Building a Garage? Here’s What You MUST Get Right

The garage is a crucial part of the house design. Recently, there has been a trend of designing bigger garages to accommodate more vehicles while at the same time provide storage space. Even though constructing a typical garage is not expensive, the drive to minimize the cost results to a structure that does not conform to the appeal of the house design. Below are some tips to help you create a garage that will suit your need.

Attached or detached

The first thing to consider is whether the garage will be attached or separated from the rest of the house. There are various factors that you have to consider before choosing either an attached or detached garage. For instance, the place of residence will influence the type of garage to construct. Although properties in urban areas are easily connected with main utilities, they provide less flexibility to design garages. In fact, most homes in urban areas are characterized by the attached garage. However, rural areas offer more space to construct detached structures.

Access

Accessibility is an essential factor to consider when constructing a garage. Most home constructions nowadays have an attached garage that faces the street for easier access with the vehicle. Alternatively, you can choose a garage entrance that is angled away from the street. Apart from parking the cars, the garage is also used as a storage space. Therefore, you have to consider accessibility from inside the house.

The available space

The available space determines the kind of garage design to construct. Initially, most homes in the United States had a garage that could only fit one car. However, nowadays garages are designed to not only hold more cars but also accommodate bigger vehicles like SUVs. In fact, the two-car garage has become the most common design.

Utilize the space above the garage

Attaching a garage to your house is not a difficult task. However, it is a more significant challenge utilizing the area above the garage due to the dynamics involved. For instance, the wall height of the garage can make the roofline disproportionate. Utilizing the space is an economical way of creating an additional living or office space.

Appearance matters

Nowadays, designers are trying to integrate the garage with the rest of the house seamlessly. Instead of designing a garage that looks different from the house, you can try to match the façade. For instance, match the colors of the windows or doors with that of the house. Also, you can change the single garage door into two smaller doors.

Security

Since most people use the garage as the primary point of entry, security is a major concern. Therefore, it is advisable to install suitable security systems. For example, automatic door openers are featured with rolling codes that change the security codes after every access. This eliminated duplication of codes and thereby preventing intrusion from burglars. Vacation mode is another critical feature of automatic door openers. The feature allows access to the garage only from the inside. Apart from security, automatic door openers offer convenience since you do not need to get out of the car to open the door.

These Five Renovations Could Help Increase Your Home’s Value!

As property values trend upwards in many places around the United States, real estate owners frequently wrestle with a complex question: does it make sense to renovate and update an older home right now? And if so, which home improvements will generate the biggest return on investment?

Perhaps you’ve considered launching this type of project? In some situations, timely renovations lead to increased profits at the closing table when an owner sells the realty. Yet not every potential improvement makes good financial sense.

The Problem of Cost-Effectiveness

Unfortunately, no one can ever guarantee a particular home improvement will prove profitable. Why? Every piece of real estate proves unique! A property in one location may soar in value following the completion of a renovation. Yet the same type of improvement may only raise the value of another residence in the same town by a few hundred dollars.

Many factors enter into increases in property values. These elements often include the condition and age of the dwelling before work commences, the skill of the contractor, the quality of the building materials, the location of the property, and, of course, the type of home improvement. Additionally, owners need to consider another key issue: while a specific addition may enhance the value of the property over the course of time, not every modification produces rapid increases in value. If you install a $100,000 improvement in a $25,000 home, you won’t necessarily obtain a $125,000 value on the day of completion. Most homeowners benefit by discussing renovation projects in detail with experienced real estate experts.

Some Frequently Lucrative Renovations

Nevertheless, in many cases renovators do realize attractive increases in value when they undertake home improvements. While exceptions always occur, some types of projects tend to confer greater value than others. They offer the “biggest bang for the buck”! Consider a few popular projects:

1. Renovating (or Adding) Bathrooms

Updating the bathrooms in an older home remains one of the most in-demand home improvement projects. In some situations, taking this step significantly augments the marketability and attractiveness of the residence. Although frequently expensive, this type of renovation often helps breathe new life into a dated, uncomfortable dwelling.

2. Renovating Kitchens

Everyone in a household benefits from kitchen renovations. This type of home improvement project may range in scope. One property owner may add new kitchen cabinets and shelving; another may tear down interior walls or otherwise substantially modify an older kitchen. Sometimes well-executed kitchen rehabs offer lucrative returns on investment!

3. Improving The Grounds

Most experts agree devoting time and attention to landscaping improvements can become one of the most cost-effective renovation projects. However, it remains very important to keep this type of undertaking within budget; owners who grow too ambitious and implement improvements they cannot complete may actually damage a home’s “curb appeal”. Attractive landscaping frequently contributes to marketability.

