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Three Simple Methods to Find What You Need for Your Home Improvement Projects

Home Improvement

If you are all about home improvements and doing it yourself, you probably also are all about researching everything online before you decide to make your purchasing decisions.

If you are in the market to add some new tools to your home improvement arsenal you will inevitably want to get the most value for your money. There are a range of pricing levels out there for every type of tool or equipment that you may need to invest in this year. Finding the right tools at the right price levels doesn’t have to be a huge challenge. Check out our three simple methods to help you find the best options for your budget.

Comparison Shopping Online

This may sound like par for the course but comparison shopping is an excellent way to research and compare prices, availability and customer reviews about any type of product that you may be interested in purchasing. There are several sites that you can look at to find the best deal for what you need.

Most comparison sites offer things like price alerts, discounts when you sign up for their newsletters or when you join their e-mail lists, and more. Some comparison shopping sites also price match if you find the same product for sale elsewhere for a lower rate. There are of course, strings that come attached to price matching so make sure that you read the fine print before making your purchase.

Home Improvement Directories

Another great way to search for home improvement equipment and tools is by using home improvement directories online. If you’re living in the UK, for example, there are several directories online that focus specifically on the UK.

Let’s assume you are planning an exterior paint project and you need to invest in some quality scaffolding. You simply search for online home improvement directories,  access the site, search for construction tools, equipment, or whichever category you are interested in learning more about, and you will be presented with an extensive listing of options that serve your immediate area.

All of this from the comfort and convenience of your own home.

Shop Your Local Market

Finally, you can shop your local home improvement stores and compare equipment in person. This is a great way for you to see what it is that you are interested in before making a purchase online or in-store.

Through your online research, you may have found the items that you are interested in purchasing but you may want to see what you are in for before you add those items to your cart and make a purchase. This is perfectly fine and recommended. While seeing the products in store may be the final step in your purchasing journey, you may see something else at your local home improvement store that may suit the project better and that you can take home with you immediately.

Whichever route you choose, ensure that you have put in a little time and effort so that you will be satisfied with your end results!

Keep Your Home or Business Spotless

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Cleaning your home or business premises is an essential if daunting task. In an age where we lead busy lives, it’s often difficult to find the time to do the job properly, especially if you are running a business as well as a home. Furthermore, cleaning up after renovations, building work or even a party can be tiresome, so why not consider getting the professionals to do the job for you? This way, you get guaranteed results from highly skilled operatives who will leave nothing untouched and ensure that your home is perfect for you. So, who do you trust to get the best results? There are many cleaning services in and around the Calgary region, but there is one name that stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is Calgary Cleaning Services, and they offer the very best service in cleaning and housekeeping in the business. A family owned and run company with many years of experience in providing a full range of cleaning solutions, they have a team of cleaners who are highly skilled and fully trained, and who will provide a courteous and friendly service every time.

Contract Cleaning Solutions

Whether you need a maid service, a one-off clean or want to arrange a contract for commercial cleaning solutions, Calgary Cleaning Services can help, and they are rated very highly by their many regular customers. Indeed, with more than 2000 homes cleaned, and a team who are fully insured, trained and skilled, you can rest assured that they are the people to do the job you need every time. You will find they use the latest equipment, as well as environmentally friendly techniques, and that they will do all they can to help with whatever you require. If you plan your cleaning in advance you may find that it is easier to handle, especially if you are using a professional service. Your cleaners will be on site at the required time, every time, whether you are cleaning your home or office, and will perform their tasks as unobtrusively, quickly and thoroughly as possible. You can find many excellent tools to help with planning your cleaning schedule online, and they really do help a great deal.

Affordable Professional Service

Calgary Cleaning Services are there to help you with all your cleaning and housekeeping requirements. They can help you with simple house cleaning, post-construction cleaning and after-event clean-up operations, or you can engage them for contract cleaning either at home or for your business, at surprisingly affordable rates. You can check out their full range of services on the website, where you will also find information about this family owned, friendly and efficient company. Dedicated to excellent service and quality results, with safety to the fore at all times, Calgary Cleaning Services are the people to talk to for the very best advice and help on cleaning services in the region, so why not have a closer look at what they can do for you, or get in touch for a competitive quote on all your cleaning requirements.

Refresh Your Home with Quality Fixtures

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Over time, the fixtures and fittings in your bathroom and kitchen become tired and perhaps dated. Or, you may simply fancy a change, and are considering revamping either room. Both are among the most-used areas of the home, so you need to choose quality fixtures and fittings. This not only gives you the best look, but also the longest life. Where once there was a limited selection of such fixtures available, these days the range of options is amazing. You can choose from traditional designs that will look great in older buildings, or sleek and very stylish modern designs which really do give the room something extra.

