Why renovation is a good opportunity to consider pest management

Why renovation is a good opportunity to consider pest management

If you’re having renovation work completed you have an excellent opportunity to think about pest management at the same time. Before the renovation work begins it’s a good idea to speak to a professional exterminator in Chesapeake to ask them to conduct an assessment which can then be discussed with the renovation expert you employ.

We’re going to take a look at what pest control measures could be considered. We’re also going to explain why it makes sense to include them in your renovation project.

What pest control work can be included as part of the renovation?

Wasp nest on a ceiling

The reason why you should consult with a pest control expert before you have renovation work carried out is so they can put their expertise to use advising what pest control measures could be included in the renovation work. This could include:

  • Sealing gaps and cracks in the exterior walls of your property to help prevent pests from gaining access.
  • Sealing gaps around kitchen cabinets.
  • Repairing any leaks, or problems with water damage, that may be present.
  • Using pest resistant materials.
  • Applying boric acid to areas behind walls which can help prevent cockroach infestation

This is a selection of pest control measures that can be included as part of a renovation project. Hopefully, you can see why these measures are so important.

Why include them in the renovation?

Cockroaches being exterminatedcredit

If you’re spending money on having your home renovated, you want the final result to be as successful as possible. If you do not pay attention to pest control as part of the project then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to make sure your home is protected.

Of course, there’s also a chance that a pest infestation could damage the work that has been completed. This being the case, it makes sense to take all possible action to protect your property against potential pest invasion.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the issue of pest control is resolved forever. You should have your home inspected for pests at least once every two years. This doesn’t change even if you include pest control in your renovation project; unless the pest control experts advise otherwise. Having the work completed does mean that you are less likely to encounter a problem with pests.

Once the renovation work is complete, you should speak to the pest control experts about any further recommendations they may have. They’ll also advise you about future inspections.

Hopefully, we’ve shown you why a renovation project is a good opportunity to address any potential pest control issues. It makes sense to include any pest deterrent improvements, from a practical and financial viewpoint. If you neglect the opportunity you may have regrets if a problem with pests ends up causing damage to the renovation work you’ve just had completed.

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4 essential ways to care for your tech devices

 

4 essential ways to care for your tech devices

You need to care for your tech devices in much the same way as you do your own body – looking after both inside and out. Whether it’s your mobile phone, desktop, laptop or tablet; games console or smart watch you need to look after both its hardware and software. These items can be pretty expensive to buy and to fix; having to live without them is unthinkable for some! Here are the top 4 things you need to do to properly care for your tech devices and keep them in tip-top condition.

Invest in screen protectors, covers and cases

Black leather iPhone cover

If you’re anything like us, you use your computer and phone whilst eating or drinking at the same time. Even if you think you’re being really careful, they still tend to get a bit sticky and grubby. Keep your devices clean with anti-bacterial spray cleaner and a specialist cleaning brush set for getting between the spaces on your keyboard.

Keep them clean, but also make sure you keep them covered… especially if you’re clumsy and prone to dropping things! Start with a clear screen protector – they only take seconds to apply, but they stop the glass getting scratched and can help save it from shattering. Enclose your mobile in a leather iPhone case, it safeguards from daily wear & tear and makes it look great at the same time. I use my iPad for following recipes as I cook; I use a case with integral stand to keep it upright and clean… save a few buttery fingerprints here & there!

Install anti-virus software

Install anti-virus software on your tech devices

One of the most stressful and scary things that can happen to your tech device is unknowingly installing a virus, Trojan horse or some other kind of malware. It can completely disable your machine and can cost a lot of money to get someone to put it right. And you may even unintentionally infect the devices of friends, family and work colleagues. These situations can be easily avoided by installing anti-virus software – and there are some good, free ones available.

AVG Anti-virus (AVG AntiVirus for Mac® | AVG AntiVirus FREE | AVG AntiVirus for Android™)

AVG AntiVirus includes real-time security updates, scans for both malware and performance issues, and even catches malicious downloads before they reach your device. It blocks unsafe links, downloads and email attachments.

Avast Security (PC, Mac & Android)

Avast is one of the largest security companies in the world using next-gen technologies to fight cyber attacks in real time. They have an immense cloud-based machine learning engine that receives a constant stream of data from our more than 400 million users.

Keep your hard drive spick & span

Snail on a keyboard

There are a few, simple things you can do to keep your devices running quickly and smoothly. By freeing up disk space you not only stop your device becoming sluggish, you also extend your battery life. Always keep your apps updated, developers are always tweaking them, fixing bugs and improving performance. Quit, don’t just close apps that aren’t being used. Don’t simply put files into your trash – delete them completely by emptying the ‘trash’/’recycle bin’. Keep anything that you don’t need every day on an external had drive – especially large files such as images, music and video.

There are lots of useful apps that can help you keep many of them are free or cost very little. Here are just a few.

AVG Cleaner (AVG PC TuneUp® | AVG Cleaner™ for Mac® | AVG Cleaner™ for Android™)

It quickly finds any hidden clutter you may have accumulated and clean it with just one click.

MacBooster (Mac)

This is a Mac maintenance tool to clean up junk, boost performance and remove malware and viruses.

