4 Basics to Check When Buying a New House

Buying a house is exciting, but it is also an incredibly stressful and taxing move, especially making your way through all that paperwork managing any hoops and loops along the way. Imagine doing all that and moving into your new house full of excitement and wonder, only to discover a leaking roof.

Even if you have done your best to ensure quality and check any major problems, chances are that there will be problems that need addressing with several years. To avoid such a situation, we have compiled a list of basics to check when buying a new house, making the entire process painless and fool-proof.  

Check if the Roof needs Repair

Always, and we mean always check the top before you inspect the bottom. This golden rule will save you time, money and any potential disappointments in the future. Check thoroughly for any cracks, leaks or rough patches in the roof that might appear new and polished but might cave in at any moment. Décor and design elements are often used to hide major flaws within the structure and the foundations of the house; thus, it is critical to ensure the quality and resilience of the roof.

In addition to this, it is useful to educate yourself in how the overall quality of the roof and foundations can affect insurance policies. A new roof could mean a lower homeowners insurance rates. A roof constructed with especially sturdy material is equipped to defend against storms, wind and rough climate and will save any future costs for repairing and maintenance.

Inspect any Exterior Cracks and Tilts

Often times when you are inspecting a house, you might be too consumed with the overpowering smell of floor varnish and new paint, and forget to pay attention to the exterior of the building. Small cracks and tilts are likely to be connected to more serious foundation issues that require immediate attention. Owners and real estate agents use various techniques to hide any apparent surface flaws, including coating the walls with layers of thick paint or filling in gaping holes with plaster or low quality, cheap filling. Thus, it is vital to inspect any signs of decay, cracking or chipping which might incur additional costs and create inconvenience.

Check Water Damages Concealed with Paint

As mentioned above, real estate agents may resort to a variety of ways to conceal apparent blemishes and defects. Concealing internal water damage with layers of paint is particularly dangerous as it traps moisture within the walls resulting in mould growing within the foundations and veins of your house. It is also a health hazard that costs a fortune and takes a long period of time to eliminate. Calling in an emergency plumber sutherland shire for inspection can help.

A method of prevention is looking closely and carefully at the underside of sinks, drawers and the back of closets and cupboards in the kitchen. You might also want to examine the base of tubs, toilets and window sills which is where moisture piles up the most. Take every precaution when reviewing houses and scrutinize every corner where you might suspect crusted paint chipping off as that is a likely spot for moisture build-up 

Sellers Offering Incentives to Waive Inspection

Before you seal the deal, another basic to check before investing in a house is if sellers are providing incentives to waive inspection. This is a clear red flag and you should insist on inspecting, even at the cost of a particularly advantageous incentive. There is absolutely no reason to waive inspection when purchasing your future abode and such an offer only points to major flaws in the construction and overall foundation of the building. You can also use this to your advantage, and it is to your leverage to negotiate for a lower price or refuse the deal altogether.


Buying a house can be a terrifying prospect but by keeping these helpful tips in mind, you can easily manoeuvre your way through the otherwise tedious process. This is a lifetime investment and thus it is crucial to check for any errors or potential frauds which may result in added expenses and a great deal of disappointment. 

How To Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Hotel One

One of the first things we check out when we enter a hotel room is the bathroom. There’s a certain amount of excitement to having a luxurious and pristine bathroom as opposed to a drab bathroom that’s only purpose is to be functional. There are certain things luxurious hotels do to make their bathrooms look the way they are – use of marble, glass-door showers, and expensive tiling. If you’re planning on bathroom renovations ballarat for your house, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make your bathroom look like a hotel one – just follow these tips!

1. Get rid of the colour

Next time you go to a hotel, take a good look at the bathroom. You will notice a common theme – grays, white, and beige. The reason these bathrooms look so good is because they use those colours that give it a clean and luxe look. So ditch the bright reds and blues and opt for more subtle colours instead. Starting with the walls, make sure everything in your bathroom from your towels to the rug to the toothbrush holder fits in with the theme of subtle colours. You can make use of brass fittings to give the room a subtle splash of colour and also make things look a lot more luxurious.

