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Hiring a Professional Contractor vs. DIY

When you have a building or remodeling project to get done, you need to find the right construction company to handle it. But, how do you know if you’re picking the right company? The first step is to familiarize yourself with construction people near me so that you know who you are picking from. Then, you can look online to see the company’s reviews. If they don’t have reviews yet or have very few, you can always ask them for a reference who they have worked for in the past.

Not every one of the contract builders near me will be ideal for taking care of your project. You will want to choose a company that has experience with the kind of work that you need done. You may want to make a contractor inquiry to find out what kind of experience each company has in the kind of job you want from them. You may also need a contracting engineer to help get everything done. When you have your team assembled for the job, it can then get underway. Be sure that you choose a contracting company that is honest about how long your specific contracting job will take.

When you purchase a home, you are taking on a plethora of expenses other than your down payment. Many consider these expenses to be worth it since the average net worth of a homeowner is more than thirty times greater than that of a renter. These expenses include homeowner’s insurance, property tax, utilities, and repairs. For home repairs alone, homeowners generally spend between one to two percent of the total price of their home on repairs every year, according to Wells Fargo, a bank and mortgage lender. However, this price estimate only includes routine maintenance and does not factor in major remodels. According to HomeAdvisor, it costs an average of 20 thousand dollars to remodel a kitchen, 15 thousand dollars to remodel a basement, and nine thousand dollars for a bathroom.

need construction work done

For many home renovations, labor is the largest expense involved. According to information compiled by the National Association of Realtors on HouseLogic, labor is the most expensive part of nine out of ten common home repairs. In some cases, the cost of labor outnumbers the cost of materials considerably. For instance, the material required for repairing a door that is out of alignment costs approximately five dollars. However, the cost of labor is 30 to 125 dollars an hour for a handyman, in addition to a possible minimum charge of 150 to 350 dollars.

When deciding whether or not you need to hire some professional contractors for home improvement, you should consider the type of project, its complexity, and your level of expertise or skill, as well as the available time you have to work on the project.

For many home repairs, you can forgo the cost of labor by completing the home repair or remodel on your own, without hiring contractors for home improvement. However, the trick is deciding whether or not you can complete the task on your own. As a rule of thumb, more knowledge-based or labor-intensive tasks such as electrical work, plumbing, pouring concrete, or tile setting should be done by a skilled electrician, plumber, or another professional, while jobs such as painting, replacing cabinets, or insulating an attic can be done on your own.

You may be wondering what other home improvement tasks you can do on your own and which require a professional contractor. This depends on many other factors, including your skill level, expertise, available time, and the overall cost. When deciding whether or not you should do it yourself, you should also consider safety.

Consider Safety First

There are three major reasons a task is too dangerous to do yourself:

It could potentially be fatal. Botching a job such as electrical work or roofing could potentially be fatal or result in serious injury, leaving you bedridden and in need of home care. Jobs like these are best suited for professional contractors for home improvement who are trained to handle the dangers involved. For example, replacing an electric water heater is a job you might be able to do yourself. On the other hand, replacing a gas water heater is a job for a professional since cutting into gas lines could possibly lead to explosion, fire, or poisoning if you are not careful.

It could cause major destruction. Botching a major plumbing job such as moving a bath fixture could potentially destroy your home. If the fixture is not properly installed or tightened, it could result in a water leak. If the leak remains unnoticed for long enough, it could weaken the wall to the point that it collapses. This is also a possibility if you hire professional contractors for home improvement, but in this case, the plumbing service or plumbing contractor would be responsible and forced to pay for the damages.

The job requires a permit. If a job requires a building permit, it is likely too complicated a job to do yourself. A building permit is a document that says a construction job was done safely and up to all standards. Every city or municipality has laws dictating what jobs require permits and which do not. These laws also dictate how much they cost and how easy they are to obtain. In a few areas, it is fairly straightforward for a homeowner to acquire a building permit to do home improvement work themselves. In other areas, you can only acquire a building permit if you have hired licensed contractors for home improvement. However, just because you can get a permit, does not mean you can do the work yourself. Oftentimes, the fact you need a permit is a sign you should not be doing the job on your own.

Leaving It To A Professional

There are a few other reasons to opt for hiring professional contractors for home improvement jobs:

Mistakes could cost you even more. Even if there are no issues of safety involved, hiring professional contractors for home improvement jobs can be a wise investment. If you decide to go ahead and do it yourself, yet you are not sure what you are doing, you will likely need the services of a professional contractor later on down the road to fix your mistakes. In this case, doing it yourself did not save you money. Instead, it cost you twice as much for one job. For instance, if you choose not to hire an asphalt paving company and decide to pave your driveway yourself, you might have to pay for crack sealing later on down the road to fix your mistakes.

It could affect the value of your home. Real estate brokers warn that shoddy do it yourself work can be a serious aversion for potential buyers, even if you splurge on the best quality materials. For instance, even the most expensive bathroom tile will appear cheap if it is not installed correctly.

Calculating Your Costs and Savings

To figure out whether or not it is worth it to do a job yourself, you need to estimate both the time and cost involved and calculate the savings per hour.

Get a professional estimate. Begin by finding out how much it would cost to get the job done professionally. You can do this by getting a quick quote from a professional home improvement contractor. There are also plenty of websites that ask you to provide the job you want to be done and your ZIP code and then will estimate the price for you based on survey data from other homeowners in your area.

