Making a Smarter Home

If your schedule is as busy as most people’s, it’s likely that you’re always looking for ways to make your life easier and to streamline various tasks that you have to do throughout your day. With the continued growth of “smart” devices, you can allow technology to take care of the tasks that take up so much time, while you’re free to enjoy time with your family. Here are a few smart home upgrades that can turn your home into a genius.

Smart Thermostats

Attempting to keep your home comfortable can be a full-time job, especially during the extreme temperatures of the summer and winter. That’s why a smart thermostat is such a smart investment for your home. Unlike regular thermostats that can, at most, turn your system off and on at set times, a smart thermostat can actually learn your daily patterns and adjust the temperatures accordingly.

Going to be home at 5:30? The smart thermostat will calculate how long your system will need to run to get your home to the perfect temperature and turn it on at that exact time. This, among other differences, allows you to save plenty of energy in addition to all the time saved. Heating and cooling services such as PrecisionTemperture.net are prepared to assist homeowners in making upgrades to their HVAC system which include smart thermostat technology.

Smart Appliances

Going back and forth to the store for items you forgot can be a huge waste of time. That’s why smart refrigerators are such ingenious time savers. Smart refrigerators can actually keep track of the food you have in the fridge, producing a grocery list of items you need that is accessible via smartphone so you’re sure to never miss a single item.

Once you’ve got those ingredients home, a smart range and oven can help make cooking a breeze. Smart stoves access online recipes to help guide you as you cook, ensuring times and temperatures are set correctly for your specific range to ensure a perfect finished product, every time. Plus, you’ll never have to wonder or worry again whether you’ve left the stove on when you’ve left home, because you can turn it off right from your smartphone.

Smart Security Systems

If you’re trying to outsmart a criminal, the best way to do it is with the power of a smart security system. These systems offer a wide range of control and customizability to help you keep your entire home secure. In addition to the monitoring and alerting capabilities of a typical alarm system, a smart security system offers a link to your phone to keep you informed of what’s happening at your home, even when you’re away.

For example, if an alarm is triggered, you’ll receive a text alert. If you have security cameras integrated with your system, you can check in any time to make sure everything is safe and sound. Plus, if you forget to turn on your alarm, you can turn it on from your phone anywhere you have WiFi or a cellular data connection.

Smart User

Smart devices can certainly make your life easier and more productive in a variety of ways. The key to proper utilization of these devices, however, is a “smart” user- that means you. While smart devices can do a lot of heavy lifting, it’s important to supplement their capabilities by regularly checking up on them to ensure they’re operating properly.

This gives you ultimate control over what happens at your house while still enjoying the ease of utilizing smart devices. With your intuition and your smart devices’ hard work, you’ll find yourself with more free time to enjoy the more important things in life.

Spice Up Your Garage With a Great New Floor Coating System

Are you tired of coming home to a less than savory looking garage? It’s one thing to have a garage that is too small or too crowded. But what if it is simply unsafe to store your vehicles and other possessions in? Your floor may be rotted out or pitted with potholes and other safety hazards. If this is the case, it’s up to you to take action to repair it. Perhaps the best thing to do under the circumstances is to get a whole flooring system in place right away.

It’s Time to Give Your Garage the Flooring System it Deserves

It’s time to spice up your garage with the ultimate system of safe and efficient new garage floor coatings. These new coatings will have your garage floor looking buff in no time. Even better, they will give your garage floor the next level of protection. If you want to keep your floor looking like a million dollars for many years to come, this is the system of coatings that you need to check out today.

If You Want the Ultimate Floor for Your Garage, Contact Us Today

If you’re tired of settling for second best, it’s time for you to call us today. We can give you an amazing new concrete floor system that will last for years to come. There is no reason why you should work so hard to keep the rest of your home in good shape if you can’t do the same for your garage. This is why the new concrete Floorguard system is so popular. This is protection that you can count on.

There is no time like the present to give your garage floor the concrete finish it deserves. Your vehicles and other possessions deserve the highest form of appreciation, respect, and safety. You can only get this by making arrangements to put the new Floorguard system in your garage. Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we are prepared to do on behalf of your garage.

How to save money?

