Home Improvement

Finding Your Way Around Co-living and Remote Work

A lot of people say that moving to a new city alone is one of the best things you should do. You may have been thinking about it for a long time now. But before you pack your bags, there are a few things you should consider. 

One is the fact that living alone actually costs a lot more than living with your parents or sharing an apartment with coworkers. Lack of affordable housing remains to be a top problem in the U.S. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in 2020, the country needed an additional 7.2 million to 12 million additional units of affordable housing. 

Despite this, you might still want to move to a new city for personal reasons. Or maybe you are a remote worker who needs to move from city to city. There might be a solution to the housing problem you will be facing. Give co-living a shot. 

What is co-living? 

You may be wondering what difference co-living has from your previous arrangement with a roommate. It may be difficult to see that co-living is different from traditional cohabiting. However, it is its own entity. 

When you move to major cities, you need to hunt for an apartment. You will share the apartment with a roommate. Money is one of the biggest considerations. You may settle for an apartment that’s not too spacious and pretty but okay to live in.

You may or may not encounter conflicts with your roommate down the road. They may be late on rent or have bad habits that you can’t stand. To avoid rent and expenses issues, you may sign a co-living agreement with your roommate. The agreement should state all the expenses that you need to share and what should happen in the event that one of you is late for payment. 

You don’t need to do all of this if you decide to give co-living a try. Roommate conflicts and settling for not-so-good living conditions are common problems. You could also be a remote worker who doesn’t need a 6-month lease. Co-living aims to solve these.

Co-living companies offer different living arrangements. Usually, what you pay for is a bedroom unit with a bathroom within. The living spaces and working areas are communal. 

What are the advantages of co-living?

Major cities such as San Francisco, London, Lisbon, and New York have embraced the co-living trend. More cities are following suit. You have plenty of choices. 

You may rent from month to month. For as long as you need and like to stay in a co-living space, you may do so. There is no need to commit to a long-time lease most traditional apartments require. 

Most co-living companies offer fully furnished units. You do not have to worry about working in an environment that doesn’t suit your taste or lifestyle. You may bring personal belongings, but that is not necessary. Companies usually provide towels, toilet paper, and soap. 

You sign an individual lease agreement. You share the space with other people, but you pay your own rent. Rent includes cleaning services, maintenance fees, Wi-Fi, and even home essentials. This means you do not have to argue with a roommate about splitting food costs or charges for AC maintenance and house repairs. 

Another pro to co-living is network building. You may find friends among housemates. Some co-living spaces are marketed to a specific group like artists, musicians, and students. 

What are the disadvantages of co-living?

Since co-living is a fairly new trend, it is limited to big cities. You might not like the fast-paced lifestyle in these areas. Still, you can try your luck finding co-living companies in other places of your choice. 

You might not like sharing spaces with other people. The prospect of finding like-minded people is nice. But you may not enjoy sharing the living and working spaces all the time. You can always retreat to your bedroom, but that might not be helpful at all times. 

You can’t control your roommates. Avoiding roommate conflicts may be one of the biggest reasons you should consider co-living. However, this arrangement doesn’t give you the perk of choosing people to live with. 

The biggest thing you should consider here is your preference. It all boils down to what living arrangement you like and don’t like. List down what is negotiable and non-negotiable. Choosing between co-living and traditional apartments depends on your circumstances. 

Consider all the pros and cons of co-living to choose what is best for you. It’s a big decision, so you do not need to rush. 

Home Improvement

What First-time Buyers Do to Win in a Pandemic Housing Market

The pandemic brought about numerous challenges to buyers who want to make their first home purchase. There’s the fear of contracting the virus when applying for a mortgage, talking to sellers, checking the house, and working with mortgage professionals. Many can’t travel due to travel restrictions, making it quite impossible to see the properties for sale in person. Then there go the competitive buyers who are trying to out win first-time investors when making an offer.

Today’s housing market is more competitive than ever. There are more buyers interested in investing in properties than real estate listed being sold in the market. This made buyers rethink their strategies to ensure they get to convince the sellers to choose them as the next owner of their homes.

Many buyers are turning to strategies that are helping them win houses for sale. But then, not all of their practices are reaping great results. Just because they managed to win the seller over already meant they are doing everything right.

