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The possibilities of making the kinds of connections you want are very realistic, and many long lasting relationships and marriages have begun via online dating services, not to mention casual relationships as well if that is what you prefer. The possibilities are all right there and waiting for you, but there are a few key rules you need to know and follow in order to find your perfect date online. Download to learn The Golden Rules of Online Dating – 6 essential rules to finding the perfect online date!

All posts by Audrey Taylor

How to Revamp the Exterior of Your Home

Your home is probably one of your most treasured possessions. However, if you (or the previous owner) didn’t keep a good care of it, you may notice that it is starting to look a bit battered and worn out. In that case, your home may be in need of a makeover.

A makeover is a great idea for many reasons. First of all, the exterior is the first thing that people see about your house. Essentially, the exterior is the first impression your house makes. Next, with a makeover, you can address certain issues that you’ve been struggling with. It can be anything, form a leak in the roof, to a broken window. A revamp is a great way to deal with all the problems related to the exterior, without making your home look patchy. Finally, a good renovation can boost your home’s value on the market, which can be very useful if you decide to sell it one day.

So, what can you do to give your house new sparkle? Here are some suggestions to consider.

1. Do some landscaping

Landscaping is a vital part of the overall appearance of your house. Even the most beautiful of buildings diminishes if it is surrounded by an unkempt garden. That is precisely why taking care of your front and backyard is so important. A beautiful landscape can improve the appearance of a house even if it is a bit on the shabby side. Be practical. If you don’t like gardening, don’t plant high-maintenance flowers. Go with trees and shrubs, as they will provide structure, and find some low-maintenance plants for your flower beds. Make sure everything is nice and neat, and take good care of your lawn. Sure, it takes some effort, but it’s worth it in the long run.

 

2. Replace the windows

If you have really old, high-quality wood windows, do not replace them. It’s really difficult to find well-made wooden frame windows today, so it would be great if you could keep them. Find a person who does window restoration, and keep those vintage beauties. If you have regular windows, then it may be a time to replace them. The newer window frames are not as secure as the old ones, and they don’t really work well for a long time. That basically means that you should check them fairly often, and you should replace probably every 20 years or so. Bad windows will cause energy losses, which cost money, so make sure your windows work fine – if not, get rid of them.

3. Update the front door

As long as you’re replacing the windows, it might be a good idea to take a long hard look and the front door as well. Doors can also waste energy, so if they don’t fit with their frame as well as they used to, you should replace them. The front door is also important because of the security of your home. Make sure you have a good peephole, and that the door is well-lit. Of course, match the door with the windows.

 

4. Change the roof

If there is any rotting under the roof, any leakage or anything else, you need to pay attention to it. Inspect closely all the issues, and consult a professional if you have any doubts. Chances are that you might be forced to replace the roof, especially if the house is older. If you decide to do so, do your homework first. Find out about the materials and the prices, and think outside the box – white roofs help conserve energy during summer, because the house will heat less, for example. That fact also makes them better for the environment. But even if you decide to go with some other option, your home will be better insulated and protected, so it pays off in the long run.

5. Freshen up on the color

Of course, one of the most obvious things when it comes to revamping your house is the color of the exterior. Unfortunately, sometimes it may not be as simple as that. If the façade has deteriorated too much, which often happens in Australia, you may need to do the rendering all over again. Luckily, there are many businesses that provide house cement rendering, so you can relax and think about the color. Now, the color’s a tricky business. First, make sure that the color you choose goes well with the rest of the neighborhood. If all the neighbors paint their homes in shades of white and cream, don’t let your home stand out too much. If the neighborhood is colorful, paint your house accordingly. Don’t go too crazy with it. You may want to sell your house sometime in the future, and in that case, you’ll need the color to be acceptable to most of the people who come to see it. Going with a neutral shade is the safest choice in that regard.

 

6. Give your home fabulous curb appeal

Make sure your house looks breathtaking from the street. Build a beautiful porch, and put pots of flowers around to complement your gorgeous landscape. Put some nice chairs and a coffee table, for the first coffee in the morning. Build a brick pathway that leads to it, and surround it with bushes and flowerbeds. Add fairy-tale lighting around, for a more romantic feel in the evenings. Paint your fence, if you have one, to give it a new glow. Simply put, make sure that the curb appeal doesn’t leave much to be desired.

7. Add a patio

Patios are great for many reasons. They can provide you with a place to relax and read while drinking a cup of tea, or they can be a space where you entertain your guests. Make a fire pit, so you and your family can roast marshmallows, or build a grill for all those instances when it’s too hot to cook inside. Find some beautiful garden furniture and make your own personal little piece of heaven, right behind your home. Not only will be a wonderful addition to your home, but it will also increase its value in case you ever decide to sell it.

