Indian summers are synonymous with notorious pest problems. This article tells you how to keep your house pest-free in the easiest possible ways.

7 Tips to Keep Your Home Pest-Free This Summer

As soon as the summer sets in with its good vibes and sunshine, we open our homes for the sunrays to naturally disinfect them. Although Indian summer is on the harsher side and often unbearable, we welcome it with open arms. But with the heat descending on the Indian subcontinent, comes the problem of pests infecting our homes. Well, nobody enjoys uninvited guests in their households, right! But even after regularly cleaning your house, you would spot those pesky ants crawling all over your house and termites eagerly damaging your precious wooden furniture pieces. You need to be proactive in solving this issue. Yes, ‘cleanliness’ is the keyword here. Here are some tips listed below to help you keep your home pest-free this summer season:

Bins are a favourite place for pests to live in. Keep your dustbin clean to avoid pest.

1. Keep your dustbins clean

Bins are a favourite place for pests to live in. The dirtier the place is, the more they find it comfortable to live in. Bins are mostly damp and dark areas. This acts as an ideal place for insects and pests to breed. Use a bin with a lid so that the garbage is not open to the atmosphere. Also, make sure that you empty the bin regularly to ensure no pest build-up. Once you empty the bin, Wash it thoroughly under running water. Try and avoid the usage of harsh detergents on a regular basis. Simply deep clean it followed by proper sanitization. Ensure that the bin is properly covered and does not overflow with waste. In case of excess garbage production in your house, use multiple bins. You can also segregate the bins for dry and wet waste which also reduces pest problems as pests tend to attack wet and organic waste more compared to dry waste.

Any cracks and gaps are a perfect location for pests to hide.

2. Seal cracks and holes in the houses

Any cracks and gaps are a perfect location for pests to hide. They will exploit any openings they find in the house; so before summer months arrive in full swing, survey the house once to ensure that your doors, windows, furniture, or walls have no cracks or gaps. Cracks in the bathroom or below the sink are the major sources of moisture intrusion that cause dampness and become hubs of pest infestation.

There are other not-so-hidden entrances for pests too in our house that we often tend to overlook. In many houses, gaps around the door and window frames are not filled properly or sealant has deteriorated. These gaps serve as entry points for pests. So, if you notice any such gaps, fill them immediately with a sealant or an equivalent material.

Keeping the kitchen clean will help you keep the pests away from your house.

3. Keep the kitchen clean

Keeping the kitchen clean will help you keep the pests away from your house. Insects and pests that wander around in the kitchen, or for that matter, in our house are always searching for food. If we cut off this food supply we can solve the problem to a great extent.

We, due to our carelessness often invite this problem by resorting to bad habits like improper disposal of food wastes, not cleaning up spillage then and there, or storing leftovers uncovered. A clean and hygienic kitchen is a bare minimum requirement of a healthy home. So, all we need to do is grow proper kitchen habits.

Stagnant water is a breeding place for pests like mosquitoes. If you have any swimming pool or water tanks or any large water storage places inside the premises of your house, clean them at regular intervals.

4. Don’t allow water to stagnate

Stagnant water is a breeding place for pests like mosquitoes. If you have any swimming pool or water tanks or any large water storage places inside the premises of your house, clean them at regular intervals. Use chlorine to disinfect swimming pools1. Make sure the drains near your house (and also if any inside the house) have a proper flow of wastewater. Clogged drains are perfect for pest breeding. They will also give out a stale odour which is not welcoming at all.

In India, summers are also associated with sudden storms with torrential rainfall in certain areas. These showers lead to the filling up of the plant tubs or buckets kept outside in the open with water. After the rains, ensure that you empty these buckets and tubs totally.

Clean your bathroom with disinfectants regularly as they help to keep the pests away.

5. Keep your bathroom clean

During the summers, one of the most relaxing places you will find in your house is the bathroom. So is the case with pests and insects. This is because it is one of the coolest and most moist places in the house to survive. Having a clean and pest-free bathroom is of the utmost importance for family hygiene. Use a proper exhaust to keep it dry and ensure proper ventilation in the bathroom. Clean your bathroom with disinfectants regularly as they help to keep the pests away.

The garden is another favourite spot for the pests to dwell in. Keep the garden tidy.

6. Keep your garden tidy

The garden is another favourite spot for the pests to dwell in. Keep the grass short. Manage the plant heights by regularly trimming and monitoring the garden. Do not overuse any kind of insecticides or pesticides as they really damage the environment. Do not over-water the plants as that makes the soil particles too loose and the roots also start to decay. In damp soil, undesired insects which are harmful to the plants start to accumulate. Overwatering plants can also aggravate the mosquito problem in your house.

To keep mosquitoes away, you can plant citronella, mint, lemongrass, eucalyptus and geranium saplings in your garden. These plants act as natural mosquito repellents2. The characteristic fragrance of each of these plants effectively repels mosquitoes and other pests in the house.

Keep excess moisture away from home by ensuring proper ventilation and cleaning duct.

7. Keep excess moisture away

It is important that your house is kept dry. Proper ventilation ensures your house remain drier. Keep the windows of your house open for maximum time for the sunlight to enter and breeze to flow in. Sunlight dries the wet areas in the house and naturally disinfects the house. Summers bring us to lock ourselves in a room with the air conditioner on and staying the whole day there with every window and door locked. This is really harmful as it causes pest infestation in the room. Proper ventilation is indispensable for a healthy environment in the house. Also, ensure you clean your air conditioner ducts3 when the AC is used regularly. It is another highly damp place in the house and will serve as a perfect place for pest infestations.

Look out for other damp areas

Finally, as already mentioned earlier, damp places are a breeding ground for the pests in your house. Damp not only attracts numerous insects and pests in your house but also creates an unhealthy and suffocating situation for you to live in. Damp also gives out a stale and suffocating smell in the house. The damp areas should be repaired as soon as detected in the house. You can hire professional service providers for damp problems in your house. They are usually well versed with the process of damp removal, and as it is a long process, you might not yourself be able to deal with it completely and permanently.

Before deciding on where to do the damp treatment in your house, you must first get it checked professionally. You must know the root cause behind the damp.

But you know what? – Before deciding on where to do the damp treatment in your house, you must first get it checked professionally. You must know the root cause behind the damp and the extent of its spread. Only then, the money spent on damp repair will be worth it.

There is nothing more comforting than a clean house to come back to, from all day’s work and rest in. But when pests infest your peaceful abode, this idea becomes a daydream. So, not only during the summers but all the year round you must see to it that your house remains pest-free. In the case of extreme pest infestation problems, you can call pest control services and opt for chemical-based treatments. Pest control service providers customize their services according to the requirements which will be beneficial for you to keep your house pest-free.

If you notice that your energy bill has increased, don’t panic. Read the article to know Reasons why your Home Electricity Bill is so High And Tips to reduce Electricity Bill.

11 Reasons why your Home Electricity Bill is so High? And 9 Tips to reduce your Electricity Bill

Nowadays living life without electricity is next to unimaginable, even in small towns & villages in India. From running fans and lights to washing machines, refrigerators and computers, you need power for everything you do.

However, many homeowners at one time or the other have found themselves asking a common question over and over, “why is my electric bill so high?”

There might be several reasons behind a rise in your bill amount, which generally are not taken into account by a majority of people. Let us understand them.

It is economical to turn off the gadgets that you are currently not using to avoid unnecessary power consumption.

1. Not Turning Off Appliances and Other Gadgets When Not In Use

Sometimes you may forget to switch off your TV even when you are not watching, or even the bulbs during the day. Although it may not seem like a big thing, when this becomes a habit, it may increase your power bill. It is economical to turn off the gadgets that you are currently not using to avoid unnecessary power consumption.

No one likes to pay for something that they do not use, so why continue to pay for the electricity that you are not directly using. Devices that stay plugged in all day continue to suck energy, even if they are not in use.

If you have several family members in your house, they should all ensure that they also disconnect their gadgets like computers, phone chargers, etc. from the sockets when not in use. Unplug your devices that are not in use, otherwise, you will continue to have an unusually high electric bill.

Try to use energy efficient appliances to avoid unnecessary power consumption.

2. Not Using Energy-Efficient Appliances

Whether you are buying a new refrigerator, air purifier, TV or AC, make sure it is energy efficient. Such appliances usually come with special labels to signify the same. By paying a little more initially, you can reduce long-term energy costs.

Know the reasons behind geyser energy consumption.

3. Geyser

Your geyser is probably the most energy-consuming appliance in home. The reasons behind this could be:

  • Improper Insulation of pipe
  • the high temperature is being set at geyser
  • It is being unnecessarily on after usage
Refrigerator should be placed at adequate distance from the wall specified by manufacturer for more power efficiency.

4. Refrigerator

Among all your appliances, a refrigerator uses up a huge amount of electricity. So, it should be placed at an adequate distance from the wall specified by the manufacturer for more power efficiency. This can improve the air circulation around it. Also, exposing the refrigerator to direct sunlight can force it to consume more power.

Turning the air conditioning on while the windows are open is one of the reasons leading to high electricity bills.

