The largest asset most of us will have in our lives in our home. For some of us, it’s our retirement plan, for others, it’s a stepping stone on the property ladder towards a dream home. Either way, we all hope the value of our homes increases so we see a greater return on our investment. If we want to maximise the return, we need to understand how to add value to where we live now.
Below we will look at some the things you can do to add value:
Convert the Loft
Adding a room is a sure way of adding to the properties desirability, and therefore worth. One of the easiest ways to add an extra room, that can be used as a bedroom or bathroom, is by converting your loft. This is not the most invasive of tasks, either, as in most cases the work can be done from outside the property. The important thing to remember is that if you want to add value to the house the conversion must fit the look and feel of the rest of the property.
Add a Steel Building
Most potential buyers will be drawn to a property that they can imagine living in. The addition of a steel outer building is a great way to create that desire. A steel building can be used as a shed, man-cave or even a she-shed. It offers the potential buyers a space of their own away from the stresses of the house. The steel building is cheap to buy thanks to suppliers such as Armstrong Steel who will lock the price for you to avoid any problems arising with steel prices, as well as being eco-friendly and can be designed for any application.
Build a Conservatory
When selling a house, a property’s size can play a determining factor in its worth. One of the most common ways to extend your living space is by building a conservatory. A conservatory is often a space added to the back of your property that is used as additional living space such as a TV or games room. To maximise the return on investment on a conservatory it must feel like a natural part of the property, preferably without a separate entrance.
Convert the Garage
Like adding a conservatory, converting the garage can add additional living space to the property. The truth is that most garages are not used for storing cars, they are often wasted assets sitting collecting dust and old furniture. Changing that and making use of that space can add greatly to a property’s value.
Pave over the Garden
Paving your garden is not for everyone. If you are green fingered or like a nice garden, then simply keeping it tidy will add some value to your property. However, for those with properties in built-up areas, where parking is a premium, having additional space for cars can be a massive draw.
Cosmetics to the Outside
First impressions are everything and even if your house is stunning inside, if you have an untidy outside then the property may lose value. Simple touches such as painting the house, new front door or changing the windows can have a big impact on the look of the property.
Ten Ways to Save Money Running Your Home
Nowadays, with wages struggling to keep up with inflation, the cost of living feels like it’s always on the rise. Running a home involves so many different expenses that every penny counts. Here are some easy ways to save money when you’re running a household.
Stick to your shopping list
Whenever you go shopping, do you stick to your list or do you pick up a few things on sale that you don’t really need? Is that packet of Twinkies really necessary? Next time, only buy the things that you set out to buy unless you remember something that you genuinely need like toilet paper.
Try generic brands
Another way to save money is to try the generic version of name brand items. Why not try and see if the store brand cereal is as good (or even better) than the big name brand you normally buy?
Get appliance insurance
One of the biggest expenses that can hit you when running a home is sudden appliance breakdown. Your fridge breaking down can cost you several hundred dollars in repairs or replacement. Read this blog post to see how appliance insurance could save you money.
Sign up for free customer reward programs
There are retailers of all kinds that offer free customer rewards programs. You often only need an email address to sign up, and you’ll soon be drowning in freebies.
Cook in large batches
Chili is a great meal to cook in bulk. You’ll actually also be saving time, as you can cook multiple meals at once that can then be frozen and eaten later.
The 30-day rule
This is a really powerful way to save money based on the incredible concept of not spending it. Basically, whenever you get an urge to buy something, wait 30 days and then see if you still want to buy it. If you still have the urge, then it’s clear that you really want it. However, if you no longer have the urge, then you just saved yourself the money you would have spent on an item you didn’t really want.
Turn off the lights
Make sure to take advantage of sunlight when you can by opening your curtains. Turn off lights when no one is in the room or you don’t need them on.
Drink more water
Water is the best thing you can drink, both in terms of health benefits and in terms of cost. Stop stocking up on cans of sugary soda and expensive juice drinks and just have a glass of water instead. Drinking water throughout the day can also help you feel less hungry, so you’ll also snack less.
Stay away from fast food and takeaway
The cheapest way of eating is always cooking at home. Fast food may have a reputation for being cheap and easy, but it really isn’t that cheap when you have it frequently.
Go to free events
Instead of going out to expensive movies or spending loads at bars, try finding out if there are any free events going on nearby. You might find something great that won’t cost you a penny.
Managing a household can be expensive, so finding the small areas where you can save a little here and a little there can lead to savings that really add up.
Three Tips to Make Your Home Safer for Kids
A child’s education doesn’t start at school; it begins at home. For children to grow up right, they need to be nurtured and cared for, guided and taught properly by their parents and relatives.
However, a home needs to be safe in order for that to happen. Ask yourself this: “Is my home safe for my kids to grow up in?”
