Happy New Year! What resolutions have you made this new years? To get fit? Quit smoking? Start saving more money? But what goals do you set for your home? January is a great time to start working on your home - the social calendar is light, January sales are on, the weather is good and some of us are on Christmas holidays for the first week of January. With our list of home resolutions you can make your home a more beautiful, efficient, clean and green place in the coming year.
1: Streamline your stuff
One of the best and least expensive ways to feel better about your home is to clear it of clutter.
Each year most of us acquire a mountain of stuff. Without some regular purging, cabinets and drawers get jam-packed and it becomes hard to find the things you use and enjoy the most. (All that clutter also makes your house look dated and dirty, designers say.)
This year resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don't use, wear or love and donate it to charity. After that, think twice about what you bring in. Plan a garage sale or sell your items on Gumtree. This extra money can then be put towards your home.
Stash useful items such as DVDs, remotes and those kicked-off shoes in simple woven baskets. Group similar items together on sleek trays and additional items that you don't use everyday such as seasonal and other sentimental items can placed in clear tubes in your attic or a storage unit. Once you're done get ready to breathe a little easier in your own home.
2: Make your house safe and sound
Your home may be beautiful, but is it safe? There are a few things that every homeowner should do to ensure that they're not living with a potential health hazard or fire risk.
First, check your house for radon. This colorless, odorless gas accounts for 150-200 deaths lung cancer deaths each year from the radioactive particles it traps in your lungs as you breathe, according to Radon Ireland. For more information and to find out about getting a test done go to Radon Ireland's FAQ page.
While we're on the subject of deadly gas, make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on every bedroom floor in addition to fire detectors. Ensure you get fuel-burning appliances serviced and chimneys swept every year. If a chimney flue or other appliances gets blocked or leaks, carbon monoxide could back up in your house and kill you. Like a radon test, this is a small investment — €30 or more — for such an important safeguard.
If you use a dryer ensure you watch out for dryer lint. We know you clean the little trap inside the door, but most people neglect to clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer. Lint may seem innocent, but it's highly combustible and can easily be the cause of a house fire.
Make sure your house can breathe. Inspectors are always surprised at how many people's bathrooms and attics aren't vented to the outside. This makes you a prime candidate for toxic mold.
And if you're considering a remodel — and your home was last built or remodelled around pre mid-1980s, care is required in completing repairs to a stippled/ artex ceiling as it may have been constructed with asbestos-containing material. It will have to handled properly during removal, or particles can be released into the air for you to ingest.
3: Reduce your bills (and your carbon footprint in the process)
When people think of going green, they often think it takes solar panels or a hybrid car to make a difference.
Not so, it just takes a little old-fashioned common sense.
The best place to start is by cutting your energy usage in your home:
Remember your mom's advice and switch off the lights when you leave a room.
Ensure your home has good insulation (PD Construction offers insulation so be sure to give us a call for help)
Dial your heater down to 13°C degrees at night and when your not at home. Wear a sweater or use a cozy blanket when your home to help keep your heating low.
Switch to CFL bulbs or LED lights and low-flow showerheads.
Try drying some of your clothes on the line and wait for the dishwasher or washing machine to be full before you run them.
Turn off your power strips and/or set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use.
Give composting a try. Your garden will thank you.
4: Work out a weekly system for keeping your house clean
Daily: Dishes go in the dishwasher every night - no excuses! Dirty clothes go in the hamper and jackets or clean clothes are hung in the closet. Bring everything back to its assigned place.
Weekly: Clean your entire house, using these tips:
Keep all of your cleaners, as well as rubber gloves and spare cleaning cloths - in a portable carryall that moves with you from room to room.
Stash cleaning implements such as a toothbrush, scraper, sponge, a few cleaning cloths and plastic bags in a builder's apron that you wear when you clean. Hook your glass cleaner and all-purpose cleaning spray on the loops to keep your hands free as you work around the room clockwise, cleaning from high (cabinets) to low (floors.)
Focus on one type of cleaning at a time. It's faster. Wipe down fingerprints on all of the cabinets, for instance, before moving on to spraying and wiping counters. Then move on to windows and mirrors and appliances. Once that's done move on to sweeping and then mopping floors.
For optimum efficiency, enlist the help of your family. If you can, divide the jobs among at least three parties: One of you can do the hoover/dusting and changing beds, the other can do the bathroom cleanup, leaving only the kitchen and trash emptying for you to handle. The upside? You can get the whole house done in 45 minutes leaving more time on the weekends for the park or the movies.
5: Get started with that long awaited home renovation
Start small Break it down into manageable projects and take it one project or room at a time. Try to make realistic goals and commit to them. Start with the structural/safety issues as top priority to get done and work from there.
Decide on a budget and know your limit Having a clear budget in mind can eliminate overspending or money running out halfway through a project. Allocate your budget according to priority of getting done.
Do your research Before deciding on anything do your research into current trends, council regulations etc. Use home improvement magazines or websites/blogs/Pinterest/Houzz to get inspiration. Visit showrooms and ask industry experts for their advice. Get help from your family/friends. This will help you decide on what styles you like.
Start from the outside and work in Start by renovating the outside of the house and as you get more money you can then start on the inside. The facade of your house is a person's first impression so make it a good one.
Allow airflow and natural light Find ways of adding more light and air into the house. If you are taking advantage of the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme to extend or to just change your windows, go for frame-less areas of glass where you can, losing glazing bars that dice up the sunlight.
Add an extension/balcony
Adding an extension, deck or balcony to your house makes a huge difference and makes it feel like a new home, without the costs and hassle of relocating. An extension also adds value to your home. Attic conversions are currently a very popular option for adding space and value to the home. Always check with your council before making structural alterations to your house.
DIY on the small jobs only
Save some money by doing the smaller jobs yourself, but leave the complicated jobs to the professionals. Undertaking a complicated job yourself is a lot of work and substandard work can actually decrease the value of your home
It's the little things that count Simple things like a fresh coat of paint or new light fittings can make a huge difference and won't blow the budget.
Add value to your home
Whether or not you are thinking about selling, think of your home as an investment and continuously aim to add value to it. The kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms that add value to your home. Landscaping is another great way of adding value- maybe add a patio.
We hope you found these tips useful. For advice on your home renovation needs or a comprehensive quote please call our sales team at 085 7378410 or fill in our quote form.
The PD Construction Team would like to wish you and your family a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year 2017.