A kitchen of any house is a special place where the aroma and delicious taste of food is created and wonderful family conversations take place over cooking food. Most food preparations require water and you do not want to pose any risk to your family by using contaminated water in the vital act of food preparation and of consuming plain water. To ensure that pure water goes into your food and tummies, you must employ filter taps. These are fitted with a filter cartridge that removes all contaminants such as debris and chemicals. Out of the many filter taps available in the market, you should choose the ones which have a reputable name in the market. This is because, the filtering capabilities of a non- branded tap cannot really be trusted. It would be a bit like trusting burst pipes in the kitchen to prevent your house from flooding.
One of the most trustworthy companies of kitchenware is Franke. The company has been in the market since 1911 and has been innovating on kitchen products consistently. Moreover, Franke‘s filter taps come with a 5 year warranty on valve mechanisms and a 1 year warranty on their coatings and finishings, generating valuable trust among customers.
Along with trust, the company also offers variety in the form of a diverse range of filter taps that come in different designs, heights and functionalities.While picking a uniquely designed tap is a matter of personal taste, you must know which kind of tap serves which function. Thus, let us see the range of differently functional Franke kitchen taps below:
Single-Flow Spout and Bi-Flow Spout : A Single-flow spout tap implies that the flow of only one channel of water can be adjusted by the use of one available lever while a bi-flow spout tap has two levers, with which flow of two channels of water can be adjusted. You must use the former in places where you can do without water of two different temperatures.
When building a new home, you will do well to consider the inclusions I have mentioned here in this article. Another thing to remember is to make sure you have an adequate building inspector on the job, as a backup to your builder. You need to have the peace of mind that you are being treated fairly and respectfully and the presence of an independent building inspector is going to make your home builder aware that you are on to his corner cutting tricks.
Triflow: If you need water in three different temperature qualities, namely, hot, cold and moderate, then you must make use of a triflow tap. You can use hot water for cooking while cold water can be used for making a drink.
Boiling Water: This kind of tap not only delivers hot and cold water, but also water that is super hot (ie water of 100 degree Celsius). Such hot water can be used in cooking and brewing tea quickly.
Spray Tap: You can either buy a stand alone pull out spray tap or a bi-flow spout tap with a spraying handle as well. This kind of tap can be used for washing vegetables and fruits with speed.
Thus, with a diverse range of variously functional taps, you can enjoy clean water in different ways.
The world’s knowledge was said to have doubled every century of human history before the 19th century. As technology was further developed, it got faster. As of today, it is believed that knowledge doubles once every year or so. What has not changed is the fact that humans die. Death is as natural as life. Although knowledge is doubling at record levels and technology is rapidly advancing, something old is becoming new again. Families are conducting funerals in their homes.
Considering that most of the world still buries their dead through the simple process of a home funeral, it is not surprising that the trend is gaining momentum in America. Families are opting out of the hiring of funeral homes and funeral directors and they are caring for their own dead. Until the time of the Civil War, or around 1860, families always cared for their own dead.
Funerals in the home are a simple, inexpensive, personal and fulfilling way of caring for the dead. Nothing takes the place of “hands on” experience. As a certified grief counselor, it is my opinion that families involved with home funerals experience a more natural and healthier grief process. I have counseled with individuals that worried if the funeral home buried or cremated the right person. There is no concern of this happening in a home funeral setting.
Home Based Funerals – Since The Dawn Of Time
Many families view the process of home funerals as a natural and normal part of family life. Parents care for babies when born. Parents raise, educate, train, develop and love those babies throughout their lives. Babies grow up to be the adult that cares for their parents when they die. The circle of life completes itself and nothing is more natural about life than death. Who is more qualified to care for a person that died than the very family that cared for that person when they lived?
Laws in all states do allow home funerals although particular laws concerning the involvement of funeral directors do vary from state to state. A family does not have to contact a funeral home or funeral director in some states. Unfortunately there still are a few states violating individual rights with unjust laws that force families to hire a funeral director whether they wish to or not. Hopefully those laws will be amended or changed in the near future.
Home Funeral Guides are available in many areas of the country to instruct, educate and encourage families through the home funeral process. A quick search on the internet using your favorite search engine will bring up any that may be in your area. Education seminars, one on one instruction or books are available through your local expert. You can also search on the website of the National Home Funeral Alliance (nhfa) http://homefuneralalliance.org/, which is full of great information concerning home funerals.
