Raising A Family In Hoboken: What You Need To Know

Whether you’ve recently moved to Hoboken or are considering a move here, you probably have a lot of questions. These questions may be multiplied if you have children or plan on starting a family in the near future. Hoboken is a wonderful town and can be a great place to raise kids, but there are some things you’ll want to know.

You Might Be in the Minority With Kids

For starters, consider the fact that the average citizen in Hoboken is just 30 years of age, is not married, and doesn’t have children. In fact, children make up a very small percentage of the town’s 50,000 people. And while Hoboken can be a great place to start or raise a family due to its low crime and great schools, it is important to understand that you may be in the minority as a parent.

The good news is that there are plenty of online parenting groups that make it easy to connect with and meet other local parents not just in Hoboken, but in the nearby Jersey City and NYC-metropolitan area as well.

Finding Housing for Families in Hoboken

Another potential challenge to consider when it comes to raising a family in Hoboken is simply finding a residence that’s large enough to accommodate a growing family within your budget. The cost of living in Hoboken is already significantly higher than the national average—and housing prices are no exception. Whether you’re looking to buy or rent, you should be prepared to shell out top-dollar for a space that has enough bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall square footage for a family.

Median prices per-square-foot in Hoboken are well over $700, so if you’re looking for a place that has at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms with plenty of living space, you should be prepared to spend a pretty penny. Furthermore, because single-family homes can be difficult to come by in Hoboken, you may have a harder time finding a property in your budget that has yard space for kids.

The good news? There are plenty of parks and area activities to keep your kids entertained without necessarily having yard space of your own. Many condominium buildings have a common yard space that may even include playgrounds or parks. And as an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about doing any yard work or lawn maintenance, as this will likely be built into your monthly HOA cost already.

Hoboken Has Excellent Schools

There are more that 30 different schools across Hoboken, which is pretty impressive when you consider that the entire town of Hoboken consists of less than two square miles. This includes some colleges as well as elementary, middle, and high schools. Private schools can also be found across Hoboken, though the public schooling system here is excellent. Whether they choose to enroll their children in public or private school, parents can feel great about their children’s quality of education in Hoboken.

Family-Friendly Activities in Hoboken

While Hoboken is largely known for its nightlife in the form of bars, taverns, and breweries, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy in Hoboken as well. Because the town is situated right along the Hudson River, many families enjoy regular trips to the waterfront for activities such as fishing and walking. The riverfront also has some great parks that have activities for children of all ages. And of course, setting up a picnic along the water can always make for a great afternoon activity. You can also view our Hoboken activity guide.

Hoboken also has a movie theater, which is a popular spot for families. Here, you can catch the latest movies without having to go far from home.

Still, because of the nightlife in Hoboken, parents should be aware that noise levels (especially at night) can be higher than what you would find in other cities. The high population density, combined with the proximity of bars and clubs, means that the streets of Hoboken can get quite loud at night. Some parents with smaller children may have a harder time adjusting to this, but setting up a white noise machine in your child’s room can help to drown out any street noise. And if you have the ability to choose, you might opt for a unit on an upper floor of your condo or apartment building.

Tips for Busy Parents in Hoboken

Many parents who choose to raise families in Hoboken do so for a number of reasons. For starters, they may work in New York City but prefer to raise their children away from the hustle and bustle of a large city. Many parents are also drawn to the low crime rates in Hoboken, which have always been pretty low but have fallen even more in the past couple of years. All of this, combined with the smaller-town feel of Hoboken’s streets, can make it a great place to start or raise a family.

Still, there are some tips worth keeping in mind if you’re thinking about moving here with children of any age. For starters, understand that the majority of Hoboken residents don’t own cars and that parking can be a challenge. If you have a mini-van or other larger vehicle to accommodate your family, you will probably have a hard time finding a place to park it. Some condominiums or apartments will offer parking lots or parking garages for this purpose, but they will come at a premium.

With the availability of public transportation and the easy walkability of the town, many people get around just fine without a car all year-round. Even if you’ll be working in nearby Manhattan, you should have an easy time getting in and out of the city each day without a car. Meanwhile, you and your children will enjoy getting more exercise by getting around without a vehicle.

Another tip worth keeping in mind for busy Hoboken parents is to consider budgeting for a professional cleaning service. Doing so will allow you to maximize your time with your family while still keeping your home in order. Maid Sailors offers a wide range of professional cleaning services to suit your needs, including move-in/move-out cleanings, routine cleanings, green cleanings, and even deep-cleanings at affordable prices. We also serve NYC and the surrounding areas, including Hoboken.

Find out more about our wide range of professional cleaning services by contacting us today, or schedule your first cleaning using our online form. Either way, having a cleaning service at your Hoboken home is a great way to free up more time to spend with your family—and it’s more affordable than you might think!

DoorDash Tipping Guide: What You Need To Know Before You Order

These days, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to enjoy your favorite restaurant foods. Meal-delivery services such as GrubHub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash make it possible to order meals directly to your door from fast-food joints, sit-down restaurants, food trucks, and every option in between.

These services rely on drivers who work as independent contractors to pick-up food orders and make deliveries to customers’ doors—all while using their own personal vehicles and gas. Each service has its own unique policies and systems for paying its drivers, though all food-delivery platforms offer an option for customers to tip their drivers.