2. Set the lighting

So this varies from person to person – some of us like the brightly lit bathroom while others want a glowy, low-lit place. If you’re going for a lot of light, make sure you go for super white or daylight lights – the yellow lights make your bathroom appear more dull and drab. Also, white lights fits into the colour theme I was talking about before. If you want the low-lit look, go for recessed LED lights and put them in nooks and crannies in your room, like behind the mirror or (if you can afford it) soft floor spotlights.

3. Engage the senses

It’s about more than what your eyes see – you also want to engage other senses like hearing, smell, and touch. Invest in some scented candles in flavours like vanilla which are subtle and not overwhelming. Other items like essential oils and scented soaps will add to the experience. Soft music playing on your mobile or a mini speaker will further enhance your bubble bath experience and soft towels and bathrobes will really make it feel like you’re in a hotel!

4. Don’t forget the decorations

Okay, so this kind of goes against the first tip I gave since it involves bringing some colour into your bathroom. The rule is to just not go overboard. A picture of a beautiful landscape in a wooden frame, some small potted plants, and a book placed tastefully on a wooden caddy are just some ways you can enhance the look of your bathroom and make it look all the more luxurious.

Cheap and Easy Ways to Decorate Your Home Office or Work Space

Everyone needs their own space. Even though it might be nice to have your own home office or work space there are ways to personalize this area by surrounding yourself with things that you like and represent your creativity. This is, after all, your area to be as productive as you can be and what better way to achieve this by stimulating your mind, body, and spirit in ways that make you happy.

I have found several room office ideas on how to decorate the work space on a budget and it has resulted in better brainstorming sessions, more creativity, and just a more harmonious feeling all around.

1. Bring Color into your area. If you want your area to have more life, it must have more color. There are several ways to achieve this. Look around your home for old magazines, greeting cards, post cards, etc. There are so many amazing images that some professional photographer took and got paid for. Why not cut out these images and decorate your home office with them?! I have found pictures of dolphins, grape clusters, davinci sketches, etc from old magazines I already have. I have put up some cool post cards someone sent me and a few nice greeting cards featuring huge printed words such as “Love”, and “Thank You”, one card had a VanGogh painting on it which now is right above my computer. You can use the dollar store to find cheap pictures, cards, posters, etc. I always have pictures of my children smiling, and I highly suggest you personally draw and color at least one hand made creation of your own. One of the easiest ways to redecorate is to paint your area wth “oops” paint you can pick up at your local hardware store for cheap.

2. Get a plant. There are few ways that are better to create an amazing home office or work space than to bring nature into that space. If you do nothing else, get your self one small plant to keep you company. You can buy a plant for $0.88 at Walmart or Home Depot so no excuses. After getting the perfect plant, please proceed to name it so it knows who you are talking to when you are rambling in your long hours of brainstorming and turmoil. I assure you that having a plant will make your work space or home office feel alive.

3. Bring Music. It is a well known fact that music helps induce more creativity. Music helps us find a joy and energy that few other things can produce. Music mediates a rythmic feeling of enjoying the moment. I have found that using stereo headphones in my work space (as not to interupt anyone else’s space in the house) helps me produce more work and I seem far happier doing it. My personal favorites ar U2, Roberta Flack, Ida Maria, and The Lark Ascending, depending on what mood I am in.

There are no rules for decorating and personalizing your home office or work space. The most important thing is that you surround your self with things that inspire you, that make you laugh and smile, and that keep you productive and happy. It is not hard to find cheap and easy ways to decorate. Be creative and have fun making your space your own!

Auto Emergency Kits: Stay Safe on the Road

Having a good auto emergency kit can keep your family safe and make life’s minor inconveniences less of a hassle. Most people have the basic necessities of jumper cables and a spare tire, but there are times when you may need a flashlight, bandage, or tissue while you are out on the road. The same principle goes to keeping all your tools for emergency repair and what not mostly inside your garage, keeping your garage door fixed and functional for safety not just for your car but other valuables as well.

This article will give you some suggestions on what to include in your auto emergency kit. Be sure to make an emergency kit for every vehicle in the family, especially if you have children that are of driving age.

First aid

All auto emergency kits should have certain basic first aid supplies. If possible, keep extra doses of every family member’s medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. If you care for elderly parents, be sure to include all of their medications as well. You do not want a minor road emergency like changing a tire to become a medical emergency because of a missed dose of medication. Include cleaning supplies like baby wipes and hand sanitizers to your auto emergency kit so you can disinfect minor wounds and wipe up spills.

