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Green Neighborhoods
Home Improvement,

Green Neighborhoods: How They Define the Future

It’s no question by now that living a more sustainable life is the key to building a greener future. Experts say that the world needs bolder and bigger actions if humanity wants a future that will still be livable. Eating less meat if you can’t go vegan, flying less when traveling, buying from green brands, wearing recycled clothes, shopping for secondhand items, and using less plastic are all needed. Although they may sound like small actions next to a massive threat like the climate crisis, they make a huge difference if more people like you are doing it.

Living in a sustainable neighborhood or a green urban space will also help combat climate change and provide you with eco-friendlier ways of living. More communities are becoming sustainable since it is a trend you should be supporting and a living situation that you should aspire to have. The science behind it is clear, and the best mortgage company should give you this kind of information when you are looking for your dream house.

The Perks of Living Green

Recently, humanity has been given no choice but to face the consequences of the grim reality that climate change is real and that it is no longer a problem you can ignore. You can feel it every summer, and the news from every corner of the world is only proof that the situation is starting to worsen.

Besides small actions that you can do to combat climate change, you should also be informed about the role that big companies and your government play in mitigating the crisis. Additionally, you can support the companies doing their best to help cut down the carbon emissions of their businesses, and these can include choosing the neighborhood where you live.

Below are some reasons why choosing to live in a green neighborhood can be beneficial for your mental and physical health, your living situation, and the fight against climate change:

1. A sustainable neighborhood has more nature.

Research has proven that being surrounded by green has health benefits. When it comes to your physical health, having more trees will filter pollution, providing you with cleaner air to breathe. Sustainable neighborhoods also allow you to be away from sources of water and noise pollution. As for your mental health, living in green neighborhoods can boost your mood as it gives you more reason to take a walk or bike around your neighborhood, allowing more chances to be social.

2. A sustainable neighborhood has more efficient trash management.

Waste management in sustainable neighborhoods is a priority as plastic pollution and trash, in general, are significant, modern problems that need to be addressed with better regulations. It means that there is a schedule for trash collection that is always on schedule so that no trash will overflow or any trash be in spaces where they do not belong. Green neighborhoods will also usually have eco-friendly initiatives that will allow their residents to recycle and reuse their trash while reducing the use of materials that produce waste.

3. A sustainable neighborhood has access to locally produced food.

Knowing where your food comes from before it gets served on your plate also helps to curb the effects of climate change. Of course, it’s already a given fact that eating less meat helps lower carbon emissions, but there are people who can’t give up meat overnight. These people will need access to more sustainably grown food that green neighborhoods can provide. These neighborhoods usually support local farmers and green groceries with a better and greener way of growing produce that has lesser impacts on the environment.

4. A sustainable neighborhood has ways to cool down the temperature without using too much energy.

Summer has become unbearable in recent years, that living without your air conditioning seems unthinkable. By choosing to live in a sustainable neighborhood, you will be living in close proximity to trees and green spaces that will help lower the temperature of surrounding areas. In addition, green communities will have alternate sources of energy to cool down their residential and commercial establishments so that you can turn your air conditioner on without feeling guilty. 

Home Theater Construction
Home Improvement,

Home Theater Construction: What You Need to Know

Remodeling a house to include a home entertainment room is a common goal. After you’ve finished the more practical tasks like replacing the windows and laying the flooring, it’s time to dig a little further into your savings and indulge in your leisure interests.

A cinema room at home is a need for everyone, after all. On the other hand, this type of room is so much more than a space to sit and watch movies. To be considered an actual home movie theater, it must satisfy several conditions, such as the capacity to regulate ambient light and project an adequate wide image. Screens, home audio systems, and video projectors are all among the needed products.

The Space

You most likely already know where to set your home cinema. These areas may be the primary living space, a guest bedroom, or a movie theater underground, equipped with a snack dispenser. While the coziness and audio quality of all these locations differ, there are few things they all have in common.

  • Dimensions of the area. You will often notice fundamental and harmonic aberrations in square interiors. Use a rectangular space to get the finest sound quality and arrange your screen and audio amplifiers along a short wall.
  • Windows. Having lesser windows in the room is always preferable. As a result of their solid surfaces, they are a double-edged sword. Not only do they leak light that can generate reflections and distortion on your screen, but they impede audio as well.

Although heavy drapes and shutters help, you’ll have to do this every time you wish to use your home theater room. If it’s necessary, use light-blocking window coverings that clip tightly against the sills of your windows.

