Upgrade Your Home without Breaking the Bank

The thought of doing upgrades to your home may scare you somewhat when it really should not.

You can do some upgrades without tearing the entire home apart or breaking the bank in the process.

With that in mind, is it time for some changes around your place?

What Changes to Make and Still Save Money?

In thinking about some different looks and a different feel to your home, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Have a plan – Of most importance, have a plan in place for your renovation wishes. This will increase the odds of things going smoother. If you are doing things on the fly, chances are you will run into issues both with the renovations and what it costs. For one, don’t plan renovations around the holidays, especially if you plan on having folks over. It is also wise to avoid major renovations when little ones are home for an extended period of time like summer. As for finances, make sure you can afford renovations without getting in over your head.

2. Making affordable renovations – There are renovations you can make and not spend a lot. For one, is it time for some new doors? Given doors play an important part in your home in coming and going, storage and more, you want them to meet the needs. If you have a patio area or something similar, now may be the time to look at exterior glass doors. These doors offer many great qualities. This would be views, security, easy to open and close, control temps in that area of the home where they are at and more. You may also think about putting some fresh paint on those walls, cabinets and more. This can be done rather inexpensively and with little time involved. No matter the renovations you consider, try and find some ways to save money on them.

3. Doing some or much of the work on your own – How good are you when it comes to being handy around the home? If the answer is pretty good, why not save some money and do much or all the renovations on your own? This can help you avoid running up a bill for contractors and their labor costs. If you have any outside family or friends good at such renovations, ask them if they will pitch in some time and help. You can do something nice for them in return.

As you consider some changes to your home, know that you get to call the shots when you own and do not rent.

As a result, take your time to decide what it is you’d like to come up with.

You can do a bunch of renovations at once or spread things out. Doing the latter allows you to avoid having much of your home torn up all at once.

If some upgrades are the order of the day for your home, are you excited about the possibilities waiting for you?

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Tips to Help You Choose the Best Colour for Your Blinds

Choosing the right type of window treatments isn’t purely about choosing between blinds and curtains.  In addition, you also want to choose the right colours so that they fit in with your current décor, and don’t turn heads for all the wrong reasons!  The style of blind – and the colour – will impact how the entire room looks and feels, so it’s not a decision that you should take lightly.  In this article, we’ll provide some tips that will help you choose the best colour for your blinds.

1. White Will Help to Increase the Light

If your room doesn’t get a lot of access to natural light, it’s advised to choose white or cream for your blinds.  These colours are much softer and will provide a lighter look to your room.  White and cream are good options for living rooms and kitchens that require a lot of light, but if you’re the type of person who gets up early in the morning, you could consider them for your bedroom as well.  Plus, white is sophisticated and can add a Grecian air to any room.

2. Play with Colour if Your Décor is Modern

If your home’s décor is contemporary and modern, don’t be afraid to play around with colour.  Some interior designers recommend matching your blinds with your furniture.  Bright red blinds go really well with red furniture if the rest of the room is plain and light, for example.  It can also be fun to choose different coloured blinds if you have more than one window in the room.  It’s best not to add more than three colours to one room, however, unless you want it to look messy and cluttered.

3. Match Your Décor Style

If you take a look at a blinds shop like Hillarys, you’ll see that there are lots of different options when it comes to blinds.  If you want a clinical office look, you can opt for aluminium.  If Parisian chic is more your thing, opt for wooden Venetian.  If you’re decorating a playroom, a bold fabric may look great.  Unless your blinds are going to be the focal point of the room, you don’t want to make them too obscure.  Find a model, and a colour, that fits in with your current décor for the ultimate in design.

4. If In Doubt, Opt for Neutrals

While you can look at a colour wheel to determine which colour blinds are best for your room, sometimes it can be hard to know what will work best.  While an interior designer could help, an easier (and cheaper!) option is to opt for neutrals.  Colours like tan, ivory, off-white, beige and taupe, are designed to fit in with pretty much any décor.  Whether it’s laid back and calm or colourful and funky, neutrals will work.  They also won’t draw attention from other, more important, areas of the room.

If you’re about to buy new blinds for your home, keep the above tips in mind.

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3 Tips for a More Enjoyable Kitchen

How happy are you these days when it comes to your kitchen?

If you could take some steps to improve the look and feel of it, would you go ahead and do so?

In having the best kitchen possible, you can feel more relaxed and productive in that area of the home.

With that in mind, is it time to improve the kitchen?

