home repair

outdoor entertaining area

How to Create a More Useable Outdoor Entertaining Area

1000 500 Taylor Witt

Do you have yard space that is rarely used and that you don’t really see as living space or entertaining space? Is your backyard often just an afterthought that doesn’t really change the way you enjoy your home? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, it could be time to reimagine the way you see and use your outdoor space. A backyard not only gives you your very own slice of nature, but it can also provide the perfect entertainment area.

Seating, Patio, Furniture, Outdoor, Home, House, Garden

Here are some ways you can create a more useable outdoor entertaining area and stop letting that space go to waste.

Ensure You Have Ample Seating

The first thing you’ll want to address is seating. It’s hard to entertain if there is nowhere to sit. Be sure you give thought to the ideal amount of seating when buying furniture. Ideally you want to go as big as the space and your budget will allow, as you will always find enough bodies to fill those seats when entertaining.

Shade Should be Considered

While it’s lovely to sit out in the summer sun, there are days when it will just feel too hot and be too much. This is why you also want to think about a shade element in your design. You can opt for something simple like an umbrella that fits in the center of an outdoor table, or buy an over-sized freestanding umbrella that you can move around. Then again maybe you want something more substantial such as a retractable awning installed on the house.

Address Outdoor Storage Needs

In order to ensure you have as much space available to entertain, you need to also address outdoor storage. Basically you want to be sure that all the “clutter” and items you aren’t using are out of sight and out of mind, rather than scattered around the yard. Using attractive outdoor storage not only addresses the issue of where to store items, but does so in a way that makes it feel as though it’s part of the design concept.

Some examples of attractive outdoor storage can include built-in storage structures, under deck storage, outdoor furniture that doubles as storage (lift up tops on tables, side tables with cupboards, a lift up top ottoman and so forth), and even a full outdoor kitchen complete with plenty of built-in storage.

Think About Outdoor Games and Entertainment

Now that you’ve got the perfect area for seating, you may also want to think about those more active gatherings. Backyard games and activities can be the perfect way to entertain outdoors and spend time with family and friends. 

For those who want to take things to the next level, consider installing a hot tub, or even an above-ground or in-ground pool.

Rather than let that outdoor space go to waste, why not use these tips to create a more useable outdoor entertaining area that may quickly become your new favorite spot to hang out.

Best Ways to Get Your Home in Sellable Condition in a Hurry 

1000 500 Taylor Witt

As anyone who’s worked in real estate can attest, the home-selling process is not always an expedient one, especially selling your house with a mortgage.

With real estate currently being a buyer’s market, homebuyers have become more selective than ever, and if a property doesn’t meet their criteria, many of them will walk away without a second thought. Furthermore, depending on how popular a state, city, township or neighborhood is, a home sale can take months – at minimum.

Needless to say, this situation is hardly ideal for sellers looking to relocate in a hurry. So, if you’re hoping to find a buyer for your home in a timely manner, you’d do well to put the following tips to good use.

Fix Outstanding Cosmetic Issues 

When it comes to home-selling, first impressions are vitally important.

Since many buyers decide whether they want to look at a home’s interior based on the appearance of its exterior, sellers would be wise to remedy any outstanding cosmetic issues before placing their homes up for sale. For starters, if your home’s paint-job has seen better days, having the exterior repainted is likely to be a worthwhile investment.

Secondly, you’ll need to keep your gutters clean. If your home’s gutters have become bent, worn-down or outright broken, take this opportunity to replace them. When addressing cosmetic issues, give your driveway and walkway a good once-over. Should you come across any stains or cracks, start cleaning and/or patching. If either area has accumulated a significant number of cracks, it may be time to repave. Additionally, any problems with your roof should be addressed in advance of the house is shown.  

Cosmetic issues don’t just apply to the house itself. For example, if your front yard is in a state of disarray, take care to get things in order before showing your home to potential buyers.

This means keeping your lawn mowed, trimming any shrubbery and cleaning up any kids’ toys after every outdoor play session. Furthermore, if your yard features a garden, make sure that it’s well tended-to throughout the home-selling process. Keep in mind that colorful flowers can be a great vehicle for getting eyeballs on your home.      

