These tips are pretty straightforward. I think that the hardest thing about keeping your home clutter-free is the reality of following these directions. If you have any tips that would help us out feel free to share with me!
These tips are pretty straightforward. I think that the hardest thing about keeping your home clutter-free is the reality of following these directions. If you have any tips that would help us out feel free to share with me!
This summer, get fit and active with these easy-to-follow tips – and have fun in the process!
The summertime is an amazing time to create new goals and instill new routines in your life – or the life of the senior in your care. Gone are the blustery days of winter, the unpredictable weather patterns of early spring, and any excuses for not getting fit. It is summer, and that means it is the perfect time to create the healthiest body and mind possible. Follow the seven tips below to get fit and add life to your years:
Get checked out: Any fitness program should start with a quick trip to a healthcare professional to assess your current physical state. Beyond a normal checkup, this visit can gauge your ability to handle the stresses of dietary changes, new fitness routines, and other modifications to your summer wellness regimen.
Lift weights: We’re not suggesting that you slap on the iron weights and go for maximum weight on the bench press station – rather, support good muscle development and help to prevent bone density loss by completing moderate strengthening exercises several times per week. Bone density loss is a real concern for many seniors – especially considering that slips and falls are a leading cause of injury for those over 65. Broken bones may still occur, but by working to reduce the onset of bone density loss, you’ll minimize the dangers associated with falling.
Drink water: The heat of the summer demands a greater water intake than during other times of the year, and proper hydration is the foundation for good health and wellness. Current water intake guidelines suggest 13 cups of water per day for men, and 9 cups per day for women. This is the recommended amount as specified by the Mayo Clinic, an authority on good health.
Swim for endurance: Running may be great for cardiovascular endurance, but it is also hard on the joints, ligaments, and muscles of the body. Instead, cool off during the heat of the day and simultaneously complete a vigorous workout by swimming laps in the local pool. Some neighborhoods offer pools for this purpose, or you can investigate your local rec center or fitness club.
Turn fun into fitness: Find something that you like to do – dancing, Tai Chi, yoga, or virtually any other physical activity, and commit to doing it at least once per week. You’ll complete a workout as you scoot across the dance floor, hold poses during yoga, or slide gracefully through Tai Chi – and the social aspect is great for mental health and overall wellbeing.
Stretching for flexibility: Start each day (and end each one, for that matter) with a round of slow, controlled stretches that will loosen the muscles and enhance overall flexibility, strength, balance and endurance. Stretching should never be painful, so take it easy and stop immediately if you feel any pain.
Sleep: Regardless of the season, getting enough sleep must become a core component of your wellness routine. Getting fit this summer is made all the more likely if you commit to getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re adding a new workout routine this summer, adequate rest will help your body to recover effectively – preventing soreness and possible muscle damage.
This summer, treat yourself to better health and wellness by creating a safe, comfortable, and fun fitness plan that will improve your sense of wellbeing and overall health.
The best part of having a new home is getting a chance to decorate and refurbish! One of the most important pieces you need is a couch. You need to make sure it’s comfortable and appropriate for your lifestyle, but it should also be stylish and aesthetically in tune with your home decor and design!
Read on for some exciting tips, which will help you choose the best couch for your new home!
Nothing is worse than getting a brand new couch, and then having to send it back because you got the measurements wrong. Make it a point to take accurate measurements of where you want the new couch to go, and purchase a couch that will fit snugly in that space.
Even if your couch fits, you don’t want to choose something that dominates your living room or feels too constrictive. This is your home, not a game of Tetris!
You can narrow down your search for a couch if you know what material, texture, and pattern you want. Consider your situation and needs: If you have pets or children, for example, search for information on couches that are durable, scratch-resistant and easy to clean up. If you take time to gather as much information as possible, you’ll be happy in the long run.
If you already have other furniture, accessories, and painted walls, you need to be careful when selecting the color, style, and patterns of your couch. Without considering the existing aesthetics in your space, you could get stuck with a horrible clash of tones that don’t blend well together!
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Identifying the best features of a home could be a very personal process. After all, determining the “best” features is down to the individual preferences and needs of the homeowner. We can all agree that there are some characteristics that you should seek in any home. Read on to learn more!
Aesthetically speaking, windows can make a room look a lot larger, and bring a lot of brightness to any space. In addition to that, they can also save homeowners a lot of money by welcoming natural light into the home interiors, thus reducing the costs of electric lighting and sometimes, even heating or cooling.
