THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN A FIREPLACE

🔥 Not sure how to keep your fireplace looking and working well?➡️ Here’s a step by step guide to cleaning it.


HOW TO CLEAN A FIREPLACE THE RIGHT WAY

Regardless of how clean the room is, a dirty fireplace can make it look unkempt. Cleaning the fireplace might be a dirty job, but the result is worth it, and it’ll keep it in good working order. 

Cleaning the fireplace regularly will make it easier to clean. Here’s what you’ll need when cleaning your fireplace.

  • Broom and dustpan
  • Paper towels
  • Dropcloth or tarp
  • Coffee grounds (optional)
  • Scrub brush
  • Vacuum with the brush attachment
  • Gloves
  • Cleaning solution
  • Goggles

STEP 1: DON PROTECTIVE GEAR

You’ll be surprised at how far soot and dust from your fireplace can travel, so be sure you wear gloves and protective eyewear while you clean. 

Also, cover the hearth with a drop cloth or plastic tarp to protect as much area in front of the fireplace as possible. 

STEP 2: REMOVE LOGS AND ASHES

Remove any unburned logs and use a dustpan to scoop out the ashes. To keep dust from spreading too far, cover the ashes with coffee grounds first and then scoop it all into a bucket to dispose of later. 

STEP 3: SWEEP AND VACUUM

Sweep out the inside of the fireplace and then use your vacuum with a soft brush attachment to get all the ashes and debris from every nook and cranny. 

STEP 4: MIX THE CLEANING SOLUTION

Ideally, you’ll want to use a green cleaning solution on your fireplace as they are gentler on the brick and better for the environment. You can try a solution of warm water and trisodium phosphate, baking soda and detergent, cream of tartar, or plain water and vinegar. 

STEP 5: SCRUB THE FIREPLACE

Starting at the top of the fireplace and working your way down, dip the scrub brush in the cleaning solution and begin scrubbing the brick. Use small, circular motions to loosen soot and ash. You may need to repeat this step a time or two to get the interior of your fireplace clean. 

The best way to keep your fireplace looking good and working properly is to clean it regularly. Wait a day or two after burning a fire before attempting to remove the ash and sweep it out. Plan a thorough cleaning as outlined above regularly throughout the year to keep your fireplace in good working order.

🌳 THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT OUTDOOR SPACE WHEN BUYING A NEW HOME

🏡 When buying a new home 🌳 Here are a few things you should consider about outdoor space 

With the COVID-19 pandemic still underway and people still quarantining at home, there’s a growing new appreciation for private outdoor spaces. If you dream of owning a home with a big yard and plenty of room to relax and play, make sure you consider the following to ensure you get exactly what you want. After all, COVID isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and we all need some space to get out and enjoy the sun and fresh air. 

WHAT TYPE OF OUTDOOR SPACE WORKS BEST FOR YOU?

Your outdoor space is what you make it, but if having somewhere in the sunshine to spend time is important to you, the type of outdoor space you envision can help narrow down your search for the perfect home. 

Do you like to entertain? Perhaps you just need a patch of yard for a swing set? Maybe you’re happy to have a simple quiet patio or balcony with a table and chairs for watching sunsets with loved ones and a nice glass of wine. Take a moment to think about what kind of outdoor space suits your lifestyle and preferences best and use that knowledge to find the right home for you.

HOW WILL YOU USE YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE?

Whether your outdoor area dream space includes a sprawling backyard or a small balcony off a second-floor apartment, you need to decide how you’ll make the most of the space you have. If it’s a large backyard, are you financially and physically capable of caring for it? If it’s just a terrace off your apartment, will you do more than just watch sunsets there? 

HOW OUTDOOR SPACE ADDS VALUE TO YOUR HOME AND YOUR LIFESTYLE

As the pandemic rages on, more and more people are coming to realize how important having an outdoor space is to enhance the stay-at-home orders issued by the government. 

In years past, you may have used a gym membership to workout and swim laps, but these days, staying home means staying safe. Can adding a pool in your backyard add value to your life? 

Homeowners with spacious backyards are now creating backyard oases to make spending time at home more fun and functional to keep themselves and their families safe (and sane). 

Ultimately, it comes down to how we can make our homes enjoyable and comfortable places to pass the time, both inside and out.

WHY SKYLIGHTS ARE AN EFFICIENT WAY TO LIGHT A HOME

☀️ If you’re looking for green ways to upgrade your home, consider skylights throughout the residence. 🏡 Skylights are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time. Here’s why.