AppZapper (Mac)

Everybody loves the drag and drop nature of OS X. Drag an app into your applications folder, and it’s installed. You’d think it would be that easy to delete an app – just a matter of dragging it to the trash. But it’s not. Apps install support files on your computer that generate clutter. Introducing AppZapper. Simply drag one or more apps onto AppZapper. Then, watch as it finds the extra files and lets you delete them with one click.

Reno Uninstaller (PC)

Has powerful features to uninstall programs scanning for left over files, folders and registry entries after uninstall.

Disk Diag (Mac)

Disk Diag is a free, simple and efficient tool for cleaning your Mac. It takes the hassle out of finding which files are clogging-up your Mac hard drive by instantly scanning and discovering what’s taking-up space.

Monolingual (Mac)

Monolingual is a program for removing unnecessary language resources from macOS, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least macOS 10.12 (Sierra).

Removing unused language packs is different for Windows® operating systems. Read about going about it here.

Prepare for if it gets lost or stolen

Mobile phone lost in undergrowthcredit

No one wants to think about the possibility of their device getting misplaced, lost or stolen; but it happens to people every, single day. There are things you can put in place if, in future, you need to locate a lost or stolen device.

For Mac products – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple Watch and MacBook – the Find My iPhone app is a security essential.

Find My iPhone will help you locate your missing device on a map, remotely lock it, play a sound, display a message, or erase all the data on it.

For missing iOS devices, Find My iPhone also includes Lost Mode. Lost Mode locks your device with a passcode and can display a custom message and contact phone number right on the Lock Screen. While in Lost Mode, your device can keep track of where it has been and report back so you can view its recent location history, right from the Find My iPhone app.

If you have an Android phone, you need to enable the ‘Remotely locate this device’ and ‘Allow remote lock and erase’ settings in the Google Settings app. You’ll find them under Security → Device Manager. If your Android device goes missing, log into the Android Device Manager on the Google website and it’s location will be mapped out. From here you can ring, lock or erase your phone’s data.

Windows phones also have built-in settings to track missing mobile devices. You will find them here: Settings → Privacy → Find my phone. Tick the box to ‘Save my phone’s location periodically and before the battery runs out to make it easier to find’. So long as you have done this you will be able to search for your phone’s whereabouts via your Microsoft account. From here you’ll be able to ring, lock or erase it’s data.

Doing these four simple things will ensure that your tech devices will enjoy a long and prosperous existence!

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How to achieve an industrial style in your home

Tripod search light beside a cast iron spiral staircaseAvailable at Lampandlight.co.uk

Industrial style is a genre that we love! It draws its inspiration from factory and work spaces. It’s is a look with striking accents without the fuss. Features to be found in this type of interior include factory furniture, large lamps, enamel light shades, sturdy iron staircases, practical metal cabinets and bare brick walls.

The basis for any industrial style starts with simplicity; think cool, natural colours such as black, white, grey, army green and brown. Materials such as concrete and stone fit perfectly in an industrial-styled interior and create a more functional, utilitarian space.

Collection of industrial style hexagonal table lampsAvailable at Lampandlight.co.uk

Anything considered natural or rustic  can complement an industrial-style space. Cast iron, leather, brick and wood would all be suitable. Juxtapose the different elements – a stainless steel dining table against a rough brick wall, a reclaimed wooden kitchen worktop with a concrete splash back or stone flooring with a large, worn leather armchair. Bringing these colours and materials together delivers an exciting and stylish place.

When it comes to pulling this style together, aim for a more Spartan  look. You really can’t go wrong with this, it’s simple and minimal.

Bare brick walls, exposed pipes or wooden beams are the starting point of an industrial space. Not every house can boast rough-hewn brick walls; fake it with textured wallpapers that can imitate the appearance you desire.

Eye-catching, statement pieces of furniture bring together the overall effect. Perhaps a large well-worn Chesterfield leather sofa or a dining table constructed from used scaffolding boards. Remember, the furniture shouldn’t look pristine; the more weathered, battered and patinated the better!

Industrial style copper cage pendant light fittingAvailable at Lampandlight.co.uk

Complete the transformation with industrial lighting. Picture large, robust lights such as factory lamps hanging from the ceiling – these are instant statement makers. Enamel or brushed metal lamps suspended with chain or thick rope cables are perfect within an industrial-styled interior.

Complement and contrast with the lamps using beautiful and decorative LED filament bulbs, these bulbs are not only energy efficient but they also have a longer life span… and are really on trend at the moment.

Hard surfaces and clean lines will dominate, so perhaps soften spaces with rugs and textiles – or introduce a bit of natural life with indoor plants or fresh flowers.

With all of these tips you can’t go wrong when it comes to creating an industrial style and décor! Once again remember, less is more – and be daring and bold.

Important things you should consider before renovating your home

Important things you should consider before renovating your home

Though HGTV uses fun demo days and trips to the design board to make renovations look glamorous, there is in fact quite a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ action. In order for you to better focus on the fun stuff and dream up your perfect space, this post is here to help you by highlighting some important things you should consider before you begin renovating your home.

