08 AM | 26 Jun

Window Treatment Shopping: Which One is Right for You?

Woman Looking Outside the Window

Drapes or Shades?

Choosing the right window treatments can be tricky, confusing, and irritating all at the same time. Places like Jo-Vin offer a wide array of treatments to choose from but you need to narrow down your choices and get the most suitable one for your windows. Thankfully, such places are also usually keen on lending a helping hand in the selection process.

Always ask yourself which window treatments you need and want. Are you leaning towards drapes or are you more of a shades person? If that doesn’t narrow it down, think of the window treatment’s purpose. Are you after privacy or is it purely for aesthetic purposes?

Your budget also plays a part in your decision. Window treatments are always priced by size so be sure to get your measurements right to avoid spending needlessly.

Different Window Treatments

Blinds

Blinds are usually the cheapest window treatments  available. They offer little to no style but are great for providing privacy and filtering sunlight. However, they’re also a magnet for dust, so you better be prepared to clean them often. Blinds are best for rooms that need the most privacy, such as bathrooms and first-floor bedrooms.

Shades

If you want the functionality of blinds but also want some style, you can opt for shades. Although shades don’t have slats that blinds have for filtering sunlight, they come in various levels of opacity. They also come in black-out and motorization options, for maximum privacy and optimal convenience respectively. Depending on the type, shades can also be an energy-efficient option.

Drapes

The possibilities with drapes are endless. With so many options available, you may have difficulty pinpointing which one best suits to your needs. Living and dining areas may have aesthetically pleasing drapes which allow natural light in. On the other end of the scale are blackout drapes which are suitable for nurseries and bedrooms, as they serve as a barrier to light and help keep the space temperate.

These are just some of the basics when it comes to window treatments. Consult a designer or a window treatments specialist about your particular needs. They’ll help you choose the most practical type of treatment for your windows.

07 AM | 07 Jun

Guide to Buying a House in the Philippines

Real Estate Agent Showing the Property

Whether you’re buying your first house or not, the process can be complicated and tedious. While choosing a house in communities like Lancaster New City can be quite overwhelming, reading reviews about the property can help you with your decision-making.

Asking questions is also normal, especially when you’re buying a house for the first time. That’s why it’s important to understand that there’s no such thing as a dumb question.

There are several questions that most home buyers seem to ask often. Some questions are about the contract, how the offer is made, and all other factors that may play a role in the entire home buying process. Southpropertysale.ph outlines some of the most common ones.

Does the developer offer any discounts?

Some real estate developers offer discounts only if you know how to negotiate. Others even offer pre-selling promotions and other incentives, such as free furnishings, depending on various factors that may play a role in the actual date of completion of the property.

Does the developer have a license to sell?

You should also ask the seller or the agent/broker of the developer if the real estate project has a license to sell and is registered through the HLURB. You can always check the authenticity of the license on the HLURB website.

How will your house look once it’s ready for a turnover?

You should know the standard finishes included in the project. The model house may look different from the actual turnover of the unit. To keep yourself from getting disappointed, it’s always best to ask the finishes that will be included in the turnover.

These are just a few of the questions you may want to ask the real estate agent about the property. It’s always best to take things seriously, especially with such a huge purchase.

01 AM | 13 May

Factors to Consider When Applying for In-House Financing

Couple reading documentCouple reading documentIn-house financing usually offers a convenient way to realize your dream of owning a house and lot in the Philippines. Compared with banks, developers are generally more lenient when it comes to approving housing loans.

Most Lancaster New City reviews on websites such as Cavite Properties would say that they ask fewer documents and process applications in less time. If you want to obtain a mortgage ASAP, in-housing financing is an attractive direction to take.

But then again, it’s not for everybody. In many cases, in-house financing options might not provide the most favorable deal. To know whether it’s for you, and to manage your expectations, consider these important factors.

Interest

Developers typically charge higher interest rates than banks do. In hopes of providing loans faster to their property buyers, they tend to take greater risks in lending a serious amount of money.

Although the deal you qualify for entirely depends on your developer’s assessment, expect to pay a slightly high rate if you don’t have stellar credentials.

