5 Ways To Secure Your Basement From Outside Threats

When you consider home security, it’s likely you’ve thought about locks on the doors and security lights outside. You may have even thought about a panic button upstairs and bars on the first floor and ground floor windows. The one place you haven’t thought about? The basement.

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The basement is a deceptive place in the house when you think about it. It’s the place you do your laundry in, play video games in, and possibly the place that houses your boiler. It’s under your house and accessed by the steps in your hall, and while it has a door leading to a set of outside steps, there’s a gate there, so you haven’t considered how you should secure it as a separate entity to the rest of the house. Here’s the thing: basements make for an easy entry point for outside threats, whether that be burglars in the holidays or rats sneaking in to find warmth. With a little know-how, you need to use these five ideas to secure your home against threats.

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  • Have Visible Windows

 

Having high bushes outside of the house that cover your windows can seem like a fantastic idea when it comes to making your house look tidy and well kept. However, it’s this that provides robbers with easy coverage. You need to cut back the plants so that windows remain visible. If you can see the windows, you can see the burglars.

 

 

  • Get To Know Your Exterminator

 

Not every threat is human. Rats and mice can scurry in through all the smallest cracks or open windows and doors. They can set up camp in the walls and you could lose electricity if they get through the wiring cupboards. Getting to know local pest control companies is a good idea. They can help you to eliminate the threat in a humane way so that your home stays safe!

 

 

  • Home Security Systems Are A Must

 

It’s likely you have a security system for the rest of the house, so invest a little further and have some of your security systems in the basement. Leave decals on the windows to warn the burglars that you are secured, and if they choose to ignore it, silent alarms can alert the cops.

 

 

  • Security Film On Windows Work!

 

Windows are great for keeping out the wind and rain, but they’re glass, which means that they’re easily breakable. If security bars aren’t your style, try covering the windows in security film. The glass will hold if the windows are hit with an object – as well as a kick or punch – and you can get it done in a weekend.

 

 

  • Light It Up

 

Security lights that cover the basement area outside are as important as the rest of the house. Take the time to get motion sensor lights installed to cover your basement and you can deter people from even trying to get in.

 

The basement is just as much a part of the home as the rest of it. Take the time to make it secure for you.

A Magical Christmas Eve

It is the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is just around the corner, the days are darker earlier, and the lights are twinkling in almost every window. As parents, we plan lovely long festive days, bake cookies, read stories, indulge long stories about Santa and ensure those little elves are working hard to get the right color teddy. But sometimes the most uncomplicated evenings are the best ones, and perfectly average can be utterly fabulous.

 

Get the good cups out! There is nothing like a big hot mug of cocoa, topped with cream or marshmallows. There are some fabulous recipes for slow cooker hot chocolate – which is brilliant for having more than one cup. It will stay warm for ages – easy!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

 

Get the blankets and the comfy loungewear washed. This time of year can be really heavy on the washing machine and tumble dryer. So before the week is out call someone to get yours looked over and book an appliance repair should you need one.

 

Take a lot of photos. With modern busy lives having time together like this isn’t always easy to come by, so take some pictures to savour as the children grow older.

 

Snacks galore! If you have the time, even though this time of year is incredibly busy, then you might like to take some time to make some fudge. If not then popcorn, pretzels, crudites and dip and plenty of Christmas spiced cookies are going to make the perfect companions.

 

Grab all the pillows. And lay them all over the floor or the couch. Make it extra snuggly and cosy. And, at this time of year with the dark nights and thick socks, it is more likely that the smaller members of the family might just fall asleep in the middle of the movie.

 

Create a magical key. Not every house has a chimney, and some kids are super, and they’ll ask how Santa will get to the tree to leave the gifts. Find or purchase a large key, and create a note that says something like

 

“Dear Santa here is a magical key to let you into our home love from XYZ.”

 

Get the children to place the key outside, somewhere only Santa will find it. (just remember to take it in and hide it once they’ve gone off to the land of nod).

 

Spend some time tracking the big man himself. You can download an app for your phone, or you can check on the internet and google something like ‘Santa Tracker’ and watch as he flies around the world dropping off gifts to all the girls and boys.

 

If you haven’t already written letters to Santa, Christmas Eve is the perfect time to put pen to paper. Not to ask for gifts, but just something nice about what they’ve been doing to celebrate the festive season.

