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Home & Living

Improvements for Your Home that Can Last a Lifetime

If you’re going to improve your home anyway, doesn’t it make sense to do things that could potentially last a lifetime? If that is where you feel that your mindset is, then there are definitely positive ways to approach repair, construction, and general improvements. You just have to think about what makes the most sense in context, and potentially what kind of budget you have to work with.

Think of the few styles of home improvement that have an extended timeline. If you add a room onto a house, then that will be something that changes the structure and framework of living environment for a lifetime. If you go through and add high-quality flooring, that is a long-term improvement. Or, if you decide to take on a significant project like finishing a basement, that is another way that you can think about dozens of years of enjoyment instead of a temporary fix.

Adding Rooms

If you’re thinking about adding a room to your home, then that can be a wholly beneficial activity for several reasons. For example, if you’re planning on adding new members to your family, this can give everyone some breathing space for the foreseeable future. Also, when you add on a room, that can potentially add a lot to the value of your home, especially if you plan on selling it later. Assuming that you pay for high-quality construction, and you decorate pleasingly, you can make money on this whole process as well as creating that permanent home improvement.

Flooring

Very few things in your home take as much beating as your flooring. That’s why if you want to make a permanent improvement, you can start with the ground underfoot. Some people might choose to add hardwood floors in certain areas, whereas others might consider that putting in laminate flooring would be the ideal solution. Wet areas require different kinds of flooring than dry areas, and then there are also different circumstances that would go into putting the flooring in a kitchen, mudroom, or bedroom. There is an important context to each of those places, so making flooring decisions is not something you should do lightly.

Finishing a Basement

Another permanent improvement you can make to your house is to finish your basement. Depending on what the status of the basement was when you purchased your home, you may find that this is either a bigger or a smaller project depending on all the things you need to accomplish. In addition to that, if you plan on putting a bedroom in the basement, there are safety considerations that you have to add into the mix such as fire escapes or putting in walls or electrical outlets.

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Home & Living

Why Mile-Ex is Becoming Popular with Baby Boomers

Mile Ex is located right smack in between the Mile End and Parc-Ex, which helps explain the name of this neighborhood. For the last few years now, it’s been bandied as a great place to live in for young adults and hipsters. But today it’s quite apparent that it’s not only the millennials who find this place an ideal residential area. Older folks from the baby boomer generation are getting on the Mile Ex train as well, going hip to hip with the hipsters by living in the condos Mile Ex has to offer.

If you look at the situation closely, you may realize why baby boomers are enamored with Mile Ex:

The Price is Right

Young adults don’t have lots of money to spend, and the smaller condos and apartments in the area are much more suitable for their needs. The rent and the condo prices are lower compared to the prices in other neighborhoods like Mile End.

The square footage is just right for older folks who are downsizing as their kids fly the coop. It makes sense for many retirees to take advantage of the high demand for houses in Montreal to gain more money by selling their home. After all, it may be too big now with the kids out of the house. Pocket the money, and enjoy a snug condo in Mile Ex with a nice addition to your savings account. Or you can just rent out your old home too.

Walking to Wherever You Want to Go

The great thing about living in Mile Ex is that various places you need to go to are all nearby. You can just take a nice leisurely stroll to get there. You can enjoy the outdoors, and also you can get the exercise your doctor may have been insisting you do.

If you’re a baby boomer, you’re likely old enough to appreciate not getting trapped in a small boxy car in traffic all the time, just to get to where you want to go. Now you won’t have to since everything is basically within walking distance.

Laid Back Chill

Just because you’re old enough to retire doesn’t mean you’re too old to enjoy yourself. It’s true that the kids’ hangouts in Mile Ex may be too frenetic for you. But some places here on the neighborhood are a lot more laidback, so you can just settle down and enjoy the day in relative calm.

You can try to visit brasseries, which are French restaurants with a decidedly relaxed vibe. A place like Harricana is a great example as they offer terrific brunch options. Now that you’re retired, you can enjoy getting up a bit later in the morning.