Credit History

Your credit history would hardly cause your loan application denial. In fact, you might qualify even if you have unpaid credit cards in the past. As long as you have a steady of source of income, even if you’re an online worker, OFW, or self-employed individual, the developer would say yes to your mortgage request.

However, your credit history might affect the interest rate you will get. If you have a spotty history of repaying your debts, you might qualify for the loan but with high interest.

Maximum Term

The maximum term in-house financing lenders usually allow is 10 years. Whether you’re employed locally or overseas, you might not get a mortgage longer than that. A 10-year housing loan has its pros and cons. It might minimize your interest because you’ll be able to finish your mortgage in less time.

You might qualify even if you’re already of advanced age. Generally, you must not be over 60 years old when the loan matures. And since the maximum term is only good for 10 years, you might qualify even if you’re past the age of 50.

On the downside, your monthly payments might be larger because you have less time to repay what you borrowed. Considering your mortgage will be secured by your property, make sure you can manage them to avoid defaulting on your loan.

Exercise due diligence to determine whether in-house financing is for you. If you feel it doesn’t make sense to your situation, consider the financial products banks and Pag-IBIG provide.

07 AM | 16 Apr

3 Items You Should Invest in for Your Condo

condominium units

Living in a condo is something you may want to consider if you are working in a city or you want a small space all for yourself. But it may come with some challenges, given the small space for your things. As such, you need to decide which items to prioritize.

When choosing items for your condo, you need to pick the ones that will serve you for a long time. They should be integral to your daily life. Choosing house items to invest in may make you feel confused or overwhelmed, so this guide lists the three must-haves for your condo.

A good bed

Beds can be expensive, but that’s because you’re going to use it for a long, long time. This is why you shouldn’t fret when you spend a dime on it. You may choose a bed frame with shelves underneath to save space. For comfort, 2brothersmattress.com says that you need to get a mattress that has proper support. Don’t be a cheapskate on this one and make the right investment.

Modular shelves

Space can be an issue, so you need to maximize what you have. What you should get is a set of modular shelves. For one, you may get a dresser that doubles as a vanity. Instead of using large cabinets, you can use floating shelves to save floor space. Go for a daybed that has compartments underneath.

An air-conditioner

Comfort is of utmost importance, so make sure you have an air-conditioner. This will get you through hot summer days. Furthermore, it will help regulate the humidity within your condo, reducing the chances of molds.

These are just three of the things you need to buy for your condo. If you can’t decide which items to prioritize, list them all down and rank them based on how much you need them.

10 AM | 09 Apr

How to Fix Common Retaining Wall Failure Issues

Contractors fixing a wall

Retaining walls support a mass of soil laterally for purposes like roadway overpasses or hillside farming. However, they may cave under pressure of the materials they are supporting if they are not built properly.

This rarely occurs, but retaining walls can still collapse rapidly under the lateral forces. Failure may cause the complete collapse of the structure, so be sure to contact your trusted retaining wall contractor in Bay of Plenty immediately.

Here are common failure issues:

Poor engineering

Failure due to flaws in the design should almost never happen. Be sure to hire a reputable, trained and certified contractor to design and build your wall considering the specific conditions of the location.

Saturated backfill/soil

Water can significantly increase the current pressure on the wall. Grading the side, using drainage channels or tiles, and using a backfill material that drains well can ease the stress and remove excess water build-up.

Foundation settlement

Prior to construction, the contractor should compact the soil properly. This will reduce the risk of settlement that can result in cracking or collapsing.

There are many other factors that can contribute to the failure of a retaining wall. Often, they result from not taking into account the condition of the site. Experts recommend having yearly inspections to fix small issues before they cause further damage. Spring is the ideal season to do this since you will also find out if the wall can withstand snowmelt and rainstorms.

Look for signs of drainage problem such as the build-up of sediment at the base of the wall or materials sticking out. Maintenance is the key to preventing the complete excavation of the wall.

When designed and fortified correctly, a retaining wall can have a long lifespan. It can also provide functionality and aesthetic appeal on your site. Correcting failures is always an option for those who want to avoid costly excavation.