Replace Outdated Appliances 

Outdated appliances are a huge turn-off for some homebuyers and the prospect of having to replace old appliances factors heavily into their decision making. As such, if any of your home’s major appliances are on their last legs, it may be a good idea to replace them in advance of selling your home.

This will help imbue the property with a modern, cutting-edge feel and assuage the anxieties of buyers who don’t want to spend money on new appliances. Additionally, if upgrading certain appliances proves financially strenuous, consider altering your asking price to include the money you spent. 

Repair Outstanding Electrical and Plumbing Issues 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a homebuyer willing to invest in a property with outstanding electrical and plumbing issues. Even if you agree to deduct the cost of essential repairs from your asking price, most buyers are likely to walk away. Furthermore, outside of house flippers, placing a home with said issues on the market is unlikely to attract many prospective buyers.

With this in mind, make a point of repairing any electrical or plumbing issues before putting the property up for sale. Depending on the scope of the problem(s), this is liable to prove expensive. In order to pay for the repairs in a timely manner, you may need to borrow from a retirement account or Roth IRA. To get a solid idea of how much your IRA stands to accumulate, use a Roth IRA calculator

If you’ve ever sold a home, you’re likely familiar with how slow and drawn-out the process can be. Depending on where you live, the state of the market and the general condition of your property, the selling process can play out over a period of months – if not years.

However, if you need to relocate in an expedient manner for personal reasons or a career opportunity, you may not have the luxury of sitting on a property that won’t sell. Sellers looking to increase their odds of finding buyers in a timely manner may be well-served by the previously discussed pointers.

new homeowners guide

New Homeowner’s Guide: 7 Tips to Lower Maintenance Costs

1000 500 Taylor Witt

Buying a house is one of the costliest endeavors in everyone’s life. If you plan on taking this major step, you have to be extra careful and considerate about it, especially when it comes to the financial aspects. If you have a strict budget and need to spend all your savings on your dream home, you’re probably well aware that the next few years will not be about careless expenses. 

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table

Of course, even if you’ll have a slimmer wallet after the purchase, it doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to spending your hard-earned monthly cash on the things you love. As a homeowner, there are specific ways you can save as much money as possible while also making your house a better investment and also minimizing every financial risk that might arise. 

What’s the secret that every homeowner needs to know? Well, it all boils down to how well you can manage your home’s maintenance. Every house or apartment requires some repair or constant upkeep. Considering your home’s age and condition, the annual maintenance cost is about 1% of your house or apartment’s value. So, if you’ve spent like $350,000 on it, it’s a good idea to put aside at least $3,500 just for upkeep. 

How to do that and how to lower the expenses when it comes to the maintenance part of it? Luckily for you, we’ve got all the answers you need, and we’re ready to share them with you, so stay tuned!

Be smart about buying and moving in

If you’re still at the consideration phase and haven’t picked out your home yet, meaning you are preparing your budget for the purchase, don’t forget that you can keep the maintenance expenses down with a few simple tricks.

It’s always a great idea to look for a relatively newly built home. A house that is only a few years old probably suffered less wear and tear. Before signing the papers and shaking hands, inspect the home thoroughly, looking for signs that might indicate potential problems and higher repair costs. 

You can save a few hundred dollars on moving, too.

How? The idea is to find a moving company that’s trustworthy, professional, and licensed and offers services that are reliable and not that expensive. Empire Movers can take the burden of moving off your shoulders while making sure your wallet remains pretty thick.

Be a handyman

If you have fundamental knowledge and skills for basic maintenance jobs, you can save a small fortune on an annual basis. Even if you’re not as experienced as a pro, you can still get the job done. Plus, there are dozens of articles, videos, and how-to guides on various upkeep tasks, so you can always learn more.

