The sofa is an important furnishing element because it is the right place to relax or to sit down with family to watch the tv.

In particular modern sofas are very fashionable so much that they are the models the most purchased at the time. In fact they have a lot of excellent qualities combined together: first of all this kind of sofas are comfortable and functional but also full of style.

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Modern sofas are characterized by a simple and linear design that give them a sober and refined appearance at the same time. Besides, since it is always necessary to adapt the sofas to the environment in which should be entered, it is possible to choose between the different solutions available on the market the most appropriate one. In fact, in specialized stores, modern sofas are available in several variations: sofas of compact size to be inserted in little rooms; sofas with “peninsula” that in addition to giving a touch of modernity, are very useful to relax or to use as a kind of table where children can play because it is without an espalier; there are sofas out of size with three seater and a half and a practical headrest which ensures a comfortable position of the head; but also modular compositions, which can be built with angular shapes or by connecting to the main sofa some coordinated armchairs or poufs. Other modern sofa are equipped with reclining seat, which can be both manual or electric,and this allows a total relax, thanks to the opportunity to adjust the position of head and of legs. Then, dedicated to people who have limited space at home or to those who love to accommodate friends, there are modern sofas that in a few steps and with simple gestures can be transformed into spacious and comfortable beds.

As it regards instead the structures of modern sofas, it is necessary to specify that they are built with solid wooden layers placed on the legs with particular suspension to ensure a secure and comfortable attitude.

Another important aspect is represented by the coatings: the majority of modern sofas are made in leather, but there are also models coated with tissues in different colors, that are very practical because these have removable covers which can be washed easily, also in the washing machine, and then put back them in place all the times you want.

Home Inspection Tips To Take Into Account

Homebuyers should always think about maintenance and as a homebuyer, it is vital that you always think about hiring a home inspector to be sure you know the exact condition of the property before you think about buying it. This is important because the property can be properly evaluated and all the things the owners do not want to tell you about will be revealed. If you want to be sure the home inspection goes properly, always think about the following.

Be Present At The Home Inspection

Real estate agents can usually handle home inspections but as a buyer you will need to be sure you are present when this happens. That will make it easy to receive all the relevant information from an inspector and you can see the issues that are found while actually being there. Regular home inspections just take some hours so you can easily attend. The difference between making costly mistakes and making great choices can be really small.

The Follow-Up Service

When issues are identified, there are also repair recommendations that are done. Estimates are necessary to see the associated costs. At the same time, we have inspectors that will make follow-up suggestions for other services that would analyse different specific issues. Do be sure that you take this recommendation into account.

The Possibility To Have Another Inspection Done

Contrary to popular belief, there is no reason why you should not have another professional to check the property. That is especially the case with some of the difficult things to analyse, like the HVAC unit. Professionals in a specific field will always offer better suggestions that you can take into account. The best example is termite inspection. Regular home inspection services will identify the presence of termites but only a termite specialist can tell you exactly what extent is present.

Perform Home Inspections Even With New Homes

A really common mistake that appears is not having a home inspection done in the event the home is new. You should still check since you never know if the contractor decided to cut some corners or not.

Additional Tests For Older Homes

Unfortunately, the older the property, the higher the possibility that additional tests will be necessary! In the event the home is older than 30 years, additional problems may be present, problems that the visual inspection cannot identify. An additional test will be necessary. For instance, a camera may be put through drain lines to check drain leaks.

The problems that you find during the home inspection can so easily vary from a property to the next. However, in most cases the common problems we see are drainage problems, plumbing issues, bad wirings, environmental hazards and foundation defects. Always be sure you are going to call the very best possible home inspector you can locate. It is worth paying a little bit more since you would be able to identify all the problems that appear in the property. You always want to know everything about what is wrong with the home you want to buy.

Reasons for the Popularity of Sheer Window Shades

 

Sheer window shades have long been a popular choice among homeowners, and now there are a lot of shops that sell sheer shades online. This type of window treatment is versatile, which is one of the many reasons that it remains popular to this day.

The very first sheer window shades were invented by a man named of Hunter Douglas in the early 1990s, and back then they were called “silhouettes.”

The best of both worlds

Sheer windows shadings are a combination of sheer drapery and blinds. This means that you can choose to either raise the drapes up to the head rail or leave them down and still be able to retain your view of the outside. You can also control the way the vanes tilt so that you can have some privacy by closing it all the way, or just have enough opening to take a peek outside.

Versatility

The vanes also come in a variety of fabrics. The amount of coverage your window shades will offer you depends on the material used. The coverage ranges from something a bit more sheer to something more opaque. You can even layer sheers wit heavier curtains or drapes to create more variations.