With the crisis, we are all trying to save money. However, spending less is not that easy, so how? We have selected for you tree little things that you can put into practice right now. These tips, we use them every-day. They are easy and will give you results in just 2 to 3 weeks.

The most difficult thing is to keep them in mind throughout the year. Why? Because the sources of temptation including online trading are numerous in our societies where everything is based on over consumption. We are constantly asked to buy anything more or less useful. Especially in shopping centers.

But what could we have bought this week so that we have so little money left?” Does it remind you of something? Yes? So it’s time to discover our three tips to save money right now:

Tip Number One: Pay in Cash

Try as much as you can to pay for your ticket or item purchases and not for your credit card: tickets in hand, you better see what’s out of your pocket. Banknotes and coins are palpable in the hand. If you buy something at $20 your ticket of $20 disappeared after the purchase. You are therefore aware of having spent money.

Conversely, with a credit card, you pay your $20 but after the purchase you always have your credit card in your hands. Consequence: it is much more difficult to realize that we have just spent $20. However, the $20 has disappeared from your account. The solution is to get out of the distributor’s money and pay with real money.

Tip Number Two: Overestimate your expenses

In your weekly or monthly budget forecasts, make a habit of overestimating your expenses. And while you’re there, do not be afraid to underestimate your money. Why? This is because it pushes more to make efforts throughout the week. This is an excellent method to transform the “Oops I thought I had more money…” in “Excellent I did not think that I was left so much!” If you have the courage, do not spend that money you have left. Put it in a kitty that you will place in the bank.

Tip Number Three: Wait 2 Days before Buying

Wait at least 2 days before succumbing to your next purchase. This gives you time to think about your purchase. Not to crack on the spot or worse, to regret it later. And you will see the result is pretty impressive. In 3 or 4 of the cases, you will find that you did not need this new T-shirt (you already have a dozen at home), or this web hosting company that offered me services or this new bag (there must be fifteen in the closet), or this new pair of shoes (you could put the entire building with what you already have).

Your desire was merely a consumer drive. Two short days are enough to get back on track. Time and sleep because the night brings advice are the best tips to realize that a purchase is not really worth it. Yes, you have what you need at home! These 3 tips should help you better face the back and all the expenses that come with it.

3 Things Efficient Real Estate Investors Do

Being in the throes of life can seem overwhelming, not to mention running a successful business. There is so much to do but so little time. You are constantly running around, responding to emails, answering and making phone calls, amongst a whole myriad of other things. All this hard work must surely mean you are getting the best possible outcomes from your time. Or, it is likely, more often than not, you are spreading yourself too thin.

Wouldn’t it be great to devote your time to things you love and that give you the most reward? Time is precious, so here are some simple ways to become a lot more efficient and get the most out of your limited time.

The 80/20 rule or The Pareto Principle

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle was named after Vilifredo Pareto whose work included the law of income distribution, whereby he demonstrated a predictable distribution of wealth in society. That is, 80% of the wealth was held by 20% of the population. He developed the principle by observing that 80% of the peas in his garden were contained within just 20% of the pea pods. This is idea has become a common concept in business whereby, for example, 80% of sales come from 20% of your customers.

Now take a step back and try and apply this theory to your personal and business life – What are the 20% causes to your 80% problems? Is it that you are spending the majority of your time on customers who do not provide the majority of your revenue? Are you spending the majority of your time on tasks that are simply eating your time and energy with no reward at the end? Do you have other problems like communication skills or time management?

It is very difficult to take a step back and dissect your life and realise that you may in fact have done things ‘wrong’, you are usually far too close to be objective. Try to look at it from another angle, or put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Once you apply this principle and eliminate time wasting, you will become significantly more efficient, thereby having time to focus on those worthwhile tasks.

Delegate

Easier said than done, right? However, burning the midnight oil is no fun, and you’re not fooling anyone, you are becoming tired, less focused and losing productivity. We have the tendency to bite off more than we can chew, but you will get more done when you delegate tasks to those who are better at them than you are. The opportunity cost of an expert completing a task is that you would have wasted significant amounts of time doing the task rather than doing many other things that you should be doing.

