5 Tips to Get the Best Results from Your Next Home Painting Project

Guest Post by Sherazi Khan

Painting your home should be a positive experience.

Whether you’re getting it prepared before you sell it, you want to give it a whole new look, or you just want to give it a quick refresh, it’s a reason to get excited.

However, that excitement can quickly dull if your project doesn’t turn out how you expect it to.

Instead of a slick new coat of paint that rejuvenates your home’s aesthetic, you can end up with a haphazardly painted mess, or just something lackluster in general.

In fact, DIY painting can be a major pain if not done correctly, but you still need your house painted.

So here are some tips to get the best results possible for your next house painting project.

1: Get High-Quality Paint

The paint you use has a lot to do with the overall result you get from your project.

If you use the cheapest paint you can find, it might not dry properly and leave streaks or visible blemishes on your home. . . and, it won’t provide the same protection as a high-quality paint.

Instead, shell out a bit more for a higher quality paint from a reputable source.

It’ll look better with less effort, and it will help protect the underlying materials of your home.

Whatever you do, try to stay away from marketing fads such as anti-bacterial paint.

2: Use Proper Technique

Painting a house isn’t the same as trying to create some abstract painting you’d find in a traveling exhibit, but there is a proper technique to use.

You can’t just flop a brush across your home sporadically and expect it to look good.

Instead, follow this base process:

    • Prep: Remove furniture if painting indoors or shrubs and other items that are against your home’s exterior when painting outside.
    • Clean: Remove dirt, mildew, and build-up from the walls and sills.
    • Scrape: Using a paint scraper, remove any loose flakey paint.
    • Prime: Applying a primer will provide extra protection and ensure your paint’s pigment shines through.
    • Paint: Using a roller or a high-quality spray apparatus makes this easier, but use broad, long, straight strokes in the same direction to avoid streaks, and paint multiple thinner layers to avoid clumping.

3: Check the Weather

Painting the exterior of your home obviously leaves it open to the elements.

That can greatly affect your paint job. If it’s raining, even just a little, the paint can be washed off, or the moving water can leave unsightly streaks on your home.

If it’s cold, it can take far longer for the paint to dry.

It’s best to paint the exterior of your home when a reliable forecast predicts at least a week of dry, warm weather.

Interior painting offers more flexibility, but you should still avoid painting during the cold season so that the paint dries quicker.

4: Always Prime

Primer is often substituted with a two-in-one paint or left out altogether, but that’s not the most ideal way to do it.

Primer adds an extra layer of protection, corrects minor defects to create a smooth painting surface, and helps with the pigment of your paint.

A high-quality combo paint might be a decent option, but it’s best to put a separate primer down whenever possible.

5: Leverage Experience

If you have never performed house painting before it is always best to seek the advice of someone who has. The most obvious solution here would be to leave it all to professional painters.

But if you are determined to follow the DIY route, just make sure to at least speak with a friend or contact who can provide some helpful tips.

Better yet, try to rope them into doing the painting with you.

This will help you resolve any unforeseen issues that may pop up during the project.

Moving House Basics:  5 Tips For Setting Up Electricity Connection

Guest Post by Alex Sanchez

Moving to a new apartment. Young couple holding cardboard boxes.

Moving to a new home and setting up your electricity connection doesn’t need to be a dreadful experience, even if it’s your first time moving houses.

To ensure that the move will be a smooth process and that you’ll have an electricity connection right away and you’re not paying too much for it, figure out early how you’ll set up the utilities in your new home.

Do it in addition to planning how you’ll pack and transport your things.

Read on below to learn what to do to ensure that everything about your electricity connection is ready and in its optimal state in your new house before you move out of the old one.

Take A Final Meter Reading Before Moving Out

First, let your current energy supplier know that you’re moving. Ideally, do it before your move date, at least 48 hours in advance.

Note that some electricity plans have an early exit fee, so make sure to ask your current energy provider about it.

Also, don’t forget to take a final meter reading on your move-out day.

Take note of the reading, then arrange for your final bill to be sent to your new address.

Make sure to claim the money owed by the electric supplier to you if your energy account is in credit, though.

Compare Energy Plans When Switching To A New Energy Provider

Unless you’re happy with your current electricity company and decide to stay with them because they’re able to provide energy where your new home is, it’s best to compare energy plans when switching electricity companies.

