The moving-in check list: 5 things to do after moving into your new home

The moving-in check list: 5 things to do after moving into your new home

Moving into your new home will be an incredibly exciting time, as it will mark a new era in your life. Yet, there’ll be things you’ll need to do to freshen up the space and put your own stamp on the property. For a smooth transition, have a look at these five things to do after moving into your new home.

Wet & dry vacuum cleaner

  1. Clean the carpets

Does your new property feature the previous owner’s carpets? While they might look in perfect condition, they could be housing dirt, stains and odours. Make the property feel brand-new by turning to professional carpet cleaners to eradicate stains and smells. For instance, Technicare can remove pet stains and unpleasant aromas from a carpet, so the house feels like your home.

Rafters in a loft space

  1. Review your crawlspaces

It’s hard to take a thorough look at a property during a viewing, which is why you should carefully review all the crawlspaces across the home as soon as you move in. This means getting into the attic or basement to check for potential problems such as mould, pest infestations or leaks. You can then make the essential repairs or install a vapour barrier within a space. By doing so, you can prevent bigger household problems occurring in the future.

Water stop cock

  1. Identify the mains water shut-off valve

If you weren’t informed during a viewing, you should identify the location of the main water shut-off valve, which you’ll need to know if there was ever a water leak the home. It could be located in an underground box with a removable lid within your garden, or it could be attached to your exterior wall. Only ever turn off the water in the event of an emergency.

Smoke alarm

  1. Check or replace smoke and CO detectors

Every home in the UK must have a working smoke detector which can save your life in the event of a fire. In addition to smoke detectors, a CO detector can also identify a carbon monoxide leak within the home. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, as it’s invisible and has no odour. If your home features smoke and CO detectors, it’s important to check they’re both in full working order to ensure the health and safety of your family. If they’re not functioning or appear faulty, you should immediately replace the alarms and regularly check they’re operative.

Wall-mounted burglar alarm

  1. Install wireless alarms onto your windows & doors

It’s important for both you and your family to feel immediately safe and secure in your new home. As well as checking the smoke and CO detectors, you should also install wireless alarms to your windows and doors. The small devices will be activated if a person attempts to open a door or window, meaning they can deter a burglar from trespassing in your home. It will provide you and your family some peace of mind that you’re all safe and secure in your new property.


3 common house problems and their solutions

3 common house problems and their solutions

The house is where you spend most of your time, when you’re not at work or school. Over a period of years, the frequent use of some homewares or fixtures in your house will eventually take a toll on them and cause them to wear out or break. Careless use can also affect the efficiency and condition of these items, and can end up with you spending a lot of money.

There are so many things that can go wrong in a home at any given time, but there’s always a solution to everything. Read on below for the usual troublemakers and how they can be taken care of.

Chipped paint

Chipped paint

When the paint on your walls or floors starts to crack, it’s probably because of the improper application of paint. It can also be because of problems in the humidity. The adhesion of the exterior paint is lost when moisture is absorbed through the wood siding’s back part and passes through the surface under the paint.

When this happens, the first thing to do is to control the problems in moisture or humidity. Air sealing should be applied so the moisture doesn’t leak. If you’re just about to start painting, apply a primer to the surface first to guarantee adhesion and the durability of paint.

Macerating toilet

Blocked toilet

If the toilet doesn’t flush right away, it’s possible that the toilet has a blockage. Wet wipes, disposable nappies, and cardboard products are the usual suspects when such things happen. Don’t keep trying to flush the toilet, though, as that may cause it to overflow.

The simplest way to unclog a toilet is to use a toilet plunger. For better suction, spread petroleum jelly around the ring of the plunger, or use a plunger with an extension flange.

Start by pumping lightly since the plunger is initially full of air. Plunging vigorously straight away will force air back around the seal. This will result in water flowing back and splashing up on you.

After pumping the plunger, release its handle slowly, allowing a little water to pass. You may pump more forcefully in the next few tries. Usually, it takes fifteen to twenty tries before the toilet is unclogged.

For more persistent clogging, the problem may lie in the sewer lines. This usually happens when the toilet is located in a basement. Here, the toilet is way below the drain line, which is why gravity can’t pull the waste down.

In such cases, it’s best to install a macerating toilet instead. This kind of toilet has a macerating unit, which is found behind the toilet. The waste is sent to this unit, where high-power blades will grind the waste until it’s liquefied. The waste will then be pumped out through a normal pipe that’s connected to the main sewer line.

Steamy window

Musty smell

If you notice a mouldy odour in the air, there may be problems with the humidity in your home. There may also be water leaks you haven’t discovered. High humidity, which can be caused by daily activities like showering or cooking, may cause walls or rooms to become damp.

Water leaks can cause moisture stains to appear in certain areas at home. In that case, you should locate the leak, seal it and and add insulation. You can hire a contractor to do it for you if you’re not confident of doing it yourself.

Another way to reduce indoor moisture is to open the windows at home to let the dry air outside mix with the humid air inside the house.