UV protection

Sheer window shades also offer great protection from the harmful UV rays from the sun. You can expect complete and total sun protection when the vanes are closed. And even if you choose to tilt the vanes to open them up, you will still be somewhat protected from the sun by up to 88%. This does not just protect you, it protects your furniture from fading as well.

Beautiful home decor

Sheers can act as a “softener” in a room full of dynamic patterns. They also provides a chic feel and hotel room-like appeal. It adds to the “airy” vibe of the room. If you do not find the flowing look of sheers appealing, you can choose sheer window shades with a more architectural design, but with the same light-control and cover of sheer curtains.

They are more affordable than blinds

It may be a surprise to you, but sheer window shades are actually more affordable than blinds. They are also almost priced the same as black-out curtains. The more practical option though would be sheers, as you can leave them the way they are on their own or you can choose from a variety of accessories to dress them up and choose the level of coverage you want from them. You can also modify them to better match your personal aesthetic and budget.

Widely available

Sheer window shades are widely available, even on the internet. You can browse and shop for sheer shades online and choose from a wide range of designs and functions, as opposed to having limited options at physical stores.

Top Reasons Homeowners Use Rental Storage Units

Many people find it very convenient to just use a rental storage unit to store some of their belongings. These facilities can be very affordable, with some storage units in Montreal costing approximately $60 a month.

Listed here are some of the benefits you get when you rent a storage unit:

  1. You’re not forced to fit everything in your home. It’ll just make you look like a crazy hoarder if you do. Those hoarders in TV shows aren’t crazy for acquiring so many items. Most of us just like to collect things. What’s crazy is keeping certain things in your home when you clearly don’t have enough space. With a storage unit, you can store the items that you don’t have the space for.
  2. You can pick and choose which items to put in your home. Let’s say you’re moving to a new place. It can pressure you into choosing which items to keep and which ones to let go. But this time, you can get everything in a single location (or several units) and then you can take the time to decide which of the items you want to give away.
  3. You can store away all your seasonal items. When summer comes, you can store away everything that you would use for the cold winter months. You can store your Christmas lights and decorations, as well as you winter coats too. Then when the cold season approaches, you can get back these items and store away the things you only use during the summer. You can put your kayak in your storage unit if you only use it during summer break.
  4. You can also store valuable items in secure storage facilities. These safe places come in handy when you have poor security in your apartment building. Here you can put in furniture, old computers, and even old CDs and books. These tend to use up lots of space. But just make sure the security in the facility is reliable.
  5. They’re great for your small business. It can function as a storage space for your inventory, without cramping your apartment with the things you want to sell online. With a storage unit, you can keep track of your inventory more effectively. What’s more, you’re not trapped in using a rental storage unit for a year when you only need to use one for a few months.
  6. You can use the place to keep your old clothes. The funny thing about fashion is that sometimes old styles can be cool Look around and you’ll probably notice that there’s always an appreciation for vintage clothing. As long the place has shelves and clothing racks, it shouldn’t be a problem.

 

Top 7 Reasons to Hire a Pro to Clean Your Attic

Cleaning the attic can be an unpleasant experience. Sometimes the mere thought of it can overwhelm you, especially if it’s a real mess up there. But in some cases it’s absolutely necessary, especially after a rodent infestation. However, with a professional Montreal decontamination service, homeowners can rest easy knowing that an expert is getting the job done right.

Here are some reasons why it’s a great idea to have your attic decontaminated by a pro:

  1. It’s probably not safe for you to do a DIY cleaning of your attic, especially when you have a rodent infestation. Sure you can wear gloves. But you may brush up against various surfaces where mice and rats have left microscopic traces of their droppings and urine which contain dangerous germs that can lead to very serious ailments.
  2. It can also take you more than a day to do it yourself. In fact, it can take weeks. But with a professional service, an entire team can come to your home and finish the job in the fastest time possible. They already have a set routine in place, and they probably have years of experience to streamline the process.
  3. You don’t get hurt or injured when you have others doing the job. You won’t have to do heavy lifting that can lead to back pain, and some of the things in your attic may be too heavy for you to lift. You can injure yourself easily, and there’s also the risk of tripping all over yourself.
  4. You can prevent damaging your possessions. Experts have ways of lifting the items in your attics so they’re not dropped and damaged accidentally. It can be very difficult to move and carry things properly in the attic, especially if there’s not much space for you to move around.
  5. The experts can also find holes and entryways that the rodents used to get inside the attic. These pros have the expertise to fix and seal these entryways so rodents don’t come back to make your home their home, making a mess again.
  6. Any damaged parts or areas in the attic can be repaired by experts. These damages can include torn ducts and wires that have been chewed through. Real professionals know how to deal with these problems easily and effectively, since they have the knowledge and experience. They can also strengthen various weak spots in the attic where mice and other rodents can chew through in the future to get in.
  7. They can decontaminate the area thoroughly. If you do this yourself, you may miss spots that need to be decontaminated. But pros know which areas need special attention, and they’ll be able to clean your attic much thoroughly than you can.