The word brasserie means “brewery” in French, meaning you can try out these craft beers that hipsters like to talk about. One or 2 bottles won’t hurt every now and then.

Relaxing in Parks

One other option for enjoying retirement is to get a picnic basket and enjoy the day with your spouse in one of the many luscious parks in the area. Try to spend some time in Parc Jarry, especially if you can get a spot near the gorgeous fountain. It’s just as picturesque in Little Italy Park too, with a gazebo and a seemingly endless stretch of greenery.

You can enjoy some fresh produce in many shops around the area which you can prepare for your picnic basket. Or you can always get a picnic meal from the Dinette Triple Crown nearby, and have a fine time.

If you’re part of the baby boomer generation, you really should seriously consider relocating to Mile Ex. It’s not just for the kids—and the area is terrific enough that somehow you may feel younger as well.

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Home & Living

4 Important Steps to Take Before Moving Homes

Moving homes can be a big deal and take up a significant amount of your time. Whether you’re downsizing, leasing, or buying your first home, there are similar tasks you have to perform. The thought alone can be somewhat daunting, but there are ways to make it less so. For one, making sure you do enough preparation should give you time to plan so that you aren’t running around trying to finalize everything last minute. Also, taking the right steps should give you peace of mind and reduce your stress levels. On that note, here are four important steps to take before moving homes.

Make Sure You’ve Gotten a Good Deal

Firstly, before moving homes and making any permanent decisions, you should ensure that the deal you got is worthwhile. The best way to determine this is by looking at what you wanted out of a home,to begin with. If you wanted something more spacious, ensure you’re getting enough space for the money you’ll be spending. Likewise, make sure any mortgage deal that you’ve agreed to is something you can commit to long-term and has reasonable interest rates. Other examples of things to avoid when buying a home are properties too close to the sea because of coastal erosion or properties on top of shops as they’re hard to value.

Calculate Expenses

Expenses associated with remortgaging or buying a new home can be intimidating. For this reason, calculate all associated costs before moving to a new property. There are a number of costs to consider such as moving your belongings, renovations if any will be needed, reinstalling electronics, and any taxes that may apply. In order to avoid becoming financially overwhelmed or getting into debt, do your research and budget before beginning the process.

Get a Good Solicitor

As with anymoving period, there are some tasks that have to be checked off of your list before finalizing and making legal commitments. This could be making sure the property is registered, knowing the rights and obligations associated with the property, or making sure all legal documents are adequately prepared. A good solicitor like Bird & Co Solicitors is usually in the position to help you with such tasks. If you’re in the Lincoln area especially, see if they can help with your needs.

Plan Your Move

Once you’ve been able to sort out the back end of things, you should remember the importance of planning your move. The last thing you want is to find you’re making avoidable mistakes because you simply aren’t organized enough. When planning your move, you should start by taking care of official elements like a change of address. You can also include a timeline for moving, create a list of moving tasks, and line up professional movers.

Moving homes can be a long and drawn out process, but it’s something that’s a normal part of life. In order to have a home that brings you a sense of stability, there are sacrifices that often have to be made. Just know that even if you have a few sleepless nights or days that begin and end with cardboard boxes, the reward of moving into a home you can call your own should make it all worth it.

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Home & Living

3 Tips For Helping Your Kids Cope With A Move

While moving to a new city or even just to a new home can be a challenge for anyone, it can often be much more scary for a child. Because children understand things on such a surface level, the complexities and changes that come along with a move can sometimes create a lot of stress and anxiety within the minds and hearts of children. Knowing this, it’s up to you as the parent to help put them at ease and make the move something they no longer fear. To help you with this task, here are three tips for helping your kids cope with a move. 

Prepare Yourself For Whatever Emotions Come 

As the parent, it’s been up to you to plan and prepare for this move. Because of this, the news that you’re moving can’t possibly come as a shock to you like it likely will to your children. So once you decide that the time is right to break the news about the move to your children, Aha! Parenting advises that you prepare yourself for whatever emotions are to come from your child. Once they’ve expressed whatever emotions they feel, try your best to listen and acknowledge what he or she is feeling without trying to talk him or her out of feeling that way. Once the news isn’t so fresh, your child will likely be easier to speak to about the imminent move. 

