House and Home Insurance: A Guide to Evaluating the Worth of Your Home and Belongings

You know that you have to get home insurance of some kind to protect your dwelling, but there are so many options that you might feel overwhelmed. It's important to determine just how much insurance you'll need to adequately protect your home, property, and contents. Don't forget about the items inside your home, either. Some basic insurance policies only include coverage for the property itself. It's ideal that you search for house and home insurance that covers everything, including walls, furniture, appliances, carpet, jewelry, electronics, and so forth.

At the minimum, make sure you get insurance that covers the property itself, contents, legal liability should anyone become injured on the property, and loss of use so that you'll be able to pay for temporary housing while the house gets repaired. If you want money for the actual REPAIRS, you'll need additional coverage such as flood, fire, windstorm, and so forth. Depending on where you live, flood and hurricane insurance might be required anyway.

Think about how much it will cost to rebuild the home, and how much money you'll need to replace all of the belongings that you lost. House and home insurance is designed to help you plan for the absolute worst, whatever it may be. Don't just simply consider the cost of rebuilding, there are going to be market fluctuations to consider as well. Plus, the value of many of your belongings is likely to go down over the years. If you've done any remodeling or added new features, that will affect the overall value of the home.

House and Home Insurance for Worst-Case Scenario

How much will it cost to rebuild and replace in a worst-case-scenario? This is something you might want to work with an agent with, as well as the contractors who helped with the renovation.

Is a broader policy right for you or do you want specific add-ons? Is there anything you want to exclude? If you live in an area that experiences freezing cold temperatures during winter months, you might want to consider a policy that includes protection against freezing pipes. If you live down in a valley and could possibly lose your home to mudslides, or have room damage from falling rocks, consider a policy that includes protection from falling objects.

As for the contents of the home itself, go around room to room taking inventory. In addition to approximating the costs of valuables such as jewelry and electronics, you should also remember to include furniture, goods, appliances, wall art, and so forth.

Start looking into plans offered by companies such as Lemonade. With its helpful tools such as an artificial intelligence bot, you can get an estimate for house and home insurance in just 90 seconds. Lemonade discounts are among the best in the industry, and the company is very transparent.

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Match the Interior Decor to the Exterior Architecture of Your Home For A Quicker Sale

A while back my husband and I decided to move to our favorite vacation destination in the mountains. But in order to make this dream of ours happen we had to sell our city home. We put our house on the market and started to make plans to move as quickly as possible.

Sadly, things did not go as we hoped. Our house didn’t sell and according to our realtor the problem was our kitchen. It didn’t match the exterior of our house. Our house was a Cape Cod style with rock around the front door and dormers on the second floor. It was very traditional and pretty cute.

Buyers who saw the exterior expected to see something similar inside and they did to a point. The interior included a fancy trim package, two fireplaces with over mantels and a beautiful dining room with even more fancy trim. The dormers upstairs had window seats with storage underneath. All in all it was in fact a very traditional house with an excellent location and a good market price.

There was just one problem and it was a big one for people who liked the character of the exterior.

The kitchen was very modern with flat cabinet doors made of melamine with oak trim. The cabinets were nice custom cabinets and well organized but they did not go with the rest of the house. People who liked the house hated the kitchen. Because of this one problem the house didn’t sell.

We were determined to make our plans come true so we took the house off the market, refaced the kitchen with raised panel doors, over 40 doors and drawers. We painted them to match the creamy trim color of the whole house. It cost us about $1,200 and lots of work over one weekend work marathon.

After we were finished we put the house back on the market. It sold immediately for the asking price and it closed within a month.

We knew when we bought the house that the kitchen wasn’t right for the house, but it was a nice kitchen for me, a dedicated cook. The style of the doors didn’t work, but we thought most people could look past the doors.

Well, we were wrong. The doors were a deal breaker.

We learned a hard lesson.

There are many examples of this same problem. Imagine a house that is a hard modernist structure with clerestory windows and lots of angles having country kitchen with flowered wallpaper.

Another possibility could be a Georgian or colonial style with modern decorating inside. The décor does not meet peoples’ expectations.

Potential buyers who look at homes generally have styles in mind when they are shopping. It’s wise to make sure they see whatever they are likely to expect.

To make your home feel more comfortable and work better at resale, decorate it to blend harmoniously with the exterior architecture of your home. Keep finishes and décor consistent throughout the house, both inside …

Tips For Keeping Cool in an Uninsulated House During the Summer

A few years ago, my husband and I, along with our two young daughters spent some time living in Africa and Latin America. Both countries were hot, hot, hot in the summer time. Not only was it hot, but it was humid as well.

