Are You Ruining Your Household Appliances?

Home and Garden

While you can expect most of your major appliances to run for several years, neglect and abuse can cause them down to break down sooner. This is especially true if you don’t clean and maintain them or fail to check the manufacturer’s instruction for proper use and basic care.

Here is how you are contributing to the demise of your precious appliances:


When your refrigerator continues to cool your food, it is normal to think that it is in good working condition. If you want it to operate efficiently, it is best to check the condenser coils for dirt and dust buildup. All Pro Appliance Service, Inc. and other repair experts note that clogged coils will cause your fridge work harder, contributing to repairs and even premature failure.

Washing machine

Before you put clothes in the machine, be sure to look for objects like coins. Carelessly washing items with coins or heavy metal fasteners can damage the tub or drum. Inner-drum damage can result in torn or pulled clothing, while outer-tub damage can lead to leak. Be mindful of what your put in the machine by checking all the pockets first.


When you’re feeling lazy, it is so tempting to put any dirty kitchenware or tool in the dishwasher. This, however, leads to appliance damage, especially for those with sharp edges. Your knives may scratch a coated dishwasher rack and result in corrosion, which may also rust the plates. Other items you shouldn’t put in the dishwasher include crystals, antiques, copper pans, and cast iron.


Food spatters inside the appliance can take up energy and even result in burn spots. They can also damage some of microwave’s components. This makes it important to wipe foods and liquids, and remove burn spots. You should also mind the weight of the food you are cooking or reheating, as an excessively heavy item could damage the unit.

Even if your appliances seem to be working fine, use them properly and don’t forget regular maintenance. You shouldn’t also hesitate to call an expert if your appliance is not working as it should.

4 Brilliant Tips To Recreate Your House

Home and Garden

Feel free to unleash creativity in making your home a better place for the family. Here are some handy tips and tricks on how you can transform your house into a beautiful haven. And, you need not spend much.

Start right with quick fixes

Before having a home makeover, you better start with a clean slate by checking on areas that need some fixing. For instance, you may want to call up for sprinkler system repair experts like Utah Sprinkler in Salt Lake City to take care of the broken components. Sure, you would want to do it right the first time by choosing a reputable service provider with a guaranteed warranty.

Go for simple yet classy floors

Getting carpets all over your house can be expensive not to mention the risks of accumulating allergens in your place. You may instead opt for hardwood flooring that is not only budget-friendly but also low-maintenance. Yes, you will be better off with a wooden floor that can also last for a long while with regular polishing.

Smoothen the home ceiling

The magic trick when it comes to recreating your ceiling is the integration of decent crown molding. If your house doesn’t have one, you better get a contractor to install crown moldings to smoothly secure the ceiling and the wall. You may prefer the basic design to save up on construction costs. By all means, you can always do it yourself when you have got the skills.

Get the lighting next on queue

Make sure you have already dealt with the walls with a new coat of paint for a refreshing ambiance. Whether you choose the bold and dramatic look or the minimalist and hushed hues, rest assured that you can pull it all off with the right lighting. Designer light fixtures may come in handy should you wish to introduce something new in the interior design.

All you need is a great pair of eyes to recreate your home within your budget. Some quick fixes, hardwood floor, crown moldings and designer lights can make the difference.

A Key to Becoming a Debt-Free Home Owner Sooner


Man pulling out pocket as a sign of no moneytAs the U.S. inches its way farther from the disastrous effects of the Great Recession, mortgage rates have dropped considerably and reached historic lows over the past few years. However, the market remains completely unstable, resulting in its rates going up and down. These changes make it a bit worrisome for many mortgage borrowers, especially those with adjustable-rate loans.

Refinancing: An effective home loan cost-cutting technique

The good news is there are still several ways for you to cut back on your housing loan expenses. You’ll find reputable and reliable lenders offering great deals when it comes to their Salt Lake City refinance programs. With refinancing, American Loans explains that you can minimize the financial burden of your current mortgage, ultimately setting you free sooner from this massive debt you have.