So why endure all that hassle? When your attic needs decontamination and cleaning, you may as well rely on the experts. At least you can be sure the job will be done quickly, safely, and properly.

 

Getting The Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

Nothing says outdoors like BBQ. Some people will simply pull out the BBQ grill and set up a picnic table for their guests. However, there are a lot of people that will go the extra mile and have their own kitchen setup outside. If you are not exactly sure what you need or how you want it to look, you can always browse around for the best outdoor kitchen design that you like the most. There are endless possibilities when it comes to a design; you simply want to pick one that will suit you and your needs the best.

Get Your Design On

When you are thinking about what design you want to have, you need to think about questions like how it will perform as well as how it will look. No matter what style you are looking for you are sure to find the perfect design to fit your needs. One of the first things you need to think about is the items that you want to have. You should make a list of things such as:

  • Grill – What type of grill you want such as gas or charcoal and wood?
  • A Sink – Do you want to have a place that you can wash dishes and fruits and vegetables as needed?
  • Island – Do you want an island with enough space to do your prep work on?
  • Pizza oven – Do you want to be able to bake a great pizza while spending time outside?
  • Dining space and Bar – Will you want to set up a small bar for drinks as well as having a space that you and your family or friends can gather to eat together

These are all things that you will need to think of when keeping your design in mind, but you will also want to be thinking about your budget and just how much you have to spend while doing this. The next step will be implementing your design and setting everything up. Will you spend some of the budget on hiring a contractor to do all of the work, or will you buy prefab kits that allow you to easily do the work yourself?

If you are going to have walls or ceilings around the outdoor kitchen, you want to be sure that you leave enough space for ventilation as there is bound to be smoke from the grill. Electric work is something else that you will need to keep in mind when it comes to placement of certain items. You want to be sure that you are able to reach any outlets in your outdoor kitchen without having to run extra cords.

What Furniture to Use

Now that you have the cooking stations set up, you want to start thinking about the type of furniture that you want to have in your dining area. If you went through the trouble of setting up an amazing outdoor kitchen the chances are that you are not going to want to simply set up picnic tables.

When it comes to picking furniture, one of the best types would be Rattan garden furniture. You can easily find furniture in a wide range of styles that will easily fit with whatever style you are looking for in your outdoor kitchen area.

Avoiding the Kitchen of Your Nightmares

Human beings are fallible – that is just a fact of life. There are two things we can do to minimize mistakes. First, plan ahead and think things through. Second, learn from the mistakes others have made. Someone, somewhere has already made whatever mistake that might lie in your future, why repeat unnecessary pain? While that is a great overall life lesson, here let’s apply that to renovating or updating a house and learn what not to do.

Out of the Gate

When tackling a home repair or remodel job, it’s important to sit back before doing anything and count the cost. Not just the dollars and cents, but the time, the effort, the disruption to your life and the aggravation factor. Don’t just shrug off that last bit. Large project or small, something will go wrong. Not might, but will.

Next, get some professional help. No, not that kind of professional help. Although at some point you might feel the need for that kind of professional help (reference “aggravation factor”). Places like Lowe’s or Home Depot have lots of people on hand to help point you in the right direction for what materials you might need or even helping you with a color palette for your final decorating.

While a do-it-yourselfer can use those sources to find out how to install a water faucet or how to correctly hang wallpaper for bigger jobs, I strongly urge you to consult with a certified contractor before moving forward. In fact, I suggest hiring the contractor and let them handle the big stuff.

Nobody knows the Troubles I’ve Seen

As a licensed real estate agent and appraiser, I have had the opportunity to view literally thousands of properties. I have seen the very highest quality results of home improvement and remodeling projects and I’ve seen some jobs that remind me that some people have no business using a hammer and saw.

Since the areas that provide the best return on home remodeling investment are the kitchen and bathrooms, let’s look at kitchen remodeling mistakes to avoid.

