November 3, 2017
When it comes to foxes, many people don’t see them as pests. But they can actually be a real nuisance and danger to health if you encourage foxes by feeding them.
Foxes are really cunning so can be difficult to prevent and deter in cities like London. They are a real pest that needs pest control because foxes can pose real threats to your family. Get in touch with a local service for more information on how to deter foxes.
Here are some top fox deterrent ideas you can use at home.
- Clean up – Foxes love our bins. So make it harder for them by keeping your garden and home as tidy as possible, with no available food sources around for the foxes to much on. Foxes pretty much live off waste so anything you throw away will be edible to them.
- Secure pet enclosures – If you have pets outside like rabbits or want to protect chickens from foxes, these can be a huge attraction for foxes. Make sure that your pets enclosure is well sealed and secure against foxes so they don’t become a meal.
- Deterrent sprays – Foxes use scent to mark their territory, so using fox deterrent sprays can help keep them away from your garden. There are a range of repellents you can find online that are great at keeping foxes away.
- Water deterrents – These are water devices that have sensors. When triggered they send out a spray of water, scaring the foxes away. Just make sure to turn them off when you’re pets are around – you don’t want a soggy moggy coming in through the cat flap.
- Fox-proofing – Making your London property and garden fox-proof helps to deter foxes from getting into your garden. Ensure your fences are properly fitted and are in good condition so that foxes can’t gain access to your property at all. Decking and sheds should also be checked for any repairs, and built so that it is impossible for foxes to dig underneath them to gain access.
July 15, 2017
Sleep is something that evades the best of us. We could be dead tired and yet, our chaotic minds, stress levels, and to-do lists tease our brain and exhaust our bodies to the point where it becomes hard to consider sleep. Setting the mood in your bedroom is one of the best ways to encourage a deep, restful sleep each night. Try these ideas and items in your room to set a relaxing mood.
Dim Those Lights
Bright lights caused our brains to stay awake, so dim lighting is encouraged in the bedroom. Lights like wall sconces, night-lights, or low-wattage bulbs in decorative lamps all produce a calming and relaxing atmosphere. These types of lights don’t emit high wattage or too much light. They provide just enough for us to see where we are going, but not enough to keep our brains actively awake. Other items to try are black out curtains that work wonders for keeping out the bright sun, especially if you work at night and have to sleep during the day. The bedroom should be a place to unwind, and dimming the lights can help encourage our brains to chill out and let sleep come.
Consider Soothing Sounds
Sound therapy systems, or noise machines as many people know them, produce audible sounds that are used to promote relaxation. There are many sounds to choose from like rain falling, waves crashing, rain, thunder, a fan blowing, or white noise. These are only some of the sounds that are available on sound machines and people can choose one that they like that soothes them. The idea behind these devices is that certain frequencies and volumes of sounds encourage relaxation and sleep. Which sound would you choose?
Try a Humidifier
Humidifiers have been around for many years and are still one of the most popular tools used to promote relaxation and rest. Humidifiers do what they are named for, and add humidity to the air which prevents dry throats and congestion. More humidity also helps with snoring, as the increased moisture in the air allows it to move better letting us breathe more easily. Dryness creates thirst and irritation, as well as snoring, which are all the key factors in keeping us awake or waking us up throughout the night. These devices can help achieve the perfect sleeping environment.
Diffusers and Oils
Aromatherapy is used by thousands of people for various illnesses and ailments. Oils such as lavender oil are among the top choices to promote sleep and relaxation. Diffusers can be anything from a candle to an electric diffuser that plugs into the wall. A small amount of oil is placed in or on the diffuser, and the heat allows the scent to fill the room. They are frequently used as calming methods, and to de-stress or ease anxiousness, all things that rob us of sleep.
The Perfect Pillow
You may not realize it, but your pillow might be the cause of you waking up 100 times a night. Pillows only last for so long, and once they have served their life, it may be a chance to consider a new one. There are “cool” pillows that prevent your face and neck from getting too hot, as well as firm, soft, side sleeper pillows, back sleeper pillows and many others. If your neck aches or you wake up feeling tense or unrested, a new pillow might be the cure.