DoorDash has one of the more confusing driver pay platforms, which can make it difficult for customers to know whether they should be tipping their drivers (known as “Dashers”) and, if so, how much of the tip actually ends up in the drivers’ pockets. If you order on DoorDash regularly or are thinking about trying this service in the near future, having a better understanding of how their payment platform works can help you make an informed decision regarding how much to tip your delivery driver.

What Is DoorDash?

DoorDash is a food-delivery platform that began in Palo Alto, California in 2013 and has since expanded to more than 600 cities across North America. Users who wish to order food through DoorDash can create a free account and enter their delivery address to see a list of participating restaurants in their area. From there, users can order their food directly through the DoorDash app (or on the DoorDash website).

Once an order is placed, users can also track their order to see when it has been picked up by the Dasher and when it is estimated to arrive at their delivery address. Like many similar services, users can rate their experience with their Dasher after their order is delivered and provide other feedback. The app and website also give users an opportunity to leave a driver gratuity when an order is placed.

DoorDash delivery fees can vary depending on the restaurant from which the customer is ordering, as well as other factors. However, delivery fees are sometimes waived for special promotions and new customers.

Understanding The DoorDash Pay Structure

DoorDash revised its Dasher payment terms in recent years—and while these changes have resulted in overall greater retention and higher Dasher satisfaction, the new payment structure can be a bit confusing. Specifically, DoorDash uses a special algorithm that calculates a “guaranteed minimum” amount of money that a Dasher will make from completing a given delivery. This minimum is calculated based on a number of factors, including the complexity of the delivery, traffic, and more.

In addition to guaranteed minimums, DoorDash always guarantees that they will kick in an additional dollar for each completed delivery, as well as $100 of any tips provided. In any instance where the tip plus $1 from DoorDash doesn’t meet the guaranteed minimum, DoorDash will also kick in a “pay boost” to ensure that the driver receives the guaranteed minimum amount.

Should You Tip Your Dasher?

As you may be able to gather from the pay model, DoorDash seems to rely heavily on the assumption that customers will tip their drivers in order to meet their “guaranteed minimum” pay amounts. Some have argued that this is problematic because it appears as though DoorDash is using customer gratuities to supplement driver pay.

Regardless of how you feel about the DoorDash payment structure, the fact remains that you should generally tip your delivery driver. Not only do drivers rely on tips to make a decent living, but you must also take into consideration that these drivers use their own personal vehicles and gas to pick up and deliver your food.

At the end of the day, the decision to tip is entirely yours—but be sure to keep in mind how the DoorDash pay structure works and the fact that drivers are providing a valuable service to you. At the time you place your order, the DoorDash app will automatically calculate and prompt you to leave a 15% tip. However, you can adjust this as you see fit.

Recommended Tipping Amounts For DoorDash

If you’re going to tip your DoorDash driver, it is recommended that you follow general service-industry tipping guidelines. In other words, think about tipping the same amount you would tip your server at a restaurant or your pizza delivery driver. In most areas, this equates about 15%-20% of your total bill.

Of course, it’s not always this cut-and-dry. For example, DoorDash frequently runs special promotions that will give you a certain dollar amount off your order or waive your delivery fee. When you’re taking advantage of these kinds of discounts, you should still tip your driver based on the full amount before any promotions or discounts. For example, if you have a $20 order but use a promotional code to drop your total down to $15, you should still leave your tip based on the $20 total. If you’re tipping 20%, this will equate to a $4 tip. This is similar to Postmates tipping etiquette.

You may want to take other factors into consideration when tipping your Dasher as well. For example, if you know that your driver had to drive through heavy rush hour traffic to make your delivery, you might consider throwing an extra dollar or two his or her way to make up for the additional time, gas, and vehicle wear-and-tear. The same applies if your driver went above and beyond, such as by returning to the restaurant to retrieve an item that an employee forgot to put in your bag.

And of course, if you have an especially poor experience with your Dasher, you are justified in lowering your tip amount if desired. Just be sure that you aren’t “punishing” your driver for things that were beyond his or her control. For example, it’s not your driver’s fault if there was an accident on the freeway that caused your delivery to be a few minutes late.

When To Tip Your Dasher

Another common question people have when it comes to using the DoorDash platform is when they should leave their driver a tip. The DoorDash app prompts users to tip their drivers at the same time they place their order. However, some users may be uncomfortable with tipping before they know what kind of service they’re going to receive. For example, a user may not want to leave a 20% tip on an order and then regret it when they have a bad experience.

The good news is that DoorDash allows users to change their tip amount after-the-fact by visiting the Delivery Help page; here, tips can be adjusted as needed. This includes adding a tip when you did not leave one at the time you placed your order. If you did leave a tip but want to adjust it, you can increase or decrease as you see fit. Your delivery driver will be notified of any changes in your gratuity.

Benefits Of Tipping In Cash

For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of tipping through the DoorDash app or leaving a tip before they know what kind of service they’re going to receive, there is always the option of tipping Dashers in cash at the time of delivery. There is no requirement that drivers receive tips directly through the DoorDash app, and a cash tip can actually work out in the Dasher’s favor by increasing the total amount they make off your delivery.