Calculate the cost to do it yourself. After getting a professional estimate, you need to calculate how much it would cost to do the job yourself. Do not forget to include the price for tools, materials, or permits, if necessary. Add all these costs up to determine the total do it yourself price.

Factor in the time required. Estimating the time is a lot more difficult than the cost since the time you spend on a home improvement job will largely depend on your skill level and experience. There are plenty of online resources or home improvement books that will provide an estimate of how long a job will take based on your level of experience.

Estimate Your Hourly Wage. After you have estimated your potential savings and the time required, divide your savings by the time to determine how much money you can save per hour of work. Or to look at it a different way, this is how much you can make per hour. Then, you can decide if it is worth it to work for that wage. For instance, rewiring a basement is a job that will likely take weeks or months to do yourself, while a professional electrician can finish it in one day.

Saving Money on Home Improvement

Whether you are hiring professional contractors for home improvement or doing it yourself, there will be a cost. For a do it yourself job, the largest investment will be your time. When hiring a professional contractor, it will be money. In both of these cases, however, you will want to save as much money as possible. With just a few tips, you can ensure you are making a wise investment with both your money and time.

Saving Money on Contractors For Home Improvement

Doing it yourself is a great way to save money on home improvement projects, but there are also a few ways to keep costs down when hiring a professional contractor:

Opt for high return projects. Some repairs are essential, but most remodels are not. To get the most return out of your remodeling jobs, opt for renovation projects that add the most value to your home. This includes a manufactured stone veneer, a new steel entry door, or a garage door replacement done by a professional garage door company. A siding or roofing replacement are a few other high return projects. With these projects, you can expect to recoup almost the entire cost when it is time to sell. Avoid renovation projects like adding a sunroom, upscale master suite, or upscale bathroom. You can expect to lose half the total cost of these projects during resale.

Communicate with your contractor. Many of the issues that arise when working with a contractor stem from a lack of communication, according to Consumer Reports. Before the job is started, layout some clear guidelines regarding working conditions, working hours, cleanup, and where to direct any questions. If a problem does arise, address it immediately with your contractor. Clear communication both ways will help you avoid any problems.

Do your own demolition and cleanup. Even when doing an entire job yourself is not feasible, you can still save money by doing parts of the job yourself. If you can swing a sledgehammer, for example, you can handle the demolition step yourself since it does not require the skill or expertise of a professional contractor. You can also save money by cleaning up yourself after the demolition as well as at the end of the project. You can also add any finishing touches yourself at the end of the project, such as painting or power washing your deck or siding. By only paying a professional contractor for parts of a project that require their particular skill or expertise, you save a significant sum of money.

Saving Money on Do It Yourself Jobs

Although cheaper than hiring professional contractors for home improvement, doing a job yourself can get quite expensive considering the cost of tools, materials, or permits, if necessary. However, there are a few ways to keep costs down and get the best value out of doing the job yourself:

Learn how to do it yourself. Before you think about tackling a home improvement job, you need to know how it should be done. Today, you do not necessarily need experience to complete home improvement tasks. There are plenty of online resources that can teach you everything you need to know about simple home repair jobs like fixing a leaky faucet, a clogged drain, or a screechy door hinge. After you practice certain skills and build your confidence with these tasks, you can move on to larger ones like building a bookshelf, replacing a toilet, or installing well pumps.

Save on building materials. You can save on various building materials for your home improvement project, such as cabinets, doors, windows, or bathroom fixtures, by looking at a reuse store. These stores take leftover or unwanted materials from other projects and sell them at a great discount. If your do it yourself project requires a special tool, you should look into buying it secondhand from a local garage sale, online, or renting it from a home improvement store to save money.

Deciding between doing a job yourself or hiring a professional contractor should be more than just a matter of money. You should consider safety, speed, hassle, and the quality of work. These various factors are the reasons why many homeowners often decide to hire professional contractors for home improvement, despite the increase in cost. For many homeowners, doing it themselves comes with the added benefit of feeling prideful in their work.

When considering any home addition or need construction work done, you need to be aware of some dangers and hidden costs to keep your project affordable. Firstly, you should consider the size of your project and whether you need a contracting engineer, if you need a general contractor, or even both.

Your choice will depend on the scale, complexity, and labor needs of the project. For large scale building projects, you could use a contracting engineer as they will have the skill, knowledge, and required home builders license to undertake this work. They can increase the size of your home, create the necessary building plans, and register building permits for your project. A building engineer will likely use a subcontractor or general contractor to do some of the work. General contractor specializes in specific parts of the job, such as drywalling, roofing, or plumbing.

Lastly, web pages and area guides will show about contractor tabs, telling you whether they are reputable or fly by night. Low cost contractors may end up costing you a lot more in the end when you have to repair and redo poor work.

Tips For How To Plan For A House Party

The weather is finally getting nicer so you know what that means — you’re having a party, inviting all your friends and family over, and enjoying this time alive together. It’s summer! What better to do than kick back with your friends and family and have fun? But you have to do it right if you’re going to at all. Follow these simple rules on how to plan a house party and the party you throw will be the best ever.