Bedrooms Are for Rest
If you make your room a place to relax and sleep, it will become a relaxing sanctuary to you. Try to keep work out of the chamber and avoid bright lights that trigger wakefulness. Keep bright screens like the T.V, smartphones, or other devices to a minimum. All these things interfere with our sleep schedule and cue restlessness for the entire night. Humidifiers, sound machines, fans, essential oils, soft or dim lights, and the perfect pillow can have you drifting off in no time.
Bio: Sarah believes that sleep should be a priority in everyone’s lives, which is why she started Sleepy Deep – a place where people can learn more about the physical and mental benefits of sleep.
May 29, 2017
For adding style and function to your home, tile has always been one of the best options. No matter what space you are planning to upgrade, there are many tile patterns you can use to help you achieve your goals. However you don’t just want to pick haphazardly, so here are some tips to get you started.
Don’t Rush Things
While the idea of choosing a layout can be exciting, one of the most important things you can do is to simply take your time. Fight the urge to make snap decisions which could lead to results you aren’t happy with as time goes on. Instead take your time and see what areas the tile installation patterns you find most appealing will work best.
Not all patterns work in all spaces. What you have your heart set on might not be right for the space you are working with. And of course be sure to have fun, you may even want to think of your research as shopping. Be sure to check out design books and magazines along with websites that feature tile and home projects.
Simple Often Does The Trick
You don’t need the most complicated layout in the book to be successful, in fact, far from it. Something as basic as the straight lay where tiles are installed in a straight line can be stunning with the right material and color. The brick layout is another simple choice that is one of the most sought after wall tile patterns of all. You will often see this one used on stylish bathroom and kitchen backsplashes.
Complexity Increases Visual Interest
More complex layouts of course can be extremely appealing. They can be used to add interest to walls and floors that most people don’t realize is possible. The herringbone is one best tile floor patterns for this use as it looks similar to the skeleton of a fish when installed. It can also be used on the wall with great results too. There are many other complex ways to go such as the Versailles which is a favorite outdoors.
How’s The Job Getting Done?
If you will be doing the installation yourself it will have an influence on what pattern you can choose since you’ll be limited by your tiling skills. Don’t be intimidated if this is your first attempt, you can gain some valuable experience by doing it on your own. You will want to start with basic layouts like the straight lay or running bond though as a beginner.
You’ll usually only need a couple of inexpensive cutting tools to help you such as a snap cutter and tile nipper for the majority of simple installations. Of course hiring a professional will allow you to install much more difficult layouts. With their expertise they’ll also be able to give you sound advice on the top materials, sizes, shapes, and more.
With so many tile patterns to pick from you’ll want to take these tips into consideration. They will help to make the process of choosing exponentially easier so you can be sure to get end results you’re proud of.
February 2, 2017
There are many homes that will have a number of unwanted critters. Pests can leave behind a variety of toxic messes, while also contributing to allergies, or even damaging the structure of your house. There are some pest control issues that should always be handles by the professionals, while there are others that can be a do it yourself project.
Where are the pests coming from?
Every season will bring along a number of household stowaways, which will usually come in groupings. The sightings of insects like spiders, ants, roaches and termites will usually mean there is some sort of outside access that allows them to get inside. This may be difficult to find, but the pesticides you will find on many store shelves can do the trick if you are able to pinpoint the perfect places to spray them. By preventing the pests from making their way in and also paying attention to seasonal issues, you will have an easier time preventing major pest problems.
DIY Pest Control
You can also use over the counter products to kill pests while also preventing them from making their way into the home. Many manufacturers will recommend the spraying of any obvious openings to the windows and doors, as well as other areas like the basement, attic and garage. Be sure that any other points of entry that are less visible will be taken care of, such as under the sink. This will prevent infestations from taking place, but just be sure that you are aware of potential health risks to the family or pets with any of the chemicals that you are using. Always follow along with the necessary safety precautions and directions.
Take Preventative Measures
– Pests are always looking for food, so keep your kitchen space and eating areas clean so pests have less of a reason to raid the home.
– Store all of your trash bins with a lid, removing trash regularly.
– Make sure that your windows and screens are always in good conditions.
– Keep the foliage and branches trimmed up and away from the house. A lot of the time, pests will enter into the home through shrubs, trees and plants.
– Repair your exterior trim, decks and siding at the very first sign of deterioration.
