12 May 2020

Three Important Considerations for a Major Home Renovation Project

The decision to complete major renovations in your home should not be arrived at lightly. There are so many important things to consider. Are these renovations necessary for safety reasons? Are you updating the home for your own pleasure? Perhaps you want to list the property on the market in the near future and certain upgrades will make it more attractive to potential buyers? Once you’ve decided to move forward, you need to prepare yourself for the entire process from planning to execution. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Choosing the Renovations 
Not all remodeling projects are created equal. You may want to completely transform your kitchen with the latest in technology, finishes and gadgets, but that may not be the best choice. Maybe your kitchen needs an update, you might be better served in updating key elements like the appliances or the cabinetry. If you’re making upgrades for a sale, you should consider improvements that offer a high return on investment. Make a list of what is most important and develop a scope of work with that in mind.

Hiring a Pro or DIY
You’ll need to figure out whether you’re going to hire professionals, do everything yourself or a combination of both. When considering major renovations, it may be wisest to consult the services of a designer and contractor. Of course, this will cost money, but these pros can help you realize your ideas in a way that is feasible, in compliance with local regulations and safety guidelines. You can certainly save money by doing some things yourself, but mistakes can result in costly repairs and delays to your overall schedule. There’s no guarantee that working with pros will be problem-free, but go with providers with good reputations and a track record of doing good work.

Paying for the Work
You should have a set renovation budget based on the funding available to pay for the work. If you can cover the work with allocated savings, that’s great. You may need to seek out a Texas lending home equity loan to cover all or part of the work. This allows you to borrow against the equity in your home. It’s a great option for major projects and offers lower interest rates than credit cards and signature loans. Home improvement loans from a county or municipality are another option for financing your remodeling projects.

A major house renovation is a serious undertaking. You’ll have to make important decisions regarding where to invest time and money. You’ll need to carefully plan and determine what to do, how to pay for it and how the project(s) get done.


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15 April 2020

Top Ways to Incorporate Natural Stone in Your Home

Capture the beauty of nature right in your home by incorporating natural stone into your home. The versatility, beauty and durability of stone can transform any room in the house. Here are some popular ways to incorporate it.

Countertops 
Natural stone works great as a countertop for the kitchen, bathroom or wet bar. Marble countertops in Milwaukee WI resist cracking, breaking and scratching. The beautiful white with veins of grey is perfect for the modern home. Granite is still popular coming in a variety of colors. The dark grey of soapstone makes it a popular choice, not to mention the smooth, silky texture.

Floor 
Formed into tiles, natural stone makes a fantastic flooring option. Natural wood may seem the height of luxury, but it misses the beauty and durability of natural stone floors. Granite can handle foot traffic while marble looks elegant and classic. Limestone can take the rigors of modern life while flagstone captures the rustic, modern look. Delicate sandstone may make the perfect flooring for a Spanish colonial style, especially in a special room with less foot traffic.

Backsplash 
Transform the kitchen or bathroom with a decorative backsplash made of natural stone. Opt for textures beyond smooth for a truly natural look. Or go smooth with a mixture of natural stone tiles and ceramic. Create a pattern or choose a uniform look. Use for the tub skirt and shower surround for added luxury in the bathroom.

Fireplace 
Surround your fireplace with the beauty of the natural stone. The fireplace is the focal point of any room. With the stone surround, it becomes a luxury point that draws the eye. The TV no longer is the center of attention. The crackling flames pop against the beauty of the stone.

Patio 
Use less-expensive stone blocks outside to create a beautiful patio. Extend the beauty of the outdoors further with garden paths that snake around the yard. Create a pebbled look with smaller stones or opt for large ones for a simpler look. Use different shades of stone to create a one-of-a-kind design.

Wall 
Take your home’s design to an all-new level by using stone tiles on the wall. Small tiles don’t weigh down the wall, but they create an interesting look and texture. Use as an accent wall for the room. Highlight the entryway with stones that match the paint. Decorate columns to make them stand out as a piece of the home’s décor. The options for natural stone are only limited by the imagination.


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4 April 2020

How To Sell Your Gold Jewelry

People decide to sell their gold jewelry for many reasons. Maybe the piece reminds you of an ex and brings back memories. Perhaps you just don't like your jewelry anymore and would like to make a few extra bucks. Whatever your reasons for selling your gold, it's important to understand the process first.

Research Your Jewelry 
It might be tempting to head to the first jeweler you see, but you'll likely lose money. Research your pieces to learn their value before you sell them. If the jewelry has gemstones, find out how many karats they are. You'll also want to know how much the jewelry weighs. Finally, learn about the spot value of gold. The price varies daily and you aren't likely to receive an offer at spot value, but knowing what it is helps you determine if you're getting a fair price.