Swapping from one type of mortgage to another (when it makes financial sense)

There are a number of reasons borrowers decide to switch their adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate one, or vice versa.

For instance, those who originally planned to stay short-term in the house they took out a loan for decided that they would rather spend their lifetime in the same place. Due to initial intentions, they opted for an ARM. In many cases, this type of mortgage doesn’t make the most financial sense, especially with the surprising increases in the interest rate.

If you combine that with the shorter term of the loan, it means greater monthly payments. In case your situation is similar, then refinancing your current loan for a fixed rate may be your best option.

Reduced risk of non-payment to prevent incurring more debts

Through ARM-to-FRM refinancing’s monthly payment reducing benefit, you can worry less about the possibility of missing your dues or resorting to paying insufficient amounts. As a result, you won’t incur penalties and other unnecessary expenses.

Over time, as you continue making good on your promise to pay, the amount of debt you’ll have will consistently shrink. You’ll be nearer to living a debt-free life as a homeowner sooner than you think.

4 Tips to Burglar-Proof Your Home

Home and Garden

A door lock being pickedThe number of offences recorded in Victoria, Australia, including cases of home burglary, has been steadily increasing since 2011, according to the Crime Statistics Agency. If you do not want to be one of the statistics, make sure you protect your home from burglars and intruders. Here are a few tips you can follow:

Secure your windows

There are many instances when thieves grab belongings through windows, so make sure that the table where you usually place your valuable items are not near your windows. Better still, get the services of a company specialising in fitting security windows such as Kings Security Doors. Security windows work wonders in preventing burglars from taking their chances.

Fortify your front door

A good kick can easily open the first (and possibly) only barrier of your home. To keep the bad guys away, you need to reinforce the front door. Installing steel guard on the doorjamb prevents the wood from splitting during forceful entry. You can also make sure the deadbolt lock is held in place with steel strike plates.

Be tight-lipped about your plans

Sharing vacation plans over social media for everyone to see are the norm these days. It is all good, except that you just might be advertising your plans to not only family and friends but also thieves who might take advantage of that information. They will know when your home is at its most vulnerable and strike when you are not around.

Invest in an excellent alarm system

If you are serious about home security, you cannot do without an excellent alarm system. Most burglars can easily bypass sub-par alarms. For optimum security, go for alarms with cameras that allow you to monitor your home even when you are away.

Your home is your personal space. Burglars have no place in it, and with the right security measures in place, you can make sure it stays that way.

4 Clever Tips on Renovating Your House

Architecture and Landscaping

Couple in new house choosing color for wallsPerhaps you’ve been waiting to upgrade your house. Feel free to do so with some handy ideas on this guide. What’s interesting is that you’ve got a lot of options in introducing changes to your space.

Here are some tips and reminders for you:

Do some prep work

Experts say you should never miss the prep work. You have to do your share by making sure things will work out just fine. Planning will help prevent unnecessary disturbance in your timeline and anticipate problems that might arise. For instance, you can hire pest control services before the renovation process. Yes Pest Pros, Inc. recommends this move to every homeowner in Indiana.

Ask for professional help

You can’t do it all alone. The good news is that you can always seek help from professional willing to provide advice or service. You may want to call a friend who knows someone good at interior design. How about checking the yellow pages or browsing the Internet to find an expert in home renovation.

Stay on top of all things

As soon as the renovation kicks off, it will be convenient for you to impose close supervision of work progress. It is important to be on top of everything to make sure the job is done right and on schedule. If you can’t spend the entire day in the area, regular short visits will do.

Be meticulous upon turnover

You should be meticulous if you don’t want mediocre output. Check the details of the renovation project upon turnover. That means you need to spend time scrutinizing the contractor’s work before getting the contract completed. This way, you wouldn’t have a hard time convincing them to revisit the house for some polishing work, if necessary.

Now that you know these things, you can start your home renovation project. Remember to work only with a reputable contractor to ensure quality work and an excellent output.

