Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Moving Day Nightmares: How To Expect The Unexpected

You did hire the removal company, right?  

Moving day is upon you, and despite the typical stresses that are common to many of us, you have made sure everything is organised. The house sale has gone through, and you are ready to move in. You’ve labelled all of your boxes, and they are ready to be loaded onto the van. A cleaning team has valiantly faced the mess in your home and made everything spic and span, ready for the new residents. Everything is fine, and surely nothing can go wrong from this point on. Wrong! Always expect the unexpected, as disaster can strike at any time. The following are just some of the predicaments you may face on moving day.

Mother Nature

Problem: The big day has arrived, but the weather has taken a turn for the worse. Snowstorms/torrential rain/scorching heatwave/dense fog (delete as appropriate). The weather can play havoc with your moving day plans, making the journey to your new destination unsafe, for you and your belongings. Dark clouds don’t always have a silver lining.

Tip: Depending on where you live, you probably have an idea of the possible climate you will be facing within each season. Therefore, plan moving day accordingly, booking the removal service and time off work for a period when weather conditions can be expected to be manageable. Failing that, keep an eye on the weather forecasts. They don’t always get it right, but if you do hear of bad weather approaching, you may prefer to postpone moving day, despite the extra expense, until another day. God bless Mother Nature!

A bad removal company

Problem: Despite the promises of your friend who (deep breath) knows a guy who has a brother who has a sister who has a neighbour who is married to a guy with a van (phew), you may not be guaranteed the most reliable of moving services. They may not turn up, and when they do, they may have less care for your belongings than they do for their van when it trundles up your road blowing exhaust fumes everywhere.

Tip: Always hire a professional, even if they aren’t the cheapest people around. Quality always matters as you don’t want your prized possessions getting damaged en route. You are saving yourself a lot of trouble if you do your research first, asking more reliable friends for advice, or hiring experienced folks, such as those at AIR Network Removalists. Decent removal companies will always have a backup plan should something go wrong, and they will be upfront with you about their costs and services. For peace of mind, you don’t want to go with anybody else, especially that guy with the van we mentioned earlier.

Accidents and injuries

Problem: Moving day is stressful enough without a trip to the hospital to scupper your best-laid plans. People tripping over the clutter on your walkway, family members lifting boxes that are too heavy for them, and wearing high heels when you’re back and forth to the house, are all accidents waiting to happen.

Tip: If you have hired a removal company, let them get on with their job and stay out of the way. If you are keen on helping, make sure you wear the appropriate clothing and make sure any obstacles are cleared in and out of your house. Then take your time. You’re not superhuman, so don’t do everything in a rush. Provided you have organised everything ahead of time; you will be able to move at your own pace, instead of running around frantically in your hurry to be away.

Bottom line

You can’t be prepared for everything on moving day, but sometimes, common sense is all you need when you are making your plans. In any case, if you are moving soon, good luck, and we hope all goes well.


Bought a Derelict Home? Here's What to Do First

If you are an optimist, you might have bought a house that needs a little doing up, or a lot, for that matter. If you have finally managed to face the reality that you will have to spend a lot of money on the property before you can invite house guests, you might want to try and figure out what to fix first. Below you will find some guidance on how to set your priorities right.

“Old House” by PpaZsoltGbor is licensed under CC0 3.0

Get a Structural Survey

Before you find out how bad the condition of the house is, you will need a professional architect to give you a professional opinion. Before you could do any structural work, you will have to make sure that it is safe to remove doors and windows or knock down walls. The last thing you want to do is turn a two-story house into a one-story one due to the first floor collapsing.
Check the Roof for Leaks
“Old house” by Andrey is licensed under CC BY 2.0
It is also important to check whether you have a leak on the roof. If you do, you will need a few matching tiles, and potential insulation for your roof. If you want to get more information on what can go wrong with the roof of an old house, you should check out home blogs and forums. It is also necessary to check your drain pipes are not blocked, and the water flows freely from the roof, otherwise you will have further problems.
Listen Out for Bad Pipes
If you wake up at night to go to the toilet and the drain pipes make a midnight dance, you know that you have a problem. Get the noisy pipes around the house checked out by a professional plumber, or you can end up with a flood that will ruin your decor. Don’t start any home improvements or decoration work before all your pipes are checked and replaced, or you will be wasting money.
Sort Out the Electricity
Another issue that can be causing you a headache is tripping wires. If your electric cables are too old, you will not be able to run 21st century technology in the house. Ask your energy provider to check your voltage and capacity are suitable for your lifestyle, and ask for an update. Rewiring a house comes with a lot of mess, so this job has priority over other renovations.


