Termite Problems? Have a Go With Number Three

Termites are the biggest problems of houses that intend to increase in value, or just intend to stand up straight. Homes are very large investments, and if left unchecked, could mean the end of your investment as well. Nip the problem in the bud with these three tips.

  1. Positioning

All wooden parts of a house must be at least six inches above the soil along with the wooden and siding parts of the structure. Minimizing the use of wood in the foundation is essential to ensure it is untouched. Dead trees, stumps and roots near the structure must also be removed.

  1. Moisture

Moisture is essential for termites as their source of water. Diverting rain water away from the foundation decreases the possibility of termite infestation. It is also essential to repair air conditioning units, water pipes and other areas where water could pool. Indoor gardens must be built away from the house’s foundation and would be better if it were built on a balcony or extension outside the house.

  1. Access Routes

It is important that plants do not have direct contact with passages inside the house. Designer vine trellis may penetrate walls and other parts of the house where termites could enter. Concrete slab cracks are also home for termites. Foam board insulators of poor quality can also attract termites into your home.

Three Unique Ways To Use Stone in Landscape Design

Stones are integral for your yard’s foundations and they are useful as steps or “rhythmic” designs for your yard’s landscape. Stones have a very raw, but earthy appeal when it comes to design. Here are three applications that would help you use stone effectively.

1. Charactered Stone Steps
From the gate to your patio, uniform stone steps appear formal and decent. However, using different-coloured stones with odd shapes flattened on the top of its surface, you could create charactered stone steps. The random lines signifying the stone sizes you used would attract future visitors’ attentions and make it have a more “homey” feel.

2. Pebble Walls
Elevated homes may have their foundations resting on step-like ground. Creating pebble walls around your yard would be easier as the steps could serve as the wall’s foundation. Pile those large stones and pebbles together and use cement if possible to stick them together.

3. Minimalism
Stones have different shapes and sizes and the human eyes perceive each one’s character differently. Applying minimalism to your yard, you could use stones with different character in each part of your yard, arranged in a rhythmic manner. You could progress the stones through their size, their perceived character, or their colour.

How to Design the Best Kitchens

The kitchen is the core of the house. Family members gather in the kitchen to eat, discuss and be reinvigorated from a tiring day. A new house will need a good kitchen design, and designing the best kitchens involves the following things.

1. Work Space
A kitchen is where food is processed, and having a good amount of space for each task you are about to do is important. A very claustrophobic kitchen is never a good place to cook or dine. Here are a few tips on how to widen the space in your kitchen.

2. Warm Colours
The kitchen must have a warm mood and ambiance attached to it. Warm colours, such as light green, yellow green or a mix of blue and green in the colour scheme can help lighten the mood and motivate eating. While red can inspire appetite, red could be useful in lighting the kitchen’s ambiance.

3. Wooden Fixtures
Having wooden-coloured or actual wooden fixtures for your kitchen can add to its organic, warm ambiance. Cabinets made from wood could make the kitchen friendlier and warmer to the visual, and can inspire creativity when cooking.

4. Budget
In budgeting, always put the most important part of the kitchen concept when the money is tight or insufficient. It is also important to take note of the primary use the kitchen will have in budgeting.

How to Make Your Kitchens Have a “Wider” Space

Wider kitchens tend to look glamorous, especially when you are watching a cooking show on television in the host’s home. However, wider kitchen spaces depend primarily on one’s interior design skills. At no cost, you could make your kitchen space seem wider through the following.

1. Counters and Cabinets
If you let your appliances blend in the background, they can make up for a bigger kitchen space. For example, having your microwave fit into the cabinet is one way. If you place smaller appliances not on the table, but inside an appliance cabinet or garage, it could make things look less cluttered and spacious.

2. Shiny Appliances
Some appliances are expensive not because of their energy efficiency, but because of their design. Sleekly-designed appliances will make your kitchen look wider and lively. If the gloss on your appliances haven’t gone out, you could shine them and you could see the difference in the perceived “space” it contributes through your kitchen.

3. Windows
Sunlight entering your kitchen can expand the visibility of your kitchen. More windows in your kitchen not only helps with the cooking smoke, but will give it an airy and open ambiance. You could use the same lighting to help you get the same ambiance during the night.


PPI Claims: Alternative Redress and How to Get Your Complete Refunds

The regulatory provision known as “alternative redress” became controversial as the UK media exposed how banks had exploited the regulatory provision to reduce their refund to consumers. The provision allows them to replace a single-premium PPI with a regular-premium PPI assuming that the consumer made an error purchasing a single-premium PPI and purchased a regular-premium one instead.

1. Timelines
According to UK media, Barclays, RBS and Lloyds had used the regulatory provision at different times. Barclays had used it from October 2012-2013, RBS from January 2013 and Lloyds from February 2013. If you made a claim during these times, it is highly possible that you have alternative redress.

2. Check
Have your original policy for a single-premium PPI along with your billing statements to ensure you have evidence that you purchased a single-premium insurance. Check your PPI claim offer letter and look for the phrases “alternative redress” or “comparative redress.” You could also call your bank to verify it.

3. Claiming
A payment protection insurance claims company could help you with your alternative redress as they are also familiar with the situation, but only use them if you do not have time to make a claim. You could file a claim on your own with the Financial Ombudsman Service. Only make a claim with other parties if the bank does not take action regarding your complaint in a timely manner.