Prep

Inside The House
It’s honestly all about the preparations when it comes to how to plan a house party. It should probably go without saying you’re gonna need to clean the house. The basics are crucial: sweep and mop, finally get around to carpet cleaning for the stain you’ve been hiding with furniture, and straighten up any loose papers or belongings. Sometimes you’ll need to move around the furniture to make more space for people to sit. It’s likely you need to at least rearrange some chairs or get more. And when the space is what you’re providing while hosting a party, you’re not going to want clutter around. This may be a great time to update some parts of your house you had been meaning to anyways. For instance, new curtains, hand towels, or pillows for the couch will make the place look a little nicer. Additionally, stocking your bathrooms with whatever a guest may potentially need but wouldn’t want to ask for is a great way to be prepared.

It’s obvious but important. You don’t want the place looking like you weren’t expecting people over. Make your friends and family feel welcomed and better yet, anticipated! The extra effort you take to make sure your space is neat and tiny definitely will not go unnoticed or appreciated. Even just a little home care will go a long way. So don’t cut corners! Roughly 62% of people report feeling grateful for their children and family, so making sure your party is the best it can be can help with strengthening those bonds. For that reason, learning how to plan a house party could be just what you need to keep your relationships strong.

Parking
If you’re planning on having a bunch of people over, depending on where you live, you’re going to have some logistics to deal with in terms of parking. Should you live where you have a long driveway and plenty of front yard space for overflow parking, then you’re set. But if you live in a city or development where cars lining the street isn’t the best, consider a nearby park, street, or lot of land for people to park in. Another solution would be asking your neighbors if you can use their driveways or yards for parking. Letting your neighbors know you’re having a party regardless is probably a good idea and a nice gesture. This is because knowing that noise and parking disturbances are going to happen ahead of time is much easier to deal with and you’ll likely be met with more understanding this way. Making sure there’s a place for everybody is an important tip for how to plan a house party.


Outside The House
Should you be planning on having your guests be outside, if you have a deck or patio, some form of floor covering like an area or space rug can make the space more welcoming and comfortable. Even just something cheap from the dollar store will do the trick, but feel free to find a more expensive one perfect for your style. This is a small thing can that make a big difference, one you might not notice but is definitely there. Plus, if you have a deck, having space rugs could help limit the risk of getting a splinter, especially if your guests have kids attending. A little splinter won’t ruin a party by any means, but why risk it? Space rugs also provide a nice touch of decor inside the house, too. Even if guests aren’t planned to stay inside, they might anyways or will at least walk through the house, and area rugs can also help with tracking in dirt or grass.

Since its summertime and you’re planning on being outside, should you have a pool, your guests will probably enjoy swimming or at least sticking their toes in the water during these hot summer months! pool opening, if you haven’t already, will be an important part of how to plan a house party so to make sure your party is the best it can be. Once you’ve opened your pool, have some floaties or pool games for your guests. Pool floats and different toys can be found at Walmart or any dollar store near you. Pool noodles are super cheap and can be used for lounging in the pool or play. If you don’t already, using solar covers is a good way to ensure your pool is a little warmer than without. It’ll still be cool enough to be refreshing, but a little nicer for those first few steps getting in.

Another important tip for how to plan a house party is making sure you have enough space. If your house is too small for everyone to be comfortable inside or you just want people to stay outdoors, looking into tent rentals is a good and reasonably affordable way to make more shaded space outside. Not only that, but they’re easy to assemble if the company you book with doesn’t do it themselves. Having a tent at your party can really elevate the space and take your party to the next level. Especially if you don’t have any natural shade in your yard, a tent is a good way of giving your guests a shaded place to still hang out. You’ll want to make sure you find the best deal though should you go this route for your party.

The Food
One of the most important tips for how to plan a house party is making sure you have food. Everyone loves to snack, let’s be real, and you’ll probably want at least one meal to serve since people are coming over for a few hours. At a minimum, you’ll want to grab some bottled water or solo cups for your guests. While you’re thinking about food, grab some wholesale tortillas, beans, rice, peppers, guac, and sour cream for tacos to burritos! Tacos or burritos are great to serve as at a party because they can easily be made vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free! Especially if your guests have any of these dietary restrictions, preparing for something like that will go a long way towards your relationship with them. Making sure your guests all have something to eat, regardless of diet, is an important part of learning how to plan a house party.

The rest of the food you provide can really be up to you, but having an array of different things for people to try is the best way to go about it. For drinks, that means making sure you have water, soda, juice for the kids, and any alcohol if necessary. For snacks, it means having fruit and veggie trays, different types of chips or pretzels, or any special requests. A classic favorite is chicken wing dip, so maybe keep that in mind when thinking about how to plan a house party.

Pets
Should you be a pet owner and your guests are all good with animals being around, then you’re all set there! However, should anyone be allergic or having your pet around would be an added stressor to watch, looking into temporary pet care may be something you want to consider. Even though we love our pets, sometimes they can be too much to take care of while also hosting. If you’re able, this can be an easy way to remedy that, especially if someone is allergic.

Should it be the other way around and pets are encouraged, make sure there’s a place for people to bring theirs where they can either be seen or won’t get into any trouble if they’re not being watched. Should you be expecting pets to join you for your party, have some treats for them, too! This is another small but noticeable way to make the party that much nicer for your guests and lets them know you care.

The Decor
A great way to make your party more of an event is with posters and signs. If you decide to do this, your signage display will be a talking point of the party. Should it be a birthday party, engagement, graduation or something like that, posters and signs will also help make the person you’re celebrating feel more special. Ultimately, that’s the point of throwing the party then, so taking whatever steps necessary to do that will make a big difference.