Roadside emergency supplies

All cars should already contain the necessary tools to change a tire, but you should also keep commonly used tools like a screwdriver, hammer, and pliers in your auto emergency kit. Other useful items include duct tape, flashlights and batteries, flares, flashing emergency lights, a pocketknife, and rope. If you live in a cold climate, consider purchasing a small butane-fueled hand-warmer or the instant hand warmers sold at camping and fishing stores. This can keep you warm in case you are stranded on the side of the road for an extended period of time.

Personal Items

If you have room left in your auto emergency kit, you may want to include some personal items for your convenience. Start with a small pack of tissues and a roll of toilet paper. Put together an overnight bag with travel-size toiletries like a toothbrush, disposable razor, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, hair spray, shaving cream, and contact lens supplies, if needed. Throw in a pair of socks and underwear and you will never be caught off-guard if you have to spend the night away from home. If you have children, include socks and undergarments for each of them as well. Women may want to keep a small mirror and some basic cosmetics, hygiene items, and panty hose in case of a run.

Children’s supplies

If you have babies or small children, your auto emergency kit should also include all items they may need while you are out on the road. For infants, be sure to pack diapers, baby wipes, and formula. Keep some small toys or books in the car in case you are stuck in traffic and need something to entertain the kids. Extra clothes, socks, and underwear are good to have on hand in case of spills or rips in clothing. Include some non-perishable snacks in your auto emergency kit, such as granola bars, fruit roll-ups, or hard candy.

Easy Remodeling Tips for Independent Living Seniors

There is nothing constant in this world but change, and the principle holds true as people age. When people become seniors, they might need to implement a few changes in the home. Remodeling for independent seniors might seem a bit different, but here are some of the most helpful hints that discuss remodeling with seniors in mind.

Tip #1

It starts with one of the most frequented places inside the house: the bathroom. If the bathroom has a bath tub, tub grips are a must to prevent slipping and for easier access in and out of the tub. Choose bath tub grips that have easy-locking lever features and a tight fit. Most of these don’t require tools for installation and removal. Another helpful tool that can be added is a shower chair.

Tip #2

When bathroom remodeling with seniors in mind, one should be aware of all the items in the bathroom that might cause slipping or tripping. To do this, hire contractors to replace the floor with non-slip tiles. Inspect the toilets and make sure that the seniors don’t have trouble with the standard size of toilets. Elevating the toilet seat up to 17 inches is ideal as the height places less stress on the legs and knees of the senior. A product recommendation is the Locking Elevated Toilet Seat from Home Care line since it can also be easily installed and removed. You have to be certain that the plumbing and some technical works are not compromised whenever a remodeling of the bathroom such as these is made. You can check this with a good plumbing company in cumming and get great deals on bathroom remodeling works.

Tip #3

The third tip is for another place which might need independent seniors home remodeling tips is the kitchen. Check the lighting and make sure that it has at least 60-watt bulbs and does not have glares or shadows. This is important during food preparation and other tasks around the kitchen. The best material that should be used in the kitchen is matte-finished wood and laminate flooring because they are slip-resistant and can help prevent accidents.

The last two tips deal with contractors. When hiring a contractor for remodeling with seniors in mind, you should only choose one that has a credible reputation and good feedback from friends. Make sure that the contractor specializes in remodeling homes for older people and that they are trustworthy. Experience with remodeling senior centers is a good start. If possible, check on the contractor’s license to avoid rip-offs and remodeling scams. If you are interested with a contractor you found online, meet up with the team personally to make sure they are legitimate.

Remodeling for independent seniors is serious business. Understand the payment terms and be wary of the upfront payment for the materials or the service. Before handing payments over, check twice for the permits and license and go through the smallest details including cleaning up after the project.