– The regular cleaning of your home may not detract pets from coming in, but it can train your eye to look for some of the potential issues in darker areas of your house.
When Should A Professional Be Called?
When do you need pest control? It’s at the moment you realize the issue is too overwhelming to treat yourself, or when there is a risk of infestation that could lead to serious damage, it is time to think about calling a professional. A lot of pest control contractors will use advanced equipment and chemicals that will be safe for both children and pets, leaving your home free of pests for the long term.
The benefits of going with a professional will include a guarantee of the services and equipment, as well as peace of mind that they will be able to take on whatever consideration. Professionals for pest control will be familiar with all of the different pest species, the life cycles, and their living habits. As an added bonus, they will also give free estimates, putting their training to work on the areas of your home where the pests could be hiding.
You never want to leave your house open to pests like termites, carpenter ants or rats as that can lead to structural damage. This extermination is best to be left to a professional, as they can recommend when a contractor should come in to take on repairs or any changes to the home structure. Prior to doing anything so expensive, always get a second opinion.
January 29, 2017
No home is completely comfortable and pleasant without an appropriately decorated bathroom. According to some interior designers, a bathroom is actually the most important room in the house, but many people fail to notice that. This is an intimate space where you relax and unwind after a long day, which is precisely why its design and décor require some effort and investment. If you feel like your bathroom definitely needs a makeover, keep on reading.
Walls and floors
Of course, if you want to completely renovate your bathroom, you should start with walls and floors. You have several options here. Tiles are definitely the most common choice and they allow you to maintain your bathroom easily. You can also play with different patterns and colors of tiles, but be aware that there aren’t actually that many of them to choose from. On the other hand, natural materials such as stone and wood have been gaining popularity in bathroom décor. These truly look great, but you have to keep in mind that the maintenance is going to be a bit more demanding as well. Also, vinyl wallpaper can freshen up the look of your bathroom if you don’t want to engage in serious renovation work.
Those lucky enough to enjoy the spaciousness of their bathroom also have a bit more freedom in organizing its layout. For example, stand-alone tubs have become quite popular recently and their concept can help you achieve various looks, from modern and Japanese-inspired to vintage and shabby-chic. If you have room for a vanity table, that can really complete any style you decide to go for. In a big bathroom, it’s recommended to combine sinks and cabinets. That way, you will have adequate storage space but also clean countertops for all your beauty and hygiene essentials.
If you need to make the most out of your small bathroom, it’s essential that you utilize every empty space, especially the walls. In that respect, wall shelves and cabinets can hold most of your products. Repurposing can really come in handy when it comes to small bathrooms. If usual cabinets can’t fit, look for adequate replacements. Small A ladders, door racks, old coffee tables and stools can all be reused for bathroom storage. That way, you’ll be able to keep your towels in place even if there’s not much room. Also, don’t shy away from a big mirror if you have a small bathroom. If you opt for a big mirror and even apply some fun DIYs, your small space can appear visually bigger.
The easiest way to spice up the look of your bathroom without spending too much money is playing with decorative bits and pieces. In that respect, make sure to find shower/bath curtains that boost your mood and energy. Patterns and colors should suit your particular taste as well. You can match these with window and shelf curtains. A small candle here and there can add the necessary warmth to the bathroom. Also, anti-slip floor mats can add just the right amount of texture. Finally, don’t ignore the positive influence of plants in this room only. Bathrooms can also benefit from a pop of fresh greenery.
Pipes and utilities
If you’re experiencing any trouble with water flow, leak, or clogged drains, you should definitely consider a proper renovation plan. You really don’t need to worry about all these things when all you want is to relax and enjoy some alone time. So, in case you’re experiencing any issues regarding the pipes, fixtures and similar, it would be best to consider hiring experts from Your Choice Plumbers or other renowned services in your area. This is not a job for amateurs and should be left to professionals.
Before you start any major work on your bathroom, take the time to analyze your best options and brainstorm some décor and design ideas. You never know what you can come up with if you allow yourself enough time to think the whole process through. That way, you’ll also prevent setbacks and any major changes later on.
December 13, 2016
A great looking driveway is a great way to provide conveniently and secure off street parking while also enhancing the look of your home. When professional install block paving it usually looks like any easy job, but with the right materials and some manual work, it is not quite a major task as you may think. All you need to do is to follow this simple step by step guide.
