How to Give Your Home a Vintage Feel for the Winter

With winter fully underway, it’s the time when people typically like to cuddle up with their family at home and enjoy one another’s company. Of course, modern winters aren’t quite like they used to be, when a fireplace was necessary and electric heaters didn’t exist. If you want to recapture that intimacy though, it’s not impossible. In fact, this guide will look at a few simple things anyone can do to make their home a little more inviting this winter. If you’ve wanted to recapture the feel of classic winters, but didn’t know where to begin, then look no further.

Fireplace

One of the easiest ways to renovate a home and give it a vintage feel is to begin with the fireplace. Classic fireplace bellows, like those offered by Adams Fireplace Shop, can be used to both add to the charm of the area in the house and for their practical purpose of maintaining the fire. When it comes to home design, it can be rare to find something that is both visually appealing and practical, so it’s worth taking advantage of it anytime the situation arises.

Reading Nook

One of the best complements to a running fireplace is a little nook where you can curl up with a good book to read. Creating a reading nook from scratch can take a little work, especially if you’re not someone who’s typically handy with tools, but it’s certainly not impossible. The nice thing about building a nook from scratch, rather than building one, is that it also makes the area feel more personal. Whenever you decide to crack open a book by your reading nook, you’ll immediately be thrown back to your mindset when you were building.

Floor Pillows

Everyone knows about throw pillows, couch pillows, and bed pillows, but what about floor pillows? Floor pillows are an excellent way of turning an area into a casual spot for conversations and general company engagement. If you’re planning a winter sleepover and need a large area for people to comfortably hang around, then floor pillows are a great alternative to investing in another couch or expensive chair.

These ideas won’t transform your entire house into something new, but they should provide you with the groundwork to start doing your own experiments. As long as you’re warm and comfortable for the winter, then you won’t be able to go wrong.

5 Helpful Tips for Your Next Home Renovation

Whether you’re building a nursery or tearing down a gazebo, it’s important to consider all angles of your home remodeling project. Here are five tips for getting the job done.

1. Watch Out For Pests

Is there anything wiggling behind your walls? It doesn’t matter if it’s rats, ants, roaches or termites; if an infestation is discovered, your contractors will be legally obligated to put down their hammers until the pests are exterminated. It’s a health hazard that they aren’t allowed to work around.

2. Think About Resell Value

It’s a common misconception that all remodeling projects are worth something. People think that “new” automatically equals “value,” but they aren’t taking into consideration things like trends, markets and what buyers are looking for in their new homes. Pay attention to these things if you don’t want to be stuck on the wrong end of countertops that have gone out of style by the time you’re finished installing them.

3. Draft a Thorough Budget

There’s more to creating a budget than just calculating the cost of nails. For example, here are a few of the expenses you might face during your home renovation project:

  • Tools
  • Materials
  • Labor
  • Delivery
  • Transportation
  • Insurance
  • Trash services

Make sure that there’s room in your budget for all of these things, even if you don’t think you’ll need them in the long run. It’s better to overestimate your expenses than underestimate them.

4. Keep Track of Details

It’s always the little things that come back to bite you in the end. A good way to prevent this is by creating one big portfolio that contains all of your notes, schedules, expenses, blueprints and phone numbers. It can be digitally stored in your smartphone; it can be in a physical binder that you carry around your home; the most important thing is that you both have it and use it.

5. Check Your Contractors

Were you aware that some states don’t require their contractors to be licensed? Others may have lax standards for certification or training. If you’re serious about only hiring the best for your renovation project, be sure to ask about education, experience and job histories when you contact local contractors for home remodeling.

These are just a few tips for remodeling your home. Good luck with your new additions, and have fun!

How Did You Ever Live without One: Hiring a Housekeeper 101

In today’s world, it is not uncommon for multiple members of a household to keep busy careers, volunteer positions, or even multiple jobs. More and more, even high school kids are saving up for university or earning some spending money by taking afterschool and weekend jobs, and while that’s great for their character, it means households can be pretty crunched when it comes to chores. With both partners working, sometimes your cleaning can fall by the wayside, or the bulk of the cleaning responsibilities fall to one partner, creating an unequal balance. This can lead to built up resentment, exhaustion, and other problems that don’t need to get in the way of a happy home life. However, there is an easy solution to this problem, and that comes in the form of a professional housekeeper. Hiring someone trustworthy to clean the house while everyone is away can be a difficult task, but fortunately, there are services out there that simplify the process. Below are some important things to look for when you go online to find a housekeeper.

Targeted Search

The service you use should provide a targeted search where clients and families can narrow down their specific criteria. Maybe a family only wants a housekeeper once a month, maybe they only want the most difficult chores done, like cleaning the carpet or the curtains, or maybe they want someone who arrives regularly to do basic cleanups like the dishes and the bathroom. A good online service will have multiple options available that can be tailored to a client’s specific needs, narrowing down your search from the get-go.