Even something as simple as putting a sign out by the road or a few balloons on your mailbox. But it could be way more intricate than that, too. For instance, if you’re throwing a birthday or graduation party, have a photo wall! This is a nice way of capturing all the time you’re gathered together to celebrate. Having an active photo booth, too, where people can take pictures at the event and then add them to the wall is a nice way to keep the party interactive. Your guests are there because you wanted to share this with them, but also because they are part of the journey you’re celebrating. Taking the time to make sure they know that will make a difference in how enjoyable your party is.

However, don’t just stop there! The decor is probably the most important part of a party. Especially if the party you’re throwing is related to a holiday. For instance, if you’re throwing a 4th of July or Memorial Day party, go all out with red white and blue decor! Not only that, but decorate your foods! A fun way to do that is by making different mixed drinks. There are all sorts of recipes online to make the drinks red and blue. Or make a flag cake with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The options are endless once you put your mind towards decorating the place. The decorations will be super impressive to your guests.

The Party

Once the party begins, you’ve learned pretty much all there is to learn about how to plan a house party. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure it runs smoothly. Having prepared games like the pool toys and maybe a frisbee, football, or soccer ball to throw and kick around are good ideas. Especially if kids are coming, having activities for them planned where they can run around and safely be out of the parents’ hair will be an excellent touch for your party.

Having a safe room for people to put their things in can also be really important for your guests. It also will help keep the space less cluttered once everyone arrives, which you’ll be grateful for. Additionally, having an extra phone charger around could be beneficial for your guests. This is definitely an extra step, but one that a friend in need will definitely remember.

Another thing people love to do at parties is have a fire. Based on where you live, this may or may not be possible. But should you be able to have one, make sure you have marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate handy. Obviously, you’ll need to make sure you have enough firewood, too. Having outdoor storage will help to keep your wood dry and potentially even serve as a place to keep some snacks, tables, or chairs. Having this option as the evening comes to a close is a nice way to let your friends and family know they can stick around for a little while longer! There’s also nothing like wrapping up in a towel after an afternoon in the pool and sitting around a fire eating a s’more. It’s also a great opportunity for conversation if there hasn’t been much downtime during the party.

There are plenty of ways to throw a party at your house and it doesn’t have to be as complex as some of this guide is. However, if you want to take those extra steps, it will make a difference. Your guests will feel more welcomed, appreciated, and overall have a better time at your place. Should you follow all these tips for how to plan a house party, the party you throw will be better because of it.

Home And Family Updates During COVID-19

While we are all stuck inside anyways due to Covid-19, it’s likely you’ve started to see your house under a different lens. With that comes to light all the things you wish you had done differently when you built your home, or the updates you wanted to make when you first moved in that you were too busy or too broke to ever do. Hopefully now, with a few less expenses and a lot more time on your hands, the home and family life updates and renovations can begin.

It’s entirely possible that over the weeks you’ve begun to notice just how much dirtier it seems to be at all times now with kids, adults, and pets alike being stuck in one place. With kids and pets tracking in mud and dirt from outside, dirt removal from your floors and carpets is likely necessary. Moreover, grab those kids, give them some paper towels and 409, and send them to each room of the house. You’ll be glad you did. Not only will the house be that much cleaner, but you’ll have had a moment to yourself, which is rare these days. As the home and family life routines you were all once used to have changed as the circumstances outside do, it would make sense that they do indoors then, too.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the epicenter of a home. It’s where you go to ease your hunger or thirst, where you go when you’re just bored and want something to munch on, and the room in which labor and love go hand in hand in providing nourishment for the family. As we wait for the days to pass until we can return to restaurants and shopping centers and even work, the days seem to be counted by the meals we eat. How to pass the time between meals has become one of the biggest concerns for those out of work. You probably spend more time in your kitchen than you think you might. You’ve also probably noticed just how much dirtier it is now with everyone eating just because they’re bored.

But how is your kitchen countertop holding up with all that use? Is it time to replace your old-school Formica countertops from the ’90s with those fancy granite slabs you’ve always wanted? It seems there is never enough space for all the bills and miscellaneous papers to live on the countertops alongside each meal preparation. It may very well be a good idea to expand your kitchen countertops or consider adding an island in for more workspace.

How about your kitchen cabinets? With so many dishes being constantly in use, you’ve likely realized you have less space than you thought. Maybe the more you look at them the more you realize they haven’t been updated since you moved in, and a fresh coat of paint is all you need to change things up. Or perhaps you need a bigger, nicer update entirely to keep along with the changing pace of things, and you decide to replace the cabinet doors with the aesthetic of cabinet shelves. Whatever it may be, it’s important to consider what updates make this time of separation more bearable.

It’s possible your dishwasher may need to be updated as we spend more time isolated in our homes. Or adding an extra fridge and freezer in your garage or basement to help store foods as we limit our time in grocery stores. Keeping at least a two week stock of food supplies is an important move to make so not to be going to the store multiple times a week. Perhaps it’s even time for a new coffee maker so you’re positive the brew is as strong as can be, cause we all know we need that. As your home and family life changes around the virus, it may be time to update some appliances as well as they frequent more use now.