Here’s how.

When you tip your Dasher in cash, DoorDash has no record of it. Instead, they see that the driver has not made the minimum guaranteed amount for the order, so they kick in the amount required to meet that minimum. On top of that, the driver receives the cash tip that you provided. This increases the driver’s total pay for the delivery without costing you an extra penny. In addition, paying cash makes the Dasher a happier person as they can readily use the money and not have to wait until payday. Tipping cash is common for the maid service industry. If you want to read about maid tipping etiquette, read our maid tipping etiquette guide.

Many drivers also appreciate cash tips because they’re able to pocket the money right away, rather than waiting for DoorDash to pay-out. And when you consider some of the controversy about DoorDash using tips to pay their drivers, tipping in cash can help to avoid this issue altogether.

If you do decide not to tip in cash but to use the app instead, feel free to let your driver know once he or she arrives with your order. This way, there won’t be any misunderstanding and your driver will know that you are leaving a tip. Just be sure that if you didn’t leave your tip in the app at the time you ordered, that you don’t forget to go back and add it. Unfortunately, this is something that happens all too often and can really ruin a driver’s day.

The Bottom Line On DoorDash and Tipping

As you can see, DoorDash has one of the more complicated payment structures for its drivers. As a DoorDash user, however, the most important thing to remember is that drivers rely heavily on tips to make a living. Not only are they putting wear and tear on their personal vehicles to make your deliveries, but they’re also paying for their own gas and often going above and beyond to ensure you get the food you want in a timely manner.

When it comes to tipping your Dasher, feel free to tip through the app if that will be most convenient to you. The tip amount will simply be charged to your credit card along with the rest of your order total (and remember, you can always adjust your tip amount after your delivery if you desire). If you can, however, most Dashers will prefer to be tipped in cash. A cash tip will increase the total payout the driver receives for your order while also putting some money in your driver’s pocket right away.

With so many different food-delivery platforms available these days, all customers should be aware of and follow general tipping etiquette. Tipping your driver can help to ensure excellent ongoing service while keeping these time-saving delivery apps in business. And remember, when you need a little help cleaning up after ordering all that restaurant take-out, Maid Sailors is here to help.  Book your professional cleaning service today!

How To Maintain Timber Decking

Unlike living in an apartment in a residential building, living in a house means you probably have some outdoor space in front and/or behind your home. This also means you need to maintain this space regularly and invest some time, money and energy into it, especially if you want it to be visually appealing and practical. Having a timber deck in your back yard is one of the best ways to make the most of your outdoor area – this is the perfect space for spending time with your friends, hanging out with your coworkers, bonding with your family, or just taking a step back from your busy schedule and dedicating some time to yourself. So, how can you make sure your timber deck is in perfect shape, and what can you do to maintain it adequately?

Keep It Clutter-Free

This is the first thing you need to do if you want your deck to remain organized and attractive at all times. Decluttering it regularly is the only way to ensure it doesn’t turn into space where you store all your unnecessary possessions or an area for all the things you can’t fit into your indoor living space.

Although most people think this is a boring, tedious and exhausting process, decluttering your deck can be done in under 15 minutes, as long as you’re organized and know what you’re doing. Start by removing the things you don’t need – especially if they’re old, broken or dirty – and adding some new storage space, and then just keep repeating this process as often as you can.

Keep It Clean

Once you’ve decluttered your deck, it’s time to clean it. There are lots of techniques you can use to make sure your deck is shiny and sparkling, from doing it with a sponge to using a hose, so just pick an idea that works for you the most and add it to your list of weekly chores.

Of course, not all decks require cleaning every single week, so come up with the schedule on your own, depending on the amount of debris your deck has, the number of trees around it, and the overall weather conditions. What’s great about this process is that you don’t need any special equipment or knowledge to make your deck shine, and a simple broom and some power washer should do the trick.

Check the Quality

Maintaining your deck isn’t just about cleaning it regularly and making sure it’s not full of unnecessary items – it’s also about making sure it’s as safe, functional and reliable as possible. While installing it on your own might seem like a good idea at first, it’s actually much better to leave this job to professionals who have more experience and skills than you.

These people will install your deck properly and also keep checking up on it from time to time, just to make sure it’s still in the best shape it can be. Checking the quality of your deck is the only way to keep using it in the decades to come, so find a team of experts you can rely on to do this for you.

Protect the Furniture

If you’re an outdoorsy type of person and love spending time in the open, having a deck is the perfect way for you to pass your time and utilize your outdoor area to the fullest. However, this means you need to find some outdoor furniture that will provide you comfort and help you enjoy your deck on a much higher level.

This furniture needs some attention as well, and you should try to maintain it regularly. Cleaning it with a wet cloth, vacuuming it and covering it with a protecting cover may sound like boring tasks, but these will surely help your furniture stay new, so don’t be afraid to invest some time in them.

Oiling and Staining the Deck

These are two of the most complex DIY processes you could invest your time into, but they are also the best ways to protect your deck for a longer period of time. Covering it with a protective layer of oil, for instance, will help your deck resist harmful sun rays that cause cracks and other damage to the wooden surface, drying it and making it less visually appealing and safe than before.

