Turn Your Home Into A Smart Home On A Budget

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Turn Your Home Into A Smart Home On A Budget – t’s time to bring your home into the future! There are so many apps, tech tools and gadgets to help you manage and maintain your home while saving you money along the way. Here are just a few things you can do to turn your home into a “smart home” on a budget…

Door Locks

Did you know you can control the locks on your door with your smartphone? Yep! Never forget to lock the front door again! Using a smart door lock system like Okiokeys or Kevo Smart Lock you can lock or unlock your doors using a fob or app. Someone coming over to visit but you aren’t home? Give visitors, housekeepers or the kids a virtual key! Pretty cool.

Smart Speaker

Kind of like Siri, this speaker is voice activate, can check the weather, control a number of smart home gadgets, read you audiobooks, and even purchase things online! Check out the Amazon Echo.

Home Network

Centralize photos, music, movies, documents, surveillance footage and more using a tool like QNAP TS -x51. Consider this your own personal cloud that you can access from anywhere!

Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector

Yep, this too! This is a 2-in-1 device that will alert your smartphone when the alarm goes off. From the alert, you can call 911 or silence the alarm if your cooking set it off 🙂

5 Signs Your Home is Outdated

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5 Signs Your Home is Outdated – Sometimes features in a home can take a while to be “outdated” while others are considered trendy and can become outdated pretty quickly. Here is a list of features that can make your home seem outdated…

Popcorn Ceilings – This is a feature that was standard in new homes quite a few years ago. Today, it is considered an outdated feature. Did you know this is something that can be fixed pretty easily? Whether you want to update your ceilings yourself or hire a handyman to help out, do some research to see if this is something that makes send you, your home and your renovation agenda.

Heavy Features – By this I mean wall to wall dark wood walls or heavy/dark built-ins that make the room look smaller and well, outdated! You know what I’m talking about too! Before you spend time ripping out this feature in your home, take a step back and determine whether it just needs a fresh coat of lighter paint or a few minor modifications. This might be the time to bring in a home stager to help you make that decision.

Cheap Doors – Updated your doors to 6-panel or just a more sturdy, updated door can also give your entire home a facelift. Whether you keep that door a wood stained color or if you paint it white, think of the entire look and feel of the home.

Hardware – As you make adjustments to your home, don’t forget about door knobs, cabinet handles, faucets and drawer knobs. These can also make your home look outdated and by swapping them out for a few new options you can really transform your home.

Walls – Do you still have wall paper from 1982? Maybe the paint color is from the 90’s? What’s nice is that paint is easy to replace through the years so you don’t have to worry about this being an enormous expense to change up. Take a look at your walls and see if added a pop of color or toning it down to a neutral will update your home.

There are still ways to add your décor flavor to your home while still choosing options that will help in the resale of your home. Take a look at this list and take a look at your home. What updates will you be making this year?

5 Apps For Home Decor Inspiration

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5 Apps For Home Decor Inspiration – Do you want to have the most beautifully designed house on the block that makes your neighbors envious? Here are 5 apps that will help you with home decor inspiration.

1. Mark on Call

The app allows you to enter floor plans and measurements.  You can add furniture and create multiple layouts for your space.  It’s like having an interior designer at your fingertips.

   

2. Autodesk Homestyler

With Autodesk Homestyler you can upload a picture of your space and add 3D models of real products in the space.  You can browse for inspiration pictures and finding professional designers is just a touch away.  

 

3. Dream Home

Has the largest collection of interior design and decorating ideas.  The app will help you with decoration inspiration.  You can search the database based upon the individual needs.

 

4. Pinterest

Pinterest is a great Visual bookmarking tool. It allows you to save and create boards for various projects. You can easily follow and share ideas with fellow pinners.

 

5. Houzz Interior Design Ideas

With the app you can browse pictures of interior and exterior home design.  You can connect with home improvement professionals.  The app makes it easy to browse by room, location and style.