Tall stepladder in a hallway

Your ultimate goal

What’s your main goal for renovation? Are you looking to capitalise on your home or are you intending to spruce it up and make it your ‘forever home’? This decision will help guide and influence your entire renovation.

If you’re looking to renovate and then sell your home, aim to keep your project budget-friendly, with a design that will appeal to the majority of potential buyers.

On the other hand, renovating your home for your own benefit in the long-term is the perfect opportunity to create your dream home. Use the materials you love and a timeless design that you will enjoy for years to come.

Room in a state of disrepair

Planning and design

As you picture the final results of your renovation, what do you see?

It takes a lot of effort to get there but it’s important to plan each step of the renovation process. When it comes down to the details of your project, the more you plan and the more detailed it is, the better. Then, once you make your plan, do your best to stick to it! Extra additions and product switches add up.

If you’re tackling the interior design solo, books, magazines and blogs can be great sources for inspiration. From there, you can save what you love on Pinterest or create a mood board to help guide your project. Or, if you are looking for some support, a decorator or interior designer can help you plan the design for your space.

Painting a wall black with a roller

What to DIY and what to outsource

Before renovating, consider what things around the home you want to renovate yourself and the things for which you should seek external help.

A few home projects that are great to do yourself are painting, sanding, building furniture and laying tiles. For the larger and more complex modifications, such as electricity-related projects, it would definitely be better to use the services of a professional electrician and opt for reliable, high quality low voltage products like circuit breakers for example, as they play a crucial part in protecting the whole electrical circuit from damage caused by electricity overloaded wiring.

Measuring with a spirit level

Budget

As you plan your budget for your renovation, it may be helpful to pencil in a safety net that leaves room for going 15% over. After all, renovating is an expensive business.

To help your project start off on the right foot, a builder or quantity surveyor can help you figure out what you are working with.

Go over your design and check out online shops to understand what pieces you can find that will fit into your budget.

Box of grey ceramic tiles

Timing

When it comes to renovating, timing is everything (especially for your pocket).

Be sure to consistently check in with your contractor and make sure the renovations are going according to plan. After all, you wouldn’t want your delay with the final touches and painting to run into the delivery date of the items of furniture you ordered.

Moreover, if you make a schedule, sticking to it will be important no matter if you’re planning to live in your home during the renovations or out of it. Your patience, extended family or hotel bills will appreciate the project wrapping up in a timely manner!

Your home renovation will be exactly what you make of it. Prepare for some bumps in the road, but the planning, budgeting and timing you work out will only help your project run as smoothly as possible. Most importantly, however, remember to enjoy the process!

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5 ways to dress awkward windows

Unusual exterior windows on a housecredit

Whether it’s their size, shape or location – some windows can be awkward to dress. Here are a few tips to solve the potential difficulties.

VELUX blackout blinds

Dormer windows and roof lights

Windows in attic rooms and loft conversions are often difficult to dress. Windows that slope at an angle are best served by roller blinds. If the room at the top of the house is being used as a bedroom, stopping the bright sunlight from waking you up each morning can be something of a challenge. Luckily, VELUX Blinds are available in blackout options to remedy this problem.

Large bedroom bay windowcredit

Bay windows

Roman or Venetian blinds are often the best solution here. The latter can require lots of dusting but you can get a special tool to make light work of this. And if it’s curtains you want, bay window kits are available to buy that contain curved curtain poles or tracks.

Sitting room with white bottom up blindscredit

Overlooked windows

If you live on a busy main road or there are other people’s windows facing yours at the same height, bottom up blinds are a great solution. This is especially the case if you have a lovely view out of the top of the window but people can peer in at the bottom. Fitting bottom up blinds in our front lounge has been on our ‘to do’ list for quite a while – we could easily block out the view of passing traffic to leave a far more attractive view of the trees and church steeple beyond. We must get that done soon!

Bathroom with patterned opaque film on windowscredit

Bathroom windows

Again, roller blinds are a common solution. Or perhaps try an opaque adhesive film which restricts people’s view into this private space, but still allows light to pour in. It also avoids the need for fabrics which can get wet and attract mould.

Half moon windows with custom made shutterscredit

Arched or angled windows

Custom-made shutters might be the best answer here as they really enhance unusual shapes. Cobbling something together will probably look messy – and just installing a plain rectangular ‘off the shelf’ solution won’t maximise the potential of an interesting house feature.

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What’s cooking? Good looking!

Samsung built in electric single oven

Our foodie posts are some of the most popular here on our blog – we’ve discovered that lots of our visitors especially love cooking & eating cheesecake, malt bread and chocolate desserts. We also know that hundreds (if not thousands!) of our regular readers love trying their luck with our monthly giveaways.

Well, we have a win-win bit of news for all you lovely people! Our friends over at Voucherbox wanted us to share with you a competition that they’ve got going on at the moment.

Samsung built in electric single oven

They have a brand new Samsung built in electric single oven worth £469 up for grabs. It’s something of a miracle oven, it cleans as it cooks – I wish ours could do that!

It’s easy to enter – just answer a very simple question (you’re even given a hint!). The deadline for entering is midnight on the 31st of January. Get on over there… and best of luck!

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