If you want to outsmart other buyers when making an offer, know that there are strategies you can consider. Making a fair offer is no longer enough. Here’s what buyers are doing to win during the pandemic

Skip Home Inspections

Many buyers would skip home inspection simply because they are not required to have the house inspected in the first place. They think this is only an added expense since they already did check the house themselves. So, they choose to gamble and not invest in a home inspection.

During the crisis, many buyers are house-hunting without having the chance to see the property in person. Despite only seeing the house on virtual tours, they choose not to push through with a home inspection. This is an attempt to make a quick offer that some sellers are quick to accept.

Get Approved Before Starting the Search

Rarely do buyers these days make a home purchase in cash; even the rich are investing in a house with the help of a mortgage. This is since a mortgage creates a home purchase more affordable.

Since many people are interested in buying houses during the crisis, some are making the right choice by getting a preapproval before house-hunting. They know how important it is to find a reliable lender to approve their mortgage. They are doing this early to assess their budget and have a competitive edge when making an offer.

Make the Biggest Offer

Most homeowners are naturally drawn to buyers who can give the best offer. They prefer people willing to pay for their home at the highest price to get the most out of the sale. But still, some would reconsider a smaller offer if it meets their best interests.

One must be cautious before throwing in more cash to buy a house. It is not practical to buy a property for more than its actual market value. You could be buying your first home, but you should still consider the resale value in the future.

Drop the Contingencies

There are many requirements involved before a sale is completed. These are what you call contingencies. Dropping some contingencies can help make your offer stand out.

For example, there are necessary home maintenance tasks due. Dropping contingencies in the home sale can help make the buyer choose your offer instead. The same goes with agreeing to pay more if the agreed-upon purchase price is less than the property’s actual market resale value.

Work With a Realtor

With the housing marketing being competitive, working with a local realtor can help you realize your home buying goals. This goes beyond finding a house that fits your needs. These days, simply opening your notifications for the latest listing won’t be enough.

Working with realtors helps you find houses for sale that matches your requirements. It does not matter where your ideal location is or how much space you want for your home. They can help simplify your house hunting and make it easier for you to find your ideal home.

Realtors have access to the latest property listings. This is since they receive multiple listing services (MLS) listing many times each day. Being able to choose from the latest houses for sale and be among the firsts to make an offer can increase your chances of winning the war.

Now that buyers are becoming more competitive than ever, it pays to step up your game so you can finally buy your first home during the crisis. Choose your home buying strategies wisely, and you can get the most out of your first pandemic home buying experience.

Home Improvement

7 Loan Options: Which Is Best for a First-time Homebuyer?

Today, you can find numerous programs and loan options to help buy your dream house, making your first purchase easier. Most of them aim to help with closing charges and down payments. Below are seven of the loan options, programs, and national grants for first-time homebuyers. Look for the financing option that helps you buy your dream house without having to pay for a 20% downpayment.


If you’re from the middle class, you can apply for the financing option offered by the US Department of Agriculture. It’s your best bet if you’re planning to buy a house in a USDA-accredited rural area. You can receive up to 100% financing from the government, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck buying a property with livestock or a farm. Make sure that your dream house is in a USDA-accredited rural location.

USDA loans also have their income requirements based on your location, making it the best option for people with low to moderate incomes. Usually, you have to build up a credit profile to qualify for an efficient application process. Or you need to present a few more documents that support your financial background to get approved.

Good Neighbor Next Door

It’s a first-time homebuyer loan program from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that caters to the housing needs of teachers, emergency medical practitioners, firefighters, and law enforcement authorities. Qualified applicants can enjoy a 50% discount on a house listed in the “revitalization areas.” Don’t hesitate to visit the website to look for properties available in your area.

Fannie Mae’s HomePath ReadyBuyer Program

Fannie Mae’s HomePath ReadyBuyer Program is a financing option that helps first-time homebuyers with the closing charges. You can avail of a maximum of 3% for those charges, but you have to complete a homebuying education course if you want to enjoy its benefits.

It’s the best option for buyers inclined to buy foreclosed properties acquired by Fannie Mae or who need assistance with the closing charges. Qualified applicants can get up to 3% assistance in the closing charges. Don’t be afraid to look for accredited properties in the area, but your challenge is that the number of available choices is small.