For everyone else, you will simply have to hire a contractor who knows how to lay block paving. It’s a recommended way to go if you don’t have the time or the patience to learn the entire process properly. Starting it without having proper knowledge can lead to a lot of troubles.
Before you even start it is a good idea to have a plan before any ground is broken. You need to draw a simple plan of your home, sketching where you need the blocks to be installed. Once your plan has been finalized, layout lengths of string that marks out the dimensions of your purposed patio in position. Also, make sure the approximate location of any services like gas, cable TV, electricity etc are known.
The first stage of the construction process is to carefully remove the existing driveway this could be either concrete, tarmac or concrete flags. Depending on the size of the area, you can either use a shovel, mini excavator or hire a JCB to excavate the existing driveway. The minimum depth of a typical home driveway is 200-250mm below the finished paving level. This allows 150mm of hardcore, 50mm of your block paving and 50mm of sand. If your excavated area appears to be flat, it will be necessary to create a slight slope that will aid in dispersion of the standing water. This should be constructed with 1.80 falls along the length and 1.40 fall across the width. It is important to note that you need to dispose of the excavated materials in a manner conforming to statutory regulations.
You need to always cover your skin when handling cement. Using cement mixer, mix 6 parts ballasts and 1 part cement to create a concrete foundation for edge restraints that is 100mm thick. Use a spirit level and string line to make sure the edge restraints unit is placed on the foundation that will sit at the required finished level. The edge restraints can either be kerb unit of 60mm thick paving block. Mortar the kerb unit using a rubber mallet and trowel and again using concrete, form a hauch up at least half the block height.
The sub-base should be profiled in such a way that it matches the planned profile. A sub-base consists of granular material Type 1 that is installed in a minimum depth of 150mm. Using a vibrator plate compactor or use vibrating roller for large areas in layers of 50mm until the desired level is reached.
Ideally, you need to start from the right angle, place your blocks on the top of the laying course while ensuring they sit 5mm of the finished level. Depending on the desired laying pattern choose blocks from different packs in order to minimize the risk of color patching. Once the blocks are laid, cut a number to complete the area by using block splitter.
You need to use yard broom to brush the kiln dried sand into all joints and thoroughly compact using a vibrating plate compactor to ensure all blocks are at a desired finished level. Subsequently, top the sand and using compactor re-compact to ensure no joint is left unfinished.
This article has been created with the help of few good people. Advices and guidance was also provided by EKS Construction, UK based block paving company that operates locally.
November 30, 2016
When you put all distractions aside, the basic human needs can be summed up to only a few things. It is very unfortunate that the one thing we need the most amongst them – clean, fresh and quality air – is the one that its becoming the sparsest, even if you live outside polluted urban environments. But, before we start addressing this issue on a global level, let’s see what we can do to get more immediate results. Here are few ways to upgrade the air quality in your home.
Eliminate Possible Sources of Pollution
Indoor air pollution often occurs due to combustion or some sort of gas leaking. The worst-case scenario is when these situations are not drastic enough to be noticed immediately, so they reduce the air quality over a prolonged period. To avoid such problems, you should regularly inspect your heating and ventilation systems, and act upon the first sign of danger.
Avoid Dangerous Building Materials
Long-term air pollution is also a result of using the inadequate building materials. Unfortunately, although they are widely spread, lead, asbestos, and pressed wood all fall into this category. Removing them out of your house will take some time, but it’s worthwhile. Start the renovation by replacing your asbestos containing insulation with an eco-friendly alternative.
Keep Air Conditioning Under Control
Since they have a tremendous influence on the air we are breathing in our homes, air conditioners had to find their way to this list. Yet somehow, cleaning and changing the air filters is something that very easily slips from our minds. End this bad habit and schedule filter, vent and ducts cleaning for the next time you make any bigger cleanup action.
Install Air Purifiers
Air purifiers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be produced with some specific purpose in mind (e.g. allergy purifiers or smoke purifiers). However, they all share one common cause – they are using the purifying technology to improve the indoor air quality of your home. All you need do is to read a few air purifier reviews to find out which type suits you the best.
