Ask Away Blog: March 2022

5 Proven Ways to Save Money on Your Home Heating Bill

Thursday, March 31, 2022

 

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels



You likely spend more money heating your home than you realize. It’s not just the cost of energy that adds up — maintenance, repair, and replacement costs all factor into your final bill. Consider these other hidden costs of heating your home. Once you understand how much you’re spending, you can start to save money on your heating bill. Here are five ways to save money on your home heating bill.

Plan ahead

Is your heating plan set for the winter? Do you know when your central air conditioning will be turned on? If you’re like most people, the short winter months rarely cross your minds until it’s time to batten down the hatches and crank up the heat. But there are ways to save on your home heating bill ahead of time.

First, make sure you’re turning off your heat appliances when you’re not using them. This includes your oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and smart thermostats. It also means unplugging your electronics and closing your garage door. This will help prevent accidental fires and reduce your home’s overall energy usage.

Next, check your home’s heating efficiency. This will help you determine where to make adjustments to use less energy. For example, you can replace your old, inefficient windows with new energy-efficient models.

Check your appliances

It’s essential to check the condition of your appliances before winter arrives. This will help you identify any issues and take preventative steps to prevent them from freezing up.

Freezing appliances can be dangerous. They can shatter, causing flying debris that can cause injury. They can also overheat, causing fires. In both cases, you’ll end up paying to replace them. So, it’s best to pay attention to your appliances and take preventative steps to avoid problems.

Maintain your equipment

Regularly cleaning your central air conditioner and home refrigeration units will help keep them running smoothly and efficiently. It will also help prevent excess dust and other debris from building up inside them.

Regularly cleaning your air conditioner will help prevent it from deteriorating prematurely. Check your owner’s manual for maintenance schedules and instructions. It would be best if you also cleaned your air conditioner coils once a month to prevent mildew and other odors.

Another common mistake households make is to fail to maintain their furnaces properly. Utilizing the skills of a Furnace Repair and Maintenance expert can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Trust me!

Insulate your home

You should insulate your home as soon as possible to save on heating costs. There are two main reasons for this. First, it keeps your home cooler, which means your air conditioning unit works less often and uses less energy.

Secondly, it keeps your home more comfortable by keeping the heat inside. This means you spend less on heating bills as well. To help with this, the Department of Energy offers tips on how to insulate your home.

If you’re interested in a more sustainable approach to home insulation, you can also explore energy-efficient insulation products. These products are designed to be used in conjunction with existing insulation in your home and can help you save even more money on your home heating bill.

Know where your money goes

Do you know how much goes into each of your bills? This will help you identify any areas of your spending that contribute to your high heating bill.

Some of the things you should look at include:

Utilities (electricity, gas, water, and telephone)
Transportation (gasoline and car maintenance)
Food
Clothing
Household goods
Medical

We’ve also put together a guide containing 20 incredible money saving tips to cut back on your outgoings here.

Bottom line

No matter how you slice it, winter is an expensive season for home heating. But you don’t have to pay the full price. These tips will help you save money on your home heating bill.


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Ideas for Your Spring Bucket List

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

 


Spring's pretty much here and that means it's time to plan your to do list and fun bucket list for Spring!  To get you started, here are some ideas for stuff you can plan to do in the next couple months.



Defining the Dolce & Gabbana Lifestyle, and Six Celebrities Who Live The DG Lifestyle Well

Monday, March 28, 2022

 

Dolce & Gabbana began their journey together in 1985 when they founded a luxury fashion house. At their first show in Milan that year, they wowed the fashion world with their first women's collection. The following year saw them open their first retail location. By 1990 they were exporting their products around the globe, including to the US and Japan, and broadened their offerings to include a men's line.

By 1992 they were expanding to become a lifestyle brand by launching a perfume line. Their first perfume, "Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme" won an "Oscar des Parfums" in 1996, the first Italian brand to ever do so. Men's colognes and new perfumes were quick to follow.

In the 2000s, D&G continued innovating their brand, adding accessories and leather goods for men and women. By 2006 they ventured into cosmetics. Costume design, eyewear, timepieces, travel cases, jewelry and art all have been designed and released, proving D&G to be not only a fashion house but a broad lifestyle brand.