FHA Section 203(K)

FHA Section 203(K) is a program designed for home remodeling projects. You have the option to include the expenses into your primary FHA loan, making it the best choice for people who lack the budget for major renovation projects. It’ll also help you determine your property’s value after the renovations.

Then, you can apply for the funds needed to pay for the renovation and include it in the primary FHA loan. You should also look for a contractor familiar with this program and its guidelines to ensure you get qualified.

Native American Direct Loan (NADL)

It’s a government loan program for Native Americans, providing them with the best option for building, renovating, or buying homes in accredited areas. It mainly aids Native American veterans and their families. You won’t have to comply with mortgage insurance requirements or pay for a downpayment, lowering the closing charges.

You can also get multiple NADL properties, but you can only find them in particular states, so make sure the house you’re planning to buy meets the requirements.

FHA Loan

It’s a loan program supported by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for people with a tight budget for downpayment and low credit profile. It comes with less strict credit score qualifications and a lower downpayment. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you’ll only have to obtain a credit score of 500 with a 10% downpayment or a 580 credit score with a 3.5% downpayment.

But there’s a disadvantage to applying for this program. You’ll have to pay for mortgage insurance if you don’t have a budget for a 20% downpayment. You might be paying for a more expensive program because FHA loans can charge you annual and upfront premiums. FHA loan will not protect you, unlike homeowner’s insurance.

It’ll only protect the mortgage company if you can’t afford to pay for your loan.

VA Loan

It’s a financing option offered by the US Department of Veterans Affairs that shoulders the downpayment for military personnel. Qualified applicants can include active military personnel, veterans, and their qualified family members. It’s an excellent option because you can avail of its low interest rates, unlike the other programs you can find.

It also doesn’t require a downpayment, but you’ll have to make a one-time payment that you can include in your monthly premiums. In other cases, some members get exempted from paying the funding fee. VA loans will also not require mortgage insurance and a minimum credit profile.

Not all mentioned loan programs are available in your area or applicable in your current situation. You might also encounter particular restrictions, including financial needs, so do your research. It’s also best to contact a mortgage professional to determine if you can qualify for one of these programs.

Home Improvement

Upgrade Your Lifestyle by Saving Energy at Home

October is National Energy Awareness Month, and this is a perfect time to remind everybody how important energy-saving is. Starting from simple daily tasks and working your way up to home upgrades will help your community.

Since it’s National Energy Awareness Month, this is a perfect time for you to try new ways to contribute to the world by doing simple things to save energy. Energy efficiency affects the most critical yet unnoticeable aspects of our lives—the air we breathe, the water we drink, the house, and the neighborhood we live in. 

The more you save energy, the more you help reduce air and water pollution and conserve natural resources. It comes a long way and thousands of people, but it could create a healthier environment for everybody. Moreover, saving energy also saves money and provides jobs.

In our homes, energy efficiency improves comfort and safety. Getting the right upgrades can improve indoor air quality and cleaner surroundings. As you can also save money, this will enable low-income residents to access more comfortable and proper temperatures in their homes.

Here are the energy-saving habits you can practice daily.

1. Minimize the use of machines. 

Dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers require more amount of energy to achieve. With hand washing and air drying, you can clean items just as much. If you really need to use these machines because of a busy schedule, at least use them with full loads so that you can use less energy.

Also, hand washing your clothes can be too much, so you can just air dry them. This way, not only are you saving energy, but you can give less damage to your clothes.

2. Turn off appliances when not in use.

This is a given and a fundamental one at that. But many people still forget it, so here is your reminder. You don’t have to unplug everything, but there are appliances you need to unplug when not in use in order to improve safety and save on your electric bill.

3. Use reusable items. 

Disposable plastics require a lot of energy to be manufactured and don’t really offer great returns. Purchase products that are made of reusable materials like glass jars, which can be reused as desk organizers and pantry and bathroom item containers. 

There are many more ways to reuse and recycle. You can get ideas all over the internet. Besides, food items like pasta are now contained in reusable containers to prolong freshness.