Don’t Overdo It

Sometimes after watching one of the home makeover shows on TV, a person can get delusions of grandeur about what to do with their pink tiled and chrome accented kitchen which last saw a renovation in about 1957. The can envision their new kitchens with solid maple cabinets, granite or even quartz counters, solid brass fixtures and a cooking area that would make Gordon Ramsey or Bobby Flay jealous. That could be considered an over-improvement in appraiser-speak. In short, it’s going to cost more to do than you can ever recoup if the house is sold (perhaps significantly so). If you understand that and want to build it solely for your personal enjoyment, I say build away!

Don’t Under Budget

After making the decisions on what materials you want to use in your kitchen, i.e. wood vs. stone flooring, oak vs. maple cabinets and so forth, you need to consider labor costs, permits, etc. I can’t stress enough the number of projects I’ve seen unfinished because people have tried to make estimating costs into an exact science. When trying to force the estimate to meet the exact budget is when problems rear their ugly heads. Some examples of what can happen:

~  Out of stock…a work stoppage along the production route or a major natural disaster wreaking havoc along the supply chain. Either way, the cabinets you wanted aren’t going to make it. So, in order to get something comparable, the price goes up.

~  Unforeseen problems…while pulling up the current floor coverings the worker finds that the subfloor or floor joists are damaged in some way. Now you have a problem that must be fixed. At additional costs.

~  Rising raw material costs…for whatever reason, sometimes a rapid rise in the cost of the wood for the cabinets or the granite for the counters can happen. Now, the choice must be made to either lower the quality of the materials used or pay the higher cost.

~  Design changes…now that the cabinets and floor in that “perfect” lighting scheme don’t seem quite so perfect. Now instead of recessed lighting, you realize you want something visible throughout the room.

The Final Product

Odds are, if you plan ahead, get professional insight and allow for the unexpected, you will be thrilled with the outcome. Whatever that may end up being.

Protecting Your Backat Home

Do you suffer from back pain and discomfort from time to time? Have you ever considered that it could be directly related to some of the furniture at your home?

Are you a “weekend warrior”? Taking the time and effort to protect your back while playing a round of golf or tackling the honey do list?

Your home is a hotbed of activity that can lead to back problems. From the desk you sit at to the bed you sleep in, if not addressed properly these can lead to a bevy of pain and discomfort.

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Let’s start with your desk at the house. Many of us spend a lot of time browsing the web, organizing bills, and helping our kids with their homework at a desk.

According to NASA, standing periodically throughout the day is healthier than walking or daily exercise, so the benefits that come with an adjustable height desk typically exceed expectations of the consumer.

Those benefits include reduced back pain and discomfort, an increase in overall happiness, and improved efficiency and effectiveness.

When we lay down in our beds at night we automatically assume that we are due a good night’s rest. Rarely do we consider how our bed may relate to our overall health, including any back pain and discomfort.

If you find yourself waking up feeling worse than you did when you laid down, it is time to make some changes. Perhaps your mattress is not suited properly for your body, and there are some simple steps that can be taken to find out if this is the case.

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If you suspect your mattress is too hard or soft, simple suggestions are available to determine this before you begin to shop for a new mattress.

If you suspect that the mattress is too firm, place a foam sheet approximately 5cm thick on top of it. Sleep on this for a week and see what the results dictate.

If the mattress appears to be too soft, try placing it directly on the floor and sleeping on it for a week. Again, the results should be self-evident.

If you are not able to purchase a new mattress once you determine that this may be the cause of your discomfort, you might try to support your lower back in various ways.

Now that we have covered two essential areas of the home that can cause your back to have a bad day, let’s tackle the more obvious, for our “weekend warriors”.

Weekend softball leagues and those rounds of golf can lead to a wide array of back trouble. Typically, us “weekend warriors” let our ego take over and we think we are pro athletes when we are far from it.

That is where the trouble lies, thinking we can do what our bodies are not trained to accomplish. Keep this in mind as you take to the field or the course.

Lifting is another key area to protecting our backs. Bending at your knees, keeping your back straight, and keeping the item close to your body is a good beginning to protecting your back.

Many other helpful suggestions are available, as anyone who has twisted the wrong way or lifted an object improperly can attest, the pain and discomfort that follows is unforgettable.

Your home should not be a place that causes any undue stress on your body. Take the time now to look at these key areas to ensure your back stays in top shape for decades to come.

 

 

Reduce your Power Bill with These Energy Saving Tips

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The power bill is one of the major expenditures in most homes. How much are you spending monthly on your power? Are you getting good value for money? There’s no need to pay more than you have to. You can pay much less for your power and still have it serve you effectively.