Plus, when you do the work yourself, you don’t have to wait for a contractor. Usually, the waiting time is a few days, but it can take even a week for a pro to visit your home and check for a solution during busy periods. However, there are specific maintenance tasks you probably shouldn’t do if you’re not a professional. Jobs that necessitate some skills or technical knowledge, such as electrical work, is best left for a real pro. 

When you can’t do everything yourself

As we’ve mentioned above, there are certain tasks you must leave to a professional. Even if you’ve become a DIY master in a short time, there will also be some maintenance jobs that require the eyes and hands of a skilled pro. To get the job done the right way, you need to hire a contractor or request a company’s services.

Before you decide on a contractor or a professional firm, do you research and get to know them. Recommendations and referrals are beneficial in these situations, as they are the best way to find trustworthy and experienced service providers. If they offer discounts or cut you a nice deal, that’s the icing on the cake. 

Prevention is key

With everything in life, preventing a small issue from becoming a major problem is a course you must take. It’s a great idea to conduct routine upkeep. Be sure to replace the furnace’s air filter at least once every three months. By doing this simple task, you can vastly increase the lifespan of your costly HVAC system. Plus, fixing cracks in your windows or doors or cleaning out the gutter every once in a while will reduce maintenance costs in the long run. 

Prepare for seasonal changes

As a homeowner, you have to adjust for every season. For example, winter has a totally different effect on your home than summer. This is especially true if you live in an area with stark differences between these two seasons, meaning winters are freezing, summers are way too hot. 

When your home faces different environmental effects every single year, such as heavy snow, too much freezing, or strong sunlight, you have to count on various types of damages. The alternating cycles of contraction and expansion will put your house to the test. To avoid big problems, conduct a thorough seasonal inspection and fix the things that need your attention. 

Know the problematic aspects of your home

It’s no secret that every house or apartment has its weak points, those areas that can become challenging offer the years, meaning you have to spend more money on fixing them. For instance, if you’ve moved into an older home, a shaky foundation might cause you a headache from time to time. Or the roof needs constant maintenance. Getting to know your home’s pain points as soon as you move in will help you become proactive and prepared, so you can handle the issue properly when the time and occasion arises. 

Cash reserve for maintenance

Yes, having an emergency fund is easier said than done when you’ve just dumped your entire savings on a new home. However, if you can, make sure you set some money aside just for upkeep. Considering the size, age, and value of your home, you should save at least a few hundred dollars. Of course, the more you manage to save, the easier time you will have with maintenance. 

Small Improvements and Tweaks for New Homeowners to Consider

1000 500 Taylor Witt

Major changes to the interior and exterior of a building are obvious to see as a new homeowner, but they are costly. However, there are smaller tweaks and improvements you can consider that are less apparent but can be just as pleasing once completed. Here are 4 worth considering.

Watering Can, Digging Fork, Gardening, Garden

Filter the Water Supply

If you have moved to a new area, the water supply may taste a little different from what you’re used to, especially if the water isn’t originating from the same water utility now.

It will become even more necessary to include either individual water filters (use ceramics to cut out the need for replacements) or a whole house filtration system for larger properties. This way, the water will taste more consistent with what you’ve previously become accustomed to. Also, there won’t be any concerns about contaminants in the water from old water pipes nearby either. 

Keeping It Simple

There are a ton of unopened boxes and all sorts of furniture to move around and organize after moving in. It’s perhaps only at this point that we realize how much stuff we have and how so much of it is unnecessary. Unless you are moving into an expansive home, it will likely fill up pretty fast. Once this is done, even the larger rooms will begin to feel restrictive and the smaller ones will now seem overly cozy. This can lead to a sense of disappointment, which is a shame. 

If you didn’t do so before relocating, it’s a great time to assess what you have and reduce it to something more manageable. This will create more open space in each room to avoid it ever feeling cramped. 

Landscape Gardening

If one look at the backyard doesn’t bring out a broad smile, then you will need to consider the options carefully. Even with smaller backyards, adding some carefully chosen landscape gardening will create points of distinction and a clear focus for visitors. It will also avoid a plain area from looking uninspiring. 

