Laundry—love it or hate it, we all spend time separating, folding, ironing and scrubbing. Although the laundry room is a space we use regularly, it’s often not given the same attention as other rooms in the home. Whether it’s a tiny space in a tucked away corner, a dedicated room or anything in between, there are plenty of simple ways to turn your laundry room into a space that’s functional, enjoyable and even Instagram-worthy. From a total overhaul to a few simple DIYs, take a few tips from our suggestions below and turn your laundry room into a space you love. 


1. Define the space with paint or wall decals 

For an easy and affordable way to add interest and define your laundry room, consider using peel and stick wall decals or paint. Wall decals offer a no-commitment option for renters or homeowners looking to make a big impact on a small budget. Don’t be afraid to choose something fun or bold to help make your laundry room a space you won’t want to hide away. 


2. Get organized with containers

Swapping out that orange bottle of Tide for a pretty and practical container is another budget-friendly way to transform your laundry room. Transferring laundry room must-haves like dryer sheets, laundry tabs and clothes pegs into stylish containers will instantly transform your laundry room into an organized and stylish space. You’ll find containers in a range of sizes at most dollar stores, department stores or discount home stores. 

3. Add open storage shelves 

If storage space is lacking in your laundry room, adding open shelving is an easy DIY project you can do in just a few hours. Not only are open shelves trendy, they’re more affordable and easier to install than traditional cabinets. In addition to shelves, brackets and hardware (check your local hardware store or IKEA), all you need is a drill, level and stud finder. When installed, you’ll have more space to display those new containers hiding your laundry soap and other trinkets. 


4. Raise your washer and dryer 

If you have a side-by-side front loading washer and dryer, you’re probably getting tired of bending over to load and unload. To add storage space and save your back, consider adding a laundry pedestal or riser to raise your washer and dryer. Some manufacturers make pedestals fit for your specific washer (check big box hardware stores like Home Depot). For a more affordable option, there are plenty of DIY plans available to help you build a platform or riser on a budget. 

5. Add a foldable or drop-down drying rack 

If a chair, couch or railing has become your go-to drying rack, it’s time for a better solution. If you have enough wall space, a drop-down drying rack can add ample room to dry your delicates without taking up any storage space. If you’re lacking wall space, a foldable wire rack or clip-and-drip style hanger can be easily tucked away when not in use. 


6. Add a folding station 

Make the most tedious laundry task a little more enjoyable by adding a folding station to your laundry room. While front loading side-by-side machines already have a flat surface for folding, adding a counter top like a butcher block or kitchen-style counter will quickly transform the look of your laundry room. 

If you have stacked or top-loading machines, consider adding a folding space that doubles as extra storage. For example, a counter-height dresser or repurposed baby change table provides space for folding and storage for other laundry items. Keep family member’s clothes organized by adding baskets for each person to your folding station. 

7. Consider smart appliances

Always forgetting to move your clothes from the washer to the dryer? If new appliances are part of your laundry room makeover, consider investing in a smart washer and dryer. Smart laundry machines can remind you when it’s time to switch a load of laundry and let you know when your washer or dryer needs maintenance. Plus, some smart laundry machines can be integrated into your connected home to help track energy usage and save on costs. 

There’s no reason the often neglected laundry room can’t become a calm, organized and Instagram-worthy room. With a couple DIY projects and simple organizational tips, you can transform your laundry room into a space you’ll love, even if you still hate folding.



Source:  Realtor.ca/blog 

https://www.realtor.ca/blog/postpage/14557/1363/7-tips-to-help-you-love-your-laundry-room

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Keeping our homes in tip-top shape—while looking stunning—is a point of pride for many homeowners. Painting your home’s exterior, an important maintenance project, allows you to help preserve your home’s value and boost curb appeal, while creating an opportunity to express your personality through colour. Exterior painting is quite different from interior, so let’s take a look at what this entails!

Why is this important? 

Exterior painting keeps your home looking fresh and vibrant, and protects against weather and degradation, while prolonging the life of its underlying materials. It’s also an excellent opportunity to get up close to detect any damage, wear, or rot you might not otherwise notice—a tactic that can save on costly repairs in the long-term. 


Painting tips

Test your colour palette

Choosing the right colour combination for your home is not always an easy decision. Favourite colours may not translate or combine well in practice. Thankfully, many paint manufacturers offer visualization tools allowing you to test out different colours using a photo of your home. Here are some examples:

Choose the right paint for the job

Since not all exterior paints are created equal, it’s important to select your paint according to its application. For instance, oil-based paints are optimal for doors, trim, faucets, fixtures and wrought iron elements, while acrylic/latex paint is recommended for wood, vinyl or metal siding. Just keep in mind even though oil-based paint can be applied over a water-based paint, the reverse is not the case. Another exterior option is masonry paint, which allows brick to ‘breathe’ better giving it a longer lifetime.  