It’s a great idea, because you can get a lot closer to what you really want when you build rather than buy. But there are some critical things to be aware of, in order to keep risks and surprises to a minimum, and end up getting the home you want. We’ve compiled this helpful guide from a number of industry sources and our own experience. We hope it gives you a good introduction. This article is bought to by Avenue Building Group – www.avenuebuildinggroup.com.au
1. How important is it to choose the right builder?
Your new Melbourne home is going to be one of the most important investments you will ever make both financially and emotionally. You want to get the design and construction right so that it suits both your present and future needs and lifestyle. There are a lot of builders out there prepared to build you a house but which one is the right one? Which one will turn your dream into reality? Follow the steps in this information pack and you will be several steps closer to fulfilling your dream, especially if that dream is to have a luxury home builder do the job right the first time.
2. Your role in the process
Before beginning the design the following needs to be conveyed to the designer:
The size of the house to be designed – including room numbers, their locations and functions
Facade type including exterior finishes for walls (e.g. rendered, face brick) and the roof type and finish (e.g. tiled, metal)
Individual design features that you would like
Specific details like ceiling heights, window sizes, and bathroom and kitchen fittings.
The time frame. Note that plans have to be submitted to various authorities and this may take longer than expected. Build this into the construction time frame.
3. The designer’s role in the process
When using an architect, building designer or engineer the charge for designing the house will be in addition to the construction costs. When using a builder who provides a design service as part of the package the design is factored into the price. This will have some bearing on the amount of time that can be spent in working with you on the design. Consider this as well when selecting who designs your home.
Designers must be up to date with the following:
o Latest legislation
o New building trends
o Environmental and energy considerations like insulation, water saving, building materials and energy saving systems like solar power and solar water heating
They should also be able to advise you on the most appropriate house orientation in relation to the sun and prevailing winds. They should also be able to advise you on how best to make use of a site’s topography.
For example it is often better to build a house on a sloping site that makes use of the shape of the site rather than bringing in a bulldozer to reshape the site. Earthworks can be expensive.
At your first meeting with a designer you need to assess whether they will be able to meet with your expectations in terms of being qualified to do the job.Attached is a checklist (see page 8) of questions that you should consider asking the designer.
4. Builder’s reputations
Once you have a list of builders your next step is to find out about their reputations and the quality of their work. Probably the best way is to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners. A reputable builder with satisfied customers should have no problem in providing the names and addresses of recent customers that are willing to talk to you.
Some questions you can ask:
Are you happy with your home?
Was the house built within the agreed time frame?
What problems did you experience?
Were they attended to promptly and to your satisfaction?
Would you have this builder build another house for you?
Some observations you can make and note down:
Quality of the finishes including cabinetry, paint and trim
Quality of the construction
Style of design
Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Your new home is probably going to be the biggest investment you have made to date!
5. Advantages in working with a builder to design your home
There are some definite advantages in individual designs. These include:
Personalised and flexible design process
Design suits your lifestyle and budget requirements
Inclusions not limited
Tailored to your particular site
Reputable builders that specialise in individual designs have examples of their work in display villages. This gives you the opportunity to see examples of their work without confining you to the plans you see displayed.
6. Project homes
Project home builders usually offer a range of standard plans in different price ranges including varying fittings and inclusions. They may specialise in single or double storey homes but are limited in inclusions and colour selection choices, design changes and site falls.
7. Individually designed homes
Building designers, engineers, architects and licensed builders provide design services. Probably the most commonly used design service is that offered by builders who specialise in individual designs. They both design and build the homes and the service is included in the price whereas building designers, engineers and architects will charge for the service. The majority of builders who build custom designs will have a portfolio of plans of homes they have built or standard plans, often based on their display homes. They will quite happily adapt these plans to suit your requirements or design a completely new plan. In addition they may specialise in a certain style of home like colonial or federation or in designing and building homes to suit difficult or sloping sites.
Regardless of whom you select to design your home you should feel comfortable with them. At the outset you should ensure that you both clearly understand each other’s roles and responsibilities. This will reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and disputes.
8. Designing your home
Design services are provided by the following:
Licensed building designers
Licences can be checked on the BSA website, www.bsa.qld.gov.au. or by phone. Note that architects and engineers do not require a licence but must be registered with their professional associations.
9. Design choices
There are effectively 3 design choices:
Make use of a standard design package supplied by a builder. They will usually have a range of designs from which you can make a choice. Often referred to as project homes.
Review the builder’s standard plans and adapt them.
Have a builder, designer, engineer or architect do a custom design.
10. Colour consultation
Uncertain about your homes finishes? Reputable builders have qualified colour consultants who can guide you through this important process. They usually have sample finishes available to view, either in-house or at their display homes. They ensure that you get the finish that suits you, right down to the smallest detail. Working with the colour consultant to choose your finishes usually occurs after the deposit has been paid and the design agreed (note not all builders provide this service so take this into consideration when selecting your builder).