Know How the Scales Work
A standard scale isn't what jewelers use. U.S. scales measure 28 grams to an ounce. Gold scales use the Troy ounce. A single Troy ounce is equivalent to 31.1 grams. Some jewelers use pennyweight scales to measure a Troy ounce. A pennyweight is the equivalent of 1.555 grams, so be sure your dealer doesn't weigh your pieces with pennyweight but try to pay you by the gram. This takes money from your pocket.

Read the Fine Print
When it comes to where to sell gold, you have two options. Some people sell their jewelry at a physical place. Others prefer to use mail-away services. Regardless of your preference, always read the fine print before completing a transaction. When selling through the mail, remember to insure the pieces and find out how long you have to accept or deny the offer as well as how long it will take to receive your payment.

Sell To an Expert
Just because a business claims to be an expert in buying gold, doesn't mean it is. Talking to an experienced handler ensures you get the most for your jewelry. A true expert will recognize that some pieces of jewelry have more value if melted down while other pieces make more money for them (and in turn, you) if resold intact. The decision typically requires a jeweler who understands the value of the stones as well as the gold.

When selling your gold, pay attention to your intuition. There are plenty of unscrupulous companies out there. If the offer you receive seems too good to be true, it probably is. Check out consumer reports and online reviews before deciding which gold buyer to approach.


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23 March 2020

Finding the Right Personal Injury Attorney

As you look for the best personal injury lawyer for your case, you may have hit a few roadblocks. For example, you might be struggling with finding an attorney who specializes in the particular personal injury you sustained. Maybe you don't really trust what a lawyer's website is saying about helping you get the compensation you deserve. Whatever the case, you can make your search easier by following a few steps. Hiring the right lawyer to handle your legal case doesn't have to be a daunting task. However, you shouldn't turn to just any lawyer for help. It's best to look for someone who has experience handling your type of case and who you feel that you can trust.

Ask Friends and Acquaintances
Ask your friends or coworkers whether they previously sought legal assistance in a personal injury claim. If they have, politely ask if they can share who represented their case. If they tell you good things about their lawyer, add the lawyer to your list of people to consult. However, avoid making a decision solely based on someone else's recommendation.

Find out the Extent of a Lawyer's Training
When it comes to hiring a lawyer to help you with your personal injury case, it's important to see how much experience they have as well as the type of training they received. You might consider asking certain questions like, "How long have you been practicing?", "What percentage of your cases involve the type of injury I sustained?", or "Will you personally handle my case or hand it to an associate?" The last question is especially imperative because you want to ensure that the lawyer you're contacting is actually the lawyer who will represent you.

Many of the lawyers who advertise on TV about providing legal assistance in personal injury cases promise viewers that they'll fight for them. However, a majority of these lawyers have never tried a case and simply refer clients to real litigators. This is a major problem because it's important to know who's going to fight for you before the case begins.

Discuss Fees Before Signing 
Many personal injury attorneys don't charge their clients upfront. Instead, they take out a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the settlement you receive if you win your case. As you look for the right lawyer, make sure you're happy with their fees before signing an agreement.

Finding the right personal injury lawyer takes time and patience and plays a role in whether or not you win your case.


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16 March 2020

Stylish and Inexpensive Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

When we think of increasing our home’s resale value, most of us look to home renovations. But a major, construction-level renovation may not be the right choice for you and your family when it comes to reselling your home and making a tidy profit.

In a housing market in an average area, you are likely to break even at most after putting money into a major home renovation. While bathrooms and kitchens tend to be your best bet if you do opt to renovate a space in your home, you are better off taking care that any quality of life issues—such as a leaking roof or finnicky boiler—are tended to first.

Just because a major renovation may be off the table, however, does not mean you are out of options when it comes to increasing the profit you will net from selling your home. There are plenty of tiny, inexpensive options to attract buyers.

And if you do decide to take the plunge in renovating a room in your home, whether you are DIYing it or outsourcing, be sure that you are making the investment for your own enjoyment rather than someone else’s!

Repaint
Repainting a room is an effective way to completely transform a room in your home on the cheap. With the right tools, painting a room can be reliably DIYed by basically anyone! (Plus, you can choose a color that you really like and maximize your enjoyment of the home for the remainder of your time there!)

Color is a powerful tool to completely change the mood of a room. Because it is so powerful, you really only to paint sparingly when it comes to bolder colors. Try an accent wall if you are unsure about the hue you are transitioning to, and then slowly incorporate more walls as you become confident in the color.

Aggressive colors like red, orange, or dark colors of any shade should be relegated to accent walls or smaller rooms. People are generally more attracted to lighter, paler shades when it comes to buying homes, because colors such as these are easier to incorporate into each potential buyer’s personal style.