The kitchen is, for many people, the real heart of the household. This is where families meet, share their meals and spend a lot of time cooking and prepping. It’s important to look for a kitchen environment that’s flexible, and comfortable, whether you are looking for a smaller kitchen or a bigger one.
Proper insulation might not be the kind of thing that people immediately think of when they look for a new place. However, inquiring about insulation will save you a lot of trouble and potentially, save you a lot of money. Adequately insulated homes will retain heat during winter and stay cool during summer, with minimal energy expenses.
Tubular skylights are a great way to cheaply and efficiently bring more natural light into your home.
Some particularly savvy homeowners may even feel comfortable doing the entire project themselves. What is a tubular skylight? Unlike a traditional skylight, tubular skylights can “pump” light down into lower floors. This means that rooms don’t need to have direct contact with the roof to benefit from natural light. They work by using a dome installed on the roof that allows in lots of sunlight. This dome is connected to a tube, the inside of which is lined with mirrors. Natural light bounces around inside the tube before finally being expelled out of the other end. This can provide a remote room or hallway with lots of natural light while avoiding the traditional problems associated with skylights, like heat loss.
Advantages over a traditional skylight In addition to being more energy efficient than traditional skylights, tubular skylights generally emit more light, according to Innovate Us. They also diffuse the oncoming light, meaning that a room can be filled with natural sunlight, as opposed to the “spotlight” effect seen with traditional skylights. And they are also considerably less expensive than traditional skylights – many of them cost between $150 and $300. The reason for this is that no structural changes are necessary. While a tubular skylight isn’t right for every home, in many cases, they can be a great option for introducing sunlight into a room without exterior contact. This can brighten the mood in a space and help save on electricity costs.
According to the survey results, more than one-third of home buyers expect “a lot of competition this spring” and are prepared to adjust their bidding strategies to get their dream home. Housing inventory is low this year, which means there are fewer homes for buyers to choose from.
Serious buyers need to be aware of the high-level of competition they are going to face, especially in areas like Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Salt Lake City, where competition is expected to be even more fierce.
Buyers will need to be more than just prepared for stiff competition, they need to be prepared to put their money where their mouths are. According to the survey results, 40 percent plan to put more than the traditional 20 percent down in order to create a more attractive offer.
According to Realtor.com Chief Economist, Danielle Hale, buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting the search. This will allow you to move fast. Do your research and plan ahead for different interest rate scenarios.
On April 19, rates stood at their highest level since early 2014, and we expect them to continue to rise throughout the year. Having your finances in order can help you stay nimble in a fast-moving market.
According to survey results, 23 percent of buyers between 18 and 34 years old reported rising rent as a trigger for their desire to purchase a home – more than any other option on the survey.
Steep rental prices continue to be a trend in many cities, especially in trendy urban areas that have been popular with millennials. The Department of Housing and Urban Development show that rents were up in 85 of the top 100 metro areas, including nine metros where rents increased double-digit percents in the last year.
“We know rents have been going up pretty consistently the past few years. In the last 13 months rents have increased 4 percent nationwide. That’s not huge but relentless increases year after year add up,” Danielle Hale told Forbes. “If buyers can lock in a monthly mortgage with a 30-year fixed (rate) there is a huge incentive to get into the home buying market.”
Although life events are prompting many millennials to consider homeownership, debt and smaller down payments are likely going to leave them vulnerable to an already challenging market.
Of those between the ages of 18 and 34 years old in the millennial generation, the impact of debt changes the landscape. 78 percent of these respondents have credit card debt, 68 percent have a car loan, 62 percent have a personal loan, 62 percent have mortgage debt, 57 percent have home equity loans, and 61 percent have student loans.
“Existing debt and lower down payments leave younger shoppers more exposed than others to the impact of rising mortgage rates and record-high home prices,” said Danielle Hale. “These obstacles won’t prevent millennials from finding and buying homes, but most will have to adapt to these challenging market conditions by adjusting their home search.”
According to the survey, 79 percent of respondents said rising interest rates will affect their home search, causing many to look for a smaller or less expensive home, and some even expressed that they would search in different neighborhoods.
What you want in a home is often influenced by what stage of life you are in. However, our survey found many commonalities when it comes to home features among buyers of all ages.
In fact, 44 percent of all respondents said they are looking for a three-bedroom home and 93 percent of respondents want at least two bathrooms. Additionally, 27 percent of all buyers rate a garage as an important home feature, ahead of an updated kitchen, 24 percent, and open floor plan, 20 percent.
