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How Installing 12V LED Lights Can Increase Home Security

February 9, 2017 - By 
security lights

Home security is not a priority to take lightly. The feeling after someone violates your home is something you won’t soon forget.

Most people have the same “Yeah, but it won’t happen to me” attitude. Well, with on average almost 4 million home invasions per year, you’re chances are worse than you’d think.

Though even beyond the odds, losing personal possessions to a break-in is always devastating, and something that’s easily avoidable.

Imagine if a burglar stole irreplaceable family heirlooms or anything at all you had earmarked to stay in the family lineage.

We’re willing to guess that you wouldn’t take kindly to having your personal belongings messed with. Not to mention the sense of creeping doubt that you’re not safe in your own home.

It’s why burglar prevention solutions are so popular. Home security systems, a mean dog; you know the drill.

What surprises people is that many of these systems pale in comparison and value to simply leaving a few lights on when you leave the house.

Choosing the correct lighting to leave on is paramount to making this strategy work. When we leave the house, and even when we’re home, we turn to 12V LED lights.

Wondering why? Keep reading to find out.

12V LED Lights For Home Security

If you’re not familiar with LED lights, they acronym stands for light-emitting diode. They’re lights designed with efficiency in mind.

Twelve volt LED lights are rather bright. If you think about it, even a 12V “normal light” is going to cast a large swath of illumination.

When we’re protecting against home invasion, it’s this light swath we’re interested in.

LED Lights Are Bright

LED lights are brighter than your average bulb. Get your hands on a 12V LED light, and you’re lighting up the yard.

This why they make such excellent burglar deterrents. The bulbs are bright enough that no one can approach your house unseen.

If you were a burglar, would you rob the house shrouded in darkness, or the house illuminate in light? Obviously, you’re robbing the dark house.

Set up these 12 V LED lights around your home’s perimeter. It should only take two or three to achieve maximum coverage.

While you can also achieve the same effective with fluorescent lights, LED lights aren’t nearly as intense. There’s no piercing light to shine through your own, or your neighbors, curtains.

Not only will you family thank you for the low-intensity light, but your neighbors won’t angrily knock on your door at bedtime.

Energy Efficiency

LED bulbs are energy efficient and last for long periods of time before blowing out. This is perfect for your home security needs.

Low-cost security? Check. Reliable? Check. Efficient? Check again.

Reliable? Check. Efficient? Check again.

Efficient? Check again.

For people living in your average neighborhood, LED lights are the best security bang for your buck.

You certainly aren’t going to install a home security system for the same cost as a few high-quality 12V LED lights.

Don’t believe us? Shop around and see for yourself. We’re betting you settle on a few high-quality 12V LED lights instead.


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How to Know When You Should Just Call an Electrician

February 7, 2017 - By 
Electricians

There are a million DIY TV shows and websites. You can paint it, you can stain it, you can cover it with fabric.

For the advanced DIY’er, you can learn how to build a deck chair. Or, even the entire deck.

But, when it comes to electricity, it’s much better to be safe than sorry.

Here’s how to know when to call an electrician.

Your home’s electricity

For most of us, there are two times we think about electricity:

  • When it’s time to pay the bill
  • When we flip a switch and something doesn’t work

The majority of the time, electricity is our silent friend. It keeps our food cold and lights our way.

But it can also be a dangerous friend if you’re not careful. Yes, it is more likely that lightning will kill you instead of your outlets at home.

But why take that chance?

It doesn’t matter whether you need something fixed or something brand-new installed.

Certified electricians can help you with any of your home’s electrical needs.

When you should call an electrician

Octopus outlets

There are so many things that need to be plugged in, in a typical household. From cellphones to hair dryers, lots of things need electricity.

The problem comes from plugging too many things into too many outlets.

Do you have multiple outlets that look like an octopus is trying to escape the wall? If so, your home’s electrical system may be overloaded.

An electrician can help sort out what you need and get it taken care of safely.

Those annoying, flickering lights

Have you noticed that when you turn on a major appliance that your lights flicker?