I remember one night in Africa we were sleeping (or should I say, trying to sleep) in an upstairs motel room. There was no cross ventilation, and I dare say the temperature was close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It was humid as well. By some miracle, the girls went to sleep fine. My husband and I on the other hand were desperately tossing and turning in sheer sweaty exhaustion. We couldn’t sleep for anything, we were so freaking hot!

Finally, our desperation bred a plan. We got a pair of socks and soaked them dripping wet in the sink. We then proceeded to put those sopping wet socks on our feet. Amazingly, our bodies cooled down considerably and we were able to sleep for a couple hours–until the socks were dry. We got up, wet them again, and repeated the process the rest of the night. Our desperation had certainly turned into a mother of invention.

We now live back in the good ole’ US of A. However, we don’t have one of those nice comfortable new air-conditioned houses. Ours is an old farmhouse with just enough insulation to keep the mice happy in the walls. So how do we keep cool here? Let me share some of our tips. Maybe it’ll save you some horrible hot sleepless nights.

1. We have trees shading our house. Now I know that’s kind-of a long-term solution, but planting a tree is a whole lot cheaper than tearing out walls and re-insulating.

2. We open the windows AFTER dark and put box fans in them blowing the cool air into the house all night long. In the morning, right when we get up, we remove the fans and close the windows up tight to keep the hot air out.

3. We keep the windows covered. It’s amazing how much heat a window can let in. We keep dark curtains pulled over the windows that let in most of the sun–even during the day.

4. We put window air conditioner units in the bedrooms. It’s too expensive for us to air condition the entire house, but we do find running a couple units at night is affordable and makes sleep much more comfortable.

5. We move most of our activities during the day to the coolest part of the house. Our master bedroom happens to be on the east side and is therefore not heated up by the hot afternoon sun as much. We moved the TV and even my office into the master bedroom and find ourselves spending a lot of time in there. If it gets too hot, we shut the bedroom door and turn on the window A/C unit for a little while to cool it down.…

Increase Value of Your House by Upgrading Your Bathroom and Kitchen

Is it time to sell your home? Whether flipping a house or trying to get a good price before a move, there are a few ways to gain value through a kitchen or bathroom refurbishment. Outdated kitchen and the bathroom styles are the quickest way to make a house feel older and more rundown. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your renovations.

Custom design

A made to order design makes the most sense when trying to get the most money for your home. Bespoke bathrooms are noticeable and make a difference in price. A real estate agent or home buyer will be able to tell if tiling and fixtures were simply placed in the space or made for the space. Avoid outrageous designs that might make classic homebuyers feel uncomfortable. You never want a space to only appeal to a particular type of style. Exquisite stonework with classics such as natural stone, granite, slate, and travertine are always a good idea.

Flooring

Flooring is important in a bathroom and linoleum is out. Linoleum in the bathroom or kitchen can make an entire house seem outdated, ugly and dirty. Hard wood can take a real beating in these spaces and look old and worn quickly, even after refurbishing it. The best idea is to put down ceramic or porcelain tiles or natural stone flooring instead. These will sustain heavy amounts of foot traffic, clean well, and always look nice. They appeal to a modern home design and can go with almost anything a home buyer may want to decorate with.

Bathtub

Bathrooms can be purely conventional, or they can be home spas and relaxation areas. One way to create a more elegant and expensive feel is to create a separate bathtub and wetroom. A spa tub can be a place to relax and separate from the conventional use of a shower. Travertine or marble make great custom tiling jobs for a bespoke bathroom bathtub. Mosaic tiles work well to add a decorative flair to the wetroom wall. IF the home buyer finds your space relaxing, they will feel excited about buying it. Make the bathroom, especially the master bathroom, somewhere they want to be.

Kitchen Counter Tops

Just like with the floors, linoleum is out. A granite kitchen worktop is your best bet. It looks nice and is extremely practical. Choose a neutral color that can go with any style your home buyer may have. Make sure it matches the cabinets, hardware, and floor. Replace old cupboard hardware to match your new counters. The kitchen is the most-used room in the house. Make as modern, comfortable, and conventional as possible.

Selling your home can be an overwhelming process. Start with these tips in the bathroom and kitchen to increase the value of your home. You can always add some of your own personal flair and ideas. With the right plans, rocks, and fixtures, you can easily gain the most for your dollar.