Planning

Although planning a task may seem tedious and time consuming, most efficient people sit down and determine the approach they will take to complete a task. This is vital, so you are better able to determine any issues and the best approach to take. Planning inevitably streamlines your processes which eliminates time wasting.

3 Reasons You Should Consider Getting Replacement Windows

Do you think it’s about time to replace those old windows? If you’re not sure whether it’s a good time to get rid of the old ones and have them replaced with newer, updated options that look a lot better, there are a few different reasons you should consider going forward with the replacements.

 

Your Current Windows Aren’t Efficient Enough

 

If your windows are old and were installed decades before you even moved in, they’re probably not nearly as efficient as some of the options that are currently on the market today. When they’re not as efficient, it becomes much more of a challenge to keep the home’s temperature comfortable on the inside throughout the year. You may have to pay a lot of money on heating and cooling expenses because of the lack of energy-efficiency. If you’d much rather prefer to save more money and keep your home even more comfortable, you should look for energy-efficient options because of the many benefits they offer.

 

New Windows Can Make Your Home More Valuable

 

Planning to live in your home for the next few years and then sell it to move elsewhere? If so, it’s never too early to make a few changes that could make your home even more valuable. Making updates to a home that was built a long time ago is a great way to ensure you’re going to get even more for it when it comes time to sell it to someone else. Potential buyers are often willing to spend more money if renovations have been completed because then those are the kinds of renovations they don’t have to worry about taking care of themselves after buying the home.

 

Choosing to get new windows is a great way to increase the value of your home. Not only are you going to have an opportunity to save more with these updated, energy-efficient windows, but you may even be able to get a return on your investment by simply increasing the asking price on the home when you’re ready to sell it. After all, most people don’t want to move into a place where they’re going to deal with a draft in every room.

 

They’ll Change the Appearance of Your Home For the Better

 

Aside from being more energy efficient and making your home even more valuable, replacement windows in Houston can make your home look even better from both the inside and the outside. You may care about the overall appearance of the property and want to make sure it looks updated, refreshing, and naturally beautiful. It’s even better to have a home that is aesthetically pleasing when it’s time to sell it because then it’s going to catch the attention of someone else who is interested in buying a home in the area rather quickly.

 

These are three of the best reasons to go through with the process of getting rid of your old windows and having them replaced with newer options that are far more energy-efficient. By choosing to get new windows installed, you’ll get to live more comfortably, increase the value of your home, and make it look even better both inside and outside.

Avoid Accidents with Proper Motorcycle Maintenance

It’s great to have affordable motorcycle insurance so that you can cover your liability if a road accident is your fault when you’re riding your motorcycle. Of course, there’s also the expense of repairing your own motorcycle and paying for injuries —assuming you survive the accident.

You’re 5 times more likely to die if you’re in a motorcycle crash than if you are in a car crash. The rate of severe injury is 10 times as great. The cost of your health care is 6 times greater. Motorcycles are just plain dangerous.

So if you insist on riding a motorbike, the very least you can do is to make sure that you maintain your ride properly. You still need to know how to ride safely, but at least your ride is as safe is it could be (for a 2-wheeled vehicle).

  1. Air filter. If it’s clogged from dust and dirt, the motorbike just won’t ventilate properly. You’ll get less power, and the motorbike’s performance will suffer. So you need to check the air filter every now and then. Look it over, and if you see something wrong you should just replace it.

  2. Spark Plugs. These are one of the most crucial motorcycle components that affect the overall performance of the vehicle. Prior to removing the spark plugs, you need to use a can of compressed air to blow into the hole that contains the plug. Blowing the compressed air gets rid of debris and dirt from the hole. This makes sure that when you do remove the spark plug, there’s no dirt that falls into your engine.

  3. Chain. The function of this component is to transfer the power from the engine into your rear wheel. So to make sure it works right, you should clean and adjust the chain on a regular basis. It should have the right amount of tension: not too tight that you’ll have problems with the wheels and gearbox. You can also add some lube to the chain after a ride so that the chain absorbs the oil as it cools down.

If the chain isn’t working right, it can cause your motorcycle to malfunction, and this can result in an accident when it happens while you’re riding. So check the chain over every two weeks. If you don’t ride all that often, you can do the inspection every 500 to 700 miles.