An Intuitively-Designed Home

We consider our houses a home because we know every part, possible problem, and solutions to the problem the house has. Comfort, security and convenience is the perfect recipe to a good home. An intuitively-designed home caters greatly to home-buyers, and the best part is that most of these improvements are affordable.

1. Cable Hangers
By using large paperclips screwed into your walls near sockets, anyone can hang a loose socket right beside an outlet. This helps in avoiding cable tangles, especially with multiple appliances.

2. Bidet Strength
Most homebuyers appreciate a restroom with a bidet, but a bidet that increases or decreases water pressure is a must. It has its own unique uses, but the overall appeal of a versatile bidet is undeniable.

3. Towel Hangers Beside a Sink
After washing the dishes, you want something to dry your hands, and most people do not want to walk a meter because their hands are dripping. A towel hanger, with a ready towel beside the sink, will not only help keep your house clean, but also optimize your time.

4. Precise Hot/Cold Shower Controls
Hot/Cold shower controls usually fail at some point, but installing a very durable and sturdy control can make all the difference in your house sale. With precision, you could achieve the proper temperature you want with such shower controls.

You Might Regret Having to Overly Upgrade Your Kitchen

My wife and I value our kitchen highly because of the island in the middle, the way the oven is positioned, the easy-access library of cookbooks and photos of the dishes we’ve made using the kitchen in five years. It is quite messy, like any other kitchen, but we cleaned it up because we are about to sell our house.

Many homesellers and internet articles might advise you to upgrade your kitchen by putting in new appliances, putting new flooring and other amenities that would make it more attractive to home buyers. These upgrades help indeed, but they will not increase your home’s overall value.

Home value is determined by your neighbourhood, the nearby locations and spots, the type of house you have, and the features your house has. If you upgrade your kitchen so much because it is the “heart” of a home, you may have a low return of investment on your part.

A kitchen smoke extractor hood can help improve the price of your home significantly, but it is an undertaking that requires a home renovation because you will need to change parts of your roof to accommodate the extractor hood pipes.

A new appliance can help attract home buyers, but it never adds any real value to your home. You’ll be spending around £300 for a new oven, but it’ll only make your homebuyer more interested rather than have you the cash you need.

Upgrade your kitchen while keeping in balance your return of investment and homebuyer interest.

A List of the Most Common Lawn Problems

If you have carefully planned your lawn, the grass appears healthy, and everything is in order, lawn problems will be the only thing you’ll need to watch out for. Pests and problems appear in your lawn for a variety of reasons, possibly from nutrient deficiency, poor water drainage system and air movement or others that only professionals could see. Here’s a list of common problems that could plague your lawn.

1. Red Thread
Your lawn’s nitrogen deficiency is quite easy to spot if you see red-tinged grass that turn brown and die. While no pest is associated with disease, it could spread throughout your entire lawn after summer or fall and could also be caused by the lack of air circulation.

2. Ant Nests
Ants can also begin nesting in your lawn and ant hills will definitely affect the look of your lawn. Mail order companies usually provide good ant pesticides designed for deep soil penetration. This also takes care of your outdoor lawn picnic problem in the future.

3. Fairy Rings
These dried up toadstools that appear in rings in your lawn professionals could only fix. A do-it-yourself fix means digging out at least 1 foot of the surface area and replacing it with a new patch of grass. It will take some re-seeding to re-grow the grass on the soil.

A Short Guide to A Minimalist Approach in Interior Design

1. Colours
Minimalism focuses on conserving details while maximizing the expression given off by the details. You could have your walls painted with a monotonous colour while placing details with similar colours or shades to contrast the large, powerful background. Use your background colour as a canvas in adding minute details to your home.

2. A Sense of Space
The focus of minimalism is to ensure that the smallest of details do not go unnoticed in the household. You will want to give your home a sense of space to ensure that these details get noticed. While retaining rhythm, widen the spaces in between objects in each of your room. For example, you could maximize the space between the sofa and the television set by edging the sofa seat to the wall and mounting the television on the wall, if possible.

3. Uniqueness
As minimalism allows every detail to go noticed, you could focus on giving uniqueness to your figures. For example, a singular appearance of a lampshade could be an opportunity to improve it by adding some small details to its cone. The refrigerator is commonly noticed by many people because it has a large size, which is why smaller details are added to it, such as magnetic decorations.

What Actually Improves House Prices?

If your efforts in improving your yard landscape or adding a new kitchen or bathroom in your house had not raised the prices of your home, you might want to know the real reason behind house prices and which factors affect them.

1. Type of House
Ancestral homes are very favourable for investors because its style, the materials used and value put in by many other investors regarding the property increases the price of the house. However, a plain house with one bathroom and kitchen is likely to have a price in the same range as those similar to it. But it could still increase in price because…

2. Neighbourhood
If your house is situated in an area that is near a country’s vacation spot, established near a central business district in a city or near places of interest, it increases in price greatly as you improve on its features. Cities, suburbs and communities affect the price of properties. A good neighbourhood is not just the properties surrounding your house; it is also about the people who live in it, the crime rate and the potential for growth in the next few years.

3. Appraisal
Realtors could appraise the value of your home based on the current market trends. They could also provide you tips on improving your home’s prices effectively upon appraisal. An appraisal endorsement can also help increase the value of your home. At the very least, the appraisal could increase your chances of selling your house.