Doing so will help you find a cheaper deal for your new house.

It’s also true when connecting electricity to a home that has never had an energy supply before.

After finding the best plan for you, sign up with your chosen energy provider online or over the phone.

Do it before your planned moving date.

Make sure, though, that your chosen supplier knows when you’re moving into your new place.

That way, the activation and starting point for your first bill will be your move-in date.

Comparing energy plans isn’t only helpful when switching to a new energy provider.

If you’re moving to a new house and decide to continue working with the current electricity supplier, you’ll be put on a standard variable tariff.

It’s usually the most expensive contract or plan they’re offering.

That’s why you need to compare the price for each available tariff and call the energy company of your new home as soon as possible.

Switch To A Smart Meter For Your New Home

Aside from moving from one provider to another, consider switching to a smart electricity meter for your new home, too, if you haven’t tried it yet.

It’s a significant technological upgrade from the standard electric meters – the analog ones that require manual reading – and provides greater benefits.

So, what sets the smart meter apart from standard electric meters?

It can send readings to your supplier automatically.

In addition, a smart meter also gives you, the homeowner, a deep understanding of your power utility by providing you with updated usage information.

Homeowners can use the data flow provided by a smart electric meter to identify strategies for reducing power use and controlling electricity bills.

If you’re moving to a house that already has a smart meter installed, make sure that the meter is working in ‘smart mode’ fine.

Replace A Prepayment Meter With A Credit Meter

Prepayment meters, especially the smart prepayment meters, are part of the latest generation of electricity meters.

With a prepayment meter, you’ll have to pay upfront for any electricity usage.

Replacing the prepayment meter in your new house with a normal one will be beneficial primarily because it eliminates the risk of running out of electricity if you fail to top your account up regularly.

More billing options are also available to homeowners using a credit meter instead of a prepayment one.

Those are some reasons why most households prefer the regular meters over prepayment meters, not to mention the former being the more affordable choice.

What if I’m moving to a rental property, you may ask.

Unless the house is under a communal meter, you have every right to switch to a credit meter.

Yes, you don’t need to ask permission from your landlord to do that.

Just make sure, though, that you don’t put any money on your prepayment meter before contacting the rental property’s current energy supplier.

That’s to avoid the risk of paying extra for the previous tenant’s debts.

Have A Meter Installed In Your Newly-Built Property In Advance

It will take a while to install electricity meters in houses that have never had a connection before.

That’s why you have to request an installation and connection well in advance.

That way, you can be sure that your property already has an energy supply during your move-in day.

Conclusion

If you keep the things discussed above in mind, moving to a new home and setting up your electricity connection won’t be as stressful as you think.

Just don’t forget to take a final reading of your electricity meter and settle any dues before moving out.

Also, don’t forget to inform your energy provider of the exact location of the house where you’ll move in to ensure that you’ll receive your final bill.

Furthermore, it will be helpful to compare electricity tariffs or plans before deciding to switch to a new electricity supplier or stick with your current provider.

However, whether you’re switching to a new energy supplier or not, consider replacing your existing meter with a smart credit meter to maximize power saving.

Finally, when moving to a newly-built house, request an electricity meter to be installed at least a week before your move-in day.

Modernize Your Home With These 6 Lighting Ideas

 Guest Post by Andrew Clover

If you’re planning on updating the lighting in your home, consider switching to a modern vibe.

Modernizing your home’s lighting means adopting sleek and straightforward ways to light up space effectively.

An upgrade to the lighting in your home can make a significant impact that everyone will surely love.

The proper lighting plays an important role and highlights your home’s best features, from its architectural feats to the overall colour scheme.

When you want to improve the general appeal of your home while highlighting all the best features, implementing new updates would greatly help.

Here are several lighting ideas you might want to try.

Utilize A Dimmer

For a multipurpose room in your home, consider utilizing a dimmer.

If you don’t have one yet, it connects to light fixtures to lower the brightness level, allowing you to control the lighting environment and conserve energy simultaneously.

Dimmers ensure better flexibility depending on your mood, time, and event.

If you’re planning to install dimmers, it’s best to work with a licensed electrician Sydney to get the job done efficiently.