 

Giving your home a makeover is not only useful but also a lot of fun. Consider some of these ideas, and give your house a whole new look!

8 Most Common Leak Locations

When you notice a minor water drop there is always the fear that something far worse has happened. Water leaks are any homeowners worst nightmare, since they can occur almost without you noticing it at all at first, and later they make a much bigger damage to your house. Unfortunately, big or small, water leaks can arise anywhere. From your basement or bathroom to the roof, they can be utterly destructive but also quite preventable as well. Get an insight into the most common leak location, what kind of damage can they cause on your house and even how to solve that issue and protect your home.

 

 

 

  • 1. Chimney and flashings

 

Different weather conditions will produce leaks in various location. The tedious rain is usually the main cause of leak damage, and chimneys are the most common source. Firstly, your chimney must have perfectly sealed flashing in order to prevent the water coming in. Unless those flashings are not secured, you will have a major leak in your home. Additionally, the chimney’s brick mortar joints must be tightly sealed so that water can’t flow in. So, to mend this problem you have to check all the flashings for an even hair-lined crack and fix it appropriately. Professionals will use roof cement or completely repair and replace existing flashing instead of using any type of sealant.

 

 

 

  • 2. Leaking pipes

 

When pipes leak they can cause endless problems to you and your house. There can be multiple cause of leaking pipes. Most common one are corrosion, high water pressure, foundation shifts, and even temperature changes. To prevent pipes from leaking, in the first place you have to monitor any changes, and if you see a stained wall not to ignore it. Leaky pipes can damage your house in so many ways: you can have poor water quality, warped and stained walls, black mold, and above all flood. Address this issue by immediately calling a plumber or any other professional help who would fix the drainage and stop the leaking.

 

 

  • 3. Roof Top leaking

 

Each country experiences the similar problem when it comes to roof leaking. It can only depend on the type of roof that you have. For instance, homeowners in Australia tend to have rooftops with multiple step flashings, while British opt for houses with roof dormers. Rain and water can easily penetrate around those areas and cause severe damage. Specialists in Remedial waterproofing from Sydney resolve this type of leaking by professionally applying waterproof sheet membranes, liquid and cement based applications adaptable for any rooftops. By adding two or three layer torch waterproofing system you would have a more durable and sustainable rooftop which will secure your roof with higher performance and temperature tolerance.

 

 

 

  • 4. Bathroom leaking

 

Certainly one of the most annoying leaking problem that any homeowner can experience is in the bathroom. The most frequent leak is caused by a tub or shower. The faulty seal tends to be the main reason for the leakage. Usually, we don’t detect the leak immediately because a bathroom is bound to get wet, however you can easily spot the mold growth around the tiles or on the floor. Similar can happen with the toilet if it leaks around the seal. Toilets that leak internally just make the water drain right into the sewer, so there is not much repair there except a big water bill. On the other hand, for the other bathroom leakages, you should contact the plumber to fix everything in time.

 

 

 

  • 5. Wind-driven rain leaks

 

Windblown rain leaks can come in from above the roof, around the windows, between the corner boards and sidings. If you don’t have an alarm system to protect your house somebody can enter your through windows without a problem due to corrosion. Water can also enter through small crack and knotholes in sidings so you should patch that as soon as possible. You should replace any cracked, rotted or missing siding, just make sure that new piece overlaps the step flashing. Also, you can completely replace the window particularly if the damage is severe.

 

 

  • 6. Leaking hoses

 

The washing machine and the dishwasher’s leakage is the hardest to detect. Hoses are usually placed behind and in that way that is hard to see and reach. That is why if your washing machine hoses burst or leak you won’t notice it until it is too late. The water in those hoses is always running so when a leak occurs it would be chaos. At once you have to plug the machine out and start collecting water in order to avoid it flooding the entire house. If your machines have a warranty, then you can easily replace the damaged hose. If not, then you should consult with the plumber and get a suitable new hose or just buy a new appliance.

 

 

 

  • 7. Ice dam leaks

 

For those who live in the snow belt, this is an ongoing issue, but it can affect everybody else in the winter. Ice dam leaks can cause the worst case scenario because they can happen even if everything is perfectly okay with your house. What happens is that ice dam blocks the natural flow of water down the roof. Consequently, water begins to block and back up under flashings and shingles. To make matters worse, the water can be dripping into your house for days before noticing it. Clean the snow from the water drains in the first place, next install membranes under the roofing. That wouldn’t help much with the snow and ice, but it would effectively stop the leaks.