5. AC is on while the windows are open

Turning the air conditioning on while the windows are open is one of the reasons leading to high electricity bills. Either keep the windows open and the AC off, or vice versa. Do not let expensive cold air go to waste. Make sure you keep your windows closed while the air conditioning is On to lower your next electric bill.

Putting a phone on charging and forgetting about it can spike your electricity bills easily.

6. Overcharging Phones

Putting a phone on charging and forgetting about it can spike your electricity bills easily. Also, overcharging can harm the phone battery. So, be cautious.

Keeping the air filters clean can lower your AC unit’s electricity use by 5 percent to 15 percent.

7. Dirty AC Filters

Whether you have central air conditioning or room air conditioners, keeping the air filters clean can lower your AC unit’s electricity use by 5 percent to 15 percent1. And since cooling your home is a big source of energy consumption, keeping your AC filters clean can help reduce your monthly electric bill costs.

If wire joints are not done properly in the case of high capacity appliances, then it can lead to energy loss causing an increase in electricity bill.

8. Improper Wire Joints

If wire joints are not done properly in the case of high capacity appliances, then it can lead to energy loss causing increase in electricity bill. Additionally, Use Lugs at Electrical system to avoid energy loss.

9. Faulty Appliances

Faulty appliances in your home not only represent a safety hazard but also they could be wasting electricity and that leads to a spike in bills.

If your appliances like washing machines, air conditioners, are faulty / damaged, they will consume more energy than normal. Inside faulty wiring can damage the appliances in the long term, lead to electrical fires or even get electrically charged, which may give you electrical shocks if you come in their direct contact. Faulty appliances in your home not only represent a safety hazard but also they could be wasting electricity and that leads to a spike in bills. And if there is any loose connection in internal wiring, then it will also lead to an increase in energy consumption.

That old refrigerator, the old Television set, or that outdated appliance may need to be serviced or changed with time.

Improper Wire Gauge can cause overheating of wires which will lead to an increase in electricity due to energy loss.

10. Improper Wire Gauge

Improper Wire Gauge can cause overheating of wires which will lead to an increase in electricity due to energy loss.

11. Defective Wiring & other electrical issues

Electrical issues can be any type of electrical leakage, damaged insulation, overheating of wires and other electrical faults.

Defective wiring is one of the reasons why your bill could be increasing. It may be causing your electricity to leak unintentionally. This is why it is important for you to maintain the electrical components of your house; this would include the fixtures, outlets, and wiring in and around your home. Other electrical issues can be any type of electrical leakage, damaged insulation, overheating of wires and other electrical faults. In that case, contact professionals who are experts in finding all electrical issues of your home / property.

9 Tips to save electricity Bill

Six general tips to save electricity bill.

1. Switch off Lights and electrical appliances when you do not use them

This is one of the easiest measures to save electricity and reduce electricity bills. Most of us know this but still do not follow the basic rule.

2. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Use CFL or LED lights that consume less energy as compared to normally used light bulbs. They also give more light. They will cost more but will be a money saver and energy saver in the long run.

3. Use Refrigerator Wisely

A refrigerator consumes too much electricity. Follow few tips:

  • Do not overload the refrigerator.
  • Defrost your refrigerator regularly.
  • Try not to open or close the refrigerator too often to avoid energy consumption.
  • Clean and maintain Refrigerator (both inside & outside).

4. Take Care of few things while using an Air conditioner

  • Ensure proper sealing of doors and windows when operating AC.
  • Clean AC filter every month.
  • Use film / tinted glass on windows.
  • If using the AC for open area like Living Area, then ensure rooms which are not in use are closed.
  • Use the right size of AC depending on various factors.
  • Place AC in a shaded area to avoid effect of Sun rays.

5. Regarding Geyser Usage

Some tips related to usage of geyser to save your electricity:

  • Use the right size of Geyser.
  • Ensure proper insulation of the pipe.
  • Minimize temperature of Geyser.
  • Upgrade to Solar Water heater.

6. Use Sensor

Use sensors for lights in bathroom and other less used areas to avoid more energy consumption.

Shut doors to areas you are not using, and only cool or heat the rooms where you spend the most time.

7. Shut Doors and close Curtains

There are simple things you can do to reduce the costs of heating and cooling without making life uncomfortable.

  • Shut doors to areas you are not using, and only cool or heat the rooms where you spend the most time.
  • In cooler months, make sure your curtains or blinds seal your windows properly.
  • In warmer months, keep your curtains closed during the day. By keeping the sun off your windows with external shadings such as external blinds, your house will remain cooler.
Weatherizing, or sealing air leaks around your home, is a great way to reduce energy loss.

8. Proper insulation of Home

Maintain proper insulation of home by using Bright reflective paint in walls to ensure cool temperature at home. Secondly, use Sun reflective film for windows.

Also, Weatherize your home: Weatherizing, or sealing air leaks around your home, is a great way to reduce energy loss. To prevent these leaks, you should ensure that there are no cracks or openings between the wall and window/door frame.

Try to use high voltage appliance systematically to avoid high energy consumption.

9. Turning on the gadgets wisely

In many households, a common mistake that people commit is they switch on all the devices simultaneously. Try to use high voltage appliance systematically to avoid high energy consumption.

Conclusion

Well, saving an electricity bill entirely depends on your living conditions and living standards. Our objective was to make you aware of the possible reasons behind shooting up of electricity bill and also share general tips to reduce energy consumption.

If you notice that your energy bill has increased, don’t panic. Knowing the reasons and tips, you may be able to make some changes to take more control of your power bill and lower it in future months.

Sliding glass doors or windows are designed for beauty, convenience, and efficiency. Read the Blog for tips to maintain it.

Maintain your Sliding Door/ Window to ensure smooth functioning

  • Common problems or issues in sliding door/window
    • Operational issues
    • Installation & other issues
  • 7 Tips for maintenance & Repair
  • Type of sliding door to be chosen?

Why are doors significant? Some obvious reasons are – privacy, accessibility, protection against natural elements, safety against burglars etc. Doors also offer structural integrity to homes. Available in different shapes, colours, sizes, and styles, doors also serve the overall aesthetic appeal of living and working spaces.

Sliding glass doors or windows are designed for beauty, convenience, and efficiency. They are a great addition to any home. Presently, sliding door/window is one of the most commonly used ones in homes as well as properties due to the following reasons:

  • The glass doors or window panes they support offer a translucent or transparent view of the outside world.
  • They let the natural daylight in.
  • Make rooms look more spacious.
  • They open sideways; so, you save a lot of space.

As they are an essential part of the design of your home, you will wish to make sure they are functioning properly and safely.

Common problems or issues in sliding door/window

Multiple factors can affect the operation of sliding doors.

a. Operational issues

Multiple factors can affect the operation of sliding doors:

  • Rectangularity of frame: It is important to check whether the frame is rectangular or not. If the frame is not rectangular, then there will be a problem in operation of the door as well as the gap will be generated which will cause unwanted elements to enter like rainwater, insects, etc. This can also lead to energy loss in the case of operating an air conditioner.
  • Track level: It is important that the top and bottom track should be in level. If it is not in level, then door will not be smoothly operating. Sometimes, there can be air gap generated.
  • Clogged track: With regular use, sliding doors can collect dirt, mud, hair, dust, and rust in their tracks and grooves. The collected debris will increase the friction between the track and roller, causing operational failure. Weep holes should also be cleaned to avoid water stagnancy on the track.
  • Damaged Roller: Often, low quality or worn out roller cause operational dysfunction of sliding doors. If the rollers are broken or chipped, they won’t slide on the track. Besides, if left unrepaired, the impaired rollers can damage the track as well. If the bearing is of low quality, wheel is not properly aligned, lubrication issue, etc will cause operational problems.
Check out installation and others issues in sliding door that needs to be taken care of for its maintenance.

b. Installation & other issues

Apart from operational issues, there are installation and others issues that needs to be taken care of for its maintenance.

  • Misaligned installation: If frame and panel are not installed properly, it can cause air gap (causing energy loss, moisture intrusion & rattling noise) as well as operational problem. This can happen due to various reasons but usually due to poor workmanship.
  • No / Damaged Sealant: If there is a gap around door/window frame or sealant has deteriorated, air seeping in and out of these gaps affects the energy efficiency of your home and also allows the moisture to enter inside the house which can cause severe damage in the future. Also, it can create an entry point for pest/insects.
  • Non-uniform weather stripping: Weather stripping is important for preserving the energy efficiency of your windows and keeping moisture out. Sometimes non-uniform weather stripping can be due to poor workmanship or it has been worn out with time & usage.
  • No rubber gasket provided: If the gasket is not provided or non-uniform gasket, it can cause loose glass fitting problem, which may lead to breakage of glass.
  • Improper locking system: This includes misalignment of lock & defective lock system. Also, sometimes the lock can have trouble latching correctly. Especially after years of use and possible bending or damage. A proper locking system is one of the important factors for safety & security.
Know 7 tips for Sliding door Maintenance & Repair.

