What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

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What No One Tells You About Selling a Home – If you are about to sell your first home, you’re likely to be in for a surprise with the many unexpected preparations that need to be made.

Something no one seems to tell you it, if you don’t do it right, is that it could linger on the market for quite a while.

What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

For example, houses for sale in Ottawa spend an average of 43 days, but in other places it could be much longer – the ones that seem to sell the fastest usually do so because they’ve followed these important tips. 

Hire a Professional Photographer

Curb appeal is no longer a potential buyer’s first impression, the Internet is.

How your home looks online can make a significant difference in how fast it sells.

In fact, analysis has shown that a home with professional real estate photography sells 32% faster.

If it doesn’t appeal online, those buyers will quickly move on.

Professional photos can show your home in the very best light to get those buyers through your door.

What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

You Will Need Storage Space

Once those buyers start coming to take a look at your home, you don’t want to have any clutter or junk hanging around.

In fact, the fewer personal things in it the better which means you may need to pack quite a bit and find a place to store those items.

Closets will need to be mostly empty and bulky furniture, which may make your home feel smaller than it is, will need to be stored.

You’ll want to take down family photos and other personal mementos down and store those too.

And you shouldn’t just stick it all in the garage so you may need to rent a storage unit. 

Show Ready at All Times

One of the hardest things about having your home up for sale is that your realtor will call you on a moment’s notice to tell you that a potential buyer would like to view your home.

That can mean that you have just an hour to clean up and leave the premises for the viewing so it will need to be in show-ready condition at all times, and ideally, you’ll need to be ready to leave so the buyer can feel comfortable thoroughly checking it out.

The bottom line is, plan on being flexible with your daily schedule and be extra diligent about keeping it clean.

Be Prepared to Negotiate Everything

Negotiations are usually part of the process – you’ll have to be ready to negotiate everything down to which appliances the buyer keeps to the closing costs.

Just because you’ve listed your home for a specific price, doesn’t mean that potential buyer won’t want to try to get it reduced.

They may want the refrigerator and other kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, and perhaps negotiate things like the inspection and other closing costs.

They might even ask you to throw a piece of furniture into the deal.

Anything and everything has a price but if you’re aware beforehand it will allow you to roll with the punches, be less stressed and more open for what might lie ahead.

Factors That Limit The Refinancing or Financing of Rural Properties

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Refinancing or Financing of Rural Properties – Despite 97% of America’s land area being rural, only 19.3% of the population lives there according to Census Bureau.

This can be attributed to several factors including desirable amenities in urban areas.

One major factor that, however, facilitates this phenomenon is the fact that financing or refinancing a rural property is way harder than an urban or suburban one.

Financing of Rural Properties

Even with federal programs such as the USDA loans that are aimed at encouraging home ownership in rural areas, getting money to buy a rural home is still hard.

Truth is, it takes a lot more to buy and develop a rural space or property compared to an urban one. Why?
Refinancing or Financing of Rural Properties

Absence of Standard Utilities

Most rural properties lack utilities that are considered basic such as electricity and safe drinking water.

A factor that might deter mortgage lenders.

One may encounter problems with financial institutions in cases where the rural home’s water supply is from a well, which occurs more often than not.

They may decide to completely refuse to finance the purchase or hold off a certain percentage of the agreed amount until the water is tested.

Luckily, taking a water potability test early on before approaching these rural property finance lenders should be able to help eliminate this challenge.

Once the test which is done by the municipality or county proves the well water meets the guidelines of drinking water quality, lenders will be more open to the idea of financing or refinancing the property in question.

Lenders Dislike Uncertainty

Purchasing a rural home is harder because the rural property market is not as predictable as the urban property market.

A factor that makes mortgage lenders more hesitant. Lenders dislike uncertainties.

Normally, an individual seeking a mortgage loan has to present the lender with an appraisal report.

Now, appraisal, which is a fancy term for determining the value of something, is usually based on using the values of at least 3 houses sold in the last 6 months within a mile of the subject property.