 

 

 

 

  • 8. Basement Leaks

 

 

If you notice uneven floor surface, mold or fungi formation, musty smells, staining or discoloration of materials, and rotting carpets, then you have leakage from the basement. There are numerous pipes that go under your house, some are connected to sewage, many others for miscellaneous pipes. This type of problem can be fixed only with a detailed inspection from the professionals. If it had been leaking for a long period than perhaps they would have to dig under your house or even on the streets to find and resolve the issue. Whatever happens, make sure that you have the right phone numbers always at your side.

 

 

Keeping the house neat and safe is not an easy task, and it requires our full attention. Many problems can be fixed if you detect them on time.

 

 

How to make your divorce as painless as possible

In a perfect world, every “I do” would be for life, and everybody would live happily ever after. However, because life, unfortunately, isn’t a fairy tale, divorces do happen, and they bring a series of question with them. What do I do now? Do I get an attorney? What happens with the house? Who gets the dog? What do I tell the children? In what is possibly the most uncertain period of your life, here are some pieces of advice to help you see it all through.

 

“I used to think that divorce meant failure, but now I see it more as a step along the path of self-realization and growth.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor

 

1. Gather your wits

Even though this is an emotionally trying stage for you, you have to be able to think clearly. There are a time and place for everything, so while it is perfectly reasonable and even beneficial to express your emotions and lament your losses, you need to make a point of not letting your feelings cloud your judgment.

Think about divorce as any other kind of business – your marriage is essentially a contract that you want to terminate. You need to be objective about it and find the best way to do it. To be able to go through the process in the easiest way possible, you need to educate yourself on the laws and regulations regarding marriage and divorce in your jurisdiction. Use all resources at your disposal to gain as much insight as you can – the internet is overflowing with useful info, and you can always ask for help in any law clinic, free of charge.

2. Plan

You can deal with the divorce itself in several ways: by settling it with your ex directly, without any lawyers involved; you can go through a mediation process, or you can go to court if all else fails. If you and your ex, are still in an amicable relationship, and you still trust them, the cheapest way is to do it yourself. However, because the law systems are never simple, you and your ex might want to get attorneys even if you’re still in a good place. For example, in Australia, you can’t get divorced unless you’ve been separated for 12 months, but there are family mediation services in Sydney that can explain your options to you if that is too much time for you to wait. Every jurisdiction has its own separate set of rules, and sometimes it can be difficult to navigate them without a professional at your side. In any case, you need to choose the preferred method for yourself, based on your own unique situation.

Of course, there is more than just that. You need to consider the ways to share your property. Start collecting financial evidence of your and your partner’s situation, in case of necessity. Talk to your ex about dividing the household items. Make a list of everything that you mean to keep, and everything that you can live without, to make the negotiation easier. In other words, prepare yourself as well as you can, because a tiring process is before you, and you’ll be thankful for any head start you can get.

 

 

“There’s nothing like a family crisis, especially a divorce, to force a person to re-evaluate his life.” – Michael Douglas 

 

3. Think of the children

If you have any children, the things are only going to be more complicated. It this case especially, it’s crucial to be level-headed and to try and be as civil as possible in all dealings with your former spouse.

The most important thing is not to let the kids be dragged into the dispute between their parents. Their parent’s divorce is already extremely traumatizing for them, so the last thing you want to do is add more stress to their lives by bad mouthing your ex or making them choose between the two of you. Regardless of your feelings, you have to make sure that the children feel as safe as they can possibly be, and you need to show them that you and your partner will love them, no matter what. Always remember, your ex is your ex, but they are a constant in your children’s lives, as much as you are.

4. Learn to rely on other people…

…That are not your ex. The bottom line is that you need to feel secure. If your friends and family are giving you that sense of security and you don’t feel a need for a therapist, that’s great! If that is not the case, however, and you feel that everything is too much for you to handle, don’t be afraid of asking a professional for help. If it’s the emotional baggage, see a therapist. If the law is too complicated, find an attorney. If your attorney is a problem, you feel that they don’t understand you, or you’re getting the feeling that they’re playing you against your ex to prolong the process, fire them immediately and look for a better professional.

5. Reclaim the control of your life

Even though it may seem that somebody has cut the ground from under your feet, try to hold on to the idea that every end marks a new beginning. You are starting the next chapter of your life, and no matter how scary it is, it can also be wonderful. In the process of divorce, try to secure a better head start for yourself and your future. Do not agree to anything that can be harmful to you in the long run.

 

Remember, the divorce only happened because the downsides of your marriage outweighed the upsides. That means that, by terminating your marriage, you’ve rid yourself of a toxic aspect of your life. However hard it might be, try to adopt a positive perspective. Try something new. Do that thing that you’ve always wanted, but never did because you didn’t want to upset your ex. Find the strength in the new beginning and don’t be afraid to change.