Guide To Remodeling Your Home

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Guide To Remodeling Your Home – Remodeling your home can be intimidating for anyone! But it sure is rewarding once you’ve achieved the home of your dreams. Whether this is your first remodel or you’re a veteran remodeler, there are a number of things that you may not know about making your remodel a smooth process. Here’s how to successfully remodel your home:

 

Decide What You Want

Do you really want to complete this remodel, or are you looking for an entire new home? Determining what you’re looking for in your remodel will only make you more prepared to complete it.

 

Make a Plan

Plan out every aspect of your remodel – timing, materials, etc. Having a plan will keep you more organized in the long run.

 

Budget

Once you have a plan in place, that will help you determine your budget. If you plan on hiring extra help, you’ll know what you need to work into your budget.

 

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways To Brighten And Update Your Kitchen

 

Do Your Own Demo

Not only will you save money not hiring the extra help, but you can do it on your own time.

 

Don’t Change Your Mind (Too Much)

Changing your mind about what you want in your home remodel can cause minor setbacks or strain your budget. Try and stick as close to the plan as possible.

 

Complete Your Paperwork

Whether your project is big or small, there is some paperwork you will need to complete in order to continue with your remodel.

 

Create a Schedule and Stay on Track

Creating a schedule to keep you on track with timing will not only help you stay motivated, but it will save you money. Stay organized and keep all of the different parts moving along.

 

Have a Contingency Fund

Problems occurring during a home remodel are inevitable – have a contingency plan and fund in place to help you through those problems.

 

Consider Look Alikes

Some imitations make sense when it comes to the floors you choose for your remodel. Do you research to find out what options are right for you.

 

Remember:

The end is near and you will soon be enjoying your newly remodeled home with your family.

 

For more information on tips for remodeling your home, visit here.

4 High Tech Security Systems For Your Home

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4 High Tech Security Systems for Your Home – With today’s modern technology, keeping your home safe is easier than ever. Installing a security system not only protects what you love, it can bring you peace of mind. Relax knowing that your home is safe with these state-of-the-art security systems:

1.Using Bluetooth technology, Lockitron Door Lock unlocks and locks your door via your smartphone. Benefits of this technology include sharing your key easily with family and friends as well as tracking who is unlocking your doors while you are away.

2. Sentri Home Security is the ultimate system attached to your smart device. Its software comes with live audio and video feed that can be accessed from any smart device you carry with you. This system can track air quality and temperature, as well as monitor lighting and energy usage in the home.

SEE ALSO: 8 Hidden Hazards In Your Home

3. Kwikset Kevo powered by UniKey is the lock that can be opened with the touch of a finger. All you need is a smartphone with the Kevo app or the Kevo Fob on your person to enable this magical technology. You can even set time constraints on when the Unikey is active, to ensure you know when and who is entering and exiting your home.

4. The tiny and sleek Nest camera is the perfect device to keep an eye on your living space while you are away. This camera gives you a 130 degree panoramic view with zoom capacity. For additional security and safety, add the Nest thermostat and Smoke +CO Alarm to your order.

 

When it comes to security, there is a system out there to suit every family’s needs. Security is a serious matter- and a little investment goes a long way when it comes to your family’s safety.

DIY: Summer Gardening Tips

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DIY: Summer Gardening Tips – As the sun’s hot rays pierce the earth, mixed with the occasional soaking rain shower, summer gardens are booming this year. Gardening is an ideal summer activity- it’s great exercise, therapeutic, and of course yields healthy, fresh food for your family. Here are a few summer gardening tips to help you manage your garden this summer.

The Soap Trick: One irritating thing about gardening every day is that dirt can become caked under your fingernails, staining the nail no matter how hard you scrub. Experts recommend scraping a bar of soap across your nails, which will store soap slivers under the nail and block dirt while you dig. Washing your hands at the end of a gardening session will easily remove the soap slivers and your nails will be clean as can be.

Versatile Tools: A great tip for minimizing the amount of gardening tools you are toting around is to make single tools, multi-functional. For example, take your hoe or shovel and mark the handle in inches and feet with permanent marker. This way when you are planting or laying out your gardens, you can use the handle to measure distance and the shovel to dig your holes.

