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3 Features That Make Luxury Apartments Worth the Money

With open space at a premium in most American cities, apartment units are becoming more popular among homebuyers. While you might think that an apartment cannot be customized, many luxury apartments come equipped with the same amenities as their larger, mansion-like counterparts.

Here are three features that make luxury apartments worth the hefty price tags they command in today’s real estate market.

1. Secure Entry

Sharing your living space with many other residents can be dangerous at times. Authorities estimate that nearly 66% of the 2 million burglaries that take place each year are residential. When you invest in the purchase of a luxury apartment, you are purchasing added security against these break-ins.

Most luxury apartment buildings come equipped with a doorman, who is responsible for ensuring that only residents and their approved guests are allowed entry to the building. Having the additional security a doorman provides can help you feel more at home in a luxury apartment.

2. Convenient Access to Appliances

Living in a traditional apartment means that space is limited, and most builders opt to leave out large appliances in order to free up room. When you choose to purchase a luxury apartment, you don’t have to compromise convenience for space.

For many luxury apartment dwellers (like those living in Manhattan), having an in-unit washer and dryer is a status symbol. Moving into a luxury apartment complex will save you time and money each week by eliminating those pesky trips to the laundromat.

3. Updated Kitchen

If you enjoy cooking for friends and family, then the quality of the kitchen in a luxury apartment will be a significant selling point. Traditional apartments have functional kitchens, but tend to leave a lot to be desired. Appliances are very basic, and many don’t include a dishwasher due to the lack of available space.

Investing in a luxury apartment is the best way to ensure that you will have the kitchen you have always dreamed of. Upgraded design elements like granite countertops, travertine tile floors, and stainless steel appliances are generally featured in luxury apartment kitchens. These upgrades make it easier for you to entertain with ease in your luxury apartment.

Making the decision to invest in real estate can be stressful, especially in cities where apartments fill the market. If you aren’t willing to compromise space or quality, but living in an apartment setting is the right option for you, invest in a luxury apartment.

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Allow Yourself To Hire A Maid Cleaning Service

You’d love to hire a cleaning service to tackle chores in your house every two to four weeks, but you hesitate even though you can afford it. There are definitive advantages to having a professional maid service, so consider your reasons for hesitating as well as excellent reasons for taking this step.

Why Hiring Maid Service Makes People Feel Uncomfortable

Maybe you can relate to one or more of the reasons why people shy away from hiring a professional cleaning service — even if they really want to and can afford it. Do any of these judgmental thoughts sound familiar? 

  • Cleaning a house isn’t difficult; most people do it themselves.
  • People who hire maid service are lazy.
  • It’s not part of a frugal living plan.

Now, debunk those thoughts.

  • Cleaning a house may not be extraordinarily difficult, but it’s certainly time-consuming.
  • People who hire maid service commonly are very busy doing other productive tasks.
  • If you can fit the service into your budget without a problem, it counts as frugal living.

Good Reasons to Hire a Cleaning Service

More Leisure Time

Hiring a cleaning service provides extra hours in the week. You may long for some quality time with your partner or your kids. You may want to focus on a creative or an educational pursuit but never find the hours to do so. Now you have the opportunity.

The Chance to Earn Money

Another possibility involves earning some extra money during the time you’d normally spend cleaning the house. This makes sense if you would make more money per hour than you spend on the cleaning service, or if the extra time spent on work helps further your career or makes your business more successful.

A Cleaner House

If you truly dislike housecleaning, you may continually put it off or not do it very thoroughly. And you probably don’t do as thorough a job as a professional cleaner would.

People who hire maid service are generally surprised and pleased with how effective these individuals are. They complete tasks that rarely get done, such as cleaning light fixtures and tops of ceiling fans, washing bits of accumulated dirt out of floor corners and wiping off light switches. 

Less Bickering

You may be arguing with your partner about who should be doing which cleaning tasks and who is slacking off from household responsibilities. Hiring a cleaning service ends these arguments. 

Concluding Thoughts

Sometimes, spending the extra money for a service that makes you happier is well worth the cash. As long as it won’t cause you any financial trouble, begin checking out maid cleaning services like Quality Discount Maid Service and look forward to spending your time on other things. 

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How To Repair Wood Fencing Without Spending A Fortune

Wooden fencing can add privacy and curb appeal to your home, but like any other part of a house, it’s important that it’s properly maintained to help keep the fencing in good shape over the years. If you’ve noticed that the condition of the fencing is deteriorating, it’s a good idea to look into what kinds of repairs and restoration work you can make without bringing in professionals. This will help save you money and teach you how to keep the fence looking great over the years.

Start with Power Washing

The first thing to do when tackling a fencing restoration project is power washing. Not only will this help you take care of any grime that has stuck to the wood, it will also help to restore the original coloring of the fence. For the power washer itself, you have the options of renting or buying it based on how often you intend on using it.