4. Clean your appliances.

Simply cleaning your appliances regularly will contribute to energy-saving. Get rid of debris from vents, drains, grates and coils from your dishwasher, exhaust fans, and washing machine. This will help them perform better and more efficiently. With clean surfaces, they function smoothly, thus not requiring so much energy. 

The refrigerator is one of the appliances the uses the most amount of energy. Cleaning coils off it can even reduce energy use up to 30 percent.

5. Properly maintain your heating system.

Like appliances, heating systems will perform more effectively and efficiently when properly cleaned and maintained. Whatever kind of heating system you use in your home, you can always retain your comfort and save money and energy all at the same time by maintaining them. 

You can decrease your energy bill by approximately 30 percent while reducing environmental emissions if you properly combine equipment maintenance and upgrades, such as house insulation, getting rid of air leaks, and thermostat settings.

6. Switch to energy-efficient home features.

Get energy-efficient household technology. Smart home equipment is highly efficient since it can automatically detect and adjust according to your energy needs.

Starting from something basic, like sensor lighting, so you won’t have to roam around the house at night just to check if you turned off all the lights in every room. A smart thermostat lets you control the temperature in your home remotely and program it to change the temperature at different times of the day. 

Replace your old light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs. These lights require 80 percent less energy and can last way longer than old, traditional ones.

You can upgrade your windows and make them more energy-sufficient. Low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings, also applied on modern commercial windows, help control heat transfer by glaze insulation. They differ in type and are designed to moderate solar gain. Some varieties can be done by a non-professional or by DIY. These are less expensive and can last up to 15 years without peeling. 

Some home upgrades can be more expensive than others to install, but they are guaranteed to save money and energy in the long run. Then again, energy-saving doesn’t have to be costly, and only spend what you’re willing to. Changing your daily routine will be enough and a significant help already.

Home Improvement

Winter Preparedness: What You Need to Remember

As winter approaches, it’s time to start preparing. Although fall will end in about a month and a half, it is better to be as prepared as you can be to deal with the coldest days of the year. There are many winter preparations that you need to do before winter comes. You might say it’s too early to start preparing now. However, nothing beats being prepared.

Before winter comes, people must make their homes ready so that they will stay comfortable even if the weather becomes too cold. After all, winter can be tough on homes and their occupants. Therefore, you need to start checking on your home to make sure it is ready for winter.

For instance, you need to check on the heating system and pay for repair services for your furnace if it is no longer functioning correctly. You also need to make sure that you invest in insulation so that you and your family will not suffer during the peak of winter. Doing these things will help you deal with winter properly once it arrives.

Winter Preparations for Homeowners

Winter is coming again, and that means that people will need to prepare for winter. You should do many things now so that you don’t have to scramble when winter rolls in. Below are winter preparation tips for homeowners:

Invest in insulation

Insulation is important because it helps prevent the loss of heat in winter. This is especially important if you have a home with no insulation on its walls, roof, and other areas where winter winds could blow through your house.

Insulation materials include fiberglass sheets for insulating wall cavities and polystyrene beads or foam boards like XPS (extruded polystyrene) for insulating the roof. You need to make sure that insulation is installed correctly so that your house will not become uncomfortable during winter.

Get your fireplace working again

If you haven’t used your fireplace for a long time, you might have to get it working again. This could involve getting your chimney cleaned so that harmful gases won’t escape up your house when you start lighting fires.

If you plan to use wood for winter heat instead of other sources like gas or electricity, make sure that this is an efficient way of heating your home. You might want to get a wood stove approved for winter use and not just in the summer when it’s warm outside.

Get all outdoor chores done

You need to make sure that your outdoor chores are done before winter starts. This includes things like clearing debris from your garden, ensuring the gutter is clean, and taking care of any exterior repairs.

Completing these chores before winter is essential because it is challenging to do them once winter starts. After all, it will become too cold outside, and it will be much more difficult to get things done once winter starts.

Get winter supplies ready

It is always a good idea to stock up on winter supplies, and you should start preparing for winter as soon as possible. You can buy items like snow tires or chains so that you don’t end up stranded in the cold weather when it snows.

You need to purchase winter supplies before winter starts because many people flock to stores to buy winter supplies once the cold season begins. This would lead to shortages and long lines, so it is best if you purchase your winter supplies as soon as possible before winter starts.