4. Renovating Home Exteriors (Roofs, Siding, Doors, Windows)

Undertaken on a case-by-case basis, renovations involving roofing, siding, windows, or doors frequently prove exceedingly smart. These types of upgrades sometimes dramatically modify the first impression the residence creates. Once again, you’ll want to plan this type of project with care in order to ensure you obtain solid value for your investment.

5. Renovating Basements, Attics, or Garages

Sometimes updating and improving these locations, e.g. by adding a separate apartment in these sites, yields significant returns. This type of renovation often requires a large investment of capital, however. You’ll also want to check zoning regulations in your area carefully before undertaking one of these major renovation efforts, particularly if you hope to add a rental or a home office to an existing residential property.

Evaluate Your Next Project With Experts!

Before embarking on any expensive home renovation, it usually makes sense to discuss your specific project with knowledgeable experts. You might find it helpful to consult with lenders, contractors, and appraisers in advance. If all your experts recommend making a proposed renovation, the improvement will likely enhance your home’s value!

Signs To Look For If Your Home Has Lead Paint And How To Prevent It From Causing Serious Problems

As a homeowner, one of the things that you should pay attention to is the paint, especially if you are staying in an older home. Lead paint was used as an ingredient for many homes before scientists discovered that lead could cause a serious number of health problems.

How Lead May Enter Your Home

Older Homes

Lead paint is present in millions of homes. It may be hidden under a new set of paint. If the paint starts to deteriorate, it can cause problems. Pay attention to any peeling or chipping on windows, stairs, and door frames.

Dust

Lead may be present in household dust. Lead can infiltrate dust through the process of you doing common home repair activities around the home. Lead dust can form when the paint is sanded, scraped, or heated during home repair activities. Lead dust can re-enter the air as the home is swept or vacuumed.

Your Yard

If the paint gets into the soil outside your home, it can contaminate it. Check your fence and your porch to see if there is any lead based paint in the area that someone can track into the home. Make sure that you have doormats inside and outside your home, so that you can take your shoes off instead of walking around in them. Make sure that you wash your hands whenever you come inside from the outdoors.

Products

Lead may be found in painted toys or jewelry. Food that is stored in crystal or porcelain items may become contaminated. Pay attention to your plumbing products, as materials like fixtures and pipes that contain lead may erode over time.

Water

The corrosion of plumbing materials can cause lead to contaminate your drinking water. Water that has low mineral content or high acidity is especially at risk. To help prevent the water from becoming contaminated, The Safe Drinking Water Act was amended to further reduce the allowed amount of lead content in pipes and plumbing fittings. The Lead and Copper Rule requires corrosion control treatment to help stop lead from contaminating drinking water. The rule is designed to help make water less corrosive to the materials that it comes into contact with.

Testing For Lead Paint

You can purchase a paint testing kit from your local hardware store. To start the test, you can simply rub a solution on the wall. If the solution turns pink, the wall may contain lead. You may need to contact an inspector to properly perform the test. An inspector can use an X-ray to look through the paint layers. If the X-ray can’t pass through to the base wood of the wall, then lead may be present.

How To Prevent A Lead Outbreak In Your Home

Check your home for any chipping or peeling. Check all of the pointed areas that rub together or may get worn out over time, including doors and windows. Be sure to wipe down flat surfaces with a damp paper towel. Mop the floors every week to help control dust around the home.

Test Your Home’s Drinking Water

Testing your home’s drinking water is the only way to see if lead is present in the home. You can purchase a testing kit at a home improvement store. Once you have collected samples, you can send them to a laboratory so that they can be analyzed. In the event that your water becomes contaminated with lead, flush your pipes before you drink by running the water until it becomes cold. Make sure that you are primarily using cold water when you cook meals.

Vacuum Robots – Are They All They’re Cracked Up To Be?

After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is clean your carpets, yet it’s important to keep your house as clean and tidy as possible. If you’re like most busy young professionals, cleaning carpets might be low on your priority list, but vacuum robots can change all of that. With vacuum robots, you don’t have to stress about spending half an hour cleaning your carpets and making them shine. These little robots do all of the work for you, but are they all they’re cracked up to be? Here’s what you need to know about robotic vacuums.