Rural areas are sparsely populated and there way fewer houses that can be used to draw the value of the property.

The uncertain estimates which may be far from the property’s true value make lenders more unlikely to grant loans since they like working with known quantities.

The Zoning, Size, and Use of Property In Question

Most rural properties are zoned into two categories; country residential and agricultural.

The first features small parcels of land say 1-3 acres.

Most property lenders prefer loaning cash for residential homes.

If the size of a property features a large land, a farm, livestock, a barn, etc., one is advised to seek the loan to finance the purchase from a local bank that finances farms or an agricultural lender.

Alternatively, the extra areas which are not inclusive of the garage, home, and 5-10 acres are not made part of the mortgage loan to value calculations. What No One Tells You About Selling a Home

Strict Loan Requirements When Refinancing or Financing of Rural Properties

Federal government programs that offer loans to support rural development have very strict requirements.

The United States Department of Agriculture, for example, does not issue loans.

Instead, it acts as a guarantor so one still has to find and convince the lending firm alone.

In cases where it does offer direct loans, not many can meet the set standards.

They only offer these direct loans to very low and low-income individuals whose income must be below 80% of the locality’s median salary.

If a property is far from a major city and therefore harder to get to or if the property is inaccessible due to bad roads, property lenders will most likely turn down a loan request.

Location, utilities, size, zoning, and challenges in establishing value are all factors that make it harder to get a lender to finance or refinance a rural home purchase.

This is however not to mean the venture is impossible.

All one has to do is find fair lenders available in the specific type of property they wish to buy and to take necessary precautions to ensure the loan is approved.

10 Reasons to get a Home Generator

Honeywell Generator

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One of the gifts you can give to yourself or your family is a home generator.

We can’t depend on the general power supply 24/7 because it may fail at a crucial moment.

Many areas experience power outages frequently, while some see it once in a while.

But the important thing is your preparations for a backup light during those times.

Don’t forget, without electricity; many things can go wrong in a home.

Apart from the obvious which is providing light, many of the appliances we use need constant power to function.

Even our food, water and sometimes health depends on electricity.

So, if you’re yet to invest in a home generator, think hard about it now.

Types of Home generators

There are many choices when it comes to home generators.

We have the inverter units, portable brands and even the standby ones.

If you prefer a portable home generator, you should prepare for gasoline and suitable housing for it.

As for the standby types, you’ll prepare for natural gas or propane.

These standby home generators are usually ready to provide power to the house immediately the general source defaults.

As for the inverter generators, you can enjoy more peace with them than with the others.

The main thing about using any home generator is to operate it safely by reading and obeying the instructions on the operational manual.

Reasons to get a Home Generator

Why You Must Get A Home Generator

We’ve seen the types out there but why do you need one at home?

Generators For emergency

Okay, so we know that power outages can happen suddenly when you are not expecting it.

If you don’t have a home generator, what will you do?

What if you were using the electric cooker?

If you don’t have a home generator, how will you complete it?

Sometimes, we lose power due to a bad weather condition, will your home remain pitch dark until when?

The best generator for emergencies is to, get a home generator and be ready all the time.

Generator for your home office

Did you know that many professionals are working from home these days?

What if you decide to join them, are you going to depend on the general source of light?

Are you already a work-at-home executive?

We advise you to get a home generator soon.

That way you can protect your business or work from the effects of power failure.

Our food depends on light

How are you going to cope if the power goes off when your freezer is packed with food?

We usually have many perishables at home, and without light, we may lose a lot of money.

So, get a home generator today and avoid the grocery store.

To protect your properties

Did you know that power outages can cause damages to your property?

Miscreants may use such opportunities to enter your home when you’re away.

So, if you need your security system to be active in your absence, get a standby home generator.

Generator For outdoor activities

One of the best times to enjoy your home generator is during camping, outdoor parties, or when working around the house.

If you buy one of the most portable generators out there, you can use it for felling trees or pressure washing.

The point is that your home generator is not only for emergency.

Inverter Generator To power medical device

Many seniors today rely on one medical device or the other.

