When you hear about hidden doors and secret passages, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? You probably think about castles with bookcases or walls that fall apart to reveal an entryway into a secret passage. The secret passage, in turn, leads to several other narrow passages that lead to different floors of the castle. Apparently, most of treasures and riches of a castle’s occupants are stashed in these secret passages, away from prying eyes and malicious minds. In most cases, these secret passages can also lead to escape routes where the king or someone from royalty can safely flee when enemies besiege the castle.
secret room – image via http://www.electronichouse.com/
These days, though, people practically beg architects and interior designers to incorporate hidden doors and secret passages into their homes’ design. They ask for these not because they plan to stash their millions there but because these secret passages can serve a practical purpose in their homes.
One of the main reasons why a homeowner would want to install hidden doors and secret passages in his house is to maximize space. Sometimes, even if a house plan was drawn perfectly with all bases covered, an empty space manages to turn up eventually. Rather than dump furniture here or let the space collect dust, a savvy interior designer can design a bookcase to cover that area. If the space is large enough, it may be converted into a storeroom, with the bookcase doubling as a hidden door. You don’t only get to have a bookcase but you also get extra space in which to store some of your unused stuff.
In your library, an entire wall of bookcases can double as sliding, hidden doors that lead to your game room, TV room, bathroom, or even a small bedroom where you can rest on days when you need to work long hours.
In the bedroom, you can ask your architect or designer to install a fireplace. Depending on your preference, the fireplace can be functional or non-functional. If you decide to make it a decorative fireplace only, meaning non-functional, you can have your architect fashion a secret door on the inner wall that opens up to your safe. That’s a brilliant way of keeping your valuables like jewelry and other important documents safe.
If you’re creative enough, you could ask your architect to create a secret passage from your bedroom to the kitchen. That’s like having your very own “access road” for nights when you want to fix yourself a midnight snack. Secret passages and corridors are also useful in connecting several rooms of your house like the library, den, or even your backyard.
All it takes is creativity, imagination, and a good architect or interior designer to create hidden doors and secret passages in your home.
bookcase door! <3
Most people make the grave mistake of going all out when building their homes. They do this without considering which option would save them more money – building a big house from the get-go or buying a big lot, building a modest home, and leaving room for additions later on.
At first glance, the first option seems to be the better option especially for a newly married couple. They anticipate the big family they would eventually have, so they build a house that would be big enough to accommodate a growing family. However, due to time and unforeseen occurrences, their plans could go down the drain. Loss of income could impede the construction of the house, among other things.
Nevertheless, if the couple decides to purchase a big lot and build a home that’s big enough to accommodate a small family, they can simply expand the house to make room for more family members later on. In the event that they’re content with a small family, they can use the untouched lot to construct a swimming pool, a patio, or a landscaped garden. Otherwise, prefabs (Prefabricated homes) are a dime a dozen these days. A prefab could be an entire house or a room that is constructed off-site (in a factory) and when a homeowner decides it’s time for an expansion, he can just buy one. The prefab would be transported to the location, assembled there, and affixed to the existing building.
image via http://www.modularandportablebuildings.co.uk/
The cost of hiring a construction team to handle the expansion of your home is relatively high. Moreover, the builders would need to knock down several walls in your house in order to build additional rooms. This complicated process could take weeks or months to complete. On the other hand, attaching a prefab to your home is less time-consuming. In fact, it usually just takes a day or two to attach the prefabricated addition and you’re good to go.
Prefabs are very durable and reliable so you have nothing to worry about. The fact is prefabs go through rigorous tests and quality control. Since prefabs are mostly machine-made, it’s safe to say that these are quite better than a room built from scratch.
Financially, it is a better alternative to constructing additional rooms in your house. Just think; you only pay for the prefab, the cost to have it transported to your place, and the work force. In most cases, builders offer packages for prefabs; thus, you’re bound to save more if you opt for it.
As your family grows, you can have additional rooms attached to the existing house. Opting for prefabricated additions lets you sit down, calculate the expenses, and see where you stand financially, whether you have enough saved to pay for more prefab additions or if you need to save more.
