Category Archives for "City Living"

Gutter cleaning – Why you must do it

Gutter cleaningAfter heavy rain the last thing any home owner wants to experience is to have to spend a lot of money replacing damaged plaster and paint work on the inside of their home or repair roof tiles.

However, it is possible to save yourself a considerable amount of money simple by understanding the need for regular gutter cleaning. Most property owners view their roof drainage system as “out of sigh, out of mind” but cleaning the gutters at the top of your home is a vital part of any home maintenance and should never be avoided.

Many years ago, homes and building were not fitted with gutters, and architects and old time engineers never considered that an effective gutters system was important.

Roof top drainage was usually achieved by homes and buildings being constructed with very steep and large over hanging roofs that where constructed in such a way that water was channeled into a specially designed gathering area which was then used for washing and drinking.

But now the standard for modern constructions all over the world is an efficient roof drainage system – which clearly makes good sense. When we have a heavy down pour or storm, the water is effectively channeled of the roof, into a practical drainage system and routed away from our valuable homes.

All gutter systems are fitted with downspouts – usually located at each corner of our property to ensue water is carried away quickly and with minimum risk of overflowing.

There are many environmentalists that prefer having gutter systems that lead directly into a specially designed catchment containers where the water is then stored for later use in the dry months. Separate water catchments systems are not only considered environmental friendly but can also have significant savings on household water bills- if your home has a water meter.

But, irrespective of whether the water is stored for later use or led away by a regional or national underground drainage system, having clogged gutters can be a very expensive affair. Water from your roof is unable to escape through the nearest downpipe then they will eventually overflow and the water will come rushing down your exterior walls, then it’s is only a mater of time before it starts to permeate through your outside walls and through to the interior of your property.

As internal damp and wet patches start to manifest within the inside of your home paintwork and decorations will rapidly start to break down and become strained.

Flash floods can happen with very little notice and if your gutter system is blocked rain water can also penetrate through your roof tiles, and into the attic area of your home then down onto your inside ceilings. Apart from the financial costs to replace broken roof tiles internal plaster and paint work on your ceilings will be come damaged.

Whether you get your gutters attended to by a commercial gutter cleaning company or you decide to do them yourself, in the long term it can only help you avert an expensive disaster buy possibly saving you a lot of unnecessary repair work.

All property experts agree that you should get your home gutters checked at least once or twice a year, to stop roof moss, twigs from trees, dead leaves, dead birds and even children’s toys from blocking your gutters. And you can use a removal service like Montgomery County Dumpster Rental that I use here, or if you’re lucky enough to have a small yard you can always just compost them and be even more eco-friendly.

So the next time you see your gutter system overflowing, take immediate action, and have them checked by a competent gutter cleaning company before the internal damage to your home turns into expense that could have easily been avoided.

Backyard Smoking!

Smoking Your Own Meat

Smoking Your Own MeatSmoking Your Own Meat

If you are someone that is interested in smoking your own meat, you would be glad to know that there are plenty of different ways to do so. There are a lot of benefits to doing so as well.

Not only can it allow you to develop a skill that you can pass down to your children, but it can save you an incredible amount of money and even allow you to get better results from your cooking.

However, in order to smoke your own meat, you will need various tools at your disposal. Below, we will be going over some of them.

What Is Needed To Smoke Your Own Meat?

1. BBQ Smoker Thermometer.

One of the main tools that you should purchase if you are looking to get into smoking your own meat would be a BBQ smoker thermometer. You want one of these because it will allow you to really get a good gauge on where your meat is at. By doing this and having it available to you at all times, you are going to be able to figure out when you will need to do various things during the stages of the meat smoking process.

This will allow you to smoke your meat at just the right temperature and get it perfect each and every time. There are plenty of different options available that you would be able to choose from whether you want wired or wireless.

2. Grill Set.

Another major tool that you are going to want to have handy if you are looking to get into meat smoking would have to be a variety piece grill set. If you can only afford to purchase one single accessory for your meat smoking hobby, you are going to want to choose this one.