THE MANY BENEFITS OF INSTALLING SKYLIGHTS IN YOUR HOME

Most interior design experts agree that the more natural lighting that enters your home, the warmer and more appealing its ambiance. While windows do an alright job of allowing natural light in, skylights give you more options for allowing natural lighting to flood your home. At the same time, skylights can reduce your dependency on artificial lighting, heating and cooling systems, and save you money on your utility bills. As a result, your home is more sustainable and eco-friendlier. 

BENEFITS OF HAVING SKYLIGHTS IN YOUR HOME

Skylights can be installed in virtually any room in your home. The natural light they allow in enhances the atmosphere throughout the house. No matter where you put skylights in your home, the benefits are the same. 

REDUCED NEED FOR ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING

Obviously, one of the biggest benefits of having skylights is your decreased need for artificial lighting throughout the day, and at night when the moon is full and bright, you won’t need to turn on the lights then, either. 

CONTROLLED LIGHTING SOURCE

Skylights come with some additional equipment that makes them extremely versatile. They often include blinds and/or covers so you can control how much light enters your house and when. If the sun entering a skylight is too hot, simply close the blinds to block it out. 

Another benefit of having a skylight is that you can choose what angle it faces to increase or decrease the amount of light and heat that enters your home. Flat skylights let in the most natural light, while angled skylights reduce the amount of light and heat that comes into your home. 

PASSIVE HEATING SOURCE

Since skylights allow for direct sun exposure, you can heat rooms naturally simply by opening the skylight’s blinds. Even on cold days, if the sun is shining, you can heat a room significantly simply by allowing the skylight to do its job, thus reducing the need to run your furnace. 

Skylights reduce your need for natural lighting and decrease your dependency on your home’s heating/cooling systems. As such, you reduce the impact running your home has on the environment. As a result, your home is eco-friendlier, and you save money each month on your utility bills.

5 ISSUES YOU ARE LIKELY TO FACE WHEN REMODELING A HOUSE

🏡 If you’re planning a home remodel, you’ll want to read the following information so you’re prepared for the things that could make the process a bumpy one.

COMMON ISSUES THAT COME WHEN REMODELING A HOUSE

Remodeling a house can be an exciting time. The prospect of a fresh, new look is fun to think about, but the reality is the whole process is time-consuming and hard work. 

Everyone hopes for their remodeling project to go smoothly. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. Here are several issues you are likely to face when you remodel a house. 

1. UNDERESTIMATING THE COST OF THE PROJECT

Whether you do the work yourself or you hire a contractor, many people tend to underestimate the cost of a home remodeling project. It’s a good idea to keep a buffer of at least 20 percent of the cost of the project to be able to afford any surprises that crop up. Also, if you’re using a contractor, be sure he’s a reputable one that won’t skimp on quality or service to save a buck or two. 

2. NOT COMMUNICATING WELL WITH THE CONTRACTOR

Not everyone gets along well with everyone else. It’s important to find a contractor that you like and can communicate well with. If a contractor gives off a bad vibe or doesn’t seem to be concerned with your ideas, you might want to find a different one. Lack of communication with your contractor can lead to major headaches if he doesn’t understand or refuses to understand exactly what you want. 

3. PROJECT DELAYS

Things happen to delay even the most well-planned home remodeling project, especially if your project includes some specialty items. Delays in the delivery of materials are the most common excuse for project delays, so it’s important that you have an open mind and not get too excited if the project takes a little longer than you anticipated. 

4. PROCRASTINATION

You have a lot of decisions to make in terms of materials, décor, etc. with your home remodeling project. It can become overwhelming having to decide everything, which can lead to procrastination. If you begin feeling overwhelmed with all the choices you need to make, take a step back, take it one decision at a time, and work through the process in a methodical manner to keep the project moving along. Avoid looking at the big picture as it can leave you feeling exhausted and cause you to put off making important decisions. 

5. NOT UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS

If you’ve never worked with a contractor before, it’s possible that you don’t understand how the process works. Before any work begins, have your contractor go through the contract with you so you understand what’s going to happen every step of the way. Ask as many questions as it takes to fully understand the scope of work so you can set your expectations accordingly. Not understanding the process can lead you to have unrealistic expectations that could delay the process. 

If you’re planning a home remodeling project, be sure you have a clear understanding of how it works and what to expect so there aren’t any delays and it goes as smoothly as possible.