Ambient Sound Controlling

Ambient sound is the noise outside of your home entertainment system that you don’t want to hear. Even if you’re able to secure a separate room for your home cinema, external noises might mar the enjoyment. There are a variety of background noises that may wreak havoc on your sound system, and some of them are dishwasher sounds, children’s laughter, cooking thuds, and even traffic.

You can create a quiet area where you can concentrate without being disturbed by sounds from outside. However, you’ll have to go a little farther than that:

  • If drywall already surrounds your home theater room, you can add another layer or wallboards that reduce external noise, such as QuietRock, to make the room soundproof.
  • A simple method to improve the acoustics of your home theater is to use solid doors instead of hollow-core ones.
  • If your theater room has windows, use heavier, sound-absorbing drapes to keep the light out and the sound inside.

The Audio System

Speakers have come a long way in the last several decades, thanks partly to rivalry among the best audio companies. As a result, any home entertainment system you pick will almost certainly be of exceptional quality.

It is common for speakers in your listening surroundings to reproduce specific audio from a particular scene or action in the film or program you’re watching. When a subway rumbles across a scenario, the sound travels from one wall to the other. Speakers categorized as dipole or bipole, on the other hand, will not work with this crucial home audio function, so it’s always best to research before buying anything.

Appropriate Seating and Viewing

No object should obstruct the audience’s view of the screen. Neither should the viewers also be too far away or too near. A specialized theater area is the only place to have multilevel seating, which is a genuine indulgence. Raising back seats on a particular level eliminates blocked views, which a 6-inch lift often suffices.

A person’s spacing from the screen often depends on how big the room is and the size they wish to have. When it comes to flat-screen TVs, the audience at the first row won’t be intimidated by a 55-inch television if your modest repurposed room area can handle it.

You don’t need to have chairs and couches costing a thousand or more for your home theater. It doesn’t matter whatever seat you use as long as it has a low back so that spectators from the rear can still see the screen.

Make it a Real-Life Move Theater

What kind of home theater do you envision? Some people want a retro cinema theatrical experience, complete with elevated seats, an old-fashioned popcorn machine, sconce lights, and walls in red velvet when it comes to their homes. Others will see it as a much-watered rendition of this. It might also imply something entirely distinct for individuals who didn’t spend their childhood going to the movies.

Backyard Makeover
Home Improvement,

Backyard Makeover for the Perfect Home Getaway

You can create your own paradise on your property. You can even make your backyard a sanctuary, a hideout, and a place to relax and recharge. The only rule is that you think cleverly and make the most of every square foot. But we have got you covered with that, as this post will assist you in understanding different ways to make your outside area highly functional.

If correctly planned, you can plan not just an outdoor getaway but also a romantic evening with your partner, a fun gathering with friends, bonding time for family, and much more. For such planning, a professional will work with you to make your backyard not just as delightful and trendy as the rest of your home but also as fresh and natural as wilderness.

You and your family will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds with this strategy, regardless of the size of your backyard. Let’s get started.

Install a Yurt

Having a yurt in your backyard serves several functions. Unlike typical tents, you can enjoy luxurious camping with proper insulation: no more bugs, flies, or other annoyances interfering with your great time with friends. Besides, you can spend time in it with your family and bond over it. Similarly, you may utilize it as a great entertainment area. Lastly, it will keep you cool on hot days and cozy on cold nights.

Add a Fireplace

Including a fire pit in your backyard can be a fantastic addition, especially when the cold winter is on its way. It will provide much-needed warmth, making the backyard comfortable to spend time alone or in a company. A fireplace can quickly shift a fancy evening affair from day tonight. Also, snuggling with your partner during chilly nights in a cozy setting sounds like bliss, doesn’t it? Add a fireplace, but keep it away from the house’s structure, foundation, and deck.

Bring Hydrotherapy

The ideal way to make the most of your outside space is to install a Jacuzzi. Soaking in a custom-built hot tub is both calming and relaxing. You will not only experience euphoria, but your health will improve as well. All of your stiff muscles will relax, and you will feel all of your mental stress fade away. By using hydrotherapy, you provide yourself with a beautiful retreat after a long and exhausting day of work. It also helps to fight the winter blues. Bring hydrotherapy into your house to relieve not just physical but also emotional tension.

Position a Hammock or Swing

In your backyard, hang a well-secured hammock. It will become a haven for bookworms. A hammock is a must for reading a book while getting lost in another world if you are one. You may also dangle a swing from a tree or put a porch swing into your backyard. These make fun additions, particularly for children and youngsters.