If there’s an existing patio, then it’s worth cleaning the patio tiles to remove any moss or discoloration that has built up over time. Also, if there isn’t a barbeque grill already present and it’s not currently in storage in the garage, then consider if one should take pride of place off to the side of the seating area. 

Swap Out the Lighting for LEDs

For older homes that still use outdated lighting fixtures and light bulbs that use considerable energy, it’s time to make the switch to LEDs. LED light bulbs use a fraction of the energy of traditional light bulbs. They also fail far less frequently and run many times as long. This means you’ll replace them less frequently and won’t need to stockpile a bunch of them either. 

Also, you may wish to install some dimmer switches to better control their illumination level because these bulbs are much brighter. Doing so makes it more pleasant in the evening when your eyes can do with a rest. 

While major changes are splashier and get the attention, small improvements are still worth attending to. Often, they’re the ones that provide greater comfort or convenience. 

matching curtains and blinds

How To Match Your Home Decor To Your Curtains And Blinds?

1000 500 Taylor Witt

If you’re in the market for new curtains or blinds, you will want to ensure whatever you choose matches the style and decor of your home. It can be difficult choosing the window treatments for your home, with so many products and styles to choose from, however, the first step is to look at the existing decor to find out what options will suit the style of your home and make your furniture and fixtures pop for all the right reasons. 

woman sitting in front of building

Whether you are installing blinds, curtains, or any other style of window treatment, there are a few things to consider when you are shopping around for your home decor. Here are some tips on how you can match your home decor to your curtains and blinds.

1. Go with a solid color or something that is neutral in tone 

No one wants to remember your home simply for your curtains or blinds, and choosing the color for your window treatments should focus on finding a solid color or palette that compliments the furniture and style of the specific room you are installing the blinds or curtains in. Stay away from prints and loud, on-trend styles, and move towards natural or neutral colors that will blend in with the room and suit a wide range of tastes. 

2. Match your curtains to your walls 

A simple trick to choosing a great curtain or blind is to select a product that matches your walls or is close to the same shade. This way, you can accentuate the room without taking away from the style of the furniture and soft furnishings you have in your space. You can add a pop of color on your lounge or couch, so a neutral color that matches the walls can be a great option for your home or space. 

3. If you have a pattern on your couch, keep your curtains or blinds solid in color 

It can be overwhelming to walk into a room and see a pattern on a couch contrasting a pattern on a curtain, so if you have a pattern in one, keep the other simple. Rather than a pattern on a curtain, why not consider a textured look, to add the extra dimension you might be looking for. 

4. Call in the experts if styling isn’t your thing 

At the end of the day, if styling a home or decor isn’t your thing, a blind and curtain professional can help style your home or property with options that will suit the space and draw attention to your decor for the right reasons. There are styles such as clashing color with patterns that can be achieved, however, it is best to ensure someone with a good design eye completes this look. 

Summing up

There are plenty of benefits for adding new curtains and blinds to the property including privacy, adding some extra style to space, and also adding some energy efficiency to windows and doors. A professional curtain and blind provider can visit your home, measure, quote, and provide examples of materials and curtains that would suit your home or space. 

Curtains and blind styles are a personal decision, however, if you are looking to sell your property in the near future, you should be mindful to select neutral options that could appeal to a wide range of tastes and preferences. While bright and bold might be your preferred choice, it might not suit the next homeowner and could put them off during a home inspection. 

4 Key Home Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Homeownership is one of life’s great milestones, but it also comes with a lot of responsibilities that many people overlook. Poor home maintenance can cost you a lot of money. Proper maintenance and inspections can help you prevent a disaster and protect your investment.

Roofing and Gutters

It is a sensible idea to inspect your roof once or twice a year, before and after fall and winter. If you have missing roof tiles or shingles, these could cause massive damage to your home in a short amount of time. Missing shingles equal leaks in your roof.  Pay close attention to areas like chimneys and skylights, as these are the areas most prone to damage. 