Even if you’re certain that it is, you can still add a few more security measures to your house. Here are a few examples.
Test the Security of Your Doors
Your doors need to be sturdy enough to keep unwanted elements outside your home. If the integrity of your exterior doors isn’t strong enough or their locks are easily bypassed, criminals may break into your home, steal your belongings, and maybe even kidnap your kids. That can traumatize your child.
Thus, check if your locks are secure. Get a set of lockpicks, and try picking your own locks. If it’s easy for you, then it’ll be twice as simple for professional thieves. Even locks like those with sliding chains can be bypassed with a rubber band, so don’t settle for just one simple lock.
Install several of them so your door will really hold the line against those who’d potentially harm your family.
Get a Big Guard Dog
If doors aren’t enough to deter never-do-wells, then dogs will. Thieves tend to break into houses quietly, but when they scout out your neighborhood for potential marks, one glance at your pet will likely dissuade them from targeting your home.
Besides, pets are good for children. Pets can help keep watch over your kids and will cheer them up with their presence. Kids will also develop animal empathy just by caring for these loyal companions.
If you’re looking for a specific breed, choose either a labrador, a golden retriever, a Spanish mastiff, or a boxer. They’re big or capable enough to defend their masters. Smaller breeds, no matter how aggressive they are, won’t scare off thugs, and some of the other big breeds may be too aggressive to be around a child.
Keep Your House Clean
Criminals aren’t the only things you need to keep your kids safe from. You also need to contend with sickness and disease.
Children are vulnerable to illnesses. Their immune system isn’t that developed yet compared to that of adults. Plus, they’ll play with anything regardless if it’s dirty or not—often biting and putting strange things in their mouths. That’s why you need to keep your house clean. By doing so, you’ll eliminate contagions before they can infect your kids.
Focus your efforts where your children play the most—the kitchen, the living room, their bedroom, and most importantly, the bathroom. Germs flourish in wet environment; thus, your bathroom/s should be cleaned at least twice a week.
If you can, you may want to do some home improvement projects in your house that can help you maintain its cleanliness. For example, having a macerating upflush toilet means you’ll no longer have any problems with clogs that can eventually cause leaks or overflow that will cause children to slip or fall.
While “it takes a village to raise a child” as the African proverb goes, a child’s family is still their direct caretakers, and besides, the family is the basic unit of society.
Thus, never neglect the state of your home. It’s where your family lives. It’s where your child plays. Keep your home safe so your kid can grow up in peace.
4 Great Nursery Ideas That You And Your Little One Will Love
Whether you are expecting your bundle of joy in the next few months or you are just planning ahead, it is important to start thinking about your little one’s nursery sooner rather than later. From brightly coloured paint to gender-neutral furniture, there are endless ways to transform your babies room into a space you and your little one will both love.
Choose adaptable furniture
Although you may want to fill your little one’s nursery full of baby-friendly designs, realistically you will need to consider what designs and style you like first. For example, a rocking chair may seem like the more conventional option but is it really the most comfortable of places to be sitting with a crying baby? Try to experiment with statement pieces such as a Chesterfield Sofa or Snuggle chair that will compliment your child-friendly design while adding a practical element. As well as taking your style into consideration, you should start looking into the versatility of furniture. For example, a chest of drawers can easily be transformed into a changing table/
Wallpaper and Wall Art
Wallpaper is a great way to add some pattern or texture to your nursery. Not only is it a fantastic way to liven up your little one’s room, it can be as versatile as you choose. Whether you’re looking to create a statement/accent wall or choose to wallpaper the entire room, there’s plenty of patterns, styles and colours that will fit perfectly in your nursery design. If wallpaper seems too much of a commitment, why not play around with some fun wall murals or wall stickers instead? Wall stickers can be as bold or as subtle as you choose with designs ranging from baby animals to life-size cars.
Rugs are an amazing way to add some personality and texture to your little one’s nursery. Choosing the right rug for your nursery depends on you your choice of flooring. For example, if you have a thick plush carpet you may want to opt for a thin or wicker style rug that adds texture or pattern to your floor without adding the thickness. On the other hand, if you have hardwood flooring or vinyl flooring you may want to add a larger thicker rug to create some comfort for both yours and your baby’s little toes.
Although you spend the most of your pregnancy buying copious amounts of toys and clothes, you will always find yourself asking how much space does such a little person need? In order to battle this problem head on you will need to start thinking of not just storage but smart storage. Using shelves for less baby friendly products such as talc or baby lotion is a great way to keep them out the reach of wandering hands. For clothing storage, you can always upcycle an old set of chests of drawers. If having nappies and beddings on show doesn’t fit in your design, you could transform your unwanted wardrobe into a trendy and versatile storage unit.