Kenneth_Blum Archive

The Most Popular Cladding Options for Your New Home

Weatherboard cladding on side of a buildingA practical and economical way to control the internal environment of your home is with cladding installation. For new homeowners, this may seem like an unnecessary additional expense. Cladding not only helps improve your house’s temperature, but it also improves the external façade, the kerb appeal, and offers additional ventilation and security.

For most homeowners, they often ask professionals to install their cladding. You have the option of doing it yourself if you have the skill and expertise, or to ask a carpenter or builder to do it for you.

Here are some of the most popular cladding options homeowners want for their houses.

Weatherboard cladding

In Australia and New Zealand, homes with weatherboard cladding is gaining popularity. You can use weatherboards on many different types of surfaces. Also, some panels require little to no maintenance even in extreme weather conditions. You could choose to use hardwood, fibre cement, or vinyl for your cladding.

Timber cladding

These days, one of the top three choices for cladding is timber. Cladding does not contribute to structural stability, but it also transfers wind loads and absorbs impact loads. Timber is a good choice because it resists moisture and decay. It also accepts paints and other treatments. Native softwoods are also easy to alter to fit your design requirements.

Metal cladding

Aside from resistance to moisture and decay, metals offer better fire resistance, have higher cost-effectiveness, and requires little to no maintenance. Moreover, you can arrange the metal panels in many ways. They are relatively easy to install.

No matter what kind of cladding you choose for your house, you should choose the one that fits your design aesthetic. Have you decided on the kind of exterior finishing you want for your new home?

Skip Counting Sheep: 5 Strategies for Healthy Sleep

Woman cannot sleepCounting sheep is one known remedy if you have trouble falling asleep. This mental exercise involves picturing a stream of sheep going over a fence, counting as they jump one by one. It is noted that this rhythmic visualization can put a person to sleep.

If you have tried this method but still have trouble dozing off, you are not alone. In fact, a study from the Oxford University suggested that insomniacs who had to count sheep took longer than usual to drift off. Researchers theorized that counting sheep is boring, with the act itself adding more anxiety. This makes falling asleep more of a challenge.

It is better to try these suggestions if you want to drift off faster:

Have a regular sleep schedule

This means sticking to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. This can regulate your body clock, helping you to fall and stay asleep easily every night.

Practice a bedtime routine

A relaxing ritual before dozing off can calm your mind and body, helping you sleep faster. This may include doing some light reading, breathing exercises, and writing your worries for the next day.

Invest in a comfy mattress

New mattress stores in Salt Lake City suggest replacing the one you’ve been using for more than 10 years. This is especially if it’s sagging or sinking the middle. A mattress can help you sleep better if it is supportive and comfortable.

Modify your room

Your sleeping environment should be cool (about 60 to 67F) and free from noise. It should also be as dark as possible. Evaluate your room and see if you’ll need blackout curtains, humidifiers, white noise machines, and other devices.

Avoid heavy meals

Big meals late at night can cause indigestion and discomfort, making it hard for you to drift off. It is also advisable to avoid cigarettes and alcohol in the evening, as they are known to disrupt sleep.

If you still find it hard to sleep after lying down for several minutes, get out of bed and go into another room in the house. Do something relaxing and go back to bed when you feel tired. Talking to a sleep professional is also beneficial.

Reducing Furnace Repair Costs

Installing a FurnaceHomeowners rarely pay attention to the maintenance of their furnace until the cold winter months are upon them. As soon as the winter sets in, homeowners simply start their furnaces and expect it to function smoothly without any issues at all.

Some homeowners decide to get their furnace checked, but only after the cold starts and not before. Thus, the biggest mistake they make is opting for furnace maintenance during the peak period.

While it is true that you can call reputed service providers that offer furnace installation services in Salt Lake City, do not do so during peak times as other homeowners will also be in the same situation. Technicians will take more time to come, offer you services in a hurry that is costly and substandard.

Reducing the Repair Costs

To reduce the furnace repair and maintenance charges, there are certain aspects you can take care of before the winter sets in. This will help you maintain your furnace well and ready for the winters.

  • Check the filters. The furnace has two filters, one near the thermostat and the other near the blower components. You should clean this often to avoid accumulation of debris and dirt. Clean the system when it is not in use too, so that the valuable parts do not suffer damage.

Clean the filters once in two or three months, so that the furnace is always able to function efficiently.

  • Inspect the system regularly. Once every month, check the system randomly, especially when it is not in use. This will help you detect small issues and nip it in the bud, thus avoiding major repairs and problems.

Check the air intake and exhaust situated on your roof to make sure that there is no debris, frost or leaves built up around the duct area.