You will be provided with a pack of information on finishes and invited to meet with the builder’s colour consultant for a several hour appointment to review the various options. This is your opportunity to ensure that all the finer details are not missed or taken for granted.
As mentioned earlier, project builders often have houses on view in display villages. Be warned that these houses are quite likely to have inclusions that are not included in the base price.The following items will probably not be included in the base price:
o Floor coverings with the exception of wet areas like bathrooms, toilets and laundries.
o Blinds, curtains and light shades
o Items like wallpaper, fixed mirrors (outside of bathrooms) and picture rails
o Tiled and concrete floors under verandas and entry porches
o Garden sheds, outdoor furniture, pergolas and fences
o Clothes lines and letterboxes
o Spas and pools
o Connections to services
However some builders will offer several levels of fit out as different price packages. Take care to identify exactly what you are being offered and ensure that the builder has an in house colour and fittings consultant to guide you through the process.
12. Additional costs
Do you have a sloping, timbered or difficult site on which to build? Be aware that the type of site on which you want to build can add considerably to the overall cost of the project. Note that builders are required under the Domestic Building Act 2000 to provide customers with foundations data before finalising the contract. Most project homes are quoted for building on flat stable sites with little underground rock. A site that is steeply sloping, unstable or has rock beneath the surface can add considerably to the cost of building a home.
If you have a difficult building site then it may be worthwhile to consider approaching a builder who specialises in building on this type of site. They usually design a house to suit the site minimizing the amount of excavation and making best use of the inherent benefits of a sloping site.
Check whether the builder has included the cost of soil tests, contour surveys and building approval fees in the required deposit.
Note that despite a soil test being done it is usually only from two or three boreholes and may not accurately represent the entire site. The builder may have rock removal as a provisional item in the contract and it may become very expensive.
Ensure that your contract has a fixed price for the footing excavation and footings (excluding rock removal) and that you have copies of the survey reports on which this is based. Also ensure that the contract specifies who is responsible for removing excess earth left after excavations.
13. Designer Question Checklist
Does the designer, whether a builder, engineer, architect or building designer have the appropriate BSA licence or professional registration? This you can check prior to your meeting. Yes No
2. Does the designer provide the following services?
o Site inspections to ensure the characteristics of the site are taken fully into consideration in the design process? Yes No
o Elevation sketches of the house in 3 dimensions to show what the house will look like when built? Yes No
o Preparation of documents and plans and lodgement with the authorities for their approval? Yes No
o Check for easements and utility locations (e.g. sewerage pipes) that could affect the design and siting of the house? Yes No
o Check with Local Government or private certifier to ensure that plans include any special requirements before lodging? Yes No
o Does the designer provide a standard contract? Yes No
o Have you obtained a copy and read it carefully? Yes No
o Will it accurately cover any agreement you have reached with the designer in terms of costs and service? Yes No
4. Deposits and fees
o Have you ascertained what deposit the designer requires up front? Yes No
o Have you ascertained how the designer’s fee is calculated? (e.g. fixed sum or percentage) Yes No
o Are there additional costs involved in varying the plans once they are complete? Yes No
o Have you ascertained how long it will take the designer to draw up your plans? Yes No o Does this fit into your timeframe? Yes No
14. Building complaints
The Building Services Authority has a website that keeps a record of disciplinary proceedings against builders. On the BSA site should check the record of each of the builders on your list against the information on this website. No guarantee that you will not experience problems with a builder but past history often determines future behaviour. You can then cull from your list any builders that you doubt.
15. Queensland Master Builders Association
The first step in process is to decide on the type of home you would like to build and to work out how much you can spend. You then need to make a list of local builders that can build your chosen home style within your budget. One way is to go to the Queensland Master Builders Association’s website at www.masterbuilders.asn.au. They have a search function that will provide you with a list of local builders in your region. Contact details and links to websites are included but no detailed information. This means that a lot of searching is required to find key information so you may want to consider other sources.
16. Other sources
If you want another way then advertisements in property supplements, magazines like Homebuild, website searches and display homes will provide more information in easier to use formats. Identify those builders that specialise in the style of house in your price range. Make a list of these builders. You might even want to create a file with information printed off their websites or sourced from property supplements and magazines.
The 10 Steps to Designing and Building your Home
1. The land Maximising the investment you have made in your land, not only as a financial investment but as an emotional investment is important. You’ll want to build a home that will make best use of your land and its aspect to enhance your lifestyle. Our design consultant will visit the site with you to ensure that the design incorporates what you want and makes best use of the attributes of the site.
