Tag Archives: home

Don’t Sign with a Home Builder Until You’ve Asked these 5 Questions

Man and woman asking the home builderBuilding a home is an exciting endeavour, but it can quickly become stressful if you choose the wrong home builder.

The good news? There are ways to know which home builders you can trust and which you cannot. To make this seemingly daunting task easier, here are some important questions you need to ask your potential home builder to help you determine whether they are the perfect for the job:

Are you licensed and insured?

This should be the first question to ask your potential builder. Cross-check their license with responsible agencies and then discuss the kind of insurance they hold. Doing this will save you from being held liable for any accidents sustained during the construction duration.

How do you plan to build our home?

A good builder of new homes in Cairns such as Cougar Homes would be able to give detailed plans and opinions while taking note of your preferences. They should know the standard building procedures and guidelines in your area. Good builders are also unlikely to offers add-ons and upgrades that you don’t need, especially when you are following a strict budget.

Can you work on a customised design?

Clarify if you can customise the design of your home. Make sure to ask if there are any additional charges should you choose to push through with it.

Do I have access while the construction is ongoing?

As a home-owner, you should have unlimited access to your home while the work is in progress as long as it’s safe. You should not bypass building regulations and safety policies, however.

What is your warranty policy?

Have everything in writing and make sure you understand everything that the warranty covers. This helps you dodge unpleasant surprises in case accidents arise.

Don’t hesitate to ask your prospective builder more questions. The more information you know about your home builder, the better you would be able to evaluate if he or she is the right person for the job.

Mold & Mildew Not Allowed: 4 Ways to Stop Them from Growing

Mold at HomeThe presence of mold and mildew in your home can pose risks to your family and the environment. While it’s not your intention to make your place a breeding ground for these organisms, there are a few habits that may cause them to grow.

To prevent infestation, here’s what you need to remember:

Watch Out for Wet and Moist Surfaces

Molds usually grow in wet or damp areas. Given the right conditions, it’ll only take them two days to grow and multiply. In a span of 12 days, they’ll totally cover up everything. With this, you need to be more cautious and watchful on moisture-prone areas in your home.

Maintain Room Temperature

Maintain the right temperature for you and your family. In Indianapolis, experts on mold remediation suggest setting the thermostat at 78° to prevent moisture buildup and make your system more energy-efficient. They said that this is the ideal indoor room temperature at home. You must also avoid making abrupt adjustments on your system because it may disrupt the circulation of air, including its dehumidification.

Beware of Leaks and Seepage in Plumbing

Look out for leaks and cracks in your pipes. Other than affecting the water pressure and sanitation at home, these can cause mold and mildew growth. If you notice any problems with your plumbing, don’t wait until it’s too late. Have them repaired or replaced before anything worse happens.

Inspect Every Area in the House

From roofs and walls down to your basement and garage, be sure to examine every nook and cranny. Never miss a spot. You can’t risk the health and safety of your family just because you’re complacent about inspecting every area of your home. Hire professionals to ensure that you’ve covered everything.

When it comes to mold and mildew buildup, no action is too much. Considering the harmful and possible damages that it may inflict on you and your family, infestation is something you must take seriously. Keep an eye on these reminders for a safer, happier, and more comfortable living.


Hazardous Spills: Ways to Manage Them

firefighters tries to fend off a herbicide spill on the roadWorking with chemicals poses risks and hazards regardless of its usage. It is important, therefore, for everyone to be capable in handling such situation. Every home owner deals with such chemicals without knowing the full potential of risk it can cause.

The paint you used to colour your fence or the gas you bought to run your lawn mower are perfect examples of hazardous materials under the wrong circumstances. Your home can be at risk from hazardous spills. Oil absorbents products may come in handy, but here are other ways to address this hazard.

Securing the area

The first thing one should do when a spill occurs is to secure the area. Keep flammable materials and other things that could ignite fire away from the spill. As much as possible, it would be better to isolate the spill area by shutting off the fan to minimise odour distribution around your property.


There are different kinds of absorbents designed for different types of spills (i.e. chemical, oil, liquid). If a spill kit is absent, you can use improvised materials like sponge and cat litter. This will lessen the chances of leaving a stain on the surface as well as prevent ignitions and sparks from happening. Properly contain the absorbing materials in a secure and separate container before properly disposing of them.


