What is your dream home? Do you have an idea of what it will look like? Defining a dream home is very difficult, especially if you have a spouse or significant other that has tastes different than your own.

Although you might be able to agree on a floor plan, do you both agree on what the purposes for each of the rooms? The solution to this matter is simple. Brain storm together. Make it fun! After all it’s your dream that you are talking about.

Privately each of you collect floor plan ideas from other sources, and prioritize what you like. List the top 10 bedroom floor plans, bathroom floor plans, kitchen floor plans and of course the floor plan layout styles.

You can do this by researching these topics: Log Home Floor Plans, Model Home Floor Plans (which, by the way, utilize small spaces very efficiently), Kitchen Floor Plans, Apartment Floor Plans (another very good space effective plan), and various architectural floor plans.

Collect your “top ten” sources from each of these plans and then select your top ten out of those. You will have a very comprehensible top ten list to discuss with your spouse or significant other. Keep in mind that you can make any room the size you desire from these plans, but it’s the concept and ideas of the plans that you should be collecting.

You both then get together with your top ten lists and discuss why you really like the plans you choose. Make it fun! Make it a party if you want with friends and family, but you need to remember to be open minded and “listen” to the each other since you both have your own pro’s and con’s with each of the plans.

Surprising enough, eventually you will agree on a top ten between you. In fact you probably will have extremely similar plans picked out! I did this with my wife and found that in a few hours we agreed completely on our dream home! This was the hardest part! (This method also works in determining baby names and other life critical significant other issues.)

Factors to consider

Probably the hardest factor to consider is financing availability and budget. You need to review your own current budget and evaluate how the new budget will affect your current life style. If you check your credit report and it is not what was anticipated, you might have to adjust your budget or take the necessary steps to clean it up.

I would ask you to consult with the credit personnel at your local bank. Once your credit is cleaned up as much as possible, apply for a loan. Apply for the maximum amount you can get. Find out what the monthly payments would be and see if that works in your budget.

Make sure your monthly payments do not affect your ability to landscape and buy some interior design items and new furniture. A common mistake most people make is that they put everything in their home but leave out the funds and budget for interior design and landscaping. Always have available financing reserved for future emergencies. Do not put everything in your home and become house poor.

Location of your new dream home is also a factor. Does the neighborhood have houses similar to your style? Is there a variety of home styles? Do research on what type of neighborhood it is. Are there neighborhood, city or county ordinances that might affect your lifestyle?

Make a list of all the pros and cons of each of your choices of sites, narrow it down to your top 3 to 5 and seriously think about all the factors that might influence your decision. You don’t always want the perfect size or shaped lot if there are ordinances that will affect how you use it. Be careful.

Make sure you have no surprises. Ask your real estate agent for a list of permits necessary to build your dream home on the lot you chose. If they will not provide this, then go to your city and county and get the list. Make sure your construction contractor provides all of these permits in their contract with you.

Local codes can also surprise a lot of dream home builders. Ask the architect that does the signed blue print on your floor plans to research local codes that may or may not affect your floor plan and dream home design. Homework pays. You can save yourself a lot of money and time if you do your homework up front.

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Do you find your water bill going up each month you water your landscaping along with the rest of your bills? You might even question just how much water your landscaping really needs. Perhaps it’s time for you to think about how to make your watering more efficient so you have beautiful landscaping but save water as well.

To water our landscaping, we use either some type of automated sprinkler system or a sprinkler that is dragged from spot to spot. Right from the big corporations right down to the homeowner with just a speck of a lawn, most people use or want to use some type of automated watering system.

You have probably seen water from automated sprinkler systems running off the grass and running down the street. This even can be seen in droughts where a typical homeowner may have to water his plants with saved waste water from inside his home.

This is not exactly an efficient use of water. All around the country there are problems with having clean water. It just doesn’t make sense to waste water.

Yet most landscaping owners use an inefficient and wasteful watering system. Here are a few tips to make watering your landscaping more efficient and less wasteful.

Watering systems for your landscaping vary. Find one that is most efficient for your needs. A good rule of thumb is that the larger the water drop delivered and the closer to the ground the better it is. Using a system that delivers a fine spray up into the air will lose much of the water to evaporation and to wind.

Surprisingly, hand held hose watering was found to be the most water-efficient way to provide moisture to your landscaping. It uses 33% less water than the average household uses to water their plants.

Studies found that of the automated watering systems, in ground sprinkler systems used 35% more and those with automatic timers use 47% more water than places that did not use such automated systems. These time saving devices aren’t saving you money or water.

Adding rain sensors or better yet, soil sensors to your automated watering system saves water. You don’t end up with the sprinkler system coming on in the middle of a rainstorm or right after one when the ground is already soaked.

Automated drip irrigation systems were found to be more efficient in the study using only 16% more than used by non-automated watering households. Add the above sensors and you will have an even better system.