7 tips for Maintenance & Repair

  • Clean the Track: To ensure smooth operation, regular upkeep of sliding doors is necessary. The tracks should be clean and dust-free for the roller to slide with ease. Loose debris can be vacuumed or removed from the bottom track using a brush. After doing this, wipe the tracks using a household cleaner.
  • Provide Lubrication: If the track is clogged, it will not function smoothly. For such problems, lubrication can solve the problem. Hardware components also need lubrication for smooth functioning. You can use WD 401 or equivalent for lubrication and rust.
  • Check the Weather-stripping: Cleaning the weather stripping on your doors/windows can help to remove debris and helps to maintain it. If you notice that the weather stripping2 is worn out or deteriorated, you should replace them immediately.
  • Check Sealant condition: Whenever you clean windows, include a thorough checking of the areas around the sliding door & window frame. For sealing gaps around window/door frame in the exterior area – Exterior grade silicone sealant should be used as per manufacturer’s specification. They are more resistant to external weather conditions.
  • Handle Sliding Doors Glass With Care: Do not push your sliding doors too hard as the resulting impact can damage the tracks or the glass area. It would also be a good idea to regularly clean the glass area at least once a week, given that stains become harder to remove, the longer they stay on the glass.
  • Check the rollers: The most common source behind the sliding door not functioning smoothly are dirty or damaged rollers. All that dirt clogs the rollers underneath and eventually, the door gets stuck. Inspect the door’s rollers to see if they are broken, or have become loose. If the problem is just a loose roller, tighten or replace the loose screws that hold it in place. If a roller is broken, you will have to replace it (better to get it repaired by the vendor).
  • Weeping system maintenance: Check for weep hole blockage by pouring a small amount of water into interior sill track. If water drains out from the exterior weep holes, the weep system is clear. If weep holes are blocked, insert a thin wire into it and repeat the test until the blockage is cleared. Further, Weep hole in the window should be provided on the vertical surface of bottom channel. If weep hole is provided on the horizontal surface of bottom channel in sliding window, can create moisture-related problems.
Read the things to be considered while choosing sliding door or window.

If you are planning to install a sliding door in your home, then there should be a question arising in your mind: Which type of sliding door should be chosen? Among various types of sliding doors, aluminium sliding doors are emerging as a personal favourite of designers and homeowners. This because of the following few reasons:

  • Durability: Aluminium ranks pretty high on the durability factor. Due to its corrosion-resistant property, it does not rust easily. It is highly weather-resistant and can handle harsh weather conditions.
  • Recyclable: Choosing aluminium for your home or office also is an environmentally conscious decision as aluminium has the reputation of being an environmentally-sustainable material.
  • Easy maintenance: Aluminium doors have low maintenance costs and only require regular cleaning to make them look like new.
  • Energy Efficient: This is undoubtedly one of the best features of aluminium sliding doors. The material offers high insulation3 properties.

The Bottom Line

The biggest issue that makes doors prone to coming off the tracks is lack of maintenance. Sliding doors, like all the other parts and systems in your home, require regular cleaning and maintenance.

Our objective was to make you aware of common problems with sliding doors/windows and related tips. If you keep encountering issues with despite frequently cleaning and maintaining them, then contact professionals who can detect the issues and suggest the solution for its longevity.

Are you planning to start your entrepreneurial journey? Consider having a franchise backed business. Here’s why.

A Franchise Is Better Than Own Business – Why?

Do you aspire to become a businessman? Are you confused between running a franchise and starting a start-up business? Well, there are many ways in which you can accomplish your dream. In this particular blog, we will be discussing the various reasons why running a franchise business is better than owning a business / start-up.

Many people believe that franchising is a nice way to make it through the business world. It has a lot of benefits associated with it that one cannot get by starting their own business. Franchising helps in circumventing the struggles and hardships that a start-up business tends to have. Here we have listed out a few benefits of running a franchise over starting an own business.

Franchises help in providing a strategic identity that not only is considered to be effective but also helps in giving a great market impact.

1. An already established brand identity

Franchises help in providing a strategic identity that not only is considered to be effective but also helps in giving a great market impact. Thus, corporate brand identification has proved to give a successful name in the marketplace. Famous brands like Pizza Hut, Body Shop, McDonald’s have a great brand recall which an individual starting a franchise can benefit from. A successful brand is considered to be the one that is easily identifiable by the public and that has popularity among the public.

Franchises are already successful and have strong brand identities globally. With an established brand, comes strong recognition that assures the consumer’s product and experience in various locations. The consistency related to the franchise helps like an old friend who is counting to be with you.

The operating model in a franchise business is tested already for the particular type of marketing strategies.

2. Offering Experience

Creating an independent business is challenging and tough but if we see it from the eyes of the franchise then it helps in contributing an immediate benefit to the ones who plan to run a franchise business. The operating model in a franchise business is tested already for the particular type of marketing strategies.

Although, there is something extremely fulfilling and satisfying in starting a business from scratch yet there are lots of risks that are involved with starting a standalone business. If you want to run a franchise then you can get a similar experience that will fulfil your dreams of starting your own business with limited risks.

A franchise business already has a reputation in the market for its work and the services and products that it sells.

3. A set blueprint in place

A franchise business already has a reputation in the market for its work and the services and products that it sells. The product or service, brand, future plans, marketing, and customer base are already established. Reputation is regarded to be an important criterion that helps in creating a positive experience among the customers and making them loyal towards your brand. This is something that a newly started business cannot provide because it is a new independent model. Also, the future plan being somewhat devised, the franchisees do not need to worry about things like “what next” and “how to?”

Franchise helps in providing required training that is related to doing and managing the works from technology to accounting as well as teaching ways as to how one can handle the procedures.

4. Franchises provide support

Strong training is always needed until and unless an individual is coming from a similar business background. Franchise helps in providing required training that is related to doing and managing the works from technology to accounting as well as teaching ways as to how one can handle the procedures. Online support is also available if you opt for a franchise business.

If someone runs a franchise then he has the entire brand that is present to back him up during any difficulties. A franchise owner can take the help of numerous other franchisers who are out there running the same brand and have gained a lot of knowledge in the years of working with the company. A franchise believes that his other franchise partners too shall succeed, as when one joins a franchise, they become a part of the family.

A franchise organization model provides a particular franchise with the capacity to grow under a specific brand.

5. Partnership benefits

A franchise organization model provides a particular franchise with the capacity to grow under a specific brand and allows it to share the benefits that take place under a large group of people owning a business. Though every business is independently managed and owned, all its franchises share a collaborative benefit from the organization through the oversight and support of the particular franchisor that includes:

  • Resources related to group advertising that are not typically available to independent, small business owners.
  • It helps you to own your business by making decisions yourself, guided by the experienced business enterprise.
  • The capability to sell services and products to the market that the company owns or the outlet of the company would be otherwise difficult due to the high operational cost.
  • The benefits of proven and recognized services trademark, patents, proprietary details, designs.
  • Training from victorious business operators.
  • It involves less risk of loss or failure that are associated with starting a new business or start-up.
  • As you are a part of an operation that is uniform, your outlet gets to share the same exterior and interior, product, service and quality, and most importantly brand awareness of the customer.
  • Operational support is given by the franchisor, both after and before launching the business venture and cannot be provided to an individual who aims to start his own business.

If we look from the franchisor’s perspective then this collaboration

  • Offers rapid expansion.
  • Spreads brand messaging as well as awareness.
  • Enables the development of new services and products with more inputs and options.
  • Helps in providing a steady cash flow.
  • Facilitates the overall growth of the company.
There are many franchise options that you can choose from to start your entrepreneurial journey.

Franchise business options with huge prospects

There are many franchise categories1 that you can choose from to start your entrepreneurial journey. Food & beverage, electronic gadgets, and appliances, telecom – just take a look around and you can figure out the options available. However, if you want to tread the offbeat track and still become successful you can opt to start a home inspection franchise business. A sunshine sector in India, home inspection has tremendous prospects that are yet to be leveraged fully.

See this to believe:

Home Inspection – A promising franchise business

A new era started in India after the Professional Home Inspection Service saw its emergence.

A new era started in India after the Professional Home Inspection Service saw its emergence. MACJ – A Buyers Choice is one of the companies that provide home inspection services to the huge mass of Indian society as well as collaborates with companies abroad. MACJ – A Buyers Choice is a global brand that has joined forces with famous multi-national companies of America and has great access to all the latest and advanced technology and tools. As a franchisor, it provides various other facilities such as marketing training and inspection training. It can also help you with social media marketing and provide online lead generation support. The brand believes in serving the heart of India and the key requirements of the homeowners and buyers as well as real estate developers. Here, you can make low investment and get high returns, and can successfully meet your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.

MACJ - A Buyer's Choice through its home inspection services provide full disclosure of the health of a home and gives the buyer / builders better peace of mind.

The MACJ – A Buyer’s Choice Advantage

MACJ – A Buyers Choice through its home inspection services provide full disclosure of the health of a home and gives the buyer / builders better peace of mind. We believe that pre-sale inspections are the best decision for all home buyers.

