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An Easy Treatment for Protecting Your Countertops

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Countertops

ABC 4 ran a story which should interest those of you who are worried about their countertops getting ruined. We have to state that normally, when you install a good, stone countertop using a professional remodeller, a countertop is very low-maintenance. Nonetheless, as ABC 4 reminds us, this is not a licence to neglect your countertop. There are many ways in which, over time, countertops can be ruined. For example, many are porous, so that whenever you spill anything on a nude countertop, and you do not wipe the spillage away very quickly, that spillage can seep through your countertop’s pores, undermining the integrity of the stain over time, and in the near term, leaving permanent stains. So we need to know how to protect our countertops given these risks.

The first thing to remember is that all stones are, to some extent, permeable, so they will always allow germs and moisture and so are all subject to staining. Furthermore, in allowing for germs and moisture to remain, they pose a health risk in food preparation. This is why we cover countertops. A good countertop sealer is created in such a way that it prevents the staining and etching that occur when a spillage is not wiped away soon.

ABC 4 cites the Utah-based firm, Komosus Counters, who suggest that stone countertops should be sealed every 3 years. This is a good rule of thumb, though there really is no consensus on how frequently countertops should be sealed. Granite Gold points out that many people apply sealants to their stone countertops every six months to a year, and that stone countertops can never be sealed too much. An easy test to see if you need to seal your countertops is to pour several drops of water on different parts of your countertop, and let those drops sit for half an hour. If you notice any seepage into the granite, it is time to apply a sealant. This is known as the “water test”. It pays to pay attention to your countertops and often, a sure sign that it needs to be sealed is when you see dull places on an otherwise shiny countertop. If you keep track of when your first few sealants start to wear away, you can forecast when you will next need to apply a sealant.

So even with the best countertops from a supplier like Legacy Countertops, you still need to take good care of your countertops. Sealing your countertops is not a complicated process if you prepare well and do your research. Remember to cure your countertop 24 hours before applying the sealant. If you intend on applying a second coat of sealtn, you will have to adjust your downtime to reflect this. Make sure to have gloves, lots of dry cloths, and proper ventilation.  Ensure that your granite sealant is of the highest quality and made by a reputable manufacturer. You should use this opportunity to give your countertop a deep clean, using a good stone cleaner. When you have cleaned and dried your countertop, you can then liberally apply your sealant in 3-foot sections, spreading out the sealer all over the stone with a dry cloth -check to see it it lint free-, because if you just leave it to dry, it will haze. Spread out the sealant with circular motions, so that the sealant is applied uniformly. Do this three to four times for best results. After 24 hours, you can give everything a nice clean and declare the job done.

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Home Improvement

5 Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable

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Make Your Home More Comfortable

Creating a healthy, and comfortable living space is both a goal and a challenge for anyone who owns their own home. Every family has different needs and preferences, so it’s essential that you take an individualized approach when considering making changes or improvements to your property. As the past year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, there is immeasurable value in having a home that feels safe and offers plenty of opportunities for activity and recreation. Still, home improvement projects can be overwhelming and expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re unsure where to get started, read on to learn more about five simple ways to make your home more comfortable.

  1. Create recreational space.

If there’s one thing to learn from how COVID-19 forced all of us to stay home more often, it’s that it’s important to be able to have fun without leaving the house. Think about some ways you and the rest of your family like to relax, and work from there. Whether you want a craft room, a rec room for board games and activities, or a pool in the backyard, there are a variety of ways to create space to play in your home.

  1. Prioritize clean indoor air.

Making sure your home is healthy and comfortable is one of your most important jobs as a homeowner. A big part of that is ensuring your home has safe and clean air to breathe, free of pollutants and small particles that may be harmful to your family. Make sure you choose an air cleaner for your home that adequately meets your needs. You can talk to an HVAC professional if you aren’t sure how to find the right model for your space, but your choice of air purifier will often be based on how many square feet of space the air cleaner will be expected to handle. A good air purifier will be able to reduce the presence of odors (including tobacco smoke), allergens (especially pollen and pet dander), and contaminants (like mold and dust mites) by using a HEPA filter or an ionizer.

  1. Upgrade to smart technology.

Not only can smart technology make your home more comfortable, it can also add value should you ever choose to sell one day. One example of a smart device that can improve your quality of life and save you money is a smart thermostat. Not only will it regulate temperature inside your home more effectively, being able to operate on automation and with a timer ensures that you’ll only need to use your HVAC system when you actually need it. That means lower utility bills without sacrificing the ability to keep your home cool.

  1. Invest in a quality mattress.

There are few things that affect our mood, comfort, and well-being more than getting a good night’s sleep. If you want to upgrade your home, a new mattress is a great place to start. An Aireloom mattress is a good bet if comfort is a high priority. It’s generally a good idea to invest in a high-quality mattress, as most are designed to last or quite awhile, and there are few purchases that you’ll use as often as your mattress. Take your time in trying different styles, most people have different opinions with regard to the firmness and style of mattress they prefer.

  1. Add personal touches to your décor.

No one wants to live somewhere that feels like a museum. Use artwork created by family members or photographs of favorite memories to decorate the walls. Consider finding interior design projects that everyone can participate in, or that allow for different members of the family to have creative input.