Perhaps the best tip is to not over water. This goes to more than not watering after a rainstorm. It includes watering to your landscaping plants’ specific moisture requirements. Consider including less water intensive plantings in your landscaping.

It means watering, as your soil requires. Adjust your watering schedule from that needed in the high temperatures of summer to the less watering needed in fall as temperatures go down

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Power Washing ContractorPower washing is the application of high pressure water spray. Some of the most popular services include the cleaning of concrete patios, sidewalks, decks, house siding, entrance ways, and driveways. In the hands of a qualified pressure washing individual, the results can be astonishing, and well worth the investment.

However, in the hands of an unqualified person, the results can be quite devastating. Water this powerful has the strength to cut wood and damage most surfaces. In the hands of the unskilled, the risk of damage is greatly increased, if not inevitable. For homeowners previously unaware of this danger, it has cost them dearly. Don’t fall victim to this.

Pressure washing requires SKILL and KNOWLEDGE. No common Joe can move the spray wand more accurately, more consistently, and more effectively, than the qualified power washing specialist. Fail to realize the skill of the trade and you may be setting yourself up for unwanted dissatisfaction and costly damage.

A quality power washing specialist will have several key characteristics. First, they know what they are doing. They are familiar with their service, the industry, and what’s involved in each. Second, they have the resources in equipment, skill, knowledge, and talent to do the job you desire. They perform their job with quality workmanship and professionalism.

They are responsible for the work they provide and are committed in following through on quality and satisfaction. They take great care and pride in the service they provide. In all, the quality power washing specialist looks to develop long term relationships with their clients.

They are present both now and in the future for follow-up and continued service. They will not abandon their clients, never to be heard of or seen again. Basically, in pride, they stand behind the work they do.

Power Washing is an excellent method of of removing dirt, mold and mildew which causes the deterioration of your home’s exterior surfaces. Whether your home is wood frame, brick, siding or stucco power washing will clean and restore its original beauty and remove unsightly stains.

Deck wood on patios turns a greyish color after being exposed to a harsh Chicago winter for a couple of years. Power washing will expose the beauty of the natural wood grain which is being masked by dirt, tree sap etc.

This cleaning will also curtail premature wood rot and decay which would be much more expensive to remedy. Power washing is also effective for cleaning concrete. Whether you are trying to clean your patio stairs or walkway its appearance will greatly improve after power washing.

Aluminum and vinyl siding can also retain its new look by regularly power washing it with a mild detergent. Siding is meant to be a lifetime improvement to the exterior of your home (low maintenance) so why not takes care as such with a regular cleaning schedule (once or twice every couple of years).

Power washing can be very effective in removing deposits prior to a painting job on the exterior of your home. The longevity of your new paint job will be greatly enhanced because the sub surface was properly cleaned and prepared. A mild cleaning in the years to come of your new paint job will also lengthen the life span of that new paint work.

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Rabbits Pest ControlWhen it comes to pest control of rabbits and small raccoons some of us might have hard time with the cruelty of some pest control products. Unfortunately, not everything can be joyous and nice in life.

Some pests cannot be controlled in nice ways. Some methods of pest control allow us not to feel so bad for the bunnies other fuzzy “critters” that can do damage to our properties.

More cruelty free pest control methods

When thinking of cruelty free pest control methods it really depends on what type of pest you are trying to rid your home and property of. If you are fighting, infestations of insects there are no nice ways to do it.

Chemicals and poisons is really the only effective ways to rid your home and properties of many insects. Some rodents such as rats have become somewhat used to some of the chemicals and some can survive only to come back with more friends and family to invade your home and family.

Some rats will kill smaller pets in your home and they can carry some real nasty diseases. Some more humane methods of pest control might be ultrasonic pest control or live traps where the animal is trapped then taken and released in an area away from your home and family.

Others will destroy and kill other pets and animals you may have and there is no other choice but to shoot them or find a professional method. If you have coyotes roaming nearby they almost always have to be destroyed due to some of them might attack. They hunt in small packs and can be very dangerous.

If dealing with professionals for cruelty free pest control

If you method of pest control is to call a professional to help you rid your property and home of pest make sure you talk to them about all of the options they may have to offer. If you have a wild animal issue, the local DNR or Animal Control will come out to handle them.

In some cases, the Humane Society will help replace the animal away from the city or your home. If you are dealing with insect infestations there are options you can choose from for treatments. If you are dealing with rodents there are also options in dealing with them.

Make sure you ask questions and get answers. Make sure you are dealing with professionals that are trained and licensed. See what kind of guarantee they have to offer. Make sure if chemicals or poisons are use that you have emergency numbers kept close by in case of trouble.

Be aware of all the dangers and cautions in using some products. Cruelty free pest control products are available so do some research and find out what your options might be.

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