  • Partnership with Global MNCs with franchises in more than 19 countries across 200 locations.
  • Employment and Skill Development opportunities.
  • First mover advantages.
  • An experienced team that believes in providing the best results for the customers. More than 5,000 inspections have been carried out by MACJ that itself speaks for its credibility.
  • MACJ provides a vast range of services across the entire real estate value chain; so, you have more than one segment of customers to target and sell your services to.
  • A pan-India footprint, which means you can start your business anywhere in the country; you will get the same level of support.

Thus, if you ask – “Are franchises successful?” The answer is an emphatic Yes. It is successful if you have chosen the right brand and the right model, for instance, MACJ – A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspection Services. A franchise opened in the correct place and run with ambition, passion, and talent can result in a sure-shot success.

Home improvement doesn’t always have to be a costly affair. Here we have listed down some creative ideas for those who are on a low budget.

Best Home Improvement Ideas for Those on a Budget

Home improvement is a wide term that could include a range of ideas and alterations. To narrow down the options, there are constraints like space, budget and the basic architectural plan. It is important to have clarity on all key criteria to get results that are smart and lasting.

In this blog, we focus on home improvement ideas on a budget. We will explore ideas and options across different levels of budget and effort. Sometimes, replacing redundant stuff with refurbished add-ons can help give a brand-new look to your space. If time, effort and budget allow, a few changes in the design can go a long way in customising your home to suite your taste and style.

Let us explore a few creative ideas in detail.

A chic way to do up your floor is to use mats and rugs. However, it is okay if you want to keep the floor untouched but re-grout the tile joints.

For the Floor

Each component of a home comes together to create an aura that captivates the mind of a person when he enters the house for the first time. Yet, the floor is the very first thing that he notices. So, even a little change there will create a significant impact. But changing flooring within a tight budget is rather difficult. Therefore, what you can do is apply your creativity and add things like these:

Rug and Roll: A chic way to do up your floor is to use mats and rugs. There is no limit to being creative with this option. If you want to keep it minimalistic, nothing works like one big rug / mat that covers the entire floor in a room. If you are a maximalist in terms of shades and patterns, go for a mix of colours, sizes and designs. You could even have layers; depends totally on your style.

A few important points to keep in mind while choosing to have rugs and mats are:

  • They are great for homes with kids
  • Not suitable for homes with pets
  • Need to be vacuumed regularly
  • Messes and stains can be tough to get rid of

However, it is okay if you want to keep the floor untouched but re-grout the tile joints to increase the floor’s longevity as well as prevent moisture damage.

Tips for Budget-friendly walls for your home.

Budget-friendly walls

  • Colours and Creatives: Paints and wall art can transform the house completely. All you need to do is give thought to the kind of colour combination that appeals to your taste. Each colour has a specific impact on a room’s perceived shape and size. Light colours like cream and white, for example, reflect light and make a room look spacious; dark colours lend coziness and warmth; striped paint patterns make a room look taller than it is and so on. You can consult paint experts to get the perfect shade for your house. To add more liveliness to a wall, play around with some wall art. You could opt for paint patterns or go for easily available stickers and posters. For those who cannot afford to paint the whole house due to budget or time constraints, painting or polishing the furniture instead can be a clever alternative.
  • Mirrors for Magic: Mirrors add a whole new vibe to a room. However, having a complete wall covered with mirrors could turn out to be expensive. Instead, you could put up 3-4 large vertical mirrors to add more reflective lighting. Adding a bit of exciting lighting can really make it an ambient setting on a budget.
Paying attention to details is an important part of home improvement efforts. Secondly lighting options can turn a room into your dream abode.

Accents & Affixes

  • Focus on Small Things: Paying attention to details is an important part of home improvement efforts. Nothing looks worse than chipped sill edges, rusty window latches, loose doorknobs, and noisy cabinet hinges. While giving a facelift to your home, fix these small things like loose nails and screws, rusty doorknobs, loose window handles, and broken frames etc. These small but important elements may not always catch the eye, but help keep the house in a good shape. Make a list of all these things even before starting the DIY home improvement project so that you do not miss out on any.
  • Lit Up to Liven Up: Spotlights, ambient lights, lamps, shades, chandeliers – lighting options can turn a room into your dream abode. The idea is to liven up space by illuminating dark corners, key elements, and warm spots of the house. Based on purpose, you can choose from task lights (like above kitchen islands), ambient lights (that add a mood), and accent lighting (highlight a specific part of the room). Also, the placement of lights – ceiling, floor, walls, table, etc., is an important consideration. Pricing varies depending on the quality, brand, and technology chosen.
Timely checks for leakage and seepage help keep it in a good condition. Also, Recycling and refurbishing old items in the house to make gorgeous, trendy.

Replace & Repurpose

  • Bathroom Basics: Pipes, sinks, faucets, and showers are important parts of a bathroom. Timely checks for leakage and seepage help keep it in a good condition. Also, nothing is more satisfying than to use perfectly working faucets and showers. So, get them fixed or replaced to make your bathrooms and toilets more functional.
  • Recycle & Repurpose: Recycling and refurbishing old items1 in the house to make gorgeous, trendy and useful décor pieces is smart as well as fashionable. Take a step closer to sustainable living by having an eye for things that can be reused with a little effort. It could be redoing a piece of old and broken furniture, like tables, chairs, cupboards, and book racks; stationery items like pen holders and old boards; jars and bottles; even old clothes and bedsheets can double up as lampshades and small curtains respectively. To find inspiration, there are a lot of useful videos available online that you can watch and get ideas.
Creating smart storage helps optimise space on a small budget.

Storage Spruce-Up

Creating smart storage helps optimise space on a small budget. You could have a bed cabinet and sofas that can be used for storage also. If you have less floor area, go for wall-hung bookshelves and TV units to make it look spacious and neat. Also, pick collapsible furniture to save space without losing on basic utilities.

Home improvement doesn’t always mean making a lot of changes. It could be just one change that makes a big, noticeable difference.

Exciting Elements

  • Go Green: Plants add soul to space. At home, it is a great way to make your house look revamped. Depending on the kind of space you own, you can have more than one green corner in the house. In fact, plants fit almost anywhere – you can place them in pathways, corridors, in the living room, on the terrace, on kitchen sills, windows, etc. Place them in pots of varied materials, designs, shapes and sizes to add a dash of green to your living.
  • The Showcase Spot: Home improvement doesn’t always mean making a lot of changes. It could be just one change that makes a big, noticeable difference. One such idea is to have a wall that catches the eye as soon as someone enters the room. Let it showcase your true, inner self, maybe through a lot of family pictures, or quotes that inspire you, or an artistic masterpiece you love. You could also have a huge bookstand that stacks your favourite authors or maybe a pinboard full of souvenirs and collectables. The possibilities are endless.
A few more budget-friendly home improvement hacks.

A few more budget-friendly home improvement hacks

  • Rearrange your furniture pieces. Repair/polish or upgrade them if required. Discard the ones occupying too much space and replace them with smaller, smarter ones.
  • Create a focal area in your home – it could be in your living room, your balcony, or study corner.
  • Change the curtains and upholstery. Get quirky or traditional cushion covers matching your style.
  • Make your corridors interesting.
  • Get air plants2 for your bathroom.
No improvement idea will be sustainable unless the house is healthy and in a good condition.

There is no dearth of ideas to improve and innovate your dwelling space, even on a tight budget. It just requires some creativity and effort. However, no improvement idea will be sustainable unless the house is healthy and in a good condition. For that, you first need to address common but critical issues like water leakage, damp, damaged waterproofing, cracks in walls and ceilings, faulty electrical wiring, and so on.

For this, it is recommended to go to trusted home inspection services that can help you arrest all kinds of problems, especially the ones that need urgent attention. Typically, a home inspection service will cover all major areas and elements of the house, including:

Areas Covered: Bedrooms | Living Room | Bathrooms | Lobbies | Balconies | Terrace | Servant Rooms | Alleys | Others

Elements Covered: Walls | Ceiling | Floor | Doors & Windows | Plumbing | Electrical | Cabinets | Counter Tops | Steps | Others

A detailed report of issues will cover the health of all these areas and elements. It will also state the condition of materials, installation & finishing, operations & functionalities, and general safety.

The report must be understood to prioritise tasks based on urgency and importance. Make a list of things that need to be fixed right away and ones that can wait. Address the most important ones, before you even think of other kinds of decor and design enhancement options. Only once these things are taken care of, the money spent on home improvement becomes worthwhile.

Planning to renovate your home, here are the tips to save money while renovation.

9 Pro Tips on How to Save Money While Renovating Your House

Planning to renovate your ancestral home or your own home that you bought a few years ago? Home renovation does not specifically mean only to fix the damaged parts or paint the house. But there is more to it; it is a step forward to make your house beautiful as well as stronger than it was before. And while doing so, you might end up spending a lot of money that includes your savings too, as in the process you would have to add small things too that you failed to notice when you were planning a renovation.

Sounds startling? No need to be so as we are here to tell you various ways that can help you and provide you with various tips that can help you save your money while renovating your house. You can take a look at these tips and help yourself from spending too much money.