Invest in new winter clothes

If your old winter clothes are too tight or too short, you need to purchase winter clothes that fit your size so that you will be comfortable when winter starts. Many people think about winter clothing after winter has begun because this is when they usually go on a shopping spree.

However, purchasing clothes before winter starts will give people enough time to break them before the season starts. Breaking winter clothes can be difficult because winter coats, boots, and other winter garments are usually made of stiff materials that make it hard for people to move around easily when they first purchase them.

Preparedness is Essential

Being prepared is the best thing that people can do when winter starts. Preparedness means that people have winter clothing, winter food supplies, and other items for winter all ready to be used before winter starts. Winter preparedness is crucial because it ensures that if something goes wrong during winter, people will not be worried about their basic needs. Winter preparedness also guarantees safety and comfort during the coldest days of the year.


Four Interior Design Tips Perfect for Any Workplace Environment

The workplace environment plays a big role in the efficiency and productivity of the people working within it, which is why it should be planned strategically. Here’s how it’s done.

Some people couldn’t care less about the appearance of their office, as long as they have everything they need to perform their jobs. However, what they might not know is that the look and feel of their workplace environment can affect their performance throughout the day. So, if you need help in creating an environment that’s always conducive to working, here are four tips you can use:

1. Aim to Achieve a Coherent Design

When it comes to interior designing your workplace, the last thing you’ll want is to have an office that’s a sight for sore eyes. This could mean having unintentionally mismatched pieces that don’t work together or color schemes that clash in the worst ways possible. It would always be best to stick to one coherent interior design.

For instance, you want your main interior design style to be industrial chic. To achieve that, you’ll need to make sure that your furniture, design elements, and even your bare walls will have touches of the style. You can start it off by getting an urban-industrial office desk with a matching ergonomic chair for your employees’ workstations.

Since the industrial-chic style mainly revolves around using repurposed metal and reclaimed wood, you can include these elements into the design for your lounges, shared workspaces, or pantry area. But you need to make sure that all your design pieces are built for durability and longevity despite using repurposed materials.

2. Create Collaborative Workspaces

These days, shared workspaces are becoming all the rage because they allow for better teamwork and communication among colleagues. Shared workspaces could be in the form of side-by-side tables with no divisions to separate one employee from the next, or it could be an open area with bean bag chairs scattered about.

Of course, it’s still essential to have individual workstations for the employees who prefer to work alone, but you also have to consider the employees who work better when they’re with other people. The shared energy buzzing in these collaborative spaces can be transferred from one person to the next, which can then boost their productivity even more.

The option of working in a shared space can also help you build a stronger corporate culture because you’re creating avenues for your employees to establish mutually beneficial relationships among themselves. By leaving some room for social interactions within the day, you can easily boost employee morale and create a more open work environment.

3. Use Textures, Colors, and Shapes

Just because you’re designing the interiors of a professional workplace doesn’t mean you can’t include fun and quirky designs. So don’t be afraid to play around with textures, colors, or shapes because these can all contribute to creating a healthy and positive workplace environment for your employees.

For instance, you can have furniture with different textures situated in the waiting area or pantry. And you can include bold-colored accent walls to add a splash of color to what would otherwise be a bland-looking workspace. Plus, the various shapes of design elements can be used to elevate the entire office.

But make sure not to go overboard with your designs because doing so might lead to the opposite of what you want to achieve. That’s why before you start buying your furniture or planning the final design, consider creating design studies just so you can visualize how the whole place will come together afterward.

4. Design with Comfort in Mind

Understandably, you’ll want your work environment to look put together by a professional interior designer. Not only will doing so work wonders for when you have clients and shareholders over, but it can also build your credibility as an up-and-coming business in your chosen industry. However, you should never sacrifice your people’s comfort for the sake of good looks.

A good example of this is if you fall in love with the idea of designing your entire office with wood as your main material. This could mean wooden desks, chairs, and benches. Although this could create beautiful imagery, it won’t provide your employees with the comfort they need to perform their tasks.

That’s why it’s important to consider different internal and external factors when planning how to design your office. Of course, it will be great to make your office look as if it’s something straight out of a magazine spread, but you should also consider the people who will be using the workplace environment day in, day out.