07 AM | 19 Mar

4 Smart Ways to Make the Most Out of a Small Living Space

A small house

If you are like most people, your idea of the perfect home is a place that is not just gorgeous, but also spacious enough to move around. Unfortunately, sometimes you must make do with limited space. But do not let that stop you from living comfortably. With these ingenious ideas, you can maximise that small space and enjoy your life to the fullest.

Invest in sliding doors

Internal cavity sliding doors are popular for their elegance. But more than that, these doors are perfect for squeezed spaces. A hinged door requires enough space to swing open. A cavity door, on the other hand, simply slides into the wall, allowing you to optimise all the space in your house.

Divide your home into zones

If you are going to be living in one room, then you need to think about everything you need to do in the space. Create separate zones for eating, working, relaxing, sleeping and so on. There are many smart ways to do that. You could try using a curtain to evoke rooms or strategically place a table.

Choose versatile pieces of furniture

Since you cannot afford to buy too many pieces of furniture when you have to work with a tiny space, you need to be smart about what you purchase. Opt for pieces you can use for multiple functions. For example, buy a table that you can use as both a dining table and a desk. Buy a sofa that can also serve as a guest bed.

Go for custom storage solutions

There are numerous creative storage solutions for small spaces. You can opt for built-ins and storage nooks. Go for furniture with hidden storage spaces also. As much as possible, save valuable square footage by adopting storing most of your stuff on your walls.

Living in a small house does not mean that you cannot enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. All it takes is a little bit of planning and creativity, and you will find that it is easy to make the most out of the space.

12 PM | 22 Feb

Meth House: Separating Facts from Myths

Smoking or making meth leaves a trail of chemicals, which saturates the floors, ceilings, walls, and carpets. These chemicals include lithium, iodine, mercury and other poisonous solvents. For every pound of meth manufactured, you produce at least six pounds of poisonous waste.

The slightest exposure to even the smallest amounts of this poison ruins the nervous system, blood production mechanisms, and liver functions. Furthermore, exposure further triggers congenital disabilities and growth and development problems for unborn as well as young children.

This is why meth testing here in Utah is critical. That said, what are the myths surrounding meth homes?

You can find meth by using hairspray or starch spray

It is true that if starch is sprayed on a contaminated surface, the surface will turn to be purple-red. This is because of iodine that is present in the manufacture of meth. Unfortunately, this method is not reliable nor is it sensitive.

That means, you can sprinkle starch, and the color purple does not appear, but the house still has meth. As such, professional meth testing should be undertaken.

If you cannot smell it, it is not there

In the yesteryears, meth manufacture produced a bad odor similar to a cat’s urine. This is because of the old methods used that are out of date now. However, with recent advanced methods minimal or no odor is left behind by production or use of meth.

This leaves your potential house without any odor or visual clue.

They only smoked in the house and never used it as a lab

A majority of people do not realize that smoking meth even once in a house makes it uninhabitable. Smoking burns up the toxins resulting in 100% contamination every time. That means smoking is more dangerous to a house compared to some methods of manufacturing.

It is always critical to test any property before purchasing or renting, particularly if there is any suspicion regarding meth abuse. While meth detection and elimination procedures are time-consuming and expensive, they are cheaper than the health effects brought about by meth.

01 AM | 13 Feb

Bring More Life to Your Garden by Using Non-Living Elements

When your garden no longer holds much appeal for you, then it’s probably time to bring more life to it. Often, this means adding more living components like plants and flowers. Sometimes, however, incorporating non-living elements into your garden can already get the job done.

Containers

Not only plants and flowers need variation. The areas or objects holding them should also come in different sizes, shapes, colors, or heights to infuse more diversity into your garden. For example, clay or resin pots of varying colors can be mixed up with big and small outdoor planters made of copper.

For your plant beds, raised or not, you can have them in square, oval, kidney-shaped, etc. Just make sure the containers complement the architectural design of your house.

Ornaments

To break the monotony of grass, plants, flowers, and their containers, you can accent your garden with ornaments. The bigger decorative pieces include statues, fountains, and birdbaths, while the smaller ones can be wind chimes, plastic windmills, and figurines. Plan the placement of each piece when adding ornaments. Your fountain, for instance, should be easily accessible. Don’t overdo the ornaments because they can easily make your garden look messy.