Upgrade Light Fixtures 
Nowadays, it is in vogue for lighting fixtures to be unobtrusive and innocuous, coordinated carefully with other hardware in your home. For instance, if your kitchen cabinets all have brass handles, your lighting fixtures should not be silver.

You can easily dust and spruce up any fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom. Generally, however, living spaces like the family room and bedroom should not have built in light fixtures in the ceiling. It dates the room, so if you need to replace any ceiling fixtures in these room try going for clean lines and minimalist aesthetics.

Re-caulk Tiles 
Good clean caulk work between the tiles in your home can make a huge difference in the way potential buyers perceive it. Even better, re-caulking tiles is an incredibly easy and painless process for even the least seasoned DIYer!

Resurface Countertops
Replacing countertops alone can totally transform a kitchen or bathroom’s entire vibe. By just replacing these surfaces, you can forcibly pull your house’s décor out of the 1950’s or whatever bygone era it belongs in and into modernity.

Now, replacing countertops isn’t necessarily as straightforward as it sounds. You might need to call in a professional, like a home remodeling service in Houston. But some jobs can be done fairly easily by a novice with some basic study via the internet.

You can also go nontraditional or artsy when it comes to smaller surfaces, like your shower tiles or bathtubs. If you are confident in your art skills, you can try painting a small mural or creating a mirror mosaic for the enjoyment of future residents. These things can really separate your house from the rest of the herd.

Increase Efficiency of Heating and Cooling
Increasing the efficiency of heating and cooling units in your home can be done rather easily. Of course, if your home is in need of a new water heater or your central air conditioning needs a tune-up, you might want to invest in those causes first.

You can check for any drafts by closing all windows and doors in each room and lighting a candle. Move the flame towards windows and doors and stand still. If the flame of the candle flickers, this suggests that you might have a leak. Then, you can take any necessary steps to ensure your potential homebuyers tour an appropriately cozy or cool home!


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12 March 2020

4 Tips on Choosing the Right Floor Mats for Your Car

Your car is likely one of your biggest financial investments and you probably devote some of your time to its daily, monthly, and annual care, from washing its exterior to banishing unpleasant car smells. However, one important factor of proper vehicle maintenance that you may not consider is whether the floor mats in your car match the local climate and whether they might present a safety hazard to you or your passengers. If you plan to replace your car’s floor mats, there are a few tips you may want to keep in mind as you shop.

1. Measure First, Buy Second 
Ensuring the proper fit for your car floor mats before you buy can help you avoid a waste of time and money and prevent the dangers that may come from buying mats that are either too large or too small. Larger mats may bunch when you enter your vehicle and they could become lodged under the brake pedal and cause an accident. If the mats you purchase are too small, your car’s carpeting may not be as well protected and leave it vulnerable to a variety of tough stains. It is a good idea to measure your car’s existing floor mats before you purchase replacements.

2. Consider Your Climate
If you live in an area that sees plenty of ice and snow, then you might want to consider buying mats that help slough road salt off your shoes when you enter your car. Salt stains can cause serious damage to your car’s flooring and can be difficult to remove if the salt is allowed to dry or crust. Choosing stain-resistant mats may help you protect your vehicle and make detailing simpler during the colder months.

3. Create a Floor Mat Budget 
Finding the best car floor mats that also suit your budget can be a challenge, but proper planning can help you stay within your price range and still allow you to purchase quality mats. To create a budget, make a list of what you want the mats to accomplish and how much you are willing to pay for those features. This may help you arrange your priorities as you shop and make a sound, affordable purchase.

4. Check for a Warranty
As you browse different car mats, you may want to compare and contrast their warranties. This can be especially important if you live in an area with seasonal weather conditions that may cause your mats to wear faster.

The right car floor mats can protect your vehicle’s interior against moisture, spills, and other accidents. Keeping these tips in mind can help you make an informed purchase and prevent damage that could lower your car’s overall value.


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4 Home Updates That Increase Your Property Appeal

Though the real estate market may flip flop between a buyer’s and seller’s market, with the right attention to some key areas in your house, you can ensure your listing grabs attention. Here are some of the best places to spend your time and money when preparing to sell, as they will give the biggest return when it comes to home value and property appeal.

The Bathroom
It might not be the most pleasant room in the house, but the right remodel can bring you up to a 102% return on investment. There is so much that could be done to spruce up a dated washroom, whether it be the installation of one of the best acrylic tub shower units in the city or replacing the vanity and updating a lighting fixture. Applying a fresh coat of paint in a soothing color helps brighten a space, but if your wall has some damage, you can add a spray-on texture to help hide unsightly marks. Take down outdated shower doors to create the illusion of space.

The Landscape 
Not a part of the house but as a part of the total package, your landscaping investments should give you a 100% return. Attracting buyers means having great curb appeal, so consider laying new sod, purchasing hanging plants, or repainting your walkway. These changes will make your property more eye-catching.

