Modern Living

Modern Living

Home and real estate topics discussed in detail

How to Get Year-Round Use Out of your Patio

During the summer, your patio area is one of the most frequented places in your home. It’s relaxing and allows your family to enjoy being outdoors in the warm weather. However, as soon the temperatures begin to drop, you may naturally turn indoors and abandon your patio space. Many homeowners do this, but the reality is you don’t have to. In fact, there are many ways you can upgrade your patio so that you can get more use out of it during the entire year! Get inspired by these different approaches to make your outdoor space enjoyable no matter the season. The below upgrades can be implemented for both screened-in and non-screened-in patios.

Combat the Cold with a Heat Source

One of the first things to add to your patio space is some source of heat. You could add a few electric outdoor heaters to position around your seating. These will produce a great amount of heat that will keep everyone comfortable while hanging out on the patio. Another option is to build a firepit. This heat source will only work in open patios for obvious reasons! Fire pits offer great ambience and can be built or bought depending on your budget and size of your patio.

Enhance the Comfort Level with Blankets

Bring even more comfort to your patio by adding a few blankets that can keep everyone warm and cozy on cold evenings. These can be stored in waterproof outdoor bins or kept in your home until you’re ready to use them. Paired with a few cups of hot cocoa or tea, your patio will continue to be a favorite area of your home. Not only will it be ideal for your family, but guests will love chatting on your patio too.

Install Additional Lighting

During the fall and winter, the amount of daylight you have to work with decreases. Because of this, you’ll need to add more lighting options to your patio space. Otherwise, you’ll be sitting in the dark! There are tons of ways you can go about this, allowing you to get as creative as you’d like. If your space is enclosed, you can add overhead lighting and even lamps. For non-enclosed potions, you can use railing or string lights to hang up on taller fixtures nearby. You can also use path lights all around your patio for more light and great ambience. If you choose to add a firepit, this will naturally help as well.

Add a Wind Block

There’s nothing worse than shivering in your coat as piercing winds blow. This is the kind of thing that will drive you to get inside where it’s warm! Wind blocks can instantly make your outdoor patio more comfortable to be on for extended amounts of time. You can build one of these by adding outdoor curtains or screens, which will divert the wind from your space. If you enjoy growing and caring for plants, consider adding a few winter plants around your patio. Large, thick plant life can help cut down on winds and will add to the overall appearance of your back yard.

Consider Enclosing the Space If Not Already

If your patio isn’t already enclosed, it might be something to consider. Adding a structure over your patio offers a plethora of benefits, including protection from the elements and better privacy. You won’t need to watch the weather for snow or create defenses against cold winds. It’s much easier to heat enclosed spaces and will be a safe location for the kids and pets that will allow them to enjoy the feeling of being outside.

Don’t Let the Patio Become Stifling

If you have an open patio, this isn’t a concern for you. However, for those with enclosed patios, your heat source can make the area feel quite hot over time. It’s a good idea to install sliding screen doors for your enclosure’s glass doors to regulate the temperate inside. It’s easy to find custom patio screen doors that will perfectly fit your door opening measures and match the colors of your enclosure. When you’re feeling a little too warm, simply slide open your primary door and pull the screen door closed in its place. This way, you can allow the enclosed area to cool down without leaving an open gap for children or pets to slip through.

With these useful ways to make your patio a more inhabitable space during the whole year, you can easily add to the value of your home by carrying out one or more of the above. You and your family will be able to get that escape from indoors that we all sometimes need during the colder months.


How to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly contaminated. From traffic to industries that release a lot of pollutants into our air, there are too many sources of pollution to think about. However, one thing a lot of people do not think about is the quality of the air in their home. Air pollution in your home is just as bad as outdoor pollution, which is why it is so important to put measures in place to ensure that the air quality inside your house is adequate. Here’s how you can do exactly that.

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Keep Your House Clean

Cleaning your house regularly helps remove two of the most common air pollutants – dust and dander. This is especially important if you have pets, small kids or are allergic to these allergens. Keeping your home clean is often as simple as vacuuming the carpets and rugs a couple of times a week using a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

Also, regularly washing your bedding, drapes and similar items that attract allergens can help reduce air pollutants. Lastly, do not forget to dust hard to reach areas. These include under the bed and furniture as well as windowsills and door frames.