A grill set will allow you to be able to do everything from handling the meat to cooking it right. You want various items in this kind of set including a grill brush, tongs, spatulas, basting brush, and more. You can find other good smoker tips here.

3. Insulated Food Gloves.

Another important tool that you are going to want to have available would be a good pair of insulated food gloves. Handling any kind of smoked food can be a dangerous proposition. Therefore, you will want to be sure to provide your hands with proper protection for temperatures that can exceed 500 degrees at times.

This is going to allow you to handle the food and the tools necessary to smoke the meat easily without the risk of burning yourself.

Overall, there are plenty of different things that you are going to want to do when it comes to smoking meat. If you are looking to get into the hobby of smoking your own meat, you will want to properly prepare for it by investing in these handy tools and gadgets.

That way, you will be able to get the best results from your meat smoking activity and you will be able to do it effectively and safely.

What Landlords Can Really Do?

landlord problems

landlord problemsHow to safe guard yourself from unlawful circumstances between you and your landlord.

Well I must say first of all that I have always loved to move. I’m just one of those odd people. However, I just moved and it has been a Hellish experience. There have been numerous things but the highlights are: the realty company has refused to send someone to fix my air conditioner-it gets up to 100 degrees in here; I am also renting another property from them and they have tried to make me turn in my keys while making me pay the rent for three more months.

This means that they would be getting money from me for two houses (one that I would not have access to) and a new tenant.

And finally, after two weeks of living here I received a call saying that they sold this house and that I have to move again and that if I decide to move to somewhere that is not under them that I will lose my deposit. Wow!A San Fransisco landlord has been in the media lately for being sued. He has tried shutting off utilities, threatening, and intimidating the current tenants so that they will move and he can raise the price for new tenants.

The renting industry is getting vicious all over the nation-they have become the new faulty “car salesman”. Here are some things that you as a tenant should be familiar with to safeguard yourself.

Deposits

There is a legal maximum amount that a landlord can charge you for a deposit:do research to make sure that you are not being overcharged. Make a list of every scratch and crack in the apartment or house you are about to rent; if you do not (even if the landlord knows the problem was there before you moved there) they can say you did it and keep your deposit.

Your landlord cannot withhold your deposit for things such as nail holes; they can however, for things such as big holes in the walls or broken windows that were not there prior to you moving in.

Leases

Many times a landlord will tell you things that are not in your lease to get you to move in. Make sure that you get this in writing-and always keep a copy of your lease and written statements from the landlord.

You can get out of your lease if you have proof that your landlord has violated your renter’s rights or the lease.

It is imperative to read your lease thoroughly before signing it; sometimes there are some illegal clauses within the lease agreement such as :

  • statements that you will give up your right to defend yourself in court against the landlord.
  • statement that the landlord can enter your house at any time.
  • limitations to responsibilities that a landlord is legally responsible for.
  • statement that if you and your landlord have to go to court that you will pay their court fees.
  • statement that the landlord has the right to keep your belongings if you go move or get evicted.

Rent

Most states do not have rent control laws. If you are about to renew a lease, the owner can increase the amount of rent to any price (even if it is outrageous).

Landlords

If your landlord refuses to repair something you should write a letter to them (and keep a copy) with the date, your name,problem,if the problem is a threat to your health or safety, and you can also legally add that if the repairs aren’t done in a week’s time that you will: take legal action, make repairs yourself, terminate your lease, or request a written explanation as to why the repairs are delayed or refused. But remember, these are for legitimate repairs, not for something like Christmas lights installation or even lawn care unless it is specifically in your lease.

Your landlord can only enter your home for reasons specified in your lease and with notice.

Your landlord cannot harass you (such as the San Fransisco landlord) or threaten you or turn off your utilities.

