A Tiny House Makeover (Ok, It’s A Dollhouse)

I was surprised how many questions I got about the little dollhouse sneak peeks I’ve shared on IG stories over the last few weeks as I fixed this up with the kids. And then I polled you guys to see if you wanted a post about it, and 91% of you voted yes, so here it is!

You can read more about how these came to be on this podcast from a few weeks back, but the gist is that the kids really wanted super detailed dollhouses to fix up, and we got two of them secondhand on Facebook marketplace to “renovate” together.

This little makeover was lots of fun for us all, since the kids were at the wheel picking all the colors and helping me paint and glue and arrange stuff, and although this technically lives in our son’s room, both kids definitely had a hand in making it over (we have another one that lives in our daughter’s room that we’re also working on together – which you can see below on the left of the photo). The lesson: even tiny houses take a village to fix up.

The quick pic I snapped below shows what this one looked like when we got it (I barely remembered to snap the before photo, hence that dash of white paint on the facade since we had already started painting).

Our son was adamant that he wanted it to be white with light blue shutters and gold trim along the peak (this is the gold I used – be sure to shake this thoroughly for the best coverage). The kid knew what he wanted and was unwavering. Ha! So his vision came to fruition thanks to a whole lot of painting.

We just used simple craft paint from Michael’s and we all pitched in (we had the entire interior and exterior to do). The kids could easily do things like the floor, walls, and exterior house color and I helped with the more detailed jobs, like the trim (I just used a small craft brush). Also we made up a song as we went, which went a little something like this: “Ahh, don’t get paint on the roof! Go slow! Whew! We can do this! Ahhhh, avoid the roof!” Catchy, eh? If you’re super worried you can cover it with plastic and tape it off, but our song seemed to work for the most part.

Oh and that decorative trim around the peak came with the dollhouse, it just broke off and I re-glued it back on with wood glue (this glue works great – I just taped them in place while they dried so I didn’t have to stand there holding them for an hour).

I loved getting to reuse some things we’ve had for ages (way back from our daughter’s first dollhouse), like those topiaries that you see on the front porch. The funny thing is that I found those in the wedding aisle at Michael’s 6 years ago, and they’re actually meant to be place cards (there’s a small wire loop at the top to stick name cards in). Cute miniature things are EVERYWHERE if you look close enough.

As for the “greenery” in the window boxes above, I just bought this small faux plant “mat” from Michael’s (don’t forget your 50% off coupons – they saved me so much money when I was grabbing the acrylic paint, craft glue, and the little faux green mat).

Here’s a Burger-for-scale shot for ya. He was VERY INTO trying to help, but sadly dogs can’t paint very well. Oh and we have since fixed the steps, so I’ll have to share a little update video on Instagram stories about how we did it. Super simple – you just slice thin craft wood (like this) with an exacto knife to make the steps, glue them into place with wood glue, and paint them to match. Truly so easy! Like 10,000% easier than building a human-sized staircase 😉

This is where this dollhouse lives, right in the corner of our son’s room. For those who listened to the podcast about “Operation Acquire Two Dollhouses”, you may remember that I thought this was a much smaller dollhouse (like shoebox sized) and was shocked when it was almost as big as his extra high dresser – and then we picked up the one for our daughter… and… well… it was massive. Ha! But they LOVE them, so I guess it all worked out. Even if dollhouses now make up 8% of our actual house’s contents now.

As for how we fixed things up inside, this is what we started with. All the furniture in each house was collected over two bulk purchases on Facebook Marketplace (we spent around $30 total for enough furniture to fill TWO houses!). This before shot of the back of the house and the furniture isn’t completely congruent with the next after shot since I took this photo on Christmas Eve, and then the kids came down on Christmas morning and had all sorts of furniture swaps and rearranging parties.

But you get the general gist that the floors were wood, the walls were sort of a cream-white color and a lot of the furniture was wood, deep red, green and cream, etc. Once again our tiny homeowner knew exactly what he wanted for the inside: white walls and light blue floors – just like the shutters and trim (this is the exact blue color we used by the way).

We all got to work painting those (again, just with craft paint from Michael’s) and once the floor & walls were dry we had some fun painting the beds gold, adding a pink top to the table and two of the chairs – whatever the kids wanted – we did! And the funny thing is that they both said the sink and the fridge had to be pink like the stove at the pink house! You know I didn’t argue with that 😉

The little pillows were things our daughter already had from a small doll she had gotten ages ago, and even the “bedding” on the two beds were cloth bags I had saved in our gift wrapping closet (one is from Kendra Scott jewelry and it’s the perfect “sleeping bag” size and the other is a plain blue cloth bag that something else came in).

There were a few special purchases that we made with the kids. They had an Amazon gift card and some Christmas money to spend, so after a loooooooong deliberation they decided that two plates of pancakes (you can see those on the right of the photo above) and a little gingerbread making kit (seen below) were the best things to buy, along with this set of pots & pans (you can see them in the photo above on the fridge). They’ve never been so excited to check the mail every day until they arrived.

Oh and that little candlestick has real wax candles! It came with one of the sets of old dollhouse furniture we bought secondhand – and you might remember those round wire chairs from our daughter’s first dollhouse too (originally they were little decorative chairs meant as shelf decor from West Elm years ago).

You know it super bugs me that I took all these photos like a day before I fixed those stairs, right? #TypeA

Along with DIYing the greenery in the window boxes, I also made a few house plants from scratch. It was really simple and fun, I just took small clippings from the same faux green mat thing I bought for the window boxes, and I glued them into various small things that look like pots. One was a wood bead (see that one on the top of the toilet in the picture below?) and one was a small white flowerpot I found at the craft store.

I also used a clear bead + a brown flat button to make the little plant you see in the photo below. Just glue the bead and the button together and it looks like a little glass vase sitting on a brown coaster – and then add the small clipping to the bead with another small dab of glue.

Another fun added touch is to dump some colorful beads or large sequins into the bath tub and the sink to create some “fake water.” I found some blue ones a little later on, but already had these pink sequin things from a jewelry kit we had around the house, so I tossed them in and the kids had a lot of fun “bathing” their little dolls and teddy bears in ’em. Much better than them putting real water in their tub and sink 😉

You can see it a little better in this photo below, along with my homemade potted plant.

The kids also especially like “interactive” additions to their houses, like the rocking horse & rocking chair, which both get a lot of use from their little figures. Our daughter’s house also has a Christmas tree and some tiny fake wrapped presents to go around the base of it – and they LOVE that too. Anything they can weave a story around seems to be a real hit – and stuff that moves like drawers that come out and chests that open add excitement-factor too (they also love that the toilet cover goes up and down).