With a range that covers all the bases, Plumbtile is the name to remember, and you will find they supply quality items at the best prices. They have everything from kitchen sinks to bathroom suites, plus a fantastic range of fixtures and fittings such as faucets and other accessories. With a wealth of experience in the field, Plumbtile can supply you with everything you need for a beautiful and effective kitchen or bathroom that will be the envy of your friends, and we believe you will be pleasantly surprised by their excellent prices.

Style and Function

When it comes to bathroom fittings there is plenty of choice, and the trend these days is to go modern. Sleek and stylish wall mounted bath faucets are a great choice; beautiful, clean and functional, they make for an excellent finishing touch to any bathroom design. Plumbtile has a great selection for bathrooms, kitchens ad lavatories, and you can find them all on the easy to use website, where there is plenty of excellent advice on, for example, how to fit such as a kitchen backsplash or other tiles.

If you want to go truly modern, what about the range of electronic bathroom faucets? These very clever advanced designs operate without the need to touch, and are a great addition to any bathroom design. Plumbtile stocks a wide range of very attractive designs from the highly-regarded Kohler brand, and all at very impressive prices. We recommend you have a closer look at these before making your decision, as they really are very neat touch for a modern bathroom installation.

Expert Advice

The Plumbtile website offers a wealth of advice on the best fixtures and fittings for modern bathrooms and kitchens, and you can also take advantage of a handy online chat function. Talk to one of the expert team and they will be more than happy to help you choose your ideal items, or to point you in the direction of the best value items. We recommend you check out the clearance center, too, as it includes frequent bargains that are difficult to beat.

Plumbtile supplies top quality brands at prices you can afford, and with many satisfied customers already, is on hand to help you get the bathroom or kitchen you deserve. Get in touch now, and talk to one of the experts for the best help and advice.

How to Make a Paper Bag Christmas Wreath

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christmas-wreath

Christmas is just around the corner, and so are the Christmas holidays. If you’re looking for a fun crafts idea to entertain the kids during a snowy Sunday afternoon prior to the big day, why not let help them make their own festive wreaths using just some old paper shopping bags, some glue, a wreath form, and a couple of decorations?

You can pick up a wreath form easily enough at your local arts and crafts shop, along with all the decorative bits and bobs that appeal to you and your young ones; straw wreath forms tend to be the cheapest, but metal ones are a bit sturdier. As for the bags, you want them plain, and preferably as crinkled up as possible. This is a great project to get rid of those bags that are becoming a little too worn for general use.

Once you have your materials, tear the paper bags into strips around 15cm in width, then start folding and crinkling them up. This will give your wreath some texture and a bit of extra volume. Your kids will love this bit.

When you have a bunch of folded up strips, you can all start wrapping them around a wreath form, binding tightly as you go. Glue down each fold at the back; if you can’t find glue strong enough, a small length of masking or duct tape will do. Next, push in a couple of screws and then wrap some string around them so the wreath can be hung up.

You should now have a blank brown paper wreath, so it’s time to start decorating. Brown paper bags will take paint well, so you can always break out the green, red, and gold, or something a little more interesting, to let your kid decorate their wreath as they see fit. You can also add stick-on ornaments, or use general wreath ornaments, such as fake holly, which can be attached via a pin.

Voilà, you now have a bunch of new holiday wreaths, courtesy of your kids. Try fixing them on each child’s door to give them their own dash of festive style. You can even keep them for next year, or as a great reminder of a time when Santa was still a firm reality in your children’s eyes.

Advice for Those Moving House During the Winter

 

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Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things you will ever do. This can be so much more so during the winter. Dark afternoons can put you on a much tighter schedule, the unpredictability of the weather can make it hard to pick a moving day. Then there’s the house itself. More than ever you need to make sure your new house is ready to be lived in.

Check the Forecast

While a weather forecast is never going to be 100% accurate, it can help you prepare. Try to pick a moving day where the long-term forecast is clear and dry. As moving day gets closer, keep checking, so you can be prepared for whatever changes may come.

Check Your Pipes

Before moving day, go to your new house and double check the central heating is in full working order. Check that all the pipes are insulated, that there’s no leaks from the boiler or other pipes and that nothing is making any odd noises. Turn the heating on for a few hours and run the hot water to make sure everything works and to give it a bit of a kick start if it hasn’t been on for a while. You could also now set your timers, so the heating comes on for a little each day before you move in. If there are any problems, head to https://plentific.com/ to get everything sorted before you move. Even if you think everything is fine, it might be worth getting a plumber from Plentific over just to be sure.

