Update your Home's Wiring
Older homes tend to have inadequate wiring for today’s multiple electronic needs. An updated electrical system can protect your family and home now, reduce your property hazard insurance premiums, and provide a “surge” of interest to future homebuyers.
If your lights dim when you plug in an appliance, lights flicker for no reason, lightbulbs burn out too quickly, or if you’re loading up outlets with power strips, it’s time to call a licensed electrician. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), faulty or frayed cords can spark a fire within seconds and multiple power strips at full capacity among the top reasons for house fires.
The problem could be loose wiring, worn-out or loose connections that cause arcing and crackling sounds, or you’re using too much voltage for the wiring capacity. Start with the electrical outlets. If they’re two-pronged, you can’t plug in any devices that require grounding in the outlet, such as your computer or flat screen TV.
Updating your fuse box to a 200-amp circuit breaker will provide you with more power and fault circuit interrupters that can protect against fires and shocks (AFCI) and water damage (GFCI.) HomeAdvisor.com suggests that a circuit panel offers easy care, no fuse replacements and a better foundation for modern appliance use. Fire codes require that electrical panels are located outside the home, so plan on moving yours may if you upgrade your electricity.
A licensed electrician can make sure all your wiring and electrical devices are functioning properly.
Make Smaller Spaces Welcoming
There’s something to be said for a compact home – it’s efficient, easier to clean, less expensive to heat and cool and requires less stuff to fill it. If you’re buying your first home, or you’re downsizing from a larger home, you may feel the squeeze of small spaces at first but follow these tips and you’ll soon appreciate that less can really be more.
Go for quality. You can buy a smaller home in a better neighborhood that’s closer to the jobs, schools, and amenities you need. That’s much better than enduring a long commute to have more space. Instead, choose fine furniture and accessories that make a statement about who you are.
Minimize clutter. Nothing makes a space feel cramped like overcrowding. Too much furniture, too much clutter, and not enough storage can reduce your comfort. If your home doesn’t flow well, it’s time to declutter.
Be clever. Decorating a small space can be a lot of fun if you think in terms of furniture doing double duty. Ottomans can triple up as a footrest, coffee table or extra seating. Nesting tables can provide extra tabletop space when needed and store compactly.
Let the light in. Bright spaces look larger than dark spaces. Light cheerful colors on walls and in your décor can expand any room. Reduce the need for bulky lamps and tables by installing sconces and recessed lighting.
The trick is having what you want but recognizing that there’s no need for extras or excess.