Put a few drops of your favourite essential oil into the furnace filter so that its scent permeates the house. Similarly, you could burn incense sticks or scented candles in the affected rooms. They’re a temporary solution, of course, so you should still find and remedy the source of moisture and leaks.

Important to remember

If you do have these problems in your home, don’t panic just yet. There are experts who can help you remedy these problems, and if you can’t contact them right away, you still have online articles to turn to for help. Aside from that, checking your house regularly for damage and carrying out repairs will help you avoid getting caught off guard and save money.

Have you ever had a particularly tricky house problem to crack? How did you solve it? Share your story in the comments section below.


4 tips for creating a stunning bathroom

4 tips for creating a stunning bathroom | H is for Home

If you’re a home bird who loves cosy nights in, it’s important that you invest in your bathroom and turn it into a place in which you enjoy spending time. This will come in handy whenever you’re trying to unwind with a relaxing bubble bath or indulge in a home spa day. Investing in your bathroom is also a fantastic opportunity for you to impress your guests and to increase the value of your property. That’s why you should do everything in your power to create a stunning bathroom in which to be proud. Below are four tips that will help you to do this.

Modern bathroom with wooden vanity unit

Do your research

Before you make any important decisions, it’s vital that you do your research. This will help you save on time, money and effort. If you’ve never renovated a bathroom before, it will also give you the chance to feel confident in your choices. Why not take it one step at a time? You could read up on the pros and cons of installing a bath instead of a shower. Then, you could look into the best ventilation systems for keeping your bathroom clean and fresh. Finally, you should find reviews that explore specific pieces of equipment such as hand basins and toilets. Simply visit the plumbing info to find out more.

Modern bathroom in neutral colours

Get inspired

If you’re struggling to get excited about your bathroom transformation, you should constantly be on the lookout for sources of inspiration. This could involve flicking through magazines that are dedicated to covetable bathrooms. Or, as a cost-effective alternative, you could read online blog posts and scroll through relevant Pinterest boards. Another great idea is to stay alert when you’re visiting other people’s homes. Make sure that you pay a visit to their bathrooms and keep your eyes peeled for interesting ideas. This is the perfect opportunity for you to find out what you like and what you’re trying to avoid.

Bathroom decorated with accessories in shades of blue

Choose the right colour palette

One of the biggest decisions that you’ll make, when it comes to designing your bathroom, is your choice of colour palette. Instead of opting for a simple white or beige, it’s vital that you explore all your options. If you’re trying to create a relaxing room, you’ll need calming tones such as a pale blue or a mint green. Or, if you’re aiming for a feeling of luxury, you’ll need rich shades such as amber or a deep purple. Whatever you decide, just make sure that you find a paint that’s specifically designed to work for bathrooms. This will help you to prevent mould, damp and water staining.

Fancy hand wash and moisturiser, brushes and cosmetics

Have fun with your finishing touches

Once you’ve mastered the basics, have fun with your finishing touches. Even if you’re dealing with a regular family bathroom, it’s still important to put in the effort. You could do this by purchasing a luxury robe to hang on the door, finding a gorgeous diffuser to place on a shelf, and investing in high-quality towels to brighten up the space. You could also take inspiration from deluxe hotels and include a luxury moisturiser alongside your hand soap.


Improving your home: When to hire and when to DIY

Improving your home: When to hire and when to DIY

It’s no secret that a lot of money can be made from buying a property that is in need of some work and doing it up yourself. However, depending on the amount of work necessary, this can soon become a costly affair.

Therefore, when you embark on a house-remodelling project, and you’re looking to set a budget, you should consider just how much of it you can do yourself. After all, if you save some money on stripping your own wallpaper, you may be able to afford that beautiful ceramic sink you’ve had your eye on for the kitchen.

The main three questions to consider when deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional are: do you realistically have the time to complete this project? Do you realistically have the skills to complete this project? Could it be dangerous to yourself or damaging to the property if you attempt to complete this project on your own?

Below is a list of some of the most common tasks associated with doing up a house, as well as some recommendations on what you should DIY and for what jobs you should hire professionals.

Opening cans of paint

DIY: painting

Although it can seem daunting, learning to paint a room isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Have a look at tutorials online and perhaps find a more experienced friend or family member to assist you.

Wooden shelves against a grey wall

DIY or HIRE: cabinets and shelves

It may take some practice, but hanging cabinets or shelves isn’t too difficult once you’ve got the hang of it. Again, there’s a wealth of tutorials online on this subject for you to watch and learn.

Repairing a thatched roof

HIRE: roofing

As a rule of thumb, anything that may damage the structure or integrity of your home should be done by a professional. If you need your roof fixed, for peace of mind hire a professional roofing company that has a number of good reviews.

Laying laminate flooring

DIY or HIRE: flooring

When it comes to flooring, you can either DIY or hire, depending on what kind of work you are looking to have done. For example, laminated flooring is much easier to install than hardwood flooring.

Installing plumbing in a house

HIRE: wiring and plumbing

Although most people are capable of doing minor electricity jobs such as changing a plug themselves, all the major wiring should be done by a professional. Getting wiring wrong can cause a lot of damage – not only to yourself but your property. Similarly, plumbing mistakes can seriously damage your property, and the property value along with it, so make sure you hire a trusted professional for all your plumbing needs!

