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

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.

 

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

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!

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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.

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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.

Why Off The Shelf Purchases Will Never Be Perfect For Your Home

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When you get a new home, there’s a temptation to transform the space the moment you arrive. You want it to look good, and you want it now. There’s no time to waste making your accessories or ordering your decor to custom. You’re just going to have to bite the bullet and head out to your local store. All the better for getting the space the way you want it, right?

Wrong! In reality, there are a few reasons why off the shelf purchases will never be the perfect fit for your home. There’s no denying that there are some fantastic shop bought pieces on the market. You may even buy some things which you swear complete that room in just the right way.

But, when you look at them in a few months, you may well start to question what you saw in them in the first place. It’s a common occurrence, and it’s part of the reason that so many of us feel the need to redecorate often. By comparison, home crafted or custom additions are sure to stand the test of time. But, why is it that shop-bought stuff doesn’t meet the cut?

It’s not made to fit

The chances are that you measured your windows before heading out for those blinds. Even so, it’s unlikely that you were able to find a pair which was an exact fit. Ahh, what’s half an inch between friends? The trouble is, you can bet that small overhang will soon start to irritate you in a big way. Before you know, you’re back out looking for a better fit. You know what would solve that? Biting the bullet and ordering custom options from companies like Montgomery’s, of course. And, the same rules apply to everything from your carpets to your bedding. Remember; you don’t get convenience without compromise. So, are those quick fixes worth your money?

It doesn’t reflect you


That dog ornament may have looked adorable in the shop, but doesn’t it seems lifeless on your shelf? It certainly doesn’t seem to reflect your personality, and isn’t that what decor should do? But, do you know why it doesn’t reflect you? Because it wasn’t made for you! It’s one of millions made in a factory someplace. By comparison, an ornament which you’ve handcrafted is sure to say a whole load more about who you are and what matters to you.

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It doesn’t have any real meaning

When you make or commission something for your house, it becomes meaningful. It’s a one-of-a-kind product just for you and your rooms. Every time you look at it, it reminds you of a time or experience. By comparison, shop-bought home stuff is pretty meaningless. No matter how much you like it, there’s a chance you won’t think twice about chucking it when the new season rolls around. If you operate that way, though, you could soon look at spending a fortune. Not to mention that you’ll struggle ever really to feel at home.

Maker’s Monday: Wildflower Parade

Maker’s Monday: Wildflower Parade

It’s Maker’s Monday! I hope you have enjoyed the blog series so far. It has been an amazing journey, meeting wonderful makers, sharing their passion and craft and highlighting their small businesses. I’ll be taking a holiday break from the series and will be picking back up after the New Year. Next week Monday is the launch of House Fenway’s 2nd Annual Holiday Small Maker’s Gift Guide. A guide highlighting 60+ makers, offering tons of promotions, and gift ideas for the holidays. I hope you check it out!

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Meet Wildflower Parade

This week’s maker is a busy lady with a wonderful talent. Meet Alicia from Wildflower Parade , a SAHM of four amazing kiddos with a knack for sewing. Alicia started the business with the motivation of reducing the use of “throw-away items” such as napkins, paper towel and grocery bags. This motivation was not only a step to become more eco-friendly but a smarter way to save money on dispensable products.

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Wildflower Parade offers an array of products and styles to help you become more eco-friendly without compromising style! Check out Alicia’s Etsy shop for the full selection of product: Wildflower Parade

IMG_1855Check out some of the other House Fenway Maker’s Monday Shops:

James + McLain

Say In In Burlap

Dandelion Wishes Candle Co.

Curious Timbers

Gam Gam Handcrafted

The Vintage Nest

Learning to Love a New Home

Learning to Love a New Home

Are you worried that you haven’t made the right decision with your move? It might be too late to turn back the clock now, but you most likely wouldn’t need to. It’s only natural to start doubting such a major decision, even if you’re worrying over nothing. Here, we’re going to look at how you can start to put those doubts behind you and to love your new home as soon as possible.

Plan for its weaknesses

When you’re uncertain about something, it becomes much easier to pick up flaws and to really start fixating on them. Is there an issue with your new home? Start planning for how you’re going to address it now. If there isn’t a lot of physical room, start planning on how to create a sensation of more space. If there’s less natural light, then think about how you’re going to change the window treatments to allow more sunlight in or how you’re going to add new light fixtures to make up for it. Obsess over the solutions, not the problems.

Give yourself time to acclimate (and unpack)

If you spend all the moving day packing, cleaning, and unpacking, you might end up spending your first night in a home that’s almost entirely empty. Make sure you arrange for movers to help you get your stuff there and unpacked all the sooner. That way, you can start adding your own design touches and enjoy your first night getting used to the home. Otherwise, you will be arriving in the dark, stressed out, and with few luxuries to keep you company.

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Engage the senses

Decor isn’t the only way to make your home your own. All the senses can play a vital role in helping to engage you emotionally and to make you feel at home. More and more people are finding that aromatherapy has a profound effect on their mood. Finding your favorite scent and lighting a candle or incense to help spread it through the home can give you something familiar to ground yourself with. What’s more, it’s a great stress buster. Once you shrug off that stress, you can free your mind to see the positive in your situation.

Surround yourself in what you love

Familiarity can be key, but there are new ways to engage yourself in familiarity, as oxymoronic as that sounds. You don’t have to decorate your new place exactly like the old one. For instance, you can look at ways to incorporate your hobby into your décor. Hang some of your favorite record covers on the wall or get your favorite movie posters framed. It helps you establish your personality and identity on the home but without feeling like you have to try and replicate the home you left behind. Doing that can only make you miss it more, especially if all your old stuff doesn’t fit the new space in the same way.

Moving into a new home is a naturally alienating experience for those who love their status quo. Hopefully, the tips above help you acclimate to it a little more quickly, so you can start to really love it.