As a worthwhile investment, dimmers can minimize energy consumption and prolong the lifespan of the light bulbs in your home.

With the versatile lighting options, you can create in all the rooms in your home, having dimmers is truly a must-have.

Level Up The Design

If you feel the lighting elements in your home are out of date as new trends flood the market, you can still keep your home updated.

One approach you might want to consider is exchanging a lighting fixture or two to showcase a trend you love.

The addition of a modern and sleek floor lamp with a metal detail will effectively give a room a fresh look even if you have old furniture around.

During the selection process, make sure to go for pieces that work best with the current colour theme of your home, along with the overall design.

Remember that these brand-new lighting fixtures should blend seamlessly with your home while also imparting a new element at the same time.

Install Under-Cabinet Light Strips

A convenient way to upgrade the lighting in certain parts of your home is utilizing under-cabinet light strips, especially in the workroom or kitchen.

Generally, these lights work by shining directly on the work area and making it easier to carry out tasks.

You can easily switch these lights off when not in use.

Switch To A New Colour Palette

If you want to introduce a touch of colour to your home, you might consider incorporating light fixtures in colours you love.

To create an interesting focal point in one of the main rooms in your home, such as the dining area, consider adding a vibrant table lamp or an eye-catching pendant light right in the middle.

If you find bright colours too heavy for your tastes, go for lighting fixtures with glossy metallic finishes, ideal for imparting warmth to a space without overpowering hues.

Copper is one of the current trends these days.

You can incorporate the trend by selecting a copper pendant light to create a modern yet sophisticated look.

The addition of a new lighting fixture is a simple yet effective way to make a space stand out.

Make Use Of Modern Lighting Fixtures

Aside from pendants, there are other lighting fixtures to consider for your home, but if you want to create a modern feel, you can go for chandeliers, recessed lighting, and track lighting.

Today, you can get these lighting fixtures in a variety of designs.

Make sure you’ll check out all the available choices on the market to find the right one for your home.

These lighting fixtures are all ceiling-based which frees up space in a room and ensures an open space to create a minimalist vibe.

You can also consider adding wall sconces that will help minimize the clutter and blend seamlessly into a modern-themed home.

Make Use Of Coloured Lighting

Some houses utilize coloured lighting to add an exciting flair to the overall ambience.

You might want to add coloured lighting into a modern design to help the interiors pop.

One way to switch from various light hues is to use a smart bulb.

The interplay of coloured lighting works best if you want to feature the highlights of your home, such as massive wall art or cabinets showcasing your prized collections.

Final Thoughts

An effective way to update your home or provide it with a modern flair is through lighting.

By choosing the right lighting fixtures that seamlessly blend in with your home’s current theme while effectively highlighting the best features of your home and maintaining functionality at the same time, it’ll work wonders in all the rooms in your home.

 

Author Bio: Andrew Clover is a certified electrician with 12 years of residential and commercial experience in inspections, repairs and installations. He shares his expertise on electrical basics by writing blogs. During his free time, Andrew loves fishing and hiking.

6 Tips For Building Modular Homes

Guest Post by Dante Press

Unlike traditional built homes, modular homes are becoming popular due to quality construction, low cost, and quick turnaround.

If you’re planning to build one for you and your family, it’s essential to do your homework.

The reason behind it is that not all modular homes are the same.

Aside from that, you may need the assistance of professionals to buy shipping containers Australia to build your modular home.

So, before you get started with building your preferred modular home, the following are some tips you may want to know:

Understand The Basics Of Modular Home-Building Process

Modular is the term used for those constructed with standardized measurements or units.

Instead of building different sections of the house on- site, the construction happens inside the manufacturing facility and the home is often shipped to the specific building location.

Therefore, rather than getting a load of raw lumbers at your building site, you could receive walls or whole rooms.

The components of modular homes are made according to the quality control specifications and local building codes.

The actual number of the modules may depend on your home design’s complexity.

Choose The Right Location

One of the things to plan when building a home is to find the right location.

Whatever happens, get rid of the temptation of purchasing a piece of land on which to build your modular home.