Today Dolce & Gabbana meets the fashion and personal style needs of discerning celebrities across the globe. By providing items of passion, luxury goods and designer apparel, D&G provides all the tools for a life well-lived. Below are six celebrities of many who are living the Dolce & Gabbana lifestyle.

Jennifer Lopez

Global sensation Jennifer Lopez embodies the Dolce & Gabbana lifestyle, from jetting around the globe to spending quality time with her children and family. Mixing her down-to-earth personality with her love of luxury, she is the latest superstar to join the D&G family as brand ambassador for Dolce & Gabbana Eyewear. Mixing a perfect blend of sensuality and practicality, JLo and D&G are a perfect match.

Will Smith

When superstars attend events that require elegance they turn to Dolce & Gabbana. This year's leading Best Actor Oscar nominee has chosen a classic Dolce & Gabbana suit for many of this year's events, including the Oscar Nominees Luncheon and red carpet, and the Outstanding Performer of the Year awards ceremony at the Santa Barbara film festival.

Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke, famous for portraying Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO smash Game of Thrones, is another superstar in the Dolce & Gabbana family as the brand ambassador for the new perfume Dolce & Gabbana's The One. Ads feature Emilia strolling through the streets of Naples, Italy and living her very best life. Back in the USA, Emilia has been seen on red carpets wearing D&G couture, including at the TIme 100 Gala in New York City.

Sofia Vergara

International beauty and acclaimed actress Sofia Vergara carries Dolce & Gabbana handbags wherever she goes. Whether traveling by air or having lunch with her handsome husband Joe Manganiello, Dolce & Gabbana perfectly fits Sofia's glamourous lifestyle.

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian shows her love for Dolce & Gabbana's classic handbag, the Siciliy, wearing it with many outfits. This bag is an exemplary example of timeless elegance, with its 1950s inspired shape and impeccable workmanship. Nearly every A-lister in Hollywood has carried it, including Nicky Minaj and Victoria Beckham. It is used by costume designers in film in television to indicate a character's wealth and position; for example, Jean Smart's character in "Hacks" carries the white version of the Sicily bag. Across the pond, Kate Middleton has worn the bag to official royal engagements. Everyone wants to be a part of the D&G lifestyle.

Sydney Sweeney

Sydney Sweeney, star of "Euphoria", has been seen in her Dolce & Gabbana sneakers on two continents. Known for comfort and craftsmanship, the D&G Daymaster sneakers that the actress chooses for air travel and casual outings are always the right choice. The leather shoes with chunky heels are both stylish and comfortable, perfect for casual elegance.




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4 Reasons to Stay On Top of Household Tasks

Friday, March 25, 2022

 

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Keeping your home in good condition feels pretty good — even if only for the fact that you don’t have to deal with a perpetual pile of dirty dishes in the sink, or allergies from un-vacuumed dust.

All the same, basic household tasks and chores can sometimes be pretty easy to end up neglecting — and virtually everyone, minus maybe the absolute most organised among us, will let things slide a bit, from time to time.

Whether with regards to making headway on a DIY project that you’ve started, or with regards to more run-of-the-mill chores, household tasks often don’t seem very urgent. Why not leave things alone for a few days when you’ve got a lot on at work?

Here are a handful of reasons why it’s important to stay on top of your household tasks, even if nothing immediately falls apart when you neglect them.

For your own sense of wellbeing and order

Your home may be many different things, ranging from a space where you engage in your favourite hobbies, to the central office of your own business.

Fundamentally, though, your home is a place you go to relax and to focus on yourself, your family and loved ones, and your personal life as a whole. And since our homes are so emotionally significant to us, for the most part, it stands to reason that letting your home get into a state of disarray is likely to have negative repercussions for your overall sense of wellbeing.

Staying on top of your household tasks can very significantly serve to make you feel more in control, and can create the sense that things are in harmonious balance, and are orderly and well-organised.

If you end up letting your household tasks slide, there’s a good chance that this will occur during moments when you are already distracted and under stress. But it’s at exactly these moments when it might be most important to keep things in balance and in order to help you to regain your overall sense of control.
 
So that you notice and address developing issues before they become more serious

All sorts of issues in the home begin small but have the potential to become huge over time.