If you opt for staining, though, you will give your deck a more polished look and accentuate all the patterns and colors of your timber, while also protecting it against UV rays. Whichever idea you go for, you’ll do your deck a favor and extend its lifespan.

As you can see, maintaining a timber deck isn’t hard at all – all you need is some free time, a few useful tips and a couple of experts who can help you protect your deck on a more professional level.

Simple And Easy Home Cleaning Tips That You Need To Know

For people who do not have time off from their busy schedule and time to clean their home, then cleaning of the home and working on other tasks at home can be overwhelming. Most of the people coming home from a stressful day at work make them spend their time lazing around without any craving to do some cleaning work at home. After your busy weekdays when you come home makes you feel terrible to find a messy house. To make the task easy, you can schedule or divide chores over several days. So it is time to do home cleaning.

Here are some simple and easy cleaning tips and tricks that you need to know.

Schedule Your Work

Schedule the days you want to clean your house. The weekend is also the best time to do some cleaning as you are free from office work. Divide your work as per your convenience so that you will complete your chores making the home look clean and tidy without getting tired. Also, make sure that you have all the required janitorial supplies available at home. You can stock up janitorial supplies in wholesale quantity at your home so that it is always accessible whenever you need it. Remember that the more you allow chores to pile up then it will make your weekend worst as you have an enormous task at hand.

Try Mini-Cleaning

Try mini- cleaning techniques at your home, it can reduce the accumulated dirt and dust. Remove unnecessary items from your table, kitchen, sofa, room. This can be easily done while you are listening to music or having a relaxed time. Do instant cleaning when you see some dirt pilling up at the corners. Some essential, simple and quick method of wiping and dusting can help you to eliminate dust and make your room look clean and better.  

Bedroom Cleaning

The dirty sheets in your bedroom can give you a musty smell. Dust also gets accumulated in your sheets. This can cause irritation and allergies to you. So clean your bed sheets once in a week with some liquid laundry detergent. This will eliminate dust and odors, making your bedroom smell fresher. Also buying liquid laundry detergent in wholesale will help you to manage your cleaning budget.

Clean The Home Ceiling Fan

Cleaning a ceiling fan is really a messy task and it becomes difficult not to inhale dust particles whenever doing the task. So a great and simple way to clean the ceiling fan is by taking an old pillowcase and just slide it over the blade, then draw the fabric. This will help the dust to remain inside the pillowcase and to keep away from the nostrils. The dust will no longer spread everywhere in your room. If you can’t do it yourself, get a professional cleaning service.

Use Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths trap the dust and help you to discard the dust particles all at once. On the other hand, normal clothes do not trap the dust, they just move the dust from one place to another and also make the dust to fly on the air.  You can also use a microfiber cloth for stainless steel appliances to give them a clean and good shine.

Rubber Gloves

You find a lot of hairs on your furniture, bed, carpets, sofa and also around your pets. Using a vacuum cleaner to remove the hairs may not completely work, so use a rubber glove and run it over the surface to trap the hairs completely.

Keep the Place Clean After Each Meal

Dirty worktops make your kitchen look disgusting. After having your meal or snack immediately wash the plates and cups used and load the dishes in its place, then wipe down the worktops in the kitchen with the help of a cloth and all-purpose cleaner.

Wipe Your Sinks and Taps

Soaps and toothpaste splatters, hairs, food residue etc in the bathroom looks awful. So use some disinfecting wipes and spend some time to clean the sinks and taps. You can just wipe off the things on the sinks and faucets every day and also teach your kids to this thing daily.   

Use Floor Mats

You can place floor mats in the entry of each room in your house as well as in the interior and exterior door. This helps in keeping most of the dust outside the house. And also train yourself and your kids to avoid wearing shoes in the house. Every few days you can shake or vacuum the floor mats outside your home to remove dust trap in it.  

Clean Air Vents

The air vents at the home are probably very dusty and dirty. First, remove the dust accumulated with a soft brush tool. Then take some soft cloth that you no longer use and soak them with a cleaning agent and wrap it around a small stick and clean the air vents.

Clean Your Pans

To clean your pans, simply put the pan in your sink with a soap solution, warm water, fabric softener and leave the combo for an hour, and when you pour water on it, then the mess on the pans will get easily wiped away.

Clean Your Computer

You can use a combination of water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle to clean your computer or use a screen cleaning spray. Spray the solution on the microfiber cloth and gently wipe it to remove the dust. Clean the keyboard and other things attached to the computer once a week. Use a paper shredder to arrange the paper works and other things properly which makes the room look clean and tidy, having some handy and small tools makes it easier to manage the tools.  

7 Things You Should Know About Toner Cartridges

Toner act as a chromophoric mean to get high-quality printed documents. This powder form material is located in a cartridge which is inserted into the printer. When you give the print command, this powder begins heating and present beautiful images and text on paper. There are many facts and information that people want to collect regarding toner formation, toner replacements requirements, refilling and recycling of cartridges, ways to remove it from clothes and hands, and toner’s effect on the human being health, etc. So, let’s discuss all these points in detail form.