The characteristics of a good location for modular homes are as follows:

  • Neighbourhood. Take some time to check out the location and its periphery for government and social amenities, such as churches, offices, work locations, and schools. If possible, opt for a neighbourhood that feels comfortable and safe.
    <liWide Lot. Having a big piece of land is always better than a small one, regardless of how big or small your modular home is. In addition, having a wide lot makes it possible to create a beautiful lawn and driveways.
  • Type Of Soil. The type of soil in the land may influence the construction in your preferred location. Be sure to do your due diligence to determine the kind of structures that the soil in your location may handle. You’ll have to decide if you’d rather change your modular home or move to another area.
  • Water Availability. Make sure to purchase land in an area close to a clean water source. You wouldn’t want to experience water scarcity when you’re building your modular home.

Secure Your Financing

Once you decide to build a modular home, you may get a loan or opt for self-finance.

Self-financing can be done if you have enough equity or sufficient cash in another property to acquire another mortgage.

If you prefer the loan route, your first step is to meet with your mortgage broker or bank to go through the approval process.

This will give you an idea of how much you may need to spend on both your new home and land.

As a result, you won’t waste time considering other options that are way beyond your budget.

Focus On The Finishing Touches

Several things, such as showers and sinks, will be installed in the modules once they arrive from the manufacturer.

Some items, including dryers, refrigerators, and washers, will be delivered when the house is built.

Be sure to review your inventory properly to ensure you’ve received everything you were supposed to.

However, it’s also vital to note that not everything can be finished by your chosen manufacturers.

Choose Your Floor Plan

A floor plan is essentially the blueprint of a home’s overhead layout. Viewing a pre-drawn floor plan allows you to have an idea of the home style you want, what’s best suited for your needs, and how the rooms are connected. When selecting a floor plan, these considerations may help you make a well-informed decision:

  • Functionality. Designing a customizable space and browsing a floor plan is fun, but never forget about adding functionality to your space. Make sure to select the right number of bedrooms for comfortable living.
  • Purpose Of Your Modular Home. Think of every room as having a purpose of its own. Remember this when choosing your floor plan as you might not want bedrooms right beside the living room where it might be loud. So, take time to consider the purpose of every living space.

Calculate The Costs

Typically, modular homes are cheaper than traditional built homes.

Several locations and some factors might make your modular homes pricier than average, though.

This is why you must calculate the costs to know whether a modular home will be worth it.

Moreover, you should note that there are costs that the manufactures won’t have factored in when they present you the base price.

Such costs may include ductwork, electrical work, plumbing, adding a basement, and septic tank installation.

Once you decide to tweak the original plan of your manufacturer, like installing hardwood floors rather than carpets, the costs may increase.

Conclusion

Building a modular home is a cost-effective and quick way to construct a home unlike building traditional ones.

However, the process can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time considering this type of home.

Make sure to do your research and keep the tips mentioned here in mind.

This way, you can be assured of the modular home of your dreams.

Author’s Bio

Dante Press is a real estate supervisor. He’s been in the real estate industry for 10 years. He shares his expertise through social media platforms and by writing blog posts. Dante loves playing sports like basketball and badminton.

Safe As Houses

5 Tips For Building Your Ideal Home

Guest Post by Natalie lge

Photo: Tom Fisk/Pexels

Whether you’re building a house in Darwin or searching for the best Bellarine Peninsula builders to construct your dream holiday home, there are some common factors that go into residential construction in Australia that all prospective homeowners need to understand.

For a smooth, error-free construction process with an ideal end-result, keep the following six tips in mind:

1. Have a general plan for your future

It may seem strange to ask you to have a plan for your future when you’re focused on building a house. . . However, this is highly relevant as it can help guide you in the many decisions you will face throughout the construction process.

If you haven’t planned out your future, you might think the cheaper three-bedroom display home will be suitable.

If you sit down and think about children, family visits, and other factors, you may decide to invest in a larger house and land package, with more rooms, a bigger backyard, and space to build a granny flat down the line.

Those who don’t want kids may even opt to go smaller!

The point is that if you want to build your dream home, you need to think about all the different stages of your life.

Things may not go to plan, of course, however, any dream home should be planned around the fulfillment of your dreams in life.

2. Take advantage of display homes

Display homes are there to give you a feel for what the plans will look like in real life.

Even the best 3D model can’t capture the feeling of standing inside a home and seeing how furniture and appliances fit.

