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.
Keeping House With A Baby Inside Of It
When I bought my first little bundle of joy home, I realized a few things very quickly. My husband and I had never been clean freaks, but we found that with a teeny baby in the house, we were putting in three times the cleaning effort for half of the result. We wanted to make sure our house was as free of toxins as possible but that we got some powerful cleaning accomplished. In so many ways, I wish we’d had Aroma Bio-Enzyme products to help us out. If I were to tell a new mom my top cleaning priorities, they’d be the following.
So. Many. Nappies to change. My husband was supportive and always helped, but I always found myself washing my hands constantly. And that was before there was a global pandemic afoot! A friend of mine who was a nurse suggested to me, as my hands were cracking from overwashing, that I use hand sanitizer four times for every in depth soap and water wash. Lucky for everyone, Aroma makes a brilliant hand sanitizer that can be used beyond pandemic cleaning.
There is no smell like that of a baby. When one of my best friends first visited us with a newborn, she entered our daughter’s room and said, “It smells like a baby lives here.” Of course, you always want that new baby smell without the associated smell of wee, poo, or puke. How do you get that when all of those substances are all coming out of the baby all the time? The Aroma Bio-Enzyme cleaner can assist with that. You want your home and your child to smell like that beautiful baby, not nasty chemicals, so this is a big step in that direction.
Once a baby enters your life, every day is laundry day. Not only will you have to change your clothes several times, but you will also have to keep baby clothes in constant rotation. Onesies are important, but so are burp cloths. With a newborn at home, a burp cloth is necessary at all times. You might even start showing up to the grocery store with one on, or even more embarassingly, at work. Swaddle cloths have to be constantly cleaned, as well. One tried and true cleaning tip you can use to keep a variety of baby cloths clean is to add a half cup of baking soda to every load.
It’s not selfish to take time to keep yourself clean, your room tidy, and your clothes smelling good. Sanity for mum is sanity for the entire family. Make sure that you and your partner take time to clean your own spaces, as well as the baby room. It takes a lot of effort, but it is well worth it.
No solutions will work for every family, even for every set of first time parents. But if you keep these tips in mind and some Aroma Bio-Enzyme cleaner nearby, it will get easier.
Two-In-One Ways to Manage Ants and Make Your Home Safer for Your Kids
If you have ants and kids, you might feel like you have two problems on your plate at once. It’s true that, although kids are definitely a blessing, you also need to make sure your home is a little safer than you might if you didn’t have kids. Have you considered these methods to both manage ants in your home and keep your kids a little safer?
1. Install Tight-Fitting Doors
Tight-fitting doors are an important part of your ant rebuff system. As you probably already know, ants are very small. They can also fit through astonishingly tiny space. With tight-fitting doors, you significantly reduce your chances of ending up with an ant infestation from the outside, at least if they’re getting through the doors. Plus, tight-fitting doors also reduces the chance of other bugs coming inside, many of which can be dangerous or just annoying to your children.
2. Empty Trash As Frequently As Possible
Most commonly, ants come inside looking for food or water. Trash, especially trash with a lot of food waste, provides both of those things. If you regularly leave trash bags in your garage or by the front door, you’re creating a place that’s perfect for ants to swarm. Plus, these trash bags can easily start to grow mold, which can be hugely detrimental for your health and your family’s health. Empty your trash out to the garbage as soon as it gets full.
3. Don’t Stack Firewood Near the Home
If you live in a place where you need firewood, it can be tempting to keep that firewood as closely as possible to the house. After all, then you can go out to get the firewood and be right back inside. However, this can be detrimental to your home’s wellbeing. Firewood is a great place for ants to nest, and if they nest too close to the home, you can end up with ant infestations. Plus, firewood isn’t a safe place for kids to play. Stack firewood in its own specific area, ideally with a fence or other barrier around it.
4. Fix Leaky Pipes and Faucets
Sure, you might not think the tiny drips from your faucet are that big of a deal, but they can absolutely be a very significant problem. These drips are the perfect source of water for ants, which means they can attract ants inside your home. Additionally, drips in areas that family members regularly go through can become tripping hazards, especially for kids, who are more likely to not look where they’re going and be going very quickly. As an added bonus, it’ll also reduce your water bill.
