5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician

One wrong spark is all it takes to burn down your house.

The NFPA lists electrical distribution and lighting equipment among the top five causes of home structure fires. That’s why hiring an electrician shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Even for a simple repair job, you shouldn’t hire just anyone who calls themselves “electricians”. Faulty wiring, from a bad electrical repair or a botched installation, could set your house on fire or damage your expensive devices. You and your children or pets are also at risk for fatal electric shocks.

It may take a few days, months, or even years, but hiring the wrong electrical contractor could come back to haunt you.

Don’t cut corners and always do a proper interview before hiring. Here are five questions you need to ask your electrical contractor before letting them do the job.

1. Are You Licensed?

No license, no job. There are no ifs or buts about it. Think about it, would you risk getting surgery from a non-licensed “doctor”?

Letting someone mess with your wires is the same as letting someone operate on your body. Lives are on the line! This seems like a no-brainer but some homeowners fall victim to fake electricians.

A license tells you that the electrician has the education, training, and competency to complete the job. It also means that they can provide electrical services that are up to the current code standards.

In addition to a valid electrician’s license, ask for the contractor’s business license as well. It should be current and legitimate for your area.

2. Are You Insured?

This is another non-negotiable matter when looking to hire an electrician. Because of the high liability for the work involved, the contractor has to be insured. Even for a small project, make sure that the contractor carries liability and workers’ comp insurance.

3. Who’s Doing the Work? Get a Clear Answer When Hiring an Electrician

Some states only require the owner of the contracting company to be licensed. This means that some contractors will allow apprentices to carry out the job alone. At the very least, if the owner isn’t onsite to supervise, a journeyman electrician should work on electrical repairs or an install.

Ask about who’s working, their qualifications (master vs journeyman or apprentice), and their hourly rates. If the contractor recommends a journeyman but you feel that the project requires a master, talk about it during the interview.

4. How Experienced Are You?

For some projects, having a license isn’t enough. The level of experience is important for top quality service, safety, and budget implementation. Even if they know the codebook by heart, their inexperience might cause unnecessary repairs and expenses.

5. Who Have You Done Work for in the Past?

References are very important when hiring electricians, or any job for that matter. If you haven’t worked with them before, it’s hard to know the quality of their work. A reputable contractor should happily provide you with references to show that they have a clean track record.

Wrapping Up

When hiring an electrician, it’s important to ask these questions to avoid getting saddled with shoddy work. With faulty electrical jobs, you’re putting your house, appliances, and lives at risk. Make sure that you’re hiring a reliable and trustworthy professional.

For more articles about maintaining your home, you can check out the rest of our website.

5 Creative DIY Outdoor Patio Decor Ideas

5 Creative DIY Outdoor Patio Decor Ideas

If fold-up lawn chairs and patchy grass is no longer cutting it for your backyard set-up, there are plenty of DIY patio ideas that can completely transform this space.

You don’t need to spend a fortune — you just need to set some time aside and get creative. For a little DIY patio inspiration, check out the rest of this blog for more.

Simple Ideas For the Ultimate DIY Patio Transformation

When it comes to patio furniture, you really can’t go wrong with the likes of teak, rattan, and white wood. If your patio area is exposed to the elements, you can find imitation wood furniture that looks almost exactly the same.

Once you have your outdoor furniture sorted, here are a few ideas to physically transform the space:

1. Work From the Ground, Up

If your backyard is covered in lawn, select a section that you’d like to designate as your patio area. Rip up the grass, then spread out gravel, then sand as your base. After this, you can lay almost any type of patio surface you want.

A few good DIY options that are long-lasting, functional, and aesthetically pleasing include pea gravel, mismatched flagstone or stone pavers. Seal off the area with a border of some kind, whether its rocks, stones, or long sections of wood.

2. Create Shade and Shape with a Pergola

Even the smallest square of patio space can be brought to life with the addition of a pergola. It’s a great way to add character, charm, shade, and shape to your patio area. You just have to ensure the pergola structure abuts your house at the roofline for a seamless connection.

After that, you can drape fabrics over it or woven shade coverings. To really make the area cozy, wrap fairy lights around the beams of the pergola for a magical feel at night.

3. Create Intimacy with a Wall Decal

If you want to close off an area of your patio, a great way to do this is by adding a wall decal of some kind. This helps to enclose the area a little, creating privacy, intimacy and even protection from the elements.

You can do this by adding a trellis to one end of the patio and draping it with fairy lights, hanging plants or vines. This creates an instant backdrop and focal point for your patio as well as screening from your neighbors.

A wall decal is also a smart way to hide an unsightly HVAC unit attached to the exterior of your home. If you’re in need of an HVAC service, check out www.sperrs.com.

4. Install a Fire Pit/ Hang Out Area

Is any outdoor patio area ever complete without the addition of a fire pit or grill area? Certainly not. A fire pit area is simple to build and install with so many DIY firepit options on the market today.

This is also a great way to add extra seating to your patio for larger group gatherings. All you need is two-three long wooden benches to frame your fire pit. This makes for the perfect hang out spot for family or friends, whether it’s warm or cooler weather.