Buy enough paint

Painting the outside of your home requires a sufficient volume of paint in order to cover the entire surface area—ideally you’re looking at two to three coats of paint to avoid bubbling due to moisture. In addition to the visualization tools, retailers and brands offer volume calculators (like this one at Home Hardware) so you can get an accurate read on how many cans of paint you should plan for. You can also estimate based on a single gallon (3.8L) covering approximately 400ft(122m2).


Paint in ideal weather conditions

It’s best to avoid rainy or humid weather conditions when painting your home’s exterior and the paint experts at Benjamin Moore recommend you do not paint in temperatures below 4.4ºC. It’s also advisable to avoid high temperatures and direct sunlight, as these conditions cause the paint to dry too quickly. Your chosen paint brand will also have specific weather-related information on its label.


Watch out for lead


If your home was built before 1978, there’s a chance lead-based exterior paint was used. You can use an instant lead test, available from your local hardware or paint store, and if detected, special precautions are necessary to protect from lead dust during painting prep.


Consider hiring a pro

It’s a good idea to evaluate whether this is a project you can manage. It’s a time-consuming undertaking involving safety risks, precision, and a keen eye for details. If you decide to hire a professional, be sure to get multiple quotes from different pros, check their references and previous work and be mindful of how much and when you make payments, as recommended by Consumer Reports.

Gear up

If you plan on flexing your DIY muscles for this project, then you’ll need to obtain the following tools and materials:

  • A ladder (extension or multi-use are best)
  • Pressure washer
  • Masking tape (also called painter’s tape)
  • Drop cloths
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint sprayer
  • Paint roller (if you decide not to use a sprayer)
  • Paint pail with roller grid
  • Paint scraper
  • Plastic sheeting to cover windows, fixtures, and trim
  • Paint thinner if you’re using oil-based paints
  • Paint primer
  • Paint (of course!)
  • Caulk gun with exterior caulking
  • Epoxy filler for gaps and gouges
  • Medium grain sanding block
  • Mortar (for brick homes)
  • Steel bristle brush if you’re repainting wrought iron

The process

  1. Pressure wash your home’s exterior.
  2. Repair surface damage—use epoxy to fill gaps and replace any rotted materials.
  3. Re-mortar where needed between bricks (if applicable).
  4. Remove loose paint and old caulking.
  5. Apply fresh caulking to your trim.
  6. Apply primer to stains—this ensures your new paint will adhere to these spots.
  7. Use the tape and plastic sheeting to protect your doors, windows, trim, and fixtures.
  8. Use drop cloths to cover up any bushes, gardens or other objects below where you will paint.
  9. Use your sprayer to paint the exterior.
  10. Apply a second and, if necessary, a third coat of paint after each application has dried.
  11. Remove the coverings from your doors, windows, trim and fixtures and apply masking tape around them.
  12. Paint the trim, fixtures, doors or windows as desired.
  13. Bask in the results of your hard work—you did an amazing job!

There’s no arguing the size and complexity of this type of project, nor its long-term benefits. Any project that keeps your home looking gorgeous while prolonging its life is always worth the effort. If you’re ready for more curb appeal-boosting projects, check out these outdoor lighting ideas, or add some striking autumn colours to your gardens.


Source: Realtor.ca/Blog

https://www.realtor.ca/blog/postpage/14698/1363/your-guide-to-exterior-home-painting

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Cooler temperatures and pretty soon falling leaves serve as a reminder that the fall season is fast approaching. As the seasons change, so do our activities and home needs. Even though summer is not quite over yet, it’s a good time to do some seasonal maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. The weather can change quickly, especially if you live in a colder climate and you don’t want to be caught unprepared. A bit of attention now will save costly repairs and aggravation later.