  1. Fluids. You should read your manual carefully so that you can make sure that you’re using the right fluids as directed by the manual guidelines. Going against these guidelines isn’t recommended. At the very least, you can void the warranty. You’re better off buying the precise manufacturer’s replacement fluid so that you’re sure you’re getting the right stuff for your engine.

  2. Fuel. The kind of fuel you put in will have a direct effect on how your engine performs. It’s crucial that you only put in the kind of fuel specified by your owner’s manual. You can’t just use high-octane fuel just so you can supposedly improve the motorcycle’s performance. The wrong octane of fuel can actually degrade the motorcycle’s performance as well as its lifespan. So get the precise fuel specified, as a higher octane doesn’t mean better performance.

  3. Engine oil. You should change your engine oil every 3,000 miles or every 6 months. When you check your oil, you need to make sure the consistency is just right.

  4. Tires. Always check the pressure and the tread of the tires before you start your ride.

  5. Battery. The connectors on the terminals should be tight so it will start properly. Charge it once a week, and make sure that the terminals are clean to prevent corrosion.

Have a pro check over your motorcycle every six months, and get more tips regarding its maintenance. When it comes to riding a motorcycle, there’s really no such thing as too much effort in making sure your motorcycle is in top shape.

Great Hangouts for Mile-Ex Hipsters

In recent years, word has spread about the creative and hip vitality that can be found in the Mile-Ex neighborhood of Montreal. Large numbers of artistic and creative young adults are flocking to the area, getting apartments and condos in Mile-Ex.

A quick look at this community easily explains the unique appeal of this community over the creative set of Montreal. The place is geographically nonlinear, with weird streets that don’t seem to have any logical foundations to its starts and dead ends. Signs for businesses aren’t prominent, so you need to be eagle-eyed to find them. The facades are deceiving, as average-looking garages may actually turn out to hide the hippest bar and dining clubs in the whole city.

Here are some places where the hipsters and creatives like to congregate. They’re among the reasons why the members of the artistic set are flocking to this area.

Restaurant Mile-Ex

The whole area didn’t actually have a name that people agreed on. But it was the opening of the Restaurant Mile-Ex in 2012 that gave the place the name, which everyone subsequently used. This is actually just a small restaurant, but its artistic vibe is unmistakable. Instead of small tables for private parties, it offers three huge communal tables. It’s very homey due to the abstract paintings adorning the walls. It has an open kitchen, where they prepare the unique cuisine that seems to combine the cuisine of southern France with LA street food.

Alexandraplatz

Ask the cool crowd, and Alexandraplatz is generally considered the coolest bar in the whole Montreal area. That may be surprising when you first set your sights on it from the outside, as it’s hidden behind a garage door of an old brewing factory.

It offers communal tables, with barbecue stations peopled by knowledgeable chefs. You can also find food trucks in some areas. Sit back and relax with new friends and old, while you enjoy the street murals and the setting of the sun behind old knitting factories. It’s like a summer backyard party that won’t end, even though it’s closed for the winter.

Barbershop Emporium

Hipsters and cool creatives are generally known for their unconventional hairstyles, and beards of every type are common as well. Most people of the Mile-Ex crowd get their hair and beards done at this place. The aesthetic is quite homey, you have vintage swivel chairs, and the barbers are themselves sporting beards and topknots. You get to enjoy an eclectic music playlist with synth new wave alongside 1950s jazz, while you sip your craft beer from a local brewery nearby.

Dépanneur Le Pick Up

This place has maintained the same aesthetic since the 1970s, so it really fits its name very well. After all, “dépanneur” is the Québécois word for their local neighborhood corner store, so it’s fitting that it has a Formica counter, fake wood panels along the wall, and shelves displaying combs and penny candies. It sells staples like eggs and milk, along with hipster options like burdock soda and honey from city beehives. Grab a swivel stool at the bar and enjoy a fantastic pulled pork sandwich, though you can also try the vegetarian version with fermented tofu skin.

Dinette Triple Crown

The sign for this place is easy to overlook, but if you can find it the first time you’ll certainly want to go back. They serve the finest Memphis-style Southern Barbecue in the city. It looks homey but there are no tables or chairs for you. Instead, you can grab a wicker basket of your delectable goodies and enjoy your mean in the park right across the street.