Set The Tone For The Move Yourself 

While your family is preparing for your move, one of the best things you can do for the morale of your family is to realize that you set the tone for how those around you will feel about the move. According to Meghan Leahy, a contributor to The Washington Post, if you can show to your family that you feel calm, organized, and hopeful about the prospect of moving, those feelings will rub off on your family a bit as well. So even if you don’t have the best attitude about the move yourself, try to fake it til you make it if you want your kids to be more pleasant about the move as well. 

Keep As Many Things As You Can The Same 

Because so many things in your child’s life are about to change with this move, the Child Development Institute suggests that you try to keep as many things as you can the same within your child’s life. By doing this, you’ll be able to give your children a sense of stability and routine even while you’re entrenched in a time of transition. Some of the things you should try to keep the same include the furniture in their bedroom, their toys, and their typical daily routine.

If you’re about to move with your family, consider using the tips mentioned above to help make this time a little easier on your children.

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Home & Living

The Simple Ways to Bring out Your Home’s Style

Sticking to your home’s aesthetic can be difficult if you don’t have the aid of an interior designer. But you don’t need to have a degree in design to avoid having a mess of a home. Sometimes it’s the simple changes that allow your living space to bring out the best that it has. Remodeling doesn’t always need a significant budget to have a great result. Here are some of the few budget-friendly decisions that will make living space have a more exciting and refreshing look.

Changing the cornerstones

If you’re not looking to make a major renovation, but you want to make an overall impact on how the house will look, you should focus on three main aspects of the house: the walls, the floor, and the ceiling. This palette of three will dictate what your home will feel like in the long run.

Defining your wall space will dictate how much furniture you can place in an area. Installing windows where natural light comes in can make your space breathe more naturally. Prioritizing your ceiling fixtures will mean that you have to match them with the flooring. Flooring designs can vary from hardwood to vinyl flooring which comes in a range of models and themes. But never sacrifice functionality over personality.

Durable flooring will last longer. Having waterproof flooring installed can make it easier for you to deal with future house parties and events. Not only will it be easier to clean, but its glossiness can also last for a longer time compared to other flooring options.

Less is always more

Once you’ve decided on what the rooms will look like by limiting the cornerstone areas, it’s time to give away a few of your belongings. Bulky furniture is the bane of excellent interior design. Gone are the days where you would be boasting about your big pieces of furniture. Having more open spaces allows you to house more people and will give you enough space for more essential items.

Modular furniture pieces like storage boxes that can act as stools can save on unneeded space that you waste. Having less is always more if you’re looking to free up your room’s space.

Add a little bit of chaos

Though a bit contradictory on this list, your home is still your personal space which means that you’re free to do what you want with it. Houses that often stick to a copy-paste magazine approach will find themselves living in a replica instead of their own home. Don’t worry if things don’t always go as planned or if you have something that feels like it’s ‘out of place’. Adding something that’s off-tangent to your home’s aesthetic, like a small plant, an eye-catching painting, or a wall of photographs, can be your little spice to your home’s identity. Before being a crowd pleaser, your home should first and foremost be your safe space.

 

 

Image:  Pixabay.com

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Home & Living

Creating a Peaceful Outdoor Environment for Your Family

Life can be chaotic. Work can be anxiety-inducing. The world outside of your home can be full of clutter and confusion. That’s why you want to make your household your place of peace and serenity. And, it can be particularly satisfying to create an external environment around your house that performs that function.

There are lots of different ways to do this! You can build a patio around your house. Then you can screen it in. You can make beautiful landscaping all around your yard and your property. And you can pay particular attention to the sound and noise of your environment, and adjust it to your desired goal by using sets of speakers for example.