When inspecting the Roof

Look for damaged roofing and nails popped up or tar that has separated or torn loose. When you can see nails uncovered in the shingles this is a sign that sealants are failing. A simple fix is to recoat visible nails with roofing tar.

bird's eye view of assorted-color roof tiles

Look for damaged or cracked roof vents. This is a common problem with plastic roof vents. Cracked roof vents can turn into a source of water penetration. A temporary fix would be to caulk the cracks until you could get them replaced. If replacing I would only recommend going with a metal roof vent. 

Drainage from the roof is important, and blocked gutters can cause water damage to your home’s sidings or brickwork. Leaves from the fall and even children’s toys like rubber balls and frisbees can block guttering and cause water to overflow and cause costly damage.

Plumbing and Toilets

According to 5-Star Plumbing, water damage can be incredibly expensive to repair, so every homeowner should be proactive and take steps to check for leaks in their home as well as preventative steps to protect their plumbing system.

grayscale photography of metal pipes

Clear your sinks and drains of cooking fat and hair using appropriate chemicals, and check pipes for signs of leakage such as rust or limescale build-up and damp patches. Leaking toilets can cost a lot of money in utility bills. Check if your toilet is leaking internally by adding some food coloring to the tank. Leave it for an hour or so, without flushing, and check the toilet bowl for signs of the food coloring. If there is some coloring in the bowl, then you have a small leak that could be costing you money.

Be sure to check valves and hoses. Burst water hoses cause millions of dollars in damage to homes every year. Valves and hoses should be assessed for damage and wear or simply replaced due to age.

Toilets Failure

Over time some of the components on your toilet will fail, this includes, wax ring, handle, assembly, and base seal.

“One of the most common plumbing calls we get are from people with running toilets. Often either the flapper has worn out or the toilet assembly needs to be completely replaced,” explains Stuart McHenry who is the Co-founder of Office Gator a phone service for plumbers.

Over time wax rings fail. Look for signs of leakage all around the toilet. The floor may be raised from absorption of the leak. Make sure that the silicone seal has a gap near the back and does not completely seal. Plumbers due this to give a leak a place to go. If you do a full silicone seal around the base of the toilet a leak has not where to go but down. In addition it will most likely cause flooring damage before you notice it. 

Air Conditioning and Air Filters

Your home heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will require some regular maintenance too.

white and gray box fan

Poor maintenance of your HVAC can prevent it from working effectively, cost you extra money in running costs, and also be a hazard to your health. Air filters should be replaced regularly, so look for replacements for your system. HEPA filters help remove particles in the air that can aggravate asthma and other breathing conditions and have been shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses including COVID-19.

Some air filters can be used for long periods of time, up to 6-12 months, depending on your system. Most use a standard size filter and are required to be changed anywhere from 30-90 days depending on the area you live in. In my dusty area we have to change our air filters every two months or the air filter will become overloaded and block the air flow. 

Home Appliance Maintenance

Washing machines require plumbing to work, and poorly installed or maintained water hoses can cause small leaks that grow quickly, and damage your home. Make annual checks to your washing machine to make sure it is connected properly and that the supply hose is in good working order. When it comes to washing machine hoses I only used braided stainless steel. In addition, I replace them every 10 years no matter what. This is a great example of how $30 in maintenance can save you thousands in damage.

Some refrigerators also have a water supply for making ice or supplying chilled water, so you should check their water supply hose regularly too. Also, check the seals around the chilled and frozen sections of your refrigerator to ensure they are in good condition and form a complete seal between the doors and the body of the appliance. Poor sealing is incredibly energy inefficient and will cost you money. Fridges also have a section of water line that needs to be checked and replaced just like a washing machine hose.

Maintaining a home can prevent major expensive failures. This doesn’t mean you won’t have to eventually replace items, it’s still a good idea to set money aside for when a major improvement does need to be done such as heating system replacement or re-roofing your house. 

With these tips, you should be able to protect your home and prevent damage that can cost thousands to repair, as well as being disruptive to you and your family’s daily life.