Pack Sensibly

Make sure you are dressed appropriately for a winter move. There’s going to be a lot of lifting and carrying, so it’s best to layer in case you get too hot. Gloves and warm, safe boots will be a must, especially if it snows. Make sure you pack any winter essentials, such as big coats and thick pyjamas that you’ll need in those first few days, separately so they’re easy to find.

The Little Details

Can you park next to your old and new house? You don’t want to be outside for too long. Or carrying things too far in what might be icy, or wet conditions. If you can’t, try contacting neighbours to see if they’d mind you using their parking space for the day. Or the council to see if there’s anything they can do to help.

Have some nice warming food ready for when the move is finished. After a big day moving in cold weather, you’re going to want something comforting. Prepare it in advance so you only need to warm it up.

Have the kettle, some cups, milk, sugar and tea and coffee in your new house ready. Moving is exhausting, especially when you’re cold. You’ll deserve the odd break to warm up and reenergise.

When you move house in the winter, preparation and organisation are the keys to success. Moving house can be an incredibly exciting event. Use this advice and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a stress-free moving day, followed by a great life in your new home.

Use an Old Paper Bag to Ripen Your Avocados in a Flash

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Avocados are a real superfood – you’ll find them packed with feel-good carbohydrates and a plethora of healthy fats. Of course, the avocado stands out for more than its satisfying taste and nutritional benefits; it’s also one of those fruits that is a nightmare to get right when you’re trying to choose between ripe and green.

It’s hard to walk through the supermarket and find an avocado that doesn’t either feel like it’s tougher than concrete or like it’s made of slush. Luckily enough, you can make your avocados ripen faster than ever when you get home, and all you need is a paper shopping bag.

What you need to do is take a normal brown paper bag and put your unripe avocado inside with another piece of fruit. It usually works best to use either a banana or an apple, and these will ripen up a little too into the bargain.

When you combine these fruits within the confines of a paper bag, something wonderful starts to happen. It might sound odd, but the two fruits will start naturally exchanging ethylene gases inside the bag. This is ripening teamwork, and it makes both items nice and ready for use sooner than you’d imagine. If you need to whip up a smoothie or prepare some guacamole, you don’t have to worry about unripened avocados.

Just make sure you use a paper bag instead of a plastic one. The paper bag does more than help your two pieces of fruit exchange gases – the trick is that it lets just enough of that gas out through its slightly porous surface. Using a plastic bag instead will not have the desired results, so remember to keep it paper.

We love finding out new ways people can put our popular paper bag products to good use after they’ve been employed during a good few shopping trips. As ardent foodies without the patience to sit around and watch fruit ripen, you can bet that this is one of our favourite paper bag hacks yet!

Long Haul Travel – Health Preparations

It can be a joy to travel for long distances, away from your home and headed off to explore somewhere new to you. Travelling by plane or boat for hours at a time brings with it unique joys. Many people spend the time just planning out what they will do when they arrive, eager to see friends and family or visit somewhere exciting. Others take the time to catch up on sleep, watch a movie or talk to their travelling companions.

If you make the proper preparations, then long haul travel can be a wonderful experience. Preparation is the key, though, and you definitely want to know about the health problems that can occur while travelling long distances and what preventative measures you should be taking.

During Your Travel

We’re going to break this up into what you need to be prepared for while you are in transit and what you have to be prepared for once you get to your destination. Starting with travel preparations, let’s talk about the discomfort of sitting in one place for a while.

That can cause thrombosis, or blood clotting. This is especially likely when you travel by plane, as the high pressure can make the problem worse. You can avoid this by getting up from your seat whenever possible and taking a trip to the bathroom or just stretching out. It’s advisable to drink as much liquid as you can during a flight so that you’ll need to get up frequently to use the bathroom. It’s a good idea to get up every two hours to exercise your legs a bit and ensure clots don’t happen. Diabetics and people with blood pressure problems are more likely to suffer from this problem, and they should see a doctor before they travel.

You also need to be concerned about diarrhoea when you travel. This can be caused by the unique travel conditions, by some bacteria you picked up while visiting someplace new or by simply eating food you are unfamiliar with. A lot of people get adventurous when they travel, even when ordering food on a plane or before their flight. You have to be careful about how that will affect your digestive system. If you have anti-diarrhoeal tablets ready to use when needed, though, you can be prepared for this eventuality. If your condition becomes severe and the diarrhoea continues for several days, then you may want to consult a doctor.