I personally have a CPAP.

I have both a small 2000 watt inverter generator and a solar generator I take camping / traveling.

Some of these smart devices depend on constant electricity to function.

If you don’t keep a home generator handy, what will they do when the power goes off suddenly?

What about a family member who may need to live on medical equipment due to accidents or prolonged illness?

You can’t leave them at the mercy of the public source of power or, you may lose them suddenly.

Honda Generator
Honda Generator

Home generator ensures constant water

Many people who use well water can’t afford to stay without a constant source of power.

At least if the power suddenly goes off, you can be sure of clean water for your needs.

Generator To recharge your car

If you’re driving a car that works with electricity, you must get a portable generator to carry with you all the time.

At least, you won’t need to call 911 from a deserted road.

Protection in the high-risk climate area

If you’re living in an area prone to adverse weather conditions, you must buy a home generator.

For instance, some countries experience hot temperature while others endure very cold weather all year round.

If you happen to be in either of these places, you must get a home generator for your air conditioner or heating system.

Sump Pump Generator

One of the places to store spare properties is the basement.

Some people even use it to create a sleeping space.

Many houses also have crawl spaces, and you can only keep these areas dry with a sump pump.

Therefore, if you want to protect your stuff, get a backup generator.

Conclusion for why you need a home generator

As my father would say, “Because I said so!”

There’re many reasons to buy a home generator.

We all know that our daily lives depend so much on electricity.

So, it’s wise to provide an alternative source of power for when the grid goes down or is not available.

At least we can be sure of comfort, protection and productivity even in the darkest nights.

Air Conditioning Maintenance 101

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Air Conditioning Maintenance – By keeping your air conditioner well-maintained, not only will you avoid costly repair bills in the long term, but it can help reduce your energy costs right away.

When an air conditioner is in disrepair or even when there’s just dirt built upon the components, it has to work a lot harder to keep working.

Each year, air conditioners will cost homeowners $29 billion a year– and that’s in energy costs alone.

When you figure in maintenance and replacements, that number can quickly end up being more than half a trillion dollars a year.

Whether you’re looking for air conditioning installation in Aurora, CO, or want to ensure that your current system lasts another decade, these are maintenance steps you should keep in mind.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

The savings you get will probably be worth a small investment, too.

Below are the steps you may want to take to keep your air conditioner well-maintained all year.

Air Conditioning Maintenance
Air Conditioning Maintenance 101

Check, Clean, and Replace AC Filters

Having new, clean filters can reduce the energy consumption of your air conditioner by as much as 15%, according to the US Department of Energy.

Clean filters make it much easier for air to pass through them.

This allows the machine to work more efficiently.

Choosing the right filter may be a bit of a chore if you haven’t replaced your screens in a while.

However, once you know what you need, finding your next replacement will be a breeze.

Depending on the type of filter you purchase and your environment, how often you need to change your filters will vary.

However, most filters for home AC units will need to be replaced once a month or once every four weeks.

Air Conditioning Maintenance Clean Out Vents, Drains, and Coils

Your unit should be kept as clean as possible both inside and out…including portable air conditioners.

Any type of dirt on a coil, fin, and in a vent can block airflow and end up costing you more and more over time.

Pets, plants near an outdoor unit, or living in a rural area may mean you need to spend more time maintaining these types of things.

After cleaning, it’s a good idea to inspect any vents for leaks or damage.

Weather and wildlife can cause problems with any ventilation or air conditioning system.

Check to make sure vents are solid, airflow is steady, and all fins are in their original positions.

The condensation drain should also be maintained once in a while.

Doing so can help prevent the formation of clogs that may lead to necessary, costly repairs.

If a clog does occur, and you don’t catch it quickly, water damage may lead to more than a cosmetic imperfection.

You could end up with a weak or collapsed floor, mold, or worse.

Professional AC Maintenance

Every few years it’s a good idea to bring in a professional to take care of tasks like these as well as some maintenance tasks you may not be able, trained, or comfortable enough to do yourself.