Take Care of Humidity
Humidity causes mildew and mold which can cause allergies and respiratory problems. The best thing you can do to keep it under control is to test your DWV system for possible leaks. Also, you should make sure that the rooms that are heavily exposed to humidity are well ventilated. If your bathroom and your kitchen don’t have proper windows, be sure to install a ventilation unit there.
Plants have a huge impact on our health. Keeping them inside the house can bring you nothing but good. Of course, if your house is not fit to accommodate plants, you need make the necessary upgrades to make some room for them. If you are ready to go the length, you can turn one of your rooms into an indoor garden by expending the glass surfaces, or even upgrade your house with an entirely new room built with this purpose in mind.
Schedule Regular Cleaning
Finally, it is very important that you regularly clean sources of pollution, and prevent substances that cause respiratory problems. For start, try to mop floors and clean the dust every day and fit the rest of the schedule to your weekly and monthly routine. Just be sure that you use the cleaners that are not the sources of pollution, or you are just going to make things worse.
We hope that these few tips will help you improve the air quality in your home. Changing the world might take some time – make sure your family is safe and healthy until the fresh air is no longer a commodity.
November 27, 2016
Do you feel like your living room could use some touching up? Yes, every now and then comes a time when you simply get bored with the same old style and you want to do something different. Certainly, the best way to alter the appearance of your living space is to focus on changing the upholstery. Of course, when it comes to the style and design of the upholstery, it’s safe to say that the possibilities are endless. But, if you don’t have a specific style in mind or you’re simply in need of some additional inspiration, perhaps these 5 options will help you get a better idea of what you actually wish to accomplish with your living room redesign:
In the last couple of years, we had the opportunity to witness a complete cultural diversification in terms of interior design. Many professional designers have adopted the practice of using fabrics, materials, patterns and colours characteristic for different cultural backgrounds. With that, achieving a somewhat oriental vibe in our homes has become possible through the use of woven fabrics such as burlap, which not only feels great, but also gives out a natural look as well. These fabrics are usually made of jute fibres, which are common in countries like Bangladesh. This is a great option not just for upholstery, but also for wall coverings, curtains and cushions, as the fabric is quite durable and comes in a variety of colours and patterns.
Keep It Green
If there’s one movement that has overtaken the whole world, then it’s definitely sustainable development. Eco-friendly practices are becoming a part of our everyday lives and it’s quite common to see some of these ideas being implemented in interior design. The use of natural and organic home décor fabrics has become quite prominent and many individuals are opting for fabrics made of bamboo, hemp, linen and cotton. Not only do they reduce the overall impact on the environment, but they’re also quite durable and easy to maintain.
Vintage Is In
The practice of ticking is an old form of interweaving cotton or linen textile in order to keep the feathers from poking out the fabric and to maintain good durability. This was mainly used in mattresses and pillows, but nowadays this method of weaving is used in upholstery as well, as a method of achieving a more vintage and industrial aesthetic. Those who wish to evoke a countryside and rural ambience in their living spaces, can surely benefit from various forms, colours and patterns characteristic for this fabric.
Cover It Up
Another great idea to help you achieve a more distinctive look in your living room is to go beyond upholstery and consider other options of styling. For instance, draperies are commonly used for decorative purposes, especially around the windows and on other pieces of furniture as well. Of course, today, draperies have more than a decorative purpose and certain fabrics are designed to protect the furniture from heavy sunlight and create good insulation from both cold and heat.
Versatility Is Crucial
Lastly, what matters most when choosing the right style, is to be open to new designs. This is why versatility in fabrics is very important. If you’re still not quite sure what type of style you prefer, perhaps printed cotton fabrics are the best choice for you. The Fabric Store offers many available designs of this fabric, which ranges from floral designs and rustic tones up to contemporary styles and high-class finishes.
Redesigning your living room can be a fun endeavour, all you need is a bit of inspiration to spark your imagination. Whether you prefer a rustic, countryside ambience or perhaps a more modern feel to your home, it’s important to choose the right fabrics, colours and patterns to achieve the desired look.
November 26, 2016
There are a number of benefits associated with vehicle window tinting which include keeping out ultraviolet rays and keeping the interior cool. Many people love the enhanced privacy that comes as a result of window tinting. However, there have been countless horror stories of people who got their windows tinted only to later find out that the material used was either not good or the it was overly tinted to the point where they were fined. Below we look at a few tips which should help you get the window tinting you need without getting into trouble.