Design a Deck

You should think about creating an attractive patio or deck. It will keep you from being cooped up at home. It will entice you to get outside, read, meditate, practice yoga, bathe in the sun, and do other things. You can make it comfier by adding bright aromatic plants, cushions, and dynamic lighting, among other things. Besides, building a deck also adds to the home’s resale value, so it’s an intelligent choice.

Set Up an Open Theater

The thought of watching a movie in the open air beneath the moonlight and dazzling stars seems incredible, doesn’t it? So work on transforming your backyard into an open theater by installing a projector and creating the appropriate ambiance with decorative lighting, blankets, and cushions. When you want to organize a movie marathon or binge-watching session with friends, family, or a lover, all you will have to do is grab some popcorn and snacks, turn on the projector, lie out in the open, and enjoy the show.

Establish Multiple Zones

If your backyard is large enough, why not turn it into a multi-functional space? You may divide it into different zones for dining, cooking, socializing, relaxing, and so on with the smart design, the proper built-ins, and the right furnishings. Start working on having everything in one place, from swimming pools to hangout spots and more.

Carry out the Landscaping

A backyard’s principal role is to flourish lush greenery and colorful flowers to generate clean air. Therefore, pay more attention to the landscaping. This will offer you fresh air to breathe, allowing you to interact with nature and relax in its sight.

That’s how you can make every square inch of your backyard count. While some aforementioned plans may not be compatible with your budget or outside space, the rest of them will be. So, based on your convenience, make a decision and start working to build a wonderland in your own house.

Home Gym
Home Improvement,

Designing a Home Gym and Making It Aesthetically Pleasing

We live in a time when our homes need to be everything to us. It needs to be the perfect place to work, rest, play, eat, and stay fit. There is no denying that investing in our homes is one of the smartest financial strategies we can do for ourselves and our families. When our homes are beautiful and comfortable, they increase in value, and it makes us and the members of our families grow healthy and productive, too.

One of the best places in your home that you can invest in is your gym. Since public gyms were considered non-essential services at the height of the pandemic, we never know when we might lose our gym privileges if a new pandemic comes along. A home gym can be your saving grace if lockdowns take place again. 

And here’s the best part: Designing your home gym means you can incorporate equipment and installments that you will genuinely use, and you can make it pretty as well. There’s no reason why your home gym can’t look straight out of Pinterest. Here are some tips for designing a pretty and aesthetically pleasing home gym.

Follow basic interior design rules

Just because home gyms need to be functional, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice aesthetics altogether. The same basic rules for other areas in your home apply, and here are some keywords you need to remember when trying to decide on the layout, design, look, and feel of your home gym:

  • Balance, which is all about creating a sense of equilibrium in the space
  • Rhythm, which means there must be a pattern or repetitiveness in your space, and this can be achieved by providing a common thread through color, material, or texture
  • Harmony, which is all about ensuring that all the various design elements come together harmoniously, even if they may be different
  • An emphasis which says that your gym needs to have a focal point upon which every other layout decision is made
  • Scale and proportion, which is all about ensuring that the ratio between the sizes of different areas make sense and that all the different elements are perfectly to scale

If you have a good sense of what makes a space feel balanced, you only need to apply that same sense to your home gym. Don’t sacrifice look and atmosphere for function!

Hire tried-and-tested contractors and specialists

When looking for contractors or construction experts to work with, take a gander at their portfolio and ask for reviews from clients they have worked for in the past. You can also consider working with companies whose primary service is sports court surfacing, especially if there is a specific sport you want to master or use as your daily exercise. These contractors are well-versed in what looks good and the kind of materials that are safest and most durable.

Use exposed beams

It doesn’t matter how high your ceiling is (unless it’s super-low)—exposed beams can make your home gym look even more remarkable. Here are some aesthetic benefits of exposed beams:

  • They draw up the eyes, which makes your home gym look bigger than it is.
  • Concrete and big windows tend to make a room feel cold and detached, so exposed beams made of warm-toned wood can go a long way in adding coziness and intimacy to the gym.
  • It’s a big design statement that doesn’t take up any square footage from your home gym.

Let natural light in

There’s a reason why big windows and natural light are some of the most sought-after features in residential property. They immediately make a space look good. Have you ever noticed how photographers prefer natural light over studio or artificial lighting? It’s because the light from the sun adds a warm glow to a space that no fixture can fully replicate. If your home gym has windows, make sure any piece of equipment or furniture does not block it.