1. Types of Colour Used in Toners

The black and white printer works on a single color base i.e black only. The white base of the paper makes prints black and white. Whereas in color laser printers can work on four-color formats i.e CMYK. Here, K represents Black, C is for Cyan (blue), Mas Magenta and the yellow is denoted by Y. These beautiful combinations of colors help in creating amazing images.

2. Toner Formation

Basically, toner is formed from mixing the four components, i.e Colour pigments, Synthetic resin, Magnetisable metal oxides and a small number of agents like silicon and wax. The composition mixing ratio varies from the purpose where the cartridge is going to be used. Like whether is for the print roller or for some fixed units and the ratio also varies from brand to brand. Normally, toner powder particles lie between 5 to 30 micrometers. This changes the toner look and makes it look like a liquid form. This helps the toner to flow inadequate directions and without shaking.

3. Toner Replacement

The toner demand immediate replacements when it gets over. There is an indicator in the laser printers that warns the users for the low level of toner. If you install drivers on the system, then the system will deliver a notification for all toner levels. But remember, every printer use different parameters for the filling. So, till your printer began producing black pages never 100% rely on the notification. Yes, you can make its cartridge replacement ready.

4. High Printing Speed Than Ink

Laser printers have high printing speed compared to inkjet printers. Toner cartridges work on advanced laser beam technology. Therefore, it gets ready fast for the first print out than inkjet printers. In addition, toner cartridges have the credibility to deliver more accurate results than ink printers. These also have a high page yielding capacity, so you can print many pages accurately and quickly. 

5. Most Common Issue

Smudging is a common issue, means when your printer starts delivering dirt on printouts. This arises when the waste toner container is full or the drum is not really clean even due to automatic cleaning after the printing process. There can be a possibility of worn or faulty drum wiper blades. Lastly, its reason could be when the printing elements are not properly inserted into the printer like paper. All the reasons are very simple and it is easy to take the desired action against them.

6.Toner Removal From Skin and Clothes

Toner powder is a composition of very fine particles like pigments, metal oxides, and resin, etc. Due to resin quick dissolve property, it gets melt quickly. From skin, it is easy to wash with cold water. Keep in mind, never use warm water as it will only fix the toner. On the other hand, if it is placed on clothes, then it’s better to shake well your clothes. Do not try to use a home vacuum cleaner for toner removal as it can damage the cleaner.

7. Effect on Human Health

Whether the toner has a positive or negative effect on human health, it was always a title for the debates. But due to the growing needs of the printer in every office, you cannot ignore it. In many studies, it was found that inhaling the toner dust in larger quantities van he dangerous for your health. So, it’s better to place your printer away from the desk where you regularly sits. While changing its cartridges, do not forget to wear disposable gloves. Most importantly, while purchasing pay attention to its pollutant emission rate. As there are many brands that manufacturer creates premium quality pollution-free products.

Bottom Road

Hope, the above information helps you to know the interesting facts about toner cartridge. So, next time while changing your cartridge return them to recycling centers. This will help in saving the environment.  

Easy Tips To Create Wonderful Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is essential. If you’re selling a home, you’ll want to entice buyers from the moment they see your property. If you are planning to live in your home for as long as you can, you’ll want to make it as appealing as possible. It’s possible to make any home stand out and look fabulous. Think carefully about all the details of the house from every single angle. A few basic changes can create easy, long-lasting results you’ll love.

Defining A Walkway

One of the best ways to begin to create curb appeal is by creating a walkway. A walkway is both beautiful and practical. You want to make it easy to get to your home from the curb. You also want to make it easy to see the front entrance. Think about the best path to the front door. Set out a path following the natural lines of the home. Line it with elegant red brick or upscale slate tiles for an instant, incredibly welcome and easy to use the update.

Beautiful Flowers

Flowers add so much to any home. They’re full of color. Lean over and they give off pleasing scents. Planting a bed of flowers in front of your home and draw the eye to it immediately. When looking for flowers to plant, consider several factors. You want colors that work well with the overall colors of your home. For example, if your home is a pale yellow, add vivid violets to bring in welcome contrast on the other side of the color wheel. Color can also be used to highlight the home. Red roses stand out against white outdoor walls.

Trees and Bushes

Trees and bushes offer both privacy and curb appeal at the same time. Think about the kinds of trees and bushes you can use in front to add heft and keep prying eyes from your yard. Large bushes can be placed in front of your first-floor living room windows to help shade it from view. A series of smaller bushes are ideal in places where you want to provide a backdrop for the rest of the home. Make sure that all your trees are bushes are well maintained. They should be trimmed as needed all year long.

The Front Door

Your front door is another area that deserves careful attention to look fabulous. Consider what kinds of front doors appeal most. The best will combine security with lots of styles. Front doors are available in many materials including metal and wood. Many people prefer a combination of the two. Think about the color of the door. Painting a front door is an easy way to add a delightful focal point to any front curb. A bright blue or green door instantly stands out against the rest of the backdrop and shows off your exuberant personality and style.

A Place To Sit

Liven up the front door with a place to sit. A metal or wood swing adds instant charm and provides a great perch for people watching. Hang one on the top of your porch for kids to enjoy as they drink lemonade and eat homemade cookies. Place additional seating for guests. Look for materials that will stand up to the elements and still look fabulous. Wicker can be painted any color you like similar to how it’s done on wicker baskets. The graceful curves are a good choice if you’re looking for something that’s also quite durable. Bring out a few tables so guests have someplace to set down a drink.

