Effective and stylish ways to make your home a more private place to live

make your home a more private place to live

Do you want to make your home a more private place in which to live but don’t want it to resemble some kind of prison? Combining home privacy with style isn’t an impossible task. With some thought, you can transform your home into an eye-catching place in which to be, where only you and people you allow onto your property can enjoy. Below are some tips that will let you do this.

Metal wrought iron gates

Install the appropriate gates

When most people think about making their home more secure and private, they instantly think about installing some kind of gate such as sliding gates. This is particularly true if it’s easy to drive into your property or go around the back of your property.

Sliding gates and swing gates are the two main types of outdoor gates available. Sliding gates and swing gates can be opened and closed manually; or, if you have the budget and it’s practical to do so, you could install electronic gates, giving you more privacy when you leave and return home.

You have a wide selection of gates to choose from, which you can browse online at https://www.mistergatesdirect.com/sliding-gates.html. You can install large sliding gates at the entrance to your home, at the side of your home, or any other location where you want to restrict access.

Perimeter fence around a house

Add natural features around the perimeter of your property

Planting trees, shrubs or hedges around the perimeter of your home gives it a much more natural look and feel. However, doing this also allows you to create a secure border between your property and the outside world. Laurel, beech, hawthorn, blackthorn, and English yew are just some of the options available. They are difficult to see through and prevent intruders from walking onto your property.

White picket fences

Wooden fencing

Today’s home owners have a wide range of attractive and stylish fencing options from which to choose that are available in different heights and sizes to suit different homeowner’s needs and requirements. Fencing products are made from various types of sturdy, long-lasting wood, such as cedar and treated pine. Popular fence designs available include shadow box, dog eared, picket, privacy with lattice, privacy arched and picket scalloped designs.

turquoise-painted metal fence

Other fencing options

As demand has grown for fencing in modern homes, fencing manufacturers have looked to alternative materials to make stylish fencing products. Corrugated metal fencing and PVC fencing products have become just as popular as more traditional wooden fencing. These alternatives may be more expensive, but they are guaranteed to make it difficult for people to trespass and they will last a long time.

Whitewashed garden wall

Boundary walls around your home

If you’re not green-fingered or you don’t have the time to prune and tend to a natural boundary of trees or hedging around your home, adding a wall may be a more practical option.

This may seem like a boring and dull option, but the materials and wall designs available now can make the walls around your home another attractive feature that also serve an important function. Bricks, stone, white-washed render and metal are just some of the materials you can use to build these structures around your home.

Green painted wooden shutters on a yellow house

Blinds, shutters and curtains

If your home is close to a road, street or neighbour’s property, or you have limited space outside your home, it’s not as easy to put features in place that will prevent people from looking inside your home. However, there are steps you can take to address this issue.

Firstly, you should consider installing blinds or shutters. These features will not only give you more privacy but will also helps regulate the temperature inside your home during hot and cold weather.

Night-time is when many burglars strike and when it’s often easier to see what’s happening inside a home. Adding a thicker set of curtains on each window in your home will ensure that nobody outside your property knows what’s going on within.

frosted sash window

Frosting and mirror films

A wide range of security technologies is now being used by window and door manufacturers to make homes safer. Frosting or adding mirror films to windows and doors are two ways this is happening. With these features, people inside a house can look out but people outside can’t see in.

Beware of the dog sign on a fence

Add deterrents

If you’ve had enough of people wanting to look inside your property or trying to trespass, there are more direct ways you can solve this problem. Getting a reliable guard dog and placing clearly visible signs outside your home should act as strong deterrents for anyone who’s thinking about entering your property or wants to get a closer look at your home.

Most homeowners want to be left in peace and don’t want any unwelcome intruders. However, to achieve this, homeowners must make changes to make this happen. Each of the points above can help you to achieve this outcome.