Always seek out a professional window tinting service. There are many shops that offer window tinting services but few are reputable in the sense that they will be honest about what is the darkest shade tint allowed by law in your state. Even if they know they may not tell you because they may have darker shades lying around which they figure out could be used without you knowing. This is why you should get a sample of the tint from the window tinting shop and show it to a police officer to make sure it is the right shade. Double check if the shop offers warranties in event that the tint suddenly peels off, loses its color etc.
You should know exactly what window tinting laws your state has and they should be strictly followed. Every state has slightly different laws. Also the laws for front and back tint as well as side window tints may vary. This is something you should know in advance prior to even considering a prospective tinting service.
Window tinting shouldn’t be carried out at home; it may be tempting to purchase a kit for DIY online and do the tinting yourself. That said you need the right tools and precise measurements to install a tint. DIY tints are often ones that peel off, start cracking or you see the tint bubbling. This is a waste of time and money because you’ll need to do it again after a month or so.
Never skimp on the quality of window tinting films; if there is something you should get the best of the best for it is your window. If you cannot afford the best then do go below mid-grade. You should ask the window tinting service about the qualities available and their prices. If you live in a particularly hot region you may want to spend some extra money to ensure that the tint lasts through the hot summers. Window tinting and hard water removal services can help you save lots of money on A/C usage in your car and prevent the color from fading, at the same time making your car look stylish. However, you should always be well informed prior to opting for any type of tinting.
November 16, 2016
Even though most plumbing problems are too complicated for a layman to handle on their own, calling a professional is not always an option. You see, every once in a while, an emergency arises and when that happens you need to react quickly. This means that you’ll have only tools that are in your household at your disposal, along with those skills that you personally possess. With this in mind, here are few plumbing emergencies you should always be prepared for.
To start off with a light-weight emergency, a clogged toilet is something that can happen to anyone. Now, sometimes, the issue will be a bit more complicated but in 9 out of 10 situations a simple plunger will do the trick. This tool costs next to nothing and operates on a simple pressure-and-suction principle. Needless to say, plungers are by far most effective in water because unlike air it doesn’t compress. Finally, toilet is not the only place that plunger can be used at, since you can also use it to unclog a sink or tub. For hygiene’s sake though, it would be smart to have at least two of them in your household.
Knowing the Whereabouts of Shut Off Valves
Another thing you need to know is the location of your shut off valves. In some situations, the damage has already been done and now it’s only about localizing the damage. This means turning off valves and placing rags and towels as barriers between the flooded area and the rest of your home. Turning the valve counter-clockwise will shut the water off in that entire section of your home, which may potentially even prevent pipes from bursting. According to people behind Your Choice Plumbers, even if you don’t have any plumbing experience, shutting off valves can at least buy you some time to call a professional.
Water Heater Hazards
While most plumbing emergencies are mainly clogging or leak hazards, when it comes to the water heater things are much more serious. Why? Well because this device uses both water and electricity in order to operate. For this reason, you need to know a safety procedure for turning off a hot water heater. The first step is shutting down its power and tagging the breaker (just to be sure). Next, you need to cool down the water and shut off the cold water supply and finally let all the hot water out. Naturally, different types of heaters require different approach, but seeing how they usually come with a manual, this shouldn’t be an issue.
You Don’t Always Need a Plumber
What this means is that just because your issue looks like a plumbing problem, doesn’t necessarily make it one. For example, some water heaters operate on gas and plumbers don’t usually deal with gas leaks. In order to recognize a plumbing problem, you need to know the symptoms and some of the most common are low water pressure, slow drains, noises or over-the-top water usage. For any of these, feel free to contact the plumber of your choice, since these particular problems may be too complicated for an average DIY repairman.
While it would be ideal to have every plumbing issue fixed by a plumber, sometimes you will need an immediate (temporary) solution. When this moment comes, it’s vital that you are well prepared. Look up some tutorial videos, get some basic plumbing gear and even ask a commercial plumber for an advice. If the problems in your household become a recurring issue, you may want to consider reworking your entire plumbing system. Sure, to some, this may seem extreme, but in the long run, it saves both your money and your nerves.