 

And finally, when everyone is tucked up in bed, pour yourself a glass of your favourite beverage or a large hot drink and relax.

 

How To Turn Your Property Into A Smart Home

With so much technology now available to us, it’s no wonder homeowners are looking at ways of making their home more smarter to make daily life a little easier and less of a hassle. Here are a few ways that you can turn your property into a smart home.

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CCTV Security System

CCTV is something to get in your home as an extra layer of security. It gives you that ease of mind that your property is being watched if you’re ever away from the home. There are now CCTV systems that you can link up to your mobile device and gives you a live stream of your home right there and then. This is great if you don’t have anyone who can check your property while you’re away. Should anything suspicious be occurring, you’ll see it and simply phone the authorities.

 

Install USB Plug Sockets

You may have seen them pop up in cafes or restaurants, but these USB friendly plug sockets are great for charging multiple devices, particularly ones that don’t come with a plug. They’ll prove most useful if you’ve got lots of guests coming over and it’ll avoid any of them having to fight over a plug socket.

 

Get A Smart Speaker

Smart speakers are great for those with a passion for music. You can have it in the main living area, or if you love music that much, you can install a whole sound system that can all be linked up. So whenever you want a little music in the background over dinner or a sing-a-long in the shower, you pair your phone with the speaker, and away you go.

 

Some will even be Alexa compatible, which is great for some mid-shower inspiration. Next Level Audio Video is also becoming popular for it’s vast technological expertise for both residential and commercial properties.

 

Lighting Is Very Popular

When it comes to a smart home, smart lights are the most popular feature. These light bulbs may cost a little more than normal ones, but you’re able to tailor the light to suit your mood. Fancy a little red hue for a date night in? Or maybe go with a spooky green as the perfect accompaniment for watching a horror movie. These bulbs can all be programmed from your phone too, so no longer do you have to get up to dim or turn off the lights!

 

Be Smart With Your Heating

Your utilities can be a costly expense each month, so investing in a smart thermostat can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. This would replace your current thermostat, and then you can program it to your phone so you can make the necessary settings for your liking. As you use it more, the system learns your behaviour and then adapts it to make it more eco-friendly while cutting down on the cost.

 

With so many ways to transform your home to make it more efficient, technology is certainly paving the way for an easier way of living. Now, all we need is a smart robot to cook for us!

Winter Home Upgrades You Need for the Perfect Holiday Season

If you are looking forward to the holidays and cannot wait to have your outside Christmas lights installed, it is important that you pay attention to the condition of your home to stay safe and protected during the days off and when you are entertaining your friends and family members in your house. Below you will find a few upgrades you might want to consider before you fully embrace the holiday spirit and get ready for your guests.

Roofing

When it is cold, wet, and windy outside, you will need to make sure that you are able to stay warm and dry inside. If you haven’t yet called the local roofing company to check your tiles and look for leaks, it is not too late. You don’t want to deal with water dripping from the ceiling when you are trying to enjoy time with your family. Not to mention the cost of repair during the holiday season and the emergency callout charges.

Guttering

Another thing that can go wrong when the weather turns cold and wet is your guttering. You need to inspect it for leaks and drips, or your car, your driveway, or even your walls might get soaked and it will be hard to repair the damage once the problem has escalated. Even if you are just using an extra insulation to keep the water inside the gutter, or clear it from dry leaves and debris, you can make a huge difference.

Driveway

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Your driveway is likely to be used more when you have guests visiting, so you will have to improve the curb appeal of your home. If you have grass growing between the slabs, it might be the right time to get rid of them while they are not growing fast. In case you have puddles or uneven surface, you can still get in touch with a paving company that can fix this issue, so you don’t have to be embarrassed when your family members turn up. Get rid of the clutter and rubbish, and decorate your front yard.

Insulation

We all consume more energy in our homes during the Christmas period. It makes sense, as we spend more time at home, and we have guests using our home and our electricity. This is the reason why you might want to improve your insulation and keep as much of the heat inside as possible. Even if you are only opting for temporary solutions, such as secondary glazing or thermal curtains, it will make a huge difference when it comes to your comfort level.

Heating

If you would like to improve your home for the winter, it is crucial that you pay attention to the condition of your heating and air conditioning system. If your furnace is older than a couple of years, it might be time to arrange a checkup, so you can save money on heating and make sure that no home disasters are going to ruin your family Christmas. Get your fans cleaned, as dirty ones can reduce the energy efficiency of your home and increase your bills.

