Author: samuelaman23

How to Quickly Clear Out Kitchen Smoke from Your Home

Smoke

Few things are more smelly than a kitchen that has filled up with smoke due to a stove top spill or unattended cooking. Burnt food odours can linger in the air for days, and can permeate into the walls and your furniture if not dealt with right away. Getting rid of kitchen smoke is surprisingly easier than you you might think. All it takes is a little fast thinking and these helpful tips:

Get rid of the smoking food immediately

When we burn something in a saucepan or in a frying pan, our instinct is to quickly fill up the pan with water to stop the smoking. In doing this, we are actually putting more smoke into the air.

The best approach is to get rid of the smoking food or pans immediately by tossing them into the oven. The sealed environment of the oven will put out the fire, and keep the smoke contained. Keeping the item in the oven for at least 15-30 minutes gives the smoke particulates enough time to settle to the bottom of the oven, where they can be wiped up with a damp rag.

Stop the moment of air

After the smoking food or pans have been placed in the oven, the next step is to stop the flow of air through your house.

In a home that is old and drafty, shutting the door will keep the smoke in the kitchen. If your home is newer or has central air or heating, the furnace/AC should be turned off. By turning off the furnace/air conditioning unit and or blower fan, the smoke is contained in the kitchen instead of circulating through the rest of the house.

Exhaust the air

Now is the time to open a window and exhaust out the smoke. Place a box fan or table tan in the ledge of the window, and face the fan so that it is blowing air outdoors. Open the kitchen door slightly, and the fan will draw fresh air in from the rest of the house and use it to propel the smoke outdoors. If your home is tightly sealed, you may have to crack open a living room window so that the fan has air to draw from. Within 5-10 minutes, the smoke will be outdoors and the windows can be closed.

To remove any lingering smell, a can of air freshener such as Lysol or Nok Out Odor Eliminator can help.

Homemade Lavender Oil Wood Cleaner

When I need to clean the wood surfaces in my home I like to make my own homemade wood surface cleanser. The wood surface cleanse that I like to make is the lavender oil wood cleanser. It is very simple to make and really helps clean up wood surface and makes them all shiny and new appearing.

The ingredients you will need to make my homemade lavender oil wood cleaner are 10 drops of lavender oil, 1 cup of water, and 2 cups of olive oil. All of these ingredients can be found in your local health food stores and grocery stores. 

I know sometimes I am able to buy all my ingredients from my local dollar store, which is awesome because I end up spending only 3 dollars on ingredients.

The materials you will need are measuring cups, a mixing bowl with a spout on it so the cleaner is easy to pour, and a plastic squeezable bottle. Now if you do not have these ingredients in your kitchen you can also get these materials in your local grocery store or even dollar store for cheap money.

Now the way you make my lavender oil wood cleaner is by combining the lavender oil, olive oil, and water together in your mixing bowl with a spoon. After you should have a nice lavender scented wood cleaner. Than all you will do is simply pour all of these ingredients into your squirt bottle until you are ready to use it as a nice natural wood cleaner.

The way I personally like to use my homemade lavender oil wood cleaner is by simply squirt some of the wood cleaner dirty onto a rag and than I like to wipe down the wood surface I need to have cleaned. You will notice when you use my homemade lavender oil wood cleaner that it is very gentle on your wood and helps get it shiny. The olive oil in my homemade wood cleaner also helps protect your wood surfaces from water damage and mold which is nice as well.

I do hope those of you who end up making my homemade lavender oil wood cleaner have a very easy time making it, and I hope those of you who use it to clean up the wood in your home like how it cleans. I wish you all the best of luck at cleaning all that wooden furniture in you home!

Do it Yourself Wainscoting in 5 Easy Steps

 

Wainscoting is the technique of applying wood panels to a chair railing on a wall. There are many different designs for wainscoting to choose from. Go to your local home improvement center and pick out the design that best suits you. Choose a chair railing as well. You might want to even pick out some paint to redo the whole wall at once.

Pry off the baseboard along the walls of the room you are doing. You can save the trim and reuse it if you’re crafty enough to remove it without breaking it, otherwise you’ll have to buy new base. Using a tape measure, measure from the floor up and make a mark. Do this in each corner and snap a line along the wall. If you’re alone use a nail to hold the line in place. Usually wainscoting is around 40 to 48 inches off the ground.