So that rounds out the tour of House #1 for ya. We hope to eventually share our larger and more detailed renovation of the bigger house for our daughter’s room someday. She wants electricity and all that good stuff, so it might take a while, but hopefully I’ll be back with all the details in the next year or two. You never know how long these whole-house renos are gonna take 😉

Also dollhouses are not just for girls. So many little guys who come over to play run right up to them and LOVE it.

Psst – To check out how to make a much less detailed dollhouse for younger kids, here’s how we built one, and . And to hear more of the story about how we came across these two dollhouses that we’re fixing up now, you can tune into this podcast (all the details are in the first 10 minutes or so).

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The post A Tiny House Makeover (Ok, It’s A Dollhouse) appeared first on Young House Love.

This content was originally published here.

How To Install A Removable Wallpaper Mural

We’ve been eager to try a wallpaper accent somewhere in the duplex, and last week we finally installed not one, but two, removable wall murals! And I can’t begin to describe how much easier and cheaper it was than we expected, plus it turned out like ten times better than we had even hoped.

Removable Orange Blossom Wallpaper Mural In Small Room

If you’ve listened to our podcast recently, you may recognize this space as one of the small sleeping nooks on each side of the duplex. The rooms are only about 8′ x 8′ and our goal is to turn them into fun bonus sleeping spaces. So they felt like natural candidates for a bold injection of color and pattern.

We had our eyes on a few wallpapers, but then we stumbled across these removable wall murals on Society6. They’re effectively the same as wallpaper, except that their patterns can’t be repeated indefinitely (most are 8′ wide but some are 12′) so they’re perfect for smaller walls like ours. A few other things that we liked were:

  • there were some nice large-scale patterns and images compared to most wallpaper in our price range
  • they’re extra convenient to use – no glue, easy to restick if you don’t line them up right the first time, etc.
  • they have a demo video right on the site when you’re shopping to give you an idea of what to expect when you hang them
  • they’re made from a strong/durable material (almost like a thick flexible vinyl decal with fabric fibers woven through it) so it’s very substantial, whereas some wallpaper feels more delicate

*This isn’t sponsored – we bought them with our own money & found them on our own – just figured I should put that out there since clearly I’m gushing.

We liked a lot of the ones that we found on their site, like these below:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

But after a lot of debating, we ultimately decided on two painterly patterns: these whales (seen below) and these oranges (seen in the first photo of this post).

Small Room With Blue Whale Removable Wallpaper

The colors fit well on each side where we used them. We paired the blue watercolor-looking whales with the side of the duplex with the pink doors (they’re White Truffle by Sherwin Williams by the way)…

Sherry Smoothing Second Panel of Removable Wallpaper With Pink Door In Foreground

…and the leafy oranges with the side of the duplex with the greeny-blue doors (which are Oyster Bay by Sherwin Williams).

Removable Orange Blossom Wallpaper Installation With Blue Painted Door

Plus, we snagged them during a 30% off sale at Society6, so we saved nearly $100 off their usual $299 price tag.

As for installing them, here’s how it all went down (er, up?). Again, it was surprisingly straightforward to do – but it does require a bit of patience and care. The first one took us around three hours to complete, and the second one only took about two hours, so once you get the hang of it, it’s much less intimidating and goes a lot faster.

Tools & Supplies Needed

You can install wallpaper or a wall mural like this with very few tools, but having the following will make it easier:

  • Step ladder
  • Level
  • Pen or pencil
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife or other sharp craft knife
  • Smoothing tool
  • An extra set of hands (this is much easier as a two person job)

Step 1: Organize Your Panels

The 8′ wide murals come with four 2′ wide removable panels all rolled together. Since the pattern isn’t repeating, be sure to identify the order in which your panels need to be hung! It would be a nightmare to hang one on the right side of the room only to realize it should have been hung on the left side for the other three panels to line up. We loosely unrolled ours in a nearby room and laid them across the bed to double-check that we were working in the correct order.

Step 2: Carefully Position The First Panel

Each wallpaper panel has a removable backing that easily peels off. Again, you don’t need any glue or paste to install these. So throughout the installation, you’ll want to peel back small sections at a time. We started by peeling back the first foot-ish of the first full panel (you can see it folded down behind the top part of the mural that we had stuck to the top corner of the wall in the photo below:

One Panel Of Whale Removable Wallpaper Partially Hung In Room

Not to psych you out, but getting this first panel hung correctly is a big part of the success of this project. The good news is that these panels are VERY FORGIVING. Seriously, we probably hung and rehung this first section 4 or 5 times while we figured out the best system. It didn’t lose any of its adhesion strength each time that we stuck, unstuck, and restuck it – and it didn’t wrinkle (even if we accidentally stuck it to itself a few times, we could carefully peel it off and it was fine).

You’ll be tempted to use your ceiling or wall as your level reference point for this first panel. DON’T. Most rooms – including ours – aren’t perfectly straight, so relying on your first corner to be completely square could lead to crooked panels which, even worse, could lead to gaps at the top or sides of your mural as your ceiling or wall bows in or out slightly.

Instead, you’ll want to mark a vertical line using a level to give you a reference point for the outer edge of your first panel. You could do this all the way down the wall, but we found that doing just a couple of feet at the top was enough to get us started.

Drawing Vertical Level Line Before Hanging First Panel of Wallpaper

We marked ours about 23.5″ inches from the corner, so that our 24″ panel would overlap the side wall a smidge (again, to make sure we didn’t see gaps anywhere that the wall bowed out). We’ll show you how we cut off all of the overlap a little later.

Then we hung the panel along that vertical line but made sure that it overlapped the ceiling by about an inch as well. Even though our ceilings and the panels are both 8ft tall, we could spare this inch since the baseboards make the actual wall space around 7’6″ – and again, most ceilings aren’t perfectly level all the way across, so we wanted to make sure we had excess to bridge any gaps if the ceiling is slightly higher a little further down the wall.

Applying First Panel of Removable Wallpaper With Overlap at Ceiling

Step 3: Peel, Stick, and Smooth

Once you feel good about the position of your first panel, you can begin the process that you’ll rely on most for this wallpaper installation: peeling off a bit more backing, sticking it to the wall with your hand, and then smoothing out the bubbles. You can see the slight ceiling overlap we mentioned in the photo below, which we will take care of later on.

Smoothing Removable Wallpaper With Credit Card

You can buy a smoothing tool meant for this task, but we forgot to bring one with us to the beach, so we pulled a credit card out of my wallet and it did the job just fine.

Our main tip here is to work from the middle out toward the edges, both when you’re sticking things with your hand and when you’re smoothing things afterwards. Also, don’t be afraid to peel it off and restick it if you’re not happy with your placement or if it’s starting to wrinkle. Remember, this particular material is VERY FORGIVING.

Continue to apply the first wallpaper panel in this manner until you get to the baseboard at the bottom. We’ll trim that later as well.