If, for example, your roof takes some damage during a storm but you don’t notice any immediate issues inside the home and so choose to ignore it, you may end up with a situation down the line where cumulative water and weather damage ruin your entire house.

Seeking out storm damage repair experts at the earliest sign of trouble can help you to avert this more serious state of affairs, and can be very beneficial as a result.

Lots of household tasks are like this. If you stay on top of things, and deal with issues as soon as they arise, you’ll generally be in a much better situation than you would have been if you’d put off taking action.

So that you can be more flexible

Have you ever noticed that it’s easier to be “flexible” when your home is in a good and well-maintained state?

When your home is naturally tidy, organised, and well maintained you’re in a much better position to have friends or family over without having to make excuses. And you’re also in a better position when it comes to going out for the weekend, or going on vacation, without worrying about the state your home will be in when you get back.

Staying on top of your household tasks can even make you more flexible in terms of things like having the space in your living room to spontaneously lay out a yoga mat and do a routine, or to dedicate a corner of your home to a particular hobby.

To keep momentum up in everyday life

Whatever your particular goals and aspirations may be, one of the most important things when it comes to being productive and energetic in life, is to simply build up momentum and keep it going.

When you get into the habit of neglecting household tasks — even just for a couple of days — there’s a good chance that a feeling of overall inertia will settle in, and you’ll feel less energised and on top of things in other areas of your life, too.

If you’re staying on top of your household chores and tasks, and are maintaining your normal set routines, however, there’s a good chance that you’ll be in a better situation with regards to keeping momentum going in your life.


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5 Fixes To Protect The Structural Integrity Of Your Home

Thursday, March 24, 2022


A house with a well-maintained structure can improve the visual appeal. More importantly, it can prolong the longevity of the home. The structural integrity of your home goes beyond the exterior look. Instead, it includes the attention to detail in its foundation, blockwork, roof, etc. According to reports, 25% of all homes are likely to experience structural problems at some point. This makes it imperative to know what to do to prevent this in the first place and below are a few things to consider.

Foundation restoration

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A sinking foundation can be hazardous. It undermines safety and can make the house inhabitable if left unattended for a long period. So, what causes a sinking foundation? Several reasons are attributed to it. First of all, the weather can be a major factor in this occurrence. Due to alternating cold and hot weather cycles, the soil underneath expands and contracts. In the end, the base starts to give way to the weight of the house on top of it.

Secondly, the ground on which the house is built could have been problematic. Perhaps, the architect or building contractor failed to notice that from the beginning. The third factor is usually attributed to excess water content at the building site. When you start to notice a foundation problem in your house, it is advisable to attend to it immediately than wait it out. That can save you from costly foundation repairs in the future. According to architects, foundation restoration can be minor or major depending on the exact problem area. If the damage is superficial, an experienced mason can fix it in no time. On the other hand, when damage is extensive, you will need the expert services of a licensed building engineer. An average foundation restoration costs about $4,449.

Waterproofing

Water is one of the major elements that destroy homes. Seepage into your walls and floors can cause mold and dampness. And you may need intense and costly repair work to get your house back in excellent condition when that happens. Waterproofing your home involves taking steps to stop the gradual weakening of the structure. In construction, damp-proof silicone injections are effective for this. The mason drills holes into walls or at strategic points of the building. After that, the silicone material is pumped into them. This technique is effective, especially in the early stages of water seepage in the walls as the silicone injection technique stops water or moisture from climbing further up.

Siding

Another term for this is wall cladding. It is the art of using protective materials on exterior walls to prevent damage. Usually, siding is done to protect the structure from the weather's vagaries. The cyclical damage from the sun, snow, rain, and strong winds can be costly in repairs. Because there are different types of cladding and a host of materials used, it is always recommended to rely on siding experts. It is better to use residential siding contractors with years of experience under their belt. This way, you know your home's structure is in safe hands.

Fix your interior wall cracks

According to building experts, the expansion and contraction of building materials are responsible for this. In many cases, exterior walls show signs of massive cracks. They usually present as thin horizontal, vertical or diagonal openings in the walls. In severe cases, the openings look like crevices big enough for small pests to hide in. When these cracks appear on interior walls, immediate fixing is the way to go. However, before you attend to it, you must determine if it's a cosmetic crack or not. A deep crack in your interior walls requires an expert. A quick trip to the local hardware store can resolve the problem if it's superficial.