Find the studs using a stud finder or if you don’t have one then poke a nail in the wall behind the wainscoting. Mark the studs location just above the line for the top of your wainscoting. Use liquid nails or a similar adhesive and spread on the wall in a vertical ribbon with a caulk gun. Do about 3 feet at a time and place wainscoting before the caulk dries. When the planks are over the studs nail them to the wall using a finish nail. Nail the finish nail into the groove of the wainscoting, that way the nail will be hidden when the next piece goes over top of it. Tack the first piece and take a horizontal measurement to make sure the pieces fit squarely on the wall. Make sure you have the same measurement on the bottom as you do on the top of the first piece of wainscoting.

When you come to a window or door opening where you have to cut a unique angle, leave off the last piece of wainscoting. Make a mark on the wall where it will fall. Then use a compass and measure the distance between the next piece and the window. Set your compass to that length and hold up the wainscoting to the window. Scribe along with your compass and cut out. You” have the perfect fit for those hard to reach places where you just can’t get a measurement.

Once you have the wainscoting done and all the cuts are made around the windows, you can begin to nail the baseboard on. Start from the left side of a door and continue around counter clockwise. Cut the right hand side of your base board with a 45 degree mitre and cope off the remainder with a coping saw. Use a level to make a mark on the base board from the top of your stud marks you made previously.

Once the base is done now you can add you chair rail. If your chair rail is thick and you plan on painting it, you may just want to 45 and cope all your corners. It will be easier to get a nice corner. If you plan on staining it or it’s very thin, then you will need to 45 each corner to fit. It gives it a more professional look and you tend to see the nicer cut when looking down at the chair railing. If the chair railing is thin you may want to pre drill holes for the nails to prevent splitting.

It’s easy when you learn a few pointers and tips from the pros. In no time you should get the hang of wainscoting. It will last for years to come and give a fancy look to an old room or office.

Decorating Ideas to Bring Spring Inside

Decoration

The Spring is a great time to re-decorate. Warmer weather and new flowers provide plenty of design inspiration. Why not continue the spring feeling in your home decor? Here are some great ways to give a fresh spring flavour to your home.

Display cut Spring flowers around your home in pretty vases. Daffodils and hyacinths look and smell wonderful. They will bring an instant Spring freshness to your interior space. A unique addition to a floral arrangement are these lovely bird’s nest ornaments to decorate blossom branches. You can learn how to make them on Marthastewart.com.

Continue the floral motif in your wallpaper. There’s a great Floral Bouquet wallpaper available at Target. It costs $47.49 for enough to cover 56 square feet.

Another fun way to decorate in a Spring theme is through floral fabrics. You can make your own cushions with this Robert Kaufman fabric from Hancock’s. If you’re not into sewing, you can buy some floral fabric items. This lovely floral six piece comforter set from Martha Stewart is available on her website.

Not to be overlooked, you can also introduce a spring feeling into your home by painting walls in a vibrant spring color. For instance, these Laura Ashley paints bring Spring indoors with colors like Spring Seedling and Foxglove Blue.

Lastly, some spring cleaning and decorating is an inexpensive way to freshen up your house. Remove heavy quilts and curtains and replace them with lightweight versions. Repaint walls that are smudged. Vacuum the rooms of your house, getting in all the corners. Consider updating a few pieces of furniture. Spring is all about renewal so it is a perfect time for home improvements.

 

What are some cheap ways to stage my home to sell?

Home staging

Selling your home? Then you might want to stage it without spending too much to maximise your profits. Lucky for you because you’re in the right place.

Staging your home or simply properly preparing it for resale can play a vital role in having your property sold in no time and at the best possible price. To help you get started, below are some of the best ways to stage your home without spending too much. Some of them are even free! Check them out now.

Declutter.

The basic rule is to clean up and declutter. It would be too difficult and almost impossible to stage a house full of unnecessary things, so start off by deep cleaning your home. During the process, choose things you’d want to keep and get rid of those you can. You can either properly dispose them or donate those that you don’t really use or want. 

Pro Tip: Ensure your bathroom and kitchen counter tops are free from clutter as well as from bulky appliances. 