5. Brighten the Space with a Permanent Planter

Nothing adds color, texture, and visual interest than a raised planter in your yard. Containers and pots may be one way to incorporate blooms and foliage, but a raised, permanent planter is a good long-term solution.

The fact that it’s raised also makes for less back-breaking pruning and also offers screening from neighbors.

Make Your House a Home With Us

If you found these DIY patio ideas inspiring, don’t miss out on the rest of this website for all things home decor and maintenance.

Turn your home into the cozy, comfortable space it should be with our range of bedding, comforters, mattresses, pillows, and more. Explore this site and shop today!

Home Organization Tips: How to Make All Your Clothes Fit in Your Closet

Home Organization Tips: How to Make All Your Clothes Fit in Your Closet

Let’s face it: most of us have more clothes than we really need.

The average household spends over $1,800 on clothing, along with other services, such as dry cleaning, every year. That’s roughly $150 being spent every month on new additions to your wardrobe.

It’s no surprise that closets around the country are getting fit to burst.

Thankfully, there are numerous home organization tips that can help. With a few novel ideas to call upon, you can get your wardrobe in better shape without curbing your shopping habit.

Keep reading for 7 top tips on keeping your clothes and closets more organized.

1. Get Rid of Old and Unwanted Clothing

It’s finally time to get your closet in order!

Well done. With a mass of clothes in disarray, you’ve got your work cut out. Frankly, it can be one that isn’t entirely clear on how to begin.

A sensible starting point is to get rid of anything you no longer wear and/or want.

We know- it’s like bidding farewell to a part of yourself! But difficult times call for difficult measures. Throwing out any clothes that you know (deep down) you’ll never wear again is a big first step.

You’ll ease the pressure on your closet doors and give yourself some breathing room.

The organizational tips to follow will be exponentially easier as a result.

2. Be Methodical

Unfortunately, this initial task can be easier said than done.

There might be so many clothes through which to sort that the job seems impossible. Like any monster task at hand, though, breaking it into smaller chunks can help.

One way to approach it is by sifting through your clothes by type.

Start with the pants, move onto the undies, and then sort through the shirts, jackets, suits, and so on. One by one, and bit by bit, you’ll whittle down the clothes in your closet.

In so doing, you’ll end up with separate piles of each item of clothing.

You’ll see the items of which you have too many and identify those you no longer need.

Keep going and, eventually, you’ll have separated your wardrobe into two piles:  the good and the bad; clothes to keep and clothes to chuck, respectively.

3. Take Advantage of the Empty Closet

This might be the first time your closet has been clear of clothes in years.

Take advantage of that fact by giving it a deep clean.

First, though, clear out anything else that’s in there. Who knows what manner of random items you’ve collected over the years?! You’ll probably find the tie you lost last year, the bracelet you’ve been looking for, and the safety pin you dropped an age ago.

With a closet devoid of items, you’ll be able to clean it all out properly. Dust it, scrub it and vacuum it all clear of any grime that might have accumulated.

4. Restructure the Space

You’ve got rid of your old/unwanted clothes and have a sparkling clean closet leftover. Now it’s time to get really inventive.

Closet remodeling is a great way to create the perfect closet space for your requirements. You now know exactly what needs to be stored back inside.

With that knowledge and an empty closet before you, why not set about restructuring the space?

You could add, move or remove shelves, and insert an extra rail. You might want a shoe rack at the bottom, or a hanging show holder instead. Maximize the vertical and horizontal space available, keeping your particular clothing needs in mind.

Before you know it, you’ll have the closet of your dreams! That’s good news for when you start putting your remaining clothes back inside it.

5. Store Everything Sensibly

It’s time to put your clothes back in your newly laid-out closet.

Be sure to do so in a sensible, methodical, and ordered fashion. After all, you don’t want to end up with the same mess you had before!

At the end of a long day, it’s all too easy to throw your clothes into any old space available.

But it’s a slippery slope. Before long you’ve got a random mishmash of pants, underwear, and blouses on any given shelf. Finding anything in a hurry can be a nightmare.

Take the time to categorize your clothes before popping them into their respective closet spots. The good news is that you did the hard work in step one of this post! All that’s left is to fold the different piles up or find them a coat hanger.

6. Hang Items Neatly

You’re going to want to hang up anything that creases easily or needs special protection.

Think suits, trousers, dresses or coats. They all need a place on the rail!

However, don’t just hang them up in any old fashion. Endeavor to put everything on the same style hanger and facing the same way in the closet.

Not only that, place them onto the rail in relation to their length.

You could, for example, place the longest items on the left and shorter ones on the right. The result? A neat and attractive inclining line. You (and everyone who visits) will appreciate the tidy appearance that this level of organization creates.

7. Get Rolling

Here’s a final tip that’ll help you save oodles of space:

Take your thinner clothes (such as t-shirts and pajamas) and roll them up! Roll it all into nice and tight bundles and pop them into storage boxes.

They’ll take up far less room in the closet as a result.

The alternative is to fold them up instead. However, with limited shelf space available that isn’t ideal. Save it for piles of your thicker clothes!

Remember These Home Organization Tips

Got more clothes in your closet than you can handle?