If you plan a budget for your renovation, then you would face fewer problems while you are in the process of renovating your home.

1. Create a Budget and Stick To It

Before we move further with the topic, we would like to mention what budget renovation means. The term “budget” isn’t the same as cheap. Whenever you plan to make a change in your house or renovate it, you must first make a list of the items that are to be renovated and allot them as per your income. After that, you can fix the price for the materials and then start to make a grasp on what you want to work on according to the budget.

You must then create a spreadsheet and add everything you want to buy. This includes paints, countertops, lighting, plate covers, tiles, cabinet hardware, appliances and other outlets. If you plan a budget for your renovation, then you would face fewer problems while you are in the process of renovating your home.

If you take time & think about which parts of house to be renovated, then you might come up with innovative ideas.

2. Take Time to Think

Waiting for collecting the money needed for renovation and then planning to renovate is not a bad idea. Also, if you take time and think about which parts of them to renovate the house, you might come up with innovative ideas and this is only possible after deep thinking. If you rush into things then you might forget about important issues that you would regret later.

Upcycled items will keep your costs under control while adding a fresh new touch to your home.

3. Use and Upcycle Things Which You Already Have

Not every piece of furniture or installation in your home has to be replaced. For home renovation, more than new things, you need a new idea. Once you have visualized that, try to fit your old home decor items into that theme. The old lampshade will still sit pretty at one corner of your bedroom, the retro wooden table will look great in a different colour polish; use it to create a sitting area on your balcony. There is a lot you can do with your old kitchen cabinets – use them mindfully to create separate storage units or shoe racks but of course, not before repairing the hinges or polishing them afresh. Upcycled items will keep your costs under control while adding a fresh new touch to your home.

4. Storage and Kitchen

When you plan to renovate your house, you may also want to maximize and de-clutter the storage. In this case, utilizing the kitchen to maximize the storage area can help you solve the problem and make a place for your knickknacks. To save money while doing this you can take the help of DIY kitchen cabinets as well as recycled materials available at your home or take help from the thrift stores around your house.

It is you who know what is needed to make your kitchen a better place and by taking the help of DIY you can not only save money but also reuse the materials otherwise kept in your storage room. And if you already have a cabinet in your kitchen, then all you need to do is repaint them to give them a new look.

Replacing your old electrical wiring fittings with the latest products can make a lot of difference in your house... and in your bills!

5. Electrical fittings

Replacing your old electrical fittings and wiring with the latest products can make a lot of difference in your house and in your bills! For example, replacing your old tube lights with LED tubes, bulbs with LED bulbs, and worn-out cables with new ones can save you a lot of money on your electricity bills while turning your house more energy-efficient. Also, you must check for any defective electrical components that may cause incidents totally uncalled for.

If you are planning to change the floor, you must first keep aside the money for that and then spend the rest of the money.

6. Floor Renovation

Floor renovation might seem expensive if you are on a tight budget. So, if you are planning to change the floor, you must first keep aside the money for that and then spend the rest of the money on other things. However, this strictly needs technical intervention as there may be plenty of problems above and/or underneath the floor like degraded grout, worn-out joints between the floor and the walls or concealed leakage, etc. You must detect and fix these issues first and then do the rest of the renovation – looks-wise.

Try online shopping, you will come across a large number of options in terms of material, type and functionality.

7. Shop online

Don’t be old-school and think about picking your new home renovation stuff from physical stores only. Try online shopping too. Thanks to the flourishing online shopping1 trends, you will come across a large number of options in terms of material, type and functionality. Moreover, many online stores keep announcing ‘SALE’ and give exciting offers every now and then. If you are a little alert, you can get the items you have been looking for at lucrative prices. So, shop, save and have a renovated home in no time.

To deal with those unexpected cost components, you should keep a buffer fund in hand.

8. Keep buffer funds

No matter how well you plan your budget, there are going to be some out-of-the-blue expenses because you never know looking at your home superficially where there’s a hidden problem. To deal with those unexpected cost components, you should keep a buffer fund in hand. Then it will not appear like an extra outflow of money.

Smart indoor gardening will not only come cheap but will also go a long way in making your home beautiful and sustainable.

There is nothing cheaper and more beautiful than plants

Though indoor gardening is more about home decoration than renovation, there’s nothing more appealing than it. Smart indoor gardening will not only come cheap but will also go a long way in making your home beautiful and sustainable. Pick lots of potted plants from the nearest mart for every possible corner of your home. Consider vertical gardening to create a statement wall(but always maintain a gap in between vertical gardens & building walls). Put a soothing grass carpet on your balcony and/or grow a long-cherished small kitchen garden on your rooftop. Trust us, small improvisations such as these will completely transform your home while not busting your budget for the renovation.

If you are planning to make structural changes then home inspection will advise the right way by preventing any future problem.

9. Home inspection

To think about renovating a home, you must first try to understand the problems that already exist in your house. While some of them are right in front of your eyes, some can only be recognized by an experienced individual. Therefore, you must find out a professional home inspector who can tell you the faults of your house by using his expertise and advanced technology solutions. Only he will be able to tell you if your roofs are damaged by looking into soft spots – a sign that the roof is falling.

Damp is often caused when there is a crack in the roof or ceiling or the plumbing of the house starts to leak etc. Damp can go unseen for years but if it is seen, we recommend that you get it repaired then and there. The one you hire will also be able to tell you about windows or door issues and issues created by the electrical system etc.

Apart from this, if you are planning to make structural changes then they will advise the right way by preventing any future problem. Also, read the reasons why it is important to have home inspection before renovation.

Visit the wholesale markets where the cost is a little less, if you planning for renovation.

A Pro Tip

If you are simply planning to renovate the interiors of your house then you may have to bear less cost. But if you are planning to change the floors, wiring, plumbing etc, then it may cost you significantly. You may also require labours for your work and that way, you will have to bear more expenses. So to keep your budget on track, you should research properly and then buy the materials from the place where the cost is lesser than the other.

You might also visit the wholesale markets where the cost is a little less. Remember to buy it yourself and do not depend on the workers as they might tell you a higher price for the same thing. And as already discussed, you can shop online during sales. Apart from getting the advantage of selecting from a vast range of items, you can also receive cashback in your wallet and other exciting rewards. Moreover, it will save you time and you will get the products delivered to the doorstep.

Renovating a house can be exciting and tiring at the same time. But with smart shopping and innovative planning, you can renovate your house by maintaining your taste without exceeding the budget. If you have more queries or want to know more about home inspection, you can reach out to us on MACJ.

Home maintenance is an ongoing task. To do it annually, you need a proper plan. Read the checklist for your annual home maintenance.

Annual Home Maintenance Checklist – 11 Tips

Be it your ancestral home in Pune or your newly bought apartment in Gurgaon, without proper maintenance and time-to-time checkup, your home is going to fall apart. Apart from the regular cleaning and repair, you also need some additional maintenance for your home on a yearly basis. Though you can plan the activity at any convenient time of the year, post-monsoon months or a bit before the monsoon approaches are best for an annual home maintenance job. Worried, how to make the most of it? Well, you need a plan for that and a checklist to begin with.

What are the areas in the house that need cleaning annually?

To be precise, you cannot count. It is pretty much like an annual makeover for your home. Here we have listed out 11 tips for annual maintenance of your home.

Plants growing on the wall is a nuisance as it brings forth other problems of seepage, damp, cracks on the wall, etc. Remove such growths immediately.

1. Start with the outside

If you have the luxury of possessing a whole house / bungalow instead of an apartment, we are sure you will be blessed with a garden or lawn outside. But do not leave all the responsibility on your gardener. Get involved in it yourself too. If you have plants in planters, change the soil or change the pots as and when necessary. Check for when to add fertilizer to the soil. Uproot dead plants if any and remove dried leaves. Prune your plants in the proper season. Also, if your home is handed down to you, check minutely if you see any growth on the external wall. Plants growing on the wall is a nuisance as it brings forth other problems of seepage, damp, cracks on the wall, etc. Remove such growths immediately.

Observe your home carefully for inspecting if any cracks have appeared on the walls. Look for any sign of cracks on the walls.

2. Crack check

Bring out your inner Sherlock Holmes and observe your home carefully for inspecting if any cracks have appeared on the walls. If you do discover any such cracks, it would conclude that you have not been paying due attention to them, right? Seemingly minor, cracks have the potential to become a big enough issue that will snatch your sleep away. Look for any sign of cracks on the walls (both exterior and interior), especially the joints, the roof, ceiling, floor tiles, pillars and so on and so forth. Another deceptively small issue is the wearing off, of grout at the tile joints. These gaps can lead to moisture damage in the house. Call the experts without any delay and take care of these menaces.

Make sure you give an annual checking to the exterior and interior paints to ensure the paint is not coming off or any other deterioration.

3. Fresh paint on the exterior

With new and improved weather-proof paints1 thriving in the market, it is not really necessary to give your house a fresh coat every year. In fact, we would not recommend that either. But make sure you give an annual checking to the exterior and interior paints to ensure the paint is not coming off, paint has not become flaky, damp patches have not puffed up the wall and the paint on it also, weather change has not taken a toll on the paint etc. In case you find these issues bothering the health of your home, you can consider taking expert advice for dampness problems without any delay in case of faded paint.