Organise.

oranised things

While on the process of decluttering, be sure to organise things. Properly store away your personal things, make your bed, fix your dressers and drawers, etc especially during showings and do your best to maintain such. Scrub dirt and grime away from your bathrooms and kitchen surfaces including your tubs and toilets. Windows and floor should be cleaned too.

Pro Tip: Don’t shove stuff into your closet. Instead get some moving boxes and properly store them in your storage room or in the garage. This is because most (if not all) buyers will check on your closets to see if there’s enough storage. 

Keep personal items away.

living room

You need to let potential buyers picture themselves living in your home. This would be impossible to do if you have all you personal items on display like framed family photos. 

Pro Tip: Clear off notes and photos on your refrigerator or computer desk. The less things around, the better.

Let the light in.

Light

Letting natural light in can make a big difference on how your house will be seen by potential buyers. Keep blinds up and tie up curtains as it can make the space look bigger as well as it can highlight the views outside especially if you have a picturesque view to boast. In the event that the view outside isn’t that ideal, you may opt to hang a simple white linen curtain panels that can obstruct the view while allowing natural light to come in. 

Pro Tip: Hang curtains near the ceiling to create an illusion of higher ceilings and bigger rooms.

Paint it off.

Paint

While plumbing and electrical should be your top priorities, painting your home is one of the most impactful and cost-effective things that you can do to stage your home. A fresh coat of paint can actually do wonders to your home giving it vibrance and life despite its age. 

Pro Tip: Never use loud paint colours as it can immediately put off buyers. Instead choose a neutral color such gray or off white which will allow the buyers to envision the home in a more neutral hue.

Work on small extra things.

When a buyer sees a lot of small things that needs to be fixed like water stain on the ceiling, burnt out light bulbs and cracked window panes, it set off their inner alarms. Often times, those small things start to raise bigger questions that may break the sale. To avoid being in the same situation be sure to do a thorough check and start fixing those that you can. 

Pro Tip: Fix all chips and cracks in walls and baseboards. Fix dripping faucets and replace non-working light bulbs.

So there you go! I bet you’ve already got a good place to start with home-staging. Good luck!

Homes for Sale by Owner: Top 5 Reasons Why FSBO Sales Fail

Home

Are you planning on selling your house? If so, you might be tempted not to hire a real estate agent to maximize your profits since you don’t have to pay for an agent’s commission. Doing all the work all by yourself means you’ll get the most money out of the transaction. Sounds really good right? Well, not really. 

Selling a home with an agent’s help will actually give you higher and better profits than doing the work all by yourself. In reality, you’ll get enough funds to cover the agent’s commission and more profits for yourself. Not convinced? Well, we have statistical data to back it up. National Association of Realtor’s says that the average FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales price in 2016 was $185,000. On the other hand, a home sold through the help of a realtor had a sale price of $245,000. That’s a whopping $60,000 price difference!

A seller may or may not have the capabilities to negotiate the deal in his favor. While a realtor will surely get you covered when it comes to negotiation. And since you’d be relying on your own skills on finalizing a contract, you’re risking potential legal problems and smaller profits after all the extra effort and time spent. 

Below are some of the top reasons why FSBO transactions can be more pain than gain.

Online marketing of a property for sale isn’t as easy as it

may seem.

Online Marketing

Most buyers will search online for houses for sale. The biggest advantage of having a real estate agent is they can offer a widespread exposure for your listing as they have access to multiple listing services. Moreover, they can promote your house to fellow agents to share with their clients. On the other hand, FSBO sellers will need to spend a lot on advertising and might not still be able to reach the same quality audience that a real estate agent can.

FSBO houses can be priced incorrectly.

Price

FSBO sellers tend to set price merely based on online assessment tools or whatever amount a friend or a neighbour suggested because it was either offered to them or they were able to sell their property at that price. These methods are actually totally unreliable and it can risk the price being way off. Nothing can compare to actual and timely market knowledge that real estates have. 

Overpricing a home can actually be dangerous as it will languish in the market leaving buyers to wonder why. Worst is nothing will change even if you reduce the price later. In addition, if your house has been in the market for an extended period of time, buyers are more likely to negotiate to get the property at a much lower price. 