Replace Individual Slats

If individual slats of your wooden fencing are damaged, it’s generally best to replace them instead of replacing the entire fence. Removing the individual slats is as easy as removing the nails, pulling out the slat carefully, and replacing it with a fence of the same type of wood and measurements.

Make Weak Posts a Priority

Testing the sturdiness of the fence is as simple as approaching it and giving it a good shake. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine how sturdy each wooden post is. Replacing the post is hard work and may require assistance from a friend or professionals, but it can help to keep your fence standing for years to come.

Take Care of Any Splintered Wood

Any splintered wood should be addressed before you or someone else becomes injured handling it. Sanding down the wood with rough sandpaper can help take care of the damaged wood and ensure that the fencing looks and feels good.

Finish Off with Staining

After all the restoration work has been done, you’ll want to finish up with wood staining. Using stain can be done on your own and will help to make a big difference in the appearance of the fence, even giving you the opportunity to choose a different color for a new look.

Putting in new fencing should be your last option when you’re dealing with wood fencing that’s seen better days. With some special care, you’ll be able to restore the look and condition of your wood fencing without the need for any expensive projects. For more information, contact a business such as Landmark Fence & Deck.

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3 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Energy Costs

Saving money is something that never goes out of style. For the average homeowner, finding ways to trim down expenses is something they strive to do regularly. If you are like most, you may be looking for ways to cut back without compromising on your comfort. Below are 3 easy ways you can reduce your energy costs without suffering through sweltering hot days or chilly nights. By implementing one or more of these options, you will start to see your energy costs going down in no time at all!

Patio Cover

Backyard patios are a wonderful gathering place. If you have a backyard patio that you are particularly fond of, you may be hesitant to build a porch that blocks your view. Luckily, there is an alternative to a permanent porch: an adjustable patio cover. Adjustable patios offer the best of both worlds. They can be extended during when the sun may be pouring in through your back windows, heating up your whole house, or rolled in when you need to use your patio for entertaining or star gazing.

Weather-stripping

If weather-stripping isn’t a term you are familiar with, you are going to be glad you are now hearing about it. Weather-stripping is a thin tape made out of rubber, nylon or sponge. It should be applied around the exterior door and window frames of your home. Weather-stripping seals the tiny gap that can sometimes occur between a window or door and its frame. When these tiny gaps are filled, your cool air stays in and the hot air stays out!

Peak Times

Most energy companies have peak operating times, meaning certain times of the day cost more than others to run electricity. There are some things you can’t live without and must run during peak energy hours like your lights or computer. However, there are a few things you can work around those pesky peak operating hours, like:

  • Washer & dryer – these appliances use copious amounts of energy. If you can, operate them on weekends or off-peak hours to avoid bumping up your energy bill.
  • Heating & cooling system – no, you don’t have to turn off your heating and cooling system during peak hours. In some climates, that can be very dangerous. If you can, slightly adjust the temperature in your home one or two degrees up or down, depending on the time of year, and watch your bill drop. With minor changes to the temperature, you are unlikely to notice the difference inside your home, but you will notice the difference on your bill.
  • Water heater – if you have an electric water heater, try to avoid using water in large amounts. By keeping your water heater from cycling on and off, you will keep it from running up your electricity usage.

Saving on your electrical bill doesn’t have to be painful or difficult. By investing in an adjustable back patio, you will keep the sun from warming up your home without interrupting the backyard setting. By adding weather-stripping to fill in any gaps that may be letting air into or out of your home and adjusting appliance usage during peak hours, you will save yourself big in the long run. After you implement these strategies, your bank account will thank you! (For more information, go to http://www.apolloopeningroof.com)

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Spring Cleaning Time! 3 Tips To Get Your Kitchen Sparkling

Now that spring is almost here, many people do spring cleaning to wake their house up from the cold winter months. This can take time and learning a few tips and tricks can make things go a little faster for you. The tips below will help you get your kitchen clean:

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

One trick to getting your kitchen clean is to use a handheld vacuum cleaner. These vacuum cleaners work great to get into places a larger vacuum cannot get to. For example, before you mop the kitchen floor, use the handheld vacuum cleaner to run around the edges to remove any dust and dirt hiding there. You can also run the vacuum cleaner up and down the walls to remove dust that you may not even see is there.

Pull back appliances that you can, and run the vacuum cleaner behind them. If you do not have one of these vacuum cleaners, or have one and it needs repaired, contact a vacuum cleaner retailer to purchase or have yours repaired.

Gas Burners

Gas burners can get built up dirt on them from overflowing pots, grease, and more. One easy way to clean them is to fill a sealable plastic bag half full with ammonia, and put the burners in the bag. You may need to use more than one. Let the bag sit for 24 hours and take the burners out. You will be amazed at how clean they are.

Kitchen Laminate Floor

For laminate floor cleaning, you can make your own cleaner to save money. Purchase a spray bottle if you do not already have one. If you do have one, rinse it out well with some hot water if you already have a type of cleaner in it.