If you are evicted, the landlord must allow you to get your belongings if not they can be convicted of “conversion” which is a term basically for theft.-This also means that they cannot damage your personal belongings.-This also includes the fact that they cannot keep your personal belongings for past rent that is due.They cannot sell your property for past rent either. They can hold your property as collateral if it is in the lease.(This is a crime).

Evictions

The landlord can only legally evict you in the following circumstances:

  • For breaking your lease.
  • For not paying due rent.
  • If you are committing crimes within the property or destroy property.
  • If you are renting on a month to month basis and your month is up.

I know this sounds like a lot but you should know your rights and state laws to keep yourself safely within your home. You should always keep rental agreements and written notices in case a situation comes up or you must go to court.

Benefits Of Artificial Turf for City Dwellers

artificial turf in ciryArtificial turf is essentially ‘fake grass.’ It has many applications and is actually used across a variety of industries. It is now being adopted for consumer residential use as well. There are numerous advantages of artificial turf. Below, we will be going over some of them.

Benefits Of Artificial Turf – What Is It?

1. Low Maintenance.

One of the biggest benefits of this kind of artificial turf is the fact that it requires very little to no maintenance at all. Unlike natural grass, turf actually requires no maintenance in order to maintain it properly. Therefore, it can achieve the same beautiful green appearance regardless of the time of year or whether it’s had sufficient care.

Because it never grows, you do not have to worry about cutting it at all. All you need to do is simply lay the turf down in place and you can forget it’s even there.

2. More Green.

Another significant benefit of artificial turf is the fact that it is much more green than traditional grass and other alternatives. Because natural grass goes through various stages and periods of time where it might actually turn brown and look unsightly, it is not going to provide you with all year green.

This is especially true if you live in an area that does not get a lot of rain throughout the entire year. Because of this, a lot of homeowners are turning to the artificial turf in order to have a great looking yard throughout the entire year without having to worry about drought seasons.

3. Environmentally Friendly.

Another significant benefit that you are going to be able to get with artificial turf is the ability to invest in something that is actually good for the environment. Because the product itself does not require any sort of maintenance, you are not going to have to consistently use a gas powered lawn mower to cut it and you wouldn’t need to waste water on it as well.

Because of this, it is much more eco-friendly than having natural grass yards. You do not need to waste any sort of natural resources on maintaining the look of artificial turf.

4. Save Money.

Another benefit that you are going to be able to get from investing in artificial turf is the ability to save money over the long haul. Because it does not require any sort of maintenance, you are not going to have to invest in a lawnmower or anything to maintain your lawn. This alone is going to keep you from having to make high initial investments in your lawn and it can end up adding up even more throughout the lifetime of your turf.

Overall, there are plenty of different benefits that you are going to be able to get and enjoy when you make the investment in artificial turf. You should really look at it as an investment that can pay off in a big time by providing you with more free time, less stress, and the ability to save money.

Mixing & Matching Fabrics

Mixing & Matching Fabrics

Mixing & Matching FabricsMixing and matching fabrics designs, color and scale is an art which is easy to learn. Furnishings with simple lines invite fabrics that are more complex in color or texture, whereas detailed, ornate shapes demand more subdued fabrics.

Most people use two fabrics when decorating a room — a print and a solid. You can add interest and variety by using three fabrics in a room with a pleasing mix of color, pattern, scale and texture.

First, begin by choosing an anchor fabric. Be sure it is a pattern that you love, because it is the main pattern by which you will be choosing the other fabrics.

For your anchor fabric, choose a pattern with a minimum of three colors. Choose two more fabrics, each having one or two of the anchor fabric colors in their pattern.

Vary the three fabrics in contrast. One fabric should be light, one medium and one dark.
Change the scale or size of the patterns by choosing one fabric with a large pattern, one medium and one small.

Solids fall into the small-pattern category. Using all the same size patterns will cause each one to overpower the other.

Of course, fabric decisions will depend upon your room’s ‘design styles’. This means that a particular style will require a specific material pattern. You don’t want to use large tropical florals with an Americana or Modern style.