So, take plenty of time to explore various display homes before committing to a builder and a plan.

Take note of what you like and don’t like about each one, and you’ll soon have a clear picture of what your dream home looks like.

3. Be careful in choosing a builder

Even before the pandemic, there were problematic builders in Australia.

However, over the last two years, many have folded due to unsustainable business practices.

When a builder goes out of business, prospective homeowners are rarely fully reimbursed, even if the work is substandard and/or hasn’t been completed.

This is just one of many potential problems you can face with a builder, and the consequences can be devastating, so, it’s essential to do your due diligence and ensure you sign up with a reputable company.

4. Budget for extra expenses

If your budget barely covers the initial quoted cost of the home, you’ll have no room for unexpected expenses that may arise.

Perhaps you want to go off-plan and have a more spacious loungeroom or wider front door.

There are many reasons why your plans may change, so make sure you budget appropriately.

5. Finish with a thorough inspection

When you get word that your house has been completed, it’s tempting to sign off on it so you can move in right away.

However, doing so can leave you stuck with all sorts of problems and no avenue to remedy them (apart from paying to fix them yourself).

You need to be thorough when doing a Practical Completion Inspection (PCI)

If you aren’t confident book an an expert to look over your new home will give you confidence that you can move in without a care in the world.

 

Building a house is challenging, but if you go in prepared, it can be one of the most rewarding journeys of your life.

Start with the tips above, do your due diligence, and that dream home will soon be yours.

5 Ways to Save on Your Energy & Internet Bills

Guest Post by Rahi Mam

As the head of your household’s finances, you may be looking to save on expenses wherever you can.

This helps protect you from unnecessary spending, and can even help free up some money for your family to spend elsewhere.

One of the ways you can save money is to regularly assess how much you spend on electricity and the internet and see if there are any better prices available.

To help get you started on this process, here are five ways to compare your energy and internet plan options.

1. Bundle Up

Many utility providers offer bundled plans, where you can get a variety of services all on one bill.

This bundling often comes with discounts on each service, as it benefits the provider to have more steady users.

Start by contacting your current service provider to see if you can combine electricity & internet through them. If they don’t offer such a bundle, you may want to contact other providers and inquire about their bundles and rates.

Then, choose the option that best fits your budget.

2. Explore Alternative Sources

The next tip is specifically for energy plans.

More and more providers are switching to cleaner and cheaper energy sources, such as wind, solar, and hydro. In addition to being better for the environment, these sources can also be more reliable than traditional coal power.

This saves the utility company time and money in a variety of ways.

Most will pass those savings onto their customers, letting you reap the benefits as well.

Contact your energy provider to see if getting your energy from an alternate source is possible and how much it can save you each billing period.

3. Take Advantage of Specials

Both energy and internet providers may offer specials for new customers, especially those who are interested in bundling multiple services.

It’s well worth doing some research to determine what specials are on for the providers in your area.

You can do this by calling around or by looking on their websites.

If you’d rather not leave your current provider, you can contact them and see if they have any specials that you qualify for.

Some may have deals for long-time customers who renew or upgrade their service that can save you some money without having to switch.

4. Consider a Contract

A fourth option for getting lower prices on electricity and internet plans is to look for plans with a fixed contract length, as opposed to month-to-month options.

Service providers benefit from having repeat and reliable customers.

As a result, many are willing to offer a special price on services for customers who agree to a locked-in contract.

If you feel that your energy and internet usages are pretty steady, or if you believe that the provider can meet your needs for the length of the contract, then this may be an excellent option for you.

5. Ask Around

One final way to help you compare energy and internet plans is to talk to customers of other providers.

You could do this by asking neighbors who they use and what their costs are like.

You could also reach out to friends and family members that you may have in the surrounding area and ask them.

You may find out that you’ve got the best plan on the block, or you may find out a hidden gem of a provider.

Bottom Line

Comparing energy and internet plans is a smart way to make sure you’re paying a fair price.

Don’t be afraid to shop around a bit to see what other deals are out there.

Talk to customers of other providers, or to the providers themselves, and ask about plans and prices.

Your budget’s bottom line will thank you for your diligence.

