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Meghan Belnap

External Value How to Vamp up Your Outdoor Patio.jpegWhen looking to add value to a home, many people immediately think of remodeling the kitchen, installing new flooring, or adding a fresh coat of paint throughout the interior. Outdoor spaces are often neglected, even though they are an important part of any home.

However, with a little TLC and some easy-to-execute projects, you can vamp up your patio and make it a place people want to hang out. Scientists agree that everyone could benefit from spending more time outside, and updating your patio and backyard space just might be what the doctor ordered.

Add New Pavers

A common reason people don’t like spending time in their patio is because of the pavement. Old pavement can be cracked and uneven, allowing water, dirt, and other materials to pool up. Adding permeable pavers, stone pavement that helps absorb puddles, ice, and snow from a place like M.P.S Paving Systems Australia, can help you solve this problem. They are available in a variety of materials to help you achieve the smooth, even ground you’ve been desiring. They even come in a wide array of colors, allowing you to match your pavement with the rest of your outdoor decor.

Create a Lounge Space

Update your plastic chairs and rusty metal table with a chic new outdoor furniture set. Couches, chairs, and gliders can turn a drab patio into a comfortable retreat in no time. Add cushions and pillows in bold colors to make even more of a design statement. Not only will this give your space a refreshed look, but it’ll also be the best new hangout spot on the block! By choosing durable, comfortable pieces, you’re sure to add value to your home.

Install a Fire Pit

Few things are as magical as sitting by the fire on a clear night. Bring that experience to your home by installing a fire pit into your patio space. You can choose from temporary options, like a small, movable pit you can put away when not in use, or you could build something more permanent. Depended on your space, you could even build a large outdoor fireplace as a focal piece. Either way, fire pits are a great addition to any patio and can make your space more welcoming, and as a result, more valuable.

Create an Outdoor Theater

Nothing says indoor-outdoor living like installing an outdoor projector for your patio. Whether you use the side of your house or a pop-up screen to watch your favorite TV shows and movies, a projector will take your patio to the next level. Think of how much fun kids will have at summer sleepovers and how much adults will enjoy catching the big game on a huge screen. An outdoor theater will be a huge selling point, and it will make your home party central for years to come.

With a little planning and TLC, your patio can become a huge focal point of your house. By creating a relaxing and entertaining outdoor retreat, you’ll be adding value to your home and increasing the quality of life you and your family enjoy.

 

Meghan Belnap

How to Change Your Home Habits for the Sake of the Environment.jpeg

Though there is a continuing argument surrounding global warning, many people understand that it is a very real issue. As a result, they’re doing what they can to save the environment. Even though you might not feel like what you can do matters in the grand scheme of things, it really does. Consider these four ways you can change your home habits for the sake of the environment.

Purify the Air

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is one of the main environmental dangers in the world. This is why air purification is so important. You can take small steps towards purifying the air within your home. Start by purchasing a few plants. Develop a green thumb, and place plants in every thousand square feet of the home as plants are natural air purifiers. Open the windows of your home each day for 15 minutes at a time. This allows air to circulate throughout the entire home. It’s also a great idea to purchase an air purifier.

Use Homemade or Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

You can easily switch all of your current cleaning products for each eco-friendly products. Sure, there might be a cost difference. However, your health and the environment are worth it. If you’re not ready to make that jump and purchase higher-priced cleaning products, you can make them yourself. Lemons, baking soda and other natural ingredients are excellent for cleaning different household items. In fact, many of these natural ingredients are more effective than the ones with tons of toxins in them.

Go Paperless

It’s safe to say that most billing companies will allow you the option to go paperless. Utilize that option. Get rid of junk mail, bills and other papers that pile up in your home. With the usage of your smartphones, tablets and laptops, you really don’t need to use paper. Plus, too many trees get cut down to provide the paper that’ll be used and thrown away within days.

Consider How You’re Dumping

When it’s time to relocate, it’s customary for most people to do garage sales to get rid of as many items as possible. It’s a time of decluttering. When you’re doing spring cleaning haul in your home, it’s also easy to dump things arbitrarily. However, it might be better to utilize the services of a company that can pick up whatever you’re getting rid of. Instead of dumping everything in the garbage, companies that make skip bins will pick up the waste and discard it in an eco-friendly fashion.