Step 4: Line Up The Pattern On Your Second Panel

If you’ve carefully placed your first panel, this part shouldn’t give you any trouble. These designs aren’t printed with an overlap, so you’ll be butting the second panel up along the edge of the first panel. Just peel a small section of backing off and take your time aligning the pattern. You can peel it off and restick it as many times as you need to get it just right so they line up pretty seamlessly, like you see below:

Installing Second Panel of Removable Wallpaper Aligning Whale Patterns

We did notice that the material has a little stretch to it, so as you smooth it down the wall, it can cause your pattern to travel a bit – meaning your pattern alignment may seem “off” as you go down the wall if you’re pulling and stretching one panel more than the other one.

Installing Second Panel Of Removable Whale Wallpaper By Smoothing Creases

We combatted this by trying NOT to pull or stretch the material with too much force. And just by generally being vigilant the whole way down. If we didn’t like how anything lined up, we just peeled it back up and tried again.

Sherry Smoothing Second Panel of Removable Wallpaper With Pink Door In Foreground

Step 5: Cut Around Small Obstacles Like Outlets & Switches

If you run into an obstacle like a light switch or wall outlet, don’t worry – it’s super easy. Just turn off the power to that switch or outlet, and once you’re ready to stick the wallpaper around it, use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cover plate. Then loosely stick the wallpaper panel OVER the outlet (if it’s a traditional switch that protrudes a lot, you may need to cut a small slit to allow the switch to peek out so the wallpaper can sit flatter against the area).

You should be able to feel the outline of the obstacle through the paper, so use your utility knife to carefully cut along the edges – being careful not to cut any areas that won’t be covered by the switch plate or outlet cover.

Installing Removable Wallpaper By Cutting Around Electrical Outlet

It doesn’t have to be a flawless cut, just be sure to remove enough that the outlet or switch could be easily removed if/when needed. Then just smooth the area down and screw the cover back on so it looks polished and finished (you can see the finished outlet in the picture below).

Step 6: Cutting Around Large Obstacles Like Windows & Doors

Hanging our last two wall mural panels presented the added challenge of cutting around a large window that would interfere with significant sections of the pattern.

Society6 Removable Wall Mural Wallpaper With Whale In Small Room

We started each one of them the same way we did the full panels – peeling back a small section at the top and aligning the pattern. But once the window trim preventing the panel from hanging flat, we broke out the scissors and roughly cut out the area that would have covered the window.

Cutting Excess Wallpaper To Install Around Window

We were VERY CONSERVATIVE in doing this, leaving 3-4 inches of excess, and trimming more as we felt more confident we weren’t cutting off too much. It’s a little tricky getting around corners (you kinda have to cut a diagonal slit in it).

Cutting Excess Removable Wallpaper In Final Panel Around Bedroom Window

Once enough is trimmed off so that you can press it flat onto the wall, then it’s just a matter of (say it with me!) peeling, sticking, and smoothing. You’ll still have some excess overlapping the trim, but just like the excess along your baseboard, side wall, and ceiling, it’s just fine. You’ll trim it off later.

Smoothing Final Panel Of Removable Wallpaper Next To Window

Step 7: Finishing Your Final Wallpaper Panel

I’m not gonna lie: aligning that final part under the window was a little tricky. But I’ll show you how we cheated to keep ourselves from going crazy.

Because of the window, we hung our fourth panel (which was pretty much just a tiny strip between the window and the wall) without being able to align it with the pattern on the previous panel. So by the time we got to the bottom, it didn’t perfectly match up. And if we did match it up – it always left a big bubble or wrinkle, no matter how many times we stuck or restuck it. We tried unpeeling, shifting and resticking it half a dozen times, but with minimal improvement.

So we decided the main priority was aligning the pattern under the window so the vertical seam disappeared. Then we actually sliced the panel apart (gasp!) at a narrow spot between the window and the wall where there was mostly white space. That way, instead of a big wrinkle, we had a smooth, barely-visible overlap.

Detail Of Removable Wallpaper Installation With Overlapping Section

I forgot to take a picture of the overlap on the whale side, but you can see it above on the orange side. It’s suuuuuper subtle (and will be completely blocked by a bed anyways) but we wanted to show you so you didn’t stress yourself out about getting things absolutely flawless.

And again, here it is from further away – you’d never notice that small imperfection in the scheme of the entire room, even if it weren’t covered by a bed.

Removable Orange Blossom Wallpaper Mural In Small Room

Step 8: Cut Off The Excess With Your Knife

You don’t actually have to wait until the end to trim off all of your excess wallpaper around the ceilings, end walls, and baseboards, but doing it last is a nice insurance policy in case you have to do any major repositioning (we didn’t – but it still felt smart to play it safe). Once you cut it, you can’t un-cut it 😉

Cutting Off Excess Removable Wallpaper Along Baseboard

Sherry and I had different techniques for this part. She smoothed everything really well one more time, almost forcing a crease into the edge, and then freehanded the cut along the crease.

I felt a little better smoothing and then actually pressing my smoothing tool (aka credit card) into the crease as I cut, almost using the card as a guide. I think my method worked better in “softer” corners like along the ceiling, but Sherry’s worked speedily along “harder” edges like where the baseboard met the drywall.

Step 9: Repeat!

Okay, not really. Most of you will not have to repeat the process in another room like we did. Unless you were so wowed by the result that you’re already planning another project. It is kind of addicting…

Removable Orange Blossom Wallpaper Installation With Blue Painted Door

In all seriousness, we’re so happy with how these turned out AND how painless the installation was, we ARE trying to figure out if there’s another spot we could install one in the beach house or our own house.

And as for these rooms, they still need to be fully furnished. We’ve built the two twin bed platforms in each space (they’re these from Ikea), the mattresses are coming, and we’re currently looking for some bedding to finish them off.

Removable Wallpaper Mural With Oranges In Room With Two Twin Beds

You can see in the above photo that we’ve placed a temporary side table in there, just to get a sense of the layout (the aisle isn’t as small as we feared after all, which is great news).

Small Room With Blue Whale Removable Wallpaper And Two Twin Beds

More on these rooms to come! But for now we’re just enjoying how a few hours spent sticking these murals up on each side completely changed how they look. They’re a lot closer to charming little bonus sleeping nooks than they were last week!

P.S. To see other projects that we’ve done at the duplex, here’s how we started laying down rugs & building the kitchens, how we tiled 6 rooms, how we hung operable shutters, and here’s the entire duplex category on our blog if you want to look back on all of our progress.

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The post How To Install A Removable Wallpaper Mural appeared first on Young House Love.

This content was originally published here.

A Front Porch Makeover At The Duplex!