Building a Patio 

One of the best things you can do with the outdoor area of your home is to build a patio. Assuming that you get it designed correctly and in context with the natural surroundings, a lovely terrace can quickly become the centerpiece of a peaceful family meeting area. You can always add an outdoor grill for additional activity potential, and who doesn’t like sitting outside on the patio at night and watching the sunset?

Screening It In 

In some places around the world, however, an open-air patio has limited potential because of bugs, weather, or other environmental conditions. That’s why, if you want a genuinely peaceful area, you need to screen that patio area in. There are many different ways to do this, but the more professionally done it is, the better chance you have of creating a truly serene environment. It can be difficult to entirely screen in an area without the right tools, design, and foresight, so the construction process is often better left to professionals.

Creating Beautiful Landscaping 

What kind of area do you look at when you view your outside environment through your house windows? Is it peaceful and calm? Or is it cluttered, messy, and ugly? If you want a tranquil feel to your home, you have to do some landscaping around your house to make that happen. And it’s a good idea to create this landscaping endeavor in a way that makes it easy to maintain over the years as well, because if it requires too much effort, it can quickly fall into disrepair.

Paying Attention To Noise and Sound 

Can you feel like you’re in a peaceful place if noise or distracting sounds surround you? Probably not. That’s why if you’re trying to create a friendly environment outside of your home, you’re probably going to have to install some speakers. If you have an outdoor patio or another outdoor area where your family likes together, you can buy indoor-outdoor speakers that connect via Bluetooth, and it can be quite a pleasant experience listening to songs, or even nature sounds that you play through your system.

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Home & Living

Reasons You Need A Housekeeper

If you think that hiring a housekeeper is something done by the wealthy, you need to think again. Everyone needs someone who can help them keep his or her house in order all the time. You will realize that the moment you hire a housekeeper, you will be able to manage your time efficiently. Here are some excellent reasons why you need a housekeeper:

  1. You get more time to do the things you love

If you have a regular nine-to-five job, cleaning your house after working hours is the last thing anyone thinks about. Once you get home from work, the last thing you think about is performing house chores. There is no need of getting a full-time housekeeper. The other option would be hiring someone to cook and clean for you at least twice in a month. Once you know you have nothing straining you after work, you get more time to do the things you love. The moment you get more time to enjoy your life, you become happier and stress-free.

  1. Taking care of your babies.

Having a new baby is an uphill task for most parents. The issue is not only having sleepless nights and no time for yourself, but there is also a lot of extra laundries that needs to be cleaned. If you decide to take up all these responsibilities on your own, you might end up losing your mind. Hiring a housekeeper helps in relieving some of the duties so that you can find more time to take care of your kids.

  1. Have energy for friends and family.

Hiring a housekeeper is not only for people who have busy careers. If you spend most of your time cleaning, cooking, and taking of your children, you will not have enough energy to spend time with your friends and family. However, if you get someone to help you with all the housework, you will have a better chance of maintaining a good social life.

  1. High-quality work.

If you get a professional housekeeper, you are assured of a great job. If you decide to carry out the house chores yourself, you might end up spending three times the amount of time a professional would spend. Therefore, it is advisable to invest in a trained housekeeper. A good example of company that offers qualified housekeeping services can be found in www.canberrasbestgroup.com.au

  1. Reduced stress.

Taking care of a household while working is a stressful responsibility. Every family member expects clean clothes and dishes every time. All that, plus other things are supposed to be your responsibility. At the same time, you need to be working. Hiring a housekeeper to take care of all the cleaning and cooking relieves people much stress.

Since you have read all the reasons why you need a housekeeper in your house, do not suffer anymore. Take your time and look for a housekeeper who is experienced, trustworthy and responsible. In case you have a tight budget, it is possible to get someone who fits into it perfectly. Visit websites that offer housekeepers and select one that meets all your specifications.

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Home & Living

5 Aussie Style Home Decor Ideas

If you were to ask somebody to describe Australia, they would probably use expressions like “laid-back”, “free”, and “fun”, and these words could be used to describe Aussie homes as well. Australian interiors are mostly based on the “laid-back” appearance that allows you to relax and enjoy the comfort. It is a timeless style with a touch of international spirit, which might look hard to achieve but is actually not as challenging as it might seem. So, if you’ve been thinking of remodeling your home, and this style sounds like something you could imagine your home in, here are five ways to achieve that elegant simplicity that marks the Aussie style.