The Kitchen 
A kitchen remodel often brings back about 98% return on the investment, and this is an area where a little DIY can go a long way. Sanding and painting old cabinets is much cheaper than buying new ones, but you will get the same impressive result. Add colorful backsplash or update your appliances and lighting options.

The Exterior 
With an estimated 95% return for work done to the exterior of the home, your time could be more valuable than your money with these improvements. Pressure wash the house, the driveway, and the front walk for a clean look. Paint your shutters or your door, potentially using your door color to add a splash of color to the house. Change out wrought-iron supports or rails for solid wood, or add a pergola or columns to a plain porch or stoop.

If you are in a hurry to sell your home, these easy fixes could go a long way in bringing more value to your property. Check with a realtor for an estimate on your home’s value and what improvements could be done to help your sale.


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1 February 2020

Impressive Gift Ideas for Kids…and Kids at Heart

Unless you have a plethora of spare time and money and you know them really well, it can be challenging to pick out extraordinary gifts for young people. This is especially true if you’ve procrastinated and you're now on a tight timeline. Rather than getting stressed out at the last minute, here are a few pretty spectacular gift ideas for kids of all ages that are sure to impress the recipient.

Light Saber
You don’t need to be a Star Wars fan to appreciate the sheer magic of holding a lightsaber. Truly, a glowing sword with sound effects? Is there even a better gift out there? And if you really want to make sure your present will go over well, not just any lightsaber will suffice. The one you'll need to get is Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. In fact, if someone’s not impressed by this gift, they are not worthy of it and you should keep it for yourself and get them a stuffed baby Yoda. Actually, you might want to keep that one for yourself too.

Electric Scooter
Several cities across the country have executed contracts with electric scooter companies and scooters can now be found on practically every intersection within their city limits. It’s an easy and affordable way to get around - plus it’s a lot of fun. Rather than your loved one having to rent one for each occasion, you can give them their own to use anytime they want. They’re better for the environment than cars. The motors will start once you start moving and you can accelerate with the push of a button. A full charge usually lasts around an hour. Also, just to reiterate, they are a ton of fun.

Camera Drone
Although they are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, most people know them as drones. Whatever you call them they are small remote-controlled aircraft and the most highly sought after varieties possess built-in cameras. People of all ages enjoy making home videos shot from above and they’re a lot of fun to operate. They also have practical uses. You won’t have to get in a ladder to check your gutters. You can just fly your drone up to get a good view. Fortunately, these have been on the market for a few years now, which means that the prices have come down since their initial release.

Receiving a fantastic gift you know you’ll enjoy is a great feeling, but being the person who gifted it is probably even better. Just wait until you see the smile that will result from giving one of these superior gifts.


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28 January 2020

Why It's Important to Retain Mobility As You Age

People are living longer than ever before in history. This means they are likely to suffer more than one ailment at some point. For many, this can include a debilitating condition such as arthritis, hip injuries or any number of painful situations. These circumstances can sometimes make it difficult to get around. Preserving your independence, whichever way you can, is as necessary to your health as any medical treatment. Here are several reasons that retaining your mobility is important.

Socialization
If you live alone, you still need to socialize whenever you can. Conversations with good friends are something most people look forward to, plus they're good for your mental health. Don't let an injury or other predicament keep you from living the life you deserve. One way to keep you traveling around is with a motorized scooter. Leo Scooter is the ideal indoor/outdoor scooter and you can use it almost anywhere! Scooters are attractive, fun and easy to use.

Shopping
Many people love to shop, not just because they need things, but because it's fun to get out and see what's new. Shopping gets you outside the home and interacting with new people which is great for your self-esteem. Don't stay cooped-up when you could get out for a day of shopping and lunch. It also gives you a chance to buy personal items like make-up and clothing that well-meaning family members can't buy for you. If you're unable to drive, check with local organizations that set up shopping trips during the week.

Family Events

As your family grows, so do the events they participate in. You want to be able to attend weddings, dinners, reunions or even a grandchild's soccer game. These events are special to you, so make sure your family understands that you wish to remain active in their lives.



Traveling

Many people's greatest passion is traveling. With so many bus tours and shuttles available, travel can be tailored to fit anyone's unique circumstances. You'll find transportation and assistance to almost any destination in the world. Now, more than ever, you're likely to find tour groups that want to see the same places you do. It's a great opportunity to make friends while you travel.

Staying Connected
If you find yourself at a time in your life when you're having trouble getting out and about, there are many solutions. From scooters to buses and amazing travel tours, you can do anything you want. Staying mobile will allow you to remain connected to family, friends and to maintain a high quality of life.


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24 January 2020

Syllable structure processes

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