3 Ways to Make Your Fireplace a Work of Art

Home and Garden

The fireplace serves as a source of warmth during the colder months, but it can also work as a focal point in your living room when it’s designed the right way. Give your fireside a new look and make it look great with these awesome makeover ideas.

Customize it.

Create an entirely new and customized fireplace for your Utah home. Get the design that you want with the functionality of a traditional fireplace and create a look that fits the interior design of your home. Customizing allows you to choose the style and the materials for construction, as well as have it built in the right size. Popular styles revolve around minimalist, clean designs that are timeless and easy to maintain, too. Fireplace experts in Utah offer this type of customization and can provide design ideas that complement the style that you have in mind.

Reframe it.

Bring the lackluster surround to life by way of reframing. For example, you can amplify the look of an existing floating shelf by adding pillars to encase the fireplace. You can also build cabinets and shelves around it to make it the center of the entire wall design.

If you want to keep it subtle but with a lot of character, re-style your fireplace surround with the use of faux stacked stones for a stylish, modern look. These material looks like the real thing but is lightweight, so it requires no support installation. Create a wall-length stacked stone look for an elegant and modern vibe.

Go for a minimalist look.

Create a sleek and modern look by going for a minimalist design. You can have your surround done with slabs of marble or granite for an industrial look. If you love your existing surround wall tile but feel like you need to change something about it, re-paint it or seal it to give it some depth in color.

Updating the look of your fireside is easy with the right design and input from the experts. This part of the home is often neglected, and turning it into a functional piece of art is definitely one way to liven up your living space.

Title Insurance: What No Home Buyer in NJ Can Afford to Ignore


Imagine having gone through the hassle of looking for your dream home, financing the buying process, and eventually moving in. Then when you have settled in and are going on with the exciting process of customizing your home, you get a note in the mail that crashes your world — the previous owner of your house had a lien and now your property has a new owner.

Nobody would wish for such a scenario, and you don’t have to learn this the hard way. This is where the need to appreciate the importance of title insurance policies comes in.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance refers to a policy that protects any house against problems with its legal ownership status. There are two categories of title insurance policies that can offer protection against any lien to your home:

• The lender’s policy, which protects the mortgage lender

• The owner’s policy, which protects your ownership of the property

The Process

During the mortgage approval process, your bank will conduct a title search to look into legal claims regarding your property. The bank also looks out for problems that the property could have and ways to prevent future problems.

No matter how thorough this title search may be, it doesn’t nullify the possibility of anyone showing up with papers claiming ownership of your property. Experts recommend finding the right title agency in NJ for you, so they can process your property’s title insurance quickly and give you peace of mind.

Even if you think the probability of someone claiming ownership of your property is zero, you cannot take chance on one of your life’s biggest investments. Before closing the deal, seek advice from professionals for the best advice. If you feel title insurance is an unnecessary expense, consider the financial strain you would go through once waking up to a title-related issue on your property, and how much you would have saved by taking title insurance.

*Always consult your attorney.

Housekeeping Alert: Ways to Rid Your Home of Rats and Mice

Home and Garden

Voracious nocturnal pests that eat anything – that is perhaps the most accurate description of rodents in a homeowner’s perspective. In America, many integrated pest management programs focus on rodent extermination and exclusion.

The damage they can do to a household can be quite staggering. In terms of residential pest control here in Utah, exterminators will tell you dealing with these creatures should be a priority.

How do you pest-proof your home against rats and mice? You must get to know them first.

Rats and mice

Rats are large and are a major health risk because they harbor disease-carrying insects such as fleas and mites. They may also carry microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses harmful to humans in their bloodstream. Rats are notorious for their gnawing habits.

They chew on clothes, furniture, and even the beam of a house. When you hear scratching on the walls and ceiling, you are already harboring a colony of rodents. Rarely is one rat the only rat in the house.

Mice are smaller and like to hide in the nooks and crannies. If you track their droppings, then you are likely to find out where they probably nest. They will be chewing on wiring insulation and furniture right under your nose.