The Office

While those with jobs able to be worked remotely are all figuring out how to work from home, each room in the house with a desk or remote resemblance of workspace has been turned into a home office. Perhaps you already had one room in the house designated for work, however now, it’s likely you need multiple. And aside from just a table or desk to set your laptop on, you also need to be able to separate yourself from the rest of the home so not to disrupt meetings and your own focus.

This change in the home and family life dynamic is probably the singlehanded most abrupt change that has happened inside the house. The need for quiet, organized space is not always so easily found. Especially for people who prefer to work someplace other than where they live or at least not in their bedroom. Not only do many households have multiple people working throughout the workweek, but if you have children as well, they will need a guided space in which they have access to their online school work. And if your children are young, parents are learning how to be full-time workers and teachers at the same time. Depending on your situation, this time of altered work and learning space can have a big impact on our lives.

The Roof

Maybe you have noticed the shingles on your roof fading or peeling as another winter comes to an end and spring cleaning proceeds. Although your roof may need maintenance, it’s not always necessary to hire roof repair services from a roofing company. Your home and family life routines prior to Covid-19 may very well have suggested hiring somebody to take care of it for you, which can be a very smart decision to make. But should you have the time, like many of us do now, and the ability to manage such a task, repairing your roof can be done on your own.

While we are stuck at home, if you are careful and know what you’re doing, roofing can be a very achievable, yet time-consuming task to do on your own. Granted, you’re not afraid of heights, you have a ladder that reaches, and you’re fairly balanced. If the wood beneath the shingles is intact, all you have to do is replace the old shingles with the new, should you have more than two layers of shingles already. Should there only be one layer of shingles, you don’t even have to replace it. You can just add the new shingles on top of the previous, making the process that much simpler. While a level of danger is involved, this could be a learning and bonding experience for any moms or dads out there eager enough to take on the challenge with kids old enough to be safe.

And while it may seem like you’ve had your fill of bonding time lately, when this is over and our hectic lives are able to resume, even slowly at first, you will miss this time we all spent with our families. Roughly 62% of people report feeling grateful for their children and family. Taking advantage of any quality time with your kids or spouse will likely not be one of your regrets later in life.

The Bathrooms

It’s likely the bathrooms in your house have received the most damage in terms of cleanliness and likely the least amount of attention to remedy it. Sinks, countertops, the toilet, and the shower are critical to keep clean and updated. New mirrors are a quick and easy way to spice up the bathroom, along with simple wall decor like picture frames or even simpler like candles. Should you be itching for an even easier way to update your bathroom, a new shower curtain can go a long way. Replacing these countertops and cabinets like done in the kitchen may also bring a nice change of pace to your rooms. Especially if you use the same materials to update, matching countertops throughout the house will give a nice sense of sameness to tie the rooms together.

The bathrooms are also going to be hotspots for germs to collect as they are so frequently used. Sanitizing door, cabinet, and toilet handles along with soap dispensers is a sure-fire way to ensure the cleanliness of each person using the bathroom. In addition, rotating out towels and inner shower curtains can also help to this effect. Routine cleanliness is more important than ever now that we are in such close quarters. Even simply cleaning the shower is something that can be done easily while you’re bathing in there already. Similarly, while you brush your teeth, quickly spraying and wiping out the sink can easily be accomplished. Not only is staying on top of cleaning important for basic hygiene and COVID related reasons, but it can also be a huge stress reliever to know your surfaces are clean and organized.

The Outdoors

For a lot of people, the outdoor ground they own holds endless options. Home and family life can more easily revolve around time outdoors as the weather gets nicer and nicer. Do you have an awning, a fence, a pool, or a shed? Any combination of them all? With pets around, wood fences are easy to build, update, and largely effective in keeping your pets from wandering too far away, especially if you have a dog. If you’re taking this time and nice weather as an opportunity to make your own, fence supplies are relatively cheap and easily available. With one trip to an open hardware store, you’ll have everything you need to build or update your fence. Should you be painting, the kids might enjoy this task, too.

As summer quickly approaches, the home and family life routines you’ve become accustomed to will shift to accommodate the nice weather, especially after months of quarantine in cold weather, limiting activities to indoors. As such, one example of how home and family life can change in the weeks leading up to June is that June marks the perfect time to start your swimming pool cleaning routine. While you’re working on the deck to ensure some sunshine in your day, having a clean pool to jump in and refresh yourself could be imperative to focusing on work, especially if you’re home doesn’t have air conditioning. This may also keep your kids out your hair for a while, which could be very helpful in completing work.

In addition, with kids comes toys. If you’re a family with a dog, it’s likely your groomer is closed. That said, dog grooming can be difficult depending on the type of dog you have. Some dogs need their fur to be shaved and shaped monthly so to avoid mats that would be painful. Others require little to no grooming at all. It’s a good rule of thumb to at least wash and brush your dog with appropriate shampoo and brushes monthly in an attempt to keep their coat clean and healthy.

Are your kids old enough to ride a bike, skateboard, or rollerblade around your driveway or block? Or are they still learning how to ride a bike? Or have you maybe gained some weight this quarantine and are in need of exercise? If you’re taking your bike out of the shed or garage for the first time this year, it’s almost guaranteed that your tires will be flat or some type of bike repairs will be required. Should your home and family life change during quarantine from a life too busy for exercise to one where exercise is included and/or necessary for your health, biking is something that the whole family can typically do.

It’s not surprising that during this time of isolation our lives are going to start to look different, even just within the home. But that doesn’t mean this has to be a bad thing. Embrace the change and uncertainty that comes with this time, and use it to create or update something beautiful within your home and family life.