Obviously, you have two distinct options as far as your plans for home expansion go. Use your better judgment to decide which option suits you best. At any rate, it pays a lot to go for the more frugal option.
photo by bluhomes
We live in a fast-paced world. Everything seems to go by in a blur and unless you’re quick enough, you’ll be left in the lurch. The hustle and bustle of everyday living is enough to make some people weary and anxious. Some are even high-strung and normally on their toes. While alertness is something that can help you get by in this cutthroat world, there is no denying the fact that it can be dangerous, too. If you’re not careful, the anxieties of life could make your blood pressure shoot up. Aside from hypertension, other illnesses and diseases could get the better of you.
Of course, you can always relax and take things slow. That’s actually the reason why you go home to your family after a grueling day at the office. Nevertheless, there’s no guarantee that you’d get the peace and quiet you want and deserve. If you have young children, chances are they would be too excited to see you and would demand that you play with them. Otherwise, your wife and older children could engage you in small talk, something that’s very common in a household setting.
image via http://www.biorb.co.uk
When it seems that the only alone time you could ever have is those few hours before you retire to bed, you might want to invest on an aquarium. Many people have discovered the calming effect that aquariums provide.
It’s scientifically proven that the movement of water can soothe a person’s mind. Hence, if you are always tightly wound, having an aquarium at home can do wonders for you. Not only does it enhance your home aesthetically but the movement of the water as the fish moves also creates a calm rhythm that can permeate an entire room.
Having an aquarium at home is also a wonderful opportunity to explore your creativity. When you go to a pet store, you’d find plenty of items you can use to make your aquarium even more beautiful than it already is. Make sure you buy a feeder, heater, light, filter, and pump for the aquarium. You can also by environment-friendly decors to make your aquarium even more interesting.
Designing your aquarium to create an entirely new world for your colorful schools of fish is enough of a stress-reliever already. Just make sure to set up your aquarium as far away as possible from a window or any direct source of light. Even fish can be stressed especially if the temperature of the water is disrupted. Make sure that nothing impedes with the cool temperature of the water if you want your fish to thrive.
If you’re unsure how to set up an aquarium properly, consult with a trained fish technician. He can give you valuable pointers and ideas about patterns, colors, types of fish, decors, and anything else you may need in relation to your aquarium. Once your aquarium is ready, you’d find yourself more relaxed and calmer.
image via http://www.utepprintstore.com
Spring and summer seasons are perfect for doing general cleaning, home repairs and home improvement projects. The good weather condition allows homemakers to inspect and repair the outer areas of the house or temporarily expose the interiors to facilitate home improvement projects. Most households take advantage of this weather to do some general cleaning and turn their homes inside-out to make sure that everything is in spic and span condition. These tasks are easier said than done which is why there are contractors, carpet cleaning, plumbing and house cleaning services available for those who can’t do everything on their own.
Giving the whole house a thorough cleansing usually involves de-cluttering every room in the house, removing stubborn dirt and stains, disinfecting sensitive areas, and replacing or removing corroded elements in the house. Bathroom and kitchen areas are often easy to address as they are cleansed and disinfected more often that the other rooms in the house. Carpeted areas like the living room and bedroom need extra work especially for rugs with stubborn stains. These areas may be cleaned or vacuumed on a regular basis but they still require a power clean once in a while. Those who are not so skilled in housekeeping are better off with professional cleaners to get their carpets clean and disinfected without losing their luster. The same goes for upholstery and wall carpets. Affordable carpet cleaning services are easy to find nowadays because of the internet. One can even set a same day appointment with their cleaners which is quite convenient for those who entertain guests frequently.
Cleaning the storage areas, basement, attic, or garage can be a tedious task because they usually get the least attention in terms of maintenance. However, these rooms don’t normally require professional attention unless there are toxic materials or electrical hazards involved. Checking the roof and gutter for leaks can be done by any household member with a bit of handyman skills, repairing them on the other hand requires a certain level of expertise. Handyman services can be availed by those who need to get their roof or gutters fixed. There are also contractors who can help on painting jobs, window sill replacement, wall papering, and other major home projects.