Only real estate agents would be able to provide an accurate value of your property which is based on comprehensive market analysis. This in turn, will help you arrive at the reasonable listing price – not too expensive to put buyers off but not too low to leave you with less profits out of the sale.

You might not be able to properly estimate how much money you should spend on curb appeal.

Money

In general, inexperienced home sellers don’t know how to properly stage their property for the broadest audience which can turn off potential buyers. May it be because of an amateur paint job, an unmaintained yard or landscape or a broken door. 

Having a real estate agent by your side can actually help you a lot since they have an eye for detail and will usually recommend simple and budget-friendly staging steps allowing you to spend the least amount of money for the best possible outcome that can help you present your home at the best possible light.

                             Showings can be tiresome.

Open House

Scheduling and attending showings can be really draining. This is something FSBO sellers don’t realize until they’ve already gone several meetings. Unfortunately, novice home sellers are prone to deal with people who don’t really have the intention to buy as well as investors that are looking into flipping the property for a profit.

On the other hand, having an agent will free up your time that will allow you to focus on other things like tidying up and vacating the place. Moreover, buyers are observed to be uncomfortable with sellers hanging around during showings. 

Paperwork isn’t as easy as you think.

paper Work

Paperwork can really be tricky. And if you have no background in contracts or law, better leave it to the pros if you don’t want to end up with lawsuits after the sale. On the other hand, agents got everything covered for you. They will handle all property disclosures and necessary documentation to ensure you won’t be faced with liabilities in the future. 

With all the above compelling reasons, I hope it’s clear now that real estate agents can play a vital role in home-selling. Don’t make the same mistakes new sellers make. Let the pros play the game they now very well.

Top 5 Advantages of Metal Roofing for your Home

Planning to get a metal roof installed? If so, let us help you be confident with your roofing decision by listing out the top 5 advantages of the roofing type you’ve chosen. Read on!

Longevity

First on the list is a metal roofs’ longevity, which is one of the major factors homeowners consider when choosing a new roof.

 

Metal roofs are proven to protect your home for decades to come due to the fact that they can stand up tolongevity severe weather conditions like snowstorms or excessive heat.

 

For added peace of mind, most manufacturers even back it up with up to 50-year warranties to ensure you are protected against defects and premature breakdown of your metal roof.

 

Longevity isn’t always guaranteed because of, or in spite of anything though…

 

Just like you probably shouldn’t smoke if you want to live to be 100, it’s not good to neglect roof cleaning if you expect your metal roof to last a long time.

Then again, look at her!

Durable doesn’t mean indestructible though. If you have leaves stuck to your metal roof, clean them off before they cause the gaskets on the metal screws to rot. Yearly roof cleanings can go a long way to extending the life of your metal roof.

 

DIYable – Easy Installation

Another amazing characteristic of metal roofs is that it’s easy to install and is one of those roof materials suitable for DIY works. You may even be able to complete a roof installation yourself, given you’re quite knowledgeable about home repairs and your roof isn’t too steep, as it can be dangerous.

 

Metal roofs are available in lightweight shingles and shake formats, wherein most styles come with easy handle interlocking systems that can be installed with the use of common tools. However, if you’re not a fan of DIYs you can always call a professional contractor to get the installation done.

Safety

When it comes to safety, we bet you would not settle for less. And when it comes to your home, using a metal roof could be the safest decision you could make. There is one safety concern with metal roofs though. Never get on your roof if it is even slightly wet! You might slip and fall. However, from another standpoint, these roofs are extremely beneficial to your safety. Metal roofs are proven to be fire-resistant and have the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. 

 

fire fighter

Aesthetics

Safety and endurance are certainly the top two features you’re sure to enjoy should you have a metal roof installed. But of course, you would also like your roof to match the looks and feel of your home. One of the best advantages that metal roofs have over other roofing types is that it comes with many style options that will not only compliment your home’s style, but will also add to beauty to it. What’s even better is that metal roofs are available in panels and other options that are designed to emulate traditional roofs like wooden shakes, shingles, and tile that will allow you to achieve that perfect look for your prized investment – your home.

Environmentally-friendly and Energy efficient

Going green? Metal roofs got you covered.