Top 3 Luxury Bathroom Features to Consider During Your Next Upgrade

Guest Post by Sherazi Khan

A bathroom renovation can add a lot of value to a home, and even if you have no intention of selling your house in the foreseeable future, a fresh, upgraded bathroom experience can make a world of difference in your day-to-day life.

However, planning a bathroom upgrade isn’t exactly easy. You have a lot of options to choose from, and some features may be more worthwhile than others depending on your budget.

Let’s go over our top 3 luxury bathroom features to help you get the most out of your next bathroom upgrade.

Heated Flooring

Have you ever gotten out of the shower on a cold winter evening, felt amazing from the hot water on your body, and then promptly had that sensation ruined by ice-cold tiles on your feet? Well, there’s a solution to that: Heated floors.

Heated bathroom floors help raise your home’s value, provide you with a better bathroom experience, and add a luxurious flair to your bathroom overall.

Even better, a heated floor can save you money in the long run since it can effectively lower your heating and cooling costs. So, it’s a luxury investment that pays off.

This doesn’t have to be a major investment, either. There are floor heating options in several price ranges, and if your budget is reasonable to begin with, you can likely afford at least this one luxury feature.

Green-Themed Features

Nowadays, “going green” is all the rage, and there are some good reasons behind that.

Things such as low-energy lights, water-saving showerheads and faucets, low water consumption toilets, and automatic shutoff lights can help you reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment in fairly dramatic ways.

However, the benefits aren’t just one-sided. Lower resource consumption means your bills will be lower each month. Plus, several technological advancements have made such “green” bathroom features not only more luxurious but far more practical than what you may have heard about them in the past.

Now, they can perform just as well as their traditional counterpart, integrate modern design elements into their aesthetics and features, and are overall much more than simply “green” alternatives.

More importantly, with the popularity of the “green” movement, homebuyers are looking for these features to be pre-installed. So, making this investment can help you sell your home more easily in the future.

Professional Design Theme

When you walk into the average bathroom, the walls tend to be bare and plain, or they’re layered with wallpaper that looks like it’s from the 1950s.

That’s okay if you like that style. However, that’s not going to cut it if you’re trying to gain a more luxurious washroom experience or increase your home’s value.

Instead, it’s a worthwhile choice to pay for a professional bathroom renovation service, especially one with an artistic design team, who create something truly unique.

While you’re focusing on luxury features such as a high-end spa bath, heated floors, and other functional parts of the room, a creative designer can bring your wildest dreams to life and make your bathroom embody the luxurious feeling you’re going for.

Choose What’s Best for You

Obviously, there are more choices than just these three. From various high-end tile options to fixtures made from precious metals, and vanities that look like they belong in a museum, the list goes on and on.

It’s important to choose the features that match your sense of style and try to consider the impact they’ll have on your monthly bills or your home value.

7 Maintenance Tips For Picture-Perfect Home Landscapes

Guest Post by Steph Senter

If you want your yard to be appealing and stand out from the rest, it’s crucial to maintain its landscaping to ensure it stays picture-perfect.

A clean and well-maintained landscaping will be a nice space where your family could spend time together.

It’s best to be proactive when it comes to lawn care.

Make sure to prioritize your yard with routine maintenance to keep the landscaping in good shape at all times.

Here are a few maintenance tips to ensure your yard stays attractive.

Hire A Landscape Professional

If you lack time to keep the landscaping in your yard in good shape, consider hiring a professional to work on the task.

Professionals will efficiently remove weeds, trim the lawn, and do other general maintenance tasks.

If you’re eager to learn more about landscaping maintenance services, Gardener Sydney would be a good starting point.

Inspect Your Yard

If you want to maintain your landscaping, it might be best to spend some time checking everything.

Take time to check the plants, trees, and soil in your yard carefully.

This will help you identify any diseases or pests before they get out of hand.

Remember that the best defence against these in your landscape is maintaining healthy soil and early detection.

Prune During Winter And Early Spring

One of the maintenance tasks for your yard is pruning.

Trim away any damaged or disfigured branches due to the snow and ice in late winter.

Don’t forget to remove any unwanted lower branches on evergreen trees and shrubs if you have any on your property.

Remember that most trees and shrubs require pruning in late winter or early spring.

The suitable time to prune a shrub will depend on when it blooms and whether it flowered in the same or previous years.