Do some on-line research if necessary to find a special fabric style and pattern that works with your style. You will find a lot of companies that supply design style fabrics and coordinating materials.

The ideal room would have both smooth- and rough-textured fabrics, so choose fabrics of varying texture. Look at wools (roughly textured), cottons (smooth) and silks (ultra smooth). Also, consider fabrics with sequins, beads or other embellishments to get a wider variety of textures and looks.

Also, keep-in-mind that fabric colors; like paint appear different in various lighting. So, be sure to bring home a sample and view it in your home lighting. Another think to consider is the rooms sunlight exposure. Bright color fabrics will appear even brighter when exposed to direct sunlight.

Today, fabric companies are offering coordinated fabric sets; which mean choosing matching fabrics is getting easier and the decision making is much quicker. So, shopping for fabrics is getting a little easier especially when using  Amazon, see how to shop and ship to Saudi Arabia or any other country around the world and using their website to help you make decisions.

The print is the anchor fabric, and the green and beige fabrics reflect its colors. The print fabric is medium-toned, with a large-scale curvy pattern and rough in texture, with a dull sheen. The green fabric is darker than the anchor fabric, with a straight, small-scale pattern, a smooth texture and a bit of sheen.

The beige fabric is lighter than the anchor fabric, with a straight, small-scale pattern, a rough texture and a dull sheen. Together these three fabrics give a room an interesting mix of color, pattern, scale, texture and sheen.

How to Make Your House Smell Fresh and Clean

clean houseEverybody loves walking and living in a clean, fresh smelling house.  It is the place where we spend the most of our time and like it or not, the way it smells can sometimes influence your mood. A nice or fresh-smelling house will keep the inhabitant in a good mood all day long. House with bad odors can prevent those friendly neighbors or visitors to come in.  It doesn’t help you to relax either after a long, tiring and stressful day either.

What causes the odors?

There are many factors that make your house doesn’t smell that good, but the major things are pets, foods (either fresh or rotten ones), laundry, the kitchen and bathroom. Bad ventilation can also make the problem worse. So, to get rid of the unpleasant smell, it is a must that you find the sources first.

How to get rid of those nasty smells?

Getting rid of it doesn’t require a hard work.  You just have to be very diligent in keeping your house clean and make sure your ventilation works well.  Fresh air really helps in keeping your house smell fresh and clean and opening door and windows is one of the first things we do here at we buy houses Conroe.  Here are other things that you can do:

  1. Preventing is always a best bet.  When you see foods spill on your kitchen floor or tables, wipe them as soon as you can.  Do not let them stay there creating nasty smell.  The same thing goes to your garbage can.  Empty it even when it’s not completely full.  Imagine how bad overnight food in your garbage can will smell in the next morning.  Not that nice!
  2. Air freshener will also help, so do not doubt to use it.  Choose the ones that have fragrance the most appealing to you.  Make sure to use fresheners after your house is cleaned.  Dirty and smelly house doesn’t work well with them.  For instance, your house smells fishy and you try to cover it with rose scented freshener.  Instead of getting rid of the smell, you’ll end up with having a worse combination like fishy rose smell.  It is no better than the fishy smell you had in the first place.
  3. Keep your pets clean, bathe them in a regular basis and watch for the litter box.  Leaving them sitting around for too long will only cause your house smelling worse.
  4. Baking soda is good smell absorbent.  Put a tablespoon of it at the bottom of your garbage bag to neutralize the odors.
  5. Keep your windows open.  This will help to let go the germs and let the fresh air to come in.
  6. To make an inexpensive air freshener, you can mix your favorite fabric softener with water, put it into a spray bottle and shake well.  Use this on your curtains, carpets, fake plants etc.
  7. If you love baking your own bread, it will aid a pleasant aroma too.  The delicious smell of home-made bread will stay in the house all day long.
  8. Carpet deodorizer helps to prevent nasty smell of dust, use it before vacuuming.
  9. You can light your favorite scented candles to add some fragrance.  Do this for 30 minutes everyday.
  10. The last but not least, do not smoke inside the house.  Tobacco has very strong smell and no amount of air freshener will be able to overcome it.