2. The plan You have decided to build. You may know exactly what you want or you may just have some ideas. The first step is it to turn these ideas into a concept plan. Sit down with one of our design consultants and discuss these ideas. Look at designs and photographs of homes we have built. These will help clarify what you like and what you want in your new home.
3. The investment At this stage you’ll have a draft plan. Go through our inclusions brochure and decide what you’d like. Once you have done that our consultant will be able to give you an estimate of the investment you’ll be making in your new home.
4. Soil test and contour survey The next step is obtaining an engineers survey of the site. This is a legal requirement and it is essential safeguard in ensuring that your home is built with proper foundations and on the correct position on the site. This is also the point where we require a deposit to cover these costs. Once the design consultant has this information he can finalise the design with you and provide a base price with standard inclusions.
5. The final price quotation At this stage we can give you a quote which includes all the details. You’ll need to go through this thoroughly with the consultant to make sure that you are happy that it’s exactly what you want. With this signed off it’s time to turn your dream into a reality and that begins with signing the contract and paying the balance of the deposit. With that paid can get on with preparing the building permit applications and all the paper work that’s involved to get the plans approved.
6. Colour and finish selection Now it is time to meet with our colour consultant who will assist you in colour selection and those final touches which will your turn a house into a home. Our inclusions brochure is a great start here and it’s worth browsing through it before your free appointment with our colour consultant. And in the meeting you’ll see sample finishes too – so much easier when you can see the real thing.
7. Beginning the build This is your dream home – it can’t be thrown up in a few weeks from mass produced elements knocked up offsite and still maintain the quality you want. So we’ll agree with you on a reasonable time to build your home without compromising quality. With all the paperwork done we’ll begin the preplanning and within a few short weeks construction will begin…
8. During the build It’s hard to keep away from the building site while your home is being built! You are encouraged to visit the site on a regular basis however, it is standard practice to be accompanied by your site supervisor due to safety requirements. You’ll meet the building Supervisor at the beginning and he will keep you up to date on the progress and explain each stage.
9. Completion When everything is complete and when we have thoroughly pre inspected the house it will be time to hand over the keys. But before we do that we’ll accompany you on your own inspection to make absolutely sure that the home we have designed for you has been built as promised.
10. Moving in You’ve moved in but we still want to make sure that our promise to you to build the home you want is kept. The six month maintenance period is your opportunity to make sure that we have kept our promise and a further six year structural guarantee.
Beginning the process Give us a ring on 1300 858 177 or visit one of our display homes at Brookwater and in the QMBA village at Daisy Hill. You’ll get the opportunity to meet one our consultants and find out how easy it is to design your own home. We hope this information has been of assistance and wish you well in building your new home!
The garage door in your home is designed to offer protection but unfortunately it can end up being one of the most dangerous parts of your home. There are a number of reasons why this is the case but mostly because it operates under pressure regularly. Garage doors are attached to a spring that is pulled open at least twice every day and this can easily cause the spring to deteriorate; if the spring snaps while your car is still inside the garage, you will need a technician who is an expert in garage door spring replacement to come to you rescue before you can be able to leave home in that car. Apart from those springs, there are also numerous nuts and bolts that can become loose and make the door come off its track; this informs the importance of regular garage door maintenance.
There are other times when you will get a garage door installer that was not competent in their work and they did your garage door installations with a defective component; this means therefore that it is a hazard waiting to happen because it can cause some serious injury if it fails to open or close correctly. There have been many cases of finger that get caught between the garage door panels or children, pets and adults that get injured or even killed by garage doors. The good news is that new garage door installations and especially those that were manufactured after 1991 come with number of safety features that have been designed to protect your home and your family members. Manual release handle: Ask your garage door installer whether the door they air about to install in your new home is fitted with any safety features. For instance, there is a manual release handle that can detach the door from its opening mechanisms in case there is an emergency; all you that you need to do is to pull on it and you won’t get trapped inside the garage. You can easily identify it since it is bright red in color and is normally located on the brackets that are found above your garage door.
Automatic reverse system: Modern garage doors come with an automatic reverse system; these are sensors that are built into your garage door and they will detect if there is something or someone on their path. When they sense anything on the way the door automatically stops going down and reverses its direction. For your safety and that of your family, you need to have the automatic reverse system tested at least once a month; you only need to put some paper towels on the garage door’s path
Whenever picking bathroom accessories one has to look at what exactly the purposes are generally. Do you need for you to re-design your bathroom, creating the room for you to today’s type? Carry out you wish to switch the room for you to cause it to convenient to see?