Curb Appeal Upgrades for 2020 Sellers

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Are you looking at selling your home? Or are you simply wanting to do renovations? Whatever the case, we all like to have an attractive curb appeal. Everybody likes to have a nice front yard. Having an attractive curb appeal and a nice front yard are what will help homeowners to attract potential buyers. It will also help real estate agents to sell your home for you.

white and black house near to pond

Improving the curb appeal of your home is not as hard as you might think. In this article, we will have a look at how to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home, whether you are selling your home in New York, Michigan or in Canadian regions like luxury North Vancouver homes. We hope these ideas will inspire you to give them a go.

Give The Front Porch a Fresh Coat of Paint

Giving the front porch a fresh coat of paint will hide any noticeable wear and tare that may be lurking on your house. It will also make it look as though you care about the appearance of your house rather than let it age and look run down. Why not get creative with whatever design you decide to use. You could even get adventurous with the color of paint that you select as well. If you are not sure on what paint color to use, you can call in a professional to help you with this. Don’t be afraid to get second opinions before going ahead with painting.

Front Yard

The front yard is one of the first things that people see when they drive or walk past our homes. It can leave a good impression or it can leave a bad impression of your home and property. Giving your front yard a makeover is well worth the effort. From plants, to landscape lighting, to perfect symmetry, these can all drastically improve your front yard.

Planting Bed, Plants, Potted Plants and Flowers

Consider planting a variety of plants, potted plants, flowers and perhaps even a planting bed in your front yard. There are so many options that you can choose from so why not get creative in this. Again, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from someone professional if you don’t know much about gardening. Whether you have a small yard or a large yard, you can be sure that there will be something suitable to plant in them. You never know, you may soon fall in love with your new gardens and find yourself out in them every day.

Bird Feeders

Bird feeders make for fantastic decorations. From small bird feeders to large bird feeders, you can place them anywhere in any yard.

If you have a love for birds and they do not come to your home, then this could be one way to attract them. Just be sure to investigate the right type of bird feeder you need that also keeps away insects and pesky rodents like squirrels from eating all of the bird seed you put out.

Bird feeders can also come with water fountains that can be filled with water. The rain can also fill these feeders up. This will allow the birds to come and drink from your bird feeder and enjoy the yard that you have created.

Front Porch and Front Door

The front porch and front door are just as important as the front yard. This is the first place that people step on to before coming into your home. If you want to attract people in to your home, then the front porch should be designed to be attractive. It should also be kept neat, clean and tidy. Choose an attractive paint color and design for the front porch and front door. They should blend in well with each other. The door itself can also have its own special and unique design.

Install Window Boxes

If suitable, window boxes can also be installed on to the front porch of your home. These will allow you to have even more room for plants, flowers or herbs in them giving you more space to bring nature into you front porch. It is not as hard as you might think to install window boxes on to the front porch of your home.

Outdoor Lighting

We all need to see where we are going if outside after dark. Outdoor lighting also needs to be considered. Not only for the front yard also for the backyard. The lighting could simply be under your porches, or it could also be included in other areas of the yard. From large lights, to small lights, to lanterns and fairy lights. There is a wide range of outdoor lighting that you can choose from to help make your yards and porches attractive. As Garage is important too, you can also buy Garage doors online to enhance the beauty of the backyard.

Home Buyers

If you are going to be selling your home, you want to be sure to attract home buyers. You will not attract home buyers if you do not make the necessary home improvements to your home. You can be sure that real estate agents will know what they are looking for if you want them to sell your home for you. They will also be able to tell you what you need to do to make your home look appealing. The home’s curb appeal really has to be attractive enough for potential buyers.

Preparing your home for sale, requires time and effort. Don’t be afraid to start as early as possible. Do as much research as you can for design ideas. Don’t be afraid to go to professionals for help. They will be able to give you the best advice possible as to how you can Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home.

You can be sure that by doing all of the above will help you to boost your home’s curb appeal. You might even find yourself pleasantly surprised as to just how quickly you will be able to sell your home by making the necessary home improvements. Preparing your home in this way will be well worth the time and effort that you put into it.

For more information about using a Realtor to sell your house, check out the info below from our friends at Homelight.