Your Windows

Windows form part of the overall look of the home. You want to keep lots of things in mind as you think about the sort of front look you like best. Consider the use of awnings. They are an easy way to keep out the heat in the summer. They are more difficult to clean though. You may need to consider hiring professional cleaning services to get them cleaned. They can also add pattern and an additional layer of privacy. Different types of windows exist. A bay window is one way to help bring in extra light to any room inside. It also makes the home look more attractive from the curb.

The Front Entryway

Some homes have a separate front entryway in the form of a covered entrance. This area needs special care when planning any front curb design. A decaying front porch can be very unattractive. Fortunately, this is an easy area to fix quickly. Create a color scheme for the area. A simple coat of white paint can do wonders. Make it even more interesting with other colors. Brown, pale gray and other neutral tones are a good choice for colors that blend in well with the rest of the landscaping. Place a welcome mat with similar colors and make it easy to keep the entryway clean even when it’s raining or snowing.

Seasonal Details

As the season’s change and the holidays come along, it’s easy to add lots of personal changes of your own and bring out even more wonderful curb appeal. Spring is the perfect time to celebrate with a set of floral cushions and lush hanging plants on the porch. Show off your love of country in July with a gaily hanging flag. When fall comes along, bring out the carved pumpkins and the fun Halloween decorations. Light up the winter night with fairy lights strung across the entryway and a bold wreath.

Simple And Effective Upgrades For Your Home

Increased Storage

Storage space is often at a premium in many homes. Many people need enough storage space so they can keep all they need on hand with ease. You’ll want enough space for the skis in the winter and the raft in the summer. You’ll also want storage space for all your clothing and other items like bedding.

Put additional shelving in every room in the home. Shelving need not be something that requires a hammer and nail. Look for modern storage solutions. There’s plenty of storage systems that attach to the closets and make it easy to store your shoe collection and the scarves you need all winter long.

Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Over time, the kitchen can become drab and unappealing. Redo that kitchen with ease. Cabinets take up most of the space in the room. Cabinets can be redone and made new again. Great looking cabinets can be yours. Think about the color you like best. A neutral color like white works well. Think about a splash of bright color such as red or yellow to create a focal point.

Bring them off the hinges and cover the flooring. Sand them down and then start painting. They can be left to dry and placed in the kitchen again. You’ll be startled and delighted when you see the effects of your personal handiwork.

A Home Workshop

If you’re someone who loves to play with all sorts of wood and metal projects, you’ll want a safe space to create them. You can have your own version of a machine shop in your home. Take that unused space in the garage and make it work for you. Bring in the tools you need to create the projects you’ve always dreamed about and create space for them so they’re always on hand. You can set aside additional space for all your safety needs as well a projects that are in process but haven’t been completed yet. This is an easy way to have the extra space you’ve dreamed about and use every single space on your property to great effect.

Finish the Basement

A basement is another space that may be overlooked. Many people look at their basements as spaces that largely serve as spaces to keep items they are not currently using. A basement can be so much more with a few simple changes. Think about upgrading the floors so they are more comfortable. Putting in floors that are waterproof but also elegant can really pay off. The same is true of other details. This is an easy area where you can paint the walls any color you like. Turn it into a media room with a brand new television and ample seating for you and your favorite guests.

Indoor Shutters

Lighting serves many varied purposes. Natural light is a great source of lighting in any home. Make it easy to keep privacy and natural light in the home with the use of painted wood shutters. Shutters can be installed with ease. They can also be customized to each person’s preferences. Shutters work well in many types of climates. Use them in the warm weather to allow for added air circulation. In winter, they can serve as additional protection against snow, heavy winds, and ice. They add a decorative element and they also help add details to any room in your home.

Upgraded Fixtures

New fixtures offer an instant upgrade. You’ll find them in many varied types, making it easy to match the fixtures to your personal sense of style. Fixtures offer an easy and fast fix. Think about the kind of styles you like best. If you want something classic, look for fixtures that have plenty of lavish details. Those who prefer something more modern can also find a vast array of choices. Materials like stainless steel and brass offer a cool and inviting touch to any kitchen or bathroom. Upgrades can instantly brighten the room and invite people to explore the rest of the room. Make sure to hire a professional cleaning service to get your home in tip-top shape.

New Caulk in the Bathroom

Caulk is a highly useful tool. It helps connect the tiles in the bathroom and make them appear uniform. Over time, however, caulk can become dirty and unattractive. There is a solution. People can use redo the caulk in their bathrooms. Even those who have never worked with caulk before will find it easy to use this material well and get incredible results in the process. Redoing caulk add instant light to even the most cramped bathrooms. All you need is some caulk and a few basic tools and you’ll have an easy home upgrade.

How To Create Space In Your Office For A Guest Room

An office that functions as a guest room is convenient and saves space. If you have an office full of paperwork and furniture, cleaning up is the first step to creating a new and functional room.

Get Rid of Everything You Don’t Use

The idea is to get your space down to a desk and the wall in front of it. In the digital age, it is easier today than ever before to live a minimalist lifestyle. Scan your items and save them on a hard-drive or on the cloud and then shred them. You still have a copy without the bulky paper mess. You can also get rid of your old fax machine and use an internet fax service. There are printing services and mail services that pick up packages at your residence.