Give Your Kitchen the Look and Feel You Deserve

In coming up with a better kitchen setting, here are three tips to help you along the way:

1. Appearance – It goes without saying the appearance of your kitchen is key in feeling happy. So, when was the last time you did any notable renovations to this part of the home? If it has been a while, now may be the time to start thinking about some changes. This can include new cabinetry, flooring, paint or wallpaper, furniture and more. By taking the time to redo your kitchen in the look and feel you want, you should be happier when you spend time there. Whether you do the bulk of renovations or you have pros to come in and do it, use the Internet. Going online can give you a whirlwind of ideas as it relates to kitchen changes.

2. Items – Do you have all the items you need in your kitchen to make it what you want it to be? As an example, make sure you do not come up short when it comes to dishware and related accessories. A meal can turn out disappointing if one is missing one or more key items. So, if you like to cook steak or have it on a grill outside, be sure you have things such as the right knives. You can go online and shop for such items in no time at all if you needed better quality knives. Finding Japanese steak knives and related items is not that hard. Also look to make sure you have the right kind and amount of pots, pans and other items to make meals in the first place. With a fully-stocked kitchen, you are good to go.

3. Space – Finally, is your kitchen as big as you’d like it to be? If not, now may in fact be the time to begin thinking about expansion if you have the space. If room to expand is limited, you may think about rearranging how you have your kitchen set up in the first place. With some reorganization on your end, you might be able to come up with a better configuration. Also look at what you have when it comes to space for storing food items that are not in the refrigerator. You may need more pantry space at the end of the day. If so, think about rearranging your cabinets. You might have too many dishes in fact and could use some of the space they take up. That is for storing canned goods and other such items.

When you have a kitchen you can enjoy, life seems to be even more enjoyable.

So, what is cooking in your kitchen these days?

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Cumby Group – How to find a Great House Builder

If you are looking for a custom house builder then the selection of the contractor will be one of the most important aspects of doing so. If you don’t get the right contractor now then you will find that you have a number of problems during the build and you may even find that you have to change companies halfway through if you are not satisfied with what they are delivering for you. There are some handy tips to bear in mind when you are looking for a great housing company such as the Cumby Group for example, and here is how to make sure that you make the right selection. 

When To Hire

Many make the mistake of looking for a building contractor when it is too late but it is worth remembering that this will not be a quick process to get the right team for you. This is why you should look to hire the building contractors before you have spent time with the architect to plan the build. This will help in a number of ways, it will ensure that you have enough time to find the team that you need, it will also greatly help you in making sure that they will be able to fit your project in. 

Start The List 

The key to getting this decision right is to make a shortlist of potential candidates and then whittle it down. To get started with this you should look online and on forums to get some recommendations for which companies in your area can deliver a job like this.

Look Into the Firms

Once you have collected a small list of potential options it is time to get a deeper idea as to what each firm is able to offer you. You should be checking to see if  the company is fully licensed, as well as having a good look at what their previous work is like and what any testimonials may say. The key is to arm yourself with as much information as you possibly can. 


Using the info that you have found online it is time to carry out some interviews with a couple of your favorite firms on the list. What you are looking for here is that they have your best interests at heart, that they are easy to communicate with and that they give you the confidence that they will be able to deliver a great job for you. These interviews will be the best way to really get an idea of how good the company is and it will hopefully instill some conviction in you that they are the perfect team for the job. 

The key is to take your time here, look over as much previous work as you possibly can and always makes sure that you have a face to face with the company before you decide to contract them to do any work.

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Is Solar Air Conditioning Available in 2020

The home industry in Malaysia continues to evolve with new ideas emerging to make the homes smarter and energy-efficient. In addition to home automation, one of the biggest trends is the installation of solar panels to power home systems.

Malaysia is a hot country most of the year and this necessitates efficient air conditioning around the year. Using conventional air conditioners means reliance on the grid system, which can rack up your power bill. Air conditioners are the biggest consumer of electricity in Malaysian homes and this is where cheaper, cleaner solar air conditioning comes in handy.

Why Solar Air Conditioning?

Using a solar air conditioner for your home offers myriad benefits, including:

  1. Clean and more efficient energy
  2. Cost savings
  3. Reliable power supply without disruptions
  4. Low maintenance systems
  5. Boosting your home’s value
  6. Lower installation costs and availability of solar tax incentive  for businesses

Most people have become accustomed to grid-powered air conditioners for the longest time. The first question they ask is whether solar air conditioning is available in the country. The answer is a resounding yes! But why?