You could always hire a professional to design your office instead of doing it yourself if only to focus on your main functions. But that could mean leaving the future of your business in the hands of someone who doesn’t know who your company is at the core. So, if you have the time to spare, consider taking a more hands-on approach to designing your workplace. After all, this would eventually be your second home.

Home Improvement

Do It Nice or Do It Twice: Home Repairs You Shouldn’t Do Yourself

Self-confidence is never a bad thing, but here are some of the home improvement projects you might want to sit out and leave to the pros.

Everybody loves a good home improvement project, more so when they can do it themselves. Whether we’re assembling a new piece of furniture or simply painting the walls, they all give us a sense of accomplishment. It makes them more satisfying to do because we can immediately feel the outcome of these tasks. A fresh coat of paint can instantly refresh the look of any room, and new furniture has the potential to transform the feel.

While some home improvements are easy to do, some can be equally hard. It’s especially true when it comes to the maintenance and repairs of certain parts of our homes. While it is great to know a bit of everything regarding home improvement projects, some tasks require more than a jack of all trades but master of none. Electrical work and plumbing are some of the things that we shouldn’t try to do ourselves. In these cases, it’s an absolute must for homeowners to consult the pros or risk their safety and end up spending more in the event of failure.


There’s a reason why in most states, plumbing work requires licensed professionals. Stopping a leak with quick-fix temporary solutions you usually see on TV isn’t enough to fully treat a plumbing problem. A proper diagnosis from professional plumbers can reveal more about the state of your plumbing than you would have yourself.

An incorrect diagnosis of your plumbing, paired with the wrong treatment, can lead to even greater damages affecting more parts of your home than just your pipes. These can lead to water damage that can ruin your whole house, which would then require even more costly repairs. A professional plumber won’t allow these things to happen. With their experience and expertise, they’ll quickly find the root of the problem and prevent any more damage from occurring.

Air Conditioning

In this digital information age, it’s no surprise that a quick google search can lead you to numerous videos and written tutorials on how to fix your air conditioner. While some of them can tempt you into doing it yourself because of how easy they are, you might want to refrain from tinkering about your air conditioner. It’s important to note that an air conditioner has both electronics and chemicals inside of it. One small mistake can instantly render it unusable.

Never try fixing your air conditioner for whatever reason, especially if it’s still under warranty. If it’s not covered anymore, contacting your local AC repair professionals is a wise decision. They give you the confidence of quality professional work and peace of mind that your air conditioner will return to its best possible shape.

Gas-powered and Gas-filled Appliances

Never try repairing appliances and machines that have gas in them yourself. The fact they have gas alone should be enough warning of how dangerous handling these kinds of things can be. Even if you practice every precautionary measure before handling them, they can still pose a threat to your home. Your life might also be in danger. A single wrong move can lead to an explosion or a fire breaking out.

Even if connecting a gas line to a gas range seems simple enough to do on your own, gas leaks can still occur if you’re not precise enough in sealing the connection. These mistakes can lead to long-term effects on the health of everyone in the household. Qualified experts have the necessary tools that ensure these unfortunate events don’t happen, making their expertise and services all the more worth it. As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”

Electrical Work

Last but certainly not least, electrical work is too dangerous to go on doing yourself. If you’ve done them before and think to yourself that you can do more electrical work, let us be the first to tell you that you’re lucky to have gotten away with them. Sure, changing a lightbulb is easy enough for anyone to do, but that’s where everyone’s DIY adventure into electrical work should stop.

Like plumbing, electrical work requires licensed professionals. And yes, they do charge a lot and cost a bit more money than any other repair. However, it is because they’re risking their lives in every single project. Electrical currents can be deadly when handled the wrong way. Accidentally touching an exposed wire can instantly lead to death by electrocution. The high cost is a price worth paying instead of risking your own life to save a couple of bucks.

While we can’t keep people from pursuing the DIY lifestyle, they must admit that some home improvement projects and repairs are best left for professionals to handle. If these elements are present, DIY should never be an option.

Home Improvement

Ready for a Good Night’s Rest: How to Prevent Unwanted Cold Showers from Happening

Cold showers are the worse after a long day’s work. But sometimes it happens, and it just pisses us off when we feel that cold water running on our skin. The problem can undoubtedly worsen the more we don’t handle it.