Let Nothing Go to Waste: After you finish your morning coffee or tea, use the grounds to feed acid to acid-loving flower plants like gardenias or rhododendrons in your yard. Adding one-quarter inch of grounds around the plant just once a month, will make these plants happy.

Harvest, Harvest and Harvest: When growing vegetables, harvest as soon as veggies are ripe and ready. Each time you harvest, the plant will yield more little veggies for future food! Have extra fruit or vegetables? Likely your local homeless shelter or nearest neighbor would appreciate the goods. Additionally eat the food as soon as you harvest to take advantage of the foods delicious fresh flavors.

Water in the Morning: Watering plants in the morning will maximize the water absorption that your plants can manage. Moreover make sure to water your plants frequently, especially during the hottest times of the summer.

Tell the Bugs to Beat it!: Infestations can ruin plants rapidly. Keep a sharp eye on leaves for bugs attacking your foliage. Some tips to stave them off: 1. Wrap tape around your fingers and brush them along the under side of leaves to grab at tiny insects. 2. Sprinkle organic diatomaceous earth around your plants to take care of those harmful bugs. A little will go a long way.

There are tons of tips to maximize your garden efforts this summer. Check out hgtv.com and motherearthnews.com for more ideas. Enjoy your summer and your garden to the fullest and reap its beautiful and delicious rewards along the way.

8 Hidden Hazards In Your Home

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Every homeowner wants to sleep well at night, knowing their home is safe and sound for the health of their family. Yet did you know there are hidden hazards lurking in your home that you may be unaware of? Check your house against the list of hazards below, and your home and health with thank you.

  1. 9-volt batteries: 9-volt batteries, though useful and necessary for many electronic devices in the home, can ignite when coming in contact with anything metal. You may want to make sure your 9-volts are stored separately, or come with small plastic caps that you can use to keep them safe.
  1. Ionized smoke detectors: According to realtor.com, over 90% of smoke detectors found in the U.S. are ionized detectors. Unfortunately these detectors are less reliable when it comes to detecting slow burning fires, and lack of reacting can lead to major house damage or worse. Consumers should look for photoelectric detectors when purchasing detectors for their home.
  1. Hidden gas lines: Older homes, particularly ones that were built between 1860-1920, were all once fitted with natural gas lines to supply lighting in the home. As modern electricity improved these lines should have been capped off or converted, but many lines are still active today. Have a home inspector double check these lines to ensure they are dealt with properly.
  1. Lightwood truss construction: This type of construction uses metal gussets to join trusses instead of screws or bolts, but unfortunately is susceptible to heat and fire. When the home heats up, the gussets pop off, collapsing structures.  Installing a proper sprinkler system above these structures can aid in fire prevention.
  1. Tipsy Stoves: Though light-weight stoves are the norm today, unless correctly installed, they can easily tip over when weight is applied in just the right place, tipping over or injuring those in the way! Make sure your home inspection includes an investigation of the stove and its risks.
  1. Heavy Flat-Screens: Older flat screen TVs tend to be heavier than today’s lightweight models. Though often placed carefully on a mantel or TV stand, they can fall if hit or weighed down by a reckless body movement or playful child. The best thing to do is to mount the TV on the wall with appropriate hardware.
  1. Carbon Monoxide Levels: This is an odorless and tasteless gas that can be extremely dangerous when levels are high in the home. To prevent levels of carbon monoxide from rising in your home, have your heating appliances maintained regularly and install detectors on every floor in the houses.
  1. VOCs: VOCs are volatile organic compounds are gases that release from specific solids and liquids such as paints, cleaning supplies, adhesives, pesticides, and more. When using these products, make sure the home or space is properly ventilated or use them outside if possible. Release of these gases can contribute to negative health effects.

Worried about potential hazards in your home? Luckily, there are ways to cope and deal with these problems. You can check out the Green and Healthy Homes Initiatives website for tips and resources to combat these hidden hazards and put your mind at ease.