You can even take it a step further by placing your home gym in a casita or a separate suite in your house, which can allow you to extend the indoors and the outdoors. Wall-to-wall glass panels will allow as much natural light as possible, but if you also have plenty of greenery surrounding your property, it will feel like you’re working out in paradise or a scenic forest.

When designing your home gym, you don’t need to scrimp on design. Make it as stunning as possible and allow this aesthetic value to encourage you and your family to work out every day.

Tiny House
Home Improvement,

Building a Winter Ready Tiny House

Tiny house building has become a movement ever since people saw the advantages of having one. Many people have realized that you don’t have to buy a traditional home. Tiny houses present more sustainability in terms of finances. You may spend money during its building stage. But the long-term benefits are a lot compared to the one-time expenses.

With a budget of about $65,000 and some creativity, you can have your own dream house. Something that was impossible many years ago can now be done in this era. And that is to become a homeowner. Here are some reasons why:

* Freedom from Financial Obligation

Those who simply want to live in a house are willing to settle for renting. But this one comes with a monthly obligation, paying monthly rents to your landlord. That is good when that’s the only thing you have to pay for. But if you are paying for food, utilities, and self-care, having your own house is a breath of fresh air.

By purchasing or building a tiny home, you free up your budget on rentals. You can put the money you saved on other things that matter. You can also save it for the future or other investments.

*  Physical and Emotional Closeness

By living in a 450 square foot tiny house you, your spouse, and your family are physically closer to each other. But what’s better is that it encourages you to talk to each other. That way you get to know each other as husband and wife and as a family. The tiny dining area is a place to share stories, as well as your tiny living room. You can do things together as a family.

* The Outdoors as Part of the Home

A tiny house can look bigger with a higher ceiling. And with the use of vertical space, it will look wider. But to make it feel bigger, you only have to include the outdoors. You can use your outside porch by putting a coffee table. There you can have a nice breakfast with your spouse, or a glass of wine at night.

But now that it is almost winter,  how do you build a winter-proof tiny house? This article will provide practical tips.

How To Build a Winter-Ready Tiny House

1. Find a Tiny House Spot or a Campground That Does Not Close During Winter

Know that not all camping grounds or parking spots for your tiny house are open all year round. Some would close during winter. So before you build your tiny home, make sure that where you are is where you can stay even during winter. Otherwise, you can look for a good place to transfer during winter only. Or find a permanent spot where you and your tiny house can stay any season.

2. Insulate Your Plumbing and Pipes

In a tiny house, your pipes and plumbing are more exposed compared to the traditional home. This also includes water connections and water tanks. Sometimes even hot water heaters are fixed at the back of a tiny house. When these pipes with water are exposed to the winter, there are chances that they will freeze and burst open. This will cost more money, stress, and more headache especially when you need some warm water the most.

To make sure your pipes stay warm, you need to cover them using foam. Then to make it warmer you can insulate all your pipes with some heat tape. For your water heater and water tank, you can also add the use of an incandescent light bulb. You just need to turn it on to a suggested temperature to add that much-needed heat for those tanks. You may consult a piping expert for more education and information.

3. Prioritize Your Furnace and Skirting

In a tiny house, freezing air can come from everywhere during the winter. A small opening in the doors, a small opening in the windows, and through the floor. This makes your furnace and skirting an essential part of and process of building a tiny home. 

Your heating systems must be in place. It is the only source of warm air during the winter. Give priority to the installation of a furnace to make your home warm and comfortable. Make sure it is in good working condition.

You can also add skirting while building your tiny house. You need to realize that your home is not built from the ground up. The absence of a foundation under your house makes cold air come in through the floor. This makes your floor the coldest part of your house.

Skirting covers the bottom part and the perimeter of your tiny house. You or a tiny house expert can do it from the ground to the bottom. This also protects pipes from under your house from freezing. But make sure to do it in such a way that animals like raccoons, mice, and rats will not find warmth from under your tiny home skirt. Otherwise, these pests may invade your home without knowing it.

There are many other suggestions for you to build a winter-ready tiny house. There are tons of information available online. You can also consult tiny house experts to get valuable knowledge and information. Just remember, your home should be a place of warmth, comfort, and relaxation. Making it winter-ready is one way to express love for yourself and your family.

Home's Exteriors Paint Colors
Home Improvement,

Guide to Choosing the Right Paint Colors for Your Home’s Exteriors

Here’s a little architectural secret: An exterior design can be drawn up by the best architect or designer in the world, but the wrong paint colors can ruin its appeal. Excellent architecture cannot necessarily mask a poor color palette, especially when it comes to residential properties.