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How to successfully sell your house for cash

How to successfully sell your house for cashcredit

You may, perhaps, have been faced with the situation where you’ve had to quickly sell your house for cash. Sometimes this is the best option for a given set of circumstances. If you’ve ever had to go through selling your house, you’ll be aware of how stressful it can be. There are a few basic principles to follow to make the most of the process of selling your property and keep anxiety to a minimum.

Here are some of the foolproof ways in which you can speed up the selling process and successfully sell your house.

Mayfair on a Monopoly board

Have a realistic valuation

One mistake that vendors often make is setting the asking price too high and then lowering it later when they’ve failed to attract prospective buyers. What people often don’t understand when selling their house is the fact that this can ultimately lead to a slower sale and sometimes at a much lower price than first expected. The first 30 days after you put your house on the market is the optimum time that you’ll see most interest and activity. If you’ve initially set the price too high, buyers would choose to stay away assuming that your property is out of their price range or not good value for money.

House with curb appeal

Improve your house’s curb appeal

You can improve your property’s curb appeal by adding a few touches here and there to make the exterior of your house more appealing to buyers. Mow the lawn and trim the hedge, put some potted plants on the doorstep, give the front door a wash or a lick of paint and make sure there’s no litter near your front gate. First impressions count and it’s especially important to bear this in mind when trying to sell your property. Prospective buyers are already beginning to form an opinion before they even enter a house. However, curb appeal is just the start.

Clutter-free living room

Clean and de-clutter

This one should be quite obvious but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. The fewer things there are in an interior, the larger it will appear. Therefore, remove unnecessary things and any excess furniture. Store away things that you’ve added for that personal touch such as family snaps on the mantelpiece, knick-knacks on shelves and children’s artworks on the fridge door. Fold up the laundry and tidy away clothes & shoes into drawers and wardrobes. Make sure the bath and shower are spotless. Creating as blank a canvas as possible is important so that the buyers can envision themselves, their family and their possessions in the house.

If your property really needs help, hire a professional to do a deep clean of the house. If you have an appointment with a viewer, make sure any pets are kept out of the way – take the dog for a walk and make sure the hamster, guinea pig or rabbit is secure in its cage. And, if you do have pets, be aware of any odours that may be present to which you have become immune. The same goes for cooking smells; baking bread and freshly brewed coffee are said to be good for helping to sell your house – not so fry ups or kippers… ditto tobacco smoke. Counteract these by opening some windows, spraying air freshener or lighting a few scented candles or incense.

Property for sale signs

Ensure your listing is on all the property portals

Finally, when you’ve decided to sell your house, make sure that it is listed on all the major online property sale portals. Also ask your estate agent to showcase your house on their social media channels. This would increase the chances of your house being noticed and thereby getting sold. Most estate agents have Twitter accounts and Facebook business pages where they publicise their listings.

In addition to all of the above, get all the necessary repairs done before the house goes on to the market. Make sure that your house is as presentable as possible and doesn’t appear to buyers that too much work would be needed after the purchase. This will attract more buyers and your house should sell more quickly and for a better price.

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Get their look: Dramatic rental property

Dramatic rental propertycredit

This striking rental property is the home of Northumberland-based stylist and blogger, Kerry Lockwood and her family. If you were of the impression that being a renter meant forgoing a beautiful home, then this fabulous place can certainly change that. We know that it’s not always easy (or even possible) to convince landlords to allow changes, but if it is, then the before and after photos of Kerry’s home should provide real inspiration.

This living room is filled with natural light from a large bay window. The dark walls provide a real sense of drama both day and night – and are a perfect backdrop for her collection of artwork. Furniture, accessories and textiles layer natural tones and there’s a shimmer of metallic here and there. It looks like a comfortable, relaxed home – and very lovely indeed.

  1. Bellenger ‘simple pratique élégant favor’ reproduction poster
  2. Kate Moss ‘Life is a Joke’ photographic print
  3. ‘On air’ light box
  4. Nadadora glicée print by Blanca Gomez
  5. Farrow & Ball ‘Stiffly Blue’
  6. Dark grey Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen
  7. Original 1227 giant floor lamp by Anglepoise
  8. John Lewis Ikon large 3-seater sofa
  9. STOCKHOLM handmade/striped black/off-white mat

Click here to see more of our ‘Get their look‘ features.

