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5 Essential Safety Items Every Home Should Have

Categories: Blog | Posted: October 15, 2018

Accidents happen. That’s an unfortunate fact. Though it’s not fun to think about, every year people deal with unexpected disasters like kitchen fires or carbon monoxide leaks. But with a little forethought and preparation, you can keep your home and family safe. Don’t be caught off guard; make sure you’re equipped with these five essential safety items.

  1. Fire Extinguisher

This may be the most obvious safety item on our list. Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher, but preferably more. One should stay in the kitchen within easy reach in case of grease fires or a towel getting too close to your burner (it happens to the best of us!). Make sure you regularly inspect it and replace the extinguisher when it’s expired.

One last fire safety tip: make sure everyone in your home knows where your fire extinguishers are and how to use them.

For more tips on buying the right fire extinguisher, check out Apartment Therapy’s concise guide here.

  1. Smoke Detectors

You may know your smoke alarm as the thing that beeps nonstop when the batteries run out. But smoke alarms can save lives in the event of a fire. It’s best to have a smoke alarm in every room of your home.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends testing smoke detectors about once a month and replacing their batteries once or twice every year.

Along with smoke detectors, it’s also recommended that you install carbon monoxide detectors in each room. You can purchase combination smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, which can be easier to check on each month.

  1. First Aid Kit

Like a fire extinguisher, every home should have a regularly updated first aid kit. You can purchase a pre-stocked kit or make your own. Make sure your kit includes bandages in different sizes, a pair of tweezers, adhesive tape, and antibiotic ointment.

What’s great about having a first aid kit is all your essential first aid items are in one organized place. No need to scramble around junk drawers looking for a heavy-duty bandage or gauze.

You can find a full list of recommended first aid kit supplies here, which was put together by the Mayo Clinic.

  1. Emergency Contact List

Put together a list of important contacts, including poison control, the fire department, local police station, and primary care doctors. If you have pets, include the number of an emergency 24/7 vet clinic. Keep this list in an easy-to-reach spot and always let babysitters, house sitters, and dog sitters know where to find it.

If you have kids in the house, remind them to check the list in case of an emergency.

Set a reminder to review this list regularly. It can be easy to forget to change a doctor’s number or add an updated phone number. Be proactive with this list so you’ll never be caught off guard in an emergency.

  1. Outlet Covers

Whether you have kids in the house or if kids regularly visit your home, it’s a smart idea to get covers for your electrical outlets. Children are curious and get into everything – and are therefore at a high risk of shock and burn injuries around uncovered outlets. So take away the temptation and put covers over your outlets.

Don’t live in fear of home disasters. By taking the time to prepare for the worse, you can keep your family safe. Be sure to update your safety equipment and contact list regularly, and make sure everyone knows the plan in case of emergency.

Adding a Personal Touch to Your New Home’s Design

Categories: Blog | Posted: October 3, 2018

First of all, congratulations! If you’re building a house, that means you’re one step closer to living in a dream home.

Building a custom-designed home comes with a lot of challenges, especially early on. Not only is there extensive budget planning and vetting contractors, but you also need to decide on the layout and size. It can be overwhelming and frustrating, but you know it’ll be worth it in the end.

So let’s focus on the exciting parts of building your own home: adding your personal touch! Now’s the time to pull out that dream home list and start making it happen.

Start Walking on Sunshine Every Day

Since we’re building this home from the ground up, let’s kick this off by focusing on your flooring. Are you a big fan of gorgeous hardwood floors? Pick a wood grain and stain that you adore (and goes well with your furniture). Oak is a classic, but you have a wide array of options and designs here.

Do you like sinking into soft carpet when you wake up in the morning? Find the perfect carpet for the bedrooms and den.

Unlike with an inventory home or renting a home, you aren’t stuck with floors you can’t stand. No need to replace old carpet or scuffed tiling when you’re building your own home. Play around with different flooring materials until you find one that matches your style.

Let There Be Light

Lighting can be a polarizing thing. People don’t always agree on lighting types based on personal aesthetic or room design. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about having too little lighting or obnoxious fixtures on the ceiling.

Go as elaborate or minimal as you like here. Choose from decorative chandeliers, functional lighted ceiling fans, or recessed ceiling lights. You can even have electrical boxes installed to add cool features, like under-counter lighting in the kitchen or lit glass cabinets. Just make sure you specify all of this to your builder so that they won’t run into trouble later on.

Pick a Counter You Can Count On

Nobody’s ever said, “There’s just too much counter space in that kitchen.” When building your home, I sure hope you’re designing ample space for the kitchen counters. With that out of the way, another place to add a personal touch to your home’s design is the countertops.

There are so many options here: granite, quartz, concrete (a surprisingly popular trend), laminate, solid surfacing, and even butcher-block wood. Some look flashier than others, perfect for those of us who love hosting. Some can take a beating without wearing down, great for super active cooks or people who drop things.

Your Favorite Hardware, Everywhere

Kitchen cabinet handles, doorknobs, closet doors, window shades, and drawers… When you stop and think about it, there’s an absurd amount of hardware in every home. Though the sheer number may make a trip to the hardware store seem daunting, the personalization makes it worth the effort.

This is your home, and there are no hardware limits. You have complete control over every cabinet, every drawer, and even every door. They will all open and close with whatever hardware you like the most. Unlike with other home features, it’s not really possible to pick the “wrong” piece of hardware. A cabinet knob fits on any cabinet, and a drawer will pull out whether you’re using a brass handle or a cutout. So seriously, get a little crazy here.

These are four ways of many you can add a personal touch to your new home. Adding a bit of yourself to the design process will make the home that much more special to you and your family. So take some time and indulge yourself – it’s not every day you get to build your dream home.

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