Change Your AC Filter

Your air conditioning system is always working to keep the temperature inside your home comfortable. While cycling through air, your AC also filters it and removes the most common house pollutants. Eventually, the filters in your AC system will get too dirty to keep filtering air effectively. This decreased filtration efficiency will lead to an increase in the amount of air pollutants in your home.

To ensure that the quality of your indoor air quality remains at an optimum level, you should put a plan in place to change the air filters in your AC system regularly. The one thing you should be careful about is getting the right filter for the type of AC system you have as well as the area in which you live. You can always source different types of filters on which sells affordable air filters of different sizes so you can find one that fits your AC unit correctly.

Check Your Air Ducts

Air ducts distribute air to different parts of your home. Because of this, they should be cleaned and checked often. Cleaning helps reduce the accumulation of dust and allergens while regular checks ensure that the ducts are not circulating contaminated air from one area of the house to another.

Keep an Eye on Humidity Levels

High humidity levels and moisture lead to the growth of mildew and mold, both of which are allergens and can cause respiratory illnesses. If you live in a humid area, using humidifiers is a great option. Also, if you have too many house plants, it is a good idea to think about moving some of them to the outdoors to reduce humidity levels.

Keeping the air in your home can reduce instances of respiratory conditions and illnesses. Doing so requires diligence, regular checks, and maintenance.

Outdoor Home Projects worth Doing This Spring

While it is still the middle of winter, the days do feel like they’re getting longer. We’ve reached the point where the sun lasts a little longer each day before getting dark, and there is that hope in the air that spring isn’t that far off. What this means is that it’s the perfect time to start planning your outdoor spring project to-do list. There are always going to be the typical items on the list, but this year you may wish to make some changes, upgrades, and renovations that will add to your enjoyment of your outdoor space.

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Here’s a look at some outdoor home projects that can be worth tackling this spring.

Build a Deck or Patio

If you don’t yet have a deck or patio in your yard, this spring may be the perfect time to remedy that situation. A deck or patio can act as the perfect area for relaxing and entertaining. You have plenty of decking materials to choose from, designs, and styles giving you the freedom to choose something that works for your lifestyle and budget.

Getting this project done in early spring means you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it this year.

Invest in New Outdoor Furniture

One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors is with comfortable outdoor furniture. There’s no reason you have to go with the standard table and chairs if that’s not your style; nowadays you can find all kinds of trendy, stylish, and versatile options. Take, for example, an sectional outdoor couch that expands your seating and yet provides all the comfort of an indoor couch.

Make the Switch to Seamless Gutters

Here’s a project that is absolutely perfect for the spring, allowing you to improve the aesthetics and functionality of the gutters. If your home has the traditional sectional gutters then you have probably noticed such issues as seams that don’t match up or look clean, debris that builds up in the joints, issues with the color matching perfectly between sections, water leaks at the joints, and more.

Installing seamless gutters will address all these issues and more, as they have very minimal maintenance, are easy to install, can reduce the price of repairs, and are incredibly long-lasting.

Plant a Vegetable and Herb Garden

With so many people spending more time than usual at home in 2020 there was a whole new appreciation for gardening, in particular vegetable and herb gardens. There’s no reason that has to end, as you may want a more permanent garden that is dedicated to your vegetable and herb crop.

If you’re looking for low maintenance relatively easy-to-grow vegetables you can try green beans, bell peppers, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers. As for herbs, beginner-friendly ones include sage, mint, oregano, rosemary, basil, fennel, chives, and parsley.

It’s Time to Get Your List Made

Whether you choose one or all of the projects mentioned here, this is the perfect time to start working on your to-do list so you can plan how to best use your time once the weather starts getting better.

Professional Repair For Your KitchenAid Home Appliances

KitchenAid appliances are known for being reliable and they require very little maintenance. However, all appliances experience wear and tear. It is important to remember to keep a close eye on your home appliances so that you are able to identify any problems promptly. Below you will find some of the most common concerns.

