Real vs Fake Plants for Your Home

Plants can play an excellent role in any workplace, adding a little nature to any room of any shape or size! But, when it comes to actually buying one, it can be hard to decide whether or not the plant should be real.

Real Plants

We all know that plants can produce oxygen, and some can even make a nice smell if the sunlight hits them right, but keep in mind that somebody’s going to need to look after it – not enough light, food and water are going to give you a shriven shrub that’ll really kill office morale. Plus, they might attract insects, and could start shedding leaves if you’re not careful.

On the other hand, they can filter out anything that shouldn’t be in the air, which helps freshen up your office environment, fix the humidity of the room, and generally just be nice and calming to look at – provided you’re able to keep them alive, healthy, and away from anything that might knock them over or people who might over-water them.

Everything You Need To Know About Adding Window Awnings

So many factors go into increasing the value of your home – why not add window awnings to your list? They are good value for the money that you’ll spend, and with some routine care and maintenance, last for a long time.

Window awnings help homeowners enjoy the outdoors without suffering through excessive heat and exposure to the sun. Indoors, window awnings help keep the house cool and furniture from fading due to sun exposure.

Window awnings are made in a wide array of colors and styles. Styles that are incredibly popular with homeowners include: traditional open or closed sides, double bar, dome style, quarter barrel, waterfall, semi-circular and gable.

Many people turn to fabric window awnings first before looking at other options. However, potential buyers often worry that the fabric for their window awning will not be fade-resistant and therefore will have high replacement costs to contend with if they still want to reap the benefits of window awnings in their home. Yet this is not the case when it comes to fabric window awnings. Fabric window awnings are made of acrylic canvas, which is guaranteed not to fade for at least five years. Most homeowners will notice that the fabric from their window awnings needs to be replaced after 7 to 10 years. The replacement cost is about half the price of a brand new awning – which is fair, due to their longevity.

Although most people concentrate mostly on the fabric on their window awning, do not forget to give consideration to the frame! Frames that are made from steel or aluminum last virtually forever – especially when anodized and powder-coated.

Some homeowners looking to purchase window awnings for their home may not be completely convinced that a window awning can provide so many benefits for their home. The Consumer Energy Center, part of the California Energy Commission, recommends window awnings in order to help homeowners cool their homes in the summertime. The Consumer Energy Center also reports that 40% of the heat in your home comes from the windows. Installing window awnings reduces that heat considerably. Energy saving measures are just one of the many reasons why window awnings should be a part of your home improvement list.

5 Questions to Ask a Professional Organizer Before Hiring Them

Cleaning your home from top to bottom in preparation for the New Year is a worthwhile challenge, but why just leave it for the start of the year? Indeed, a clean home right before the New Year seems to provide a great foundation for an exciting year to come. That’s not the only time of the year that you can clean up house and start fresh. For most people, the demands and stresses of life mean that it can be even more difficult than before to set aside time to really tackle the challenge as they would like. Even though it is customary to have a few days off for the holidays, those days are often filled with entertaining company or spending quality time with family. After all, who really wants to clean the house from top to bottom on Christmas Day? Most people would prefer to spend their time cooking or otherwise spending quality time with their families and friends. This is also true for the rest of the year. It just never feels like there’s enough time to get everything accomplished on your terms…until now.

A professional organizer can help free up not only clutter, but time. Their expertise primarily rests in making sense out of the daily chaos and clutter that often rules our lives. Hiring a professional organizer can be a strong benefit for just about anyone — as long as they know how to find a professional organizer that fits into their lifestyle. In this day and age where one can easily open up the Yellow Pages or fire up a browser search for ‘professional organizer’, what should you really look for when it comes time to actually pay for a professional’s time and expertise? There are numerous questions you could ask a potential professional organizer, but there are five questions that truly stand out from the others. Below are the five questions you really need to ask a professional organizer before officially hiring them — enjoy!

Professional Organizer

1) Are You Certified?

Certification is not necessary to become a professional organizer, but a mix of classroom and on-the-job experience can produce a more well-rounded professional organizer. There is not a standard certifying body in the world of professional organization, but many professional organizers choose to pursue an additional layer of certification in order to symbolize their dedication to the industry.

2) Do you have references?

References are the lifeblood of any service business, and you should always ask any potential professional you hire if they have any references they would like to share with you. Lack of references can either mean a very new professional organizer, or one that has a bad service record they could be potentially hiding from you. If you want to work with a new professional organizer, there’s nothing wrong with that — but your results may be much different than you expected.

