Autumn can be a tough time for many people. It is the reluctant change to cooler weather with a distant memory of hot summer days by the pool. Besides that, there is also a very real situation, we as South Africans find ourselves in. With the scary COVID-19 virus hitting South Africa pretty hard, we do not have a choice but to stay at home.
That being said, autumn brings a lot of jobs to start doing around the house. We have compiled a list of preventative maintenance jobs to try this season. Now is the time to get started on and oversee projects which have long needed your attention.
Inspect The Roof
This is a good time to inspect your roof and see if there is any debris accumulating from the leaves that are falling from the trees. Inspect your roof, or get a pro to do it for you! Have general look over on your roof and check for wear and tear. Check pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps you could be in trouble. Gutters are also important to check this time of year. Clogged gutters can cause all kinds of problems, especially when water can pool in and around it.
Check for pests and insects too. You do not want anyone else other than your family settling in for winter.
Give all your garden tools and machinery a good clean down. The usual maintenance jobs slow down in your garden and things like mowing the lawn become much less. Trim dead branches and get raking. Rake or blow the dead leaves off the lawn or, better yet, use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces.
Put the raked leaves in the compost pile or use as a mulch. Fallen leaves are an excellent source of nutrients.
Doors and Windows
The cold creeps in everywhere. A window or door that cannot seal properly when closed is going to result in cold air infiltration and unnecessary drafts. Check for glazing putty around window glass that may be cracked or is already crumbling. Repair this as soon as you can.
Check the condition of exterior caulk around all doors by looking for cracks that could ultimately lead to the cold creeping in, as well as critters. Mice are tiny and can easily sneak into your house given the opportunity.
Need help with your autumn preventative maintenance? Find an expert in HOMEMAKERS to help you get the job done. You can also visit our Facebook page to get inspiration for daily activities at home.Read More
Glass sliding doors are a beautiful addition to any house. They allow natural light to break through your home, brightening up any dark rooms or corners. They also allow for easier accessibility between the in and outdoors. Here are our top reasons to consider modern, glass sliding doors in your home.
The extra-large glass panes in sliding doors run from the top to the bottom of each door panel. This allows your chosen design to bring as much natural light as possible into your home. This ensures a well-lit home during the day, which is energy-efficient and cost-effective.
Accessibility is a big deal in large family homes. You want family members to be able to move between indoor and outdoor spaces easily and safely. Glass sliding doors are the perfect fit if your family spends equal amounts of time both inside and outside.
Effective air circulation and airflow are really important factors in your home. Strategically installing a large sliding door at one end of your house can make a big difference. By letting in large amounts of fresh air into your home, you improve overall air quality.
Designing or revamping your home with large sliding doors in mind gives the impression that the inside and outside worlds merge seamlessly. It allows you to make your outdoor living spaces an integral part of indoor living instead of separating the two. Looking out at your lovely summer garden or seeing the city from your balcony makes a world of difference in everyday living.
If your plan is to find a way to increase light exposure and energy-efficiency into your home, considering a glass sliding door might be your best bet. Looking for more inspiration about large doors and windows?Read More
Are you considering whether to choose aluminium or wooden windows and doors for your new home or renovation? The truth is, you can have the best of both worlds by selecting them both. Cobus Lourens from leading window and door manufacturer, Swartland, offers some insight into this very popular new trend.
If you are looking to replace your home’s windows and doors, or you are building a brand new home, and you are wondering which material to select – either wooden or aluminium – then read on. According to Cobus Lourens from leading window and door manufacturer, Swartland, an interesting new trend is fast taking hold in the built environment: “Increasingly more people are opting to use aluminium windows and wooden doors in the same build – thereby benefiting equally from the amazing benefits of both materials.”
CHOOSING ALUMINIUM WINDOWS
He says that aluminium has become a very popular option for windows – not only because of its modern, versatile aesthetic, but also because aluminium comes with a raft of benefits, including:
• Strength: Aluminium is a robust material and its natural strength provides security to your home. The fact that it is resistant to corrosion ensures that your windows will never rust, warp, twist or expand.
• Slim profiles: Its natural strength means that aluminium windows can have really slim frames and hold more glass – meaning bigger windows and more glazing. This quality lends more freedom to the design of aluminium windows, and allows the outdoor views to take centre stage instead of the windows themselves.