Realtor.com® has so many helpful features that will help you narrow down the search, honing on the things that are the most important to you. Need a two car garage instead of one? You can search for that.
You can even search by important neighborhood amenities like coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, and more.
One thing that did stand out as a difference between millennial buyers and other age groups was the style of home they preferred compared to other buyers. Among millennials who expressed a home-style preference – 11 percent didn’t – contemporary and colonial homes took the top spots, each favored by 10 percent of respondents.
On the other hand, ranches are the most popular home style for buyers 55 and older, favored by 28 percent, followed distantly by contemporary homes at 12 percent. Only 6 percent of millennials favor ranch homes.
There are so many different styles to choose from and even styles you may not have known even existed. Cape Cod, Mediterranean, Eichler, colonial, contemporary, craftsman and so many more – how do you know which style is right for you?
There are so many factors that go into your home-buying decision, but knowing what others are focusing on this season could help you get ahead of the competition.
It can sometimes be easy to mindlessly move through your home, just going through the motions of your daily routine. Are you just existing in your home? Or are you enjoying your home to its fullest every day? There are a few ideas I’m re-reading these days to help me remember to really live in my home.
1. Laugh in it
What really makes you laugh? Is it the latest viral pet video? Watch a bit before you jet off to work. Love stand-up comedy? Play a few sets instead of music while you do housework. Or call up that friend who makes you snort when you laugh, and have them keep you company in your favorite part of your home.
2. Embrace your own style
No matter if it’s weird, or kooky. If you love a certain color, couch, wallpaper or piece of art, it’s perfect. You can look to others for inspiration, but don’t decorate the way you think a home should look, incorporate things that truly make you happy and smile.
3. Use your fancy things
The nice bed sheets you usually save for guests. The candles you bought on travels. Go ahead, splurge on every day things that make you happy for a bit (unless eating that cupcake for breakfast will get in the way of any goals you have for yourself this year). The point is to indulge in something you love as often as you can in your home.
4. Learn about your home
Maybe you could find out when your house or apartment building was built. Perhaps you could learn about the materials your furniture is made out of. Maybe you could finally learn how to work every feature of an appliance. The point is learning and knowledge breeds appreciation. And hey, you could discover really interesting, positive conversation topics to amaze your guests with next time they visit!
5. Choose what and who you let into your home wisely
There are limitations our houses are under, whether from size or compromise with a partner or budget, which can dictate the objects we purchase for our homes. But it is something to consider, being extra careful about the things you buy and find and let into your most personal spaces. This also applies to the people you invite into your home — don’t let folks with too negative of views spend too long, in case they rub off on you or your home.
6. Make messes and have out-of-the-box fun
Nothing is more appealing than when someone cooks dinner and absolutely demolishes their kitchen in the process. I saw on our newsfeed two friends who had pulled some mattresses into their living room in front of the fireplace to have a movie marathon camp-out session. Heck, pitch a tent, make a tipi, have an adventure in your home (especially important in winter months).
7. Focus on the positive things about your home
Not to sound like a broken record, but do spend time thinking about the things you’re grateful for about your house. Since I’m still months away from my home being the way I want it after recently moving in, I make sure to tack on a few extra “gratefuls” to my morning list to really reinforce the positive aspects about my place.
8. Celebrate just about anything, often
I love vibrant people who are always celebrating even the smallest of events, accomplishments and more. One might even suggest that celebrating failures and disappointments could be useful, too (they are life lessons, after all). We’ve shared ideas on how to use your decor to celebrate.
9. Live in the present, but prepare for the future
Existing in your home is ignoring the warning signs from appliances, not caring about energy usage and not paying attention to or planning for repairs. Really living in your home is loving it, taking care of it, and helping it stay a happy and healthy home for the future.
10. Smile at the little things
You’ve probably put a lot of work into decorating your home, filling it with art and furnishings and collectibles that you love. Don’t forget to take a moment every now and then to touch and feel a favorite object, remember its story. Smile at how it came into your life.
Homeownership should be about enjoying your home — not being a slave to it. The trick is to choose materials and products that make maintaining your home a snap.
Here are eight projects that’ll give your home a gorgeous makeover — and give you your weekends back.
Fiber-cement siding is the curb appeal champ that seems to never age the way wood does. It comes in a variety of shapes and forms: horizontal lap boards, shingles, and vertical board-and-batt style. Simulated wood graining is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing at about half the cost.