Bed Bug Removal Guide

In 2015, 68% of all pest control service revenue in the U.S. came from residential services. This means that no matter how grossed out you are about bugs being in your house, it happens! In this article you will find helpful information about pest control services and how to get rid of bedbugs. Hiring an exterminator doesn’t have to be an embarrassing experience, as mentioned before over 50% of all pest control service revenue in the US comes from residential services meaning, that over 50% of commercial extermination service happens at peoples homes.

 

How do people get bed bugs?

 

First of all it is important to note that bed bugs are tiny wingless insects that are typically red brown in color. They are typically found on box springs, mattress, and headboards, and in the cracks and crevices of walls floors and your furniture. Bed bugs can’t fly but they do crawl quickly. Now the really important question is how did they get into your home? Typically, they come from other infested furniture or other infested areas in your home. They can hide in luggage purses and other softer upholstered surfaces. Scarier than that, they can also travel between rooms. This is why bedbugs are so scary for businesses like hotels, apartment complexes, or other buildings that have multiple units.

 

Bed Bug Removal

 

If you run into a bedbug issue in your home, you’re going to want to combine some techniques that don’t risk your health. Here are some strategies you can try on your own: Make sure your bedroom or the affected area is clean and free of clutter. Move your bed away from walls or furniture, and then make sure you get a vacuum in that area between the bed and the wall or window. Get rid of mold on windows and floors, By vacuuming every day. Vacuum your mattress the boxspring, and any other furniture that you are afraid might be infested. When you empty your vacuum bag, make sure you do it outside in a sealed container. Wash everything on your bed and put it all in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes to ensure death to all bed bugs. You can also try using a mattress or box spring cover. You see these sometimes to prevent other unwanted pests. If you’re going to try to get rid of the bed bugs on your own, make sure you seal any cracks or openings that lead into the home. One more idea that you can choose to use or not is a mattress or box spring cover. They are sometimes used for dust mite or to prevent lice or other unwanted pests. Lastly, you’re going to try to get rid of the bedbugs on your own make sure you seal any cracks or openings where pipes and wires enter into the home.

 

Now, if you’re calling in the big guns for bed bug removal, here’s what you should know. If you have a bedbug infestation, it is nothing to sneeze at. While yes there are methods to getting rid of bedbugs on your own, we highly suggest you hire an exterminator. Commercial exterminators are equipped with the knowledge and the tools to get rid of bed bugs at their source. Anyone in the bed bug removal industry knows where to look for them and how to get rid of them using a combination of methods. If you’re really worried about the health of yourself and your home, call commercial extermination services today.

The Opportunities That Open Up When Looking for a New Home

Buying a home doesn’t only feel great; it’s a good financial decision as well. The average homeowner has a net worth that is 30 times that of a renter. The wisdom of buying a home can only be realized, however, if you get the right home for your needs. This can be easier said than done because it’s tempting to jump on the first great deal you see. But if you take some time to examine, and then list out, your priorities, you can “curb” your enthusiasm just long enough to make a cool-headed decision, one that benefits you, your family, and your bank account for years to come. Here are some things to consider if you’re wondering, “How does buying a new house work?”

Getting the Right Loan

While the way you pay for your home may be an afterthought for many who fall in love with a property at first sight, the more pragmatic step would be to figure out your financing options ahead of time. Getting preapproved, for example, is a great way to start your home-shopping process. Mortgage loans are available for a wide variety of borrowers. Even if you have poor credit, there is no shortage of loan options.

How does buying a new house work? Well, once you’re preapproved, you know how much house you can afford. Armed with knowledge about how much you can afford, you’re in a better position to negotiate prices, as well as figure out what kinds of interest rates you’re willing to accept. When you know how you’re going to pay for the home and have a few options in mind, you enter the home search process in an empowered position.

Getting preapproved is only the first step in ascertaining your financial options. As you consider your mortgage payments, keep in mind that whatever you budget for also has to include home insurance. The amount you pay each month will vary based on several factors, but by inquiring at some local insurance providers, you can figure out how much you will have to set aside to get your home properly insured.

How does buying a new house work when it comes to insurance? In reality, if you aren’t borrowing too much of the home’s value, you may not even need PMI, which is put in place to help secure the lender’s investment as it lets you borrow money. Ask lots of questions, and make sure you have a complete understanding before concluding any conversation about your insurance options.

When to Pursue Private Lending Options

For many home-shoppers, private lending often the last resort because their interest rates tend to be higher than those offered by banks. When banks loan money to people, they are usually insured by the Federal government, which has programs in place to help banks not go under in case someone defaults. Because of this, they are often able to charge lower interest rates, so their risk is reduced.

How does buying a new house work when you’re considering a private lender? Although a private lender may charge a higher interest rate, going with one can be a great choice for those who need options. Every private lender is different, and some have interest rates that are very competitive with many banks. Either way, it never hurts to educate yourself regarding all of your borrowing options, so checking out some private lenders could certainly pay off.

Choose the Right Area

It’s easier to change your house than to change the area in which it is located. Once you move into your beautiful new home, you may start to notice some less-than-beautiful things about the neighborhood. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure you do your research. In addition to choosing a neighborhood with which you’re comfortable, you want to be sure to pick one that has the resources you need.