Leakage or blockage does not give you time till you repair it at the time of annual checkup.

4. Plumbing check and drainage cleaning

Leakage or blockage does not give you time till you repair it at the time of annual checkup. Before long, it turns out to be nightmarish. Sometimes, it acts silently and gives rise to damp patches. If you are lucky, you are saved from both these consequences but don’t take the plumbing system of your house for granted. Schedule a sewage cleaning every year with your plumber. Make him check the rooftop water tank, pump and other water pipes. Also, once a year turn the faucets out to check for damage, clean and inspect the bathroom vents, check for leakage under the kitchen sink, in pipes, valves and so on.

During annual home cleaning, you must reach out to lofts and space above the false ceiling and clean them thoroughly.

5. Cleaning the lofts, the space above false ceilings and so on

Many usable (and unusable) spaces are created in a house, sometimes, for the sake of storage (example – lofts) and sometimes as a result of interior designing (example – space above the false ceiling). These units of space are normally left untouched throughout the year. During annual home cleaning, you must reach out to these spaces and clean them thoroughly. Otherwise, they will become a permanent hideout of cockroaches and rodents. Also check for leak at pipes and valves which are usually located at space above false ceiling. Damp patches if any should also be attended with care or they will spread on to the other areas.

During your annual home maintenance, check all the doors and windows thoroughly.

6. Doors and Windows check

Throughout the year, you must be spending a lot of time and money repairing a loose joint here and a rusty latch there. Try to reduce your work. During your annual home maintenance, check all the doors and windows thoroughly. Is the wooden door at the entrance closing properly without making any noise or rubbing against the floor? Are all the latches of your glass windows in proper condition? Are the windows sliding along the panels properly? Do you see a damp area near the window-wall joint? Chances are that the sealant has worn off; hence, rainwater is making its way through the gap in the joint. Attend to all these issues no matter how small they appear to be, at least, once a year and trust us, your doors and windows will last longer.

Electrical maintenance enhances the smooth running of all the electricity-powered appliances & accessories in your home.

7. Maintain your electrical System

Electrical maintenance enhances the smooth running of all the electricity-powered appliances & accessories in your home while creating a safe environment that will be free from all sorts of hazards. No doubt, electrical maintenance for the home is one of the foremost and sure steps towards ensuring electrical safety. When regular electrical checks are carried out for a home, various unwelcomed mishaps associated with electricity get avoided in an easy & convenient manner. This makes it easier to escape unplanned and often very high repairing expenses. Hence, it is essential to carry out electrical checking & maintaining all the electrical material fittings, appliances, and devices in and around your home.

Fans and lighting fixtures that are normally fixed at a height often gather more dust than any other items in the house simply because they are not reached out during daily dusting. Clean them thoroughly.

8. Cleaning the fixtures, lights and fans

Fans and lighting fixtures that are normally fixed at a height often gather more dust than any other items in the house simply because they are not reached out during daily dusting. The fans, especially, remain unused for at least 3-4 months in a year during winter and hence, get dustier. Once winter is over, bring them down, disassemble them, wash the blades and fix them back. Do the same with tube lights, bulbs and other lampshades. Open the shades, wash them in soapy water, dry and fix them back. Light-reflecting out of clean glass and shades will make your home look brighter.

Stop hoarding and discard the unused items in home.

9. Discard the unused

Stop hoarding. We know you must be having a lot of emotions attached to certain things in your wardrobe or divan but learn to let go. Give away the old pair of jeans that no longer fits you; discard the printer that stopped working long back but you never found time to repair; donate the books in which your childhood still remains trapped, to needy students. Simply, let go. This way, you will not only be able to clean up the divan and wardrobe but also free up a lot of space.

10. Living in the hills? After winter special care

If you are living in cities like Shimla, Manali, Nainital, or Gangtok, snowy winters are one thing you must be careful of. You cannot control it. Your roof, open balcony all are definitely going to be loaded with snow. So, your annual cleaning list will include cleaning up after the snow. Also, if you are living in the hills and your home is made of wood, every year after winter, you must treat the home well for eliminating any chance of damage from snow.

Professional home inspection services are one-stop solutions for all your worries regarding your home.

11. Schedule a professional home inspection

Professional home inspection services (health & safety check-up of your home) are one-stop solutions for all your worries regarding your home. The inspectors observe every nook and corner of your home with the help of the latest devices and technological tools and identify which portions are in immediate need of repair. From bedroom to bathroom to kitchen, everything will be in good hands if you give the responsibility to such professional service providers. Your eyes, being untrained, may miss a point here and there but with the professionals, simply no chance.

There you have it! A detailed list of how you should take care of your home annually. Your home is no different from you. It needs pampering and a yearly health checkup. While no one can pamper your home like you, for its health checkup, you will need a professional. A home inspection is that comprehensive health checkup, which, if done at least once a year, can prolong the life of your property. Give your home these annual treats and keep it beautiful and strong for years to come.

Safety at home is a serious matter. Ignoring it may cost your health and happiness. Read the blog to know more about it.

Are You Ignoring Safety At Home? Take Guard with these Safety Measures

Our home is a very special place – be it big or small. It is the place which makes us feel happy, safe and comfortable. However, accidents are inevitable and they can happen anywhere, on the road or right under our roof. Hence, we must consider the best possible ways in which we can prevent such accidents. At times we are so involved in decorating, renovating or for that matter, feel comfortable in our space that we tend to ignore the important areas which require attention. Safety measures are one such element that demands our maximum attention while we plan to make our home a better place. When the members of the house feel safe and comfortable, the feeling of positivity and happiness increases manifold. So, if you are among those who care about the safety of their family and therefore their homes, then this article is all you need to read.

Common issues at home that needs to be taken care of.

Common Safety issues to be aware of at home

One of the best ways to make sure that your home is safe is to actively check each area of your home for potential hazards. It reduces the risk of injury that children or elderly people in the house might suffer. One must remember that his home might make him feel warm and comfortable but that doesn’t necessarily allow to ignore potential safety hazards. It is essential to be knowledgeable about safety measures and evaluate hidden danger. Here are some of the common safety issues that we come across in our seemingly safe haven called ‘home’:

  • Inadequate security due to a not-so-robust locking and surveillance system at the main door
  • Faulty door locks
  • Loose window glass, latches, or joints
  • Crack in the wall, ceiling, or railings of the roof
  • Uneven floor or elevated door threshold
  • Broken stairs or loose handrail
  • Slippery bathroom floor due to wrong choice of tile/marble type or excess splashing of water
  • Damp walls and ceilings leading to an unhygienic indoor atmosphere
  • Faulty switches and plug points
  • Unserviced home appliances that may become a cause of electrocution or fire hazard
  • Unchecked gas cylinder, faulty knobs and lighter, and uncleaned burners
  • Torn/wavy rugs and carpets, scattered objects on the floor
  • Improper cleaning and kitchen habits
  • Unsafe storage of medicines, pest poisons, harmful chemicals, knives and other sharp objects, cables and cords, etc leading to chocking, cuts, fall, burn or poisoning
  • Irregular or no pest control drive

What should you do?

The ultimate safety mantra of any household is repair, beware and maintain hygiene & discipline.

Repair, Beware and Maintain Hygiene and Discipline

This should be the ultimate safety mantra of any household. There may be some defects in the house, repairing which may require you to take many things into consideration but at least, you should do the following things that are easy to do at any point of time.

Safety tips to avoid accidental falls

Elderly people and kids in the house often tend to fall, so here are safety tips to avoid accidental falls.

Elderly people and kids in the house often tend to fall because of the unsuitable arrangement of things lying here and there. Fix this first as this costs nothing. Simply, avoid clutter. Pick up small objects from the floor and keep them aside in their proper place.

Throw rugs and loose mats, extension cords, etc are a few things on which elderly people and small children often trip and fall. Replace the former with carpet and remove the latter when not in use.

Elevated door thresholds in old Indian houses are quite a nightmare for people of ages. You better get them removed and make life easier.

Bathroom floor tiles and marbles are better chosen which have anti-skid features as they provide more friction to the feet. Still, to avoid fall, keep the floor dry & clean and soaps should be replaced with shower gels. Doors should have outside latches which should be used to close them when an elderly person or a child is inside. This helps in faster rescue in case of an accident.

Any kind of leakage or seepage – either in the ceiling, wall or from any appliance – repair it fast. There shouldn’t be any water on the floor going unnoticed for long.

Safety guards are the best choices when it comes to enhancing the safety of balconies, rooftops and stairs.

Installation of safety guards

Safety guards are the best choices when it comes to enhancing the safety of balconies, rooftops and stairs. These guards ensure the safety of near and dear ones at your home.

Electrical safety

At home, electrical hazards are mainly caused due to three reasons - wrong handling, poor quality of equipment and unserviced appliances.