Why it’s low-maintenance: Tough, long-lasting fiber-cement siding is dimensionally stable when the weather changes, which puts less stress on paint finishes, helping preserve those good looks for years (and letting you enjoy a big reduction in upkeep). It’s also rot-, fire-, and insect-proof. Warranties range from 30 to 50 years.
Newer versions feature durable, baked-on paint finishes guaranteed to last 15 years. That means less repainting and touch-up work than wood siding, reducing the time and money you’d spend on routine maintenance. And unlike vinyl siding, fiber-cement takes paint well if you should decided to change colors.
Life expectancy: 50+ years; 15 years on pre-painted and finished siding
Maintenance cycle: Repaint every 15+ years.
Cost: $5 to $11 per square foot, installed.
The next-best thing: Vinyl siding is low-cost (about 20% to 40% cheaper than fiber-cement), never needs painting, and is rot- and insect-proof. It’s also lightweight and easy to install, which helps keep installation costs low. It has an expected lifespan of about 35 years.
However, it isn’t fireproof, nor does it take paint well, which means you’re limited to the colors offered by the manufacturers.
Metal roofing is one of the toughest, most maintenance-free roofing materials made. In addition to the traditional standing seam panels — the ones with ridges running from the peak to the eave — today’s metal roofing includes products that mimic slate, clay tiles, and wood shakes.
Metal roofing also is extremely fire-resistant — in a fire-prone area, having a metal roof may qualify you for a discount on homeowners insurance.
Why it’s low-maintenance: Most metal roofing comes with a 40- to 50-year warranty, and the replacement cycle is almost three times longer than that of three-tab asphalt shingles.
Look for baked-on enamel finishes with rust-proof undercoating that are warranted for the life of the product. The finish won’t crack or shed like asphalt, meaning you won’t be scooping those little granules out of the gutter every spring and fall.
So you know: There are two types of rust-proof undercoating. For reliable protection from rust, The Metal Roofing Alliance recommends:
A metal roof does cost about two to three times more than asphalt shingles. But that doesn’t account for the benefits you reap by not having to repair or replace as often. Here’s to your many maintenance-free weekends.
Life-expectancy: 50+ years
Maintenance cycle: Repair or repaint every 50 years.
Cost: $3.50 to $11 per square foot, installed.
FYI: Most metal roofing is made with steel, but homeowners in coastal areas should choose aluminum products to protect against rust.
Steel and aluminum are recyclable.
The next-best thing: Concrete tile just sounds tough, doesn’t it? Bingo — it’s resistant to wind, hail, water, fire, and pests, and often comes with a lifetime warranty against defects and performance failure. Concrete tiles often outlast the building they cover.
Caveat: It’s heavy; you’ll need your roof structure evaluated by a building engineer to make sure it can support the added weight. Retrofitting a roof to carry concrete tile can add $1,000 to $10,000 to the cost of installation.
Cost: $4.50 to $10.50 per square foot, installed.
Laminate plank flooring gets the nod here for its ease of installation (it’s a good DIY project), relatively modest cost, and easy-peasy maintenance. We like that it can mimic natural stone and exotic hardwoods like koa and rosewood for a fraction of the cost.
Why it’s low-maintenance: Laminate flooring has a tough, clear plastic wear layer that resists scratches, moisture, and stains; it never needs refinishing during the life of the product. Some are reinforced with aluminum oxide, one of the hardest compounds known. Laminates also are dimensionally stable, so seams won’t open up during changes in temperature and humidity.
Depending on the thickness and composition of the plastic coating, warranties range from 15 to 50 years. Some manufacturers offer lifetime warranties against staining, fading, and wear.
Life-expectancy: 25+ years
Maintenance cycle: Sweep or vacuum as needed; use water sparingly when cleaning.
Cost: $1 to $7 per square foot; add $2 to $5 per square foot for professional installation.
Almost 80% of designers responding to a recent survey from the National Kitchen and Bath Association said quartz countertops are their top choice. In addition to being long-lasting, quartz counters come in many colors and unique patterns to go with any motif. It’s composed of about 95% quartz particles with resin binders (quartz is one of the hardest naturally occurring substances). It’s about the same price as granite.
Why it’s low-maintenance: Quartz is tough, durable, antimicrobial, and scratch-resistant. It’s almost impossible to stain, and it cleans up easily. It’s completely non-porous and never needs sealing. A 10- to 15-year warranty is standard; some manufacturers offer a lifetime guarantee.
Life-expectancy: 30+ years
Maintenance cycle: Occasional cleaning with mild soap and water.
