Simplifying Lives Even in Little Ways

Simplifying our lives even in little ways can make a big difference because little changes can be accomplished quickly especially by giving more time and space so we can try other approaches to make our lives simple and uncomplicated. Living within our means is better than living beyond what we have.

Being contented with what with have is also another way of living simply. When we are appreciative and grateful for the good in our lives; we are likely to be more physically active, more content in our day-to-day lives and suffer less health problems. If our financial situation is less than ideal, we should understand and accept our current circumstances, limitations, strengths and weaknesses. Acceptance is the key to create a simpler life because if not, then we will be overshadowed by feelings of inadequacy, guilt and comparison.

Nobody is perfect. We have to embrace our strengths and weaknesses. But it doesn’t mean that we have to stop learning. We just have to move on and then accept that no matter what we have, we still have limitations either in personal or circumstances. There might be things that are not yet possible considering our situations but we should be proud of what we have achieved so far because we did out best to reach them.

We have to stop trying to reach success in the shortest time possible. We have to focus more on how to strive hard to achieve our goals rather than on the changes that we want to have in our lives.

We also have to clear up misunderstanding. If our mind is occupied by an uncomfortable conversation, argument, or misunderstanding; we should be the one to make the effort to resolve the conflict. In the end, it’s simpler.

Moreover, good health makes everything simpler. Calming our frantic mind and worried heart just by putting everything into writing. We’ll be surprised how seeing our thoughts in writing puts them into better perspective and provides clarity on what to do next.

Furthermore, living simply is getting rid of many of the things we do so we can spend time with people we love and do the things we love. However, simplicity isn’t always a simple process. Although, it doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult; we just have to be willing to shift our focus.

In fact, simplicity is a journey, not a destination. As we simplify our lives, we begin to see our real the essence. There is so much happiness in living a simpler life in which little things bring joy, improve our relationships and connections.

This is an article about how a simpler life is better than the complicated ones by simply being contented with what we have.

Home Improvements – Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer is a great time to take care of some of those home maintenance items that can sneak up on you when you’re not looking. Here’s a handy list of things to add to your job jar:

Maintain your lawn and garden tools:

Sharpen the blades, change the oil, and replace the filters on your lawn mower. Make sure your weed trimmers are in good condition. Oil garden tools and sharpen blades.

Inspect the locks on your doors and windows:

Make sure your home is safe and secure. Oil any sticky locks and consider a home security system. Outdoor lighting adds appeal to your home and can increase security.

Inspect Exposed Plumbing:

Check under your sinks and anywhere you can get access to exposed plumbing. Make sure there isn’t any dampness that could indicate a small leak in the plumbing.

Inspect for termites and other pests:

Inspect the basement or crawl space, eaves, and attic for termites, carpenter ants, and other wood pests. If you see signs of wood damage, call a professional exterminator. Look under the eaves for wasp or hornet nests. Handle wasp or hornet nests with care and call in a professional if necessary.

Patios and porches:

Clean the barbecue and hose down brick or concrete patio surfaces. Replace any broken bricks and patch concrete cracks. Wash outdoor or screened-in porch floors. Plant annuals in pots, or replant existing planters. Lubricate patio doors. Bring out and clean up your patio or porch furniture.

Complete painting projects:

If you’re painting your house yourself, wash your house first using a home cleaning formula. Scrape off crumbling paint, smooth rough areas with sandpaper, and fill in damaged areas with a best-quality filler. Choose the best paint you can afford. Prime any bare patches with a quality exterior alkyd primer before completing the job with an acrylic latex paint.

You might consider schedule interior painting projects too because warm temperatures allow for better ventilation and quick drying times.

Build or repair fences:

Repair any damaged areas of existing fencing and refinish as necessary. If you’re building a new fence, look carefully at the increasing variety of fencing materials. Make sure your fence complies with local codes and doesn’t encroach on city or neighbouring properties. Be sure to call your local natural gas utility or Call before You Dig agency to make sure you don’t have an accident and hit an underground gas line or other buried utility.

Inspect siding:

Check siding and trim around windows and doors for holes, dents, and gaps. Repair with wood filler or according to manufacturer’s instructions. If your home’s siding needs to be replaced entirely, summer is the best time for this one- to two-week project. Make sure you are aware of all the new choices in siding materials.

Garage Doors:

Now’s a great time to lubricate the tracks on your garage doors.

Replace your roof:

If you need a new roof, have it installed during summer’s warm, dry weather. Consider fire-resistant roof material if you live in an area prone to wildfire and if your current roof is not fireproof. Look for a reputable company that offers a good warranty.

Repair and seal driveways:

Renew the surface of asphalt driveways with sealer. Repair damage to concrete driveways as soon as possible (this project may require a professional).

Plasterboard Fixing For Your Home – What You Need To Know

Plasterboard is a gypsum inner layer usually sandwiched between layers of lining paper and other additives depending on the desired weight and strength of the lining paper. This means that the plasterboards come with different properties. The standard plasterboard can be used in most environments, but it is not that suitable to use in areas that are constantly wet such as the bathrooms and kitchens. If you want to use plasterboard in such areas, then you will need to go for those that are moisture resistant.