For shrubs that flower during the summer, prune them at the end of winter or early spring before any new growth begins.

For shrubs that flower during spring, prune them after the flowers fade.

Because these typically bloom during the previous season’s growth, you’ll cut off the buds and flowers if you prune too early.

Clean Up The Yard

Getting rid of any debris or piles of leaves should be a priority if you don’t want mould or decay. . .however, avoid raking into the wet ground.

The best time to clean up a yard is when the temperature reaches the 40–50 range.

If you have a compost pile or planning to start one, you can place all the leaves into the pile.

In case you have perennial beds in your yard, consider cutting down those already spent until the weather warms up.

Many beneficial insects are still hibernating in the leaf litter and eventually wake up once the weather warms up and the daylight lengthens.

If you’re eager to work on the task, you can trim the spent plant stems and set them aside on the edges of your yard.

Add Mulch

The addition of fresh mulch in your yard will be beneficial.

Add an inch layer of fresh mulch around trees and in plant beds.

Don’t let the mulch come into direct contact with the tree trunks, and don’t add more than three inches of mulch at a time.

The mulch can make the planting areas look neat and help hold moisture in the soil, keep the roots cool during summer, and serve as insulation during the winter.

As the mulch decomposes, it contributes organic matter to the ground.

Maintain The Lighting

If you truly want to showcase the beauty of your yard, keep the lighting in good condition.

Ensure your property has adequate lighting for security purposes as well as to highlight the best features of the landscaping.

Make sure to replace the light bulbs when needed and check for any problems that might affect their performance.

Keep Your Grass Healthy

One of the maintenance tasks to maintain your lawn’s beauty is to keep the grass at the right height throughout the year through mowing.

Remember, though, to avoid over-mowing as it can damage the crown of the grass or allow the roots to burn.

Make sure to amend the soil to ensure healthy grass.

If you want to know your soil’s pH level, you can take samples and have them tested.

One way to adjust the soil pH is to add lime to increase the pH or iron to reduce the level.

Most types of grasses typically prefer a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.2.

Final Thoughts

Keeping the landscaping on your property in good shape throughout the year should be your priority as a homeowner.

When you have healthy trees, plants, and grass, they’ll create the ideal outdoor space that will boost the overall appeal of your property.

With the help of these landscape maintenance tips for your yard, you’ll have an appealing outdoor space throughout the year.

 

Author: Steph Senter is a property manager. She’s been in the industry for 15 years and knows the ins and outs of property management. She writes blog posts and guest posts to share her expertise. In her free time, Steph enjoys gardening and playing with her dogs.

Creative Ways to Make Your Interior Decor Look More Luxurious

Guest post by John Guevara

When I was younger, I always loved decorating my room.

When I started arranging my room, it would always feel like a home to me and bring me lots of joy.

However, when you get older, and your priorities change, it’s easy to push decor away so you can focus on other things.

But in recent years, more people are becoming more interested in interior aesthetics again.

People are seeing functional spaces and artful ones that inspire them to create.

Use Curvy Shapes

Following the path of metal molding, many interior decorators choose to include curvy shapes.

These are usually more stylish, allowing them to transform a room without losing formality.

For example, you can use curvy bodies to create focal points in your home by using them as frames.

It’s incredible what a metal frame can do to enhance a photograph.

Mirrors

For many, mirrors have become more than just something used to fix your hair or to correct bad posture in the morning.

They’re now used as works of art to bring you joy when you look at them or add depth to your room.

They’re also great for those who want to observe their surroundings without letting those around know.

Led mirrors are very popular these days as well.

Especially if you’re trying to add a little bit of that futuristic and luxurious feel to your room.

Not only do they illuminate the room, but they will attract lots of attention from your guests and the people who walk by your place.

Add Metallic Items

Metallic items are great for adding a great glow to your interior.

They’re also instrumental in many decorative ways. For example, you can place them on shelves and tables.

This way, you don’t need to decorate all of your furniture for the metallic glows to shine through.

You have to think about where the lighting is strong enough that your items gleam beautifully without hurting yourself from the light’s reflection.

Fresh Flowers

Strawberries are one of spring’s absolute favorite foods. But if you live in a cold climate or are allergic to them, you still have plenty of other choices for fresh flowers.