There’s no one size fits all approach to home improvement, it’s important to focus on projects that address your family’s unique needs. Comfort can mean different things to different people, though it always makes sense to start by ensuring your home is clean and safe. While the prospect of significant home upgrades can be overwhelming, you can make meaningful improvements to your home to improve your quality of life without breaking the bank. As long as you’re thorough in your planning and smart about where you choose to invest, your house will start feeling more like a home before you know it.

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Home Improvement

Guide to Placing Loveseats in Homes with Small Spaces

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Guide to Placing Loveseats in Homes with Small Spaces

Before it comes to place your loveseat at home accurately, you first should know how it is different from a sofa. A loveseat is a unique kind of seat with space for two seat cushions. Generally, two people or less can sit on it. It differs from a sofa as more than three people or less can sit on it. Therefore, Loveseats are popularly called a two-seat couch. Comparing a loveseat to a sofa is smaller and designed for two people or less.

Now, if you have a sofa and a loveseat together in the same room, you should style the loveseat with your sofa to exude a cohesive look. In this way, you can match the style of the loveseat to your sofa. This works well if you use the sofa and the loveseat together for a space where conversations with family and friends take place. Make sure you have a durable loveseat cover that complements the sofa well.

Where should you place your loveseat?

Loveseats work well in homes with odd spaces. A great ideal for the conversation space is to place two loveseats facing a right angle. If you want to set the loveseat apart from the primary area for seating, maybe in a corner where you read, select a complementary style that matches your furnishings. You can also place your loveseat in a bedroom for space where you wish to curl up.

When the room where you want to place the loveseat is large and too big for an armchair but does not have enough space for a sofa, a loveseat fits perfectly. Keep the following factors in mind when you are considering loveseats for space-

  • The scale of the room is crucial. Look for a piece that does not overwhelm your space with its depth or height.
  • Loveseats with thick cushions look spacious, and so for a small area, stick to those contemporary styles that have a clean line and low back.
  • The pattern and the color of the loveseat affect your visual space. To keep your room from feeling claustrophobic, use colors that are light and solid as upholstery.
  • Several people are fond of loveseats as they offer you a comfortable space for stretching out, relaxing, and conversing with friends and your family.

The correct loveseat depends upon the size of your living area and your seating preferences. If you have a very large space for multiple seating arrangements will not suit a small dining or living area.

Pairing loveseats with other furniture

Make sure you measure the space with care. Consider the placement of the other pieces of your room’s furniture so that everything does not become crowded together. Make sure you leave enough room to move about and keep some space for side tables and lamps.

If you are placing the loveseat close to or beside other furniture seating arrangements, ensure the heights of the seat, arm, back, and leg are approximately the same. For easy placement, you should consider loveseats without arms.

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Home Improvement

What Is Going On With The Housing Inventory Shortage?

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What Is Going On With The Housing Inventory Shortage

We all know that the pandemic has affected many parts of our lives and made us shift in a lot of ways, especially in how we work, have fun, and see our friends and loved ones. Real estate is no exception. If you are thinking about buying or selling a house, you might have heard about a housing inventory shortage. Across the United States, people who want to buy a home are having to compete for the house of their dreams, and people who are selling are taking the highest bidder. You might be wondering why this is happening and what you need to know to face this market. In addition to working with a professional real estate agent, there are some top agent insights to be aware of, that can prepare you for the best possible outcome.

Upgraded homes, please step to the front of the line

More people than ever are buying a property to upgrade, after months confined at home has left them seeing clear areas where they need more space, or more amenities. Maybe it’s a second bathroom, a bigger kitchen, or a backyard that has room for a grill and a garden. Those homes with upgrades, like pools and chef-ready kitchens are hotter than ever. Meanwhile, people who are happy with their homes aren’t moving. This means there is a shortage of desirable homes. Whatever your situation, if you are selling your house to upgrade for a new one, you can use a net proceeds calculator to see how much new home you can afford and then watch the market to see the best time to act, despite the housing inventory shortage.

Now is the time to grab that low-interest mortgage

Mortgage rates have gone lower than low, and potential homeowners across the country are taking advantage of this situation. For some context, mortgage rates were already low before Covid-19 hit the U.S.; then the global pandemic took rates even lower, for example: 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged 3.47% in February 2020, compared with 4.37% in February 2019. Then, in March 2020, the Federal Reserve dropped interest rates to nearly zero. This caused mortgage rates to hit a low of 3.2%. During the last year, rates have been bouncing up and down and buyers who are ready to go are acting fast, gobbling up homes as soon as they hit the market.

Buyers get ready for war

Taking advantage of those lower mortgage rates is not necessarily easy for buyers, who may need to face fierce competition to land the home of their dreams. This is what real estate agents call a sellers’ market —  when sellers may get more than they are asking for, as buyers will take extreme measures to outbid others. It’s no surprise that on the one hand, this is not ideal for buyers, who could find themselves in a “bidding war” with others. Sellers, on the other hand, aren’t complaining, because they can land more for their homes, as multiple buyers compete to take home the prize. People who are selling a house now might expect that they can get a high return, which could translate to a nice home upgrade with more amenities.

A housing inventory shortage is not necessarily a negative situation, depending on your real estate goals, especially if you are a seller with coveted amenities like an upgraded kitchen or revamped backyard. With a professional real estate agent backing you, you can stay on track to moving, wherever you are in your real homeownership journey.

 

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