You’re not alone! People in this country spend thousands of dollars on apparel every year.

Hopefully, though, the home organization tips in this post will help you get your closet under control.

Are you interested in learning more tips for your home? If so, search ‘home’ on the website now!

5 Steps to an Effective Spring Cleaning

5 Steps to an Effective Spring Cleaning

Spring is in the air, but while the birds are singing and the flowers are in full bloom, your house might still feel like it’s suffering from the winter blues. The tradition of spring cleaning allows you to freshen up your home for the new season, dust off the cobwebs of winter, and get ready for the warmer weather ahead. So, what exactly constitutes a successful spring clean?

#1. Tackle it Room by Room: 

Approaching it room-by-room is the most effective way to get your home deep cleaned. That way, it’s less overwhelming and you can work through each room methodically rather than facing it all as a whole. Make a checklist of the areas in every room that need extra attention, and make a note of anywhere that’s recently been cleaned too. 

#2. Get Organized:

Getting rid of all the clutter that you don’t need is a big part of spring cleaning. Whether it’s household items that you barely use anymore or clothes that have been hanging in your wardrobe for months, Spring is the perfect season to have a good clear-out of your home and create some space. You could even make some extra cash by selling your unwanted items or donate them to those in need. 

#3. Enlist Some Help: 

There’s no rule that says you have to do the spring cleaning all by yourself. If it’s a big job, get a professional cleaner in to help. You can find professional domestic cleaners near you by searching for eMop locations. A professional cleaner will know how to clean those areas that you’re not sure about, or you can hire them to tackle the jobs that you really don’t want to do like cleaning inside the oven. Or, just get your whole family involved. Even a family member who isn’t too thrilled at the idea of spending the day cleaning can do something to lighten your workload. 

#4. Get Seasonal Chores Out of the Way:

Some chores, like gardening or gutter cleaning, are best done when the weather is warmer, and we tend to ignore them for most of the fall and winter. Now’s the time to get them done; even though they only need to be done a couple of times a year at most, they will make your house look a lot better and reduce your risk of issues like clogged gutters and drains. Give your windows, patios and decking a good cleaning too. 

#5. Establish New Cleaning Habits:

Once you’ve spring-cleaned your home, you’re going to wish that it was like that all the time – and the good news is that it can be when you establish some good cleaning habits for your household. A simple 15-20 minute cleaning routine of your home each day can make a huge amount of difference to how it looks and feels, and it’ll make your next big spring cleaning job much easier since you will have been keeping on top of things all year round. 

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of spring cleaning your home; by dividing it up into tasks by room and getting some help, it can be an easy and enjoyable job.

5 Gorgeous Small Water Feature Ideas for Your Patio

5 Gorgeous Small Water Feature Ideas for Your Patio

Research has shown that the presence of water has a positive impact on your mood and overall wellbeing.

Even if you’re not near a lake, pond, or ocean, you can still replicate these benefits by adding a water feature to your home, such as a pond or a fountain.

If you’re not sure what to do, let’s inspire you. Read on for 5 gorgeous small water feature ideas for your patio.

1. Falling Water Wall

A water wall is an uncommon and eye-catching small water feature that is sure to add a touch of elegance to your patio space. These feature a steady trickle of water down a flat surface, replicating a waterfall found in nature.

As an added bonus, their flat design makes them a perfect small water feature if you’re limited on space. You could even add one to a narrow balcony for an extra bit of natural flair.

2. Stone Fountain

Stone fountains are brilliant water feature ideas if you prefer a natural look in your backyard space. They’re also durable and customizable to go with any outdoor decor.

You can create endless varieties of stone water fountains. For example, you could arrange natural stones of varying shapes and sizes around the fountain. Or you could add large flat stones in a stairway-like arrangement to catch the water as it pours down.

3. Garden with a Small Water Feature

A small water feature can look especially beautiful when it’s placed amongst a lush garden. Plant a variety of flowers and greenery around your fountain, making it the centerpiece of the arrangement. You could even add some plants to the fountain itself.

The best part about this water feature idea is that it allows you to get creative with incorporating a fountain into your landscape. Look for some inspiration online or in a magazine and start planning out a design. If you want help making your vision a reality, look into Hardscaping Services in your area.

4. Koi Pond

If you’re looking to create a miniature ecosystem with your small water feature, a koi pond could be a great idea for your yard. A pond with bright, beautiful fish is a stunning addition for a backyard. You can also add a variety of aquatic plants, such as water lilies.

Before you take on this project, be sure you’re prepared to take care of your plants and fish. Do all the necessary research to ensure you’re creating the ideal environment.

5. Pouring Pot/Jug Fountain

A really cute idea for a small water feature is adding upturned pots or jugs over the streams of a fountain. This gives it the effect of water being poured out in a continuous stream. If the natural-looking water features aren’t your style, this type of fountain would be a great alternative.

Water Features for Any Style

No matter what your decor style is, adding a small pond or fountain can add a touch of tranquility and ambiance to any outdoor space. Now that you’ve got some small water feature ideas, start planning out yours today!

For more inspiration, check out our other blog entries.