PAT SYLVESTER's Blog
Your home is your castle, your oasis, your domain. You want your home to be an escape from the stresses of everyday life. For this to be true, there are a few key things that you should have in your home for you to enjoy the ultimate peace that home can bring. If you don’t feel that your home is a peaceful place, you definitely need to heed the tips below.
Have A Peaceful Spot To Relax In
Every homeowner needs a place that they like to relax in. Your spot in the home should be a regular part of your routine whether it’s where you like to drink coffee and read the news, a meditation room, or a home gym. Whatever gives you pleasure and an escape should be a priority in your home and your routine. You don’t need a lot of space to accomplish this. Just a small nook in part of a room or a dedicated room in the house will do. It’s easy to create your own little piece of heaven.
Nice Outdoor Space
Nothing brings peace to the mind and the soul like spending time in nature. For a tranquil escape right in your own home, make use of the outdoors. Do you have a deck or patio area? Can you put a hammock up in the backyard? What about a small bench swing? Any of these simple things can be your backyard oasis. Just be sure to surround these outdoor areas with colorful plants and other relaxing touches like rocks, trees, or even a running water fountain for an added effect.
A Place To Separate Work And Home Life
If you work outside of the office at all, you probably have a home office space. You need this to be functional for your work, but you also need to remember the importance of separating your work life from your home life. Your home can’t be a tranquil place to be if you feel you’re always carrying your work around with you.
A Place For Inspiration
Most of all, your home should be inspiring. There should be areas of your home where you can sit and think about projects you’re working on, problems you’re facing, or just simply let your thoughts flow. For inspiration, you’ll want to include inspiring images, pictures of the people you love, and items that make you plain happy. Your home is one place that helps you to keep the balance in your life. Make sure that you create the relaxing space that you deserve for a happier life!
Ever have one of those random mornings that everything goes wrong? Worst of all, everyone in the house managed to get ahead of you into the shower and now there's no more hot water. Ugh!
You demand hot water! At least, you'd like to. And you can make demands with an on-demand hot water system.
On-demand Tankless Water Heater
Long used in Europe and other parts of the world, on-demand water heating units typically heat water at that the time the tap turns on rather than heating a tank full of water. According to Energy.gov, an instantaneous-type water heater avoids standby energy losses associated with tank storage water heaters. That can save you money on utilities over time.
Here’s how it works: Tankless water heaters heat the cold water running through the pipe and into the unit. Either electric or gas, the units supply constant hot water as long as the tap is open. And since you don’t need to wait for a tank to fill up, the last person to get in the shower receives the same amount of hot water as the first person.
There are limitations, however, that have to do with the rate of flow. A typical tankless unit will provide between two and five gallons per minute, so if you're used to more water pressure, you might be disappointed. Also, if you install one central until to heat water for the entire home, you'll find this limitation is problematic when running both the dishwasher and the shower or filling a tub at the same time you're washing a load of clothes on hot. To overcome this limitation, install more than one unit in parallel or install several at the point of use: so, place one in each bathroom, one in the laundry room and one in the kitchen.
Point of Use Water Heaters Tank
Another option that works for small amounts of instant hot water, such as to fill a kitchen sink for dishes, is a point-of-use water tank. These are small tanks that hold between two and five gallons, placed on the hot water line near to where you might use them. A two-gallon might work under the kitchen sink so that water for rinsing is available immediately. A larger version, say a five-gallon unit, might go inline to your washer in the laundry room if you need to wash in hot water on a consistent basis.
An advantage of these tanks is that the water is available in the location you need it most, while still being in-line with your main household water tank. The distinct disadvantage is that if you need more hot water than the tank holds, you must wait for it to arrive from the household unit anyway.
Either one might be just the perfect solution for you. Contact a certified installer to give you an idea of your options. And check with your local real estate professional to see how adding one of these units can increase your home’s value.
It sounded like such a good idea, right? Update the kitchen, do some painting, some new fixtures, maybe some landscaping and then you can sell your home for top dollar or create the home of your dreams. As the days turn into weeks, then months and your bank account slowly drains down, that perfect home starts to seem like just a pipe dream. You've fallen victim to the most common renovation problem: scope creep.