Readily Available Sunlight

The ready availability of sunlight, solar-powered air conditioning is now a popular trend. The country enjoys an average of 2228 hours of sunlight per year with an average of 6:06 of sunlight per day. Kuala Lumpur registers 2222 hours of sunshine during the year. This makes solar-powered home systems viable across the country.

Advances in Solar Energy Technology

Advances in renewable energy and government support have boosted the growth of the solar energy industry. Solar energy companies now manufacture high quality photovoltaic solar panels, inverters, solar power storage systems and other solar system components locally.

It’s also easy to access technology from the leading brands in the world through your Malaysia-based solar installer. If you have any doubts about the availability of solar air conditioning in the country, talk to an established solar installation company to learn the solutions available for you.  

Breaking Down Solar Air Conditioning

It’s most likely that you have a typical split system in your home. This conventional air conditioner relies on electricity from the grid to keep your home cool. If there’s power disruption, you’ll have a hard time staying indoors, especially in the hotter months such as March.

Solar air conditioning is an alternative solution where, instead of using electricity from the mains, the solar air con uses the sun’s energy.

You can choose from the following main solar air conditioners:

  1. Solar thermal hybrid system: This system utilizes the energy from the solar collector panels to assist the compressor. This system still requires a source of electricity.
  2. Evaporative solar-powered conditioners: This solar-powered air con eliminates a compressor and instead uses a heat exchanger. The power required to power the fans, chillers, and hot water pumps comes from the solar panels installed on your roof.
  3. Solar PV hybrid system: This is a solar air conditioner in Malaysia which uses photovoltaic technology. Sun energy is converted into electricity to power the motor and the fans. There’s also a storage component in this system which means you can go fully off-grid.

When choosing the best solar air con for your home, your installation company will discuss the two overall options available.

The off-grid solar system can run independently without grid support. It comprises solar panels, inverters as well as batteries to store excess power.

On the other hand, you can opt for an on-grid solar system consisting of solar panels and an inverter. Your appliances will not run if there’s no electricity.  You need high kVA inverters to handle high loads and a larger number of solar panels if your home’s power usage is high.

Factors to Consider With Solar Air Conditioning

Many households who would benefit from solar air conditioners in the country don’t have enough information about these systems. This technology is readily available and you only have to consider the following:

  1. Home’s electricity usage: This helps determine the number of solar panels/size of the system.
  2. Government approvals: Your solar installer will guide you on any approvals and licenses required to install solar systems in your area.
  3. Rooftop space: You have to access available roof space and direction of the roof. This helps find the best solar air conditioner in Malaysia for your home.
  4. Warranty: Look for an extended warranty for your solar air conditioner to enjoy lower maintenance costs.
  5. Find the best solar installer: Don’t compromise on experience and certification when shopping for a solar air conditioner installer in your area. Read reviews and testimonials, get several quotes and do background checks for any company you want to use.
  6. Talk to your neighbors for referrals and recommendations

Solar air conditioning is available in 2020 across Malaysia. Now that you understand how it works and the benefits, go ahead and partner with the most qualified solar installer. It’s the best way to harness the power of solar for your home’s air conditioning.

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Manage Excavations Successfully With These 7 Essential Steps

When planning a new construction project, you will often start by excavating the site. Because excavations begin most of these projects, you must get everything right. There is a special level of care that you need to use when handling these projects, and you can work through each of these steps to get good results. Read further as you plan your next big project and need to save money, time, and energy.

1. Rent All Your Equipment

You should find equipment and attachment hire company that will help you rent all the gear you need. The company you work with will help you get the best prices on all the equipment that you need, and they will let you rent instead of buying. If you buy your equipment, you spend too much money upfront. Also, it isn’t easy to justify massive expenses for equipment that you do not use all that often.

2. Create A Schedule

You need to create a schedule for the project so that you can keep up with the deadlines for the project. If you do not have a schedule, you will not know what needs to be done, when it should be done, and how long it takes to complete each step of the project. 

3. Assign Tasks To Everyone

All the people on your team must be assigned tasks. You want everyone to know what is expected of them so that they can quickly complete each assignment. You can track these tasks throughout the day, and you can assign new tasks the next day. Your staff will work efficiently, and they do not complete tasks out of order.

4. Inspect The Site

You might need an inspector to check the site before you begin. Some excavation projects are massive, and they might include old properties that have pipes in the ground. You do not want to hit an old gas line that still has gas flowing through it. The same is true with old plumbing systems that might have been left behind or decommissioned. 