Decorating Your Kids Bedroom on a Budget

Decorating a child’s bedroom on a budget.

Yes, You don’t have to break the piggy bank to create a beautiful bedroom for your child. When you consider all of the wear and tear that the average child will take out on their room, you should limit your spending.

It certainly makes sense, and it’s very easy to buy inexpensive furnishings for a child’s bedroom that will look great and be functional.

When you’re making your buying decisions for the room’s decor, paint, furniture, and all the other items you plan to include, make sure that you check paint and items for lead content or any other hazardous materials, that they’re fire retardant and any other considerations that could have the potential to harm the child’s health.

Don’t make any purchases for the child’s room that could harm the child’s health or safety. When decorating the room, try not to install any overhead objects that would have the potential of falling onto the child.

Whether your child is hyperactive or not, all children, their siblings and friends, will probably exude a lot of energy in the room that could cause things to go bump in the night. Etageres, bookcases, curios, lamps, and headboards, should be solid or affixed to the wall.

Shelves should be weighted evenly, and sit level on the floor, so that they won’t tip or fall easily. Lamps should be easy to reach to turn on and off.

When you’re ready to start decorating, the first thing to do is select the color. Your child will probably want to have some input as to the color of their bedroom. It would be great to have your child actively participate in the project.

 

 

Just remember that you’re driving the decorating bus. Children typically have fickle tastes could tire of, as well as outgrow a theme quickly. Paint color is the least expensive way to decorate any room.

Be sure to check out the goofed up colors in your local hardware stores. These are paints that were mixed up incorrectly and the original person doesn’t want the paint. It’s strictly up to timing, but sometimes the goofed colors could be just what you wanted and super cheap.

When thinking about wall coverings, think of some nice photos of your child doing things they love. Maybe a picture of father and son fishing, or them riding their bike. Family photos are boring and probably not what a kid wants on their walls.

You can also hang any certificates or awards your child earned. Or do something like name a star live and hang that on the wall. Awards and certificates look cool on a wall and add different colors and design to a room that won’t get dated.

There are many options for finding really great bargain furnishings for a child’s bedroom. When you are deciding on the furniture pieces that are needed and that will make a good fit in the room, a major decision that you have to make is the bed or beds.

You have many choices as to what would be the most practical bed style. Keep in mind the child’s needs and overnights with friends. It’s important to think of the child’s bedroom not just as you and your child want it to be now, but buy with the future in mind.

It will ruin your budget to have to replace decor because the child has outgrown it in a short period of time.

Ikea has a fantastic selection of furnishings for children’s bedrooms. You could completely furnish, on a budget, from Ikea. If you do not have an Ikea in your hometown, check out the website: www.ikea.com. It’s an amazing resource for total decor on a shoestring.

Your local thrift shop, and consignment shops are treasure troves for small furnishings. When you’re shopping on a budget, your most valuable asset is your imagination.

Don’t like the finish on a child’s desk in the Salvation Army? Paint it a fun color, add stripes or polka dots to a chest of drawers or paint a headboard. Paint old picture frames and fill them with pictures of animals, flowers, baseball players, movie stars.

Have fun!

Last but not least, garage sales are the mother lode of incredible bargains and selections for decorating a child’s bedroom. If you have the time and the inclination, research your local paper, neighborhood signs and Craig’s List, for upcoming garage and yard sales that list children’s furnishings. You’ll be amazed by what’s out there for you.

Bedrooms are private spaces that should reflect the style of the home and the person who inhabits the room. Keep the decor of a child’s bedroom simple, and try to create storage areas for their stuff.

A child will want their bedroom to be their domain with lots of places to store their toys and treasures.

Keep the child’s bedroom calm and bright, select future heirlooms for pennies on the dollar and create a bedroom for your child that will be a beautiful memory forever.