When the motor in that appliance starts up, it can draw a major amount of current.

It may be good to have that appliance on its own dedicated circuit instead.

You’re trippin’

Your breakers, that is.

Your octopus outlets and flickering lights may leave you in the dark when a breaker trips. Yes, they’re a safety measure meant to keep the system in check.

But they shouldn’t trip every time when you start the microwave.

Having an electrician assess your home’s electricity needs and use will help.

Warm isn’t good when it comes to electricity

Unless it’s an actual space heater, then it’s probably OK. But if you notice a switch or other power point that’s warm to the touch, something’s not right.

Older homes may have older wiring, too. Homes over 25 years old should be regularly inspected.

If you have anything that’s warm to the touch that shouldn’t be, you should call an electrician.

You’re grounded but your appliances aren’t

Especially in an older home, not all of your outlets may be of the 3 hole variety.

The bottom hole provides a ground for whatever you’ve got plugged in. This is even more important for larger appliances, like refrigerators and microwaves.

Don’t break that ground off the plug!

Call an electrician who can install new outlets that are safer for you and your family.


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Rearrange Your Furniture to Keep Your Style Fresh

February 7, 2017 - By 
Furniture Pads

Are you bored with your home?

When you buy a house, you often sign the lease papers with the intention of staying for years, sometimes for life. These days, though, you can’t help but notice how your home feels drab and uninspired. You know that home is where the heart is, but your heart’s not in it anymore.

When was the last time you rearranged? This doesn’t mean you have to call an interior decorator and redo your whole house.

By moving decor and furniture (and using furniture pads to keep your floors damage-free), you can make a huge difference in the way you see home sweet home.

How? Allow us to explain.

Make Some Space

When you first bought your house, did you marvel at the size of the rooms? Do you often wonder what happened to all that space?

It’s easy (a little too easy) to clutter up rooms with stuff. Small piles become bigger piles you’ll get to later. Those bigger piles become unmanageable, so you ignore them.

With furniture on top of that, the room can start to feel a little stifling.

It’s time to declutter. Grab two boxes and label one “keep” and the other “toss.” Go through the room and put things in the appropriate box.

If the space still feels too cramped, move your furniture around. Instead of the couch being next to the loveseat, try pushing the loveseat to the opposite wall. You’ll be surprised how much more floor space you have.

Find a New Focus

What’s the focus in your living room?

It might be the TV. It might be an eye-catching piece of artwork. It may be something else entirely.

That item should be the center of attention, literally. The rest of the furniture and decor in your living room should flank the main item.

Let’s say your focus item is the TV. If this is up against a wall, your couch should be several feet back but centered with the TV. Loveseats, recliners, and other chairs should be arranged around the couch.

This informs you where everything else should go. For example, you might put a coffee table between the TV and the couch. You could position lamps on either side of the recliner and loveseat.

With a main item to focus on, your room is more cohesive.

Move Away from the Light

Speaking of lamps, the positioning of the furniture plays a key role in how bright or dark a room is. If you have a standing lamp in the corner and you put a recliner in front of that, the chair blocks most of the light.

If your rooms feel a little dark, you don’t always need brighter bulbs. Just rethink your furniture. Your couch, for instance, can be a huge light hog.

Of course, thus far we’ve only mentioned artificial light sources. Your furniture can also block natural sunlight.

This is detrimental for two reasons. First, you’re missing out on the mood-improving effects of sunlight. Second, your furniture can get discolored and faded from long-term sun exposure.

Rearranging your furniture can transform any room. This frees up space and lets more light in.

However, moving furniture can be risky on hardwood or marble flooring. You don’t want to accidentally damage your floors while lugging around a heavy couch.

Furniture Buffers pads keep furniture and floors safe during your remodeling project. To learn more or shop for furniture pads, contact Furniture Buffers today.


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What are the Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home for Cash?

February 3, 2017 - By 
selling your home for cash

You’ve likely seen roadside signs promoting the buying of houses for cash.