It feels like a while since you’ve seen the front of the duplex (I blame winter) but that’s going to change today. And let me tell you… THINGS HAVE TURNED A CORNER!

Duplex Front Porch From Angle With Oversized Black Lanterns And Matching Mailboxes

There’s no landscaping yet, the grass is patchy, and Sean the Contractor’s gigantic sign is still there…

… but boy oh boy is she lookin’ fynnnnnnnneee when we compare her to where we started:

All of the not original details came down – like the weird plastic wagon wheels and strange abacus trim that was added in the 70s, the plastic too-small shutters, the broken vinyl porch railing, all those satellite dishes, and the duct tape along the roofline. And we maintained or added back as much original charm as we could – like the metal porch roof, larger operable shutters, square porch columns, corbels along the roofline, wide brick steps, and those diamond windows that give me cartoon heart eyes.

We’ve already shared a lot of the big exterior decisions that we made as we went, like choosing our siding, roofing, and picking the color for the shutters, so today we’re gonna cover all of our front porch updates.

Duplex Front Porch With Matching Dark Gray Doors Plants House Numbers Mailboxes

UGH BUT FIRST LET’S ADRESS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM… or should I say the mouse on the porch?! Those tiny postage stamp doormats are so ridiculous I can’t even explain how I thought they were regular sized and then they turned out to be doormats for ants.

So yes, we’re getting bigger ones (they would DEFINITELY make Marlo cringe – Atlanta Housewives… Anyone? Bueller?). So let’s all try to look past those tiny little rectangles and appreciate some of the other stuff that’s giving me life. We have mailboxes! And house numbers! And lanterns to illuminate said house numbers! And composite decking (no rot! YAY!). We even have potted plants and teak benches! SOMEBODY HELP ME CALM DOWN.

Duplex Front Porch From Angle With Doormats Planters And Benches In Similar Color

We don’t have great before photos of just the front door area itself, but you can sort of see it (including the mismatched storm doors that we got rid of immediately) in the photo below.

But as artsy as John thought he was being with the “SOLD” sign in the foreground of that picture, it doesn’t really demonstrate how deteriorated the old porch had become.

The entire front porch was also so rotten when it came to the actual support beams and structure of it, that we had to tear it off of the house and rebuild it from scratch, being careful to maintain the original transom windows above the door.

Let’s just say that it feels like we have taken a very significant leap forward in the last year and a half.

Duplex Front Porch From Angle With Oversized Black Lanterns And Matching Mailboxes

After we ditched the mismatched storm doors we decided to embrace the original front doors (figuratively speaking, I didn’t actually hug them, but we LOVE them and wanted to save them). You actually have to get approval from the town’s historic review board to change the style of your doors, so we’re really glad we liked them from the get-go. At one point we considered painting them the same mint color as the shutters, but realized that color got a lot of “stage time” thanks to having so many front windows (and therefore, double the amount of shutters)… so we both thought it would be nice to introduce another tone or color on the doors.

Our next (and longest-standing) idea was to make them some sort of wood tone – just clear sealed or covered with a light stain. You know we LOVE AN ORIGINAL WOOD DOOR (we stripped & waxed all the interior doors at the pink house, and I can’t even tell you how happy we are with them). So we had our contractor strip and sand our duplex front doors to get them as raw looking as possible. Lead paint = we hired them to do it safely in their shop, and they stripped and sanded them as far back as they could without compromising their integrity (they’re thinner than standard doors that are made today, and they had a few cracks and repaired portions they didn’t want to make worse).

But even after we spent $400 to get the doors professionally stripped back as far as they could take them, we just couldn’t get them where they needed to be. From the street (and in the from-a-distance-photos we shared) they looked pretty cool, but up close you could see a lot of stubborn paint in the cracks and recesses that we just couldn’t remove – even after another pass at sanding.

And as you walked closer you could see other general jankiness – like a large crack and some glue bubbles that would be hard to disguise with sealer or stain alone.

Sanded Down Doors On Duplex With Cracks And Old Glue

We knew that we could still get a wood look using a dark gel stain, like we did over on the pink house. It’s got thicker coverage than a typical stain – almost like a paint – and that certainly would’ve helped hide some of the issues.

But once we installed the porch lights, mailboxes, house numbers and door handles, we both kept thinking…. what about a rich charcoal-y paint color? One that ties into that gorgeous metal roof above the porch? It just felt like a nice balance to the cheerful green shutters – sort of grounding and adding some nice contrast. It was also slightly comforting to notice that all of our other neighbors who have original doors have painted them too (they’re all 100+ years old so I think that’s the plight of being so worn down and in need of various repairs over the years – raw wood isn’t nearly as forgiving).

One Side of Duplex Front Porch With 113 House Number And Fake Plant

We’ve loved Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze ever since we used it our garage doors at home. It’s a really rich and layered color and we’ve always loved how it walks the line between a true black and a warm dark bronze-y brown tone – just like the tin roof we chose for the duplex!

Long story long, even though it was our lifelong (ok, yearlong) dream to leave these doors a light wood tone, we’ve mourned the loss of that idea and are IN LOVE with the final result. We both stepped back and thought: THE PAINT DID THESE DOORS A TON OF FAVORS!

Duplex Front Porch From Angle With Doormats Planters And Benches In Similar Color

Not only does it hide the cracks and glue bubbles along with all of those tricky paint remnants, it also looks great with the dark porch accents we added, like the operable shutters, the oversized porch lights, our wall mounted mailboxes, and our new house numbers. And the nice thing is that we were able to bring that wood tone in with other things, but more on that in a second.

One Side Of Duplex Front Porch With Dark Door And Hardware

As for installing the address numbers, they’re just simple off-the-shelf house numbers from Home Depot that can be mounted flush (like we did) or floating. They come with a template on the back of the package, so we trimmed the templates a bit so we could space them the way we wanted, and taped them to the siding exactly as we hoped they’d look in the end – being sure to triple check that they all had equal spacing, were all level, and were centered.

House Number Templates Provided Taped To Wall For Placement

At one point we had planned to just get some subtle number decals to stick on the mailbox, but then we learned it was actually code that they were at least 4″ tall and “visible from the street” for emergency personnel. And by “learned,” I mean that we almost failed our final inspection because we hadn’t installed any yet, so we rushed to get them up and passed by the skin of our teeth (I would like to have a word with the inventor of that gross expression, btw).

Duplex Front Porch Modern Home Depot House Number

Since we lost some of the warm wood tones in the doors, I brought them in with a few other things, like the basket-looking planters (they’re really a ceramic-like material), and the big teak benches on the far ends of the porch. And once we get bigger doormats (maybe a single long one that runs under both doors and up to each planter would be cool?) that’ll add more of that warmer tone to the mix.