Fridge repair

Your KitchenAid fridge should work well for years without giving you any trouble. Regular cleaning is essential and, while cleaning your fridge, you can inspect it from top to bottom. Take a look at such common problem areas as the door gaskets, drainage pipe and clean the back of the fridge too.

Stove repair

Whether you have a gas or electric stove, it’s important to make sure that repairs are always performed by a trained professional. Some of the most common problems that can occur include one or more burners failing as well as igniter issues. If you notice that one burner is faulty, it could be isolated to that particular part. However, if no burners are working, it could be something as simple as a power outage (for electric stoves) or interrupted gas supply (for gas stoves).

Oven repair

Like your stove, a KitchenAid oven needs to be cleaned and checked on a regular basis. The door gasket may experience wear over the years and this can allow heat to escape. Which is why it should be cleaned and inspected frequently. Different functions like grill and convection can fail due to connection issues and other basic wear and tear. No matter the cause of the fault, a technician will be able to diagnose and repair the issue promptly.

Dishwasher repair

If you hear a strange noise coming from your dishwasher, a leak, shudder or any other problems, it’s best to avoid using this appliance and call a professional first. Continued use of a faulty dishwasher can result in more significant and more expensive repairs. Leaks can occur due to hose issues. Before you call a technician, you can inspect them yourself. If the hoses are not worn, broken or loose, it is most likely that there is another problem causing water to pool under the appliance. It’s also important to note that, while your dishwasher is responsible for cleaning dishes, it is not necessarily a self-cleaning appliance. Food particles can build up and cause clogs. This is why regular cleaning is essential.

When looking for appliance repair KitchenAid professionals, it’s important to make sure that your technician has the training and experience needed. They should also be willing to back their work with a satisfaction guarantee as well as a warranty on the repairs performed.

How to choose the best locksmith for any emergency

Whether you are faced with a residential, commercial or auto locksmith emergency, you need and deserve the best team in your corner. The question many people ask is how they know who they can trust with something as important as the security of their property? Here’s what you need to look for in a local locksmith.

Local professionals

The first step to finding the right locksmith is to make sure that they are available in your area and able to offer you assistance without delay. Your local locksmith Scarborough should be able to reach you within 20 minutes. If they are not able to commit to speedy service, it is best to call somebody closer.

Trained technicians

Locksmiths are professionals that undergo extensive training. Not all locks are the same and there are also several types of tools that such a professional will need to master. New locks are constantly being developed too. Which means that a locksmith will not complete their training but rather further their training on a regular basis in order to be able to offer assistance with the latest locks and technology. Make sure that the locksmith you hire is certified and experienced.

Licensed and Insured

Given the nature of this line of business, locksmiths need to be licensed and insured. Not only does this ensure the protection of the locksmith technicians, but it also sets your mind at ease. Your locksmith should have no trouble providing you with their credentials.

Security ensured

All professional locksmiths should take the necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of each customer. This is done by thoroughly authenticating the ownership of any property prior to performing any lock repairs or replacements.

Quality hardware

A locksmith’s work is only as good as the hardware that they install. Even if a locksmith is highly trained, a cheap or inferior-quality lock will not last long with regular use. Apart from being trained in how to repair and install various types of locks, a t

Satisfaction guarantee

Another red flag to watch out for is when a locksmith is not willing to back their work with any sort of guarantee. In most cases, lock manufacturers will back their products with a warranty provided they are installed by a trained and certified professional. A DIY installation may void this warranty.

If your locksmith checks all the boxes mentioned above, the only thing you will need to do is determine their rate as well as the cost of any replacement parts required. Some locks are cheaper than others but, as mentioned, quality varies too.




Artificial Grass Can Help Gardening Enthusiasts and Everyone Else

Some people enjoy cutting their own grass and mowing their lawns. Gardening is a popular hobby, and the people who enjoy gardening will automatically have to do more work in their yards as a result. A particularly complex and intricate garden will actually take quite a lot of effort to preserve. The people who enjoy gardening also frequently add to their gardens over the years, so that garden will only become more varied over time.

