Getting Your House Ready For Resale

When it’s time to sell your property it pays to look at your own house with a very discerning eye. The small faults that you may have walked past 100 times can be disconcerting for a potential buyer. The key is to start from the top, work down and take a good hard look at your home with the view of a buyer in mind. Here are five key areas to assess when putting your property on the market.

Eye’s Up, Folks

Nothing says a house is unloved quite like a shabby exterior. So start from the top and work your way down. How’s your roof looking? Does it need a recoat, guttering replaced or tiling tended to? Fixing a roof will often seem daunting and expensive to a buyer. It also makes people wonder what nasty surprises may lurk beneath it, so consider getting in some roofing experts such as Roofmasters to rejuvenate your roof quickly and in a cost-effective manner.

Exterior Paint

There’s no excuse for chipped paint on exterior walls, doors or window frames. If your paint has seen better days or better colours, consider a professional repaint. However, often you can get by with a touch-up to tidy up walls and trims. This particularly applies to exterior doors – a new coat of stain or fresh colour on your front door provides a wonderful welcome to any potential buyer.

Gardening

No one demands you be a natural green thumb but do ensure your garden is at its best. That means removing all weeds, trimming the lawns and cutting back overgrown trees. Remember if you have tree branches touching your house, it’s a path for termites that will be flagged during any potential buyer’s pest inspection. Should your lawn look patchy, throw down some grass seed and get that bald spot growing again. Mulch on gardens also makes the world of difference to how a property presents, so grab a trailer and pick up some woodchip. It’s an amazing effect for a minimal price.

Interior Walls

A fresh coat of paint inside gives your property a new lease on life. Go for neutral colours that allow the potential buyer to imagine their furniture or personal touches in the home. Painting is a true DIY job that can be done quickly and effectively. Fresh paint may even allow buyers to forgive that retro 1970s kitchen.

De-clutter

In the interests of allowing others to imagine themselves living at the house and to provide a feeling of greater space, you should make the effort to de-clutter. Put away the trinkets, endless photo frames and children’s toys. You may even consider popping some items into storage while the property is on the market. Any house for sale should always appear clean, crisp and free of extraneous living items, so really pare back on your items around the home.

Once you’ve made the decision to sell, allow yourself the time to get your property up to scratch. Time spent now on clearing up, cleaning up and touching up will be time well spent when it comes to a sale and buyer interest.

Tips for Teaching Your Kids to Drive

Despite technological advancements in vehicle safety, far too many people die or are seriously injured on our roads. Personal injury law firms like Turner Freeman see these cases every day.
A teenager getting their learners permit is a rite of passage for both the young person and parents. It is also one of the most important lessons your children will ever learn – driving is a big responsibility. We literally take our lives – and the lives of others – in our hands every time we get behind the wheel.

Below are some tips that can help make sure that learning to drive is a stress free (and safe) experience and your kids.

Lead by Example

What is your own driving style like? Are you a nervous? Aggressive? Calm? No matter what you say to them before the lesson starts, your children have been watching – and learning from – your driving style for many years so make sure every time you get behind the wheel that your own actions support the instructions and directions you are giving to the young driver.

Be Clear and Specific

Make sure that you give very specific instructions. Words like “slow” or “fast” mean different things to different people so try to say things like the actual speed you’d like them to go. Yelling to “stop” or “slow down” if your learner loses their nerve or makes a mistake also won’t help no matter how potentially dangerous the situation is – stay calm and tell them exactly what they need to do to fix it.

Practice The Basics

Devote entire lessons to building essential basic driving skills. Spend some time in an empty parking lot or quiet area teaching your child how to do things like start, stop, crash stop and other crucial manoeuvres. Being able to brake suddenly safely is a crucial skill that can’t be easily learned at the time it’s most needed. Repetition aids with retention, so make sure you go over this basic skills training regularly.

Have a Think about the Route

Before every drive; consider where you are going to go and the roads you’ll take to get there. Think about the types of driving manoeuvres the learner will need to do and if their skills – and your patience – are up to it. It is still important to expose them to a range of traffic conditions but you can’t teach someone how to merge on a motorway in peak hour properly if you are yelling frantic instructions after being taken by surprise yourself!

Learning how to drive is exciting and nerve wracking – and that’s just summing up the parents’ emotions! With some planning, patience, empathy and preparation you can help to not only give your child independence but also skills that they’ll remember and use for life. Safety doesn’t just matter while they’re learning, it’s something that all drivers need to focus on every time they sit in the drivers’ seat.

What advice would you give to a parent teaching their child how to drive?

Installing Sliding Doors in Your Home: What are the Benefits?

If you are building or renovating your home, you might want to think about installing sliding doors. Sliding doors are becoming increasingly common because they offer many benefits to your home. If you are considering installing you can always consult a professional like A J Doors for specific information, advice and quotes.

Manageable Maintenance

Glass sliding doors require some up keep, however, for the most part, sliding doors are reasonably robust. Although sliding doors should remain functional for a long time, eventually they can wear down or become difficult to open and close. If your doors are old or need to be replaced or repaired, doing a local search for sliding door repairs should point you in the direction of professionals that specialise in sliding doors.

Large Openings

Sliding doors are usually larger than standard doors, which means when they are open, there is a much larger connection between indoors and outdoors. Some sliding doors are the only separation between the main living areas and the outdoors. This is great for creating an indoor/outdoor room because effectively, the entire wall slides away allowing a seamless transition to the environment outside.