When To Contact a Realtor to Sell Your House
Provided by When To Contact a Realtor to Sell Your House

pipes and plumbing

Should A Landlord Take Care Of Pipes And Plumbing?

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Say you’ve invested in real estate and rented out your property to a tenant and one day you get a message that there are a broken pipe and plumbing issues in your renter’s home. If you’re new to being a landlord, you might be wondering to yourself if that responsibility falls under you, or if your tenant has to maintain upkeep.

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table

Being a landlord is no easy feat as there are a plethora of property management responsibilities that fall on your shoulders. To help, this guide will provide you with some insight into what you should do if a situation like the above were to occur. That way, you’d be more prepared to handle various circumstances and avoid unnecessary issues with your tenants. 

What does the law say?  

While this can vary in different countries and states, it’s generally dictated that it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair both the pipes and the plumbing in a rental unit, while providing proper maintenance to ensure that they’re in tip-top shape. This obligation falls under two theories of the lease requiring it, and something is known as the “implied warranty of habitability.” 

selective focus photography of three books beside opened notebook

What happens if it has been violated?  

With a lease, it’s usually either a written or verbal agreement where the renter agrees to pay a stipulated amount of money for the rent to obtain the premise in a habitable condition. In the UK this is referred to as a tenancy agreement. In the US, many call it a lease agreement. 

red and blue love neon light signage

If the home that they’re renting is not maintained in the condition which is agreed upon – such as clogged waste disposal or improper plumbing, then this is considered a violation of the lease. With that, the occupant can choose to enforce it against you, as they’re not getting what they paid for. 

As for the second theory, it essentially refers to the rental unit needing to be safely habitable. This includes not having mold in the home to having working plumbing. For this particular theory, however, you don’t have to fix anything minor such as a drip. However, if there are larger plumbing issues that are affecting both the habitability and health of the occupant, then it must be addressed immediately. 

If not, the individual renting the unit can choose to pay rent into escrow until repairs have been completed. This not only pertains to plumbing, but also other issues like spaces within the property – such as the kitchen and bathroom not being properly maintained. In this instance, you should help in remodeling the space and convert it into something that’s aesthetically-pleasing and most importantly, safe. 

What if something serious happens? 

While one can hope it never happens, sometimes a massive leak can occur – resulting in the damage of belongings. In such a scenario, you would have violated a duty in maintenance which can be considered as legally negligent. When this occurs, you would need to pay for any losses which could encapsulate property damage, and any additional costs and expenses incurred. 

water coming out from gray pipe

It doesn’t just all fall on you though, the tenant also has to act responsibly and notify you early to alleviate the condition. If the water leak or plumbing issue occurred even with proper maintenance, or the occupant did something to cause the problem, then you’d be able to avoid responsibility altogether.  

Summing up

The best thing to do is to avoid such a situation from happening at all. While accidents do happen sometimes, it’s your obligation as a landlord to minimize such incidents. Before renting out your property, check that there are no maintenance issues and that all repairs have been made. After the property has been rented out, the tenant should also be made aware that if anything urgent were to happen such as a burst pipe or electrical problems, the occupant needs to alert you immediately.  

It’s a two-way relationship between you and whoever you’re renting to. Just as you’re making an effort to provide them with a comfortable living space, they should also help with maintaining the premise and common areas. With proper communication and both parties doing their part, it can reduce confusion and prevent any misunderstandings down the line.

What To Consider When You Are Undertaking A Home Renovation 

1000 500 Sam Radbil

If you have decided to renovate your home, but your head is spinning what you need to do to get everything underway, the key is planning. By creating a plan for your renovation you can ensure the process is as smooth and easy as possible, without the unexpected issues that often pop up when you least expect it. 

brown wooden stairs

Whether you are planning to do some of the renovations yourself or you are calling in the experts, be sure to sit down and map out a plan so you have a stage by stage outline of what you can expect to pay and how long the process will take. 