Foliages or Plants You can Safely Put Inside the House


The era of modernization and information technology has brought numerous changes in the life of a modern man. People have become used to a sedentary lifestyle and thus, they prefer to have a beautiful environment inside their homes which is green, soothing, relaxing, and natural at the very same time. There are many foliage plants which can assist in adding charm to the house where people can enjoy life in a meaningful way.
Following are some of the foliages which can put be put indoors:

Aloe Vera Plant

This amazing plant has been famous since the time of Cleopatra. It has many health benefits and it is great for the human skin. In case of cuts and wounds, it can make the healing process a lot faster. It can be kept in the kitchen. It does not require a lot of maintenance which is the best part so, bright sunshine dry soil and water are enough for this plant to survive inside the home. It is available in different sizes ranging from a very small size which can be kept on the kitchen slabs or near the kitchen window, then there are the medium sizes which can be kept on the table in the lounge area. On an average, the size available in the market is likely to be 3 feet in height.


Begonia Masoniana

Iron-Cross Begonia or Begonia Masoniana is another plant which can add charm indoors. It is relatively easier to grow and requires medium sunlight for its growth. The soil conditions have to be moist for this particular plant and it is only 12 inches in height. The amazing thing about this plant is that the leaves indicate the needs of the plant at the moment for example if the leaves are turning somewhat brown it means that it is time to minimize the amount of water which is being currently given to this plant.


Maranta or Prayer Plant is another amazing decorative plant with a height of 2 feet which can add beauty to the house. It’s a fun plant since the leaves open and close. The soil conditions required for the growth of this plant are moist and it can survive in medium sunlight. However, during winter the soil has to be drier for the proper growth and maintenance of Maranta. There are leaf markings on the plant which are appealing to the eyes and are given the name of rabbit tracks.


This particular plant requires a little bit of maintenance since the leaves have to be wiped to give them a glossy shine and to avoid the spider infestation. The soil has to be kept evenly moist for the growth of Fatsia and it requires very low or medium amount of sunlight for its growth. It is 6 feet in height so it can be placed near the sliding doors, or at the empty corners of the house to add beauty to the house.




Most Common Home Improvement Challenges

Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your life, so it’s important to keep it in good condition. Not only do you want your home to retain value over the years, but it should also be a comfortable place to live that makes you happy. Over time, chances are you’ll encounter some problems with your home that need repairs. These repairs are usually easy to manage if you keep on top of them and take proactive measures to prevent damage to your home. Here are some of the most common home improvement challenges and what you can do to manage them.

Kitchen & Bathroom

bathroom-fixThe most common home improvement projects by far are kitchen and bathroom remodels. This is because plumbing and heating technologies change quickly, so these systems become outdated much more quickly than the rest of the house. These projects can be very expensive and often require the help of a plumbing contractor in Canton, GA but there are some things you can do to prevent them. The first is to be proactive and get small problems with these systems taken care of as soon as possible to prevent them from escalating. The second is to have the kitchen and bathroom assessed before you move in and to make changes you are interested in right away.

There are some elements of a kitchen or bathroom remodel that you can do on your own. For example, changing the tile in your kitchen or bathroom is something that can typically be done in a weekend or sometimes even in a day. Changing the hardware fixtures in your space can also make a huge difference in the way it looks without spending a lot of money.

Outdoor Repairs

Outdoor repairs are another very common home improvement project. Luckily, there are many things on the exterior of your home you can do yourself that add a lot of value to the building. For example, you can typically build a deck or porch on your own if you are handy with wood, or you can freshen up an existing one with a new coat of paint. You can also add features to your backyard such as a pond or outdoor kitchen fairly easily with the right materials.

Roof & Wall

Roof and wall repairs are also a common home improvement project. Over time, your home is likely to experience some damage just due to weather and the natural aging of the materials. Many roofing repair companies will offer deals and sales throughout the year, so it’s worth it to take advantage of these and have your roof assessed and patched to prevent future problems. Although this is unfortunately something that’s difficult to DIY, you can save money by shopping around and looking for the best prices.

Garage Doors

Most of us have encountered malfunctioning garage doors one way or another. This is mainly because most of the doors were mechanically made to serve its purpose and it seems very critical for us to understand how it works. It may look like so technical for us homeowners so a balanced garage door repair is practically advised. Find the best deals in your local directory and keep a friendly relationships with them to get bigger discounts in the long run.

Taking care of your home is very important, and you can prevent future issues by making small improvements to your home over time and fixing problems as they happen. Using quality materials and hiring the best service practitioners will also help you get more bang for your buck. Being aware of the home improvement challenges that homeowners face can help you be more proactive in the future.