Mix together one cup of water, one cup of distilled white vinegar, and one cup of regular rubbing alcohol. When all of this is mixed, add three drops of your favorite liquid dish washing detergent. Mix well and pour the solution into the spray bottle.

Spray the cleaner on the floor, let it sit for about 10 minutes or so, and then wipe it with a microfiber towel or mop. Work in sections at a time to make the job easier.

These three tips can give you a good start in your kitchen. Once you do this, you can start cleaning your other things, such as cabinets, appliances, etc. To learn more, contact a company like Vacuum of Jacksonville with any questions or concerns.

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Convert Your Wood Fireplace To Gas For More Convenience

If you’re tired of dealing with the soot, ash and mess of a wood fireplace, consider changing it to one of the easier gas options. You’ll have instant access to a roaring fire that looks realistic with the same warmth as wood. Stop hauling wood into your house with one of the following fireplace conversion options.

Gas Supply Options

First, decide how you want to get the gas to your fireplace. If you already have a natural gas line running to your home, call in a gas or electrical contractor to extend the line to your fireplace. If there is no gas line in your home, you can use liquid propane gas. This works by running a line from the fireplace to a tank of LP gas outside of your home.

Fireplace Options

You have a choice from three conversions options. They differ in the appearance of the fire and the quality of heat you get from the fire.

Vented Gas Logs – This uses realistic-looking gas logs, from retailers like Hearth and Patio, which sit in your existing fireplace. The logs are made of heat-proof ceramic and come in various sizes. The more realistic the logs look, the higher the price. Hidden gas jets in the logs connect to your gas line. You start the fire by turning on the gas and touching a lighted match to the jets. Some high-end models use an electric starter so you can have a fire at the touch of a switch. The fire flickers across the gas logs and looks like a real wood fire, but the heat produced by the gas is less than with wood.

Vent-Less Gas Fireplace – This is a unit that is placed within your fireplace. The flue does not need to be open because the fumes created by this gas fire are very low. This means more of the heat makes it into your home than with gas logs. While giving you more heat, these units don’t look as realistic as gas logs. You can also only run these for short periods because of the fumes that do make it into your house.

Gas Fireplace Insert – This is also a unit that slips into your existing fireplace. Unlike the vent-less models, it does use your flue to remove fumes produced by the gas fire. This is considered a closed system with air being pulled in to fuel the fire and exhaust fumes pushed out of the flue. Glass doors in front of the unit seal it so you don’t get the look of a real fire. But you get more heat than the other styles, with a few models using blowers to force the heat out into the house. With these inserts, you can leave them running for long periods.

If you’re tired of dealing with your wood-burning fireplace, don’t give up on having a fire. Consider one of these maintenance-free gas options and continue using the fireplace to keep your home warm on those cool nights.

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Six Creative Ways To Decorate Your Wall

Do you have some blank spaces on your walls? Are you getting tired of pictures in picture frames? You’re not alone! Homes have many walls and too many frames can get boring quickly. Here are six fun, fresh ideas for things you can hang on your walls.

1. Shadow boxes. These boxes come in lots of shapes and sizes and they can hold all kinds of momentos. Some have cardboard backs so you can pin postcards or concert tickets in there. Others have shelves so you can set small objects like sea shells, bells, tiny plants, and souvenirs in them. There are even some that have chalkboard paint so you can write quotes or funny sayings on them. They are so easy to personalize!

2. Shelves. This is another great way to decorate large spaces. You can hang shelves of varying lengths along the wall, some on top of others. You can also intersperse artwork or pictures among the shelves. On the shelves you can put:

  • Vases
  • Plants
  • Pictures in Small Frames
  • Souvenirs
  • Candles
  • Books (Standing or Laying Down)
  • Glasswork 
  • Driftwood, Bottles of Sand, and Seashells for a Beach Look

3. Metal murals. These are amazing! You can print any picture you want on metal sheets and hang them on your wall. You can create huge murals in any size and shape. If you use a high quality print the picture quality is astounding. Try printing a picture of a forest or a beach on the mural and it will almost look like a huge window. 

4. Artwork. If you can’t afford originals, purchase some cheaper prints from big box stores. If you are bored you can also try and create your own. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated to look beautiful! If you are close to any children, have them paint you some pictures and hang those up. It will add a touch of youth and innocence to your home. 

5. Pieces of nature. You can place pressed flowers or leaves in picture frames, create a mural with sticks (or place them in a vase), put fresh flowers in small glasses on your shelves, etc. 

6. Magnet boards. These also come in lots of shapes, sizes and colors. Collect some awesome magnets (or try making some out of old coins) and put up whatever strikes your fancy! Photos, quotes, artwork, postcards, dried plants. The great thing about these boards is you can change out whatever is on them easily. You can also place odd-sized objects on them, things that would be difficult or expensive to frame. 

As you think outside the box (or the frame), you will be able to add decorative wall plaques to create the home of your dreams. Good luck! 

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