5. Check The Weather

As you plan your projects, you need to make sure that you have checked the weather before the day starts. You need to know if poor weather conditions will cause issues for the project. You can handle some excavating in the rain, but other parts of the project cannot be done. You need to adjust the assignments so that you are not putting your staff in danger. You should move the assignments around so that you know when they get done. 

If you haven’t paid attention to the weather, you might be surprised by inclement weather that slows your work.

6. Plan To Use Subcontractors

You may need to use subcontractors to complete the job, and you must schedule them as soon as possible. You need to know when these subcontractors will turn up, and you need to know how much availability they have. You are paying a subcontractor, but they often have a limited amount of time available to help you.

7. Send Progress Reports To Your Client

When you are working on behalf of a client, you need to make sure that you send them progress reports during the job. This is a good way to help the client understand how well you are performing your job, and you are also helping them understand how much longer the excavation will take. If your client has not been updated, they might be surprised when you are not finished yet. 

Use all of these tips to create the best excavation plan for your client, business, and staff.

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Why Neutral Flooring Is The Best

With minimalistic decor such as Scandinavian design and clean-cut finishes taking over the interior world, neutral flooring has grown ever popular with homeowners who are bursting at the seams to replicate this in their own homes. Some of us associate neutral colours with being dull or boring, but this simply isn’t the case! They actually open up your home and make it look more spacious, as well as matching with all sorts of other colours, whether that be the wall or furniture.

Whitewashed Wood

White is a very popular choice for interiors and for good reason. With it being a common choice for walls, furniture and ceilings why not go for it on your walls too? This is because it complements nearly every interior theme, opens up your room (giving the illusion of more space) and offers that desirable fresh and clean look. With this being said, whitewashed wood is the perfect choice for your floors – but you’re not settling for something too plain and some would say ‘boring’. White washed wood actually offers a shabby chic appearance, something very on trend at the moment! This will give your room that much needed touch of character and charisma. If solid wood is out of your price bracket, then engineered wood or even a pale laminate can do the trick too!

Grey Flooring

Grey flooring’s popularity has risen significantly in recent years due to its superb versatility. You can get away with grey flooring in nearly every decor theme, from a rustic, contemporary to traditional interior – whatever your style, grey floors will go fantastically with it! It’s truly a classic colour and is very hard to take against, beneficial when selling your home too. There’s so many shades you can choose from too, all of which give totally different looks!

Cream Floors

Cream isn’t just for walls! This elegant colour will add sophistication and class to your home while still remaining beautifully neutral. Not only is it used for calming a neutral look, but also comes in a wide range of styles – it won’t look out of place anywhere! It’s the ideal colour if you just want something as a backdrop and will go with everything, why do you think so many of us have magnolia walls? You can get a gorgeous creamy wood to polished concrete, there’s so many options with materials too!

As we’ve discussed, there’s plenty of options when it comes to neutral wood colours. No matter which one you opt for, you’ll end up with a beauty floor that will adhere to your tastes perfectly.

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3 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Winter During The Summer

Now that summer is here, the last thing you want to be thinking about is when the weather’s going to start getting cold again. But to ensure that you’re prepared for whatever this winter season is going to throw at you, now is the time to start getting your home ready for that inevitable change in the weather.

To help you in doing this, here are three ways to prepare your home for winter during the summer months. 

Seal Up Your Home

Properly sealing your home will be beneficial in all months of the year, not just the winter. But if you haven’t checked your home to see if it’s properly sealed recently, now’s a great time to do so.

According to Marilyn Lewis, a contributor to MoneyTalksNews.com, you should try to fill any hole, leak, or crack that you see or feel around your home. When you notice an area where air is leaking through, use something like caulk, weather stripping, or other sealing material. Not only will this help to ensure that your home stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, but it will help your heater to not work as hard in order to maintain a comfortable temperature all winter long. 

Get Your Plumbing Ready

If you live in a particularly cold area, your plumbing should always be on your mind in the winter months. When plumbing and pipes get too cold, they can easily break or burst, causing huge issues for you.

To avoid this, Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore, contributors to HGTV, advise prep your plumbing by draining all your exterior pipes at the end of summer. As for your interior plumbing, wrap heat tape on any areas that are exposed to the coldest temperatures or that have given you problems in the past. And for additional protection, make sure everyone in your home knows where your water shutoff valve is and how to use it so that, in the event that you do have a pipe burst in the winter, you can quickly and easily turn your water off and minimize the damage. 