Security

In case you are planning on spending a couple of days away from home, visiting friends, family members, or taking a short city break, you will need to upgrade your security, Christmas is the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to home security. Install timers and get flood lights, as well as other home monitoring systems. You can find more info on some of the security websites.  

Energy Monitoring

You will also have to monitor your home’s energy use, so you can make improvements and change your habits to save money. Having a smart meter and thermostat will help you keep the temperature at the right level, without overheating your home. If you can control your thermostat from your phone, last minute changes in your schedule will not make you heat an empty home. You can get smart home features that will tell you exactly how much it costs you to run each appliance in your house.

Mood Lighting

To create a welcoming atmosphere for the holidays in your home, you might consider installing some mood lighting. There are a few ways you can use this; applied in your kitchen, you can make your parties the one to remember. In case you are the person who loves to soak in the bath after a hard day, you can add mood lighting to your bathroom. Finally, you could get appliances that can be controlled and dimmed using your voice, so you don’t have to leave the comfortable sofa.

Shading

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During the winter days, we all feel like it is too dark inside, just as it is outside, due to the lack of sunshine. You can, however, make your home look brighter in the winter if you use smart shading solutions. Using Day and Night blinds, for example, will help you control how much light you want to let in every time, and prevent people seeing inside your house. The same applies to net curtains that are made of very thin materials; you can see outside, but people walking past will not be able to spy on you, even if you have your lights on.

Soft Furnishing

If you want to make your home more comfortable and create that cozy atmosphere that reminds you of Christmases when you were small, you might want to improve your soft furnishing. Add drapes and heavy curtains to match your interior design. Change your cushion covers, and create stunning Christmas themed sofa throws. Add a rug or two to create that warm feeling in your living room.

 

There are several things that remind us of Christmas at its best. Improve your living space, your atmosphere, pay attention to the hidden dangers and prevent disasters by maintaining your home. Add mood lighting and take care of the security features, and you will have a holiday season to remember for many years to come.

 

Transform Your Loft With A Roof Lantern

Many people would agree with the fact that the loft, otherwise known as the attic, is one of the most difficult places in the home when it comes to design and decoration. This is because the loft tends to be an area that is very awkward. Firstly, the shape can often be obscure and then you have to deal with the fact that most attic spaces are rather dark and dingy as well. You can have quite a task on your hand when it comes to turning your attic into a stunning space, nonetheless, when the decoration process is over, your loft can easily become the standout point in your home.

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One of the best ways to ensure that your loft becomes showroom worthy is to have a roof lantern installed. What is a roof lantern? This is a structure which is added to a wealth of buildings and homes in order to bring in natural daylight. Your ceiling, or at least a proportion of it, will be replaced with an architectural element which is constructed from glass and either wood or aluminium. This solves the problem of turning the dark space into one that is filled with natural light. Nonetheless, that is not the only benefit associated with opting for this service from experienced roofers. You also have the sheer fact that they are absolutely stunning. This elegant yet extravagant feature is the sort of thing that can completely transform your home. Not to mention you also have the opportunity to spend the evening gazing at the stars as well. What more could you possibly want?

 

It is worth elaborating further on the point regarding the wealth of natural sunlight you will benefit from if you decide to go down this route. Traditionally you will find that attics are very difficult to light, even through conventional methods, such as bringing more lamps into the room and choosing high powered bulbs. You will be mesmerised by the difference a roof lantern can make. Not only will you be able to see better but it will make the loft space look a lot bigger as well. Moreover, the light from outside will bring the décor to life and the room will look much more beautiful. And don’t forget, by opting to use natural sunlight you are not only going to be saving money on your energy bills but you are also going to be doing your bit when it comes to protecting the planet as well.

 

It is definitely not hard to see why a roof lantern is the recommended solution when it comes to attic spaces. This is the best way to bring natural sunlight into the room and to enhance the overall appearance from it. Moreover, who is really going to pass up an opportunity to gaze at the stars every evening? Nevertheless, on a final note, it is worth pointing out just how important it is to make sure you find the best professionals for the job. This is a big task and, therefore, there is definitely no room to cut corners. So, choose the company with a great amount of care – assess their level of experience, reputation and look at the work they have done thus far.

 

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