 

Metal roofs are one of the most environmentally-friendly investments that you can get for your home. A lot of metal roof options are made from recycled materials such as aluminum which is known to be often recyclable. This roofing type is also energy efficient given that it reflects the sun’s rays instead of absorbing heat. And what’s in it for you? Lower air conditioning costs as your home’s internal temperature will be cooler. Great right?

 

Isn’t metal roofs amazing? We think so!

Nine Things a Real Estate Agent Should Do For Home Buyers

Nine Things a Real Estate Agent Should Do For Home Buyers

 

Buying a home is so much easier with a real estate agent. Just as all home buyers are different, so are Realtors. Having said that, you cannot expect each of them to have a similar home-buying approach. Nevertheless, there are important things that every real estate agent must do for a client.

 

Below are the 9 important and critical things that quality Realtors have, and also some things they should be willing to do for you:

  1. They get you pre-approved.

Quality Realtors are expected to have a sizable network of trusted agents, lenders, and other professionals directly related to the home buying and selling process. So, referring you to a trusted lender and helping you through the pre-approval process shouldn’t be an issue. Please take note, though, that when we say “pre-approved”, we mean that a lender should have already verified your income, employment, and has already ran a credit check.

  1. They should help you navigate the “house-hunting” process.

Searching for your dream home is an undeniably tiring process. So, your real estate agent should be more than willing to help you find options that match your specifications and budget, as much as possible.

 

Additionally, your agent should present other important factors like location, neighborhood, schools, etc.

  1. They should be an effective negotiator.

Another perk of having your own Realtor is that they can negotiate price to help you get the best price possible for the house you are planning to purchase. So, if your real estate agent is not willing to negotiate on your behalf, then we strongly suggest looking for another agent that is more willing to negotiate for you.

  1. They help you choose a quality home inspector.

As mentioned in the first point, every good Realtor should have an expansive network of professionals related to the home buying and selling process. This includes trustworthy and dependable home inspectors.

 

The home inspection process is an essential step ensuring that there are no hidden issues with the home that you are interested in buying. Choose your inspector wisely, as you can only get this confirmation from a professional home inspector.

  1. Willing to be physically present during the home inspection.

It is very important that your real estate agent is willing to be physically present during the actual home inspection. This ensures that you are equally represented during the inspection. It also will help your agent to be able to convey any findings with you that were found during the inspection.

 

Your Realtor should also provide you a thorough home inspection report and be willing to provide counselling on the result of the inspection. Especially if there are any areas that you need to bring to the sellers attention.

  1. They should negotiate home inspection repair requests, as necessary.

The result of the home inspection can give you leverage over the negotiations. If there are problems found, you can use them to your advantage by either requesting it to be fixed or get an equivalent price reduction for those repairs needed. Your real estate agent plays an important role here, as he or she is more knowledgeable on how each of those issues affects the value of the home.

  1. Be the middleman between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s attorney all throughout the sale.

It is important that all parties involved in the home-buying process are well-informed for the transaction to go smoothly. This is the responsibility of your Realtor, since he or she knows how to measure the importance of all information available as well as knowing who needs what and when, to ensure everything progresses as planned.

  1. Loan commitment monitoring.

A quality realtor is always on top of everything. This includes monitoring your mortgage commitment. Excellent real estate agents always try to ensure that you, as the buyer, clearly understand the importance of maintaining a clean credit standing. Mortgage mistakes are common with first time buyers, so your real estate agent should be willing to provide assistance with regards to understanding all parts of your mortgage commitment.

  1. Ensure there are no loose ends.

Your agent should finalize everything and ensure that you will be able to reach the closing stage without any hitches and finally get your home. This part is very crucial and your Realtor should be alongside you to provide support and advice as the need arises.

 

As a buyer, it’s okay and even strongly suggested that you have high expectations concerning your real estate agent. This isn’t a simple purchase and might even be the biggest purchase you ever make.

 

So, it’s very important that you work closely with your agent, so that everything progresses smoothly. Lastly, you must hire a Realtor that you are able to have a great relationship with. It’s so much easier to have an agent that you can consider your friend as you navigate the entire process.