Figuring out what you need could assist you create great judgments. Such as, if you intend to realize convenience, conceivably you need the particular Towels this consist of a warmer system. It can be the newest creation. The towel warmers give people luxury, convenience, and also type regardless of the sort of bath people include the warmer for you to.
The towels bring warmth into the ecosystem, especially on breezy or wintry days. After you measure beyond the bath or shower throughout wintry a short time, this creates you’re feeling regretful to enjoy a different bath.
The way the towel warmers operate:
The towel warmers employ electricity to use. The particular energy devices are widely-used throughout shower or bathing. Merely first start the warmer, measure throughout the shower and also rest. As soon as you first start the warmer, after you measure beyond the shower, you are able to enjoy the particular warmth from materials.
The towel warmers are generally created together with pro attention, and also skillfully patterned precious metal made coupled with extremely carbon elements. The particular trust shell can be electrostatic, that hand made solutions cause it to one of many long-lasting styles today. The particular continuous warmers work with a substantial heating product incorporated by cables that, that achieves faster warmth. On top of that, the warmers are generally created together with important prospects that necessarily mean you’ve got a cost-effective resolution.
With market trends, people will discover the particular soothing sense compact device that contains a quick increasing device helping you to deal with amount. The particular units’ present you with deal with featuring an ON/OFF button. People have got the particular number of transferring the particular mode to meet your requirements. The particular settings combine an easy on the pocket electric outlet to supply people the alternative regarding utilizing 50 percent a person’s electrical vigor force just to save money.
Take place the warmers switch on?
Warmers employ a new enterprise coupled with colts for you to switch on. You’ve got a number of warmers, still a lot of utilize identical shapes.
The way must I pick out?
You’ve got a wide range associated with options. Companies style and design the towel warmers throughout exactly the same way typically. The particular most recent can be the Capri models, and that is a new several inches wide widthwise and also includes an evenhanded prominence electricity. The particular models are generally created regarding chrome buffers of which end the look. You merely install the system anywhere that suits you in your bathroom, which include shelves. You are able to toss on the couple of added towels for you to get back spacing around various other elements of your bathroom seeing that properly.
Various other varieties of towel warmers are generally obtainable as well, that purchase a new elevation with the stage you like together with off of balanced bigger. A lot of models however are constructed with the particular identical elements, still some equipment possess tube-like captions that provide help to comfortable a few soft towel. The particular models have got substantial and also very low wattages. This particular you would like to look at, because if your watts are generally very low, then you definitely help you save vigor.
Couples of warmers are generally more compact, still you’ve got a trendy wall socket this is made of enamels brushed together with pallid completing. The particular models often have leveled panes, building this quick so that you can save a few large towel with the warmer. The particular models work off of little and also substantial wattages, for a second time think about the watts.
Back to the way of choice:
Preserve as their intended purpose this larger the particular watts greater force it’ll employ.
The way is generally the warmers mounted?
Uncomplicated, people simply study the particular instructions that include the towel warmers. For the most part, you want to think about the region you want to install the tool. When thinking about the region imagine electrical outlets, warmer box, qualities, and also add-ons. As soon as you consider when you would like to installation a person’s device, people adhere to instructions furnished back and also you might be with your method for you to attaining an appropriate bathroom.
Just how do I pick out methods for setting up?
For a second time, study the particular directions. The particular create will give you people precisely the particular tools you might want to installation the warmer. It is wise to prepare, i.e. gather all your tools before installing the towel warmer. Being confident that most of pieces can be found can be wise at the same time.
Today of which you’ve decided on your warmers, you’ll probably decide for you to look at various other bathroom accessories, like the reflected defoggers.
It’s something you may say to your kids as a joke every night: “Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” But bed bugs in DC, Virginia, and Maryland are a growing problem – and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you think you need a bed bug treatment, there are 7 things you need to know:
1.Bed bugs are tiny brown insects that feed off of human and animal blood, which is why they head for your bed. While you’re sleeping, you are like a bed bug buffet!
2.Bed bugs can get into your house without you even knowing – on things like your luggage, your clothes, and your furniture.
3.The bed bug problem is a widespread one. Bed bugs in Virginia are popping up everywhere, from homes to hotels. Pest control services in Maryland had to remove a bunch of bed bugs from the public library in Urbana.And bed bugs in DC are being found in apartments all over town.
4.Bed bug bites look like itchy welts. They last longer than a mosquito bite, and they also itch more than a mosquito bite. If you keep waking up with welts on your skin, chances are it’s due to bed bugs.