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FSBO – How to Prepare Your House to Sell

Did you hear that? Prices of houses in Phoenix have been jumping 5% each month for 2005 according to market experts! Some even predict that the price of housing could jump an additional 10% for the upcoming year. The shortage of houses for sales and the still relatively low interest prices are causing the price of homes not just here in Phoenix but nationwide to escalate. What does this mean? If you are thinking about selling your home, there is no better time than the present. Jump on the bandwagon!

Okay, great, you say. I'll buy a for-sale-by-owner sign, set it out in the front yard, host an open-house this weekend. I should have my house sold by the end of next week! Well, two months later, that for-sale-by-owner sign is still in the front and you don't have a buyer. Do not think that just because there is a shortage of houses for sale, selling a house is a piece of cake. It may not as easy as you think. Instead of using a Realtor, you are determined to sell the house yourself. That's fine and it's possible. People do it all the time; However, what are some tips to help you prepare your house to sell. I have done the research and found four minimal-cost tips in preparing your sell:

1. Clean-up. The first impression is always the lasting one. You want potential buyers to be impressed the moment that they spot your house from the street. Everything from the yard, to the windows, to every room inside should be squeaky clean. And if you have a collection of, well, several collections of … stuff, it's distracting to the buyer and really takes away the beauty of your home. If you can't part with those items, pack them away in boxes. A potential buyer won't be offended by a few packed boxes in the house. They most likely are expecting you to be preparing to move anyway.

2. Deodorize. This goes hand-in-hand with cleaning your house and removing the clutter. If your house smells, it won't sell. If the house has been vacant for a while, there is nothing more offensive to a potential buyer than the smell of mildew. Please take care of the mildew before showing the house. And you petowners, understand that your precious little pets that you keep indoors are not odor-less. You just have become accustomed to the smell. A potential buyer will pick up the pet order immediately. The same is true for cigarettes.

3. Re-paint the house. Okay, you may have enjoyed a blue kitchen, an orange living room, and a red bathroom. But your potential buyer may not be as cutting-edge. Experts agree that neutral colors are best in showcasing your house. Also take a second look at the decorations on the wall. Remove anything that could be offensive to your potential buyer.

4. Embrace the sun. I don't particularly care for the Phoenix heat, but I love the sun. …

Interior Post Construction Cleanup Tips

There is nothing worse than bringing contractors in to do a construction project only to find that once they have finished the job, they have left their mess behind. Construction site cleanup is part of the construction industry and it can be a messy job, but someone has to do it. You can make your life easier by cleaning as you go for starters, and that should help reduce the burden of the final cleanup to a degree. While it's impossible to cover every aspect of a proper construction cleaning project, a good place to start would be to remove trash and debris on a daily basis, particularly wood and paint particles which can pose as dangerous fire hazards.

There are plenty of construction companies that might make use of a separate contractor to do the cleanup for them since it can save a lot of time and money by bringing in specialists (dependent on the size of the job). It is always wise to do a walk-through prior to the start of cleanup for the supervisor to find out exactly what the construction manager's expectations are with regard to cleanup. This will also help to prevent a poor final product (when the project is completed).

So, what does construction site cleanup really entail? In general, any scuffs, hand and finger smudges, dust and dirt need to be wiped down off the walls and the same goes for trim, baseboards, windows, door frames and handrails. The ceilings will also need a good dust and the removal of any cobwebs that have sprung up. Doors need to be cleaned down- which may include the front, back, sides and the top, and don't forget about the hinges. Any masonry will need to be vacuumed and cleaned as instructed. All of the carpeting throughout the project will need to be vacuumed as well. Wood, tile or marble should be buffed, waxed and sealed. You will need to clean the tracks, frames and glass on windows. Be sure to clean any of the light fixtures and ceiling fans dust tends to accumulate. Wall & ceiling vents, and floor vents will also be need to vacuumed, and in the case of floor vents they will need to be removed so that you can vacuum as deep as the attachments will allow. Electrical outlets and switches need cleaned since may they gather dust and hand smudges. That is just the basic cleaning inside, it does not encompass the specific cleaning required in a bathroom, kitchen or the entry way. Not to mention any mirrors and cabinets throughout the house, as well as removing any of the manufacturer's stickers that are not required.