At home, electrical hazards are mainly caused due to three reasons. Address those with seriousness in the following way:

  • Wrong handling – Using wet hands to switch on or switch off or fiddling with the plug points. These should be strictly avoided as that may lead to electrocution. Where there are small children in the house, make use of socket safety cover1 which will restrict babies from putting finger directly or inserting any other object into electrical sockets (or plug points) which may cause electrocution. This is one of the tip to make shockproof home for your kid.
  • Poor quality of electrical equipment and/or damp in the concealed wiring system – Take the help of a skilled electrician who would have the right set of skills to check the problem and take care of any form of electrical repair. You can also opt for an electrical inspection if you have been noticing frequent issues of short circuit and blackout.
  • Un-serviced electrical appliances – Don’t wait for them to burn your food or your finger. Get them serviced on time and stay sorted.

Electrical safety should be given top priority in a home.

Install a fire alarm in your house and keep a fire extinguisher handy for emergencies to ensure fire safety.

Fire safety

Let’s face it, we all dread fires but very few take necessary precautions to avoid one. First and foremost – you must get your gas cylinder checked when it gets delivered to your home. If you suspect any kind of leakage, refuse it then and there.

After using the gas stove, don’t forget to turn off your cylinder’s knob. Also, clean the pores of your burners at regular intervals. Change your gas-lighter after every few months.

Again, get the servicing of your microwave oven and other kitchen appliances done at least once in a year. The same applies to air conditioners. They must be serviced regularly.

Install a fire alarm in your house and keep a fire extinguisher handy for emergencies.

Above everything else, you must ensure that the ventilation and water supply of your building is up to the mark so that, in case there is a fire, it can be doused easily.

Storing harmful chemicals at place where it is hard for elderly people or children to reach is a wise choice.

Suitable storage of harmful chemicals

It could be a chemical, medicine or any form of cleaning product or disinfectant that would take seconds to cause injury or accidental poisoning to children and elderly people in the house. This is why, it is extremely important to be cautious with such items. Storing such items at places where it is hard for elderly people or children to reach is a wise choice. The same level of cautiousness should be practised for keeping sharp objects in the house.

Hygiene and Food Safety

Good cleaning and kitchen habits go a long way in ensuring the good health of a family.

This is supreme at any point in life. Good cleaning and kitchen habits go a long way in ensuring the good health of a family. A few things should be followed to the T:

  • Dusting, cleaning and mopping should be done daily. Disinfection and sanitization of surfaces and objects should be done at regular intervals to keep the spread of disease-causing germs and pests in check.
  • Always keep cooked food covered.
  • Clean up spills and scatters immediately.
  • Don’t hoard food items in the fridge for long. Here’s some more food safety tips2.
  • Throw away wastes before they become stale.
  • Use sprays and chemicals carefully in the kitchen.
  • Keep the sink outlets unclogged and clean the pipes once in a month.
  • Use covered bins for disposing of dry and organic wastes.
Surveillance camera is the handy tool you can invest in if you are concerned about your family’s safety and security.

Surveillance Camera

There is no other better option than having a surveillance camera3 installed. They are the handy tools you can invest in if you are concerned about your family’s safety and security. They not only allow you to see your loved ones from time to time but also keep you aware of any form of crime like theft and abuse.

Apart from the above points, there are certain hidden hazards in a home which can cause problem in the proper functioning and safety of your home. Read Protect your Home from Masked Hazards.

Information and knowledge is the key to prevent any form of accident in life and it is applicable to the safety of your home. The only way to enjoy a life devoid of regrets is by staying cautious. It requires adopting some basic safety habits and sometimes, professional help as a home inspection. The latter raises red flags, which if you pay heed to, can save you from many accidents. To learn more about home inspection, click here.

Buying a home for the first time demands a lot of research. Read the blog to know tips for a first time home buyer.

Tips For A First-time Homebuyer

Nothing matches the comfort of our own home. And thus, having that coveted ‘own space’ which we can call a home is a dream for many. But to convert it into reality needs diligence, financial commitment, and hard work. Purchasing a home can be a challenging task for first-timers. As a first-time homebuyer, one needs to be very careful and understand all the processes involved. One needs to give one’s effort and time while looking for a home. Be it your budget or the life of the building – you need to know everything inside out.

Given such critical aspects of home buying, here are some of the aspects that you must look upon while buying a new house for the first time:

There are several factors that you should look into while considering the size of the house. Know how big should the property be?

1. How big should the property be?

Homes with bigger space do allure us with the spaciousness, but do you really need that much space? There are several factors that you should look into while considering the size of the house. How many family members of yours will live there? How many guests can the house accommodate? Your future plans? Are you buying the home for self-use or is it for investment purpose? Most importantly, does it match your budget? Find the answers to these and you can decide the perfect size of the residence in no time.

Builders often impose a high rate per square foot for the flats that are located above in the high-rising construction.

2. Floor rise

If you are looking for a flat or apartment, this one is particularly for you. Builders often impose a high rate per square foot for the flats that are located above in the high-rising construction. This tells that the flats on the ground floor are comparatively cheaper than the ones located above. You should also keep in mind that the corner flats are often sold for a premium. When you look for a home you should also notice and make sure that the builder is adhering to the standardised set of rules laid down by the government for residential apartments in the National Building Code1. For example, as per NBC2 India 2005, the height of all standard rooms for human habitation shall not be less than 2.75 metres from the floor surface to the lowest point of the ceiling. There are other similar general building requirements3 which you as a first-time homebuyer should be aware of.

Housing complexes are coming up with varieties of amenities such as clubhouses, gym, swimming pools, game rooms as well as spas.

3. Look at the facilities available in the premise

Modern housing has changed the mindset of the people. Hence, nowadays housing complexes are coming up with varieties of luxuries such as clubhouses, gym, swimming pools, game rooms as well as spas. However, the more the amenities, the more is the cost & maintenance issues. While buying a house, you should carefully look for these luxuries and whether they are suitable for your lifestyle or not (or do you even need them or not). For example, if you have a small child, then having a complex which has a park or a game room can be a quality investment. Also do not forget to check for the parking facilities if you have your vehicle.

The location of your housing complex is of prime importance.

4. Location is of prime importance

How far is your office from your home? How far will the children have to travel while going to school? Is the market near? Is there a hospital nearby? The location will depend on the answers to these questions. Some people do not own a personal car or bike, and if you are one of them then you must keep in mind the ease of access to public transport systems like taxi, bus, auto and metro stations or a railway station. All these factors are crucial, and so you must look into them very carefully. After taking care of these factors, you should also make sure that the place has grocery stores and other markets that are necessary for daily household.

Before purchasing a flat or a readymade home, you must have a look at the track record and reputation of the promoter or the builder from whom you are planning to buy.

5. How reputed is the builder or the promoter?

Before purchasing a flat or a readymade home, you must have a look at the track record and reputation of the promoter or the builder from whom you are planning to buy. Find out whether they have a good reputation in the market for completing the projects on time or whether people regret after getting the key to their abode delivered to them. Make sure to know where the builder stays as that can help you in case of an emergency. Check whether the project is registered under RERA (HIRA for West Bengal4).

A home loan helps you to make your dreams come true as well as gives you tax benefits.

6. Funds for your dream home

When it comes to real estate, affording them comes with a cost. To be able to buy your dream house, you need funds. While you may have some savings that you can use in fulfilling the down payment but you may have to take the help of a home loan to fill the gap. When you do so, be careful that you take the loan from a reputed housing finance organization that offers timely disbursals and sanctions, gives reasonable charges, and long tenure loans. A home loan helps you to make your dreams come true as well as gives you tax benefits.

Property insurance protects your financial future in case of any damage that happens to the property.

7. Property Insurance

Property insurance protects your financial future in case of any damage that happens to the property. The insurance cost is comparatively low and provides coverage if there is a problem with the property or damage and legal issue. There are several insurance policies that you can choose according to your requirements. Choosing proper house insurance helps to protect the property.

While some people plan to buy their own house, some are there who buy a pre-owned home. If you are planning to buy a pre-owned home, you should make sure that you inspect the legal and structural soundness to avoid problems in the future.

While some people plan to buy their own house, some are there who buy a pre-owned home. Read the tips for Pre-owned home.

Here are some more tips that you must additionally follow if you are planning to buy a pre-owned home..

1. Check the real condition of the surfaces

A beautiful exterior may hide severe damages. One who wants to sell a house will make sure that the paint is more or less proper and not peeling off but there might be critical problems beneath. You should hire a trusted professional – a home inspector – who has in-depth knowledge about this and will be able to spot the underlying issues. After the inspection is done, chances are that the house may need a renovation. After assessing the damages consult with an expert for estimating the cost of renovation.

2. Look through the property’s past

In some cases, the one who is selling the property might not be the actual owner of the flat. You need to trace the ownership depending on the age of the property. For doing this you must consult a lawyer who is eligible to prepare a report on the particular property. The one who owns the property must have possession of the original documents. The amount of the property should be equal to the value of the property.

3. Do some bargaining

In most cases, the owner of a property might be under some pressure to sell the flat or the home; so it is important to bargain which can come to your benefit. Identify the defects carefully and then press the owner for additional discounts. And if there is a need for renovating, then that can get you a good deal. Second-hand houses in Mumbai are 5% less costly than the new projects while properties in Chennai, Gurgaon, and Bangalore are 10% to 15% lesser than the new ones.