Once You Arrive

When you go to visit someplace new, you need to be prepared for the diseases that are common to the area. Many countries suffer from outbreaks of dysentery, malaria and small pox. You should check with the tourism websites and travel websites for that particular country before you visit it. You may be advised to have some vaccines administered before you travel. In some cases, a vaccine will be necessary for entry to certain countries or to return to your own country after visiting another country that has an outbreak.

It’s a good idea to check for travel advisories in the weeks right before you travel and not just in the months ahead of your travel. That’s because conditions can change, and new travel advisories may be in effect.

You may also want to catch up on any vaccine that is approaching renewal, such as tetanus. That’s because, once again, people can become adventurous on holiday, and you want to be prepared for the effects of taking some extra risks while you are abroad.

You also want to check travel advisories for the are you are going to for any political unrest or violent activities. Even in places as commonly visited as India or the United States, there are occasionally travel advisories warning visitors about outbreaks of violence. You need to be aware of which advisories apply to you and where you are visiting and take the proper precautions.

 

5 Reasons Why it’s Time to Sell Your Home

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Moving home is incredibly stressful, but there will probably come a time when no matter how much you love your home, you need to upgrade or downsize. If you look online, you will find a hundred and one house selling tips, but before you reach that stage in the process, it is a good idea to think about whether you actually need to sell. After all, there are plenty of ways to enlarge or improve an existing property, which could save you money!

If you are still undecided, here are five reasons why it is time to sell up and move on.

A Growing Family

A one-bed studio apartment is fine when there is just the two of you, but once kids come along, it will soon begin to feel a bit cramped. Kids take up a lot of room. They come with extra furniture, toys and hundreds of miscellaneous bits and pieces. Even if the bedrooms are large enough to accommodate siblings, as your children grow into teenagers they will want their own space. For this reason, most families take the decision to move to a larger property once their home begins to feel cramped.

Financial Reasons

A home is a huge investment. Unless you are lucky enough to be able to buy your home outright, you probably have mortgage payments to make every month. When times are good, this will not be a problem, but if the worst happens and you lose your job for any reason, it will be hard to pay the mortgage. One way to deal with this change in circumstances is to sell up and buy a cheaper property. Ideally, you can pay off your mortgage and be debt free, but at the very least, your repayments will be lower.

A Career Change

Ticking along in the same old job for years suits some people, but if you fancy a change in career, selling your home and buying something cheaper could release enough equity to fund a new business venture. However, this is not a decision to be taken lightly, as you could lose your home if it all goes wrong.

An Unexpected Windfall

Have you inherited a large sum of money or struck it lucky on the Lotto? If so, now would be a good time to trade in your one-bed apartment and upgrade to a beachfront condominium somewhere hot and sunny.

Bad Neighbours

Bad neighbours are a nightmare to deal with. Sometimes the situation can be resolved with some careful negotiation or legal action, but if you have tried everything to make the best of a bad situation, selling up and moving to a new home with nicer neighbours could be answer you are looking for. It is not ideal, but sometimes you just have to admit defeat and take the path of least resistance.

Selling a property is always stressful, no matter how well organised you are, so do not make the decision to move unless you absolutely have to.

6 Great Storage Tips For Your Garage

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It can be very easy for your garage to become a badly disorganised, storage area for junk with so many different boxes filled with stuff and other kinds of clutter, that it can be hard to pull your car into it, let alone work on the thing.  If you are interested in working on cars, and use your own garage for this or have a small business that you are trying to improve, the following article gives some very practical and easy to put into action tips that will help turn your garage into a more effective work and storage space.

Mount Everything On Wheels

If you want to make your garage a more functional space than it already is, it may be a good idea to put everything on wheels.  This means not only stools and things that you’d expect to be on wheels, but bench-mounted tools (such as those found here – http://www.sgs-engineering.com/garage-equipment), arbour presses, drill presses and cabinets are also much easier to handle and store if they are on a set of caster wheels.

Wall Mount Your Tool Boxes

Freeing up floor space is a must, as you need as much space as possible to fit a car inside the garage and work under and around it.  This can be achieved by wall mounting cabinets and tool boxes, to give you space to store your tools and other accessories, while keeping them off the floor.