On the topic of manufacturers, you should not forget the importance of which cleaning chemicals should and shouldn't be used. Only cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer should be used, as the wrong chemical can cause irreparable damage and will set your project back as you have to replace any damaged items, especially things …

How To Keep Your Bathroom Plumbing Working Properly

Owning your own home should be one of those things that makes you ready to take on the world because it’s such a huge accomplishment. Unfortunately, you usually end up being nervous about everything, especially your bathroom plumbing.

Some of you might wonder what’s so problematic about the plumbing in the bathroom compared to the rest of the house. Well, it really has to do with the usual “life functions” that take place in the bathroom. The last thing the plumbing in that room needs to have is a problem because the last thing we want in our home is the stuff inside the plumbing.

The problem that a lot of homeowners have is that they are not very experienced when it comes to working on the plumbing in their home, regardless of the room. When it comes to the bathroom, we have fairly rudimentary knowledge of how to use a plunger, but in the back of our minds, we really don’t want to have to deal with that prospective mess. Still, you’re a homeowner now, which means you really have to be on top of things. Your home depends on your elbow grease to keep doing its thing, so enough of sticking your head in the ground – it’s time to get to work.

Here are a few very basic tips on keeping your bathroom plumbing working properly:

Always Be On The Lookout for Drips & Leaks – Listen to your toilet after you flush and watch your faucet after you’ve washed your hands. Do you hear or see drips? If so, you’re seeing two things: 1) a symptom of something that has to be fixed; and 2) money down the drain. You would be shocked to know how much water is wasted due to small leaks.

Try To Prevent Clogs and Blockages – Most clogs and blockages in your bathroom drains are caused by greasy build-up, hair, and other yucky stuff. Try your best to lessen the amount of these things by using traps.

Check Fixtures for Cracks and Leaks – So, you’re an amateur plumber, but that does not mean you can’t see something that isn’t quite right. Take a flashlight and look your bathroom fixtures for any developing cracks and leaks. The compromise of the actual fixture can interrupt the basic function of your plumbing.

Be As Proactive As Possible – If there is one place to be a little over the top in terms of trying to get ahead of things, it’s your bathroom. Find out if you have hard water. Check for limescale. If you are in an older home, think about upgrading the vanity plumbing. Give your bathroom every chance it can have to run well.

Your bathroom plumbing doesn’t have to be a menace to your peace of mind. Even with little to no knowledge of plumbing, you can actually do a lot to keep your bathroom plumbing operating the way it should. In the event that a problem may still occur, …

Tips on Choosing a House Painter in Peachtree Corner

Tips on choosing a house painter in Peachtree Corner.

You are having a house in Peachtree Corner that's great but your house looks bored and dull that's pathetic. There you need to find the house painter in Peachtree Corner. House gives us shelter and protects us from bad elements. When a house secures us the most how could we leave a house showing poor sight like it has no owner? There is a solution to make your house a house. That is paint. Paint is necessary for your house 'walls protection not only this paint makes it beautiful. For painting your house you need to choose a house painter in Peachtree Corner. Before choosing a house painter there are some tips to follow
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1.) Good house painter: Painting a house is a big deal, so always choose a person who is a good painter.

2.) Well-experienced: pick a well-experienced painter who has done some great work in the last few years.

3.) A painter by a company: choosing a painter by a company assures you good quality and guarantee about the painter.

4.) Loyal: If you want to see whether you are picking the right one painter, check that if a painter is honest to his work then he is your right choice.

5.) Punctual: a punctual painter can complete a target without letting you worry so, always choose a painter who is punctual instead of irregular one. Because it will be difficult for you to change a painter in the middle of the work.

6.) Trustworthy: choose a trustworthy painter. For this purpose make a call to you best-known persons and ask them if they know any trusted company and had a good experience. Trust is important in any project. A trusted worker will not leave your job in the middle and will do a better job.

7.) Professional: painting is not something easy, therefore, you miss choose a professional printer to give your house painting a professional look.
Neat and clean: pick a printer who himself is a neat and clean man so he can give a tidy look to your house.

8.) Versatile: Only a versatile painter can know all the trendy ways to paint your house to make it look marvelous.

9.) Well equipped: choose a house painter who he all the necessary tools and techniques to paint a house. Like brushes, guaranteed paint, roller and all that.

10.) Well-known: pick a painter who is well known for the fact of how to paint and how to contrast the better color scheme.