These places are just a few samples of the creative centers of Mile-Ex. It’s an exhilarating place for artists, and it’s why you can’t just visit. To get the full experience, you really have to live here full time.

3 Unique Ways to Find Homes for Sale at the Best Prices

Even if the homes for sale in Winnipeg are already very very affordable, it doesn’t hurt to look for an even better deal. A house is a major purchase, so it’s always a good idea if you’ll try to get more bang for your buck, right?

The good news is, there are lots of effective ways to score a good buy. You can choose to apply some conventional techniques or try some of the more unique methods. The former may be tried and tested but using some new methods might just turn out to be better.

So what are these “unique tricks” you ask? Check this out:

Know the best-priced locations.

The location of the property is a major factor when it comes to the cost of real estate. The ones listed as the best neighborhoods or even the richest neighborhoods in the city will be some of the most attractive picks for many. However, keep in mind that because of these classifications, properties there often come with premium prices. There’s still a chance that you’ll find a good deal there but there might be better deals elsewhere. This is why you should do a good amount of research if you want to make the most out of your budget.

Consider buying a property that might need some work.

Fixer-uppers are usually priced much lower than RFOs. This is especially true if the owners are in a rush to sell. These properties are also great starter houses for those who are considering flipping since they offer a lot of opportunities to investors.

Also known as “driving for dollars,” driving around town looking for fixer uppers requires a bit of know-how. Because you can’t really just knock at the door and ask the person who answers if they want to sell their house. You need to check who the owner is by looking at the public records. And then, you’ll need to contact them to ask them if they’re planning on getting the property off their hands.

There are no guarantees with this technique but a lot of people still find it a useful one. As it’s relatively low-cost, it might not hurt to give this technique a try.

Check public records for foreclosed properties.

Speaking of public records, you can also just opt to browse through these documents and look for the properties that are in the midst of getting foreclosed. On a related note, you can check public records to find property owners who are dealing with difficult tenants as they may also consider evicting them and selling the property instead.

On the flipside, buying a property with an eviction problem will give you a serious problem. This process can be a nightmare, so make sure that you’re up for the task. You might have bought a property for much less than its actual value but if you’re going to get so much headache from it, the savings might not be worth the hassle.

To really make sure that you’re getting a rewarded for your efforts, know that some monetary savings can, in turn, cost you in other aspects. It can be your time, effort, and even sanity in some cases, so you have to be careful in weighing the pros and cons.

We hope these tips will help you find the best homes for sale in Winnipeg at the friendliest prices.

3 Ways to Turn Your Gardening Hobby into a Business

You’ve been playing in the dirt since before you could walk. Your flower beds are the envy of your neighbors, and your pumpkins win ribbons at the county fair. Friends always find an excuse to stop by during the summer months, knowing you’ll share your juiciest heirloom tomatoes. Gardening has always been your passion, but it could also be a source of income.

Although you might not have the land and resources to become a commercial farmer or open up a retail garden center, the produce you harvest and the knowledge and experience you’ve collected can still generate revenue in a variety of ways. Here are three options for garden-related businesses.

1. Sell your produce at a farmers market.

If you already have an established garden with plenty of surplus produce, expanding it for business purposes won’t be difficult as long as you have the time to devote to the additional vending and marketing activities.

According to Farm Week Now, the demand for locally grown food has created a $20 billion industry. Farmers markets, also called growers markets, are springing up in towns and cities across the country. You can find the one closest to your location at Local Harvest.

Any business venture should begin with market research. Small Biz Trends suggests visiting the market to observe what fruits and vegetables are already available, which ones are big sellers, and how much people are willing to pay for them. For example, if only one stand is selling blueberries, and they sell out by noon, you know there’s a demand for the bounty from your backyard bushes.

If it takes you an hour to buy all the ingredients to make a salad because you have to shop at multiple stands, one way you might sell the same produce but still differentiate it from the competition would be to offer pre-assembled salad bundles. While you’re there, find out what fees and permits you’ll need to run your own stand. In some areas, a business license may be required.