Get their look: Dramatic rental property | H is for Home

5 Tips for adding an extension on to your home

5 Tips for adding an extension on to your home

As a home-owner, you often consider ways in which to improve your house. A growing family might mean that your house is no longer able to accommodate you all comfortably. Improvements to consider include adding an extension or embarking on some renovation/remodelling jobs. People’s homes are usually their largest single financial outlay in life, so you want to get things right. Major updating work can mean a big investment of money and time. However, if the additions to your house are done properly, it will not only improve your quality of life, but also add value to your house. These simple tips will help you achieve those goals.

Circular saw and ear defenders

  1. Determine what type of addition are you planning

Some forward thinking is the first and most important step. You should establish what improvements will have the greatest benefit – and if it’s possible to do it both in terms of budget and building regulations. Jot down thoughts, draw rough sketches or create mood boards. Most house additions aim to improve flow or add extra internal rooms, conservatories, terraces or verandas. Once you’ve determined the kind of additions that would be of most benefit, you can start contacting the professionals – architects, planners, builders and other tradesmen.

Building professional

  1. Consult the professionals

Always consult the professionals – they have years of training and experience upon which to draw. Architects or engineers will give you expert insight on your planned extension. They can also give safety suggestions and will advise you at an early stage as to whether your plans are attainable or not. You can’t just set about work just because it seems like a good idea on the surface… it might cause catastrophic problems to the structure of your home making it unsafe or unsellable in the future. Architects can give you designs that will compliment the rest of the house enhancing its value. They’ll also probably throw ideas into the mix that you hadn’t even considered. Engineers can make sure that your plans are safe. It’s essential to consult the professionals to assure the quality and safety of your additions.

Installing a new roof with a crane

  1. Work out your budget

After all your consultation and planning, options available ultimately come down to the budget. It’s better to determine your budget first and how high are you willing to go. The larger your extension is, the more expensive it tends to be. When you’re coming up with the budget, you should consider the other expenses such as the consultation fees to the engineers and architects, the contractor team and the materials. Remember to include a contingency fund for those unforeseen complications or problems. Researching suppliers at the start of the process might actually contribute to formulating a realistic budget.

Building materials

  1. Cost your materials

Once you have your budget sorted, it’s crucial to start sourcing and purchasing materials wisely. Ordering early could avoid the increasing costs of materials over time or paying premium prices for urgently required products or parts. If you’ve already made a deal with the construction supply company regarding prices, hopefully they wont increase the price for additional orders of the same products. And getting materials ordered and delivered early in the process is important so as not delay the start of building work. It will also prepare you for any unexpected shortages on the materials.

Large pile of building debris

  1. Hire a dumpster for the debris

After you’ve finished your extension or remodel, the only task left is to remove the inevitable debris created during the process. The best way to deal with this is to hire a dumpster / skip to take it all away. A disposal company can take care of those unwanted wood off cuts and piles of broken wall. They’ll have all the relevant licences for legal disposal. There’s nothing worse than doing the bulk of a job, then not clearing the area properly – or doing it painfully slowly. Weeks pass by, the work is finished, yet your house still looks like a building site. Remove the rubbish quickly and efficiently – then all that’s left to do is enjoy your new look home.

If you want to search for the best deals, you can visit http://eagledumpsterrental.com for further information.

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Lone Star State house prices experiencing strong gains

House with Stars & Stripes flag down the front

According to the second quarter reports for 2016 that have been released by the Texas Association of Realtors, the state’s house prices have been experiencing very strong gains. The report, entitled the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, states that the last few months in particular, have been one of the biggest beginnings to the summer selling season for Texas real estate. Homes of all price classes and all types are now in really high demand, and this is especially the case for houses that are priced beneath $200,000. Continue reading to learn more about this great news for sellers, investors, and realtors.