Home Decor Ideas

1.  Layers, but no clutter

Aussies like to layer their interior, but this doesn’t mean you should clutter the space with drapery and upholstery. Instead, add layers with textures, patterns, and colors. Of course, you can add some bold elements and accents, just don’t overdo it.

For example, graphic patterns can be great for this purpose. You can introduce some nice patterned pillows and add a bit of boho style to your interior. Moreover, many Aussie designs are based on coastal vibes and colors of the ocean. Even if you don’t live anywhere near the sea, you can bring the chill, beach-like atmosphere to you by layering shades of blue and turquoise.

Home Decor Ideas

2.  Add some Aussie culture

Australia is a nation filled with cultural diversity, and they like to show this in their home décor as well. This is why Asian and European influences are easily noticeable in Aussie interior design and architecture. What does this mean though? Well, when it comes to home décor, it means that you have a lot of freedom to add parts of different cultures that you like.

In addition, Australians prefer their homes to be stylish but not too trendy, which is why you can add a touch of your own personality as well. The goal is to create a space that you will love even in 15 years, so don’t be afraid to experiment with the typical Aussie themes and make them your own.

3.  Embrace minimalism

Opting for minimalistic style will allow you to emphasize the Aussie details, and it’ll help you keep things balanced. Having clean doors, drawers, kitchen counters, and even the door handles can really open up the space and make your Aussie décor stand out. You can also find many interesting rugs online from Australia, which would fit perfectly with any minimalistic space. Moreover, Aussie décor is all about functionality, which makes minimalism a perfect option since it is based on patterns and textures.

However, just because your home is minimalistic, it doesn’t mean it has to be dull or boring. There’s nothing wrong in introducing an accent wall or creating an interesting focal point with mirrors or art pieces. It’s a simple but effective way to spice up any room.

4. Bring outdoors inside

When talking about Aussie homes, nature plays a big role. Australians like to be close to the outdoors even when inside their homes. This is why their homes are filled with natural light, lots of plants, and fresh air. So, install larger windows if you can, and add some skylights so you can enjoy the sky above you. It’s all about making your home “light and bright”, and not dull or fussy. You should also consider getting timber furniture, as it can make your home feel more casual and relaxing.

Moreover, Aussies love their beaches. So, don’t hesitate to introduce the salty-fresh appearance of a beach into your home décor. A great way to do this is to use neutral, sandy color palette and lots of natural materials, especially in the living room.

5.  Fashionista style

Fashionista is a special Aussie style that has become very popular this year, and it’s perfect for those who prefer to mix some luxury with their Aussie style. It’s based on displaying your everyday routine but making it look more stylish and fun. This means that even your clothes and jewelry can be used as focal points. Moreover, you can spice up your walls with fashion posters, and since the style is considered to be a bit rebellious, don’t be afraid of using accessories that are a bit flashier.

Finally, the color palette should be kept neutral, so black and white works well here, and you can use browns and grays for accent shades. Of course, nature is a must in any Aussie home, so don’t forget to add some plants in order to bring your home to life.

If you could imagine yourself living in a home with plenty of natural light, natural materials, and sandy color shades, consider designing your home in Aussie style.  Immerse yourself in nature, and let it inside your home. Don’t be afraid to personalize your interior, and before you know it, your home will be as bright and beautiful as Australian beaches.

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Home & Living

Is my home safe?

As parents, partners and homeowners, it’s easy to become complacent with the normality of everyday life. We might pop out and leave the upstairs window open by mistake, forget to close and lock the garden gate. Or even leave the car unlocked while you pop inside for whatever it was you’d forgotten this time…But did you know that many home burglaries and thefts aren’t specifically planned – it’s usually done by an opportunist.