If you’re wondering, “How does buying a new house work?” and you have a very specific career path, consider the following. If you are a tech entrepreneur, or are interested in pursuing that kind of career, it is easy to find housing options in areas nearby commercial tech centers. You don’t have to go all the way to Silicon Valley, either. Many neighborhoods close to major metropolises have services and conveniences that are tech entrepreneur-friendly. Some have commuting services meant for individuals in the tech industries. Others are packed with cafes, restaurants, and lounges with high-speed internet designed to draw tech pros to the area.

Regardless of your profession, you will want to seek out an area that will make it easy for you to earn a living. For example, if you are a contractor, being close to a city or a series of suburbs will avail you of more potential work. The extra you end up paying for a home in one of these areas may be offset by the extra income you earn because of where you chose to live. The same goes for those interested in nursing, dentistry, or other medical professions. Location is important for both comfort and the convenience of being able to work without a bothersome commute.

Choose an Area Based on Its Schools

The value a good school system adds to a neighborhood cannot be overstated. How does buying a new house work when education is a factor? Considering that your children will spend six or more hours in school each day, a large portion of their waking lives is going to influenced by where they attend school. Some students have learning disabilities, attention failures, or physical disabilities that only certain qualified educators have the skills to work with. The school system you choose is especially important if this is the case.

Don’t go for a less expensive home or one in a more pleasant neighborhood thinking you will be saving money or investing in your happiness if your child needs teachers with certain qualifications. The extra expense involved in getting them the learning environment they deserve may offset any money saved on the mortgage. And any “happiness” derived from a great-looking neighborhood may be hindered by concerns regarding your child’s education. They deserve the best, so choose your municipality carefully.

Daycare Should Be a Primary Consideration

The expense in time, money, and energy associated with finding and using the right daycare services can have a major effect on your day-to-day life. You may need to spend some time searching for the right daycare services before committing to a new house, regardless of how nice the home is.

If you’re thinking, “How does buying a new house work?” and you’re factoring in daycare, keep this in mind: Daycare is costly, yet choosing the wrong daycare services can cost even more—particularly if your child is not entirely safe at the facility. But if you spend a couple days calling and visiting daycares, you will likely find one that you love. The right daycare is a crucial component of a healthy family. Some even provide cool adventures like hiking for kids. They are able to find hiking trails that are close enough to the daycare facility and can transport your young adventurer to and from the trail safely.

Consider Outdoor Resources of a New Neighborhood

Healthy family activities are a memorable way to bond with those you love the most. Most people can remember when they were younger and enjoyed going hiking, fishing, to the park or just playing some ball with a parent or other caregiver. Going outside is not just good for bonding emotionally.

Exploring the outdoors exposes children–and adults–to the sun’s rays, which stimulate vitamin D production in the body. Fresh air and physical activity are often neglected in a world where there are so many activities that can be done online while in your home. But if you select a neighborhood with nice places to take your family out and play, walk, run, or check out a game, you are incorporating an active, healthy, outdoor lifestyle that will pay dividends for years to come.

Choose an Area Where You Can Pursue Your Passions

If you’re thinking, “How does buying a new house work with my hobbies?” think about this. Looking for a new home is a nice time to be a little selfish. There may be things you love to do but don’t have enough time—not because the activity takes too long, but traveling to do it is time-intensive. When you are looking for a new home, however, you can choose a house or apartment in an area that gives you easy access to the activities you love but don’t always have the time for.

For example, if you are interested in boating or lake or ocean fishing, you may want to look at homes that provide quick access to a body of water. As you peruse the area, you may even find boats for sale. There’s a chance that whatever lender you choose for your home may also offer boat financing, so why not give it a shot? There’s nothing wrong with living a life that properly balances work with fun. After all, you deserve it, especially after putting in the effort to figure out how does buying a new house work?

There may be other activities that you love to do such as playing basketball, baseball, soccer, or any number of outdoor family activities. The right house in an ideal location can be your gateway to many hours of fun you haven’t had the time to experience—at least not yet.

Get a Home That Saves You Money

Saving money is about more than simply stacking more cash in your bank account. It’s about the joy you get from knowing that you’re being fiscally responsible. Each dollar saved gives you a sense of satisfaction—even accomplishment—and as your savings add up, new possibilities open for how to invest them. Choosing the right home is an effective way to start saving money like never before. One way to do this is by getting a home that is energy efficient. This will help you save money if you’re wondering how does buying a new house work?

While looking for a new home, consider some ways you can stash away some extra money by not spending as much as you usually would on utilities. Some homes make use of off grid energy storage, which allows you to store the energy you need in a battery, or a system of batteries, and use it when you have to. Typically, the stored energy is generated using renewable resources such as solar power, and it is then used during the night or another time when the resource is less available. Storing your energy can save you considerable money, particularly in areas where the cost of energy is high. You may be able to find novel ways of beating your bills by thinking outside the box when it comes to energy solutions.

Make Sure Your Home Has “Good Bones”—Even if It Needs a Little Help

The term “good bones” is often used to describe a home that is sturdy and dependable. This dependability should also involve how well the home’s essential systems, such as plumbing and electricity, function. If while you’re looking for a new home, you find one that you absolutely love, but it has some issues, a quick call to a plumbing service can give you an idea what it would cost to get the home in tip top shape. If you’re considering how does buying a new house work in conjunction with a home with issues, think about these things.