Access to Views

Sliding doors can act like huge windows. If you have a great view from your property, installing sliding doors will maximise on the outlook and increase the value of the property. If you are trying the make the most of your backyard, sliding doors will allow your living areas to spill outside. Sliding doors also open up more lines of sight throughout your home. This can be helpful if you want to keep an eye on the kids in the backyard from the living room or kitchen, or if you want to impress your guest with a view.

Natural Ventilation

In hot and humid climates, sliding doors will allow air to flow through your home, especially if you have window open on the other side of the house. The large opening created by sliding doors catches the can catch breezes even if they are coming in at an angle.

Stylish Addition

Sliding doors can be a fashionable addition to your home. Glass sliding doors come in many different designs and colours to suit any home’s décor or style. White or black steel frames are used most commonly, as they only minimally obscure views however, timber frames are also very popular. Timber framed doors are especially effective if they open up to a patio or a pool, as they give spaces a more tropical feel. It is important, however, to consider the weather of your area before selecting your door’s frame. Timber may look the best, but it will go grey or swell if it will be constantly exposed to harsh sunlight or water. If this is the case, steel would be a better option.

Sliding doors can transform your home and give it a brand new feel. They are great for ventilation, connecting space and making the most of views. So if you are looking to renovate, consider installing sliding doors.

5 Easy Ways to Transform Your Garden

Your garden’s looking super drab. Every time you go out there, it just depresses you. Everyone seems to have amazing, thriving yards almost by default, but what about those of us who just can’t seem to activate their green thumbs? It’s actually way easier to take a boring backyard and turn it into something amazing than you think.

 

1. Grass and Landscaping

You have two alternatives when it comes to seriously changing up the look of the yard. There are lots of DIY solutions for changing the look of the whole yard with some thorough landscaping. If you’re not willing to go that far, you can always look at laying some turf. Either option here should yield stellar results. If you’re not confident enough to do it yourself, though, contact a professional like Hancey’s Turf . You don’t want to get halfway through and realise you’ve mucked it up.

2. Planter Boxes

Planter boxes are a super inexpensive way to decorate your garden and give you a sustainable crop of vegetables year round. You don’t have to just grow veggies in them either – fill them with anything you like, such as rocks, soil and wildflowers, or shrubs and tall grasses. It’s entirely up to you. Get creative with it. You can either get pre-built planter boxes at your local hardware outlet or you can build them yourself at home.

3. Patterned Walkways

Ever wished you had a nice pathway from the house to the washing line? Build one yourself! Get really creative with what you use to put it together – pavers, stepping stones or slabs? How about gravel? Put it together how you want. You can also plant some interesting flowers or shrubs around the path to give it some character.

4. Climbing Plants

A great way to introduce some shade with style into the yard is with a pergola and some climbing plants. Pergolas are so cheap and easy to build and when you combine them with something like roses, ivy, grapes or even honeysuckle, they will give the entire yard a whole lot of colour and fragrance. They’re also a great option if you’re looking for something to give you a bit of privacy.

5. Rock Garden

This is a great idea if you have any unused space in your yard. Just dig up the earth in that area and fill it with some rocks and pea gravel in whatever size and colour appeals to you. It’s also a great way to make something that’s a bit of a unique shape. Water the area really well before you go digging it up to make it easier to shift the earth. Plant some herbs like sage or lavender around the edges for some colour and fragrance – these are awesome herbs because they take such little looking after.

There’s loads of ways you can transform your garden from an unappealing patch of ground to a gorgeous outdoor haven. Have you ever completely transformed your garden? How did you go about it? Are you a DIY wizard? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home Doors

Spring is here again. You’ve done outside. You’ve done inside. What about the doors? How do you start when it comes to spring cleaning your screens, doors and sliding doors? Check out these ideas for cleaning a very visual and important part of your home:

Flyscreens and security screens

Your fly or security screen collects a huge amount of dust, particles, and if you look down the bottom, remains of animals that could not escape! Unless you’re keen on having science projects on your screens, you’ll need soap up some water and be prepared to flush your screens a number of times. There’s no real quick or easy way to clean a screen – just time and effort.

If you find during your cleaning that your security screen is coming out of the mounts or the door just does not feel as ‘secure’ as it should, it’s probably an indication that your security screen isn’t doing what it’s designed to do – protect you and your family from creepies and creeps. If you find you’re not feeling secure, it’s worth contacting a home security expert, such as Stylewise Security for options on creating a safe environment for you and your family.

Hinged doors

Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to check your hinged doors for any defects and remedy any potential issues. When cleaning your hinged doors, the golden rule is to start clean. Check the surrounds of the door – do you need to remove or replace a worn doormat? Are there leaves or debris near the doorway that need cleaning? Once the surrounds are clean, you can get to work on spring cleaning. Check the door hinges – have you been putting up with a squeaky door all winter? Lubricate! Are your keys getting jammed, or is your door becoming stiff to open or close? This may be a sign your door is becoming damaged or warped. Spring cleaning the door itself is easy; like anything, use hot soapy water, a microfiber cloth and a bit of elbow grease to give your door a fresh, clean look.

Sliding doors

There’s a multitude of things to consider when spring cleaning your sliding doors. As with hinged doors, ensure the surrounds are clean before you dive into a good spring once-over. With sliding doors, start from the top and work your way down. Give the outside a good hose or high-pressure water clean, getting rid of any surface dirt. With inside glass panels, use water and a microfiber cloth to both clean and give the glass a shiny buff.
One area that many people neglect when spring cleaning sliding doors are the tracks and wheels. Using hot, soapy water, get into the grooves of the tracks. Dirty tracks and wheels turn a sliding door into a grinding door. Where possible, give the wheels a once-over, too.

What methods have you employed in cleaning your doors? Are there any tips you can share to make this boring job quicker and easier? Drop your ideas in the comments below.