5.Bed bug bites are an allergic reaction, so the severity of symptoms varies from person to person. In fact, it’s estimated that 30% of people who are bitten by bed bugs never show any symptoms!
6.Simply sleeping in another bed is not an effective bed bug treatment. Bed bugs are crafty; they can easily follow you to another bed. If you do have bed bugs, a pest control service can tell you the best way to isolate your bed so that they don’t spread.
7. Pest control services in Maryland, Virginia, and DC offer the only surefire way to get rid of bed bugs. They can offer a professional inspection that covers both main areas and tiny crevices. Pest control professionals can also use special pesticides that will get rid of the bed bugs, without harming you. And, a good pest control service can even provide you with a special mattress cover that can stop bed bugs from making their way into your mattress.
It is often said that the easiest way to change the appearance of a home is to paint it. And, while this is true, knowing what colors to paint your home’s exterior, or perhaps determine what color to paint a particular room, is rarely as easy as it sounds. Just take a walk down the paint aisle of your local home improvement store or visit a paint store and you will quickly discover that the days of simple red or white are no more. There are now more hue variations than one can begin to imagine. Add in the number tools, brushes, trays, etc. and just the thought of a weekend spent house painting can be overwhelming!
Thankfully, house painting doesn’t have to be terrifying or overwhelming. With an understanding of the following paint selection tips from house painting pros and average homeowners, you can have a new look for your home in no time at all.
Paint Selection Tips for Anyone
· Start in a smaller space. You don’t have to paint a main space first. Choose a small room, a hallway, or even and accent wall. Use an area rug, pillow, piece of artwork, or some other piece with a color you like in it, and take it to the store with you. The salesperson can help you find a paint color to match, or either custom mix that color for you.
· Use paint to enhance the existing architecture. By painting molding, mantel, built-ins, or doors, you can add color in a small way and make a decision regarding main wall color after you have lived with the new look for a few days/weeks.
· Note what rooms are visible to one another. Pay attention to what colors are used (if any) and how much of each room can be seen from an adjoining room. Consider keeping adjoining spaces in neutral tones as these are nearly foolproof choices.
· Think about the mood you want to create. Rich colors such as brown, deep greens, rich reds, etc. lend an air of intimacy and warmth; while softer colors like blue, light yellow or green have calming affects.
· Think about your lighting. Natural lights show the truest color, incandescent lights bring out the warm tones and, fluorescent lighting casts a blue tone.
· Know the terms. Hue is the term for color; the value refers to how light or dark it is, saturation refers to how dominant the hue is; and, intensity is the brilliance of the color.
Choosing a paint color for your next makeover project doesn’t have to be intimidating. You can walk with confidence into any paint aisle and make the decision with ease. Then, it’s just a matter of painting the space yourself or calling in a professional such as the Bay Country Painters. Regardless of your choice, you can have a great new look for your home in no time at all.
For years, I have repeatedly and loudly proclaimed “I AM NEVER LIVING IN A TRAILER EVER AGAIN. NEVER EVER.” Well, sometimes never comes pretty quickly.
In March, I moved from the wilds of Western New York state into a suburb of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While I’m very glad to be “back down south” again, I am, once again, living in a mobile home. Oh lord, I’m trailer trash! Again.
I also did one of the things that you should never do when buying a mobile home, especially an older one (mine is a 1980). I entered into the agreement pretty much sight unseen. I’m not irresponsible with my money with respect to paying bills (I clarified because I think I have 14 pairs of flip flops), but even I knew that this could possibly end badly. I was in a situation where my decisions had to be made quickly and inspecting the home prior to moving was not something I had the luxury of doing.
I got lucky.
Yes, my trailer is kind of ugly on the outside – it’s a two-tone brown and tan number – and there are some cosmetic issues on the inside as well as some serious problems that are in the process of being repaired, but it could have been a whole lot worse.
Mobile homes can be a lot more roomy than they appear from the outside. This is my living area.
Dining room when it was waiting for a kitchen table!
My house may be short on pretty, but it’s long on storage space. I have a total of 20 kitchen cabinets and four of these huge closets – you’re only seeing one side of it open!
That huge bathtub almost makes up for that wallpaper. Almost.
History of Mobile Homes
The modern mobile home began with travel trailers, or what we now refer to as RVs (recreational vehicles, think Winnebago). These things started out as little rooms, basically, that could be towed behind cars or trucks, thus eliminating the need for hotel rooms while on vacation and designed to be more secure and comfortable than a tent for camping.