Yard Work

Other people actively dislike yard work of any kind. They might choose to have very simple front and back lawns in order to reduce the number of chores related to yard work that they’ll have to perform. It might not always be cost-effective for people to try to do this kind of work on their own, since it might take some people a long time to get a yard mowed if they dislike the process so much. Some of these people should consider getting artificial grass Austin instead. 

Even the individuals who try to limit the number of times that they mow their lawns will have to do so eventually, or the grass and the other plants will be even more difficult to manage again when it becomes essential. When lawns have gotten to a certain point, it can be genuinely expensive to restore them again. However, even the individuals who have gone through that process once might fall into it again, because they might still find it difficult to schedule regular yard work. The individuals who dislike yard work and the people who just don’t have the time for it might end up in similar situations. 

The people who get artificial grass may not need to update it for two decades. It’s the sort of material that gives people the chance to fully maintain their lawns for a very large timespan. They won’t have to worry about overgrown grass or sudden substantial problems with pests when they have grass that only looks like real grass. 

However, even the people who really like gardening and yard work might still want to get artificial grass. It’s possible to create interesting indoor spaces in areas that use artificial grass, especially today. 

Different Gardens

Gardening enthusiasts may enjoy adding a lot of different plants. The grass itself is usually one of the less interesting parts of a given lawn or garden. People want the grass to look nice and to be healthy. However, they will still usually tend to focus on the areas surrounding the grass. In a lot of artistic lawns, the grass itself almost provides the equivalent of negative space, even if those areas are not truly empty. 

There are plenty of ways to incorporate artificial grass into modern garden ideas and designs. The people who enjoy gardening and landscape design can pay more attention to other parts of the areas when they are able to use artificial grass instead. As long as they choose artificial grass that is high-quality enough, they should have plenty of choices. 

Helping You Understand the Factors of Your Moving Costs In Garland!

There are plenty of factors that will affect the cost of your move in Garland. One example is, what you might pay can be based in part on the total weight of your stuff and of course the distance from your old home to your new home. There are plenty of other factors, as well, that will affect the amount of your moving cost, such as:

Access to your pick up and/or drop-off location:
If your old or new home is in a location that might prevent access for a moving truck (IE…. narrow road or lack of parking), your Garland movers will need to find the best way to get your belongings out of your old house or into your new one. They may need to use smaller trucks to gain access. In this case, you’ll need to pay the mover a higher fee for the extra time. You can also cut cost by renting your truck and just hiring help only. Otherwise known as Moving Labor Garland.
Stairs and/or long walking distances to and from the truck:
The cost of your movers may also be a little higher if there are a lot of stairs that will require them to carry your stuff up and/or down. You may also have to pay a long-carry fee if the distance from the moving truck to the entrance of your residence is greater than average…..due to the time it takes.

Narrow hallways and doors:
If some of your items are to large and won’t fit through the door or narrow hallways, More personnel may be needed to get them them inside through a window or over a balcony. In this case, you can count on paying an extra fee.

Storage costs:
Storage cost is one of the more common reasons for increased costs in your move. Sometimes you need to store some or all of your stuff at the movers warehouse because your new home is not move in ready or for some other unforeseen reason, then, you will be required to pay an additional storage or overnight fee.

In Summary…

Moving companies in Garland don’t just start out having a reputation for reliability and/or trustworthiness. They usually have to earn it by helping many clients, giving them guidance and working very very hard to earn that trust. One of the most important things you can do, as a client, is to ensure that you identify the kind of moving company that cares about you and your belongings and will work tirelessly to ensure that you are completely satisfied.

3 Great Curb Appeal Projects for Selling During Winter

Are you planning to sell your home during wintertime? Selling a property during the winter is actually a smart idea – with fewer houses on the market, it’s that much easier to outclass the competition. Here are three great winter curb appeal projects that allow your home to stand above the rest.

1. Install a New Garage Door

The single best way to enhance your home’s curb appeal is by updating your garage door to a contemporary model. Not only does a new garage door make your property look better overall, but it also provides you with a great return on your investment. Consult Apple Valley garage door installation experts to select the perfect door to accentuate the style of your house.