If you are in the process of acquiring your dream home, you must know that exterior design is everything. Here are some key tips for choosing the perfect paint colors to help you achieve a gorgeous curb appeal.

Look for inspirations and resources

The internet has a wealth of resources when it comes to timeless colors and exterior design that just radiates modern and distinctly 2021. The platform Pinterest is your best friend when it comes to looking for ideas and inspirations. You can also do a drive-through in neighborhoods that you think are stunning. After gathering various inspirations from different sources, create a mood board and make sure that you can see everything as one big picture.

Find the common denominator between the exterior designs you gathered, and chances are that’s the color palette or vibe that you want to go with. Consult with your architect if you think those colors make sense for the exterior design they created or will create.

Consider the location and size of the property

It’s important to understand where the structure is located and how big it is relative to the land you own because it will help determine which colors can make them pop out and look better. For example, if your house is built far away from the main street or the curb, opting for a lighter color palette will make the house seem closer.

The size of your lot is significant as well, because for example, if your house is on the bigger side but it sits on a smaller lot, opting for a darker color palette can make the house seem smaller, and the lot, bigger. The rule of thumb is lighter colors can make the structure appear bigger and more expansive, while a darker color palette will achieve the opposite. So look at your house and lot and think of what goal you’re trying to achieve.

Do some swatches and observe them at different times during the day

Once you’ve narrowed down your paint color options to a shorter list, do a patch test on the structure itself. Put your different choices side-by-side so you can see which ones look best. Come back at different times during the day to ensure that you are seeing it in different types of lighting so you can see which ones are your favorite.

Take several photos, ask your family and friends to provide a second and third look, and contrast and compare the choices. The rays of the sun, the weather, and shadows can greatly affect colors, so make sure not to rush this process. Give it a week or two before settling on the final colors.

Honor the natural architecture or history of the home

If the home is on the older side and comes with a lot of history, consider a color palette that is accurate to the property’s rich background. Hire a pro to slowly peel away paint layers so that the original colors can be revealed. If you’re starting from scratch, Consulting your architect is also important because they have a lot of ideas about how to make the home look its best, according to how they designed it.

Consider how the neighborhood’s exteriors look

Don’t copy how your neighbors’ homes look exactly, but you can take a look at the curb appeal of their homes so that you can choose a color palette that somehow complements theirs. Look for colors that can make your home distinct from others, but not in a way that will make it clash with nearby homes. When choosing a color palette for your home’s exteriors, consider your surroundings is key because you want to complement, blend, and even properly contrast with your neighbors.

Design is all about intent, and not just throwing things at the wall and hoping that something will stick. Make sure that your design choices are compliant with zoning regulations as well. 

Paint colors will make or break your home’s curb appeal. It can instantly communicate with your guests or just people who drive by what kind of homeowner you are—your style and sensibilities. Don’t just go for what is trendy; opt for classic colors that can withstand time, wear, tear, and harsh elements, and you can maintain your home’s curb appeal for a long time.

Meta title: Choosing he Perfect Paint Colors for Your Home’s Exteriors
meta desc: If you are in the process of acquiring your dream home, you must know that exterior design is everything. Learn some tips on choosing the perfect paint colors to help you achieve a gorgeous curb appeal.

pack items
Moving,

Moving to a New Place? Here’s How You Can Pack Effectively

Moving to your new home can be one of the most exciting yet stressful moments in a person’s life, and for good reason. Moving can indicate a fresh start and a new life, but the process of getting there can be overwhelming at times. It’s a lot of work, from sorting through things and organizing to knowing when and where to pack certain items.

To help make the packing process a little simpler, here are some easy-to-remember tips for you. Just remember the six D’s: determine, declutter, donate, disassemble, delay, and deposit.

Determine the Right Moving Day

The chosen date dictates the preparation, so be sure to pick a date that affords everyone ample time to do what they have to do. In addition, get in touch with a moving company at least a month before the moving date, especially if it’s on a weekend since weekends are their busiest dates. Regardless, it’s always best to set a timeline so that everything can be scheduled and planned accordingly.  

Declutter Your Home

This is the least liked and yet the essential part of moving. Decluttering things is a headache, no matter where they are stored. Deciding whether something is worth keeping or letting go seems easy enough, but when done a thousand times is a recipe for decision fatigue. To make this a little less overwhelming, start doing this in small increments. Decluttering your closet, garage, and everything else little by little every day so you’re not confronted by a huge job that should be done in a short amount of time.