Travel trailers began production in 1926 and, by the late 1940s, some enterprising folks figured out that they could make travel trailers that were meant to be permanent and affordable homes.
First came the single-wide which could be as large as 18 by 90 feet, then came the double-wides which essentially double the width of the home.
Essentially, with the exception of the newer homes, most trailers do still have axles and wheels attached to the underside, unless the home has been put on a foundation. This makes it easier to haul it wherever it needs to go.
Mobile homes are now manufactured in all kinds of crazy ways and some folks prefer the term prefabricated (prefab) or modular to mobile home. They even make these things with multiple stories now!
The prices have changed dramatically, too. What once was touted as an industry that made affordable housing is now producing double and triple wides that can cost in excess of $80,000. Though that might seem like a deal, the cost of the land has to be considered and know that the value of your mobile, prefab or modular will never increase.
Things to Think About When Buying an Older Mobile Home
Though they are now technically referred to as “manufactured” homes, many of us still call them trailers or mobile homes. Here are some things to consider before buying one.
Outdated Décor – A lot of the newer models have all kinds of frills, but many of the older trailers do not. Be aware before you even begin your journey that you are most likely not going to find skylights, wood flooring, drywall or many of the finer things that some folks expect from the newer homes. You’ll probably find awful wallpaper, wood paneling, linoleum and lots of it!
Plumbing – Believe it or not, most older trailers have plumbing fixtures that are not industry standard for regular homes. Your pipes, drains and even some of your fixtures are going to be made for mobile homes only and your replacement parts may be hard to come by and/or expensive. Also, it is rare for a mobile home with any kind of age on it to have shut off valves for sinks, tubs and toilets. If you have to make a repair, you’ll have to shut off all the water to the trailer.
Interior Parts – Just like with the plumbing, doors, doorknobs and windows are difficult to replace on older model mobile homes because they are specially made for trailers. These parts are getting harder and harder to find and some enterprising sellers have realized this and the prices on some things can go through the roof. My advice is to know in advance where you will be able to find affordable parts for your trailer.
Stability – Unless your new home is sitting on a foundation, which most older mobile homes are not, it will likely be up on cinder blocks or other structures to make it stable. This is not a bad thing, but it does make for an interesting thunderstorm experience – these things can shake pretty good. Also, someone jumping up and down on the floor on one end of the house could bounce you right out of bed!
Windows – Most of the windows on older model mobile homes are not the same as on regular houses. They’ve got little levers that you have to press to open or close them and the storm windows are often put into place on the inside and held in with little plastic clips that can break pretty easily.
Construction Materials – I mentioned drywall, and most older trailers do not have it. Many are outfitted with cheap wooden paneling that has absolutely nothing behind it. This can making hanging things on your walls difficult and the studs that you will have to use to hang heavier decorations may be too thin to support them.
Heating/Air Conditioning – A lot of the older homes are heated with oil or an oil/kerosene blend. This can get extremely expensive in the winter months especially if you live in a colder location. Central heat and air is a popular feature, just make sure both are in working order before you sign on the dotted line. I didn’t and found out by accident that my central air didn’t work. I was fortunate in that the guy that owns the park had it fixed the next morning at his expense. If that had been on my dollar, it would probably still be needing repair in 2015!
Moving the Trailer – If you buy any mobile home and it has to be moved, be aware that this is not an inexpensive prospect. It can literally run into the thousands to move a trailer from one location to another and moving it can cause expensive damage to the structure – especially the roof. If the trailer is what’s called a “double wide” or bigger, your move will cost even more because it has to be taken apart and the pieces have to be moved separately. The bigger the trailer is, the more it will cost to move. Also consider the cost of having the home hooked up to electric and water/sewer.
Financing – Most banks will not finance a loan for an older model mobile home. This is primarily because these homes do not appreciate in value – by the time you make your final payment, the home could be worth half the price you paid for it. This makes it difficult for the bank to recoup their money if you default on the loan. So be prepared to pay for your new “old” home up front.
Lot Rent – Whether you are buying or renting the mobile home, if it sits in a mobile home park, you will be paying the park a fee each month to rent the land on which it sits. Obviously, when you pay for the trailer, you won’t have any more payments to make, but the lot rent will continue as long as you live on the property. Also, in every mobile home park I’ve ever rented from, water, sewer and trash has been included in the lot rent, but check on that up-front.
Lessons Learned from Living in a Trailer Park
Almost every neighborhood these days has some kind of owner’s association but, in a trailer park it can get a little bit nerve wracking. This is not my first trailer park rodeo, so I figured I’d share a few things that folks may not know before moving into one.
