Posted on 2 Comments

How Your Curb Appeal Handles The Winter

The exterior of your house puts up with a lot. Of course, that’s nothing new; it’s its job after all. But during the winter? Your house might go through a lot more than it’s ready to weather, and you might not even know about the damage being done. You’re just sitting nicely inside, all cozy under a blanket with a good hot chocolate on your lap; however, sinking comfortably into a moment like this is going to take some work. So you’re going to need to be extra vigilant for the next 3 months or so, and use some tips like these to make sure your curb appeal is never going sideways in the wind!

You won’t have to retreat to a castle for the winter, but now’s

Clean Your Gutters Out

If you want to keep your roof in good condition, you’re going to need to get up there every once in a while to make sure the gutters aren’t being clogged out by snow and ice, as well as leaves that get wet and freeze on top of all that. You’re going to want to sweep the gutters out at least twice a year, and before the winter season, as you don’t want any of your guttering pipes to expand and crack and then fall off of the roof during the colder periods.

If you have tall trees and strong winds throughout your neighborhood, you might want to get up there more often than just twice a year. After all, there’s a lot more chances for anything to get stuck up there and get clogged. And if it does, it will potentially start to leak through your roofing tiles, ruining the insulation in your attic as well as causing possible leaks through your bedroom ceilings. And that’s not something you want to deal with at Christmas time!

Insulate Your Attic

Your attic needs a good lining of insulation to make sure your house is warm enough this season, as well as making sure that any heat you do have filtering through your pipes stays in place and doesn’t leak out. You want at least 10 inches of insulation up near your roof, and hopefully you’ll be able to get a screen of 14 inches – this is the optimum amount of padding to make sure your house is secured from the inside out.

No matter how old your house is, you can get some insulation put into your attic. Even if you can’t have the walls ripped out to add in padding, before getting them replaced, you can add some more cosmetic features. You can add some blanket insulation, if you need to DIY the insulation project yourself, and these rolls are quite easy to get ahold of. On the other hand, you can try layering the floor of the attic with some more materials, such as rugs and blankets, and even the storage you have up there.

Wrap Up Your Plumbing

The plumbing in your house needs to be a big focal point for you this season, seeing as the water in your house can very easily freeze in the colder temperatures. You’re going to need to wrap up your pipes, to make sure they’re never freezing and expanding unnecessarily, and then bursting, and flooding your entire house. However, it’s very easy to prevent a problem like this – a bit of gauze here and you’ll be all good!

You can buy this kind of wrapping at any DIY shop or home depot department, and you won’t have to shill out too much money here either. Make sure you’re wrapping tightly, even if you’ve only got a bit of duct tape to help you out. And remember, when you’re not using the water in your house, it’ll be a good idea to turn off of your water valve to make sure there’s never any water hanging around in the pipes when it’s unneeded. You might even want to pour a bit of antifreeze down your sink, shower, and bathtub holes, if you have extremely cold temperatures in your kitchen and bathrooms.

Cover Up Your Car

Your car is still a part of your curb appeal, and you’re going to need to look after it during the winter weather, even when it’s just parked outside of your house. After all, when you’re trying to get to work or the kids to school in the early morning, you have to wait 10 or 15 minutes for the car to warm up and for you to scrape all of the frost off!

But if you don’t have a garage, it’s going to be hard to take care of your parked car. But thankfully, there’s much options available in terms of architecture for you to invest in. Some carport designs, for example, can be invested in to make sure you just get a simple and easy extension outside of your house to park your car within. It’ll be a little warmer under there, as well as a lot more shaded and covered, and that stops the ice from forming so quickly and absolutely.

Shovel Your Driveway

A quick point to finish off. You’re always going to need to have a clear driveway out in front of your house, seeing as you’ve still got to get out and about during the winter season. Not to mention, if you ever have an accident at home during the Christmas season, or you simply order a takeaway and have it delivered to your house, the people arriving are going to need access as well! So make sure you’ve got a shovel and that you’re clearing your driveway of snow, sludge, and ice, at least twice a month.

Ready to Tackle the Winter Weather?

Your curb appeal needs your help to handle the winter season, so be sure to use tips like these to keep your house in a good and safe condition. This is your chance to keep your house in much better shape for the New Year!

Advertisements
Posted on Leave a comment

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Happy National Cookie Day!

There is nothing more comforting than a fresh batch of cookies in the cookie jar. This simple Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe, brings back all the feelings of childhood.  The flavor, the texture and the faint scent of cinnamon.

Ingredients

1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats

1 cup raisins

IMG_9587.JPG

Cookie Steps:


STEP 1
Heat oven to 350°F.