2. Run a CSA.

Selling your produce at a farmers market requires an investment. You need to buy seeds, supplies, and equipment, put in the labor to grow the crops, and then handle all the marketing. If your produce doesn’t sell, you could be out a substantial amount of money, and you never know what your profits will be from one week to the next.

Morning Chores describes an alternative model called Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA. Instead of customers buying your produce each week, they buy a share of your future harvest at the beginning of the growing season. They share the investment risk, and you get the startup money you need. Once harvesting begins, you provide a weekly produce box to each shareholder.

If your garden already has fans who can’t wait to get their hands on your surplus produce, they might be willing to pay for a steady supply of it. While an acre and a half can easily feed 65 people, it’s best to start with a smaller operation. Offer discounted shares to those willing to give you a hand in the garden.

The Simple Dollar notes shareholders often have trouble using all the produce in their boxes, especially if your vegetables are a little exotic. To help them get their money’s worth, offer as much choice and variety as possible and include family-friendly recipes and tips for freezing and canning any leftovers.

3. Write a gardening blog.

If you have no interest in selling your produce and don’t want strangers anywhere near your garden, you can still earn money from the comfort of your own home. The knowledge and experience you’ve gained from years of gardening are valuable. By creating a blog through a platform like WordPress, you can easily publish content other gardeners would find relevant, from a diary about what you’re currently planting to humorous stories of past garden disasters.

One way to identify popular topics is with Google Keyword Planner. If everyone and their grandmother are looking for information on mandala gardens, and you’re about to build one, it’s the perfect opportunity to create a step-by-step photo tutorial and shoot to the top of Google’s search results. Blogs are most successful when they are tied to a strong social media presence. For example, you might increase your readership by adding popular, garden-related Instagram hashtags to your photos.

The more traffic your blog receives, the more lucrative it can be. You can monetize your blog in a variety of ways, such as including pay-per-click ads and affiliate links for the gardening tools and products you mention in your posts. You could also add an online store to sell these products or sell your own materials like ebooks or video courses that go into more detail on the topics your blog covers.

How has your garden grown into a business? Share your experiences in the comments.

Things to Consider When Buying a Home Warranty

Most of us are unaware of the term “home warranty”. It isn’t exactly what it sounds like since it doesn’t have a specific warranty period like the warranty that comes with your appliances and it doesn’t cover up all the costs of the damages your home suffers from either.

A home warranty is still a very useful asset to have, but before you go on and invest in one we suggest that you read through these options that you might have to consider.

Are Your Planning on Buying New Appliances?

A home warranty is most useful to you when you have just bought your home and are still buying new appliances and other such things for it.

This is because a home warranty sometimes covers up a portion of the cost that goes into buying new appliances and even other things like a swimming pool or sprinklers for the garden.

Your Old Appliances Will Act Up Eventually

No appliance can run smoothly forever and they all need a little touch up at some point. Unless it is an emergency, you can contact the home warranty company you have chosen and ask them to send over a serviceman to assist you with the repairs and touch-ups of any appliance you might need.

If your appliance needs instant repairs then the home warranty option might not be as useful to you as your usual serviceman who you probably have on call. This is because the home warranty company takes time to process your request and then sends over a suitable handyman for you.

It is Not the Same as Your Insurance

An insurance will cover up the damage costs in case a big mishap occurs, like a fire or a robbery. The insurance company will not come to rescue you when your microwave starts acting up or your HVAC system runs out of gas.

For these situations, the home warranty is a great option because you know that such small issues will keep propping up and you will have the perfect fix for them.

You Need to Pick Out the Most Reliable Option

Not all companies that offer a home warranty are the same. You need to ask around and do a fair bit of research and narrow it down to a choice few companies that you find reliable. You can read this home warranty review for an idea of which are the best companies in the business lately.

You can Sign up Anytime

You can choose to sign up for a home warranty at any point in time. There is no restriction.

The Entire Cost Will Usually not be Covered

Home warranty companies don’t always cover up the entire cost of the damages that your appliances suffer from. At times they will only give you a portion of the cost and you will have to finance the rest. This negotiation happens after some processing as well so there is a significant waiting period applicable here as well.

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