So, when was the last time you thought about the general security of your home? We’re busy people, so probably not recently, right? Well, here you’ll find ways you can upscale the security of your home and make every feel a lot safer.

Signs

Did you know that putting up signs is a sure fire way to let anyone passing by know that your property is secured and being watched? “No trespassing” signs such as the ones you can find here, are easy to put up and makes it look as though the house is being monitored.

If you have CCTV then you need to clearly post signs around your property letting the public know. If you don’t actually have CCTV, then it’s actually works as a bit of deterrent anyway and might make an opportunist think twice before they try to get inside. Don’t have a dog? Doesn’t mean you can’t put up a “Beware of the Dog” sign! Even if your tiny pug’s bark is worse than it’s bite, a potential intruder will be put off by something that might create noise and draw attention.

Brighten the place up

When we see bad things happening on crime shows, real or not. Many of these things happen under the cover of darkness. So, if the outside of your property is a little dark and gloomy, consider lighting it up a little. Bright porch lights are a great place to begin, or motion detector lights. If you don’t want something as intrusive as that, then consider some subtle garden lighting instead. The idea of being seen might be enough to put any potential crime from taking place – and there’ll be fewer places to hide.

Keep it private

That games console your eldest got for their birthday, or the laptop you use for work every day – all the electrical items that we have worked hard for and enjoy are probably on display more than you think. Keep your curtains drawn as soon as it becomes dark outside – remember, you might not be able to see out, but passers-by can easily see in! And if you have blinds, consider only leaving them partly open when you leave the house, as this will make it harder for a thief to see the big flat screen TV you have up on the wall.

A security system

If you’re really concerned about the security of your home, then speak to your local police authority, neighbourhood watch scheme or have a security firm come and survey your property. You’ll probably feel better knowing you have a burglar alarm set up.

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Home & Living

5 DIY Projects to Showcase Your Houseplants

Image via Flickr by Grin Tree

Plants have to be, by far, one of the best ways to liven up any home, both inside and out! One of the biggest, and most important, reasons is that they are natural air purifiers. They’re also great for decorating. In fact, you can learn how to create a special space for your plants where you can present them in creative ways that complement your decor. Try one of these five easy ways to showcase houseplants in a way that visitors to your home will not soon forget!

1: Old-Style Bird Cage

If you have a love for hanging plants, such as pothos or spider plants, simply placing them into one of those old-style bird cages can make them even better, creating a unique and different presentation. These are ideal for hanging plants, as they are already designed to hang, and the vines can easily grow through the sides, allowing them to drape beautifully!

2: Fairy Garden

Everybody loves a good fairy garden, don’t they?? But, fairy gardens are not just for your yard or porch; you can create one inside your home, as well! It is actually simple to create a fairy container garden and it’s even more fun when you use a larger, vertical growing plant, such as an indoor palm tree for your fairy garden. The base of the tree turns into the perfect spot for a tiny fairy bench, house or swing!

3: Watering Can Pot

Not only can you make a watering can into a planter, but you can also simply use it as a vase! There are so many different colors and styles of watering cans to choose from that you can perfectly match almost any decor you desire. You can get even more creative and hang a watering can planter by its handle if you so choose!

4: Vertical/Wall Garden

There are literally endless ideas for vertical and wall gardens, and so many of them are markedly inexpensive! Not only are many of these ideas easy on your pocketbook, but they are also ideal for folks who do not have a lot of space for indoor plants. Shanty 2 Chic’s $10 Ladder Planter is an awesome example, but you can use just about anything from shelves to shower curtain rods to jazz those up bare wall spaces with plants!

5: Teacup Succulent Garden

This idea is one that could easily become a fab fave! Teacups of any size or color will do, and they can be beautifully displayed as a centerpiece on any kitchen counter, or even your coffee or end table! Get really fancy and line up these sun-loving varieties on your windowsill!

As you can see, with a little creativity, you can use just about anything to showcase your houseplants in an unforgettable way.  It is possible that right now, you likely have all — or at least most — of the materials you’ll need to create at least one of these awesome ideas!