Make Use Of Overhead Racks

Does your garage have a particularly high ceiling?  If it does, make effective use of this by using it as an out of the way storage area.  Pulley-controlled overhead racks can be bought for storing long items such as ladders etc. so that they are out of your way, but also easy to get back down when you need it.

Stainless Steel Sink

You need somewhere to clean yourself up and parts too at times, so if you haven’t already got one, it may be time to purchase a stainless steel stink.  As well as having the advantage of being durable, it is also easy to clean and can be grounded electrically, which is perfect for when you need to use the counter surface to plate metals chemically.  If you choose the right mode, you may also have a lot of under sink storage space as well.

Wall Mount Your Parts Bins

If you are constantly having to watch your step because of parts bins sitting on the floor, similarly to what was mentioned before, you need to find a way to free up floor space.  By wall mounting your parts bins, it will not only free up that all too important floor space, while keeping them stored away nicely, but also easy enough to find.

Reused Kitchen Cabinets

If you are looking for cheap storage space, look in junk yards and online for second hand kitchen cabinets.  These are normally sized well for use in garages and as they usually have shelves incorporated into them, it is not too hard to use them for a new purpose.

5 Kitchen Backsplash Trends for 2016

This Post is sponsored by Benjamin Moore

 

5 Kitchen Backsplash Trends for 2016

It used to be that many other “options” were prioritized when it came to a kitchen. Flooring for instance, was always considered the forefront of a home design. More and more though other factors are becoming important as well. Take a backsplash for instance. These not only have a form and function, but they can be used to invoke certain emotions (colors), they can be used to brighten a space up, they can be used to incorporate different styles, and they add interest to a kitchen. In most cases materials are quite inexpensive and yet they add so much value to a kitchen! If you are planning on going with a backsplash for your next project, here are a few of the top trends in 2016 to follow.

Extend Your Backsplash

If you think that you have to stop at a certain point with your backsplash tiles, think again. This new trend allows you to install your tiles all the way up to the crease between the wall and the ceiling. It acts almost like an accent wall for paint, but its tile. It can really create a nice look and if you really LOVE your material and want to use more of it, you can! Here is an example of a full wall backsplash tile design! This is also a good idea if you can manage to find a material that is inexpensive.

Install Your Tiles In A Pattern

If you think that you HAVE to install your tiles a certain way such as your brick shaped tiles vertically or horizontally, you don’t. Let’s be honest this is a trend, but it’s really not because even though trends are important, what is more important is designing your kitchen how you want. If you want to create a diagonal design with subway tiles; do it. If you want to create a checkerboard design with your diamond and circle tiles; do it! Right now though, horizontal and diagonally placed subway tiles are becoming a hot trend.

Hide Your Electrical Outlets

If you have electrical outlets on the same wall as your backsplash, and you probably do, it’s important to hide them as best as you can. This can really break up the design of the backsplash and make it look gaudy or disorganized. There are a few ways to hide them, but one of the best ways is to have an electrician come in and remove the ones on the wall and instead install them under the lip of the counter OR under the cabinet (above the counter space). If you absolutely cannot move your outlets, that’s okay, just make sure that ALL the outlets on the wall are facing the same direction i.e.; vertical or horizontal so you won’t break up the look of the design of the backsplash.

Wood Is In!

If you think that a backsplash is just made from things like ceramic, glass, stainless steel and stone, think again! Another popular trend for 2016 is using wood materials. You can use plywood, planks of wood, salvaged wood, wood flooring materials and more. This has a really nice beautiful look to it, but also if you can manage to find a place that has left over wood; it can be budget friendly as well. You can use crates and you can even use wood pallet – just break it down, sand it down, add a stain, add a coating, and then get them installed on your wall. Go by your local wood shop or home improvement store and see if they have any wood that they might just be throwing away. You can also contact a few companies that use pallets and see if they are throwing any away. Here are a few really nice wood backsplashes for you to look at.

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Use The Same Tile Materials Throughout The Design

A few years ago it was a popular idea to create a frame using one material or one color and then create another design inside. This trend is out. Instead, the new trend states that you should use ONE color or ONE material for your entire backsplash. Sure, a mosaic style backsplash is pretty to look at, but once you add in all of your other materials such as your granite countertops, wooden cabinets tile floor, etc. it just goes from pretty to busy. Definitely not something you want in a kitchen. Instead of using mosaic tiles, consider using mirrored or shiny surfaces such as mirrored glass, tin, steel or even glass to create a reflective design. This will make the kitchen seem simple and clean, but it can also make your kitchen look larger than it actually is, because the material can reflect the kitchen off of it. It’s a trick of the eyes, but it works.