After the spill has been absorbed, clean the surface with products designed to clean oil spills. These are available in your hardware stores. Otherwise, using dish washing soap and water, added with vigorous scrubbing often does the trick. It is vital to immediately as soon as possible to prevent staining the surface.

Professional help

Notify professionals if you do not have the right equipment to manage the spill or if it is too huge for you to manage. Call environmental consultants if the spill happened outside of your property.

It is important to keep in mind to prioritise the safety of you and the people inside your homes. You need to exercise better judgement in cases where a hazardous spill is possible.

Arranging Your Life after a Fire

Fire DisasterA fire disaster can be devastating both in financial and psychological aspects. Many victims in Utah find it hard to move one, even going to the extent of seeking counseling support. It would be much easier for such people if they had prepared for the situation in advance.

Every professional in fire restoration services in Utah knows a basic recovery path, says AAA Restoration. Let this article enlighten you.

Inform Your Insurance Provider

Most insurers in Utah require that fire victims should report the issue as soon as possible. In line with that, you will need to provide detailed proof. That is why you need to keep an inventory. Take as many photos as possible and create a list of all the affected items. This should be the first step, even before the restoration experts and insurance agents arrive.

Assess Home Safety

Very few damages are as difficult to assess as fire damage. Do not think of walking into your property after a fire if proper safety assessment has not been done. The roof may crumble on you or the basement walls may collapse. Let a fire damage expert evaluate the damage and give the green light.

Remove Smoke and Soot

Is the structure of the house intact? It may not be safe to enter the house just yet. You need to eliminate smoke and soot because of the detrimental effects they can have on the health of occupants. People with respiratory issues should avoid any exposure until the removal of every trace of the contaminants. This includes even the smell.

Refurbish the Home

After the fire attack, how do you intend to renew your home? You have many options, mostly depending on the extent of damage. Whether you want to redesign or just repaint, you can get excellent services from fire restoration service providers.

Recovering from fire damage can be a treacherous journey, but you need to stand strong. Since a fire can happen to anyone, it is important to arm yourself with the right recovery information. These hacks can help you in case a fire strikes.

Things Single Parents Must Consider to Achieve Kid-Friendly Home

Kid-Friendly HomeReady to start living a single parent’s life with your kids? If you have the opportunity to build your own home from scratch, do remember that you’re also responsible for your kids’ comfort and safety and not just yours. Keep these three major areas baby-proof and kid-friendly for a better and safer home life.

Kitchen – If your child still can't walk and you need to carry them around, you might want to have a widely-spaced kitchen to start you off. Strollers, baby carriages, and cribs can pose a mobility problem with small, single living homes so build a home that can accommodate your baby carry. As for storage, put all the harmful objects like knives, spicy food, and other raw ingredients up high. With your kids crawling and toddling around it’s best to minimize the chances of them being harmed by their curiosity.

Hallways – If your child is old enough to move about and travel between rooms, please keep them away from papers, books, or documents at their height. If the child is teething, they will look for anything within reach that they believe are chewable or edible. More importantly, remove potted plants and small shrubs that are poisonous or harmful to them. If you must keep them, place them on out-of-reach surfaces or better yet, in a room they can’t enter.

Bathroom – Keep all shampoos, lotions, body scrubs and other cosmetics in a medicine cabinet or a child-proof shelf. Use non-abrasive bathroom tiles but are slip-proof when wet. Check the best kid-friendly bathtub and taps available. Ask a custom home builder for options on the right bathroom materials.

Being a single parent can be easier if you plan and design your house to meet your child's needs. If you have a budget for building your own home, think of all the comforts that you and your kids will need to make it an easier transition. 

3 Popular Shared Equity Myths You Share with Other Homebuyers

HomebuyersShared equity schemes are of the many forms down payment assistance available for aspiring homeowners. As a down payment is a non-negotiable requirement to get a mortgage these days, equity sharing lets anyone, from your loved ones to investors, and even lenders, to offset a portion of a down payment in exchange for a portion of the property’s ownership.