5. Keep Kitchen Counters Clean
It’s true that keeping kitchen counters clean can seem like a monumental task when you have kids. Kids regularly make food and don’t put it away, spill things all over the kitchen counters, and just generally make a mess. However, if you’re able to help your kids maintain your kitchen’s cleanliness, you’re more likely to be able to avoid ants and keep your children a little safer. Remember that food can start to grow mold pretty quickly and that it doesn’t have to be visible to be dangerous. Teach your kids to clean the counters for better home safety overall.
As you can see, you don’t just have to avoid ants or help your kids stay a little safer. You can kill two birds with one stone and do both of them at once. However, if you’re seeing ants enter your home through miniscule cracks in your baseboards or you’re worried about ants coming in through cracks in your pavement, it may be a good idea to request services from a foundation repair expert. Especially if there are children in the home, you can never be too careful.
Ants in the House & Warning Signs
What You Need to Know About Ants
Did you know there are more than 700 different species of ants in the U.S.? These small black insects that are often unwelcome guests at picnics in the park and barbeques at home may be living inside a colony of more than one million! One specific kind of ant that plagues homeowners across the country are pavement ants. Pavement ants can be a major nuisance because these insects forage up to 30 feet from home looking for food and water. Pavement ants sneak through cracks in pavement and a home’s foundation looking for food, water, and shelter. Once inside, they burrow inside walls, insulation, and under floors to build nests.’
Another well-known ant species in the U.S. are fire ants, which can cause painful welts and swelling when they sting. Fire ants build nesting mounds near structures like fences, outbuildings, and a home’s exterior walls. Just like pavement ants, fire ants can enter a home easily through cracks in its foundation and walls, in between doors and windows, and through HVAC and A/C units.
Why Ants Come Inside and Where You Can Find Them
Pavement ants, fire ants, and other ant species come inside our homes looking for food, water, and shelter. The most common areas to find ants inside a home are kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. But ants can also nest inside walls, under floors, and in crawl spaces – making them harder to spot. HVAC and A/C units provide a common entry point for ants to get inside homes. Rising temperatures and longer summer months mean more A/C use for homeowners, attracting ants to the dampness generated inside them and serving as an “open door” policy to come inside for more.
What You Can Do To Keep Ants Out of Your Home
To protect your home against these small pesky intruders, start by identifying and sealing cracks and holes in your home’s walls, around windows and doors, and in paved areas around a home’s exterior, including driveways and patios. To seal off another common entryway, add new caulking around air conditioning and heating units. In addition, homeowners can prevent moisture buildup that attracts ants by ensuring pipes are insulated and not leaking in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, kitchens, and in between walls.
Keep a Clean Kitchen
Once inside a home, ants looking for new food and water sources often travel quickly to a home’s kitchen and pantry areas. To cut off their food source and reduce ants in your home, make sure you clean kitchen counters and stovetops frequently, take out trash regularly and seal up all food items in airtight containers. Storing items like sugar inside the fridge is another helpful practice during the summer months when ants are more active. If you have indoor plants, make sure they aren’t being over watered, because this moisture can attract ants. Seal up pet food and wash bowls after your pets’ mealtimes – don’t leave it sitting out.
Pay Attention to Damp, Humid Areas
Additional hotspots for ants are bathrooms and basements. Ants are attracted to moisture from leaking pipes and faucets inside these areas. In addition, cracks in a home’s foundation provide a good entry point directly into a home’s basement. If you do see ants in your home, wipe down the areas with vinegar to remove the ants’ scent – which they leave as a ‘map’ to help their friends find their way to new food and water sources. This will help reduce the chance that other ants will follow.
Adjust Exterior Features
Making small changes to your home’s garden and landscaping can also help reduce its attractiveness to ants. For example, replacing mulch or pine straw around trees and within flower beds with crushed stone or rocks reduces nesting areas for ants. In addition, if your home has a fireplace, stack firewood as far away as possible from the exterior of the home, at least 20 feet away. Ants can nest inside stacks of firewood. Finally, sealing cracks in your driveway, pavement, and the home’s foundation can minimize your ‘open door’ policy for ants, keeping them away.
Remember that ants play an important role in a healthy ecosystem. By fixing cracks and entry points into your home, removing attractive items like food and water sources, and dehumidifying basements and crawl spaces, you can make your home less attractive for these pests. A focus on these less-intrusive methods for getting rid of ants in your home over using pesticides and bait can help protect the environment.
Find out how Groundworks foundation, basement, and crawl space repair experts can help homeowners keep ants and insects from entering their homes with a free home inspection to identify problem areas and offer solutions.