Steps for your home renovation 

Here are some basic steps to consider when undertaking a renovation, the key to a great renovation is planning and preparation – that way you have the peace of mind that your project will run smoothly and there won’t be huge surprises. 

gray concrete walls with broken floor

Plan and design the renovation

This is important as you will need a draftsman to plan your design or at least have a rough idea of what you will be updating or renovating. Whether it is a small project or a large one, you will need to check with your local council what is allowed and what projects require a DA. 

person writing bucket list on book

Research builders and trades

Now is a good time to ask for recommendations for trades and builders that can help carry out the work. Word of mouth recommendations are always best, however, a quick online search can also find some great options. 

black and white box on brown wooden table

Order your materials, fixtures, and fittings

You will need to plan ahead and order in any materials, appliances, or specific items required for the build. A builder or your trades will be able to help source these items and can help with this stage.

turned-on pendant lamps

Don’t leave it too late, otherwise, you might wind up blowing out the timing of the project waiting for materials to arrive. 

Create a plan for the renovation

man climbing on ladder inside room

Now you should work out who is doing what and what days, there will be a range of stages including demolition, framing, walls, and ceilings, installing appliances and cabinetry, adding in flooring, lighting, and painting, and each process should be done in a specific order. You can’t paint the house, for example, until everything has been installed otherwise you will wind up needing to do this again. 

Once you have completed your renovation you might need your local council to do an inspection and sign off the work, so be sure to keep them up to date if you have deadlines for the project, so they are aware of each stage of completion. 

No matter the size of the renovation project, it is always important to have a plan in place and work closely with your trades to ensure the work is carried out on time and one budget. Whether you are spending a few thousand or a hundred thousand, work to a plan and you will wind up having a smoother renovation with fewer hassles guaranteed.

Steps for Protecting Your Home from a Termite Infestation 

1000 500 Sam Radbil

Many homeowners often wonder how they can prevent termites from destroying their homes. There are two primary methods for preventing termite damage to your home. Those methods include preventing termites from gaining access to your home and treating termites if they do gain access. Hiring an expert termite control company can help with both of those goals.

brown leaves

One of the best ways to prevent termite access to your home is to schedule regular termite inspections. A qualified expert should perform these inspections on an annual basis. During these inspections, your pest control expert can address any conditions in and around your home that might lead to termite access. Such everyday situations include contact between wood and the ground as well as the presence of excessive moisture.

An expert termite control company can also provide recommendations regarding preventative termite treatments. These treatments may include bait and monitoring systems or even direct wood treatment. By working with a pest control professional, you can determine which treatment is most useful for your home’s situation.

Removal of access is another crucial step in preventing termites from gaining access to your home. Homeowners can accomplish this by sealing any gaps around gas and water lines that might provide entry to the house. Pest control experts also recommend reducing wood-to-ground contact when possible. Depending on your situation, your pest control expert may recommend treating wood in your home with termiticide.

brown wooden surface

By working with an experienced pest control company, you will also learn how to reduce food sources that might make your home more attractive to termites. It would help if you disposed of any cellulose materials that might be present in your home, particularly in crawl spaces. Additionally, it would be best if you relocated landscaping mulch, so it is a minimum of six inches away from your home’s foundation.

It is also essential to reduce as much excess moisture as possible. Homeowners should ensure there is no opportunity for water to accumulate around their home’s foundation. It would be best if you also took care of faulty gutters, leaky plumbing, or any moisture problems that might be present in crawl spaces or the basement of your home. The same approach applies to air conditioner condensation lines.

grey and brown house

Homeowners may also find it beneficial to seal all the crevices and cracks in their homes to prevent termites from gaining access to their homes. An easy way to accomplish this is by giving your home a fresh coat of paint. The installation of foundation vents and bug screens over windows is also vital for keeping termites out of your home.

Your pest management professional can also provide recommendations regarding prevention techniques. A monitoring station can give warning of termite activity in your home. The earlier you are notified of the presence of termites in your home, the more opportunity you will have to address the situation early on. Homeowners should keep in mind that monitoring stations do not provide termite infestation protection. It is still important to discuss proactive treatment with your termite control company.