But since this arrangement is relatively less popular in America compared to other countries, many homebuyers often get it wrong. And until you correct your misguided assertions toward shared equity schemes, you could never truly see the opportunities they bring to the table.

Fairbanksakhomes.com reveals a few of the common misconceptions of homebuyers. 

You Borrow the Money

One of the biggest misconceptions is the fact that you’re borrowing whatever cash contribution the other party is willing to give you to reduce the size of down payment you should pay out of your pocket.

This is a form of investment, wherein the other party is essentially buying a certain percentage of ownership in your property in hopes of making money once the piece of real estate’s value appreciates over time.

All of the Property’s Equity Will Be Shared

No, only the agreed percentage of ownership would go to the other party, and the rest is yours. Hence, shared equity. If the property appreciates and you sell it down the road, the earnings from appreciation would be split based on the percentage both of you agreed from the beginning.

For example, you buy a piece of Fairbanks real estate and it increased in value by $100,000 in seven years. So if the agreement states that the other party gets 30 percent of the stake in property’s equity, then you could only pocket $70,000, or 70 percent of the earnings.

Lenders Are Cool with the Entry of Investors

In shared equity mortgages, lenders get to be the joint owner of the property. However, things become a little different when an investor enters the picture to take that role. Not a lot of lenders are comfortable with this setup yet. Unless clearly defined guidelines are put in place first, then it might be hard to find a willing mortgage provider with an owner-investor involved.

It’s never easy to wrap your head around the concept of shared equity. As there are simply too many factors and scenarios to take into account, you ought to know the rules of the game to ensure this arrangement wouldn’t go against you in the future.

Waking Up Terrified: Avoiding the Serious Case of False Alarms

False AlarmsThe security alarm shoots off in the middle of night.

You pick up your baseball bat and check downstairs. You then carefully investigate the doors and windows, the living room, the kitchen, the basement — but nothing seems wrong.

So, you run upstairs to check if the kids are OK, and they are. And as you check what happened the following morning, it’s the same problem before: another false alarm.

Indeed, with tons of home security systems on the market today, the quality can sometimes feel questionable. This is true especially with the ones you can install yourself; knowing if you placed the sensors correctly is a highly debated household chat you’d rather not have.

For your guidance and safety in dealing with security alarms, NorthStarHome.com shares the common causes of false alarms and their resolutions.

Human Error

Alarms can’t actually identify your friends and family from strangers. This is why when someone from your house arrives late at night and types the wrong password, the alarm would naturally go off the same way.

Solution: Have a formal chat with everybody in your home and teach them about the security system you have in place. Ask them to memorize the codes and the process of disarming wrong alarm activations fast.

Battery-dependent Sensors

Some old security systems rely on the battery for power. When sensors are short in charge, there’s an increased chance for them to malfunction.

Solution: Be mindful of the battery life for each of your security devices. Create a calendar or even just a reminder to change batteries in a particular set of time.

All Pets that Move

It’s no secret that some pets react very differently during the night. When your cat or dog becomes playful at night while you’re sleeping, there’s a tendency for them to trip one of the sensors such as the motion sensor.

Solution: Some sensors are less sensitive to movement, but you don’t want that. To avoid this, place your sensors in areas where your pets can’t trigger them.

There is a sound resolution to every problem. To solve the case of false alarms, you either consult a technician or do the necessary adjustments yourself.

Should Your Home Business Have a Certificate of Insurance?

Home InsuranceBeing a work-from-home entrepreneur has a lot of perks. One, you don’t have to drive anywhere else just to earn money. Two, you work at your own time. But, the home setting does not make you less of an entrepreneur. It should not make your business less of a business, either.

An insurance coverage and certification for it are things you can’t take lightly. With their insurance certificate tracking solutions, Versitrax.com can help you with this. Having a COI has its advantages, and getting one may be good for your home business.

A Certificate of Insurance

A certificate of insurance is a document that proves that you have insurance coverage. It shows details such as the effective and expiration dates, the type, and the limits and liability of the policy. Issued by the company or an agent, business owners get a COI by requesting one from these parties.

How It Improves Customer Relations

A COI may be one of those documents you’d want your customers to see. It proves that you have the means to take responsibility of their wellbeing, while they’re in your place. If, for example, your customer’s toddler or grandma slips in your doorstep and gets a fracture, you can’t say you don’t have coverage to take care of the injury.