Houston city skyline

Increases in homes

Real estate experts have noted increases in the prices of homes across the state, from rural Austin suburbs like Dripping Springs, to houses in big cities like Dallas, and every residential area in between. The report specifically stated that a total of 91,418 Texas houses were sold in just the second quarter of this year. This is an incredible 4.4% boost from the second quarter of 2015, and it is also the biggest volume of home sales in the state’s history.

On top of that, over 45% of the houses that were sold within the second quarter of 2016 were priced below $200,000, but almost 47% of the houses were priced anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000. This means that first-time home-buyers, as well as those with higher budgets, have been able to take advantage of the many homes found throughout the state in some of the country’s most beautiful cities and towns.

Austin waterfront and skyline

Expectations for continued growth

It is expected that home prices will continue to rise. After all, they did continue to climb, thanks to a surge in population numbers and a lower inventory of homes throughout the state. This high demand has made the current average price for a home in Texas $215,000. The reason for this increase in the median home price is partly due to the fact that the inventory of available homes for sale remained pretty much unchanged from the first quarter of 2016, so it is a seller’s market.

Arial view of a Texas suburb

Not all markets are benefiting

There are some housing markets throughout the state of Texas where these gains have not been seen, however. This is because there are many areas that are still impacted by the recent declines within the energy industry.

Despite this, on the whole, the housing market in Texas is continuing to do very well. Active listings increased by about 4.1%, and the second quarter of 2016 shows more than 98,000 listings that were active. Homes also spent less time for sale, with an average of 54 days on the market before being sold.

Because Texas homes are in such high demand and because prices are set to continue climbing, if you’ve been hoping to invest in real estate there, whether you want to raise your family in the state or retire there for a more affordable way of life, it is best to make your move sooner rather than later.

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Easy ways to make money from your spare space

'Space to let' sign in a green window

If money’s tight, it can be very worrying. Fortunately, it’s possible for you to use spare space in your home to make a bit of extra cash. As you’ll see if you read on, doing so is not hard. In most cases, you can do it quickly without having to spend too much money to get things up and running.

Audi with headlights on in a garage

Rent out your garage space

Perhaps the fastest way to make a little cash is to let people store stuff in your garage. If yours is currently full of junk, why not clean it out and swap it for someone else’s unwanted items. You can potentially make some money by selling your unwanted gear, and get some rent from somebody else.

If you do decide to do this, vet your clients well and draw up some sort of written contract. Include what happens to the person’s stuff if they don’t pay the bill. Always take a deposit that covers at least a month’s rent in advance, and don’t accept anything that will be difficult to dispose of should the owner not pay the rent.

Looking up a driveway through a

Rent out a parking space

If you have a driveway, consider renting it out as parking spaces. You can find out more about doing this here. It is a very quick and easy way to make some extra cash, and there’s huge demand for this service. You can do this even if you don’t live within walking distance of an airport, railway station or shopping centre. Some people own classic cars or sports cars that they need to park up somewhere safe.

Single bedroom

Rent out a room

For those who don’t mind sharing their home, renting out a room is a good option. Of course, you may need to redecorate your room to bring it up to a standard that will allow you to get a good rent.

Paint doesn’t cost much and you can easily pick up cheap soft furnishings. This approach, combined with using laminate flooring, makes it easy to spruce up your spare room. All you need now is some good quality furniture. There are several ways to get your hands on what you need. You can renovate what you already have, pick some up from your local re-cycling network, or buy some second-hand items.

All of these approaches work, but if you want the best finish possible, it is well worth using a service like like rent furniture UK. Doing so will allow you to lease what you need. The furniture will be new, so will look great, and be sure to be a draw for prospective tenants.

A few things of which to be aware

If you like the sound of any of these ideas, we suggest that you do a bit more research online. You’ll need to understand what your legal responsibilities are and understand how much of what you earn will be liable for tax. It’s important to go into this with your eyes open, and do the maths to make sure that it’s going to be profitable for you.

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