Furniture

Other than their practical use, furniture pieces can make your garden more appealing. As with your home furnishings, you should consider several factors first, including the design and purpose, before choosing your garden furniture. If your garden has a rustic feel and you simply need a place to unwind, you can get a wicker swing set. Mostly made from wood, metal, and plastic that have been treated to become more weather-resistant, garden furniture commonly consists of chairs, benches, and tables.

So, whenever you feel the desire to improve your garden, don’t just add more vegetation right away. You might find that all your garden needs are some well-placed and coordinated non-living elements to make it come alive again.

07 PM | 31 Jan

Concrete Repairs: Why You Should Never Delay Them

Concrete repairs

Concrete is a basic element that comprises the foundation of residential and commercial structures. This material, which consists of aggregate — a hard and sturdy particulate substance — undergoes a bonding process when mixed with cement and water.

It’s for this sturdiness, toughness, and durability that most construction projects utilize it as a primary structural material.

However, it’s not impervious to use, abuse, and time. As a property owner, you need to know when to call in professionals for concrete repairs. Van Matre Construction, LLC explains more about these services below.

1. Prompt repairs can make a huge difference in safety

In the commercial industry, a primary contributor to the heightened need for prompt concrete repairs is to prevent non-fatal and fatal accidents. Slips, trips, and falls are an example of such unfortunate incidents, which concrete damages can lead to.

These problems often result in the ground or flooring having raised or sagging parts (heaved or sunken slabs), which then increases the risks of such accidents.

The same goes true for residential property owners. You want to have these concrete-related issues resolved as soon as possible since you want to keep yourself and your loved ones from getting into unwanted, injury-causing accidents.

2. Delays in repairs will cost you much more

Say you’ve noticed symptoms of slab or foundation failure. These include cracked bricks, displaced moldings, broken or cracked foundation, door or window misalignment, and cracks in the floor.

It’s vital you address them promptly. The longer you wait, the more time these damages have to keep growing, which then ultimately leads to a sunken foundation.

A sunken foundation is the last thing you want to happen to your home. It can displace the base of the structure and leave you without a home or a commercial property. As such, before worse comes to worst, contact professional concrete contractors as soon as possible.

04 PM | 22 Dec

Three Reasons to Get a Walk in Bathtub for the Elderly

Nurse talking to an elderly woman

Being able to have a nice and relaxing bath is something we all treasure. This includes the elderly. While traditional bathtubs work fine for us who are young and agile, they can pose a challenge for the elderly. Bending and squatting into a traditional bathtub may become a difficult task.

Taking a nice bath should not have to be a chore. A good solution for this is a walk-in bathtub. As the name suggests, this is a portable tub that allows anyone to walk in and enjoy the benefits of a nice bath.

Beyond the portability, there are more benefits to it, especially for the elderly:

Safety

With traditional bathtubs, there is always a risk of falling. This applies to everyone, whether kids, adults, or the elderly. Walk-in tubs, as the name suggests, is designed to be walked into by opening and closing its door. This reduces the risk of falling while enabling the elderly with injury or lesser mobility to enter and exit the tub safely. Other safety measures include handlebars, non-slip surface and outward opening doors.

Independent Bathing

Getting old is a stage in life that makes a person have to rely on others for personal care. Losing one’s independence can be depressing. A walk in bathtub allows more privacy and independence during a private bathing time. There is no need to rely on someone to get into the tub or make sure the setting is right. Compared to a traditional bathtub, a walk in bathtub allows for more convenience as well.

Relaxation and pain relief

Walk-in bathtubs, depending on the design, come with different features for a pleasant bathing experience. Such features may include hydro or air massage therapy jets, temperature monitor, and even whirlpool mode which create a spa-like bath experience. The temperature monitor helps relax muscles and relieve pain, especially for those with injuries or suffering from arthritis.

Beyond just a bathtub, a walk in tub provides a range of benefits for the elderly. This includes being capable of having a relaxing private bath experience.