Hot showers are known to be beneficial to our bodies. It makes us comfortable and ready for a good night’s rest. Cold showers are good too because they keep our body alert for anything. Great for a wake-up call! But unwanted cold showers are the worse. It’ll leave us moody for the night, especially if we want to retire to our beds.

If you want to avoid unwanted cold showers at night, you might need to solve the problem yourself.

Learn to Troubleshoot

Your first instinct to fix cold showers might be to call the plumber immediately, but the problem might be much simpler than you thought: the heater might not be on. So before panicking because of cold water running on your skin after a long day’s work, consider checking your heater first.

American households tend to pay an average of $200 on heating maintenance every year. You could save yourself that amount of money if you learn to troubleshoot the problem first.

The problem with your heater depends on what kind of heater your home is using. Is it an electronic heater, something you place right next to your shower? Or is it a conventional heater, one that converts cold water into hot water in your pipes? If you have a problem with an electronic heater, then read the manual first before calling anyone.

Electronic heaters usually have protocols when it’s not heating the water. Learn to troubleshoot it so you can save yourself hundreds of dollars from calling maintenance and essentially extend your water heater’s life span. However, if you think that you can’t solve the problem, then that’s the time you should call the place from where you bought your water heater. If it’s under warranty, then they’ll most likely bring it in for repairs.

If you’re using a conventional heater or a boiler, then your problem has become a lot more complicated.

Boilers and Traditional Heaters

Boilers and other traditional heaters are complicated machines. Sure, they save your home money because of its centralized heating, but it’s hard to fix the problem yourself if a problem does occur.

First, you’ll have to check the manual for your heater. Check the intricate parts and see if it has any troubleshooting procedures included. For example, turning it off and on might work. You should also check the pipes connected to it and see if they are tightly connected. If you see some steam coming out of them, this is when you should call an emergency plumber. Steam coming out from your boiler is dangerous, and cold water is the last thing you should worry about.

Turn off your boiler and call your plumber. Unfortunately, this is a problem you can’t fix yourself.


So you’ve checked the manuals, and you can’t seem to find any way to fix the problem. When you can’t find solutions from the manual is when you should call your local plumber. Your plumber can get your hot water working again. But of course, it comes with a cost. But that’s a price you’ll have to take for a complicated problem such as this one.

How to Prevent Unwanted Cold Showers

We all know that prevention is better and cheaper than cure. So it might be better for you to prevent cold showers from happening altogether. Here are some ways you can avoid unwanted cold showers.

Make Sure Your Pipes Aren’t Damaged

Damaged pipes such as the ones connected to your heater not only causes water to be ice cold but can be a potential danger as well. Check your pipes and see if any leaking or air is coming out of them. Consider replacing it if it does have some leakage.

Turn Off Other Home Appliances That Uses Water

One likely reason water is turning cold in your shower is that other appliances that require water are on. If you have a centralized boiler, this is the most common reason showers use cold water. Your boiler’s water gets distributed to other appliances, and there isn’t enough hot water for the shower. Turn them off to ensure hot water gets to you.

Install Water-Efficient Toilets

If your shower is right next to your toilet, then chances are, every time flushes, the water in your shower turns ice cold. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence, and it’s a sign that you should replace your old toilet with water-efficient ones instead.

Cold showers are the worse when we don’t expect them from happening. So make sure not ever to let this happen by following our suggestions in this post.

Meta title: Tips and Tricks to Prevent Cold Showers at Night
meta desc: Unwanted cold showers are the worse after a long day’s work. Here’s how you can prevent it.

Decor Styles

How to Create a Distressed Look with DIY Chalk Paint

It is a lot of fun to visit antique stores and flea markets in search of old pieces. However, you don’t always have the money to do that. An alternative is to take pieces you currently own and artificially make them look old and distressed. People do it with DIY chalk paint all the time.

Jami Ray Vintage, a Utah store based in Lehi, sells inexpensive DIY paints and finishes. Similar craft and antique stores around the country also sell the same products. If you want to make your own, it is pretty simple. You only need a few basic ingredients and a willingness to try something new.