STEP 2
Combine brown sugar and butter in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Incorporate eggs, water and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add all remaining ingredients except oats and raisins; blend with hand mixer at low speed until completely mixed. Fold in oats and raisins.

STEP 3
Form tablespoon-sized rounded balls and place 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely and store in air tight container.

Have a sweet tooth?

I’m a dessert lover myself. Here are a couple other dessert recipes from my blog I recommend:

Double Fudge Brownies

Yummy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted on 5 Comments

Simple Home Improvements for a Cute and Cozy Christmas

When you wake up in the morning a light, delicate frost covers your window panes and there is a festive chill in the air. You might not have picked the perfect time to move house, but you’re ready to make it cosy and cute for Christmas. Whilst you’re learning to love a new home, you also need to think about certain practicalities especially at this time of year. When the temperature drops outside you need to make sure your home is fully prepared with everything it needs to survive the winter chill. Check out the following ideas to make your home full of festive cheer ready for the most wonderful time of the year.

Snug as a Bug

You can’t get through a chilly winter without an adequate heating system in place throughout your home. When you have just moved into a new place it can be very difficult to judge what you need to fix, repair or maintain. You need a reliable and sturdy HVAC system that will suit your budget and keep your snug as a bug throughout the cold winter months. With a reputable system in place you can be sure that you aren’t wasting money on energy or harming the environment.

Terrific Tree and Divine Decor

As soon as you move into a new home at this time of year it is essential to get your tree and decor in place. Once all of these elements are firmly up you will start to feel warm and cosy in your new delightful dwelling. Invest in twinkling fairy lights to drape across your mantle piece for a classic Christmas look or head to your local florist and pick up a handmade wreath for your front door. Putting these homely touches in place will help you to feel right at home in no time.

7D2DDD37-0F45-4E67-9EF6-FB0A0370751D.jpeg

Super Scents

Every home needs to have a signature scent, no matter how new it may be. As soon as your guests walk through the door they should be struck with a gentle and welcoming fragrance that is unique to your perfect property. At this time of year it might be fitting to choose a sweet smelling gingerbread candle or even a cinnamon incense. Choose a smell that matches your personality and this will soon become your festive home fragrance.

824FF68E-3995-43A8-BA1F-90B2B94BAD67.jpeg

Cute Comforts

All that needs to be added to your home now are those cute finishing touches that make the world of difference. Whether it’s a cosy red blanket draped over your new sofa or it’s a snuggly cushion on your beautiful bed, you need to add those cute comforts that make you feel at ease. Once all of these added extras are in place your new home will be ready for Christmas Day straight away.

So take the stress out of moving into a new home at this time of year and consider all of these festive favorites. This Christmas you are bound to be warm and welcomed into your new amazing abode.

Posted on Leave a comment

3 Things to Do When Planning to Get Work Done on Your Home

Our homes are meant to be our castles, our own little refuges away from the worries and annoyances of the wider world. For that reason, we’re often willing to invest a lot of time and money into shaping our homes into the kind of perfect template we’d like — or at least, something closer to it.

As it so happens, having work done on your home can be a somewhat tricky and complicated process, not to mention cost effective. But when it’s done right, the results can be more than worth the hassle.

Here are a few things you should do when planning to get work done on your home.

Hire a company with good reviews and a good reputation

There are all sorts of contractors and companies out there who advertise themselves as experts in various building procedures, but not all of those contractors and companies are equal.

Before hiring someone to handle a project on your home, be sure to do your homework and identify who is, or isn’t, trustworthy. If you’re having metal roofing installed, for example, you’ll ideally want to hire local metal roofing contractors who have a good reputation in the community, positive reviews, and maybe even good references passed on to you by people you know and trust.

Failing to do your due diligence in this regard can mean that you end up with people doing shoddy work on your house — and you not knowing any better until something goes wrong weeks or months later. It could also mean that you hire a company who uses exploitative labour practices, or who are otherwise unscrupulous.

Prepare yourself for a bit of upheaval and a more drawn-out process than you might have anticipated

When people plan extensions or modifications to their homes, they often fix their attention solely on the positive outcome. They imagine how good it’ll feel to walk around their new, expanded kitchen, or swim in their newly constructed pool.

It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that these kinds of building projects often take a substantial amount of time to complete, and can easily run over schedule for any number of reasons.

Before inviting the builders to your home to start work, you should prepare yourself for a pretty significant bit of upheaval, and a more drawn-out process than you might have anticipated.

Have a clear sense of exactly what you’d like done going into things, and discuss actively with your contractors

People will sometimes come up with a somewhat vague idea of the work they’d like done on their homes. They may think, for example, that they’d like a bigger kitchen, without necessarily giving much thought to how that bigger kitchen would affect other features of the home, the sort of tiling that should be on the floor, etc.