Scope creep is the general term for when your project gets expanded beyond its original borders either through intentional decisions or unintentional discoveries or mistakes. Once you’re down this path, the time and cost can start to grow exponentially.
You Don’t Have to Be a Victim
Even the best-laid plans can fall to the wayside when the unexpected happens, but you can prevent scope creep from happening to you by planning for a variety of eventualities and getting help from professionals. First and foremost, pick what you want and stick with it. Mid-project changes nearly always increase the costs more than you think they will. Your builder will have budgeted for your original plans including pre-ordering fixtures and materials, finding ways to group orders together for better costs and planning for what’s best available in a particular season. When you change your mind after you place those orders or allocated any extra funds elsewhere, you can cascade your pricing up. You also lengthen your construction time, since you may have to wait for new fittings or materials to ship before completion of the work. This delay can push you into a new season, which can cause its own problems.
In addition to the problems you can cause, there are many factors out of your control. Remember that even if you have the most professional and realistic builder, any project estimate is just that: an estimate. They are guessing based on research and experience. That can come back to bite you when their regular suppliers are out of stock or have increase prices. Weather, even on the opposite side of the country, can affect the pricing and availability of materials, fixtures, and more, so keep that in mind when making your plans. The most dangerous unavoidable problem is the weather. Unexpected rain can slow or stop work even change how paint or grout dry and causing cracks in addition to delays. Nearly every pricing delay is also a budget increase and vice versa.
Use a Professional
While some things you can DIY, for large projects on a specific timeline, you’re best off getting the right help. An experienced builder is familiar with scope creep and should warn you about any changes you request and what they will do to your timeline and budget. Choose your builder near to when they make the bid so they can put in purchase orders and get the prices they quoted you. Spend some time thinking about what you want and be sure about your plan before getting estimates. Once you decide on that plan, stick to it. No matter how good your builder, they will still be giving you’re their best estimate, so always add at least 20-25% to both the time and cost estimates you receive.
Want to know the best renovations for your property? Ask your real estate professional for a recommendation!
After moving one of two things can happen when it comes to being organized. The first is that you have no idea where to even begin. The second? You realize you have way too much stuff and nowhere to put it.
This is where hiring a professional organizer comes in. Like absolute magicians, they can all of your stuff, factor in your lifestyle and create a system that keeps your organized and tidy.
When working with a professional organizer there are some things you should know beforehand.
The first being that, while their skills at creating systems to keep your home and clutter managed ca feel magical… they aren’t magicians. What I mean by this is that, once they finish the project it’s on you to maintain all their hard work and your investment.
And while a great organizer will design a system that works best for you that doesn’t mean it will just naturally happen. You need to be prepared, and willing, to make changes in your daily behaviors and habits.
Be prepared to get really vulnerable. Aka they are going to need to see your cluttery mess in all its glory so that they can design the best system to handle it. They need an accurate portrayal of what your daily struggle truly looks like. You will also need to be honest about your day to day behaviors, even if it’s embarrassing and a little painful to admit out loud.
Here’s the thing if you tidy up beforehand or aren’t completely your organizer won’t be able to create a system that truly works for you. It will be for the person who is just a little bit tidier and doesn’t have those embarrassing behaviors. And this person just doesn’t exist in your day to day reality!
Take their organizational style into account. Some organizers are working in the trenches with you side by side. And others go at it solo and bring you in after to show off their hard work and educate you on what steps need to be taken to maintain it.
Have a budget and list of prioritized “zones” to tackle beforehand. Know how much of your organizer's time you’re able to invest in. This will help you to formulate a plan of action and decide which rooms have the loudest cry for help.
Again, perhaps the most important piece is that you be committed to maintaining your new orderliness. Even when it gets hard and you slip up. This is going to take time and practice. So be patient with yourself and recognize that it’s all a work in progress. There will be backslides and that’s okay, it’s a part of the process. What’s important is that you take note of what happened, adjust your plan of action and keep moving forward.