Similarly, if your home has some electrical problems but is otherwise wonderful, don’t give up on it. Check in with a local electrician familiar with the area regarding how much the repairs would cost. There’s good chance the current owner will pay for it because the problem may violate the stipulations of the sales agreement. Either way, there’s no need to give up if you see a few problems. You can do a lot to strengthen the “bones” of an otherwise good home.

Go for a Few Little Extra Conveniences

Some people, when looking for a new home, won’t even consider a place unless it has good AC. You should have the air conditioning tested before you choose to make the purchase final. If it isn’t functioning as it should, then get a quote for either a new AC installation or repairs. This may or may not be something that holds up the closing, but it never hurts to get an idea as to what it will run you if you have to handle it yourself.

Getting the right home is all about finding the perfect balance between what you definitely need and what you simply want. Keep in mind that some things that others may categorize as “wants,” such as recreational activities, passions or hobbies, or a great school system, may be needs for you. Every person’s checklist is different. Sit down with your family and have an open, fun, honest discussion about the home and neighborhood that will be good for everyone. In the end, the extra time and consideration invested will be worth it because home truly is where the heart is.

Sleep Training Your Baby? Here’s What NOT To Do

They said being a parent would be exhausting and one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. And as it turns out — they were absolutely right! You probably can’t even remember the last time you got a full night’s rest. If this is the case, you could be an excellent candidate for baby sleep training NYC. If you’re considering teaching your small child to become more independent and are also craving a good night’s rest, continue reading.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when sleep training your baby:

Doing little research

As a new mom, I’m sure your Google history is filled entirely with baby related questions.

Things like:

Where can I buy the world’s softest swaddle?

How much should my baby be eating?

And it’s completely understandable. After all, you want to do everything in your power to make sure your baby is getting the best care possible. Researching ways to get her on a regular sleep schedule should be no different. So go ahead, take the deep dive into the web and read up on sleep training as much as possible. Discuss your findings with your partner, and go from there. Research allows you to make the most informed decision.

But your research doesn’t have to stop at blog posts and web pages. Ask some fellow moms about their experiences. Talking to someone one-on-one about how they handled baby sleep training may help you make a more educated decision.

Trying to start too early

Babies aged three to five months are excellent candidates for sleep training. But for the first few month’s of baby’s life, sticking to a schedule will be next to impossible. During those first few months, you need to focus solely on ‘sleep surviving.’ Take routines out of the picture and make sure your baby is resting enough.

Starting at a bad time

Before you commit to sleep training, check your itinerary for any upcoming work trips or vacations. Road trips and hotel stays make it harder to solidify your routine, which leads to the next mistake. Sleep training is done best at home!

Having an inconsistent bedtime schedule

Training a baby to sleep will require you to remain consistent since having a strict routine allows a baby to conform to their new sleep schedule. If you’re unsure how to do this or it’s proving too challenging, it may be time to bring in a professional.

Confusing a sleep trainer with a sleep consultant

A sleep trainer can come in handy if you’re completely new to the process. They can offer you guidance but can’t replace a baby sleep consultant. A sleep trainer offers their advice through phone calls and emails. They may even set up a plan for you and email it for your convenience. Whereas a baby sleep consultant is qualified to come and work with you and your child in the comfort of your home.

Not consulting a qualified baby sleep consultant when you’re struggling

If you’re struggling and need baby sleep training NYC area, a consultant can help you figure out the process. They offer in-home care, which can minimize your struggles as a new mom.

 

 

3 Essential Qualities of a Great Retirement Home

Your retirement years should be the golden age in your life. After decades of raising a family, contributing to society, or building your career, you’ve earned a well-deserved break from the hustle.

 

A good retirement community feels like a home. Finding that special place to spend the next chapter of your life, however, isn’t always easy. With so many different locations and living styles to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which organization is best. What’s more, some places are even known for mistreating residents or ignoring their needs. No one wants to spend their golden years in such an upsetting environment.

While finding the best retirement home is a matter of personal preference, every good retirement home should exhibit a few key qualities. Here are some common signs that you’ve found the perfect retirement community:

1. The Community Welcomes Family and Friends

 

First and foremost, any assisted living facility or retirement village should prioritize community. Residents should be able to invite friends, family, and any other visitors without having to worry about limited visitor hours or other policies that restrict independence. Furthermore, a quality retirement community will encourage residents to make new friends by hosting fun events and classes where residents can meet one another.

2. Individualized Care and Assistance

 

Retirement living facilities should also offer individualized care and assistance. A quality organization will allow residents to maintain autonomy while also ensuring that each individual feels supported. Residents should be able to determine when they’d like help with activities like bathing or taking medications, and when they’d prefer to handle things on their own. If the facility you’re considering offers flexibility and individualization, you may have found the right retirement community for you!

3. Residents Can Make Choices and Pursue Interests

 

Finally, retirement living should still include high levels of independence and excitement. Senior housing that offers new activities regularly demonstrates a vested interest in the quality of life for each resident. Beyond the proverbial bingo game, top-notch retirement communities may host music events, arts and skills classes, book clubs, gardening opportunities, and other activities that engage the minds and bodies of community members.

In 2010, about one in eight people aged 85 or older resided in an institution. However, “institution” doesn’t always have to imply a boring, dreary place to live! Look for retirement living facilities that demonstrate the qualities mentioned above to ensure the next chapter of your life is truly golden.