Having a clean and healthy home environment is easy when there are affordable professional home services available. It is up to the homemakers to keep it in spic and span condition as long as they can or at least until the next spring cleaning session.
Years ago, home burglar alarms were only used in the homes of the rich and famous. However, the passage of time has proven that burglars no longer consider the income spectrum when choosing a house to break in. As long as they can hoard loots, they don’t give much flak if the owner is filthy rich or not. This is probably the reason why prices of home alarm systems have dropped. Now, these alarm systems have become common fixtures even in the homes of average folks.
Many people who invest in alarms go for the do-it-yourself systems. These can be wired or wireless, setting off an alarm when an intruder attempts to break in or when they are moving around inside of your house.
Typically, there are two types of home alarm systems – open and closed circuit. Open circuit systems work by setting off an alarm when the circuit closes. When a window or a door is opened, the circuit is immediately completed and the alarm goes off. On the other hand, closed circuit systems work the opposite way. When a window or door is opened, the circuit is broken – also setting off the alarm.
image via http://www.mybss.co.uk/
Of course, due to the advent of technology, a more sophisticated option is in available – motion sensors. Motion sensors sense any type of motion within a certain radius. Once it senses any motion, it sends a signal out to the control panel that will analyze it and see if the movement is considered suspicious. If the movement is indeed considered suspicious, it will react based on how you have it set up. It can sound off an alarm or in more advanced cases, it can inform the proper authorities through hook up (that means the alarm system is wired to the nearest police station).
Motion sensors can be adjusted, so it can detect which movements are caused by pets walking around or by activities that usually take place in your home. Simply put, you can program it in a way that it can differentiate regular movements from suspicious ones that indicate a burglary is taking place. Motion sensor alarms are very common these days, and one of the best ways to keep your home safe from a burglar. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that you and your family are protected.
Normally, it’s a good idea to use motion sensors and magnetic switches with your burglar alarm setup. Magnetic switches will protect doors and windows while the motion sensors will help to protect larger rooms, such as living rooms and hallways. The combination of the two is never a bad idea and it will go a long way in protecting your home.
You also have the option to install security cameras in your home. You can mount these in strategic areas throughout the parameter of your home. These will pick up images in the area where you have mounted these and the images will be displayed on a monitor. You can also record the video to keep track of the information that the camera picks up.
Whatever type of home alarm system you choose, one thing is sure; it is always a smart investment. It would ease off your worries and give you peace of mind.
In life, there simply are essential lessons which have to be learned. One of these is that when it comes to serious plumbing problems, it’s always best to leave it to the pros. Sure, your hubby or good ol’ brother may jump to your rescue and attempt to fix a plumbing predicament at home for free, but sometimes, their good intentions may go awry, and you may find yourself stuck in an even bigger problem than that which you started out with.
So why do we need to call these professional “clog-busters” to do the job? Although we may be compelled to simply grab the nearest plunger to unclog a toilet, we might make matters worse. You may succeed at giving your problem a quick fix, but that’s all it might turn out to be- a quick and short-lived solution. Especially if you live in a condominium building, the piping mechanisms may be more intricate than you think.
Obviously, plumbers have been trained to do all the dirty work. They know better about the ins and outs of those pipes, drains and toilet fixtures like the back of their hand. Whether your plumbing problem is big or small, trained plumbers come with loads of experience under their belt- not to mention, the proper tools- to get the job done.
When you hire a professional plumber, you get more security, because the companies they come from offer some form of “safety guarantee”. This means that should anything go wrong during the repairs, all damages will be fixed at the expense of the plumber.
The next time you’re faced with a clogged sink or toilet, don’t try to be a Tinkerbell or Handy Manny, and venture to do a DIY. Call your friendly expert plumber, and have him get things flowing in no time.