Interior Maintenance

  1. Check for drafts. Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. A good tip is to use a lighted candle and if the flame flickers, there’s most likely a draft. If necessary, replace seals and repair caulking around window and door frames. Consider buying heavier or insulated drapery for especially drafty windows.
  2. Have your furnace inspected. Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. They can also do a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety. It’s also a good idea to stock up on extra air filters and change them every few months.
  3. Winterize air conditioning. If your home has central air conditioning, (and you live in a climate where you won’t need it any longer,) it may be necessary to cover your outdoor unit for winter. If you use window air conditioning units, remove them or cover to prevent air leaks.
  4. Programmable thermostat. Buy a programmable thermostat, if you don’t have one. If you already have one, check the temperature settings. Setting your thermostat to lower the temperature automatically at night and when you’re not home, can result in substantial cost savings.
  5. Test home safety devices. Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices and test to make sure they’re working properly.
  6. Clean humidifiers. Replace old filters and clean inside compartment. Vinegar is inexpensive and works well.

Exterior Maintenance

  1. Do a roof check. You should be able to do at least a visual inspection of the roof from the ground. Grab some binoculars to get a closer look or if you’re able and can do so safely, climb on up for a better view. Look for missing, damaged, or loose shingles. If your roof is flat, you may need to remove leaves and debris.
  2. Check the chimney and fireplace. If you have a wood fireplace and use it often, have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional.
  3. Stock up on firewood. Order enough firewood for the season. If you gather your own firewood, make sure it’s dry and ready. It’s best to cover firewood and store away from the house for safety reasons.
  4. Inspect siding. Check home exterior for cracks or holes. Repair them yourself or hire a professional.
  5. Clean the gutters. Hire a service to clear your gutters or do it yourself. Remove leaves, nests, and debris from gutters and check for leaks.
  6. Check water drainage. Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. Add extensions to downspouts if necessary.
  7. Reinforce windows and doors. Remove screens and install storm windows and doors if you use them. Check caulk and seals around all doors and windows.
  8. Turn off faucets and store hoses. Drain garden hoses and disconnect from the outside spigots. Shut off exterior faucets, and if you have an older home, you may need to turn off the valve inside your home. Store hoses in a dry place so any residual water won’t freeze.
  9. Service sprinklers and irrigation system. Depending on your climate, your irrigation system may need to be drained and checked. Have a professional perform any necessary repairs and mark sprinkler heads near snow removal areas.
  10. Inspect trees. Check for damaged limbs that may break or that are too close to power lines or the roof.
  11. Trim landscaping. Cut back bushes, shrubs, and flowers as recommended for your climate zone.
  12. Bring in flowerpots. If you keep plants or flower in pots year-round, bring them inside. If you replace plants every year, empty, clean, dry pots and put away for next spring.
  13. Plant bulbs. If you plant bulbs for spring, now’s the time to get them in the ground.
  14. Leaf removal. Rake and remove leaves from the yard. Put into a compost pile if you have one. Alternatively, put into yard garbage bags and leave at the curb for community pick up. Check with your local city or town for requirements and pick up schedules.
  15. Fertilize lawn. Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. Ask a local garden center or check online to find out which type of fertilizer you need and when to apply it. If you have a lawn service, they should do this for you.
  16. Put away seasonal furniture. Clean and store seasonal outdoor furniture. Remove and clean cushions. Wash and dry furniture and store in a dry place over winter.
  17. Close the pool. If you have a pool and live in an area where temperatures dip, schedule a service to come and close it for the season or if you know how, buy the supplies and do it yourself.
  18. Organize the shed. As your shed is filling up with summer items in storage it’s a good time to organize and clean out the shed. Move summer items to the back and winter stuff up front for better access. Also, remove any liquids that will freeze.

In the Garage

  1. Service summer power equipment. Empty fuel and clean lawnmower and trimmer. Have lawnmower blades sharpened and oil changed. Have any necessary repairs done now, so that you’re ready come spring.
  2. Store summer vehicles. If you have a motorcycle, summer car, ATV or other type seasonal vehicle, now’s a good time to have that serviced as well.
  3. Get winter equipment ready. Service snow blower and make sure it is ready to go, especially if you live in an unpredictable climate.
  4. Test the generator. If you have an emergency generator for power outages, give it a test, and make sure it’s in good working order.
  5. Buy extra gasoline. Purchase extra gas to have on hand for use in your snow blower or generator, so you’re prepared for emergencies. Make sure you store gasoline in tanks away from fire sources and out of children’s reaches.
  6. Clean the garage. Since you’re in the garage prepping for fall, you might as well purge, organize and clean it while you’re there!

As you’re enjoying the last bits of summer, make sure that your home is prepared for the coming fall season. Preventative maintenance now will save money on expensive emergency repairs and wasted energy costs. Properly maintaining your home also enhances its value and appeal and is less effort than managing a crisis later. When the chilly weather approaches you and your home will be ready.


Source:  LifeHack

 https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/30-smart-tips-to-get-your-home-ready-for-fall.html

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