Are you thinking of making a change to the look or layout of your house? If so, be sure to contact an interior designer to help you make the most of the space you have. And if you’re planning to make major changes to your home’s structure, it pays to consult an architect who can create a well-designed and functional plan.
Whether you’re only renovating one room or remodeling the entire house, it’s important to obtain the proper permits. Contact your municipality to find out about local regulations and to complete any necessary paperwork.
Renovations can be expensive. Talk to a financial adviser to help you decide if refinancing your mortgage or getting a line of credit is possible. And to avoid unpleasant financial surprises, create a detailed budget outlining how much everything will cost including all labor and materials.
Make a list of all the tools, equipment and materials you need for your renovation. Head to your local hardware store and get everything you need before beginning the project.
Consider buying more materials, like tile, paint, and flooring, than you think you’ll need. This way, you can be sure you won’t have to delay work in order to head back to the store to buy more. You can always return unopened boxes.
If your renovation requires more expertise than you have, don’t try to do it yourself. Instead, hire contractors who know what they’re doing.
For big projects, consider hiring a general contractor. They’ll make sure the work gets done properly and on time and will take care of hiring any specialists you may need, like electricians and plumbers.
Do you want to survive your renovation with your sanity intact? If possible, move out while your home is being upgraded.
However, if you don’t have somewhere to stay for the duration, give yourself a break by spending a few nights in a hotel or eating out a few times to take your mind off the project.
If you simply need to get away from the noise and dust for a while, go to a local spa for a massage or a facial. Alternatively, heading to the gym for a workout is a great way to blow off some steam. Or, if the whole family needs a break, you can go bowling, mini-putting or to the movies.
Once the work is done, it’s best to hire a professional cleaning service to get rid of all the remaining dirt and dust.
4 family activities for a fun Halloween at home
If you want to celebrate Halloween with your kids from the comfort of your home, here are a few on-theme activities the whole family will enjoy.
1. Play board games
There’s no better time to play games like The Werewolves of Millers Hollow, Cauldron Quest, and Ghost Blitz than on Halloween. You can also play monster-themed charades or Pictionary.
2. Sing karaoke
3. Organize a photo shoot
Make a creepy backdrop and show off your costumes in a makeshift photo booth. Alternatively, you can host a fashion show in your living room.
4. Make a home movie
Recreate scenes from classic Halloween movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus or write your own script. Make sure everyone has the chance to play a fun role.
Once your little monsters are in bed, wrap up the evening in your pajamas with a bowl of popcorn and a scary movie.
Choosing the right tile
Not all tiles are the same. In fact, each type has its own characteristics that make it well suited for some spaces and less than ideal for others. Here’s what you should know before you start your next tiling project.
The durability of a ceramic tile depends on its PEI rating, which measures the surface enamel’s resistance to abrasion. Class 1 and 2 tiles are lightweight options perfect for shower walls and back splashes. On floors, however, you’ll need at least a class 3 tiles to avoid cracking the surface.
From marble and slate to granite and limestone, there’s no denying the elegance of stone tiles. However, the porous texture of certain types makes it harder to clean and more susceptible to scratching. To prevent water damage and stains, you’ll need to regularly apply a high-quality sealant.
While not recommended for floors, glass tiles can be used to create a mosaic-style back splash in the kitchen or an accent piece around a bathtub. Using the material can brighten up a room as glass reflects light and pairs wonderfully with natural surfaces like wood and stone.
Once you’ve selected your tiles, leave the installation to the professionals. Their experience allows them to work efficiently, waste fewer materials, and create unique designs.
2020 trends: Why glass partitions deserve a look
If you want to create designated spaces in your home without sacrificing the airiness of open-concept living, glass partitions offer a beautiful compromise.
This type of room divider helps block out noise while continuing to let in plenty of natural light. If you want to create an office space or reading nook in your living area, for example, such partitions are ideal. Alternatively, glass walls can be used to keep strong smells in the kitchen without obstructing sight lines.
From intricately etched panels to industrial steel frames, glass partitions can be incorporated into any style of home and customized to fit any space. Plus, they’re typically made of tempered glass, which means they won’t shatter into sharp pieces if they accidentally break.
To help you make the most of this practical and striking feature, consult an interior designer.
8 habits that harm the environment
If you want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, start by ditching habits that generate a lot of pollution. Here are eight things you might be doing that needlessly harm the environment.
1. Flushing or throwing out medication. Prescription drugs can contaminate the water supply and poison wildlife. Always bring unused and expired medication to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.
2. Drinking bottled water. In most places, tap water is just as safe as bottled water and creates substantially less pollution. If necessary, equip your home with a filtration system.
3. Putting old electronics in the garbage. Since these devices contain toxic substances, bring them to a drop-off location in your region to be safely recycled or refurbished.
4. Tossing cigarette butts on the ground. These are a major source of plastic pollution. Before you light up, locate a nearby outdoor receptacle or make sure you have a pocket ashtray on hand.
5. Opting for single-use plastic straws. Refuse them at restaurants and coffee shops. There are plenty of reusable options on the market made of metal, silicone, and bamboo.
6. Removing makeup with single-use products. Since these wipes take years to decompose in landfills, many beauty brands offer alternatives that can be washed and reused.
7. Driving erratically. Rapidly accelerating and slamming on the brakes will cause your car to produce more emissions. Pushing on the pedals gently and driving with smoother transitions will save gas and money.
8. Using harsh chemical cleaners. These corrosive products are a health and environmental hazard. Opt for biodegradable options or discover the cleaning properties of vinegar, lemon, and baking soda.
From taking shorter showers to buying food grown and produced locally, there are countless small lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference.
Hunting waterfowl: a brief guide to decoys
When it comes to hunting waterfowl, setting up the right decoy spread is crucial to your success. Here’s what you need to know about luring in snow geese, Canada geese, and ducks.
Since these birds tend to move in flocks of hundreds, you’ll need to set upward of 1,000 decoys to attract them. If you’re relying solely on full-body decoys, however, about 200 to 400 should suffice to create a realistic setup.
When you hunt ducks, the appropriate number of decoys depends on the body of water where you’re set up. A more expansive area will require a larger decoy spread to look realistic. For example, a dozen decoys will suffice for a pond, but you’ll need several dozen on a large lake.
Remember to check for changes to your regional hunting regulations before the start of each season.
4 tips for safe online shopping
Many people have turned to online shopping as a way to protect their health and respect social distancing regulations during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are four tips to ensure you’re doing it safely.
1. Learn how to spot a scam. Offers that sound too good to be true, websites that lack a professional design, and requests for banking information when your cart is still empty are all red flags.
2. Confirm the company is legitimate. Check the National Corporation Directory to find out if the company is listed, and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection website to find out whether any complaints have been filed against it. If it’s not an American business, look for mention of it on other websites and confirm whether it has a good reputation by reading customer reviews.
3. Read the return policies beforehand. Find out whether the company offers exchanges, returns, or reimbursements and under what conditions. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises if there’s an issue with your purchase. A lack of clearly stated policies is a sign you should shop elsewhere.
4. Double-check before you pay. Make sure the website’s URL begins with “https” and has a closed padlock or unbroken key icon beside it. Confirm the price of each item and the total cost (including taxes and shipping fees) before you enter your credit card information.
Finally, remember that you should never provide unnecessary personal details, such as your social security number when shopping online.