For example, a professional can check refrigerant levels and replace it, if needed.

They can also perform several tests with specialized equipment that can quickly check the efficiency of your unit.

Clever Ways to Extend the Space of Your Rural Home

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Rural Home – Size of America’s homes are shrinking, according to Business Insider, with higher construction costs and higher wages charged by builders affecting both city and rural homeowners alike.

Even if you have a sizeable rural home, new additions to the family, a change on your home business, or even a new hobby can require an extension of space.

Clever Ways to Extend the Space of Your Rural Home

From glass extensions to a dedicated cabin for guests or your home business, there are many ways to create contrasting yet complementary spaces that fit into the natural surrounds.

Let in the Light

Glass has been touted a ‘modern’ material since the 1970s, yet if this material has one appealing quality, it is its ability to complement any style – from art deco to traditional brick, and of course, simple minimalistic constructions.

If you have enough space on either side of your home, adding a sunroom with glazed glass and an insulated roof and wall will enable you to enjoy floods of natural light while staying warm.

For inspiration on how glass can be used to increase space, check out work by Koichi Takada Architects, who recently topped traditional brick archways in Sydney with a stunning round glass tower.

Extending Outdoor Space

Building an al fresco terrace with the help of a remote control pergola or constructing a permanent flat roof to cover your terraced space will enable you to create various additional spaces in your home.

One terrace can house three or more spaces, including a resting area, dining room, and TV area.

Ideally, this space should have glass sliding doors or moveable crystal walls, to keep you safe from the elements in cold or hot weather.

Terraces can be pushed further forward through the use of decking.

Cedar, pine, and wood are some of the most popular choices for wooden decks.
Extend the Space of Your Rural Home

Investing in an Independent Log Cabin

Ample plots of lands can definitely benefit from a log cabin construction.

Depending on how you wish to use the space, your cabin can contain specific pictures that will enhance your working or living experience.

Understanding what goes into log cabin plans is key, as it will stop you from making mistakes that can be expensive to fix.

Important considerations to consider include the number of stories you need, how much light your cabin will need, and whether or not you will need a basement.

If your cabin will be used for anything other than storage, make natural light a priority.

Large windows, sliding doors, and atrium rooftop are just a few ways to up the appeal factor of your cabin.

Adding Height

High ceilings add major style to living areas, increasing volume considerably and relaxing the mind by opening up available space.

If you have an attic, you can probably raise the ceiling in the space beneath it.

If you have a stick roof, you may have to remove the existing roof and build a completely new one.

You should also inquire about any building regulations, since a permit may be necessary before you create more vertical space.

Most people who own rural homes have one luxury that urban dwellers crave: space.

By either extending your home or building an entirely new space on your land, you can create your own home office or guests house without breaking the bank.

To whiz your home into the future, vertical height is definitely the way to go, since it will significantly increase volume and create the airy, elegant look that is gracing luxury homes featured in home style magazines across the globe.

Generator Extended Warranty Considerations: Is an Extended Warranty Worth Your Money?

Extended Generator Warranty

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Generator Extended Warranty Considerations – Generators are vital for ensuring your home is safe and warm even during an emergency.

Portable generators help you take the comforts of home with you while camping or RV’ing.

They’re also an investment, and you want to make sure that investment stands the test of time.

Generator Extended Warranty Considerations

Making a smart buying decision is vital here.

You need to buy a generator designed by a well-known manufacturer from a reputable retailer.

However, what about once you get that generator installed and operating?

What happens when things go wrong?

Generator Extended Warranty
Generator Extended Warranty

Your Generator Manufacturer’s Warranty – How Long Will It Last?

In most situations, your generator will come with a warranty from the manufacturer.

The length of that warranty will vary depending on the type of generator.

Portable generators usually have a shorter warranty than larger, stationary generators designed to power an entire home.

You could be looking at three to five years of protection or you could be looking at a warranty that lasts about a year.

Some manufacturers only offer a couple of months.

Does it make sense to buy an extended warranty?