Repair roof leaks

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Your roof protects you and your belongings from the elements. While roof leaks are pretty common with old houses, fairly new properties can develop the problem too. One of the reasons these leaks happen is due to damage to the shingles. When some get missing or develop cracks, they become entry points for rainwater and melted snow. Instead of waiting for such leaks to develop, you will find it helpful to conduct regular roof checks. Through this, problems can be detected early. If you have an attic in your home, that space will bear the brunt when roof leaks become persistent.

Finally, before you purchase a house, it is wise to conduct a structural inspection before moving in. Doing this can keep problems at bay.




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Everything You Need To Know About Building Your New Home

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

 
When it comes to home building, there are a lot of factors to consider. The most important one is ensuring that your home will be both safe and comfortable for you and your family.

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels



There Are A Few Key Things To Keep In Mind When Designing And Building Your Home:

Location:

When selecting a location for your home, consider things like climate, surrounding noise levels, and access to amenities. For example, if you're looking for a warm climate, consider moving to a southern state where the weather is milder year-round. Or, if you want to live in a quiet neighborhood, avoid choosing a property near a busy highway.

Size:

It's important to select the right size for your home. You don't want to be cramped up in a small space, but you also don't want to pay for more space than you need. Consider your current and future needs when deciding on the size of your home.

Layout:

The layout of your home is another important consideration. Think about how you want to use the space and what kind of rooms you'll need. For example, if you have children, you'll want to make sure there's plenty of room for them to play and study.

Utilities:

When designing your home, make sure to take into account the cost of utilities like electricity, water, and gas. You'll want to choose a layout that's as energy-efficient as possible to keep your costs down. The best ways to save on your energy bills are by installing solar panels for electricity, a septic tank with frequent septic pumping, and using gas instead of electricity.

Building your own home can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it's important to keep a few things in mind during the process.

Here Are 5 Key Tips To Help You Build The Home Of Your Dreams.

Plan ahead

It's important to have a clear idea of what you want your home to look like before you start building it. This will help ensure that you stay on track and don't make any costly mistakes. You should also factor in your budget when planning, as this will help determine the size and features of your home.

Choose the right builder

Not all builders are created equal. When choosing a builder, be sure to do your research and find one who has a good reputation and who can build the type of home you want.

Get everything in writing

When you're dealing with a builder, make sure that all of your agreements are in writing. This includes the price, the timeline, and what is included in the final product. Having everything in writing helps avoid misunderstandings later on.

Stay involved

During the building process, it's important to stay involved and monitor the progress. This way, you can catch any problems early on and ensure that everything is being done according to your plan.

Be patient

Building a home takes time, so it's important to be patient. Don't expect things to happen overnight – Rome wasn't built in a day! However, by being patient and understanding that there will be bumps along the way, you can help make the process less stressful.

In Conclusion

Building your own home is a big undertaking, but it can be a very rewarding experience. You can help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible by following these tips.



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Ways To Upgrade Your Home Exterior

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When you are in the fortunate position that you can customize the interior of your home, you make your house become more comfortable and cozy in an instant. The problem is that the exterior of your home doesn’t match the interior of your home, and you want to match the interior because the exterior of your home does matter.

Whether you begin with your residential roofing, or you begin with adding a porch or decking to the edge of your home, you need to make sure that the outside of your home has just as much personality as you have on the inside of your home. Having an architect or designer come out to do the exterior of your home for you is a wonderful idea, but not everybody has the budget for that. Here are a few great ways to upgrade the house exterior – and it doesn’t matter whether you are selling or not. You deserve to have a beautiful home.

Image Source: Pexels




Make an entrance. Your front door matters, as does your backdoor. Start with sanding down the paint from the current doors on the outside of your home, and upgrading the paint job so that it’s fresh and not chipped. The front door could really have a marvellous effect on the first impression of your house, so it has to be a good one. From the paint colour that you choose to the fixtures and fittings that you add to your door, all of this will create the entrance that you need. While we’re talking about the entrance of your home, sconce lights will help to illuminate the way for your guests.