Small jar of chalk paint

DIY: furniture

This doesn’t refer to flat-pack or self-assemble furniture, but rather to a project where you buy a cheap piece of furniture and do it up to your liking. Most people have seen IKEA furniture hacks, and while they may look easy online, it can be difficult getting the desired result. Nevertheless, failed furniture DIY projects would never damage your home and seeing as IKEA furniture is very budget-friendly, you can easily try out your DIY skills without breaking the bank.


Our custom-made roller blind from Contrado

Our downstairs cloakroom with new custom-made roller blind from Contrado | H is for Home

We’ve recently undertaken a programme of home improvements here at H is for Home. These range from quite major jobs like re-pointing gable-end walls and chimney repairs – to smaller scale tasks such as redecoration and general sprucing up of neglected corners.

The old white roller blind in our downstairs cloakroom | H is for Home

One room that needed some attention was our downstairs loo. The window area in particular was very tired – a bit grubby if we’re being honest!

Window sill with rust stains from plant tins | H is for Home

The old blind was dull and way past its best – and the sill had been stained by plant pot bases over the years. We discovered the lovely folk at Contrado on Instagram and they asked us if we wanted to try out one of their roller blinds. Perfect timing!

Vintage 12 Angry Men film poster | H is for Home

London-based Contrado offer a service whereby you can customise & personalise all manner of homewares, fabrics, gifts and clothing.

Pattern on our custom-made roller blind from Contrado | H is for Home

Customisable is a very apt word indeed. We measured the window and recess so the blind fitted perfectly. We chose which side we wanted the chain on, the material the chain was made of… even the pattern (and size of the pattern) printed on the fabric. We looked online and found a copyright-free design that we liked and Photoshopped it to get the exact colours we wanted. The blind was delivered swiftly and exactly as we specified. It’s very well made and the materials used are excellent quality. The large stylised flowers are reminiscent of Marimekko fabric designs we like. There are lots of house plants in our downstairs loo – and the window also looks out onto the garden – so the pattern picks up on all this natural vegetation. We went for a grey & orange colourway on a slightly off-white background. The room has an exposed stone wall with grey tones – also silvery chrome fittings and galvanised metal containers. There were already quite a few orange decorative touches in the room such as the vintage film poster and plant pots. The blind really helps pull it all together.

Our downstairs cloakroom with new custom-made roller blind from Contrado | H is for Home

Installing it was a straightforward 20-minute job. As we were changing the blinds we took the opportunity to touch up all the paintwork. We’re very happy with the results. It’s been a really good return on half a day’s work. It’s overall much brighter and fresher – and the blind really lifts our spirits when we enter the room!

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Eco-friendly home decorating tips

Eco-friendly home decorating tips

As looking after the planet has become a more and more pressing matter, many people are hoping to change their ways in order to do their part for the cause. It’s important to become more conscious about how human actions can have severe consequences on the environment, not only in an altruistic sense but also to protect the planet so people can continue to live on it safely. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process of decorating your home. For those who wish to help the planet while staying stylish, here are a few good tips on how to decorate without harming the environment.

House plant with blue glass lamp and books


Deforestation is a terrible issue. Natural resources are being used up and consumed faster than they can be replaced. That’s why it is important to help redress the balance in as many ways as possible. Although it may not quite be a forest, if everyone chose to decorate their home with more plant life, the world would surely benefit. Plus, greenery adds effortless beauty to any room. House plants help to keep the air clean whilst also brightening up their surroundings. You won’t need to worry about them clashing with your preferred sense of style either, as plants are timelessly attractive. Just make sure to research the characteristics of your chosen plants as some varieties can attract unwanted pests. You can look here to find out what you need to know about termite swarms to keep your home staying spick-and-span.

Green roofs on urban multi-storey buildings

Green roof

If you’re serious about your decision to help the planet recover from the overuse of its resources, a great way of reducing the amount on your energy bill is to install solar panels in your home. Whilst most are simply placed on the roof of a house, you can turn them into a feature. When the sunlight hits your roof, you’ll be able to store energy that’s completely green and environmentally friendly. If you’re lucky, you might even generate more than enough energy and the excess can be sold elsewhere. There are other ways of decorating the exterior of your home in eco-friendly ways. Why not grow grass or other low-maintenance plants on your roof to blend your home into the natural environment? Whether you live in the countryside or the city, a textured green roof is eye-catching and attractive to wildlife such as small birds and insects. Creepers and climbing plants growing up the exterior walls adds interest to any building and well-maintained window boxes make your home look pretty and will be bursting with life.

Hessian shopping bags

Recycling and upcycling

It’s all about reducing waste when it comes to protecting the environment. Fortunately, recycling has become almost second nature to most households. It might not seem like much, but by separating your metals, glass, plastic and cardboard and disposing of them properly you’re doing the world a huge favour. To extend this into your decorating, you can find or create furniture and homewares created from recycled or reclaimed materials. You’ll get the best of both worlds – stylish, beautiful, original interior design and a clean, green conscience.