  • Give the furnace a trial run. Before the winter sets in, run the furnace to check if it is in good working condition. Make sure that is not making any strange noise, and the heating is constantly distributed.

Thus, following a regular maintenance schedule will help you reduce furnace repair costs and ensure that the furnace functions optimally in winter.

5 Easy Ways to Turn Your Yard into a Private Haven

Wonderful backyardBackyard privacy allows homeowners to do the things they love without worrying about their neighbors. Whether you admit it or not, we all feel annoyed when the neighbors’ dog bark nonstop or when some strange peeps into our windows. Here are five smart landscaping solutions that can help you add a layer of privacy to your yard:

Install a fence and decorate it

Fences and walls are a quick way to add privacy in houses, pools, patios or playgrounds. If there are local ordinances that restrict fence heights, you can add tall perennials that rise above your metal fence panels to provide extra screening. If your partition looks dull, you can also decorate it with flowering or evergreen shrubs.

Use container gardens for deck or patio privacy

Potted plants are ideal for adding privacy to small spaces such as a raised deck or patio. Find containers and plants that fit your landscape style. Ideally, go for a sometimes long-lasting with a mix of beautiful colors, textures, and types of foliage.

Plant trees and use privacy plantings

Trees can effectively and inexpensively block views from neighbors or streets. They offer almost year-round screening and are usually not subject to municipal ordinances that limit fence heights.

Make use of structures on your property

You can creatively use structures on your property. In this case, you hide behind the walls of established structures such as your garage, effectively blocking views from neighbors.

Use rippling water to mask sounds

Invest in a rippling water partition such as a stream or fountain to muffle annoying noises and create a soothing, tranquil environment.

You can’t achieve full comfort if you’re not putting effort in your backyard. Use foliage, fences, walls, and rippling water to add peace and quiet to your yard and keep your neighbors out of your affairs.

3 Ways to Make Your Home Exteriors as Appealing as the Interiors

Home Exterior Improvement in New ZealandSome homeowners spend all of their time designing and beautifying the rooms inside their home because this is where they spend most of their time. However, you shouldn’t be like them. It’s best to take care both of your interiors and exteriors, so you can keep your family safe, avoid damages and impress guests and neighbours with your home’s appeal.

Here are some exterior home improvements you can do:

Replace the Windows

If you’ve never replaced your windows before, now is the right time. Energy-efficient models are now the norm, with new frames and glasses to freshen up the exteriors. Auckland Glass Ltd recommends calling the most reliable window replacement expert to help you find the windows that would best fit your home.

Use Boxwoods for Landscaping Variety

Aside from the usual mature trees and mini garden, you can choose to buy boxwoods instead for a tidier landscape. This will bring variety to the look of your front yard. Grow bushes, roses and other flowers for that lush and fresh look. Using boxwoods is a good way to not overwhelm other aspects of the exteriors, as well.

Repaint the Exterior Walls

One of the least costly yet most effective ways is to make your home exteriors look lovelier by applying a new coat of paint. Use a colour — pastel, beige, white, or something dark will do — that doesn’t overpower everything for that timeless look. Make sure the colour matches the overall look of your home and other design elements of the exteriors. It should put everything together in a fresh and appealing way.

These are only some of the improvements that will help you keep your home exteriors as beautiful your interiors. Choose the right upgrades that you think your home needs for better results.

Sitting by an Open Fire: Why It Isn’t Always Dangerous

Open Fire System in TahunanuiOpen fires don’t simply exist to burn you and your belongings. Under controlled settings, the experience of gathering around it can be fun. Tim Miller Plumbing even shares that open flame-settings have more benefits than you initially thought. So, get your log fire heating system ready and working for the upcoming season — you’ll be sure to enjoy keeping warm by the fire even more.

Physical Effects

Many people avoid getting too close to fire for fear that it will burn them, but an open fire actually is good for your body. Proper heating has a positive impact on your heart, blood pressure and respiratory system, which could counter the negative effect of chilly air on your body. Additionally, the physical sight, smell and sound of an open fire is relaxing and can calm your body down.

Furthermore, a study by Thomas Gale Moore for Stanford University shows that the cold is a bigger killer than heat is. In fact, numerous findings associate winter with a higher number of deaths.

Mental Well-Being

Research has also shown how heat helps improve your alertness, attitude and memory skills. It increases the production of serotonin and endorphins — hormones that commonly enhance cognitive abilities and are associated with mood. As such, warmth makes you feel good and think clearer. This is probably a major reason why being bundled up in a blanket and drinking hot chocolate or warm milk is a popular comfort ritual across the world.