3) What is your approach to professional organization?

Every professional organizer has a philosophy around cleaning away clutter and organizing a house. Asking them to explain their philosophy on this subject separates the passive amateur from the true professional. If they can’t tell you their system of organization…well, that doesn’t sound very organized, now does it?

4) Do you offer free consultations?

A professional organizer that doesn’t offer free consultations is not necessarily lower than a professional organizer who does. However, a free consultation allows you to meet the person you’re going to be allowing in your personal space and also lets you see whether or not the two of you are going to be a match, personality-wise. If you don’t feel that you can trust the professional, inviting them into your home will only spell disaster waiting to happen.

If free consultations are important to you, be sure to find a professional organizer that does offer them. If the organizer does not offer free consultations, see if you can get the fee for coming out to view the house as it is converted into a credit if you do decide to hire them for the full project.

5) What is your pricing structure?

Price is saved for last for multiple reasons. One, price should not be the sole measuring stick that you place every professional organizer to, since there’s no standardization methods in place for each price. In other words, what one professional organizer may do for $100/hr could be completely different from the professional organizer that only charges $60/hr. It’s better to actually ask what you get for the price of their time than to just go on bare dollar amounts alone. Whenever possible, make sure to get some sort of written quote from your professional organizer with exactly what the fee covers — this saves headaches and misunderstandings down the road.

Again, there are many more questions than this that you could potentially ask of the professional organizer that you select. However, the above five questions will tell you just about everything you need to know about the professional organizer before you hire them. In addition to these basic but key questions, if the answers you receive make you hesitant, it may be best to err on the side of caution and interview another professional. Your space is very important, and any professional organizer that doesn’t respect that is not one you want to work with. The right professional organizer can make your space feel completely brand new – at any time of the year!

Aid for Home Improvement

Regardless of whether you are remodelling an entire house or renovating only a portion of it, you need to consider your options on funding the project. It is great if you already have adequate finances for the home renovation. Otherwise, it is highly critical to choose the perfect financing company that can better provide you with your funding needs.

The complexity and the length of the project will determine the amount you require to borrow. You can either pick a long-term or short-term loan. When you plan on choosing longer payment terms, keep in mind that you will have to pay more for the interest, despite the lower monthly payments. For your added information, here are several financing plans you can choose from.

Home Improvement

1. Secured loan – requires a collateral or security to ensure repayment of the requested loan. The assets placed against this type of loan will then be repossessed by the lender should the borrower fail to make payments.

2. Unsecured loan – also known as the personal loan, does not require any property as collateral. However, interest rates can mean higher for this type of loan.

3. Home equity loan – the process of borrowing against the equity of your home. This type of loan can provide you with a lump sum to pay for your home improvement project. Obtaining a fixed rate can make repayment much easier. In the case of non-payment, your home will be repossessed.

4. Home equity line of credit – works by giving you an open credit line. However, this does not have a fixed rate, so interest rates greatly depend on market conditions.

5. Home improvement mortgage refinance – has a fixed rate and allows the borrower to use extra money for home renovation. Usually, the payment terms can be up to 20-30 years or equal to your mortgage term.

6. Bank loans – usually used for small projects since they have to be paid off in just a short period.

To obtain the best financing plan, estimate your final costs first. Consider all the possible expenses, add up all associated costs, and always provide for unexpected expenses. Getting quotations from several financing companies will help you choose the best lender to assist you. Determine how much monthly payment you can afford and be honest with yourself. Most importantly, choose the company that is known for its fair rates and genuineness to clients.

Are You Looking For That Finishing Touch to Your Room – Try Ready Made Curtains

Are you thinking about redecorating? Given that it’s the height of the holiday season, chances are good that the answer is definitely yes. You’re thinking about how you’re going to impress all of the guests that come to visit you for the holidays, and that’s not a bad thing at all. It can be really frustrating to spend good money on changing the look of a room, only to find that things still feel a bit unfinished. It’s going to be in your best interests to find a great finishing touch that really lets guests feel like you’ve changed the room completely.

The answer might surprise you: readymade curtains.

Instead of trying to rush around your local shops for curtains, why not take your search online? The reality here is that a lot of local shops just don’t have the same selection as your classic online retailer. They can expand their selection because it’s cheaper to hold inventory online than it is in stores.

Make sure that you are thinking about the basics before you make your first purchase, to ensure that you don’t have to just ship them back for an exchange and/or refund.