The first tip here is to know how long you’re covered by the manufacturer.

You also need to consider how long you expect the generator to last.

Is this something that you’ll depend on year in and year out, or is it something that you’ll be happy getting a year or two of use out of?

Most of us are going to want to get as much use as possible out of a generator.

Now you have another option – do you buy a generator with an extended warranty included or do you purchase a warranty separately?

Buying an Extended Warranty at the Time of Purchase

Your generator is a significant investment, but buying an extended warranty at the time of purchase is going to dramatically increase your costs.

Is it worth the extra?

Not really.

Why is that?

Again, your generator is going to be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty already.

So, you’re essentially paying for protection that you’re not going to need for what may be several years down the road.

For instance, Honda covers their larger generators for five years, while Generac offers protection for three years after your purchase.

Buying an extended warranty now makes little sense.

Why pay for coverage when you won’t need it?

Buying a Generator Extended Warranty Later

So, we’ve established that it doesn’t make much financial sense to buy an extended warranty on a brand-new generator.

But what about an older one?

One that might be nearing the end of its manufacturer coverage?

Absolutely.

Extended appliance warranties are smart investments when your existing protection is about to expire.

They ensure that if something does occur with your appliance, you’ll have a way to get it repaired or replaced without having to foot the bill for a brand new model.

Are All Generator Extended Warranty Companies the Same?

Let’s make this as clear as possible – no.

There’s plenty that could go wrong if you choose a poor warranty provider.

Some warranty companies have prohibitive exclusions that might mean even though you’ve paid for the protection, they won’t cover your generator.

Yet others may require that you use a specific repair center that’s located far from you, or they might be difficult to get a hold of when you need to file a claim.

Other companies may not be around when you need them.

It’s sad to say, but warranty companies can lack stability and if they’ve closed their doors after you buy, there is really no way to get your money back or to have your generator repaired or replaced.

That begs the question – how do you ensure you’re working with a reputable warranty provider?

What sets one generator warranty insurer apart from another?

  • There When You Need Them: Make sure that any insurers you’re considering have a reputation for outstanding customer support and service. They must be there when you need them.
  • Exclusions: Take a long, hard look at any exclusions before signing on the dotted line.
  • Cost: The cost should not be exorbitant, and the fee structure should not be set up to charge you multiple times for the same repair.

With a little research and some time spent comparing your options, it’s entirely possible to find a reputable warranty company that will protect your investment and give you peace of mind.

Natural Lawn Care Tips and Hacks to Save Time and Money

Green natural lawn

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Natural Lawn Care tips – Last weekend, we mowed our lawn for the first time this year.

From the sound of it (and the smell of freshly cut grass), the neighbors are in the full swing of lawn care as well.

We have dogs, children, and a desire to be good stewards of our immediate environment, so this year, we’re looking for ways to practice natural spring lawn care.

Turns out, there are surprisingly easy and cheap ways to have a natural lawn.

Natural Lawn Care Tips and Hacks

Natural Weed Control: Let it Grow

Instead of spraying pesticides on the weeds in your lawn, simply set your lawnmower on the highest cut setting (3-4 inches).

Why?

Because whether it be your grass or the weeds in your grass, whichever plant gets the most sunlight is going to thrive.

Want to choke out the weeds?

Simply help the grass ‘win.’

It’s really as simple as that, and you’ll enjoy thicker, more plush grass in your yard as well.

Mowing high has other benefits: you’ll offer more shade to the soil, which means it will need less watering, and have thicker turf, which in turn will leave less room for weeds.

Note: According to The Daily Green, clover is not a weed, and should be welcome in your lawn.
Natural Lawn Care Tips and Hacks

Water Savings: Deprive the Weeds

Many people — myself included for some time — believe having a lawn necessitates using a lot of water.

This is not so.

In fact, experts recommend watering less frequently to have a well-cared for lawn.

The reason: if you water less frequently with Gilmour garden sprinklers, it forces grass roots to dig down deeper (deeper than the weed roots.)