Once all the above steps are complete, you can start looking for redecorating ideas. The main issues are addressed in your home, and you can now start doing it up, so it looks acceptable for inviting guests over. Start with the windows, skirting boards, doors, then move on to the floor, walls, and furnishings.
When you buy a home that needs a lot of work, you will need to set your priorities right. You don’t want to decorate your living room just to find out that the entire central heating system needs changing, and you need to replace your radiators and make a lot of mess. Start with the basics, and move on to the details later.


Monday, December 4, 2017

Keeping Out Unwanted Visitors This Christmas

Advent calendars at the ready - now is the time to start getting excited about Christmas. The holidays are a great time to get together with your friends and family as well as invite them into your home. While there are plenty of guests you’ll want to have around; there may be some who turn up without an invitation - and not just the human kind. Here’s how to protect your home from unwanted visitors this festive season.

Image: Pexels


Burglars have to be at the top of the unwanted guest list at Christmas and any other time of the year. Christmas is a key time for burglars, who know there’s a possibility to pocket some big-ticket items. Make sure you’ve got your home’s security essentials covered and never make it easy for them by leaving doors and windows unlocked or leaving valuables in clear sight. If you’re planning on leaving your home during the holidays, make sure you get someone to check in on it to make sure that everything is in order.


With so much food consumed during the holidays, it’s important that you store your rubbish safely to avoid some unwanted garden guests. Scavengers like foxes, dingos or cats and dogs will be ready to tear open your rubbish bins and help themselves to leftover food. Don’t make it easy by learning to manage your food waste and keeping all rubbish safely secured within a tamper-proof receptacle. If things start getting out of hand with your rubbish, take it to a local recycle area or keep it stored in the garage where it’s harder for unwanted guests to get in.

Spiders, snakes and other skin crawlers

Nobody wants to have to deal with the discovery of a not-so-friendly neighbourhood spider or snake in their home at Christmas. Do some regular inspections to see if you can spot any unexpected visitors. Keep a number for 24/7 snake removals to hand in case come across some snakes in the garden, and don’t try to tackle anything yourself. If you tend to have a particular problem during the warmer weather season, it’s important that you keep an eye out for yours and your guests’ safety.

The in-laws

While this one might be just for fun, it can be stressful dealing with the in-laws over the festive period, especially if they tend to outstay their welcome. Instead of avoiding them altogether, minimise the length of their stay by making sure you’ve got plenty of other plans over the holiday season. If it helps to diffuse the situation, you could always invite some other guests over at the same time so that there are more distractions for you. Christmas is about family after all, so as difficult as it might be - you might just have to suck it up for a few days!

Don’t forget to make your home nice and festive for the visitors you do want to have in your home. Trim the tree and accessorise your living room to give everyone a nice Christmas welcome when you get through the door. It may be the time of year for opening your home but keep those unwanted visitors out for a safe and happy holiday season.


Create A Good First Impression With Your Hallway

The hallway is the first taster people get of your home. Whether you want to impress guests or attract buyers, it can often be worth putting some thought into the d├ęcor of this space. Here are just a few ways to wow people as they enter.

Decorate your walls

First, you want to consider the walls. A new coat of paint can work wonders in the hallway – it’s the most common place to find scuff marks made from people carrying things through this narrow space. Bright colours are great for giving a warm and inviting feels – think yellows and oranges. A neutral white paint can meanwhile help to reflect light if your hallways feels a bit gloomy (look for glossy paints that reflect the light more). It could be worth hiring a professional company such as BJC house painters, especially for dealing with high walls on stairs. A professional company may also be able to recommend the best types of paint.