Common plasterboards are usually offered in square edge or tapered edge. The tapered edged boards are great for skimming or joining while the square edged boards are best for textured finishes. The sheets are generally in 1200mm to suit 600mm stud spacing that is common with houses today. You can however find other widths to match with your individual specifications. The standard ones have brown face and an ivory face. The ivory face is for plastering and plaster should therefore be kept off the brown reverse side or face. Plasterboards are very popular with new homes and even old homes. It is probably because of the benefits and advantages they come with.

The Advantages

· The boards help in preventing fire from spreading rapidly. This is because the gypsum is made of crystals that contain small water amounts also referred to as water of crystallization. In case of a fire, the water is pushed off greatly helping in keeping the temperatures down. It means that the boards can be used for fire protection. In special multi layered system applications, the boards can offer fire protection for several hours.

· The plasterboards are also great at cutting down the noise. They deter the transmission of airborne sounds like music and speech. You will actually find boards that have cores designed to offer better sound insulation.

· Wallpaper can be applied directly onto the boards to create a beautiful interior hence you are not limited to the natural look of the boards. It is, however advisable to seal the boards first so it is easy to strip down the wallpaper whenever the need arises. The boards also give you the liberty to paint to achieve your desired look.

· The boards are easy to cut and are readily available. It makes it possible for you to handle your DIY projects with ease when you know what you want.

· They are sagging resistant, but flexible at the same time, so you can have an excellent finish for a long time.

· These boards are easier to put up compared to plaster and they can be recycled.

It is possible for you to handle the plasterboards in DIY projects. However, if you are not very sure, it is always better to call in the experts. Plasterers know exactly how to work with the boards to fetch you excellent results within the shortest time possible. They can also advise you on what boards are best for your home as well as plastering techniques that will make your home stand out.

Getting An Oil Tank Removed

Are you a property owner and worried about oil tanks? Well, as undesirable as they are, they are not something to worry about, as the removal process is actually quite simple and not as inconvenient as you might have previously thought.

First things first, is to know the background of underground storage tanks (USTs). Some properties have USTs buried on their grounds due to the fact that oil as a fuel was overtaken by natural gas in the 1950s. This meant that there was no longer a need for these tanks so many of them were buried underground and thought to be out of harms way. This method, in fact, was harmful, as even though the oil was drained from the tank, there was some residue left over in many that could leak into the soil and damage the environment around it. Since then, to avoid, or stop what has already happened in terms of contamination, it has become the law in British Columbia for property owners to have the USTs removed from their land. There are very few exceptions to this rule, so if you know you have an oil tank, you should starting planning to have it removed as soon as possible.

One problem that many people imagine is, if the fuel tank is buried, then how do I know if I have one on my property? There is actually a very simple way to find out. If you call an oil tank removal firm that operates in the region, they will be able to inspect the premises and let you know. There are many companies that use special scanning equipment that utilizes radar technology and this can tell you whether or not there is a UST buried on the property without invading the land at all. Then, if a tank is found, arrangements can be made for its removal.

To start the process, a small area or land around the tank site will be cordoned off. If you go with a well reviewed and professional oil tank removal service, you will be amazed at how little disruption is caused and how not very much space is taken up while removing the oil tank. The team will operate as quickly as possible by digging up the tank and cutting it down into smaller pieces. By doing this, it will be easier to remove the oil tank through smaller spaces away from the property, for example, through the back garden gate.

Kick Out Flashing – What It Is and Where It Should Be Installed

Several factors can lead to water intrusion, but a missing kick out flashing, often results in concentrated areas of water accumulation and can lead to severe damage to exterior walls. Home Inspectors should make sure that kick outs are present where they are needed and that they are installed correctly. Water damage in the cladding or siding can occasionally be observed on the exterior wall in the form of vertical stains, Home Inspectors should not completely rely on visual identification.

The following problems may be observed associated with kick out flashing:

Kick out Not Installed

The need for kick out flashing has developed fairly recently. The increased amount of insulation and building wrap used in modern construction makes buildings less breathable and more prone to sustain water damage. As a Home Inspector we see Kick Out Flashing not installed quite frequently. We hope that by the time we get to inspect the property there has not been excessive damage done to the siding, roofing or the structure of the home.

The following are locations where kick out flashing is needed:

Anywhere a roof and exterior wall intersect, where the wall continues past the lower roof-edge and gutter
Where gutters terminate at the side of the chimney

Kick out not properly installed:

The bottom seam of the flashing must be watertight
The angle of the diverter should never be less than 110 degrees
Another sign that Kick out flashing is not installed or installed improperly is that many home owners will opt for the DIY type of installation. This is when they simply install a flat piece of flashing at the eaves or the bottom area of the rooftop. As a Home Inspector we see this quite often. Homeowners install this and use a silicone based sealant around the area. Silicone is a “band-aid”. Also, they do not protect the entire area where the siding meets the roofing material. Thus making the rest of the area very susceptible for water or moisture damage.

Kick out has been modified by the Homeowner:

Many homeowners do not understand the importance of kick outs. For this reason, many choose to alter them due to cosmetic concerns. A common modification is to shorten their height to less than the standard six inches, which will greatly reduce their effectiveness.

Home owners may also make kick out flashings less conspicuous by cutting them flush with the wall