There are several things you should ask a painter before starting a house painting.
1. Ask him where does he live?
2. Ask him to give you his contact number, mobile number, and landline number. It will make easier to get in touch with the painter.
3. Ask him that if he had done the same project in the past? This step will assure you that he is well experienced.
4. The procedure, …

How to Reduce or Eliminate Your Mistakes in Interior Design and Decorating

We all reside in houses of one kind or another. When furnished, whether well done or not, they constitute the environment in which we spend the great part of our lives. These environments influence us continually and profoundly.

To the degree that your home is beautiful and comfortable affects us favorably and provides a wonderful haven for recuperation of mind and body. It also facilitates a richer and more satisfying life. To the degree that it is uncomfortable and lacking in beauty, it provides the exact opposite. This can develop into a potentially devastating degree.

As you can see, a properly furnished home is a very significant matter. It affects your life, as well as your attitude and ambitions. Your home should be an environment that is as supportive of your life as possible. Therefore, knowledge of how to furnish a house properly is very meaningful.

Beauty and comfort in a home do not result from chance or happen by accident. They result from the proper application of a reasoned process. Two quotes on the back of my business card illustrate this perfectly. They are the foundations of my business philosophy. Firstly, “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.” Secondly, “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”

Transforming a blank canvas into a picture or carving a block of stone into a beautiful sculpture is comparatively less creative of an endeavor than transforming an empty house into a place of beauty and comfort. The major distinction between the painting or sculpture and a house is that you are looking at the artwork. In the home you are not only looking at the interiors, but you’re also enveloped in them. Therefore, interior design and decoration is also an art of selection and arrangement in a three-dimensional environment. This will require knowledge, appreciation, discrimination, and good judgment. Since interior design is a part of architecture, like a hand in a glove, it differs from painting and sculpture in that it has a very practical aim. Your home must not only look good, but function well. Being supportive of your lifestyle is the end goal.

When you set out to furnish your home, you face a threefold problem.

  1. You must select and arrange items that suit the age, sex, and temperament of the individuals; whether one or many, as well as meet the needs, express the tastes and aspirations, and fit the budget.
  2. You must see to it that the furniture and accessories are selected and arranged to suit the home in terms of scale, proportion, coloring, and style. It may be eclectic, transitional, traditional, or contemporary.
  3. Finally, you must see to it that these things are not only suitable, but also good-looking and aesthetically pleasing. In addition, they must all combine to form a harmonious and beautiful whole.

The treatment of your house and each room within it involves the interplay of three factors, which I differentiate as the personal, the architectural, …

The Real House Of Detention (An Allegory)

Can you take life? Can you give life? If you can answer both of these questions, "yes", you are God, Christ and all the illumined clairvoyant prophets and seers combined!

On those two questions, I can honestly say "no cheating"! With that, I begin this article. Who would not love to consciously be more than they are and have the power to do more than they can right down to taking and giving life at will like or better than Darth Plagueis the Wise / Hego Damask the Sith Lord in "Star Wars"?

Indeed, and alas, we have to settle for self-mastery which is still below that kind of power like God creating dirt from scratch with only nature on his side unlike the scientist who needs all kinds of "stuff", machines and complicated processes to create dirt from "nothing". Yes, the real house of detention we all face is the very concepts of limitation, weakness and dependence: Like the politician in power depending on the support of the people to keep power, make laws and do "everything", that is a glaring point of what I essentially mean by genuine weakness, dependence and limitations or compromise.

So, here is the allegorical part of this article now: A politician has a near-death experience. That politician meets the maker they believe in. The maker or God / Deity / Source gives them a choice to go to heaven or hell. First the politician sees heaven, people sitting on clouds bored, strumming harp strings for eternity without having to eat, drink or do anything "interesting". It is "just heaven". Then the politician goes to hell and finds it "better than Earth" like the immoral party he never had with "great sex", wild party deal making, thrills and "wonderful, exciting immoral stuff" like drugs that make you high without the other consequences of them. Things an immoral person would like anyway. So, since he gets all the "party" in hell instead of boredom and eternal, peaceful life and harp strumming in heaven. That politician says and means "send me to hell for eternity, that is real paradise!" and even files papers in that near-death experience with the devil to go there. Then the politician really dies, and there is nothing there but emptiness. Not fire, not brimstone. Just emptiness and absolutely nothing. "God says, I cannot help you, you signed the papers and yourself over to the Devil. The Devil says," that whole compelling, thrilling scene was the campaign, and this nothingness is the real and genuine office you signed for. Read the contract! "Too late and that is how it works. Watch reality, technicality and all that counts for details.

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