Don’t go into a home modification process with vaguely formed ideas, try instead and pin down the specifics as clearly as you can.

Of course, a big part of this will involve you being in contact with the contractors, discussing the options, and staying in the loop as the process progresses.

 

Posted on 1 Comment

Step into Christmas: Is Your Home Ready For Festive Guests?

One of the best things about being an adult, is having your own home that you can entertain your loved ones in and make memories. There’s nothing better than getting everyone together and enjoying good food, drink and conversation- and at Christmas you have every excuse to do so. When you know you’re going to have guests visiting, chances are you’ll want your home in order and looking its best, and so there are a few jobs you could tackle before the 1st December. Here are some ideas!

Finish any repairs and unfinished jobs

We’ve all got those little jobs around the home that we mean to get around to, but somehow never do. Scuffed paintwork that needs touching up, a wobbly toilet seat or a lightbulb that needs replacing. They’re not a huge deal but they are annoying, and most of the time don’t take a lot of effort to put right. Over Christmas you’ll have guests in your home, and will want to make sure everything is up to scratch. Write a list of everything that needs doing, and work your way through it ticking things off as you go. Hit the DIY store for any supplies you’ll need, and spend the day getting these annoying jobs out of the way. You’ll feel far better for it once it’s all done!

Have your heating system tested

The really cold weather has well and truly set in, and chances are you’ve been enjoying cranking up your heating and enjoying getting cozy in the evenings. So imagine what a nightmare it would be if something went wrong and you were stuck with no hot water or heat.  The best way to avoid this is by having an annual boiler service, where an engineer can check everything over and make sure it’s running the way it should. If you haven’t already, sign up for boiler insurance so you don’t end up out of pocket if something goes wrong. If your home is heated using another source, make sure you have enough fuel. Firewood for your wood burning stove for example can be stockpiled, and companies like Quarles propane and oil heat can refill your tank if you use either of these as your fuel source. Get organized so that you don’t run out unexpectedly.

Have a deep clean

Before putting up your Christmas decorations, it’s worth giving the house a good deep clean first. Again, it gets it looking nice in time for guests, but it’s also easier to do when you don’t have a Christmas tree and decorations dominating the room. You could refresh carpets and rugs by hiring a Rug Doctor and get the whole home feeling and smelling fresh. You could go through cupboards, drawers and wardrobes getting rid of things you don’t need. This clears space for new things coming into the house at Christmas, and if you donate to charity then you can help those in need too. Not only can those on a lower income buy the items, but the money made goes towards helping a charity too- everyone wins.

Kit out your guest room

If you’re having guests stay with you at Christmas (or there’s a chance people might stay over unexpectedly) then you’ll need a place for them to stay. If your spare room is usually full of boxes and junk, now would be a good time to work through it and get it all in order. Give it a clean, empty the wardrobe so guests have somewhere to hang their clothes and put fresh sheets and bedding on. You could go a step further and add a wireless phone charger (these are suitable for all newer models, regardless of the brand) and a card with the code to the wifi written on. You’ll want to make your guests stay as comfortable as possible!

IMG_3497 2

Put up the decorations and make it cozy

Once the house is in order, you can get busy putting up the decorations! If you want to keep it simple, go with a tree (that’s the right size for your room) and one or two smaller decorations. It’s tempting to want to go crazy, but you can always add festive ambience in other ways. Purchase some Christmas scented candles, and replace your cushion covers and bedding with festive variations. Invest in a couple of cozy blankets which are perfect for sitting together with loved ones and watching movies throughout December. Things like draught excluders can make all the difference, until you’re in a position to upgrade your windows and doors! If your heating system works with smart home, this can be a great way to keep your home cozy. You can easily adjust the temperature for different times of day, and can always turn it up or down if needed using your phone or voice activated speaker. For example, if you have it set to twenty one degrees during the evening, but you’re out one evening you’re not wasting fuel as you can turn it off from your phone even when you’re away from the house.

IMG_6016

Stock up on food and drinks

Having friends over means keeping them fed and watered, and so it’s worth having a few drinks and snacks on hand just in case. If you invest in a couple of bottles of spirits and mixers you can make a range of different cocktails. And then some wines, beers and cider will ensure that everyone has something to drink. You might already have a backlog of wines and prosecco, if you host regular dinner parties people tend to bring these over and they don’t always get used. You could bring them out and utilize them over the festive period. Having a tin of nice biscuits or chocolates that you can offer to guests is a smart move too, keep these for when visitors drop by. If they’re stored properly they’ll stay good for over the festive period.