Donate Usable Items You Don’t Need Anymore

In the process of decluttering, you’ll discover that some things are worth keeping and some just worth throwing. However, some things are still usable, but you don’t have use for them anymore. The best route to take is to donate these items. Giving these items away to those who have much need for them is excellent for the environment. It’s less wasteful, and you’re helping out other people.

Disassemble Furniture

From furniture to your kid’s playhouse, disassemble what you can. This will provide more room in the truck while keeping furniture safe and intact during the trip. However, this task should be done strategically and thoughtfully. The least important pieces that aren’t necessary for day-to-day activities should be disassembled and put away first. This can include your coffee table, bookshelf, and playhouse. Some pieces of furniture that can be put away last minute are beds, cribs, and chairs.

Delay Buying New Items

The most exciting part of moving to a new place is decorating it. However, being in the middle of moving isn’t the best time to shop for your new home. Put off buying new things before officially moving. Purchasing new items means having more to pack. It’s just more convenient for the packing process. But if you can’t resist getting a new rug or decor piece, a great workaround is to order online and have them shipped to your new address.

Deposit Your Precious Items To Trusted People Temporarily 

Keep expensive items and special mementos safe. They can get lost in the process or turn up in your kid’s box of toys. Either way, it’s best to keep them separate and secure from the beginning of the process to account for their whereabouts. To ensure that these won’t get lost in the process, separate them from the rest of your things and have a trusted friend or family member close by. They can secure these while you focus on packing.

Extra Pointers

Change Your Home Address a Couple of Weeks Before

Speaking of shipping your orders to your needed address, be sure to change your old address to your new one. This is a step many tend to overlook. Sometimes they notice too late and only after their shipment arrives at their previous address. Don’t forget to update your postal service, too.

Grab Extra Packing Supplies

You’re going to need packaging tape and lots of it. That’s a given, but you’re going to need other supplies too. These include cable ties, electrical tape, plastic baggies, foam sheets, boxes, and maybe extra scissors.

Look for the Electronics’ Original Boxes

Considering that electronics are delicate items, they may be best stored in their original boxes during the move. The actual packages often include bubble wrap, Styrofoam, and more that’s designed to fit and protect your flat-screen TV or monitor. But if you threw those away a long time ago, you can buy these supplies in your local hardware store.

Create a System

Whether it’s a numbering system or color coding, develop a system that makes moving in a little less stressful. Knowing which box should go to which room is a good start organizing things in your new home.

Moving is a stressful process, but when done strategically, it’s less of a headache. Take these tips in mind as you take care of your own move. Don’t forget to take breaks when you need them.

Cleaning Appliances
Cleaning,

Common Problems of Cleaning Appliances and How to Fix Them

When cleaning appliances aren’t working right, you initially figure out what’s wrong with them. Is the device simply malfunctioning, or is it already dead? If it’s the latter, you decide to toss it out or store it in the garage to rot.

There are times, however, when you’ve realized that all it needs is an inexpensive repair. But first, you need to know if there’s still a way to fix the problem yourself. The question is, can you do it? All you need is some troubleshooting skills. Find out the common issues of cleaning appliances that can be easily fixed at home and how you can fix them on your own.

Washing Machine

A malfunctioning washing machine might not be draining, spinning, cleaning your clothes properly, or turning on at all. For machines that aren’t draining, check the pump that mechanically drains water out. Debris can clog it up. Often, a torn piece of clothing can cause the problem. Access the pump and remove anything that’s causing it to get clogged up.

If your machine isn’t spinning, the motor belt may be out of place or worn down. You can access and replace it.

If you have a machine with an agitator (a post in the center of a washing machine), it could also stop spinning. Its directional cogs could be broken and need replacement, or your machine needs a reset. Check your machine’s instruction manual and look for the reset procedures.

If you have a front loader machine and it’s not turning on, make sure the lid switch is moving freely, without any obstruction. For top-loading machines, push the button with a pen’s blunt end while the machine is on and the lid is open. Debris that got clogged up in the switch will then be loosened and removed. You know this worked if your machine automatically begin filling water again.

For machines that aren’t cleaning clothes correctly, you could be overloading it with clothes and water. Maintain a higher ratio of water and less clothing. And did you know, too much detergent can damage your machine? Use less of it, and you’ll help save the environment, too.

Consumer Reports, however, advised that for machines that aren’t working entirely, the motor might be the problem. You can replace it, but the replacement for this can be expensive. Weigh your budget before deciding whether to buy a new machine or replace the motor.

Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner can malfunction simply because of problems with its suctioning function. There are a few parts that you need to check for this. First, check the dust bag because it might just be full. If it is, empty it. Then, check the filters, hose, and brush roll. These parts could be clogged up with dirt and, often, hair. Remove what’s causing the clogging.

Sometimes, the problem is the height setting. You really can’t suction dirt if the vacuum is too high from the floor. If you’re cleaning hardwood or tiled floor, don’t use the deep carpet setting. Instead, use the bare floor setting.

Other times, the brush roll isn’t spinning, preventing your vacuum from sucking dirt. If you’ve already cleaned it and it’s still not spinning, the problem could be with its rotating belt. Replace it, and it will turn again.

However, if the problem with your vacuum is its power, you should bring it to a vacuum repair shop. If it’s turning on but not working or suctioning despite the solutions you previously applied, it needs to be checked by a professional.

Dishwasher

Common problems with malfunctioning dishwashers include not turning on, filling up, and draining. If your dishwasher is not turning on, ensure that the power switch is on, control is engaged, and the door is latched. If it still doesn’t work, push the reset button on the ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) found on the power outlet.

There could be some problem with the water supply for dishwashers that don’t fill up or keep on filling. Check the water inlet valve. It could be clogged up. Clean it and place it back.

If your dishwasher is leaking, Home Tips advises that you may be using too much dishwashing detergent, there is a faulty door gasket, a hose is loosely connected, or your dishwasher wasn’t installed on a sitting level.

For dishwashers that aren’t draining, check the pump and drain hose. They could be clogged with food. If they’re clear, check your home’s drain lines. Maybe the clog is coming from there.

Before You Do Any Repairs

Check your appliances’ warranty first before repairing them. If you need help with troubleshooting, read the instruction manual or call the manufacturer’s service hotline. They can also provide you with information about getting replacement parts and where to bring your appliances for repair.

As you can see, if you know how to troubleshoot your cleaning appliances, you can do repairs on your own. Still, consult a licensed technician when you think you can’t do it.

Buy a House with Friend
Home Improvement,

Should You Buy a House with a Friend?

The traditional notion of owning a home is that you share it with family members, such as parents, siblings, or one’s spouse and kids. If not your typical nuclear family, owning a house on your own is also a usual alternative. But have you ever considered buying a home with your friend?

With home prices on a steady rise, sharing the load of financing a home can be a good idea. But first, look at the ups and downs of doing so. It takes a lot of time, effort, and trust, so it is of utmost importance that you are certain of this decision.

Potential Benefits of Co-Owning a Home

First, here are some great reasons to team up with a friend and buy a property that you can co-own and live in or rent out:

1. It can save you money.

The most apparent pro of buying a home with a friend is that you can split costs with them. This alleviates some burdens of financing your home, including utilities, maintenance, and repairs.

Especially if you have no prior home-buying experience and are only early into your career, having a person to share expenses with gets you started on investing with fewer worries. Take your time to visit various lenders to find the best home loans for first-time buyers, as this can help you both maximize savings.

2. You are likely to have more options.

With your combined buying power, you and your friend are likely to afford a wider range of housing options. Whether you are planning to live in the home together or find tenants to rent it to, gathering your resources gives you the ability to find good homes in prime locations.

3. You have someone to partner with.

When you have limited experience in investing in properties, having a friend to discuss ideas and concerns with is reassuring. A second opinion allows you to better weigh your options and come up with a plan that you have confidence in.

Another benefit of investing in a home with a friend is that you both gain home equity as you continue making payments on your mortgage. Co-owning a home is a better alternative than renting one together since renting requires you to make monthly payments that do not lead to ownership of an asset.

Home ownership even gives you an opportunity to make money from your home should the time come when you both want to let go of the property. 

Potential Challenges of Co-Owning a Home

Along with these advantages of buying a home with your friend are the potential issues that you both could face down the line.

1. Your credit scores affect each other’s ratings.

It is true that pursuing a property investment with a friend makes it easier to get a mortgage. However, one thing to note is that your credit score has an effect on your friend’s score and vice versa. One of you could have a high credit score, but an activity that negatively impacts one person’s credit score will work against you both once you apply for a mortgage.

Something to watch out for is the possibility of falling behind on monthly payments. Similarly, this will not only affect the credit score of the one who failed to make their payments, but also the other party who is investing in the home with them.

2. You are both tied to the investment.

If you rent a home together, you and your friend can easily walk away should the time come when one or both of you want out of the arrangement. Buying a home, on the other hand, does not provide the same easy way out for either of you.