A Naturally Distressed Look

People who appreciate chalk paint remark about how it creates a naturally distressed look. In other words, a furniture piece painted with chalk paint doesn’t look artificially distressed. Rather, it looks like the paint has been there for years and naturally distressed by weather and age.

If you’ve purchased modern antiques meant to look a lot older than they really are, chances are you’ve already experienced chalk paint yourself. Now it is time for you to mix up your own DIY chalk paint and create your first distressed piece.

Choose a piece you are not too concerned about. After all, this is your first try at creating the paint and finishing a piece of furniture. You may need a couple of tries before you perfect your technique. As for the piece you choose, make sure it’s clean, dry, and free of debris before you apply the paint.

Making Your Own Chalk Paint

DIY chalk paint is essentially latex paint with some additional ingredients thrown in. So along with your piece, choose a color for the finished product. Then get some latex paint in that color. You will also have to decide which type of chalk paint you want to make. You have three choices:

1. Plaster of Paris

Your first option is to mix up a bit of plaster of Paris and add it to your latex paint. A common recipe calls for 2.5 tablespoons of plaster Paris and 1.5 tablespoons of water for every one cup of paint. Mix the water and plaster of Paris separately, making sure that the mixture is smooth before adding it to the paint. When you add the mixture to the paint, stir it in thoroughly.

2. Baking Soda

Your second option for DIY chalk paint is based in baking soda. Be sure to use cool water for this recipe. Warm water will affect the baking soda in a way that will impact the final product. A standard recipe is to mix 1.5 cusp of baking soda with three tablespoons of cool water for every one cup of paint. Again, mix the baking soda and water until it is smooth.

3. Unsanded Grout

Finally, you can make DIY chalk paint with cool water and unsanded grout. This particular recipe might not be as smooth as the plaster of Paris or baking soda recipes. It might also give your DIY chalk paint a thicker appearance. The recipe is one tablespoon of cool water and two tablespoons of grout for every one cup of paint.

It is important that you paint your piece as soon as you’re finished mixing the DIY chalk paint. Do not wait too long or the components may begin separating. After your piece is painted, give it plenty of time to dry thoroughly. Also be careful to apply the paint evenly and in thin coats. Sand and re-coat if you have to. That’s really all there is to it!

Decor Styles

3 Tips For Earthquake-Proofing Your Home Decor

For most people, decorating their home is all about making sure that everything looks perfect and fits well together. One thing that likely isn’t going to be a consideration is how safe your decor items might be if there happens to be an earthquake in your area. But if you live in a part of the world where earthquakes are relatively common, preparing your home for these events in every possible way, including with your home decor, can help you keep your family and your belongings safe.

To help you see how this can be done, here are three tips for earthquake-proofing your home and the decor you’re styling your home with.

Be Careful Where You Hang Wall Art

Most rooms won’t feel completely finished without some kind of decor on the walls. But when the walls start shaking, it’s very easy for art and other decor items to fall down.

Knowing this, it’s wise to be careful about where you hang wall art. In the event of an earthquake, you’re going to want to make sure that any wall art that might wall down won’t fall down on someone. So while you might love the idea of hanging a picture on the wall above your headboard or behind your couch, you should avoid placing heavy items on these walls, as they have a chance of falling onto you or someone else during an earthquake. 

Embrace Round Decor

If you’re concerned about your safety at home during an earthquake, one thing you’ll want to keep in mind when decorating your house is sharp edges. 

Items that have a high likelihood of falling over or moving during an earthquake, like light pieces of furniture or floor lamps, should avoid having sharp edges. Rather, you should look for items that have round edges, as these items will be less likely to cause damage to your home or your family members if they fall or move during the shaking of an earthquake. 

Secure Furniture To Your Walls

For the bigger, heavier furniture items that you’ll have throughout your house, your main objective here should be to secure those pieces of furniture to the walls that they are against. 

While you might think that you’d have to have a pretty strong earthquake to knock these items down, in the event that this does happen, the last thing you want to happen to you or a family member is to get stuck underneath a heavy piece of furniture that you can’t move off of yourself or could injure you very badly. But by securing these pieces to the wall, there will be one more fail-safe in place to keep them from moving. 

If you live in a place that has frequent or large earthquakes, consider using the tips mentioned above to keep your home safe as you move forward with decorating your space.