Recent statistics show 60 percent of home businesses in the United States do not have insurance coverage. There’s little confidence in working with uninsured shops and services. Put yourself in your client’s shoes: will you work with a shop that doesn’t have any proof of it?

How It Helps as Your Business Grows

There are several types of insurance policies for businesses. The most common for home-owned ones is the business owner’s policy. This covers losses and damages for the ones that are just starting out.

As your enterprise grows, there’s also more to lose. Having policies that cover losses and getting official documentation, proves the security of your business and future employees. Not only do you gain the trust of customers; you also boost your chances of getting more people to work with you.

Certification and official documents are important to any enterprise. They ensure its security and legitimacy. As a result, they enable owners to build strong and trustworthy relationships with their clients and employees, giving them a sense of home.

3 Types of Window Treatments You Can Install in Your Home

Window ShuttersWhen the weather just becomes too warm, it can make staying at home without turning the AC unit on a challenge. This can be a big inconvenience if your kids need to study for an upcoming exam or you have some work tasks to accomplish over the weekend. That’s why it’s important to keep your home well ventilated and properly insulated to not rely on the AC unit too much to solve this problem. Using window treatments is a great way to keep your home cosy, and here are some of your choices.

Indoor and Outdoor Shutters

Both indoor and outdoor shutters can improve your home’s insulation, but they have different additional benefits. Indoor shutters are great in keeping the heat coming from the outside to a minimum and provide an additional level of privacy to the room. Exterior shutters are useful when it comes to protecting your home from harmful weather elements like heavy rain and strong winds.

Blinds and Curtains

Blinds and curtains are the easiest window treatments to install (you can do it in under just a few minutes). They are the most common types of window treatments. Even if they aren’t as durable as the other ones, they can still prevent heat from coming in. However, the most appealing thing that draws homeowners is that they come in many colours and designs, which can add beauty to any room.

Window Awnings

Window awnings are installed outdoors. Although they are more common in coffee shops and restaurants that want to offer an al fresco dining experience to their guests, it can also fit in any home. Aside from keeping heat away from your interiors, awnings can also provide a little shade just outside your window. This is perfect for an outdoor sitting addition in your front yard, according to Action Awnings.

Take your pick and get window treatments for your home so you could keep the interiors cosy and convenient. These are your top picks, so be sure to shop at your most trusted stores for quality products.

It’s Time to Plough: Why Gardening is Good For You

Why Gardening is Good For YouGardening can be a great hobby and pastime for people who are looking for something new to do. It’s the practice of taking a patch of land and cultivating it to produce bountiful rewards. It entails hard work, dedication and a passion to see the restorative powers of nature bloom. It’s also an outlet for people to relax.

Here are three reasons you should start your garden.

The Skills

Do you have plenty of time on your hands and wish you had something better to do? Well, landscaping and gardening will help break you out of that limbo. Gardening can teach you a lot of useful skills in the field of home-based agriculture, from using the right compost to enriching the soil, to knowing the techniques of growing crops.

Once you have the soil all ready and the flora all planted, don’t forget to secure them. Stray vermin can wreck your garden patch before plants even grow, so harness your handyman skills and construct wooden pegs, fencing and other support structures to keep the garden secure. For the fence, Direct Trades Supply recommends steel because of its durability. These additional constructs help to accentuate the garden and keep the vermin out.

The Produce

A garden is a patch of land you expect to grow produce. Planting the right crops means you can produce naturally grown (no GMOs) fruits and vegetables out back. These you can use to supplement your meals, cutting down costs on your food budget. You can even sell the produce for extra cash, if you have a bountiful harvest. Plus, you feel satisfaction when you eat something you know you personally had a hand in producing.

The Calmness

Gardening can be therapeutic. It’s good for both your mind and body. Working on your patch is already good exercise. And the love you put into the labour eases depression.  Gardening has grown from just a pastime to a form of therapy. It relieves stress, and leads to better mental health.

Horticulture has grown from a simple pastime to an incredible way to deal with stress. Explore gardening and through it, learn, build, produce and relax.