2. Add Winter Landscaping

Who says you can’t landscape during the winter? There are actually quite a few winter plants that can add plenty of color and interest to your yard. Winter jasmine, crocus and cyclamen thrive in cooler temperatures. Place these plants in your flowerbeds to watch your home’s curb appeal reach full bloom.

3. Improve the Front Entry

Your front entry door should make a statement when you’re selling your house. Dressing up your front door is an easy project to complete during any season. Start by painting your door or giving it a new coat of stain if you want to bring out the natural beauty of a wood door. Consider installing new hardware like handles and locks and spend a little extra money to get solid nickel or iron models with a nice finish. Finally, swap out your house address numbers with new ones to ensure that your address is visible from the street.

It’s no secret that good curb appeal helps homes sell faster and for more money, too. Follow the tips above to encourage potential buyers to choose your home over the competition.

3 Ways To Keep Your House Cool

It wasn’t so long ago that air conditioning was considered a luxury; nice to have but nonessential. With climate change, the AC is considered more of an necessity. The irony here is that air conditioners release emissions that actually contribute to global warming, so that cranking the AC may actually be making the temperature outside hotter. Fortunately, there are things you can do to break this cycle and still survive hot summer temperatures.

1. Use Fans Strategically

You’ve had fan installation Valencia PA, and now’s the time to take full advantage of it. However, you have to pay attention to how you use it. Don’t expect a fan to change the temperature of a room because that’s not what it’s for. Rather, it’s intended to circulate the air so that you feel cooler. In the summer, therefore, you should make sure your ceiling fan is rotating counterclockwise so that it blows the air right down on you.

Incidentally, the opposite is true in the winter. Then you want to switch the fan to rotate clockwise that that the hot air that has risen to the ceiling circulates around the room.

2. Close the Blinds

While it can be cheery to have sunshine streaming in your window, leaving curtains and blinds open during the day allows heat to become trapped inside. This accounts for up to 30% of the unwanted heat in your home. During the day, you should keep the curtains or blinds closed to block the heat from coming in.

It’s a different story at night, however. As the temperature outside cools down, you should open the curtains and the windows to allow the cooler air inside.

3. Cool Your Body

Lowering your own body temperature a few degrees may be much more efficient than cooling the whole house. You can accomplish this with cold compresses on your neck and wrists, wearing breathable clothing, and sipping on ice water.

This is not to say that you can never run the air conditioner again, but it need not necessarily run constantly from May to September.

How To Remodel Your Home Safely and Efficiently

Everyone wants the home of his or her dreams, and most of us have some idea of what that entails. However, some people have no idea where to start when it comes to making that dream a reality, and even those who do will have their work cut out for them. This guide can help you navigate a home renovation project more easily and effectively.


Planning is the single most important part of the renovation project, because attention to detail during the planning phase will ensure that you have a plan to stick to, and doing so to a tee will necessarily provide the intended result. However, bigger projects such as repurposing buildings will require more architectural knowledge. The average home renovation will require at least a passing knowledge of the basics of construction and, assuming you’re working with wood, some knowledge of carpentry, as well. With the right information and/or skill set, you can create a solid plan that will point you in the right direction each of the many times you’ll be coming back to it.


Construction is a labor intensive endeavor, even at the smallest of scales. When beginning a project, it’s important to consider your level of physical fitness and, where applicable, your strength. In order to get a project done in a timely manner, you’ll need to be able to keep up a decent pace, and this can be difficult when you’re constantly getting winded. It’s important to bring on a small group of friends or family that can help you get through this project, for this and other reasons. Having extra hands on deck to keep you from becoming exhausted by a solo project is invaluable, but it’s also better to have someone on hand who can make the task less dangerous both directly and by being on standby to call for help if something goes wrong.


Construction is a dangerous job, whether it’s commercial construction or a home renovation, and being prepared for that danger is essential. For starters, demolishing a wall can expose nails, screws, and staples that can cut you if you’re not careful. More dangerous are live wires, so be sure to flip the relevant breakers, if not all of them, when handling wires. It’s also crucial that you wear a sturdy pair of gloves at all times, because this can protect from a variety of possible injuries from being scraped by nails or hitting your thumb with a hammer. That being said, gloves aren’t foolproof, and you still need to exercise the utmost caution.