 

Important Considerations to Make During Long Distance Moving

Long distance moving can be involving and most times tiring. It is especially more hectic if you have to move with your family, and in cases where you had a lot of luggage to pack. People who try to have DIY (Do It Yourself) long distance removals have even a harder time as compared to people who hire companies to help them.

To be on the safe side during long distance removals, you should hire the best moving companies to help you.  People think that trying to do moving on their own will reduce the total costs paid. However, it can be very risky because of:

  • Lack of skills necessary for removals
  • Lack of proper packing boxes
  • Lack of insurance to cover any possible damages
  • Lack of manpower to help in packing
  • Lack of well serviced and big trucks for removals

In the light of the above factors, it easier for you to hire the best long distance removal company that to go the DIY way. You will have a very time since the companies already have the skills, manpower, facilities and insurance cover for the removals.

Having selected professional moving companies, you have to be careful about certain things if at all the whole moving process will be easy. These include the following:

  • Ensuring that there is someone present during the packing process. Most times, removal companies have people to pack your luggage at a fee. It is important that someone else-other than the removal company’s, finds out if everything is packed into the truck. This should also apply during the offloading processing.
  • Emptying some households such as refrigerators. This is the only way of ensuring that spillages do not occur to the rest of luggage.
  • Avoiding polishing furniture just before the removals. This can cause a lot of mess in other items or even damage the furniture if not everything is not well handled.

Proper planning before the long distance removals is very important.  This type of planning should be done in advance, taking into considerations things like the budget and the timing of the removals.

Having followed all the procedures above, and with proper planning, you will have a very easy time during the long distance removals. Actually, you will have a hassle free moving.

Preventing Burglary With Your Landscape

You may be unaware, but most burglaries actually happen during the day and are typically what we call “Crimes of opportunity”. This type of burglary has little or no pre planning and often happens when a perpetrator realizes that they have a window of opportunity to commit a crime and seizes it without much thought. So what are the best ways to prevent burglary in your home? How do you avoid giving someone the window to commit a crime of opportunity? Today, we’re going to go over some basic tips that will help you prevent burglary in your home.

 

 

prevent crime with these tips from OSA

 

 

Defining Your Property

It’s always a good idea to clearly define where your yard begins and where the public area around your yard starts. You don’t necessarily have to build high, solid walls around your yard as long as you’re defining it in some other way. In fact, keeping your property looking clean and well kept is one of the best deterrents when it comes to burglary. You can define the layout of your yard with plants, half fencing, decorative lights, bushes, flowers, etc, and this will send a better message than thick and high walls would ever send to passerby and anyone trying to take advantage of your home.

Personalize Your Property

Putting some time into landscaping even smaller properties can be the best deterrent when it comes to burglary and also adds a personal touch to your home and yard. Your yard should reflect what kind of person you are and what you enjoy. However, as you personalize your yard remember to also stay simple, clean and neat. Never design your landscaping in such a way that you can’t see through it. Shrubs and tree canopies should never under any circumstances be lower than four or five feet tall. Your neighbors should be able to also see into your yard and help keep watch, so your bushes and shrubs shouldn’t be higher than three or four feet tall. Personalization is important, but don’t allow it to become a stumbling block for security.

Light it Up!

Never allow the outside of your house to be completely veiled in darkness. It makes a burglar’s job significantly easier. It’s a good idea and a great deterrent to install motion sensor lights around doors and windows and even the perimeter of your property that sits close to your house. Aim for a low level of light that blankets your house at night and you’ll have a much easier time keeping crime out.

Be Community Minded

Spending time getting to know your neighbors, out walking and gardening, assisting with the local neighborhood watch and helping to maintain a healthy relationship within your community not only brings vibrancy, but also helps foster good relationships that will deter crime and provide security to not only yourself and your home, but also the other members of the community.

 

RELATED POST: Homeowner Security Tips

 

Keeping crime out of your home, yard and neighborhood become significantly easier when there is a group to back you up and help you out. Remember to keep your yard clean, well-lit and use your landscape as a first defense when it comes to preventing burglary. Don’t be caught by a crime of opportunity. Lock your doors and windows when you leave the house. Consider getting a perimeter fence and befriend neighbors that can help you keep an eye out. With good perimeter security and the right planning, you can be part of the movement to stop all crime in its tracks.