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Kitchen Remodel

5 Easy Home Security Mistakes to Avoid

If you or a loved one has ever experienced a home burglary, you know that it is an incredibly emotional experience. Nothing makes you feel more vulnerable than an intruder in the place where you are supposed to feel the safest and most secure. While you might be emotionally safe and secure in your home, if you haven’t kept up with maintenance and security tasks, you might actually be beckoning to burglars. The following six easy mistakes can be just as easily corrected and can help keep your house the safe place it is supposed to be.
1. Windows are an easy way for burglars to slip inside. Never leave a window fully open. Rather, open a window only partly to allow in a breeze but keep out a body. Open windows at night are a definite signal for trouble. If you are not awake and available to monitor the window and enjoy the view, don’t leave it open. After dark, close and lock all windows to ensure no one comes in that you didn’t invite.
2. While you are checking out those windows, pay attention to how they look. Are the sills wooden and in disrepair? Is paint peeling and cracking? Are the sills rotting off? Each of these scenarios ultimately indicates that the window’s integrity has been compromised, and a break-in would be much easier. Keep your windows painted and the wood in good condition. This leaves would-be prowlers to assume that the locking mechanisms are in good shape, too.
3. Keep shrubbery around the house short to maximize visibility. Bushes that hide entrances or windows invite burglars. Keeping these areas well groomed reduces the risk of break in and allows you to better tell when someone has been in those areas. Check out your doors and windows from different angles to ensure that there is 180 degrees of clear visibility for each window.
4. Use window coverings – such as blinds or heavy curtains – to protect your home’s valuables from view. This might seem elementary, but a drive down your street should show you just how many people blindly allow any passerby to see just what they have for the taking. Don’t tempt burglars with expensive electronics. Keep windows covered – especially after dark!
5. Don’t be so quiet! An empty house sounds like an empty house – quiet. Keep a radio or television on downstairs to create the effect of someone home. Motion sensing lights also add to this effect, suggesting that a person has been seen if they set off the light. The best prescription for home safety is often a dog. A barking dog, even a small one, still suggests the threat a burglar will be bitten if he or she attempts to enter without your permission. Additionally, barking dogs alert owners when they here people approach the house.
These elementary mistakes take just a moment to correct, but can have life-altering effects if ignored. These tips collectively point out the important of good home maintenance in the fight for home security.…

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Home Remodeling

Five Mistakes to Avoid in Kitchen Countertop Replacement

The impulse to start a renovation job in your house is often uncontrollable. One day, you’re content with things as they are; the next, you can’t stand the looks of something and you start planning the replacement job. It’s only natural to want the best for your home, but with kitchen countertop replacement, you will want to move slowly and make sure you have the right plan in place before you move forward. Here are the five mistakes to avoid in the process.
1. Moving too quickly. We humans have a tendency to lie back and then pounce upon a project with a full tank of gas. Instead of rushing into a kitchen counter replacement project, you would be far better served by spending 2 or 3 weeks in study alone, so you know enough about the different options. As you’ll quickly learn, there is far more to a countertop than a pretty surface and exotic texture.
2. Choosing a surface which cannot endure the rigors you require of it. One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is overestimating the durability of a countertop surface. Even the most exquisite materials are vulnerable to scratching and heat damage, so get a clear idea of what you can and can’t do on top of the surface you choose. In some cases, regular refinishing and sealing will be part of the maintenance necessary to maintain beautiful counters.
3. Miscalculating your budget. No matter what type of project you are getting into around the house, it is all too typical to underestimate the kind of funds you’ll need to complete the job. Be more of a careful, pessimistic accountant than an overly hopeful one. Even after you are finished and think you can call it a day, there may be added costs due to cleanup or finishing the countertop surface you have installed.
4. Outclassing the rest of the room. Thinking big with your kitchen countertops is a great idea, but you don’t want to outclass the rest of the room in the process. Try to take at most a small step up in quality with your choice in counters. On the other hand, if you want to point out a new direction for your kitchen, you can certainly start here and let the rest of the room get up to speed with subsequent projects. This move is inadvisable unless you are totally committed.
5. Falling in love with simplicity. If your budget is limited and you are thinking about the least expensive option in countertops, you could end up going with the simplest synthetic materials. Nonetheless, you could be much happier with tiles – and not spend much more in the exchange. The simplest isn’t always the least expensive, or the ideal solution for your home, no matter what type of budget restraints you are facing.…