Of course I have to shout out our go-to faux outdoor trees. They inject some much needed zero-maintenance greenery to the front porch. We’ve got the same type on the beach house front porch and the taller versions at home in Richmond. They’re awesome, so yes, we are now the proud owners of six of these babies. Please note that I didn’t floof these before the photos (yes, that’s a technical term), so their shape in the picture below bugs me to no end. They’ll be looking 100 when I get my new mats, landscape the front, and share the updated pics though – mark my words.

Duplex Front Porch With Matching Doors And Wood Bench

If you’re subscribed to our newsletter, you got a peek inside with the doors open last week. We painted the stair risers on each side the same color as the interior doors on that side (Sherwin Williams White Truffle on the left, and Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay on the right). I also really love that we didn’t do mint on the front doors because it’s a fun reveal to swing open the dark bronze doors and be greeted with a different happy & beachy color inside each one.

Duplex Colorful Staircases With One Painted Pink One Blue Green With House Numbers

This is the before photo, which I now realize is funny because it’s almost like we switched sides – the greenish risers are now on the right, and the red/pink ones are on the left (we chose the colors for each side based on lighting and where they read the best – the pink tone read a little more gray and less pink on the right, so that’s how it ended up on the left).

So that wraps up the whole duplex porch update… but if you could kindly cross every last appendage that the groundhog was right in his call for an early spring, we’d really appreciate it. Because you know I can’t wait to get the front of the duplex landscaped and mulched and add a path to the back and plant grass and ALL THE THINGS! WITH ALL THE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!

We need to get this thing whipped into shape so we can get it all photographed and listed for rent thing spring (rentals will start this summer and it should hit Airbnb this April or so! AHHHHHH!). Oh yeah and we have to finish the inside. And the backyard. Details, details.

P.S. To see how we have fixed up this house over the past 1.5 years, there’s a whole category dedicated to duplex progress.

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The post A Front Porch Makeover At The Duplex! appeared first on Young House Love.

This content was originally published here.

How to Select the Right Paving Contractor for Your Driveway

Hiring the right paving contractor is vital in ensuring that your driveway project stays within budget, finishes on time and looks exactly as planned.

Finding the right one all boils down to how much effort you place in research. With so many paving contractors on the market, having prior knowledge goes a long way when hiring a professional service of any kind.

The tips below will serve as your guide in selecting the perfect asphalt paving contractor for your kind of driveway.

1. Know what kind of driveway you want

Your driveway preference will dictate which paving contractor you’ll hire.

For instance, if you want a sturdy driveway since it will be subject to a lot of heavy vehicles, then you’ll need a full-depth asphalt application. You have to decide first on the purpose of your driveway then make it the basis for selecting your contractor.

2. Look for several options, then narrow down your choices

Search for a paving contractor that has enough experience working in your area; as much as possible, someone who has already worked in your neighborhood. This way, the contractor will have a better understanding of the soil in your area and prepare accordingly for the excavation.

List down reputable paving contractors based on recommendations from your neighbors or someone you trust. This way, you can narrow down your search and avoid ending up with an untrustworthy contractor with bad service.

3. Get a consultation

A good paving contractor will offer you a free consultation.

You can also invite them to visit your property and inspect your driveway to come up with a comprehensive quote.

A consultation is a perfect opportunity for you to ask questions to assess the contractor’s experience, knowledge and skills.

Your questions should include the following:

  • Do you have a license and insurance?
  • How long will the driveway paving project take?
  • Will there be extra costs throughout the project?
  • What paving equipment do you use?
  • How many people will be working on the driveway?
  • What permits will be necessary?
  • What processes will take place before pouring the concrete?
  • How can you prevent the driveway from cracking?

After you get the answers to your questions, compare the responses from the different contractors you have on your list. This will help eliminate those that don’t suit your paving needs.

4. Cross check quotes from different contractors

Prices vary among contractors. However, keep in mind that inexpensive quotes don’t always mean quality service (and vice versa). Settle for a reasonably priced paving contractor that will give you exactly what you want for your driveway.

Cross check prices with other contractors to get a good picture of the benchmark price in the industry. This will help you hire the best contractor for the job at a standard price. Verify the price with your neighbors, friends or family members to ensure that what you’ll be paying for will reflect the quality of work you expect.

No down payments

Unless your driveway project is huge, you shouldn’t have to pay for a down payment. Depositing money with a contractor puts you at risk of funds misuse.

There are contractors who use down payments to finish paving other pending projects. This is not to say that pavers are unscrupulous; but a professional contractor won’t require a down payment unless the project scale entails it.

5. Sign a contract

Once you have a contractor in mind that clearly stands out from the rest, you’re finally ready to hire and sign a contract.

It’s important to have a contract between you and the contractor as this will protect your rights as a client and, at the same time, delimit the tasks the contractor will be required to undertake. Read the contract carefully and make sure it includes specific and technical aspects of the project such as the cost, materials and schedule.

Discuss the drainage system

Before your chosen contractor can start working, discuss the functionality of the drainage system with them. The drainage system should continue to work in spite of the ongoing driveway construction.

This is an important factor to consider as this may affect your neighborhood.

Factor in the drying time

Even if there’s a deadline set in the contract for the work to be complete, you can’t still use your driveway for at least seven days or a week after the work is finished.

Most paving contractors recommend at least 2-4 weeks of drying time to secure the longevity and strength of the driveway. If you have plans for your driveway, factor in the project deadline by adding several weeks to the completion date.

Think of your driveway paving project as a good investment.

Beyond the price, focus on finding the right paving contractor that can construct a driveway which will last you many years of service. And to boost your curb appeal, consider hiring a landscaping service to revamp your outdoors and complement the look of your brand new driveway.



Ron Shattuck Jr. built Shattuck Paving into a trusted, reputable family business. Ron Jr. learned a lot about the industry and the hard work ethic that Ronald Sr. lived by, and has now followed in his father’s shoes to operate the company and help it grow. Today, Shattuck Paving is more determined than ever to serve their customers’ needs with integrity. No compromises!


A Cough After a Common Cold: Causes and Remedies

Coughing is your body’s normal response to the presence of microorganisms, small particles or mucus in your airways, or any object that might have accidentally gone down your windpipe. But often, a cough follows a flu infection or a common cold.

Why? Experts agree that there is no definitive answer why you may experience a cough after suffering from a common cold. But here are two possible causes.

The Release of Pro-Inflammatory Molecules

When your body senses that there are viruses attacking your nasal lining and airway, it automatically releases pro-inflammatory molecules, which may also cause you to experience a sore throat. These include leukotrienes, tachykinins, and bradykinins. Coughing occurs as a side effect when these molecules fight off infection.

Production of Mucus

Did you know that mucus is constantly produced by your mucus membranes in minimal amounts around your body? Your throat, mouth, nose, lungs and sinuses have these membranes to protect your airways. Mucus traps viruses, allergens, and dust.