It sounds pretty good, right?

If you’re wondering if this is an opportunity you should jump on but are unsure of what exactly it entails and how it works, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Here’s everything you need to know—from the good to the bad—about selling your home for cash.

Pros & Cons Of Selling Your Home To A Real Estate Investors

Pros

Flexible Options

Since investors offer various payment methods, your payment options are flexible.

Investors can accept payment via methods such as certified funds, cash, or pre-scheduled cash payments. In some cases, they may even take over the existing mortgage completely.

Multiple payment options allow sellers to find the solution that fits their needs.

Fast Cash

Selling houses for cash is a legitimate option, as investors are often willing to pay in cash for a home with the recent tightening of financial restrictions. This is usually coupled with the growing number of complaints about low appraisals.

Selling “As Is”

Many times, investors offer to purchase a property sight unseen.

What does this mean for sellers? That as the seller, you can avoid any costly repairs that would normally be considered financial responsibility.

Quick Closings

Believe it or not, there are investors who can close a deal within 7 days.

Are you wondering how that’s possible? Good question.

Investors are able to close quickly because the sale of the property is not reliant on approved financing, appraised values, home inspections, etc. By bypassing all of these sometimes-lengthy steps, the closing processes is expedited considerably.

Cons

Most Investors Don’t Have A License To Buy

Since investors don’t need a license to buy a house, this means you know nothing about the person or people offering to buy your home.

Some investors are corporations, while others are individuals. Individual sellers usually are also real estate agents.

Because of this, many sellers are concerned about the motive behind the purchase.

There Are Scam Artists Posing As Investors (And Plenty Of Them!)

When selling your home for cash, you run the risk of fraud.

While this risk can exist in any financial transaction, it’s especially critical to avoid scams when dealing with large assets, such as your home.

When selling your house, you’ll want to take all necessary precautions to avoid any issues.

Start by getting the name of the investor and research him/her online to see whom he/she is. Ask for references, and question your listing agent to do some research on your behalf as well.

Homeowners Often Sell Below Market Value

Since investors will have their own cost challenges, you can be assured that those charges will be factored into their offer price.

Don’t be fooled. Investors are well aware of the power behind their cash offer. They also are conscious of the fact that they are taking a risk by purchasing a home “as is.”

Because they may be relying on your motivation to get out quickly, or for whatever their reason may be, it’s unlikely that an investor will pay market value for a home at its peak.


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5 Incredibly Easy DIY Pest Control Solutions

December 19, 2016 - By 
Got pests? No problem. These DIY pest control tricks are your ticket to getting those bugs off your back. Before you call the calvary, give these a shot.

It’s Friday night. You’ve got a hot date coming over. You’ve cleaned the house. Shoved your dirty laundry under the bed (hope he doesn’t look under there). And you’ve lit a few romantic candles while you fixed him dinner.

It’s going to be a fantastically romantic evening. And then you see them. Your biggest nightmares. A cockroach, a horde of ants, and a mouse trooping across your kitchen like satan’s army.

It’s too late to call the pest control services. What do you do? Your hunk of a date is going to be here anytime.

Don’t scream. It’s going to be ok. There are some easy things you can do to take down the pests in your home.

1. Garlic Mint Spray

This could also work as vampire repellent. But it’s really for bugs. Blend some mint leaves and garlic cloves. You were just cooking, right? So you should have these. Add some cayenne pepper and some dish soap. Boil the stuff.

Now, if you need it this instant, you could probably just pour some on the sucker right away. But it will make a mess. But for future use, chill it overnight in the fridge and then strain it into a spray bottle.

2. Coffee Grounds

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Until they encounter coffee grounds. Then they run away. Really. They do.

All you need to do is put on a pot of coffee then sprinkle the used grounds around the house. Find out where the ants are coming from. Your date won’t think it’s cool to step on coffee grounds all night.

3. Hot Pepper Spray

Even the mice will run away from this one. But it’s really just for bugs.