Maintain The Exterior

How well you maintain the exterior of your home during the summer can have a big impact on how easy it is to keep up this maintenance in the winter.

Before summer ends, HouseLogic recommends that you take measures like trimming back your tree branches, inspecting your roof, and cleaning out your gutters and downspouts. Taking care of these things now will help you see if there are any bigger issues at play that need to be addressed before the temperatures start to drop. 

To help your home and family stay safe and warm this winter, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how to start your winter home maintenance projects now.

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4 Things That Should Be On Your Spring Cleaning List

Springtime is known as that time of the year to clear out clutter and get your home as clean as possible. However, if you’re not dying to clean your home, don’t worry, you’re not alone. 

Unless you’re someone who is a self-proclaimed neat freak, chances are that cleaning isn’t your favorite thing.  The trick is creating a list and checking off each item one by one.  To help you prioritize, here are some of the most important things that you should have on your spring cleaning checklist. 

Clean Your Air Filters  

One of the most important things that you need to ensure is clean in your house is the air that you breathe. Apart from making sure that you take typical precautions like not smoking indoors and opening your windows from time to time, it’s also  important that you take care of your HVAC system.

It’s critical that you change your air filters from time to time. Failing to clean and replace your filters can lead to excess dirt and debris accumulating that can negatively impact the quality of the air that you and your loved ones breath. 

Clean Your Gutters

That’s right; it’s time to clean out your gutters!   Failing to clean out your gutters could lead to big problems later on.  Here’s why.

Over the course of the year, debris has been accumulating in your gutters that need to get cleaned out. The purpose of your gutter is to clear out water and debris from your roof. If there is a blockage, your roof could leak, leading to seriously expensive bills. 

Do yourself a favor and make sure this critical to-do is on your spring cleaning list. 

Clean Your Carpets

Carpets are great for keeping your house warm and providing a soft cushion for your feet. They can be especially nice if you have young children who often fall. However, along with the added convenience and comfort that carpets add, also comes a lot of build-up and dirt. 

Between dander, crumbs, dirt, and anything else that your shoes bring inside, it’s not long before your carpets are bacterial breeding grounds.

It’s important that you thoroughly steam and clean your carpets at least once a year.  

Dust Hard To Reach Places

Sure, you probably dust your countertops and other visibly dusty places throughout your house at least once a month, but what about those hard to reach places where you pretend dust doesn’t exist? (yes, we’re talking about under the couch)

Sure, it may be a pain to pull out furniture and get behind places you’d rather not venture, but it’s important to clear it out at least once a year. You never know what kind of dust could be lurking that you’re breathing through the air. 

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4 Things Every Family Home Should Have

While not everyone may agree on what makes a home a home, there are some things that most people can agree on. There are some important factors that you should take into consideration when choosing a home for your family. Here are some of the most important ones that you should consider, including when making your final decision on where your family should live

A Dishwasher 

If you have children already, then you know how many dishes a family can go through on a daily basis. Once upon a time, you might have enjoyed washing your dishes by hand as a single person. 

However, once you have multiple children to look after, washing the dishes is the last thing that you want to spend your time doing. A dishwasher comes in handy for throwing everything in at the end of the meal and not worrying about it until later. 

Multiple Bathrooms  

If you’ve ever seen a movie with siblings in it, then you know the frustrations of fighting over who gets to use the bathroom first. Avoid this classic family conflict by making sure that your home has multiple bathrooms for everyone. While it may not seem as big of a deal when your children are younger, the older that they get, the more that they will require their own bathroom space for bathing and primping. 

If it’s in your budget, you should even consider everyone having their own bathroom, if possible. Your mornings before school will be much calmer and less about conflict and stress. 


Children need to get out in the fresh air and expend their energy. It’s essential that you have a backyard space for your children to run around and enjoy their childhood in. Even though it’s considerably laborious to take care of a backyard, it’s critical if you want to make sure that your children Have fun. 

 In the summer months, it’s especially helpful to make sure that you have a backyard for them to run around in the sprinkler or even just play in the dirt. Even though you can always go to a nearby park, a backyard allows you to be able to enjoy being at home while still giving your children the freedom of the outdoors. 

Plenty Of Bedrooms 

 When choosing a home for your family, it’s important not only to think about the present but also the future. You need to make sure that you have enough room for any children that might enter your life in the future. 

Be realistic when buying a home. It’s an enormous task to pack everything up and move to a new place. It’s ideal to be able to stay where you are rather than having to go through the entire home hunting process all over again.

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