Parking – Know where you and your visitors are allowed to park, and ask your neighbors who have unused parking spots if you may have your guests use them. Don’t just assume, because they can (and often will, just out of spite) have your friend’s cars towed.
Entrances – This may sound kind of comical, but I’m having some issues with it. Most trailer parks have their homes set up in a specific order. My home is on a corner lot and, for some reason, my front door is on the opposite side as everyone else’s in my row. While this may seem like a minor inconvenience, I’ve had the post office leave packages on my back porch. If I know to look for them, I will watch. If not, I could be in trouble. My AT&T modem sat out there for who knows how long, and I’ve had folks bring packages to the front door for me if they see them before I do.
Trash Removal – A lot of parks have very specific guidelines and how, when and what you can throw away. My park has a dumpster at the end of each row. All of our trash has to be bagged, which means I can’t clean out my baby sister’s car and throw the McDonald’s cup right in the dumpster.
Pets – Many trailer parks do allow pets, but some have breed and/or size guidelines. Also, some will not allow certain exotic pets like snakes and ferrets and some will require yearly proof of vaccinations and local licenses. Make sure you are clear before you even move in on whether or not your family pet will be allowed as well as any specific leash laws. Also, most parks demand that you carry a bag for your “dog dirt.” Nobody wants to step in that and it can smell really bad in warmer weather.
Personal Vehicles – If you allow your license and/or registration on your car to expire, many parks will demand that you either rectify that or remove the vehicle from their property. Also, some will not allow you to make repairs on your vehicle beyond a simple changing of a tire. Most will also not allow you to wash your car on the property, especially if your water is included with your lot rent.
Neighbors – This one is entirely subjective, but some folks in a trailer park can be real busy bodies. Though I’m over 40 and single with no kids, it’s almost like I feel eyes on me when I’m out roaming around on the property, and it’s probably not paranoia on my part. These folks watch EVERYTHING, just waiting for some juicy bit of gossip or something they can use to call the park manager or owner and “tell on me.” Though I plan to give them neither, this can be a real big issue, so watch yourself!
When it comes to heating a house, electric heaters are mostly preferred as they are economical, convenient and are extremely good at heating up a small space. They are becoming very common these days as more and more households are moving towards these electric heating devices. Though, these electric heating devices are convenient way to warm up a house, but just like any other electrical appliance, electric heaters also require some maintenance. While using electric heating devices, it is essential to keep a few things in mind.
Keep the device away from electric shocks:
These heating devices can give an electric shock as they run on electricity so it is essential to keep these electric heating devices at a place, where there is no moisture. We should avoid these devices coming in contact with water or other forms of spilled liquid. We should never keep an electric heater at such place where there is a high probability of the heater coming in contact with moisture to avoid accidental electrical shocks.
The device should be avoided to come in contact with Fires:
If there is a circuit overload or any electric shortage, electric heaters can result in fires in the house. Clothes or other such flammable items can cause fires if coming within close proximity of the heater. It can cause problems as multiple electrical appliances run on the same circuit. In order to avoid circuit overloading, it is essential to make sure that we should not run multiple appliances at the same time. Electric heaters should be placed at such place where it cannot come in contact with any object that can easily catch fire.
Eliminate the risk of burns:
Sometimes due to continuously functioning of these devices, most of the parts can become very hot and coming in contact with these parts can result in serious burns and injuries. So you should make sure that clothes could not come in contact with these parts as they can catch fire if exposed to these parts, increasing the risk exponential. Especially small children and pets should be kept away from these heating devices as they would be unaware that they can be hurt or even end up seriously injured. While using these electric heating devices, it is advisable to monitor children and pets to avoid such kinds of injuries. It is essential to follow the operational procedures while using these electric heating devices as most of the devices have operational manual attached to it. So while using these devices it is advisable to follow the instructions and use the devices accordingly. Most of the devices have a feature of temperature control so we can easily set the temperature of electric heating devices according to our needs.
Apart from this, in order to prevent accidents caused by heaters, there should be an adequate distance between the heater and any potential source of combustion including furniture, curtains, anything made of paper or any flammable items. One important tip is while purchasing these electric heating systems you need to make sure that it must have safety certifications and energy star mark on it. Each electric heating device should meet all the courses of action and pass energy standards before being used in houses. They should be thoroughly tested and meet the often stringent requirements. You should avoid purchasing those items that don’t contain energy mark and don’t conform to standard because in this case you will be having no assurance that the build quality is adequate. Along with all these preventions, it is also important to choose a reliable supplier of these electric heating devices as choosing the correct heater along with the correct supplier will help lower your energy bills and reduce the environmental impact of your house.