They are very sneaky and hardly leave any footprints. Like rats, they live in nests and reproduce rapidly.

Traps versus inclusion

The traditional approach to exterminating rodents is trapping them. There are traps that snap, and traps with sticky surfaces. Traps usually have baits for the creatures, and while they are effective, they only catch one at a time.

Many people frown at traps because of the manner the animals struggle before they expire. Some just do not believe they solve the infestation at all.

Meanwhile, exclusion is another approach—both an intervention and a preventive measure. Exclusion entails blocking entryways such as doors, windows, tiny openings where rats and mice can enter the house. This approach may be effective in preventing re-infestation once the problem is dealt with.

If an infestation is too large for you to handle, you should call for professional help. They can also tell you how to prevent them from coming back once driven away.

Determining Your New Home’s Square Footage

Architecture and Landscaping

Big Luxury House It’s a well-known fact that Americans have relatively large homes. The most recent numbers reveal that a typical single-family residence is 2,505 square feet, and that the median size is a substantial 2,306 square feet. It’s also worth noting that the average home size has been steadily increasing since the early 1980’s. Despite the slight decline in 2010, home square footage still continues to rise.

Whether you’re opting for a pre-built house or asking custom home builders to build one for you, square footage is one thing you can’t ignore. A house can be too big, and there is also the tendency to go overboard.

How Big Should It Be?

The University of California’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families may provide an answer. A study the center conducted reveals which areas of a home people spend the most time in. Perhaps understanding which rooms garner the most attention may help in determining the right amount of square footage.

Observing 32 middle-class families during a four-year period, the researchers show that the average family spends the most time in the kitchen and the ‘family room’ (if there is one). Other common areas such as the living and dining rooms receive attention sparingly, if at all. These results point to the possibility that a very large home, prized for its amount of floor space, may actually have a lot of wasted floor space, given that many areas of the home are not fully utilized. Most of the time, it comes down to the use of the floor space. A big home has a lot of it, sure. But before buying/building one, make sure you can use a good amount of that space. Otherwise, you’ll be paying more for something you can’t really maximize.

On the other hand, opting for a smaller home might be economical, but it also has its drawbacks. First of all, there is little (if any, at all) room to expand. A smaller abode might be good for a single person, but not exactly fit for a family. Secondly, there’s likely a considerable lack of storage space.

Consider these factors when deciding on how much floor space your new home should have.

3 Home Investments that Could Make You Smile

Home and Garden

Home InteriorYou may be contented with the home that you have right now; however, there is always a room for some improvement. If you have been thinking about this too, then consider these three great additions.

Investing in a home is probably one of the wisest decisions that you have ever made. Now that you already have your home, it is time to add more value to it through some home improvements. There are three home improvements which you can consider as truly worth it. These could add value to your home and at the same time, give the entire family a huge smile every time.

The Patio

This may be one of the most important things that you can add to your home. Yes, it may be considered as an outdoor area, but it surely does wonders for the entire family. Most of the time, families gather at the patio to spend some quality time together. It is also a good place for coffee breaks in the afternoon. Do not forget to include patio enclosures, especially now that it is already the hot season. Once you have your patio, you will be surprised how it would become the most frequented area of your home.

Music Room

This is an option for families who love music. Think about it. Why allow guitars, keyboards and drums to scatter in the living area when you can have a music room where you would have all these. Your kids who play instruments will certainly enjoy it. In addition, do not forget to have the room soundproofed. According to GIKAcoustics, soundproofing the music room is very important so that the sounds of the instrument will not bother your neighbours.


This is one investment that will be worth it especially if you have more than one child. Having a playroom offers benefits not only for the kids, but even for you, as adults. Zizzy Bee Bags said that a playroom helps children learn the value of sharing and cooperative play. On the other hand, it helps your home tidier and more organised. Think about it, with a playroom, there will not be any toys lying on the floor of your living room and even in the bedrooms.

These three additions will always add value to your home. The benefits for the family are not just temporary. They are long-term benefits that you could all enjoy.