Just make sure that whatever flowers you pick for your room have the right scent.

Otherwise, it will just smell like wilted roses to everyone who walks around your place.

Create Vignettes

A vignette is an exciting and unique way to add a little something extra to your home.

You can use this concept for simple and basic things such as putting your favorite picture on display or having it as a conversation piece.

There’s no limit to how you can incorporate vignettes into your interior design. For example, you can use them for decorating furniture and windows and decorating mirrors and walls.

 

Conclusion

Interior design is more than just how the rooms look aesthetically. It’s also how the rooms make you feel. By incorporating different ideas into your interior decorating, you can truly make your home a comfortable and enjoyable place to be.

Setting Up Your Vegetable Garden

Guest Post by Elena Willson

Setting up a vegetable garden at home can be a great way to save money, provide a new interest in your free time, feed your family with healthy food and get up close and personal with nature.

Growing tomatoes, zucchini and any other favorite vegetables that you like can save you all those frequent trips to the market and make your cooking much easier with all the ingredients at hand.

Moreover, you’ll discover that the flavors and textures of home-grown vegetables far exceed the ones bought at the grocery store . . . so, check out these tips on how to get your vegetable garden off to a great start.

Come up with a plan

Start your veggie garden project by making a list of your favorite vegetables and short-list it to the ones that are quite expensive at the shop but taste the best when fresh.

Start off small with a few vegetable beds that you can expand every year as you become more confident and experienced.

If the area for your vegetable garden is new, you need to decide what style of gardening and planting system you want.

It could be raised beds, square foot gardening, or traditional rows.

The general recommendation is to define the garden beds about 1.2m wide and as long as you want them to be with at least 60cm space in between them. Preferably, it should be in an area of your garden that gets lots of sunlight and is close to a water source.

Another great option is to construct and implement a greenhouse to grow plants in.

They are an excellent method as they offer protection for your plants from pests, frost and chilly weather, making your growing much easier especially if you live in a colder area.

Greenhouses come in many shapes and sizes, and with the benefits they offer, you’ll spend less time worrying about growing problems and more time enjoying your gardening!

Choose your plants

Your next step is to choose what plants to grow.

Think about what vegetables your family likes to eat the most.

The easiest ones to grow are typically tomatoes, beans, squash, tomatoes, lettuce, and various greens.

The general advice is to start growing your plants from seeds sown directly in the ground, but you could also use seedlings.

You could even grow your own seedlings indoors or purchase them at a local nursery. In early spring, just before the last frost, sow those plants that grow best in cooler weather, such as carrots, turnips, beets, parsnips, spinach, peas, radishes, and Swiss chard.

After the last frost, start planting warm-weather vegetables, such as squash, cucumber, beans, and corn.

Rely on proven tips and techniques

There are proven tips and techniques that can help your veggie garden grow more efficiently and productively.

One preferred method involves the practice of succession planting.. . .For instance, you can grow a warm-season crop like beans in the same place where you previously harvested a cool-season crop like spinach.

Interplanting is another way to get the most out of your planting space.

Combine fast-maturing crops, such as lettuce, with slow growers, such as broccoli.

You’ll have harvested lettuce by the time the broccoli requires more space.

Prepare the soil

You’ll hardly get any yield if you don’t provide the best possible soil for your plants.

When it comes to your garden, rich, healthy soil is something that’s easily recognized – it’s easy to dig and drains well.

The combination typically contains a mixture of sand, silt and clay, and their proportion will dictate the texture of your garden soil.

This texture will affect drainage and amounts of nutrients.

Luckily, any type of soil can be improved in time by using organic matter, commonly compost.

This will help connect the particles in the soil, retain moisture and nutrients, and get the plant roots the much-needed oxygen.

Regardless of the way you grow your plants, you should also be ready to tackle pests and diseases.

There are different solutions available, but basically, you need to stop the weeds in their tracks, keep any animals out, fight fungal disease and deter destructive insects.

 

When you decide to start up your vegetable garden, it’s important to understand the basics and take one step at a time.

Make a good plan, work at your own speed and try to enjoy the process.

Hopefully, the tips listed here will encourage you to roll up your sleeves and get started on your green thumb journey.

As you get better at it, besides your veggies, why not expand and add some herbs, edible flowers, and fruits as well?