Winter sure came in a hurry, and now that it’s here, Christmas is almost upon us. Soon, family and friends will be gathering at one another’s homes to celebrate the festive season. Is your home ready? If not, don’t worry. Here are a few ways you can quickly and easily spruce up your house without going broke.
Staircase and Doors
Doorways and staircases are our homes entry, exit and transit points. As such, their appearance wears down over time, regardless of how well we try to keep them cleaned and maintained. Fortunately, there’s no need to replace them if there isn’t anything structurally wrong with them. Instead, call a joinery professional to inspect, repair and refurbish them.
A joinery professional will charge an awful lot less to refurbish your stairs and doors than you might think, and it sure beats replacing them. This option provides a cost-effective way to give your home’s interior an instant update and visual boost without breaking the bank.
Lighting and Fixtures
Every room experiences an immediate update and lift when lighting fixtures are replaced. If you don’t want to replace them all, focus on those in the kitchen and other rooms where your guests will be visiting.
Even if you don’t need to replace any of your fixtures, do replace your fluorescent lighting with LED lighting. The difference in ambience is clear, because LED bulbs replace the harshness of fluorescent lamps with an element of warmth.
Replace Area Rugs
Of course, prior to any visitors arriving, you’re going to clean your carpets and other flooring. However, how about replacing the small floor rugs you have in the kitchen, bathrooms, hallways, and entryways? Just as with the lighting fixtures, only focusing on the areas that will be most visited also works as an option, and it will save money, too.
Eliminate Clutter and Rearrange Furniture
Well, before guests arrive, remove excess magazines, books, and personal items from the areas where you will be entertaining. Do the same in the kitchen with unneeded small appliances and other kitchen tools.
Next, strategically rearrange the areas where you’ll be entertaining. The goal is to create an open, welcoming space that doesn’t feel crowded. Twenty people in the home may not sound like much until after they’ve all arrived.
Add Accentuating Accessories
It’s easy to get into the holiday spirit and want to decorate our homes in anticipation of guests. However, that’s not the stress-free way to prepare our homes for Christmas. Instead of overindulging the interior decorator inside of you, choose one or two small things to focus on in each key room. Here are a few examples:
The Christmas season can be a stressful time, especially when hosting family and friends. Use these simple stress-reducing tips to cut corners where you can, and your house will be guest-ready in no time.
The roof of any structure sits at the top of the list of critical repairs. Roofs allow our families and possessions to stay dry and secure from the elements, and a solid roof keeps a business open and customers coming in to spend their money. So, when the roof is in need of attention, the property owner must decide whether to replace or repair it. The decision is one of the most important a property owner will make.
Home and Business Considerations
The owner of a small vehicle repair shop may be saving money on the front end by repairing the shop’s roof instead of replacing it. However, the long-term result may be a loss in business and revenue if the repair leaves the roof mismatched or otherwise unsightly. All business owners understand the importance of maintaining a well-kept shop. It must always be presentable to the public, otherwise the image reflects poorly on the business.
From a homeowner’s point of view, aesthetic continuity is important, especially when it comes to resale value. So, a patched roof may not be feasible. On the other hand, shelling out thousands of dollars for a roof replacement has its downside, too. Namely, money. Here are a few quick tips to help you determine how to know whether you should replace or repair the roof of your home or business.
Evaluate the Damage
The first thing you’ll need to do is have a complete survey done of your roof by a roofing professional, even if you think you know what’s wrong with it. You may see a few loose tiles you can replace on your own, but a professional roofer can provide a complete inspection and point out any issues, or emerging issues you missed. When you get the inspection report from the roofing contractor, make sure it answers the following critical questions:
The information will help in your decision about whether to repair or replace your roof. Often, roofing contractors will offer a discount for multiple repairs, so ask for that information in writing as well.
Even if you want to save money and make minor roof repairs yourself, first contact a professional roofing company to fully evaluate your roof. You may see only one of several issues or emerging issues, with your roof. What he has to say may change your decision?
Once you have an estimate from a roofing contractor, you can make a decision about repairing or replacing your roof. Partial reroofing is an excellent compromise between repair and replace since more than a few tiles would be replaced, making a difference in colour less noticeable. It does have its drawbacks though, including an uneven finished product, so discuss the option with your contractor.