4. Check for prospects, fees

Before signing the legal documents, make sure that you look through the maintenance fees and the parking charges that you have to deposit. Be it a new house or an old one, any house that you buy is probably one of the biggest investments of your life. So, do not forget to ask the property dealer about how much the property would be worth after ten years and more.

Check both the inside and outside areas before choosing an apartment or house.

Let’s not forget to have a look below the surface

Outside the house

  • Check the walls properly, and make sure that there is no dampness. Fresh paints might hide the damages.
  • Tap all the woodwork, especially windows and doors. If there is a problem with that like hollow sound or dust coming out, then talk with the owner.
  • Examine the water supply systems very carefully.
  • Make sure to check the drainage system of the building.

Inside the house

  • Check for water leaks, and other suspicious means inside the house.
  • Carefully examine the walls, whether there is any damage or bulk or maybe crack on them.
  • Check the closed spaces for any kind of fungal growth.
  • Open the tap to see if there is any kind of problem with the plumbing.
  • Ask for the layout and the age of the wiring from the housing society or owner.
Opt for home inspection services to get a health & safety Check-up of home.

Finally, get a Health & Safety Check-up of your Home – Opt for a home inspection

A hitherto alien concept in the Indian market, Home Inspection is now gaining popularity at a rapid pace. There are many firms specialising in property inspection services today. They take the onus of examining every inch of the property that you are buying and spot the defects that you may otherwise overlook. Equipped with the right knowledge and advanced tools, they come up with suggestions that save you from future home-related problems and recurring expenses.

So, all you need to do before buying your first home is doing a bit of research and the experience is bound to turn into a satisfactory one.

Coming back home, sitting on the front porch and sipping freshly brewed coffee – sounds welcoming? You are all set to own a home if you have considered the above facts. If you haven’t done that till now, get geared up and start your search for the perfect home.

There can be nothing more nightmarish than a disorganized kitchen. Read 9 Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Organized!

9 Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Organized!

Kitchen, they say, is the heart of the home. Now every time you cook something up and reach a notch closer to the heart of your family members through the way of their stomach, you do not want to step back into the kitchen and feel like a storm has blown across it, do you? Working in an organized way in the kitchen is possible only when you have an organized kitchen. Flour all over the counter, a spatula here, a cup there, a rolling pin left to be rolling on the counter, sprinkles of oil on the wall in front of the gas oven – all are a pain to the eyes. So, what can we do to keep the kitchen organised?

Why do you need an organized kitchen?

Before we move on to enlighten you about ways to keep your kitchen organized, let usjust have a look at why we need to do that in the first place? Here are the reasons:

  • You know where to find what, the moment you need something
  • Be it your visiting sis-in-law, or your favourite girl gang from your college or office, anyone will find it easy to locate things in the kitchen and they can help you out in preparation of food also (there’s nothing like cooking yummy dishes together and eating them too!)
  • Cleaning afterwards is so easy when you have everything at place
  • With an organised kitchen, you know what you have, how many you have and what you need to add. Thus, you do not end up buying the same thing twice
  • With everything stacked up in a neat and clean manner, preparation time for a meal is reduced
  • Lastly, the kids in your house learn how important it is to keep everything organized and they try to follow your footsteps too

9 tips for an organised kitchen

First tip is to Keep your fridge organised.

1. Keep your fridge organised

Let us start with the storage units first and you cannot think of anything but a fridge when it comes to vegetables or other farm produce. Storing leftover food also calls for a fridge. Buy fridge bins apart from the vegetable basket that already comes with your fridge when you buy it. These baskets are not segmented and hence you have to search through all the vegetables when you might just need one tomato or only a few beans. It is easy for items to get lost in a corner and when you discover it a week later, it has already gone bad. Transparent fridge bins can be a saviour in such cases. From packets of sliced salamis to fresh veggies- you can see them and reach for them easily.

Racks with wheels are the ultimate organizers and space saviours with their narrow shape in kitchen.

2. Go for racks with wheels

However big a mansion you live in, the average Indian kitchen size lingers around 9’x7’. With a few exceptions, a roomy kitchen is not a thing that you come across regularly. Now add the countertops, wall hanging racks, gas oven and other things in the kitchen – you have less amount of space to move around. Easy to misplace things and burst out in frustration whenever you are midway of cooking up a storm, right? Racks with wheels are the ultimate organizers and space saviours with their narrow shape.

No matter how many times you put all the same sized spoons and forks together neatly, they get all mixed up. Install cutlery tray for this problem.

3. Install cutlery trays

You got your hands laid upon almost everything when all you just wanted was the star nozzle for dressing up the cake you just baked – sounds familiar? Cutlery and small pieces like nozzles etc are so easy to lose as you pull open or push the kitchen drawer shut. No matter how many times you put all the same sized spoons and forks together neatly, they get all mixed up. So, what’s the solution? Installing expandable cutlery trays1. You can expand them according to the size of your drawer and not even an inch of the inside is wasted. Now you are all ok to have your sundry items, forks and spoons organised.

Step-style shelves designed especially for cabinets can be your saviour in keeping organized kitchen.

4. Set up step-style shelf organiser

There is no doubt having cabinets in the kitchen, overhead or on the wall, saves a lot of space and helps in keeping stackable items, jars of spices etc in a neat way. But an Indian kitchen is never short of spices, special spice mixes, nani ke haat ka achaar, secret mixes only you know how and where to put in and so on and so forth. All these make it difficult to locate the right item when needed. Step-style shelves designed especially for cabinets can be your saviour. It not only gives you a whole new organizing experience but the step system gives you better visibility and accessibility also.

Pans and their lid eat up a lot of space in the kitchen and make it look messy. Pan and Lid organizer can be useful.

5. Pan and Lid organizer to your rescue

The biggest problem with pans is they are no more stackable if you put the lid with it. Now if you don’t put the lid there, where would you? Also, being made of glass they need to be handled with care. Pans and their lid eat up a lot of space in the kitchen and make it look messy. Again, they are not something that you can do without, right? Pan and lid organisers add to that organised look of your kitchen. With adjustable heights of the pan organiser and the ability of the lid organiser to be mounted on the wall just add more ticks against them and make them included in your shopping list.

Putting up an adjustable shelf under the sink area can work wonders, in case of less space in kitchen.

6. Give a glance under the sink

Yes, you read that right, under the sink. Awkward? Yes. But utility? Amazing. Putting up an adjustable shelf can work wonders for you if you are at a loss about how to keep your kitchen organised. There is enough space to keep things which you do not need regularly but most often we let it go to waste. Instead of stashing away unnecessary stuff, build a shelf around the pipes and put the space to use. Trust us on this and get ready to be amazed.

Modular kitchens are a homemaker’s dream place and one of the step for organised kitchen.

7. How about a modular kitchen

Uber chic and utilitarian – modular kitchens are a homemaker’s dream place and for all the right reasons. Mostly customizable, the kitchen designs let you organise all your utensils, containers and appliances in the most impeccable way. You just need to choose the material carefully and check your walls and floor for damp related problems before installing the whole setup. This is because if there is any seepage or damp in any wall or floor and that goes undetected, it will spread on to the modular kitchen cabinets and spoil them in a few years.

Some basic kitchen organization tips which can come to your rescue in all situations.

8. Other tips

There are some basic tips which can come to your rescue in all situations. These are:

  • Bought something new? Unpack it right away and start using them. Keeping them stashed away for afterwards will actually add to the clutter in the kitchen. Also, buy only when you need a particular thing.
  • While buying utensils like bowls or containers make sure you choose the stackable ones. Thus, when not in use you can put one into another and store them.
  • Once a while, declutter the kitchen. Every time you do so, you will definitely come up with a lot of items that will leave you wondering, “Why is it even here!” or “I definitely don’t need this here.”
  • Cleaning missions will help you get rid of excess items in no time.
  • Don’t hoard empty poly packs and plastic pouches/bags thinking that you may use them later. They only add to the clutter while welcoming cockroaches and ants, too, sometimes.
  • Reuse containers after a thorough cleaning. For example, you bought tea leaves in a plastic container; after it gets exhausted, don’t discard the container. Either wash and dry and use it for storing some other items or refill with tea leaves again – this time bought in paper packaging.
Keeping your kitchen clean is the first call you can make while you proceed towards making it organised.

9. Last but not the least, Cleanliness

Keeping your kitchen clean is the first call you can make while you proceed towards making it organised. Look out for damp patches particularly under the sink, behind the cupboard or the fridge. Do not let fungus settle in. A weekly clean up is a must. As foods are cooked here, you can never compromise with the hygiene and cleanliness.

You might be a working woman who spends the longest duration in the kitchen only while making soup or instant noodles. Or you might be a homemaker who spends a considerable amount of time there. You might be a food blogger whose passion is cooking and trying new recipes. Whatever might be the case, having an organised kitchen is more welcoming. Add the health factor to it, and it becomes essential. Hope the tips help!