The mucus is less noticeable when you are healthy. But when you are sick, it becomes thick because your body produces mucus in huge amounts to trap the flu viruses. As a result, it stimulates the nerve receptors and endings in your airways, causing you to cough.

Cough can negatively affect your productivity and mood. The good news is that you do not have to tolerate frequent coughing until it subsides on its own. There are a couple of ways to expel the phlegm that causes you to cough, aside from boosting your immune system with essential vitamins and minerals.

Cough Remedies

1. Drinking warm liquids

Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking warm liquids, especially water, because this helps ease the flow of mucus. In return, the fluids loosen your chest congestion.

Adding lemon and honey to warm water or tea is also a good option because these substances can soothe a cough. Drink it as often as you want.

2. Gargling with salt water

Mucus hanging on the back of your throat can be eliminated by gargling with salt water. In fact, this may even soothe a sore throat and kill viruses causing your cough and colds.

All you have to do is to mix a half teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water. Gargle this solution for several seconds before spitting it out. Repeat this as necessary.

3. Using eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus can effectively loosen the mucus in your airways so you can easily cough it out. You may choose to spread a eucalyptus balm over your back and chest area or inhale it by using a diffuser.  

4. Placing onions at your bedside

The minute you start chopping onions, you cry, right? The strong vapor it produces when you slice onions can actually help stop your cough.

Cut an onion into four pieces, place them on a plate, and leave this at your bedside. This might appear funny, but this practice is popular in France and Spain. People who did this claimed this helps relieve coughs at night, allowing you to have a good night’s sleep.  

5. Humidifying the air

Humidity plays a crucial role in easing cough because humid air breaks up chest congestion and reduces irritation. Thus, you may have noticed that you don’t cough during a steamy bath or hot shower.

But this does not mean that you must always stay at the bathroom with the hot shower on. Instead, use a humidifier. And always make sure that it is free of molds before using it; otherwise, a new round of coughing will be triggered.

6. Taking cough syrup

Cough syrup is considered an expectorant, meaning that it will help you cough out the mucus by making it thin and loose. Mucosolvan cough syrup, for instance, works in three ways: It loosens your mucus, clears your airways, and prevents new mucus production. Expectorants like this are usually the best solution since they are effective for up to 12 hours.

As with any medication, exercise proper caution in using over-the-counter cough medicines like decongestants and expectorants. Make sure that you are taking the right dosage by checking its instructions either on its label or its package leaflet. If unsure, you have to consult a pharmacist or your doctor.

Seeing your doctor is also highly recommended when coughing does not stop after two weeks, despite doing all the above-mentioned remedies. Bear in mind as well that you should make an appointment with your doctor if your coughing is accompanied by wheezing, difficulty or shortness of breath, chest pain, and blood.

6 Steps to a Clearer, Stronger Digital TV Reception

There is nothing more frustrating than getting choppy images and audio when you are watching a live event on TV. You are actually better off not watching it at all.

Such situation is usually due to weak TV signal or reception. This is a common issue for folks who live in distant locations surrounded by different kinds of obstructions.

You do not have to settle for such an unsatisfying TV-watching experience. Something can be done to achieve a clearer, stronger digital TV reception. You may want to tinker with the settings of your TV first just to make sure that it is tuned correctly.

If the appliance is not the issue, the problem is definitely with the reception setup. This can a tad tricky to fix but if you want to give it a go, you can follow the procedure below.

Listed here are the steps to guide you. Follow these and, in no time, you will get the kind of TV-watching experience you have always wanted.

Step 1: Get an antenna

An antenna is like the fishing rod you use to catch aerial signals. You can easily get one from your local appliance stores or even purchase one online.

Step 2: Find the perfect location for your antenna

This step is something that you can interchange with the first one. Some people prefer to make this the first step to knowing what kind of antenna they truly need to pick up the channels they want to watch.

But a lot of folks are inclined to just choose the most powerful antenna offered on the market, so they are fine to find the ideal location for installation as the second step.

You can identify an ideal location for antenna installation by calculating the distance between your area and the broadcast towers. There are websites that offer information on this and you can check them out to effectively determine where you should install and direct your antenna.

Step 3: Clear out the location for antenna installation

Make sure that there are no obstructions around your place such as overgrown vegetation.

Digital signals fluctuate due to interference. You can lower the likelihood of this occurrence if the site of antenna installation is cleared of any kind of obstruction.

Step 4: Go high for installation to ensure the best reception

The foolproof way to ensure reliable reception is to install the antenna up on high as there are likely to be fewer obstructions around. And, while you are setting up the antenna, experiment with different placements. This will help determine which antenna position provides the clearest images and sound quality.

However, steer clear of power lines and check government regulations for mast heights if you are installing the antenna way above your roofline.

Step 5: Use an antenna amplifier

A TV signal booster or amplifier is particularly important if you live 50 miles or farther away from the broadcast towers.

Most antennas have an amplifier built in. But, to get the amplifier to work truly well, it is important to tune it properly. Antenna installers recommend amplifying to around 14db. This is deemed just right in boosting or amplifying the signal to fix the reception problem.

Step 6: Check all connecting wires

Secure all the cables in place and make sure that everything is connected tightly. Dangling cables are not only unsightly; they can cause accidents that can lead to both injuries and bad TV reception again.

Relax, watch your favorite movie

The above steps should be enough to guide you in installing a digital TV antenna for a clear reception so you can finally enjoy TV watching.

However, if you are not a DIY specialist or you simply want your digital TV reception fixed as quickly as possible, just hire a professional antenna installation service for the job.

They are totally equipped to do it, plus, they have tried and tested methods for successful antenna installation (and more!) in much less time.

How to Prep for Stress-free Cleaning After a Home Renovation

A home renovation is typically an extremely messy affair. After having new bedrooms added upstairs to accommodate your growing family, or having your kitchen completely redesigned to suit your lifestyle, construction dust and debris will have settled over the entire space. And not only are they unpleasant, but they can also be harmful to your family and pets.

You don’t want those to linger any longer on your property than they need to, so deep cleaning is in order.

Extensive cleaning would not normally be a part of the contractor’s job. Once the renovation project is complete, and the tools and equipment have been hauled away, it will be up to you to clean up remaining clutter, smudges, debris and dust.

To avoid the stress brought about by cleaning up after your home has been fixed, here are the best things to do.

1. Clear the area

If you want to manage and control what  and how much to clean post-renovation, make sure that you remove anything in your house that is detachable. You should preferably accomplish this before the renovation project starts so that the items don’t unnecessarily collect dust in the process.

Lamps, ornaments, curtains, and the like can collect dust and add more to the must-clean list. Make sure to take them down and put them away or out of the house.