Once you have all of the information listed here, you’ll be able to determine the best course of action for your roof. Each option – repair, partial replace, replace – has its pros and cons, so discuss them with your contractor before moving forward with your roofing project.
Cost and energy saving benefits have slowly made LED lighting a mainstay in homes and businesses over the last 30 years. The unique characteristics of LEDs allow for more applications than just lighting up a room, however. For example, LED technology has become an industry standard in satisfying the backlighting needs of everything from televisions to computer monitors and smartphones. Now, a research team at Purdue University has pushed the limits of LED capabilities even further.
By using blue and red LEDs, the team has found a way to grow seedlings successfully indoors without the aid of any other light source. The repercussions could be phenomenal for the world of horticulture.
What does it mean for Production?
Multi-layering, which is a process where plants and seedlings are stacked on top of one another (often in a warehouse setting) to grow, is already being used in countries like Japan for leafy vegetables. Since the buildings in which plants and seeds are housed often don’t have enough sunlight to allow for adequate growth, multi-layering has, until now, proven to be a limited option.
However, the team that is conducting ongoing research on LED-grown seedlings suggests that the process of multi-layering can now include additional types of plants, and will work without the benefit of any other additional light sources. The potential impact of what the research team has already discovered could have a significant impact on the horticulture industry.
So, what’s next? How else can LEDs advance and improve the growth of plants and seedlings? As it turns out, the team at Purdue is already working on the next phase of discovery.
Where Do They Go from Here?
The next phase in their research project focuses on expediting the growth cycle in the seedlings. Currently, it takes 3-4 weeks of red, far-red, white, and blue LED lighting in a greenhouse setting for the seeds to reach the desired stage of maturity. Since the speed wasn’t considered in their initial research, the team is trying to shave off a week from the production time so the plants can flower faster, and hit the market shelves even sooner.
For homes and businesses, the traditional use of LED lights offers a warm, welcoming glow, instead of the harsh, overwhelming light generated by traditional bulbs. However, there are other unique, beneficial applications for LED lights as well. As evidenced by the research team at Purdue University, LEDs can also play an important role in the production of plants and vegetables. To find out just how LED lighting can benefit and improve the look of your home or office, and save you money in the process, contact the team at DPG Plus LTD today.
The lights in the backyard begin to flicker, and soon after that, the kitchen lights go out. You’ve checked the fuses and just can’t figure it out. It’s time to call an electrician. That’s a typical scenario in which someone may call an electrician because, unless you’re remodelling, the need for an electrician is usually a cost-prohibitive headache. You may not be able to get around the need for an electrician, but you can make it easier by knowing what to look for and what questions to ask.
Are They Registered?
Word of mouth is a good way to find a quality contractor, but perform your due diligence by making sure that whomever you’re referred to is registered and in good standing with one of the U.K’s electrical and contracting organisations, such as the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting, (NICEIC). The contractor may have done a great job on your co-worker’s project, but maybe he won’t fare so well on your job. You can get a good idea about the contractor’s consistency of quality by seeing where he stands in the professional community.
Versatility of Service
Will you need any construction or repair-related services down the road? Chances are the answer is yes. At one time or another, most home and business owners will require professional repair services for more than one area (electrician, plumber, and joiner). Since your home or business is most likely your biggest investment, all repairs and renovations should be entrusted to a company with whom you’ve built a relationship. So, when choosing an electrician also consider what other services are offered by the company.
Ask Questions and Get Estimates
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, conduct mini interviews with the electricians who interest you. There are only a handful of questions to ask before making a final decision. However, the questions are critical.
Additionally, during the interview, which typically will happen during the estimating process, make sure to get a written estimate rather than a verbal quote. Also, unless it is in writing, don’t agree to it. It will make all the difference should a discrepancy in cost, labour, or supplies come up.
The need for an electrician can be planned and budgeted, such as with a home or business remodel. However, more often, we only call electricians when we’re in dire straits and have no electricity. Regardless of the urgency of your needs, make sure that any contractor you hire has proven references is registered, offers myriad services (other than just electrical) and is respected in the industry. By getting all of that information before hiring a contractor, you’ll save yourself time, frustration and money because you will have filtered for only the best contractors in the business.