Then when the top soil becomes dry, the weeds die while the grass continues to thrive.

Water only when you start to see signs of need in your lawn, and then water thoroughly.

Tip: Place a measuring cup in your watering zone, and make sure it fills with one cup of water during your watering session.

Organic Fertilizing: Less is More

You want to use natural organic fertilizer, but which kind?

First, don’t over think it.

For starters, leave grass clippings on your lawn.

When you bag them and take them away, you leave the top soil exposed.

Eventually, it will be dirt, not soil.

When you do fertilize with a natural organic fertilizer, use 1/3 of the amount recommended on the package. Combine this with compost in spring and fall.

As for what fertilizer you need, this depends on the problem in your yard.

Get the pH balance of your lawn professionally tested, and then use a fertilizer guide to find the correct natural fertilizer for the job.

The key to using less fertilizer is to use the exact type you need, and to use it moderately.

Lawn Alternatives: Who Needs Grass?

Do you really need a lawn of green grass?

How about a Greenhouse?

If you live in an area of water shortages or intense summer heat, you may have already switched to a lawn alternative.

If not, consider the following:

Rock or cactus garden:

Done well, a rock garden can be beautiful, and very peaceful to overlook while sitting on an outdoor deck or sun porch.

Plus you’re saving even more than a natural lawn care gardener on water usage and upkeep.

Natural meadow:

I’ve been hearing more and more about converting lawns to meadows lately.

Should you create a backyard meadow?

Your cost will include wildflower and wild grass seed (one-time only), then light watering and only once-annual mowing.

The result is a tranquil space that attracts butterflies, honey bees and birds, is lovely to see, and easy to maintain.

It’s important to consider how you use and enjoy your lawn.

Think about what yard care do you actually enjoy doing?

Green natural lawn

Easy ways to have a natural lawn

The good news: whether you practice organic gardening, organic lawn care or opt for a lawn alternative, you’ll save time, money, and effort over those struggling to maintain a lawn in synthetic or un-eco-friendly ways.

There are many time-saving and money-saving ways to have a natural lawn.

At my house, we’ll be putting more emphasis on making our yard more environmentally friendly and on enjoying our yard space than on maintaining how it looks!

How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

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The Right Fencing for your Property – At first glance, picking a fence may seem like a straightforward decision.

But a fence can make a huge difference to your house’s look and functionality.

Furthermore, picking the wrong fence for your area could end up in serious maintenance costs and possible issues later.

This is why it is not a decision to be taken lightly.

The best fencing for your land is…

With the variety of materials available today, it’s important to do your research and see which one will work best depending on your needs.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider before installing a new fence.

How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property
How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

Royalty Free Photo

How to Find the Right Fencing for your Property

What’s your Priority?

There are many reasons why you may want to install a fence.

You may just need something utilitarian that will keep pets in and nuisances out.

Others will want something that looks good and enhances curb appeal, while some people care about privacy and security first.

All these options will end up affecting your choice.

If you need privacy, then you can rule out materials like wrought iron immediately.

But you could consider a wooden or vinyl fence, though the distance between panels doesn’t always make vinyl fences the best option.

You should also know that not everyone likes a closed-out backyard, so if you were thinking of selling the property any time soon, you’ll have to take that into consideration as well.

The best solution is to work with a contractor that is familiar with all sorts of fences, like Northland Fence, for instance.

They’ll be able to give you the best options depending on what you’re looking for and could spot potential issues with your initial choice.

What About Maintenance?

The type of fence you choose will also have an influence on how much time and money you’ll have to spend to maintain it.

When it comes to fence materials, wood takes the most care since you’ll have to stain and repaint it regularly.

But they’re also said to be the most aesthetically pleasing to a lot of buyers when cared for properly.

Vinyl and aluminum, on the other hand, require much less maintenance and are popular with many homeowners for that reason.

However, repairing a wooden fence is much simpler than repairing a metal one.

If there’s a storm, for instance, and you lose a few boards on a wooden fence, you can find new ones easily that will match and blend in with the rest.