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to get started with changing your home habits for the sake of the environment. As you remain committed to the process, it’ll eventually feel like second nature. Plus, you’ll be helping Mother Nature as well.

Meghan Belnap

Most people today would agree that the world and environment is in far worse shape that it was even just 50 years ago. While increased emissions, growing mounds of garbage, and other factors are impacting the world, this trend can be reversed if all people work together. There are several ways in particular that you can help to mend environmental damage. Save the Planet 5 Tips to Going Green in Your Startup Cafe.jpg

Be More Environmentally Friendly 
If you are trying to find ways to help mend the environmental problems of the past, one of the best things that you could do would be to be more environmentally friendly with your choices. Today, there are many great things that you can do including being sure that you recycle, trying to reduce the amount of time that you drive, trying to use renewable sources of energy, and looking for ways to help clean up the Earth. 

Encourage Others 
One of the best ways that anyone can leave the world in a better place is to encourage other people to be more conscious and friendly towards the environment. While you can do all that you can to recycle and make good decisions, being able to make others make good choices can go even further. You should try to motivate and encourage other people to make good decisions and find ways to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Recycle Materials 
If you are trying to improve the environment, another great thing to do would be to recycle as many materials as possible. Today, most people will take the small step of recycling their goods when it is available and convenient. However, there is often far more that you can easily do. For example, if you have an old car, you could sell it to a scrap metal company that will then be able to use the metal again. 

Collect Rainwater 
One of the largest growing environmental concerns today is the water supply across the world. While some areas are very rich in water, others are lacking it considerably. One way that you can reduce your public water usage is by collecting your own rainwater. If you have a well or other storage system, you could collect water that could then be used for some services including gardening. 

Ultimately, when you are trying to improve the environment, the little changes that you make do add up quickly over time. If you are able to find even a few small changes, it could lead to a big improvement for the environment.

Meghan Belnap

If you have recently decided to install solar panels, then you need to start thinking about some ways that you can make the most out of that technology. Even though modern solar panels require very little maintenance, quite a bit can be done to improve their efficiency and prevent unnecessary damage. Here is a look at a few tips and tricks that will take your solar energy system to the next level. 

How to Get the Most Out of Solar Panels.JPG

Feed Less Energy Back Into the Grid
Using the energy as it is being produced is going to reduce waste and lower your overall bills. That is why many experts suggest using high-consumption devices during the middle of the day. That includes your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. You should also consider upgrading to an electric water heater to further improve the efficiency of your home and reduce your monthly expenses. 

Install a Backup Battery 
In addition to being more affordable than ever, residential lithium batteries are also exceedingly efficient. With a high-quality battery system, you might be able to use almost 100 percent of the energy that your solar panels produce. If your local power company increases the cost of electricity during certain hours of the day, then you can simply switch over to the battery during those hours and save some money. Installing a backup battery is a relatively simple project, and an experienced contractor should be able to finish the job in a single day. 

Maintain the Panels Themselves 
As a general rule, you should carefully inspect all of your solar panels at least two or three times a week. You want to be absolutely sure that the panels aren’t caked in mud, covered in leaves, or under thick branches. Depending on where you live, you might need to clean the panels once or twice a month as well. Most dirty panels can easily be cleaned with a hose, but you might need to use a sponge and some warm water with a little bit of soap in it if there is quite a bit of grime. 

Upgrade Your Roof 
Before your panels are installed, you should consider contacting a company such as Landmark Roofing to upgrade your roof. A roofing company can replace your old tiles with metal sheets and improve the angle of the roof itself. In most locations, solar panels work best when the roof is between 30 and 45 degrees. Panels that are perfectly flat will be exposed to sunlight for longer stretches of time, but the energy production is going to be much lower. 

Once your panels have been installed, you need to keep a close eye on your energy consumption each and every day. Sudden changes to your input or output could be the result of a serious issue that needs to be addressed.