You have two options if one of you wants out of the deal: sell the property or refinance your mortgage. Selling can take some time, while refinancing could be a struggle to get approved. It is best to discuss exit plans with your friend to avoid issues.

3. You could disagree over the division of labor.

Co-owning a home can also test the strength of your friendship when it comes to distributing tasks. These include who pays for what and what you both need to do to maintain the property.

Avoid these issues entirely by clearly stating your roles and responsibilities through a written agreement. You can simply refer to the document should anyone get confused at any point.

Buying a home with your friend presents great advantages, but also its own disadvantages. To minimize the problems you will face, enter into this commitment with mutual trust and thorough preparation.

Home Maintenance
Home Improvement,

Home Maintenance: Tasks You Should Never Consider Doing Yourself

Savvy homeowners would try to do everything in their power to reduce their home maintenance costs. They try to keep up with regular home upkeep to avoid unnecessary repairs. They also tend to try and do everything on their own to save some more cash.

For instance, homeowners may attempt doing some maintenance tasks by themselves. They do this to avoid paying professional fees. While the internet is filled with DIY must-knows, there are certain tasks better left to the pros.

The Dangers of Do-it-yourself Home Maintenance

One needs to consider many factors before deciding on a home maintenance project. These include the cost of the project, home much time you have to spare, your skill level, and your safety. Among the four factors, the costs and extra time homeowners have are the usual deciding factors why they choose to DIY.

But then, no homeowner should take their safety and skill level for granted. Some managed to successfully fulfill projects with what little time they had and at no cost. But far too many homeowners got hurt and died after attempting to DIY.

There are home maintenance and repair projects you can DIY. This is especially true if you have the right tools and skills to match. But if not, it is best to leave the projects to the pro.

Projects You Should Never Do on Your Own

Your safety should be your main priority when maintaining and fixing your home. This is why even the experts make use of different safety precautions when doing certain home services. The following are just five examples of tasks you should never attempt to DIY.

Fixing a Sewer Line

Some homeowners are capable of fixing common plumbing issues. This includes fixing a faulty faucet, no hot water, partial clogs, and leaky pipes. But if there is one thing you should absolutely avoid doing on your own, that is fixing your sewer line.

Many things can go wrong with a DIY sewer line project. For one, you can end making such a huge mess when trying to fix blockages in your sewer line. The fact that this is a sewer issue already makes it a health hazard.

Professionals have the necessary equipment and skills needed to do a sewer line cleanup. By hiring the pros, you need to wait for them to fix the issue. You can avoid further damaging your sewer, which is an important system in your home.

You are also giving yourself a favor in case the issue goes beyond your property line. Remember that any sewer blockage that runs past your property line is no longer your problem. This is not the town or city’s issue that you can report.

Roof Cleaning and Inspection

Each year, many people get injured after attempting to clean and inspect roofs. Some are unfortunate enough since the incident left them or their families yearning for their presence. Even professionals get injured or sometimes die of falling from the roof, making it a must that you leave this task to the pros.

Cleaning and inspecting your roof is a must, even if you just had your old roof replaced. The changing of the seasons makes your roof prone to damage. Snow, leaves, and other debris can also accumulate in this part of your home. This makes roof cleaning and inspection a must-do.

Hiring the pros to clean and inspect your roof for you is always worth it. You don’t need to buy your own tools like a tall ladder, leaf blower, or a snow rake to remove debris on your roof. The pros already have the right tools, skills, and experience to match needed to safely tackle such a maintenance task.

Exterior Home Painting

One of the most common projects homeowners love doing by themselves is painting the house. There is nothing more refreshing than seeing your home in a fresh coat of paint. It is also one easy and affordable way to breathe new life into your home.

But while interior paint jobs are easier to tackle, you need to reconsider when painting your home’s exterior. For one, you need a more durable paint that can withstand extreme environmental elements. There’s also the need for a taller ladder to tackle hard-to-reach areas in your home’s exterior.

You can get the best results by choosing a local professional painter to paint your home’s exterior. They can give you the best advice on what color, type of paint, and style will best boost your curb appeal. They have everything needed to paint and protect your home using their skills, experience, and expert tools and equipment.

When it comes to home maintenance and repairs, homeowners should never take their safety and for granted. You don’t want to end up in a hospital because you decided to take on an extremely challenging DIY project. Remember that you are paying the pros for their expertise. For every successful project done by the pros, you improve your family’s comfort and convenience while helping boost your home value.