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Home & Living

5 Ways To Spruce Up Your Family’s Backyard

Having a backyard is an excellent opportunity for the whole family enjoying the outdoors together. Whether you own your home or rent it, it’s still possible to deck it out with all sorts of fun activities that make having a backyard great.

Although the summer months are the best to enjoy time in your backyard, it’s still possible to make it enjoyable in the winter as well.  All it takes is knowing which items will give it a year-round summer feel.

Here are some of the best upgrades to your backyard that you can make which will provide fun for the whole family. 

A Pool

Having a pool in the backyard doesn’t just encourage water play and fun pool parties, it’s a great form of exercise!  Even if it’s not in your budget to be able to pay for an in-ground swimming pool, you can find fantastic above ground pools for reasonable prices.

Just make sure that you’re up for taking care of the pool since it will require some maintenance.  You could integrate the pool care into your family’s rotating chore list so that everyone plays a role in keeping it clean.

A Hammock

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a hammock in your backyard.  You can take taps, read a book, or even just stare at the sky.  Hammocks make great conversation pieces since it encourages lounging together and hanging out.

For extra fun, you can get an oversized hammock which fits multiple people in it.  Just make sure that you have something secure to tie both ends to.  Otherwise, you may be in for a painful fall!

A Fire Pit

A fire pit makes a great backyard addition since it can be used as a barbecue and fire pit.  It’s a great way to enjoy winter nights with a warm place to gather around, and in summer you can roast marshmallows and hot dogs.

Just make sure to keep an eye on the little ones around the fire pit and that an adult is always present while it’s ignited.

A Playset

Why should you have to go all the way to the park to be able to play on the slide and swings?  Investing in a playset for your backyard can instantly transform your yard into a child’s dreamland.

As a parent, you can get some work done while they run around in the backyard and burn off steam. Everyone wins!

A Basketball Hoop

If you have a large open space without grass, it makes a fantastic spot for a basketball court.  It’s not only fun for the kids, but you can relive your childhood shooting some hoops yourself!

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Home & Living

4 Security Upgrades to Your House and Property

The security of your house and property are going to be vital for you, especially if your family lives there with you. Every once in a while, you should go over all of the possible security upgrades that you could apply, and decide which ones might be the most suitable for your current situation, given the budget, time, and energy you have available to you.

There are four general security upgrades that you might tackle right away. One, you might want to build a fence around the property line. Two, you could consider installing a security system. Three, you need to make sure your windows and doors lock effectively. And four, you can talk your neighbors! Having extra eyes on your place is always a good idea.

Building a Fence 

Even if you have a small yard, it will make you feel more secure if you build a fence around it. Certain styles of fencing aren’t too hard to build by oneself. Others require more professional handling.

Some of the options might include putting up a chain-link fence, constructing a privacy fence, or possibly creating a wall made of trees, bushes, and other landscaping elements. It’s up to you to plan on these barriers and then commit to putting them up.

Installing a Security System 

If you want to go the route of installing a security system, then you can do that in a more budget-conscious way than might have been possible in the past. New security systems typically include high-quality cameras that are not too costly, and you can often see what they’re picking up, in real time, through your phone.

After you have all your cameras pointed in the ideal directions, you can rest easy knowing that at any point you can look through the viewfinders via your mobile devices.

Making Sure Windows and Doors Are Effective 

Depending on the style of your doors and windows, they may not be super secure. Lots of windows can be jimmied from the outside all too easily by aspiring burglars.

And without the right kind of locks on your doors, any sort of home invasion is not a challenge at all. So go through your home regularly and ensure everything locks and latches how you want, to keep your home and your family safe and secure.

Talking To Your Neighbors 

A final method for boosting the safety of your home is to talk to your neighbors. It’s such a simple idea, but one that doesn’t occur to many people.

If you speak to your neighbors regularly about when you’re going to be out of town or what your work schedules are like, they can keep an eye on the place and call you if anything seems out of the ordinary.

This kind of communication is one of the best ways to ensure the security of your property.