Create a Space That Allows Productivity

Your guest area is only important if you can work well. There are creative ways to make a space a functional office while it also functions as a guest room. A wall of bookshelves with a Murphy bed creates a spacious office until it is time for bed. The area will look smart and spacious while you work. Add little items for decor that are easy to move out of the way. Try lighter armchairs, end tables and plants to create a comfortable area that is easy to convert.

Unique Couches

A daybed with drawers under it can look great decorated as a comfortable fabric couch. It is also functional for guests and the items they need to store. An ottoman and an end table can make the area look like a sitting area instead of a bedroom.

If you want an office that looks as professional as possible, a modern couch can convert into a bed easier than most sofas. Most people won’t even know the office doubles as an area for guests to sleep.

Closet Space

If your office has a closet, you may want to store a cot in a closet. This option works best if you only need a twin bed. Organize your closet with shelving for your use and your guests to use. Bins and labels will allow them to identify their spaces.

Desk Space

A wall desk is a practical option if you’d like the room to look more like a bedroom. You can find desks that fold up or down against the wall to conserve space. While your guests visit, store your items on shelves or in a closet. A wall desk can also serve as a breakfast bar for your guests in the morning!

Loft Beds

A loft bed in a small room is an easy fix. Use unique ideas to incorporate a loft bed into your office area. Shelving and a corkboard can make the space unique and cozy. A taller loft bed will make the small space feel larger. You can paint a loft bed to fit the decor of your office.

Trundle Beds

If you have a larger space a double or queen bed with a trundle bed can fit several guests. A trundle bed stores under the other bed and usually rolls for easy maneuverability. You can add a trundle to most beds and bunk beds for extra sleeping surfaces.

A space that shares the function of a guest room and an office is an excellent way to conserve room in the rest of your home. Decide how often you expect guests and how often you work in your home office. The ability to work productively and supply a comfortable sleeping area is the key to a successful space.

7 Do It Yourself Home Improvement Tips

Every homeowner wants his home to look refreshing, attractive, and valuable. Many companies help individuals to improve their homes at a cost. However, most of these companies are very expensive, which means that most of the people cannot afford to contract them. This explains why the majority of homes in your neighborhood look rugged, old, and unattractive. You don’t want your home to have the same characteristics. However, you don’t have sufficient funds to spruce your old home and give it a new look. You don’t have to give up, here are some do it yourself home improvement strategies that you can incorporate.

1. Spend Time with a Realtor

One of the most critical factors that you need to understand is that you are not a home improvement expert. Therefore, you don’t have the necessary skills and experience to improve your home. This means that you have to talk to experienced individuals who might help you to get started. You can choose to spend your Sunday evening with a professional designer or a realtor in your area. Many of them might do this for free, but sometimes, you will be required to pay some consultation fee. Spending an hour with a realtor could be the game changer. At a minimal fee, probably below $100, you will get sufficient details such as painting designs, furniture placement, and other home improvement ideas.

2. Inspect Your Home Regularly

Obviously, it is difficult to detect flows in your home if you have not been inspecting your home on a regular basis. You need to do so on a monthly basis, which will make it easy for you to detect any termite infestation, deteriorating roofs, and outdated electrical systems. Some aspects could be lowering the value of your home without knowledge. There are some repair needs that you can easily detect by walking around your house, especially during weekends or when you are enjoying your holiday. Sometimes it is difficult to detect some flaws in your home, which means that you have to consult an expert or hire professional cleaning services. Some experts might be able to recognize some problems that could be lowering the value of your home.

3. Paint, Paint, Paint

The painting has for an extended period been known as one of the all-time cheap and easy home improvement strategies that every homeowner can incorporate. A home that has been painted not long ago looks fresh and attractive. This helps the home to attract and maintain its value for a longer period. Sometimes you can consider faxing a scanned picture of your house to an expert, who will advise on the color combination. When you use an expert, you will not go wrong. Most of them have significant experience in home improvement and understand the best colors that you can incorporate to produce a highly appealing structure.

4. Find Inspiration

As mentioned earlier, you are not an expert in home improvement. This means that you don’t have clues and knowledge of how you can regularly revamp your home to increase or maintain its value. If consulting a home improvement expert is an expensive undertaking, you can look for inspiration elsewhere. There are multiple sources of information, where you will get tips on home improvement on free. Various websites have written numerous tips that you can use to improve your home. You can also consider design-oriented magazines, television shows, and books among others. These sources will provide insight on do it yourself home improvement strategies.

5. Cut Energy Costs

A valuable home should not be the source of pain every month. Most of the homes have turned to be sources of pain due to high energy costs. You need to cut on energy consumption in your home so that you can free some cash for home improvement. You can buy a solar panel that will be powering your home and thereby reducing the need for electricity. You need to replace all the electrical appliances in your house with energy rated appliances, which are energy efficient. You can also consider contacting your local electricity provider to audit your home’s electrical needs and advise you on the strategies that you can incorporate to minimize energy consumption. The money saved through energy efficient home can be used in improving and updating other areas of the house.

