1. 4 Things You Must Do Before You Start Laying Your Floorboards

    Posted on August 10, 2017 by Andrew

    Enthusiastic DIYers can easily install their own solid wood flooring, but it’s important to follow the correct steps. Four of those steps should actually be taken before you even get started laying down the boards, and here they are. Read more…

  2. Upgrade Your Cottage with a Hot Tub

    Posted on July 10, 2017 by Andrew

    If you happen to have one of those older houses with a bigger garden and a detached cottage perhaps, you should count yourself lucky because houses these days are built rather small and in addition to the house itself being small, there’s not much space for anything else. The typical modern day home these days doesn’t even have space for a decent garden, let alone something like a shed or a cottage, so you should definitely count yourself lucky if you have one.

    Truth be told though, your cottage is probably outdated and might need a bit of an upgrade, particularly since the traditional cottage was perhaps designed and built with the idea of housing live-in domestic staff in mind. Not that everybody whose house has a cottage had live-in domestic staff or even had a need for them, but design-wise that’s exactly what a cottage comes across as.

    So what are the upgrades you can add to your cottage to make it a bit more modern?

    One of these upgrades is the addition of a hot tub, whether you want to use the hot tub yourself or indeed if you perhaps plan to rent the cottage out over a long-term agreement or you want to have guests over occasionally, like tourists who are in town for a bit. Even if you do plan to rent the cottage out in this way, nothing should be stopping you from enjoying the hot tub yourself whenever the cottage is vacant.

    By the way, renting the cottage out for short stay tourists or even over a longer term is a great way to pay yourself back for what you’ll inevitably spend to purchase the hot tub, have it installed and maintain it alongside its running costs. You’ll undoubtedly have to save a bit to have some running capital though, quite simply because it’s not really such a good idea to take out financing for something like a hot tub unless of course, you’re absolutely sure the money is going to come back via something like renting the cottage out.

    A lot of the cottages for rent on iKnow-UK have benefited greatly from adding a hot tub. People tend to pay a higher price for a short stay or holiday if the cottage or lodge has a hot tub. The site is great for cheap hot tub holidays too. If you’re thinking of renting your cottage out as holiday accommodation, look into iknow to boost your profile.

    So if you do decide to add in a hot tub as part of the upgrades to your cottage, you’ll inevitably have to redecorate as well to perhaps modernise the interiors just a little bit. Otherwise, the hot tub may look out of place and come across as a bit tacky, to say the least.

    It doesn’t have to be an indoor hot tub either and in fact, an outdoor one may perhaps make more sense if you have space outside since it’ll allow anyone to enjoy it instead of being limited to the occupants of the cottage itself. If the cottage has more than one room which you want to rent out, making it an outdoor hot tub makes even more sense since you can always add the hot tub as an amenity which people will surprisingly be willing to pay that little extra for, even if they only end up using it just once or twice or not at all in some cases.

  3. The benefits of choosing stone effect flooring for your home

    Posted on June 14, 2017 by Andrew

    From traditional flagstone styles to contemporary modular tiles, stone flooring is a fantastic design choice as you can choose from a range of different looks to suit any room. If you want to get the appearance of stone without breaking the bank, stone effect flooring is a great alternative and becoming increasingly popular. Read on to find out why so many homeowners are opting for stone effect floor tiles. Read more…

  4. Different Decking Material – What Decking Do You Need?

    Posted on February 27, 2017 by Andrew

    Any outdoor space can have a great amount of versatility added to it with some decking, which can be fairly inexpensive to fit as a means through which to transform a messy outdoor space or help renovate a garden. You’ll be amazed at just how beautiful a deck can make these outdoor spaces. Read more…

  5. Cleaning Your Home While Keeping It Green

    Posted on February 09, 2016 by Andrew

    natural-home-cleaning-productsWhether you live alone in a small apartment or you have a big family and live in a home with wings, you may be trying to figure out some greener, more earth friendly, ways to clean your home. There are many aspects to a green home cleaning regimen, since you don’t just want a clean home, but you also want clean air and a safe environment for you and your family.

    Read more…

  6. Painting with Benjamin Moore Natura

    Posted on March 23, 2015 by Andrew

     

    The Modern Fiance and I a few months ago bought a 100-year-old house that, despite being in pretty good shape, has needed a little updating a lot of greening. One of the first big things on our to-do list was painting. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve lived in a place that needed some painting. In fact, the last time I painted anything there was no place I knew of locally that sold low- or zero-VOC paint — it was only available to me if I ordered it online. I like to test paint out before committing, so that really wasn’t an option.

    Boy how things have changed. The Home Depot sells Freshaire Choice VOC-free paint. Lowe’s sells VOC-free Olympic paint — really every paint store I’ve been to lately had VOC-free options. It’s great to have choices. But like most green home products, my concern was whether the quality would hold up compared to the VOC-heavy paint options.

     

    For this weekend’s painting project, the MF and I settled on a gallon ofBenjamin Moore Natura paint, available at our local BM outlet. Benjamin Moore is a top-of-the-line paint, which means you pay a little bit more for the Natura paint ($50 per gallon) than you would for, say, The Home Depot’s Freshaire Choice ($35 per gallon). We’d heard good things about Natura though, and it was available in every single color offered by Benjamin Moore — basically every color under the sun — whereas the Freshaire Choice colors were much more limited. Plus, we were able to grab some Natura samples in a few different colors so we could settle on the color we wanted.

    I grumbled a little bit about the cost until I realized what good quality paint we were using. It went on smoothly and easily covered our very uneven plaster walls, much to my surprise. Because we were going from a deep red color to a soft gray, we ended up priming before the color went up, but I think most paint projects could get away without primer and just one coat. It dried very quickly too — by the time we had made it all the way around the room, we could start on our touchups. And either I’m just turning into a better painter as I get older or the Natura paint just looks better on the walls than paints I’ve used in the past.

    Non-VOC doesn’t necessarily mean odor free, but the scent of the paint was very, very minimal. We painted the whole room without feeling lightheaded from the smell. We didn’t need to crack a window by the time the walls were covered, (which is good, because our 100-year-old windows don’t really open anyway!)

    I guess the important thing to say here is that I’d recommend Benjamin Moore Natura paint, even if it wasn’t eco-friendly, so I’m really, really glad it fits into our commitment to make our old house more green.

  7. Eco-Friendly Dusting, the Second Most Natural Way I Know How

    Posted on March 22, 2015 by Andrew

    My last year of college, I lived with two roommates in a surprisingly spotless off-campus apartment. Rather, it was surprisingly spotless when we moved in. (We looked for housing a bit late in the prior school year, and given that it was slim pickings at that point, we felt lucky just to find a place where we weren’t afraid to walk around with our shoes off indoors.) It was well into first semester before it apparently dawned on any of us that in order to keep the place looking as clean as when we moved in, we would have to, you know, clean it. We were all in our early 20s, grown adults who had presumably dusted a shelf or swept the floor in our dorm rooms at some point prior to our off-campus living arrangement and who had undoubtedly been tasked with cleaning portions of our parents’ homes for any number of years prior to that. And yet, somehow it hadn’t occurred to even one of us to develop any sort of proper cleaning regimen or to purchase any cleaning supplies.

    My roommate Erin was the first to acknowledge it. “Are your rooms getting dusty?” she asked. “How do you guys dust?” I think I spoke up first. “Um, sometimes I just blow the dust off my dresser.” We turned to our other roommate, Linda. “I turn on my fan,” she said. It’s a good thing we weren’t required to prove we were fully functional, self-sufficient adults before we got our diplomas, because clearly we had a ways to go.

    Read more…

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings

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