Saving energy is not all about your expenditure. There is also the bigger picture; our collective role in conserving energy and reducing pollution in an effort to make the planet a greener place to live. You do not necessarily have to make drastic changes to reduce your power bill.

There are some simple measures you can take and make considerable savings. Here are some of them:

  1. Regulate your Air Conditioning

It is estimated that heating and cooling accounts for up to 40% of the power bill. Do you need to heat or cool the entire house at any given time? Absolutely not. Let the air conditioning run only in those rooms that are occupied. Close the doors and windows to reduce external influence.

Shut the curtains and blinds as well, and place a barrier on the space under the door. Set a thermostat so that the house does not heat or cool more than necessary. Finally, turn off the AC when you leave the room.

  1. Energy Saver Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs save up to 75% energy in comparison to the normal bulbs. How many bulbs do you have in your entire home? They could be up to 20. Now imagine cutting the consumption of each one to 25%.

You’re bound to make a significant difference on your power bill. LED light fixtures would be a great option.

Making a switch to energy saving fixtures is pretty simple. In most cases you can change them yourself. You can consult an LED light fixtures manufacturer if you need some custom made for your home. These bulbs also last much longer saving you the cost of renewing them.

  1. Utilize your Fridge and Freezer Efficiently

These two consume a significant chunk of energy since they’re always on. Ensure that you pick those models with a thermostat so they do not cool more that they have to. The fridge operates optimally at 4-5 degrees Celsius while the freezer should be set at around -16 degrees Celsius.

Avoid opening the fridge/freezer too often, and when you do make it for the shortest time possible. Those seconds that it stays open allows loss of significant energy and raises the temperature, requiring it to cool to the required level all over again.

  1. Save stand-by Power

Appliances and gadgets on standby continue to consume power. For instance, your phone charger utilizes power even when your phone is not fixed; provided it’s plugged in. It may be a small amount, but once left there all day/night, the cumulative effect is significant.

Make a habit of unplugging from the socket when the appliance is not in use.

  1. Use Energy Saving Appliances

Manufacturers are increasingly becoming aware of the need to conserve energy, and are designing electronics aimed at just that. You can find energy effective fridges, freezers, microwaves, blenders, heaters, computers, printers, TVs, sound systems, LED light fixtures and so on.

If you’re still using the old models, you have a reason to invest in the newer ones which will give you good value for money in the long run.

Saving energy is not only good for your pocket, it also makes our environment more eco-friendly. By following the tips provided; you also get to do your part in keeping global warming at bay.

 

Smart Tips for First-Time Condo Buyers

Are you thinking of buying a property in Toronto? This doesn’t come as a surprise, as there are many beautiful high rise developments in the city, such as those developed by Louie Santaguida of Stanton Renaissance. If you have already decided that you want to live in a condo and are now ready to purchase your first home, you need to prepare accordingly. Here are some of the most important things you need to do as you enter the real estate market:

  1. Secure Your Financials

Clean up your credit and save as much money as you can so you can give a bigger down-payment. The bigger your down payment, the better your mortgage rate will be.

Get a copy of your credit report, check it for errors and then take a look at your credit score. You need to get a score of at least 740 and bring down the balance of your credit card to around 30% of its limit.

  1. Check Other Mortgage Options

If you have a low credit score, you may want to consider approaching other institutions that are willing to give you a loan with a competitive interest rate. Just make sure you understand the trade-offs of going to alternative mortgage options.

  1. Get a Pre-Approval

Before you start looking for a new condo, it may be useful to have your credit checked by your lender. Have your income and assets verified so you’ll know how much you can afford to pay. Getting a pre-approval also gives you an edge and may be able to help you get a better deal with sellers who are in a hurry to sell their properties.

  1. Make Offers for Properties That are Not Yet on the Market

It may seem counter-productive but you can actually snap up a great deal by making unsolicited offers. You can browse through rental ads and send your offers to buy the properties listed there. You can also check old listings, especially those that are overpriced and are unlikely to be sold, and then give them an offer. Homes that remain on the market for more than 6 weeks usually drop in price and the sellers are likely to take lower offers.

  1. Use Your Flexibility to Your Advantage

If you don’t really have an urgent need to buy a property right now, then play up your flexibility to give you an edge over other buyers. You can have your agent talk to the seller’s agent to determine what they want and then check if you would be amendable to their conditions. Chances are, they would be willing to accept your offer if their conditions are met. If you don’t find a middle ground, then you have time on your hands to check other options.

Follow these tips when buying a condo to help you save money and ensure you get the best price for the property as well as a competitive mortgage rate.