You can also consider wallpaper, although intricate patterns in a tight space may make it feel more claustrophobic in some cases. Landscape wallpapers of trees or mountains or a city skyline can contrastingly add depth to a room.

Make it feel bigger with mirrors

Another trick for making your hallways feel more spacious is to add mirrors. These can create the feeling that the hallway is twice as wide as it actually is. A full size mirror is best for this purpose. Mirrors will also help to make the hallway brighter by reflecting light.

Contain clutter

Hallways can often collect clutter such as post, shoes and coats. Find neat ways of containing this clutter so that the hallways feels less crowded and messy. A coat hanger or hooks is likely to look neater than piling jackets onto a bannister. For shoes, buy a rack, or go one step further and store them away in a chest so that they’re out of sight.

Avoid large obstructions

Be careful of placing furniture in your hallway as it could make it overly crowded and be an inconvenience when moving items in. Opt for tall but shallow storage solutions that don’t take up too much hallway width. Also avoid plants that are overly leafy as these will make the hallway feel more crowded too.

Use the space under the stairs

If you’ve got a staircase, make adequate use of the space beneath. In many homes this is simply a storage room for hiding clutter. However, it could be a downstairs bathroom, useful for when you have visitors staying. It could even be a walk-in cloakroom or wardrobe. Many companies that do loft conversion such as RSJ Loft Conversions also do under stair conversions. If you are attempting it yourself, take into account the structural integrity of the stairs – not all spaces may be suitable for converting.


So, It's A Little Bit Of A Fixer Upper?

What’s the issue here? Is it the cracks in all the walls or is it the dusty wooden floors? Perhaps it’s the sight of the mould growing around the bath and sink? The important thing is not to panic because buying a fixer-upper doesn’t have to be the hardship or chore that you think.

In fact, many people do it on purpose because they know that fixer-uppers can mean big bucks. If you buy a fixer upper, it may look like it’s about to fall down right now, but in a few months, it could look like the dream home of an eager new couple. All, you need to know is how to fix up that fixer-upper and make it look as good as new once more. We’ve got a few cool ideas on how to do this and better yet, how to do it easily.

Argh, There’s Mould In The Bathroom!

You might panic when you see mould in the bathroom, but nine times out of ten it doesn’t mean that there’s a serious issue with damp in the home. Actually, it’s probably just a slight issue with the ventilation, particularly if that bathroom doesn’t have a window.

First, we need to get rid of the mould, and you’ll be pleased to hear that doesn’t mean adding brand new sealant and removing the old stuff. You’ll only have to do this if the mould has become out of control. And, if that’s the case we would ask why on earth you bought it in the first place! Nevermind though, because with a little elbow grease and some bleach and baking soda you can clean that caulk up in no time at all. After that, we strongly suggest you get a humidifier and make sure you leave it for a few hours each day to get rid of the moisture in the air causing the issue.

Oh Darn The Floors Look A Mess

Well, they might look a mess right now, but if you’re lucky enough to have bought an older home with wooden floors, boy are you missing out on untapped potential. Wooden floors are in huge demand for home buyers. They are classy and add a lot of style to any room. So, the floors have seen better days? No problem, hire Brisbane Timber Floors floor sanding service or a similar company, and they’ll be as good as new in no time. For a small cost, you can have floors that make that fixer-upper look like a must buy property and remember, wooden floors look great in property photos.

Ah Crud, The Garden’s A Jungle

The easiest way to deal with an overgrown garden is to trim it down to size. Clear everything out of it and leave it a nice open, space. Don’t try to dress it up if you’re planning on selling this home anytime soon. A beautiful, clean, neatly cut garden will look stunning, and you can then let buyers use their imagination to fill it with whatever they want.

Take this advice, and you’ll find no issue with your new fixer-upper. In fact, it could be the smartest investment decision you’ve ever made.