The first thing that you need to think about here is that you really have to measure the space that you’re working with. Not every window is “standard”, and that means that your measurements might be different than the measurements for the window.

You also want to really be sure that you’re thinking about the best colors that would go with your room. Have this in mind before you log on, because then you won’t spend more than what you’re expecting. Far too often when we don’t have a clear idea of what we really want to achieve, we don’t get anything done. We just spin our wheels, or we end up getting something that really doesn’t meet our goals.

If you’re ready to transform your room, the time to act is definitely now. This will give you the best window of time to get what you’re looking for, get it delivered to your home, and set it up before all of your guests start arriving for the holidays. If you’re in the market right now, then it’s time to find out more — what are you waiting for?

General Improvements

If you want to improve your home then there are a good few things that you need to think about. Many people decide to make improvements to their homes because they either think it will make it worth more or that they will enjoy it more. It can be a good idea to try to do both of these at the same time. In order for both of those things to be true you will need to hire a great contract company such as Brinkmann Quality Roofing.

The reason for this is that you may need to sell your house eventually and so you want to be sure you are investing in it wisely. You may find that a big change that you make could make it less desirable and so it worth considering this. However, because you need to live in the house, you want to make sure that you enjoy what you are doing as well.

This should not be that difficult. If you find a builder/workman who has a good reputation then you should get a good quality of work done and this will mean that it will good enough for you and the next people who live in the house as well.

You should not worry too much about minor work like decorating as that can be changed quite easily and cheaply. However, if you are spending a significant chunk of money on work in the house, then you need to be able to consider the long term implications of what you are doing as well as the short term effects. If you stay in the house for a very long time then you will get the benefits of your investment so it will not matter if you do not make the money back when you sell, but it is not always easy to predict how long you will be staying in a particular property, so it is worth considering what might happen if you needed to sell sooner than expected.

Bathroom Improvements

A bathroom is a room which gets a lot of use and due to the water, can get shabby looking quite quickly. Tile grout and silicon can stain and even get mouldy and fittings can get lime scale on them and so you may want to change it regularly in order to keep things looking clean. There are cleaning products that could work for this and if you have a tight budget, then this could be the only option for you.

If you are trying to improve the look of the fixtures when you are improving your bathroom then it is worth trying to find ones that will not attract the problems you are trying to avoid. For example, if your tile grout tends to get discoloured then use one that is not white. If you have a bigger budget then do not use tiles behind a shower but use a self-contained cubicle. This is just plastic and glass so there are no places where the mould can build up so easily. These are very expensive, but if they last a long time then can be a good investment.

It can be worth doing research in to the problems that you have encountered and how to get over them so that when you do get the bathroom remodelled, you know exactly what to do to avoid the same problems happening again.

It is also worth thinking about the colour of your fixtures. In the 1980’s coloured items were very much in fashion and it has now changed to white. It is worth thinking about the future and whether you want to use something that may go out of fashion or may not. Obviously it is down to your personal taste, but if you want to sell the house in the future then things like an out of fashion bathroom could affect how many people are interested in buying it.

Kitchen Improvements

Kitchen improvements are some of the most common ways to change a house. This is partly because it is a room that most of us use three times a day and it gets worn out as well as the fact that fashions change and it can be good to have an up to date look and new appliances.

The problem with updating a kitchen is that it is expensive. Changing most rooms will probably just mean a coat of paint and some soft furnishings but the kitchen will need improvements made to the units, work surfaces, white goods and walls as well as possible the furniture and flooring as well. This can add up very quickly.

It is therefore a really good idea to work out how you can make improvements that will last. This means making sure that you are happy with the look and the layout of the kitchen. It can be worth going for a more classic look rather than a modern one. This is because very modern designs tend to go out of fashion quickly, whereas a more classical style will last a long time. You can always paint walls quite cheaply but changing the whole look will cost a lot of money and unless you have a lot of money, you will not be able to afford to keep doing it.

It is worth setting a budget before you start planning the work. This way you will only look at the designs that you can afford, rather than getting your heart set on something very expensive and then being disappointed when you cannot afford it. Also get a selection of quotes for the work as that will allow you to discuss what you have in mind with several people and better think through your ideas as well as being able to compare costs.

Consider the layout of the kitchen and think about how you use the space. You are the best person to judge what the best layout will be and so you need to think about that. A kitchen designer may help, but they do not have to use the space so do not know whether you spend most time at the cooker or sink, whether you want to see out of the window while washing up or while sitting at the table etc.