Repaint the exterior. If you have a house that has been painted, upgrading that paint is important. Nobody likes a peeling house, and if your paint job isn’t up to the task anymore the best thing that you can do is get it redone. Hire the experts for this one though. You don’t want to end up with an injury because you’re painting your whole house on your own and it’s not safe.

Add a little pizzazz. From a small table and chairs on the porch, to beautiful planters with bright and vibrant flowers, you can create a little pizzazz in your front yard. You want it to draw the eye for the right reasons, not because it’s got piles of trash or has any broken beds in the front of the home. Your exterior is going to be so much prettier with the right amount of colour so why not indulge?

Call in the landscapers. Your lawn needs to be pristine if you want to upgrade the exterior of your home. A landscaper can help you to redesign your whole front yard, and they can even help you to lay artificial grass if you don’t have the time to keep up with the regular grass on the front or the back of the garden.

All of these things are the perfect upgrades for your home to stand out.



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Car Declutter and Cleaning Tips

Monday, March 21, 2022

 


We often do a decluttering and deep cleaning of our homes from top to bottom but there's another thing we use pretty much every day that we forget about...your car! Think about it...you use your car a lot and it can get pretty messy.  I try to clean mine out thoroughly every season and as long as I keep up on it, it's not too bad after you get the first time out of the way. So here's how to declutter and clean out your car.



Want to Be A Landlord? Here's What You Need To Know

Friday, March 18, 2022


Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels



Being a landlord can be a rewarding experience. But, it also has its challenges. It's not an easy job. You have to make sure your tenants are taken care of and that their needs are met. In this article, we will explore the responsibilities of being a landlord and how you can take advantage of it.
 
Know Your Responsibilities

The first step in becoming a landlord is to find out whether or not you want to become one. If you do, then you should be prepared for the challenges that come with it. For example, landlords are responsible for ensuring that their tenants pay rent on time and that they maintain the property as agreed upon in their lease agreement.

As a landlord need to keep up with the maintenance of your property, such as ensuring that repairs are completed; getting in touch with local contracting services similar to Christian Brothers Roofing and other contracting services to make sure the home is to market standards, not only for your tenants but should you want to sell it in the future.
 
Keep Track of Your Rent

As a landlord, you may be wondering why you should keep track of rent. After all, it is not your responsibility to pay rent for your tenant. However, there are some reasons why you should keep track of your rental income.

One reason is that it can help you maintain a good relationship with your tenants. This can be especially helpful if they have children and need help to manage their school schedules or activities. Also, if an apartment becomes vacant, you will know when it is time to renew the lease or sell the property.

In addition to tracking rental income, landlords also need to keep track of their expenses and income as well as their net worth over time so that they know whether or not they are making enough money from their property investments.

You use a rent book to record all the deposits, payments, and any other receipts you receive from your tenants. This will help you stay up-to-date with your finances and make sure that everything is running smoothly. And keep track of property rent through an online calendar so that all your tenants can see when they need to pay their rent and when they will be receiving their deposit back through email notifications or text messages.

Keep Up With the Property Market

The market for property has always been a volatile one, with the rise of new technology and people becoming more aware of their rights. It is important for landlords to have an understanding of the current market in order to remain competitive.

The property market has changed drastically over the past few years. With the rise of new technology and people becoming more aware of their rights, it is important for you and other landlords to keep up with these changes.

It is important for landlords to understand how this will affect them so that they can remain competitive in this changing landscape. The current property market is not kind to landlords. The rental market in large cities like New York has become increasingly difficult for landlords, as small and medium-sized properties have been bought up by investors.

This has resulted in a situation where landlords are now competing with developers who are looking for sites on which to build new developments. As a result, there is increased demand for smaller properties, but fewer available units on which to rent them out.

Know Your Legal Requirements

When you are considering becoming a landlord, you should make sure that you know the legal requirements for your state. In order to avoid future legal issues, it is important not only clearly understand what your responsibilities are as a landlord, but the legal issues that you might face from tenants.

In most states, landlords must follow specific guidelines for certain types of properties. For example, in California, landlords must provide tenants with written notices regarding rent increases and lease terms. In New York City, landlords must provide tenants with written leases or rental agreements before they move into the property.

No matter where you live or decide to own a property, it's essential that you know the legal requirements you need to protect yourself and your tenants.








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