If you are unable to remove them before the renovation, you can at least remove them before you begin the clean-up. This way, you can ensure that you eliminate all dirt and dust by cleaning them separately.

2. Hire a cleaning service

Be honest with yourself. Could you really handle a thorough clean-up after staying on top of the frenzy of activity involved in a home renovation? Why not relax and avoid putting yourself through a fresh bout of stress by opting to hire a house cleaning service instead?

In most cases, you have work, family and many other commitments to attend to. So if you can, don’t shoulder the burden of cleaning the whole house yourself. Get industry experts to do the heavy lifting so you can focus on more important matters.

3. Prepare the essential cleaning tools

If you’re quite determined to do some of the cleaning yourself (perhaps while waiting for the professionals to arrive), then you should be prepared with the right tools so that cleaning can be done more effectively and with less effort.

For efficient cleaning, you’ll be needing the following:

  • Brooms
  • Towels
  • Air Filters
  • Tape
  • Cleaning Fluid
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Mop

4. Have a strategy

You surely cannot enjoy your newly upgraded home without dealing with the aftermath of the renovation. But on the brighter side, having a good strategy will help you clean quickly and efficiently.

  • Remove large items first

Before you start dusting or sweeping, take all the big items outside of your house first. These include large pieces of furniture, boxes, sheets of metal and pieces of wood.

After the “big mess” is removed, there will be more space in the rooms to be cleaned, you will be less cramped and overwhelmed, and it will be easier to start with smaller cleaning tasks.

  • Clean light fixtures and fans

Don’t even think about tackling the messes on the floor without dealing first with what’s above your head. You should primarily clean any dust-coated light fixtures and fans to prevent dust from landing on clean floors.

By doing so, you do not have to face the consequence of sweeping and mopping the floor all over again because they got dirty.

  • Use a damp cloth

With the amount of debris and sawdust that’s most likely to accumulate on the walls, using a damp cloth will be efficient for removing dust and not spreading it around.

For places that are hard to reach, you can make use of a broomstick or dust mop and secure the cloth over it.

  • Sweep, vacuum, then sweep again

One sweep isn’t enough to make your floor look clean, shiny and new. To get the best results, start by sweeping large debris and thick dust, then vacuum the rest. Follow it up with one more sweep using a dust mop to remove the remaining dirt.

  • Opt for mild cleaners

If the right cleaning tools and damp cloth aren’t enough to get the work done, you will need the help of cleaners and detergents next. Opt for mild and eco-friendly ones to avoid ruining your newly renovated home. You can also stick with water and vinegar if you want something 100{8e75f7971914660853e1dc23e9fbbd0210bce18b2504394577698ab6c82c52d0} safe and affordable.

5. Review your work from time to time

Dust can take several weeks to settle after the renovation, so make sure to check back and do a brief cleanup every few days. Doing short sessions of light cleaning more frequently will help prevent dust build-up and save you from the hassle of doing a deep clean that takes longer.

You’ll be doing a lot of cleaning, but after you’ve removed all the dirt and dust, you’ll be able to truly enjoy your new, spotless home.

Doing a thorough clean after a home renovation is tough work. But with the right tools, strategy and enough patience, plus the assistance of experienced professionals, in no time you’ll be able to sit back and relax, look around at your beautiful, clean home, and say that it’s all worth it.



Mohamed Samad is the Founder & CEO of Matic Services. He started the company in 2016 after a series of small start-ups within the home services sector. Prior to that, Mohamed was Vice President at Greenstone Equity Partners, where he spent 24 months building the UAE business from 2011-2013 with its founder.

A Guide to What Parents Should Do With a Knocked-Out Baby Tooth

Most parents do not worry much about their children’s milk teeth. After all, they will lose them all in a few years. Baby teeth are, however, an important part of the correct growth and development of the jaws and face. It is always a big concern when a little one’s tooth gets knocked out because it’s usually due to an accident.

To take control of the situation, below is a step-by-step guide below that parents can follow in the case of a knocked-out baby tooth, as they prepare to take the child to an emergency dental clinic.

1. Stop the bleeding.

To reduce bleeding:

  1. Apply a cold compress on the affected site to control the bleeding swelling.
  2. Alternatively, get a piece of sterile gauze. Ask your child to bite down hard on it for a minute or so. The pressure will reduce the blood flow and eventually also cause blood to clot.

Stopping the bleeding first is important because it will help to calm your child down and usually stops them crying!

2. Do not replace the baby tooth

Baby teeth that are knocked out are never replaced. They will not rejoin to the jaw correctly and can affect and damage the adult tooth that is growing underneath.

If the tooth is an adult tooth, re-implant the tooth in the socket as quickly as possible and avoid stopping the bleeding as detailed above first or re-implantation will be more difficult. Do not rinse the tooth in water. If it is dirty, rinse gently in milk or saliva and do not remove the gum tags that are on the root of the tooth. These are important for healing.

3. Find the knocked out tooth.

You do not do this so your child can get a visit from the tooth fairy although this is often a good way to help your child make good of a bad situation!

It’s to find the tooth so the dentist can examine it to ensure there are no broken fragments still in place.

Keep the tooth in a container until you get to the dentist.

4. Head to the dentist for an examination and reassurance.

Everything will be completely under control once you get to a children’s dentistry clinic where the dentist can take over. The dentist will be able to assess the true condition of your child’s mouth to ensure that no other trauma has occurred.

Prompt professional dental treatment is always required in this emergency, for at times, the damage may go beyond the knocked-out tooth. The gums may have sustained an injury as well, and the injury may actually compromise the condition of the permanent tooth that will come out in the same location one day.

It’s crucial to have a good assessment of what happened, so the most appropriate treatment can be carried out. The assessment also helps parents prepare for potential complications to keep an eye on.

Knowing the right things to do in this type of dental emergency can prevent further problems. So, arm yourself with the guide provided here. With this, you can be sure to do the smart thing when you find yourself dealing with such dental emergencies in the future.



Dr. Michael Letham is the owner and dentist at 24/7 Dental and Bayside Smiles. He graduated from Sydney University in 2000 with Honours, receiving the R Morse Withycombe Prize for Proficiency in Clinical Periodontics (gum treatment). Striving to provide a modern, holistic approach to dental care that is tailored to each individual’s requirements, Mike’s focus is on being thorough and meticulous whilst being caring and compassionate.

Top 5 Common House Pests to Look Out For

Bees Hi res

Despite what many non-Australians may think, Australia is not the haven for deadly animals that it’s often made out to be. Unlike other countries, we don’t have many large, natural predators. What we do have, however, are several other types of pests that can put your comfort and safety at risk.

They may not have claws, vicious teeth or a venomous bite, but these five pests can cause major destruction to your property and wellbeing when given the chance. Luckily, if you know what sort of common household pests to look out for and how to combat them, you can reduce the overall level of threat to your property.