First off, robotic vacuums are designed to be used in a variety of situations. Whether you have carpet, hardwood flooring, or tile in your house, you can use a robotic vacuum to keep your space clean. Some robots are designed to be used on one specific type of flooring, while others can be used on multiple types. Keep in mind that if you opt for a robot that can only be used on hardwood flooring, you won’t be able to use it on carpet later. This is because some robots are designed to mop your floors, but don’t always vacuum. If you want to use a robot on multiple types of floor, make sure you look for this type of functionality when you place your order. Some models are also designed to be used specifically to pick up pet hair.

Robotic vacuums also need to be charged. While these units do come with rechargeable batteries, they will need to be plugged in regularly in order to stay fully functional. Some robots will naturally return to their docking station after the battery gets low and will charge on their own. Others will require you to plug them in manually. Utilizing a robotic vacuum cleaner with a rechargeable battery is an efficient way to clean your home. You won’t have to have the unit plugged in during use, for example. The robot can clean anywhere in your home without needing to be close to an electrical outlet.

Some robots can be turned on remotely using an app. This offers an efficient way to clean your home even if you aren’t around. If you have a busy day full of meetings, for example, you won’t have to return home to a messy house. Your robot can clean while you’re working. You can either use your app to turn the robot on remotely or, if you prefer, you can set a timer to turn on the robot when you aren’t around. This offers a quick and easy way to make sure your home is free from dust, pet hair, and dander in your home.

It’s also a good idea to understand that robotic vacuums need to be cleaned themselves. You’ll need to regularly empty the basin they come with, as this can collect hair, dust, dirt, and dander. If you don’t clean your robot often enough, you may find that it doesn’t suction as well as it’s supposed to. Always clean your robot after use so you can have the best possible experience using this robotic cleaner in your personal home.

No matter what type of vacuum you choose to invest in, understand that robots come with a variety of benefits. They’re quite small and easily portable, so you can use them just about anywhere. They work on a variety of surfaces, including carpet, so you don’t have to stress about being able to get your home clean enough. Many units also are designed specifically for homes with pets, so if you’re looking for an allergy-free experience, these models can help you get the home you want.

Don’t wait to get the equipment you need to make your home unbeatable. Invest in the right unit for the job today! Your carpets will thank you for it.

Summertime Treats That The Kids Will Love

Summer and kids and tasty treats all somehow go together. This summer give you kids snacks that they will really love. Here are some great ideas to get you started, and they are all simple to make:

Fruit Necklaces

What is better than a tasty summer snack? How about a tasty summer snack that is not only healthy but fun to make for the whole family. All you need is elastic cord, a yarn needle, and some fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries and grapes. You can also mix and match the fruit, creating unlimited variations.

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Who says that kabobs have to be made from meat and vegetables? You can use the same fruit you used to make the necklaces. Just add sticks and cuts of cheese. Like with the necklaces, there are endless variations and they are fun to both make and eat.

Fruit Pizza

Like with kabobs, you can think out of the box when it comes to pizza, too. Instead of dough use watermelon or other types of melon. You can get really colorful with these pizzas. Try to come up with unique combinations that will both look good and taste good.

Pizza Kabobs

There is no rule that says pizza must be round. Instead, put the ingredients — bread, cheese, pepperoni, olives and whatever else — on sticks. Then, let you kids dip them into warm pizza sauce.

Watermelon Slush

If you have a blender and a little time, you can make your kids are real special treat: a watermelon slush. First, put some seedless watermelon into a blender, and add lime juice and just a little coconut sugar. Then, freeze the concoction for about 5 minutes, using a fork to keep the pieces separated.

Stuffed Raspberries

If you really want to see your kids’ faces lit up, serve them some raspberries with whipped cream stuff inside them. This is yet another treat that is super simple to make and tastes great.

Watermelon Popsicles

There is no law that says that you can only put ice cream or ices on a popsicle stick. Just cut up some watermelon or other types of melon and add some tongue depressors. Not only is this a fun and tasty snack, but it could not be easier to make.

Apple Nachos

Like fruit pizza, apple nachos is another summertime recreation of a beloved food. Instead of tortilla chips, cheese and salsa, pour some peanut butter and chocolate over freshly cut apples. Your kids will eat them up.

Veggie Nachos

Another interesting nacho variation is using vegetables instead of chips. Cut up some large bell peppers, and add cheese, sauces and whatever else comes to mind.

Frozen Grapes or Blueberries

Instead of ice cream and ices, try giving your kids some frozen grapes or blueberries. They are just as tasty as ices and a lot healthier. What’s more, they require no effort at all.

Ice Cream Bags

Why just serve your kids ice cream on a cone or in a cup when you can serve it to them in a Ziploc bag for easy carrying. The bag will also keep the ice cream fresh.