrassed about trying to repair the appliance yourself, after all you do own the machine therefore can do what you like with it.

When searching for an appliance repair expert, it is important to do some research as hiring an unqualified appliance repair person can add more time, money and stress to the problem. Hiring a professional who will get the necessary repair done very quickly, safely and according to the manufacturers guidelines.

Why You Should Invest In Commercial Property For Rent Peterborough



An increasing number of investors are looking for commercial property for rent Peterborough. With office rents and the cost of living increasing in London, businesses are seeking alternatives and finding it in more affordable cities such as Peterborough. The year 2014 was a record year for the city, with over 1,900 new startups registered. Net company growth, or the difference between business creations and closures, also set a new record in the first three months of 2015 with a net 305 new companies.

Some of the most popular business properties in Peterborough include:

The Allia Future Business Centre provides new and existing businesses and social ventures with workspace, access to finance and business support to help them grow and develop. The Centre offers its office space through affordable easy-in, easy-out lease packages as well as providing other facilities such as breakout spaces for informal meetings, conferencing spaces for up to 200 people and even virtual offices.

The Eco Innovation Centre is located in a grade II listed building with a direct view of Peterborough Cathedral. It offers serviced offices and virtual offices to businesses of all sizes and maturities, ranging from startups and micro-businesses to established firms wanting to establish a presence in Peterborough. The Centre also offers facilities for meetings and events.

The bustling Stuart House is prominently located in City Road and offers office spaces ranging from 1,500 sq. ft. to 53,322 sq. ft. and provides features such as on-site security and car parking, fully-manned reception, and sufficient public parking in the immediate area. Offices are mostly open plan with some suites offering opportunities to refurbish to agreed specifications when necessary. Comfort cooling is also available in some offices.

Worldwide House is a high-specification office building with a ground and three upper floors. Located on Thorpe Wood, an established location that is highly accessible at the junction of A1260 Nene Parkway and A47 Soke Parkway. All office spaces are arranged around a clear space, which can be subdivided into smaller spaces around a central hub. Escalators provide access to all floors. Other features of Worldwide House include four-pipe fan coil air conditioning, glazed full-height atrium with receptionists and a subsidized on-site caf. Parking is also available at a ratio of one space per 213 sq. ft. that can be further expanded to create more spaces.

Whittlesey Business Park is located at an accessible location south of the A605, with the A47 some five miles away providing transport links to all corners of the city. It provides design and build opportunities for office and retail spaces ranging from 5,000 sq. ft. to 261,025 sq. ft. The site also features a 55,000 sq. ft. superstore.

The above are just some examples of the variety of the available commercial property for rent Peterborough. Availing of commercial property in the city not only provides you with affordable office space but also easy access to the capital and other cities, giving your business plenty of opportunities for growth. You can even make Peterborough your main offices while maintaining a smaller presence in London.

Do You Need Planning Permission For Decking?

The construction of Timbertech decking in any garden is clearly a building job and can add and alter the exterior of a property quite dramatically. This is usually a very positive thing but does raise the question of whether or not it is legal to build decking without planning permission. 



In the case of most decking projects, planning permission will not be necessary. There are, however, a number of issues to be considered before concluding with any certainty that planning permission for decking is not needed. These are basically about the type and age of the property the decking is going to be built on, the size of the decking, and where it is to be located. Another issue is the amount of building work that has been added already to the property.

The first thing to consider is where the decking is to be built. If the property that it is to be built near is a listed building, then Listed Building Consent will be needed. If the property is in a conservation area or in an area designated a national park then planning permission will need to be sought; the same applies if a highway is 20 metres away from the property. 

Location of decking is what dictates whether planning permission is needed or not. Simply put, if the decking is going to be on a side of a property that faces a road, planning permission needs to be sought as it will be located on what is referred to as principal elevation. 

The reason that most decking does not require planning permission is that the law allows for what is termed permitted development. This includes sheds, garden rooms, outhouses and decking. But permitted development only allows for fifty per cent of the propertys ground space to be developed; if a structure of decking is going to mean that fifty percent of area is exceeded, then planning permission will be required. 

Regarding size, the decking cannot be more than 30cm above ground level before planning permission is needed. This may seem a simple requirement to meet, but if decking is over ground that slopes away the process of levelling the decking may result in the height at the furthest point exceeding 30cm. There are also restrictions concerning the height of any rails, panels or fencing you may want to put around your decking. Anything above a height of two metres will require planning permission. 

In conclusion, planning permission is not required for decking provided that: it is not going on property that is listed, or in a national park or a conservation area; that it is not going to be built on a side of the property that fronts a road; that it does not exceed a height of 30cm and the rails, panels or fencing around it do not exceed two metres; and the property on which it is built is not within 20 metres of a highway. 

Balancing Beauty And Eco Friendliness When Choosing Wooden Shutters



The addition of wooden shutters to any window will improve the general appearance of a home and significantly increase its value. In addition the timeless elegance and organic appearance of wooden fittings appeals to many homeowners who would like to maintain the authenticity of older homes where the original wooden shutters require replacement.

However, many homeowners would like to balance the quest for exceptional classic good looks with environmental awareness.

So, if this is the case - what are the eco-friendly options for your wood shutters especially if you have your heart set on enjoying the warmth and style offered by either internal or external shutters?

One of the choices available is to fit so called 'faux wooden' shutters to the windows of the home. There are a variety of options as far as material is concerned with one of the most popular materials being engineered wooden shutters which are mostly manufactured from 'composite wood' (MDF). The composite wood is made from compressed wood shavings and sawdust. These shutters are a suitable replacement for hardwood shutters and they can offer superior insulating properties when compared to traditional wooden shutters.

Composite material can also last longer than wooden shutters. However, there are some downsides. Composite material can be heavier than traditional wooden shutters due to the fact that aluminum is often used to increase the rigidity of the shutters and because it has no grain is only available in solid colors.

Some reviews have indicated that a small number of consumers have experienced problems with MDF shutters swelling due to water seepage into the interior of the shutter. This does however seem to be limited to certain manufacturers. A quick look at user reviews will enable the homeowner to choose from MDF products that have established an excellent reputation for durability. I found this resource really helpful: www.utexas-edu.com

The upside is that composite 'wooden' shutters are made from renewable and sustainable sources which makes living up to self imposed green requirements a breeze.

There are also other materials that can be used for either internal and external wooden shutters. These other materials can include PVC and poly. For many people these materials are preferable to the MDF option. The reason for this is that this type of material is incredibly hard wearing and significantly lighter than MDF options. However, once again these materials are only available in a limited color palette and have been known to fade or yellow after years of use.

There's also the question as to whether or not these types of shutters are truly eco-friendly due to the fact that many of the materials used are by products of the petroleum industry. However, the alternative to using these products is to merely dump them - a step which would lead to significant environmental damage. In addition new manufacturing techniques have reduced the effect of using these sorts of by products.

If you as an environmentally aware home owner wish to find a solution that is both sustainable and eco-friendly you do have options. However, the best approach would be to find a manufacturer who can advise you of the best solution to your unique requirements.