The following five pests are by no means the only creatures capable of causing a nuisance, but they are the ones most likely to affect Australian homeowners. Keep an eye out for them so that you can minimise potential problems before they escalate.

  • Termites: Did you know that termites don’t sleep? Given their 24-hour schedule, it’s no wonder they can so easily cause thousands of dollars of domestic damage if left untreated. Australia has several varieties of wood and subterranean termites that can affect the health of your home and surrounding property. It’s important to know the warning signs of termites (such as sighting wings, droppings or mud tubes) so that you can exterminate them before structural problems occur.
  • Rats and Mice: Despite popular opinion, not all household pests are insects, as anyone who has dealt with mouse or rat infestations can attest. While quite different in size, both rats and mice are similar vermin that can cause quite a disturbance in your property. Not only will they give you a scare, but they can also chew through electrical wires, ravage your dry goods, leave droppings, transport disease and damage other belongings.  
  • Cockroaches: These insects are durable enough to withstand harsh environmental conditions and even certain pest control methods that would deter intruders. They are attracted to warmth and moisture as well as crumbs and spills, and they typically come out in the dark. Make sure that your food is properly sealed and your rubbish bin lids are on tight to detract these crawly insects from being drawn to your home.
  • Ants: Ants may be small, but they can have a large impact, from carrying disease and eating your food to potentially nesting on your property. Where there is one ant, there is usually a whole colony (but if there’s not, there may be soon). Ants are quite prolific, meaning they may breed within the confines of your home and lead to a much larger problem than you ever anticipated.
  • Bees and Wasps: In Australia, adorning one’s yard with lush gardens and bountiful fruit trees is quite common. What you may not realise is that, despite being beautiful, flowers and fruit plants can be a beckoning call for bees and wasps. If you see swarms of either of these stingers around your property, you should seek help immediately, as it probably means there’s a hive nearby. That being said, bees and wasps can still pose a threat even if they are not in a group. They tend to be quite aggressive; which can pose danger to you and your family.

Knowing which pests pose a threat to you and your home is the first step in combating infestation; The next step is taking appropriate steps to exterminate these creatures if they’re around. If you spot any of these five pests within your property or nearby, seek the help of a local pest control technician to help you get them out and keep them out for good.

Moving in to a New House? Here are Security Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore

So, you have recently moved in to your new house. You are looking around thinking what color your living room walls will be or how you will make your kitchen stylish yet functional. You are already thinking of the artworks you will hang on your walls and where to place your collections.

Decorating may be the fun part of having a new house, a new blank space to work with. But do not ever take for granted the one thing that will keep your home and your loved ones safe and sound: security.

For your sake and your family’s, and for your peace of mind, take note of these home safety tips when moving to a new house.

Change the locks

Photo courtesy of 33lockman via Pixabay

This is one of the first things you should do. Whether it is a brand new home or previously owned by someone else. The reason is that you never really know who has keys to your locks—caretakers, workers, realtors, etc. For all you know, a person who is up to no good has access to your new home. Never take that chance. Hire a reliable locksmith to change the locks in your entire home.

Install a security system

Photo courtesy of CCTVsmartsystems via Pixabay

This is one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Times have become more dangerous and a home security system is a necessary expense these days.

Several studies have shown the correlation between a home alarm and reduction in crime. A survey among convicted burglars by the University of California found that 83{8e75f7971914660853e1dc23e9fbbd0210bce18b2504394577698ab6c82c52d0} of burglars would think twice about breaking into a home with a security system. Another study revealed that at least 43{8e75f7971914660853e1dc23e9fbbd0210bce18b2504394577698ab6c82c52d0} would discontinue the attempt.

There are many types of security systems that are available in the market, depending on a homeowner’s needs and preferences. DSC security products offer a wide range of alarm systems that are easy to install and offer flexibility with multiple covered zones. Adding motion sensors on your entry and exit points is a must. There are also add-on features that allow you to control your security system remotely, receive real-time alerts, and manage your home wherever you are.

Be secure with lighting

Lighting is an integral part of security. One way of deterring burglars is to install lights on your house’s exterior. As much as possible, install lights before moving in. Burglars want to operate in the dark and lights would surely intimidate them.

Choose lighting that you can set with a timer or can control remotely especially if you are routinely out of your house at a certain time. For all you know, a burglar is recording your routines. It is advisable to keep lights on your doorstep, for example, when you are away to create the impression that someone is home.

There are also motion detector lighting that you can invest in. You can install motion detector flood lights on the front, back, and sides of your home. If the light goes off in the middle of the night, chances are that some burglar tried to break in.

These security lights may be connected to certain security systems for as long as they are compatible with each other.

Ensure integrity of doors, windows

Photo courtesy of paulbr75 via Pixabay

Add a layer of security to your home by ensuring the integrity of your doors. Are they strong enough to frustrate burglars? Check locks and jams, too. Make it harder for criminals to enter your home.

Another helpful move-in tip is to check your windows. These days, sliding glass windows are very in demand. They do make a house look truly modern and stylish. But evaluate whether the glass is of good quality or whether you need to install grills in your windows. You may also consider installing glass break detectors that notifies when someone tries to break your window.

Check your neighborhood

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Like when signing a contract or entering into a negotiation, you must perform due diligence when moving in to a new house by checking your new neighborhood. You have probably done this already before deciding to buy the property, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a look around again and maybe even meet new people.

Locate the nearest police and fire stations in your area. This is a good time to also familiarize yourself with the surrounding, and see for yourself whether the neighborhood or community has a good vibe.

Test your detectors

You wouldn’t want to discover that your smoke detectors aren’t working after a fire incident. Before moving in your furniture, test your smoke detectors first. You must also test your carbon monoxide detector, if you have one. In some cases, these detectors can be wired to a security system so that emergency teams may be alerted in case of fire or any other emergency.

Check electrical system, pipes

Photo courtesy of stevepb via Pixabay

Do you even know where your electrical circuit box or fuse is located? Adults in the family must be familiar with it and must at least know how to shut it off in case of an emergency.

You must also check the pipes for rust and leakage to ensure a smooth move-in for the family. You must also learn how to shut it off when you need to do so.

Tried and tested deterrent: Get a dog

Photo courtesy of PDPics via Pixabay

If you think old-fashion crime deterrents such as a guard dog do not work anymore, think again. A 2017 survey revealed that loud barking dogs put off burglars as effectively as security cameras. If you think you are capable enough of taking care of a dog, then maybe this tried-and-tested way to deter burglars should be something you should seriously explore.

By applying these home safety tips, you can be assured that you are going to have a safe and smooth move-in. And most importantly, you can sleep soundly at night knowing your home and your family are safe.