Notes on User Profiles

Online community boards should provide the client with a straightforward feature to attach their own personal notes to a profile, helping them save time by storing all of their notes from interviews and follow ups with their profile. Too many services that don’t allow this simple feature will leave you scratching your head trying to remember which notes apply to which profile when you go to follow up to contact someone for the job. You won’t have to worry about mixing up candidates or confusing your notes with must-have features like this one.

Favorite Lists

Another feature that makes sorting potential hires even easier is creating favorite lists, available on Housekeeper.com. If you’ve ever wished you could save the profiles of your top candidates to call in case your go-to professional is unavailable, favorite lists will quickly become your new favorite feature. Finding a great cleaning professional can take some time, and clients should be able to bookmark candidates that would potentially be a good fit so that they can come back to the website later without having to search for those individuals again. It’s one of the ways that newer, tailor-made online services like Housekeeper.com are making it easier to find help.

Customer Support

Another feature to watch for is strong customer service:any quality online platform should have customer service numbers and contacts available to users so that you know you can use their service confidently and securely.

Identity Protected Phone Calls

Another great featured, another offered by Housekeeper.com, is identity protected phone calls, which means that yourphone number is hidden when you contact a potential hire for a phone interview, meaning your contact information is protected until you’ve decided who to hire. There are a dozen other tips to consider when you’re hiring a housekeeper, but these are some of the things that can save you a lot of time and headaches in your search.

Have Your Home’s Kitchen Updated With New Cabinets

There is no reason for you to cope with a poorly designed kitchen in your home because there are designers who can create a better floor plan. Old kitchens often have nonfunctional floor plans for using modern appliances such as dishwashers or microwave ovens. Fortunately, you can remodel a kitchen with the assistance of knowledgeable contractors. A custom kitchen makes it easier to prepare your meals and clean the countertops. With a better floor plan, more than one person can fit into your kitchen to work in different areas. With the proper planning, it is possible to remodel your home’s kitchen in only a few days.

Choose Customized Cabinets for Your Kitchen Remodel

One of the most important aspects of designing a new kitchen is choosing the cabinets. The wood cabinets in a kitchen are the first thing that someone notices, but instead of trying to install ready-made products in your home, select customized pine, oak or walnut cupboards. After you create a functional floor plan, you will know how many cabinets you require. Think about the types of dishware, utensils and cookware that you must store in your new kitchen. A knowledgeable cabinetmaker can design cabinets that have open shelves, doors or drawers.

Select New Kitchen Appliances

In addition, you need to consider the types of appliances that you want to have in your kitchen. You might want to have large appliances that you install between cabinets, or you might prefer built-in appliances such as a dishwasher or stovetop. A designer can help you to select appliances that will work correctly with your floor plan to make it easier to perform daily household tasks. In addition, the expert from a kitchen design company will help you select appliances that are in a color that will complement the customized cabinets.

Select a Countertop and Backsplash

You also need to choose a countertop and backsplash for your kitchen, and the technicians will install these carefully on the custom-fitted cabinets and walls. A plumber can install a sink, garbage disposer and faucet before an electrician adds new light fixtures to the ceiling or walls. To complete your kitchen, you must have new tile placed on the floor and have the walls painted. In only a few days, you will have a gorgeous kitchen that you can continue to enjoy for many years.

Getting a New Driveway Installed

A driveway with a few small potholes in it can do some serious damage to your car. This is especially true if your car is rolling over those potholes day after day. You need to take immediate steps to fix your driveway if it is in poor condition. You will then have the task of finding someone competent to repair it. This might not be as easy as you think. It is true that there are many companies that do driveway repair work. However, some of these companies are much more skilled and reputable than others. Here is what you need to know in order to find a great company to install your new driveway.

1. Find a company that has been repairing driveways in your area for no less than five years.

Laying down an asphalt driveway may not seem like an incredibly complicated process. However, there is definitely skill involved. The company you hire needs to know what they are doing. Otherwise, you will end up with a driveway that is bumpy and has cracks forming in it. This is obviously something you want to avoid. You are paying good money to have your new driveway installed. You deserved to get the highest quality work for the money you are spending. This is why you should not hire an inexperienced company to install your driveway just because they will charge you less. Paying a little extra to hire an experienced driveway installation company will be worth it in the long run.

2. Does the company have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

The website of the BBB is where you should go to find out the rating info of the companies you are considering for your driveway installation project. You will be able to find out right away if a company has a good or bad track record. Companies with bad BBB ratings should always be avoided. These companies have consistently done poor quality work to earn those low ratings. Find the highest rated companies in your area and focus on them instead.

3. When will they be able to begin work?

Some companies will not be able to start working on your driveway until a few weeks after you contact them. You should keep contacting different companies until you find one that can begin work within a few days.