6. Plant Trees

If you are planning to dispose of your house in the near future, then, you need to prepare it so that you can fetch high amounts of money. You can achieve this by improving the landscape of your home. One of the simple methods of achieving this is by planting trees. Focus on planting shade trees that mature within a short period. Most of the trees don’t only give your home a better look, but they also help in cooling your home, which means that you will be cutting your cooling costs at a significant percentage. Trees will make your house desirable and attract birds and other wildlife, which will only increase the price at which you can get when disposing of it.

7. Improve Your Lawns

Creating a good first impression means that you are halfway down the price negotiation strategy. You don’t want your home to stand out, albeit in a bad way. You want your house to be the reference point in your area. Improving your lawns is a strategic decision that will help in attracting a considerable number of potential buyers. For some few dollars, you can hire a company to improve your lawns by trimming and shaping the hedges. You can also do it yourself.

6 Tips On How To Prepare Your Home For The Summer Season

The summer season is just around the corner. In just about 3 to 4 months, we will be hitting summer in full swing. Summer is such an anticipated season as it brings exciting opportunities for games and other outdoor activities. In anticipation for the summer season, as a homeowner, you should sufficiently prepare yourself, your house, and home in general as the summer season brings with it some unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Here are 6 important tips on how to efficiently prepare your house and home for the summer season.

Repair Your House In Advance

The autumn and winter season are characterized by considerably low temperatures which generally discourage individuals from engaging in many physical activities. Most people, therefore, prefer to stay indoors. It is during this time that your house faces certain structural changes that generally weaken the house’s overall strength. In addition, falling snow can also have a major impact on the structural integrity of your roof. Falling trees in autumn and winter can also cause certain minor cracks which generally tend to grow during summer.

In preparation for the summer season, therefore, you should endeavor to undertake certain minor repairs on your house. Parts of the house such as the roof that stays covered with snow during the winter season should be checked for cracks, missing shingles, and holes. Failure to undertake such repair works may lead to roofing problems during summer. The high rainy season that summer presents may cause a nightmare as your house would experience major leaks. Comprehensively checking your house during the onset of the summer season would ensure you address any structural issues that require your attention.

Restock Your House

The winter season probably keeps you indoors for considerably long periods of time. It is therefore common to deplete all you are necessary basic items such as food. Immediately after the winter season, you should, therefore, embark on restocking your home for the depleted items. Some of the left-over food stocks that were not utilized during the winter season may have already expired, therefore requiring your attention. Restocking your home in the onset of summer also helps you deal with certain unexpected elements that may unprecedentedly keep you indoors such as hurricanes. In addition, it is during summer time that you would probably expect some visitors whom you will need to entertain. Restocking your house ensures that you don’t suffer inconveniences such as shortages.

When undertaking such restocking activities, both food and equipment should be bought. Most people tend to restock their food stocks and forget to buy the necessary equipment and tools required to successfully live through the summer season. Some of the important equipment that you will need include lawn mowers, slashers, rakes, chainsaws, secateurs, among others.

Save For Emergencies

Emergencies in summer are quite common. The type of activities that come with the summer season, including traveling and doing many indoor and outdoor activities may expose you to certain unprecedented risks. Besides, natural disasters such as hurricanes, heavy rains, and strong winds, may expose you and your family members to high risks. It is highly advisable, therefore, that you sufficiently prepare for natural disasters by setting aside some money and buying emergency implements such as emergency kits. This ensures that you don’t get grounded by certain emergency situations.

Check Utility Supply Lines

Preparing for the summer season also requires you to check important utility supply lines. Utilities such as water, gas, and electricity that are supplied from the mains using supply lines can sometimes suffer minor damages during the winter season. You may, therefore, need to hire professionals in each of these particular areas who would undertake the necessary overhaul checks and repairs.

Some utilities such as water may suffer greatly as the water supply lines may get blocked as a result of the accumulation of ice and debris, something that may lead to unprecedented cutoffs. Electric supply lines should also be checked for potential winter season damages such as electric poles which often degrade structurally as a result of alternate thawing and freezing. Gas lines, on the other hand, may also need to be checked for potential leakages as a result of rusted pipes. Making such necessary utility checks ensures that you begin the summer season on a high and safe note.

Do A Thorough Indoor and Outdoor Cleaning

The winter season immobilizes most people and discourages them from undertaking comprehensive indoor and outdoor cleaning. The onset of summer is the right time to do a comprehensive and thorough cleaning, both inside and outside the house. When cleaning indoors, you should endeavor to move each indoor equipment and item to ensure that hard-to-reach areas such as under couches, behind cabinets, the ceiling, walls, and other often uncleaned and rarely accessed areas are thoroughly cleaned. When cleaning the outdoors, emphasis should be made on thoroughly cleaning the compound and clearing any fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris that commonly accumulates during winter. If you cannot do this yourself, you need to hire professional cleaning services.

Repaint Your House

Most houses normally face extensive paint damage during winter. The repetitive freezing and thawing of walls during winter causes paints to peel off. You should, therefore, do a comprehensive repaint of your house, particularly on the outside in order to give it a fresh new look that would last for the remainder of the summer season. Repainting the house at the start of summer also prevents water-based damages during the rainy season.