But if we’re talking about a whole section on an aluminum or vinyl fence, you might not even be able to find the original manufacturer.

Some even had to replace their whole fence for a small section because they couldn’t find something that matched, so keep that in mind.

Make Sure you Have your HOA’s Approval after You have Found the Right Fencing for your Property

Last, but not least, you have to first know if your choice is even approved by your homeowner’s association.

Some will have restrictions on certain materials and others will obligate you to pick one type of fencing only.

So, make sure that the fence’s material and height are in accordance with your HOA’s rules before you do anything.

Choosing a fence is an important buying decision and one you’ll possibly have to live with for years to come.

Whatever you do, make sure that you choose the right contractor to install for fence and don’t be afraid to ask them for a second opinion, as they’ll be more than happy to help.

Taking Care of a Wooden Floor – Tips, Tricks and Hacks

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Taking Care of a Wooden Floor – Wood floors look amazing. They really add a certain character to the room they are in.

No matter what color they happen to be and what wood they are made of, they can add prestige to the room like few other flooring materials.

If you have a wooden floor you are particularly proud of, you are going to need to know how to take care of it.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to care for a wooden floor.
Tips and Tricks for Taking Care of a Wooden Floor

Tips and Tricks for Taking Care of a Wooden Floor

Choose Engineered Wood

If you are the one who installs the floor, consider choosing real wood engineered flooring over something else.

Engineered wood has been treated with a special sealant which makes it entirely more durable.

This means it is less susceptible to mess, scratches, and other things which could potentially damage it.

If the floor is in a room where furniture is moved about frequently, choosing engineered wood will help you to make sure that the floor isn’t damaged prematurely.

Add Feet to the Furniture

Head to any hardware store and you will find little felt feet to attach to your furniture.

These can come in two styles; either pre-cut or as a sheet so you can cut them yourselves.

They will also usually have one adhesive side.

Stick them to the feet of any and all furniture which will be touching the floor.

So, for example, if you had a dining room with a wooden floor, you would stick the felt to the feet of all the chairs and the dining room table.

These felt feet prevent the furniture from directly scraping against the wooden floor.

Not only does this save your ears the screech of wood on wood, but it also helps to protect both the floors and your furniture from scratches, gouges, and other unsightly injuries.

Clean It to Properly Take Care of a Wooden Floor

Cleaning a wood floor is actually more straightforward than it might initially appear.

The first thing you should do is sweep it daily if you can with a soft bristled brush.

This will remove any dust or dirt that collects on it.

You could use a vacuum cleaner but make sure you have the right attachment.

If you use anything which was not designed to vacuum wooden floors, you run the risk of scratching it.

Once a week (or when you have to remove a stain) clean the floor using a microfiber mop and a floor cleaner specially formulated for wooden floors.

Never steam clean a floor as this can cause some serious damage and even warping of the wood.

You may also want to occasionally apply a polish or oil to the wood to bring it back to life.

Don’t be afraid to consult a flooring specialist if you aren’t’ sure whether you can use a product.

Wood floors are easier to care for than a lot of people realize.

Take on board some of the tips listed above and start taking better care of your wooden floors today.

They will serve you well.

Image: Pixabay

Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices You Need to Invest In

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Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices – Every day we make small efforts to make a smaller impact on the environment.

Whether you go for reusable coffee mugs, skip the plastic straw, or bring your own tote bag to the market.

Even with these attempts to not put more waste into the world, many who are serious about the environment don’t feel fully satisfied just doing this.

As smart homes and home automation devices become more and more common, we have more opportunities to make greener choices.

Environmentalists write about the negative impacts technology has on our environment pretty frequently, but there are also options out there that can help us use less energy.

Automated devices can be made to be conscious of how much energy we use, while we won’t be able to monitor our own behaviors as easily.

Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices

Looking for new ways to help make your smart home more eco-friendly?

Here are a few different green devices for you to try.

PUR Bluetooth Ultimate Faucet Filtration System

This filter system fits right on your kitchen filter and removes 99% of lead in your water and over 70 other contaminants.