Cost: $40 to $100 per square foot.
FYI: Quartz is an abundant natural resource. And old quartz countertops can be crushed and reused in new counters
Fiberglass is moisture- and rot-resistant, and won’t warp like wood. They provide good thermal insulating properties. Plus they come pre-finished and look like real wood, or are painted in factory-applied finishes. And they’re cheaper than quality wood windows.
Why it’s low-maintenance: Fiberglass is dimensionally stable so it doesn’t warp even under extreme temperatures. Seams are bonded together and won’t separate or have gaps, so repairs are virtually non-existent. That means the window will operate reliably for years.
Fiberglass holds paint well — a good option if you’re looking to apply your own custom color. The fact that fiberglass doesn’t warp or shrink means paint finishes are long-lasting and touch-up work is rare.
Warranties range from 10 to 20 years, which includes the glass and glass seals.
FYI: The Department of Energy says that windows with an Energy Star label can help lower home energy costs by 7% to 15%.
Life-expectancy: 40+ years
Maintenance cycle: Clean as needed with water and mild detergent; repaint every 10 to 15 years.
Cost: $400 to $730 for a 3-foot-by-5-foot double-hung window, depending on options such as argon gas insulation and low-E coatings.
Not so many years ago, composite decking looked about as natural as a used tire. No longer — today’s varieties do an excellent job of mimicking the color and grain patterns of real wood such as redwood, cedar, and even exotic woods like Brazilian walnut and teak.
Why it’s low-maintenance: Composite decking won’t chip, splinter, or fade. There’s none of the periodic application of deck cleaner or the refinishing required of wood decks. (On occasion, you’ll want to hose off dirt.) Composites won’t rot and are impervious to insect attack. Types with antimicrobial coatings won’t harbor mold and mildew. A 20- to 25-year warranty is typical.
Life-expectancy: 25 years
Maintenance cycle: Scrub with soap and water every two to three years.
Cost: $25 to $70 per square foot, installed.
FYI: A lot of recycled materials go into composite decking, including plastic bags, sawdust, and plastic milk jugs.
Like a lot of imitation items made for outdoors, PVC railing systems for decks and porches have come a long way since the obviously fake systems of not so long ago. More companies have come into the marketplace with PVC aluminum, composite, and fiberglass products that do a good job of looking like well-crafted wood railings and balusters. Hidden fastening methods do away with some of the tackier connectors painfully visible on older systems.
Why it’s low-maintenance: PVC-capped aluminum railing systems are the best of both worlds — a rust-proof metal core and metal fasteners, all covered with weatherproof PVC. Factory colors are limited, but repainting and touch-up are banished.
Composites are good at looking like expensive woods, and they’ll never need staining or painting. Most systems are combos, with a composite sleeve that slides over a strong, pressure-treated wood post and pre-painted aluminum or composite balusters.
Warranties range from 15 to 25 years.
Life-expectancy: 50+ years
Maintenance cycle: Clean with mild soap and water as needed.
Cost: $15 to $60 per linear foot, depending on style and complexity.
A weather-sensing, water-conserving irrigation system waters your lawn and landscape plants without your input. It gathers local weather data and automatically adjusts output to provide the right amount of moisture for your landscape’s growing needs.
If you take off on vacation, an automated system continues checking weather conditions and applying the proper amount of water to your trees, shrubs, and lawn.
Some automated irrigation controllers meet EPA guidelines; the EPA estimates that switching a clock-operated system to a weather-sensing, WaterSense-certified system saves the average homeowner 8,800 gallons of water each year. That’s good for the environment, and money in your pocket.
You’ll save on sleep, too. Program your system so that, while you snooze, sprinkler heads run during the wee morning hours, when temps are cool, evaporation is minimal, and water usage is optimized.
Why it’s low-maintenance: Although the system itself needs periodic upkeep, such as draining the lines in winter and occasionally fixing or replacing sprinkler heads, you’ll more than recoup your time by not having to water your plants yourself, dragging out hoses and setting sprinklers by hand.
Warranties include one year for parts, and up to 10 years for some wireless sensors.
Life-expectancy: 50+ years for pipes; five to 25 years for sprinkler heads and valves.
Maintenance cycle: Annual draining of irrigation lines; occasional replacement of sprinkler heads.
Cost: $2,500 to $6,900 for a sprinkler system covering 5,000 square feet; DIY kits for similar size run $1,400 to $1,800.
FYI: If a summer heat wave puts your community under water restrictions, you can program an automated system to comply.