• Lightweight: Aluminium is a comparatively light material, which makes the operation of aluminium windows – whether you are opening or closing them – a really easy task.
• Easy maintenance: Aluminium is notoriously easy to maintain – it doesn’t require any sanding, sealing or painting – saving you time and money.
• Colour choices: Aluminium windows offer colour versatility so that you can truly customise the look of your home. Swartland’s range of aluminium windows for example, is available in durable Silver, Bronze, Charcoal and White powder-coated finishes direct from the factory.
CHOOSING WOODEN DOORS
Timber doors have a incomparably rich sense of character and beauty all their own, says Cobus: “The undeniable visual beauty of timber doors can largely be attributed to their natural wood grain, their often stained appearance, and the heavy, durable feel they offer when they are opened or closed. What’s more, they have a tendency to make a statement at your front – offering guests an glimpse of what awaits in your home’s interior spaces.” He provides a compilation of the benefits of installing solid timber doors throughout your home:
• Beauty: Solid timber has an innate beauty, thanks to its rich grain and organic texture, making it an element of visual appeal that is unrivalled when compared to other door materials. “Skilfully crafted wooden doors are timeless, making it the first choice for discerning architects, builders and homeowners alike,” nods Cobus.
• Timeless appeal: He believes that timbers’ appeal is due to the fact that it doesn’t date, but looks good from the day it is installed and for years to come as a result of the unique patina it develops over time: “Timber continues to be a classic material for doors, standing proud amidst the fleeting trends of other materials that come and go.”
• Eco-friendly choice: As general home improvement trends head towards more eco-friendly solutions, timber remains a great choice, notes Cobus: “Timber not only looks good, but it is an excellent insulator, it has an impressively low carbon footprint, it boasts an incredibly long lifespan, and if sourced from a sustainably managed forest, such as all the timber used to make Swartland’s range of doors and windows, it is also a renewable building resource.”
• Added size: Similar to tile trends, large format front doors seem to be bang on trend – increasingly more designers and architects are choosing timber front doors with added width and height in order to give their designs a more dramatic aesthetic. Also, bigger doors are not only used to make an impactful visual statement, but they also tend to create an illusion of increased interior space.
Becoming a homeowner is always exciting. Making sure that your home remains in good condition can take time. Use this simple maintenance guide to keep up with regular maintenance and avoid the most common maintenance issues.
Although we’ve tried to keep this guide as simple as possible, it is always best to seek professional help if you are unsure. Find a range of home lifestyle professionals here.
Assess possible insect issues. Clear cobwebs and prepare your insect repellent measures.
Check, clean and repair patios and decks. Ensure that it is sealed properly, check for loose boards, insect infestations, cracks and that the railing is secured.
Check for cracks, blisters, bubbles and peeling paint, especially on exterior walls. Look out for water stains, moisture and damp in walls and ceiling.
Remove sediment and prolong your geyser or water heaters life by flushing it.
Service fireplaces/built-in braais and clean chimneys.
Check paving for cracks.
Check windows and door seals, replace broken or cracked panes of glass and apply new putty where necessary.
Check batteries and test smoke/ carbon dioxide detectors.
Prevent grime and build up in less frequently used spaces such as guest bathrooms by running water and flushing toilets.
Check that power outlets, switches and light bulbs work.
Check window and door handles and locks are in working order.
Clean build-up residue in shower heads.
Clear gutters of leaves and debris to ensure proper water flow. Make sure gutters are properly secured and connected allowing water to flow away from the house.
Check for roof leaks and damaged roof tiles.
Check and fill wall, ceiling and foundation cracks.
Clear dead plants and shrubs, check that plants are not growing into cracks and trim trees where necessary.
Check the grout in bathrooms and kitchens.
Check for small leaks in plumbing and taps
Check, clean and if necessary change air conditioning filters.
Clean sink disposal using vinegar ice cubes (this cleans the disposal and sharpens the blades).
Clean stove extractor fan filter with degreaser and hot water.
TWICE A YEAR
Test geyser or other water heater pressure relief valve.
Do a deep clean: Thoroughly clean appliances, windows and surfaces.
Vacuum refrigerator coils. Dirty coils cause fridges to run less efficiently and use more electricity.Read More