Cleaner water from the tap means you can stop buying bottled water and switch over to a reusable water bottle to reduce the amount of plastic you use.

PUR’s water filter also comes with an app to let you track how much water you’re using.

Nest Thermostat

Nest makes a variety of different thermostats and other devices, including security cameras and motion sensor alarms, to help you build an eco-friendly smart home.

Their thermostat learns your daily habits to set the temperature exactly how you need it.

It also studies what time you need your house heated and cooled, and how your house heats and cools itself so that it only works when it needs to.

The Nest thermostat can help you reduce the amount of energy you use daily and save on bills, they claim the device pays for itself after the first two years.

Nest Thermostat Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices
Nest Thermostat Eco-friendly Smart Home Devices

WeMo Insight Smart Plug

Smart plugs allow you to track how much energy your appliances are using, even appliances that regular appliances like fans or lamps that aren’t automated.

You can also use the plugs to turn your appliances on or off with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Finding out which appliances use the most energy can help you use them sparingly if, you’re able to.

Hydrao Shower Aloe

By using LED lights, this shower head lights up with different colors as you shower to show you how much water you’ve used.

With an app, you’re also able to set a limit of how much water you want to use each shower and get information on your water consumption.

This shower head also uses the water flow from your shower to power itself with a mini-turbine.

Philips Hue

These smart light bulbs are controlled by a timer that allows you to turn them off from anywhere when you aren’t using them.

You also have the option to dim the light bulbs as much as you’d like so that a room can still be lit up, but without using more energy than you need.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

It’s estimated that more than half of the water we use to take care of our lawns and gardens goes to waste, making it obvious that we’re in need of smart and eco-friendly watering systems.

The EPA WaterSense certified Rachio sprinkler system adjusts to the needs of your yard to accurately water it.

It takes into consideration your area, weather, and the types of plants you have to ensure that you’re only using as much water as you need.

Zera Food Recycler

This food composter lets you cut down on your food waste.

The Zera Food Recycler can reduce the amount of food scraps by up to two thirds in just 24 hours.

By composting your food, you’ll reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and also gives you a homemade fertilizer.

The food recycler is fully automated and you can control it through an app.

Ring Solar Panel and Camera

If you’re looking for a new security system, Ring has one that entirely solar powered.

The device only needs a few hours of sunlight per day to work and stick on to the wall for an easy installment.

Robot Vacuum Cleaner

In addition to other eco-friendly smart home devices, you can invest in a robot vacuum cleaner.

Robot vacuums confer a number of benefits.

Many can be controlled through your WiFi.

Rather than needing to vacuum manually, you set the robot to work, and it roves around your apartment or home picking up dirt, dust, and lint.

There’s a WiFi-connecting robot vacuum available for any budget.

It’s ideal for cleaning the floors of your entire house, including carpets and areas thick with pet hair.

The vacuum cleaner is battery powered rather than running on your electricity.

It has an energy-saving design that’s environmentally friendly, and it’s made in the USA, so it complies with all environmental guidelines laid down by the US.

The robot comes with LaserSmart Wireless Technology for navigation, which means that it’s able to navigate the nooks and crannies of even oddly-shaped rooms.

Unlike randomly roving robots, it cleans the home in an efficient manner rather than treading over already-cleaned areas.

The vacuum’s D-shaped design allows it to move into tight corners and hard-to-reach places.

With the accompanying smartphone app, you can control the vacuum cleaner whether you’re in the same room, on a different floor, or even outside of the house.

Since it’s battery-powered, it uses significantly less energy than a standard vacuum that plugs into the wall.

The lithium battery provides up to 90 minutes of use per single charge.

As for performance, the robot vacuum cleaner comes with multiple features that make it ideal.

It’s made to deliver power cleaning through its spin-flow technology.

There’s a combo brush that can dislodge dirt and dust that’s caked into crevices or carpeting.

A high-performance filter helps the vacuum sort through debris, while the extra large dirt bin means that it can clean for a long time without needing emptying.

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