Take one gallon of water. Mix it with three tablespoons of hot pepper flakes. Heat it in a pan on simmer for about fifteen minutes. This brings out the hellfire in the spray i.e. pepper oils.

This is another one you will have to let sit for about 24 hours to let the flakes release all of their torment into the spray.

Once you’ve let it sit, strain it. Drop some dish soap in. Put it in a spray bottle. And now you have the cruelest insect repellent on the planet.

Spray it on plants or in cracks where ants and cockroaches might come in.

This is also a great way to keep squirrels from getting into bird seed. You see, birds don’t have salivary glands and thus they can’t feel the heat of the peppers. But squirrels sure do. Spray down that bird seed with a dish soap-less version and watch the squirrels freak.

4.  Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

Really, any kind of alcohol will work for this one.

But fruit flies are the worst infestation. They are gross. Just nasty. And you will always have a hard time getting rid of them.

First, put all fruit in the fridge. Don’t leave any out.

Then, get a salt shaker, fill the bottom with apple cider or rum. Drop in some dish soap to break the water tension. And then set it out. Watch them flock to it. They’ll crawl into their sweet and drunken death.

5. Borax And Sugar.

Certainly not sugar and spice. But ants sure think it is. Until they die!

Take 1/2 cup of sugar. 1 Cup of warm water. Mix the two with 2 tablespoons of borax.

Put it in a shallow lid of some sort and place it where the ants march. They’ll even take some of it to their next and kill more over time.

Conclusion:

So, now you can enjoy your Friday night. Just don’t let the bed bugs bite!


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The Worst Home Renovation Advice We’ve Heard Yet

December 16, 2016 - By 

Thinking of a home renovation? Awesome. But, read this first. We’ve collected the worst home renovation tips out there, and we’re sharing them with you.

Renovating your home is always a big deal.

Sometimes it’s just time for a change. Other times, it’s time to move and renovating is one step in that direction!

With so many shows out there that show renovations as they happen, whether professionally or with DIYers, it’s hard not to feel like a reno-buff yourself.

But is home renovation really as fun and straight-forward as it’s cracked out to be? And what advice should you be taking and what should you be ignoring?

Though you’ll be working with your own home renovation contractors, you’ll want to make sure that the best options are selected beforehand.

Figuring out what direction you’ll be taking your home renovation in is hard. That’s why you should read this helpful guide of the worst home renovation advice we’ve ever heard.

Why? Because knowing what’s right comes with knowing exactly what you and your home renovation contractor shouldn’t be doing!

The worst home renovation advice you need to stay away from

Add a bathroom

Having too few bathrooms is always a problem.

Maybe it’s just you and your significant other right now, but add in some kids or visiting family and friends. What then? It’s a recipe for an all-out brawl to get to the shower in the morning.

Some people thing that renovating their house to add a bathroom as an addition is a good idea.

But, we’re here to point out that’s not actually such great advice to take!

It turns out that bathroom additions can cost around $50,000! When you go to sell your house down the line, though, you can only really expect half of that money back.

Creating a dream closet

This one may sound conflicting, especially since we all love big closets.

But spending a lot of money to create a huge, organized closet may not always be the greatest move.

It’ll cost you around 3k, but you’ll only get about half of that back when you sell.

So, for this one, don’t stay away completely, but make sure you’ll get your fair use of it just to make that value loss worth it.

Gutting everything at once

Those renovation shows do a great job at making demolition day look fun. And it is fun!

But make sure you put the hammer down long enough to figure out if you really want to be destroying those cabinets.

Consider repainting them or removing them intact to sell. Saving money is a good thing, so don’t demolish it!

Getting too trendy

Do you remember those insanely busy patterned curtains that hung in everyone’s grandmother’s house?

Do you remember ever looking at those and thinking, “those would look great in my house, in 2016?” The answer is probably no.

Back in the day, though, those were all the rage! So when you’re working with home renovation contractors, be wary of going too trendy.

You’ll want to avoid jumping into the latest trends headfirst. Make sure to keep things modern yet classic to see your home age gracefully.


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