Decorating Ideas for Dorm Rooms and Must Have Items

For a new student, the dorm life can be a lot of fun. It can also be pretty cramped. However, with smart decorating ideas you can maximize your dorm space and inject some personality. You can also set a budget and challenge yourself on finding the most affordable and functional appliances or furniture you can get. You can set a Home Depot challenge for yourself and try to be smart as much as possible to spend within your budget .

A Loft Bed

The easiest way to increase your space is by converting your dorm bed into a loft bed. Before you begin, check the bulletin boards in dorms, student unions and other community centers on campus. Then purchase sliding plastic tubs to store clothing and other goodies underneath.


If your college allows it, decorate your walls with shelving for your CD’s, books, DVD’s and more. To save even more space put all of your CD’s on an MP3 player, then leave them with your folks. Instead of collecting books, hit up a local book store and trade them in as you go. Or use your local library.

TV Mount

Another decorating idea for saving space is to mount your television (if allowed). Or forego the television altogether. After all, you’ll be plenty busy with homework.

Filing Cabinet

A well-decorated, locked, small filing cabinet is another functional decorating idea. Use it to organize your homework and other important information.

Mini Fridge

The mini fridge is a dorm room must-have if you want to save money and your waistline.

Compact Microwave

A small microwave goes hand in hand with the mini fridge and should be able to sit on top, saving you some space.

Hanging Organizers

Another space saving decorating idea is to use hanging organizers for all of your lightweight gear. Store energy bars, clothing, toiletries and more in a hanging organizer in your closet.

Portable Bathroom Caddy

If the bathroom is down the hall from your dorm room, a portable bathroom caddy is an absolute must have.

Silk Flowers

A great decorating idea for those too busy to take care of the real thing is fake flowers. Fill a vase with silk flowers to spruce up your desk. Or use them in a hanging plant to save even more space.


If you can’t paint your dorm room, or your roommate doesn’t want you to, another decorating idea is to use borders along the top or bottom that can be easily removed, without leaving a trace.

Another idea for saving space is to opt for a laptop versus a desktop computer.

Comment below about the experience. Happy smart shopping!

What You Can Do to Keep Rats from Coming into Your House

Those creaks and moans that an old house makes may not be ghosts or goblins. When the wind blows and it squeals and shrills, sending shivers up your spine bringing goose bumps to a rise, is it only the wind?

Those bumps and thumps within the walls of a new house as it makes itself comfortable and begins to settle down while the banging on the pipes isn’t playing out a song, is there nothing going on?

Think again. There may be something going on but it’s probably not supernatural. It may be that you have Rats. When rats get into the walls of a house you don’t always hear them. They could be living in the walls, the attic, the basement, around the water heater, under the floors for month’s even years without you knowing it except for an occasional creak, moan, squeal, shrill, bump, thump or a banging.

There are signs of rats that you can look for. In places that isn’t frequented you may have disturbed spider webs, small footprints where it’s dusty, rat droppings, gravel, small to large holes in floorboards, and crawl spaces. Anything stored a rat can gnaw through. Wiring may be chewed on and may be chewed in two. When wiring is chewed in two it can cause fires and it can cause things inside the house to stop working such as lighting. Insulation can be bitten and eaten on and dragged to other areas for rat nests.

Rats can eventually find their way into the house.

If you have rats and are waiting on an exterminator or pest control person to come and take care of the rat invasion you can do a few things to ensure they won’t come into your house or to dissuade them from entering.

If you have pets you’ll want to be cautious that they don’t inhale any fumes. Keep pets out of the room or area you are working in and make sure the room the pets are in has ventilation to allow any fumes that may spill over into their area a way to escape.

Rats don’t like to smell bleach. Water down bleach or use cleaners with bleach in it and wipe down floors, do not wipe down carpets, wipe down sinks, toilets, stoves, refrigerators and windowsills. Basically clean as you normally would. Make sure bleach is diluted enough with the water that it won’t take the color out of anything. The bleach smell will eventually fade but it will keep rats away temporarily for several days or until the smell is gone.

Vinegar seems to effect rats too. If you don’t have any bleach, squirt some vinegar around but be aware that vinegar can hurt the color of things. Vinegar can also make things sticky if too much is sprayed. You may wish to dilute it with water.