3 Reasons Why Estate Planning Is Important

If you’ve started to think about how your family is going to be taken care of when you’re gone and what’s going to happen to all your possessions, you may have considered beginning long term planning Manassas VA. Long-term estate planning is essential to smooth transfers of inherited property and avoidance of legal disputes, and is not just for the wealthy. If you’re still not sure whether you should start your estate planning, here are just a few of the reasons why it’s so important.

1. It Helps Protect Your Beneficiaries

Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly wealthy, it’s likely you still have some assets, such as residential real estate or investments in the stock market, that you’d like to pass down to your heirs. Any such assets can sometimes become contentious if there are no clearly designated beneficiaries. If you want a certain person to receive your house, for instance, be sure to specify this.

2. It Can Have Tax Benefits for Heirs

One aspect of your estate you may not have considered is the tax implications for your heirs. Without any planning, much of your estate may be subject to hefty state and federal taxes, leaving beneficiaries with less. Planning ahead of time, however, can sometimes significantly reduce their tax burden.

3. It Prevents Disputes

In the absence of a clear will, it’s all too easy for families to fall into disputes about what you may have wanted. To avoid infighting and emotional strain, a straightforward estate plan helps provide some control.

While it might not be fun to think about what’s going to happen to all your assets after you’re gone, a little planning ahead of time can save your loved ones a big headache down the road. If you’re on the fence about starting your estate planning, keep these key facts in mind and you can make the right decision for your family’s future.

Ideas to Spruce up Your Home’s Exterior

After years of living in your home, you may be ready for a change. Rather than looking for a new place to live, many homeowners often choose to spruce up their home so that it feels fresh and exciting. If you’re ready to give your home a new look, here are some helpful ideas to get you started. 

Try New Gutters

Not only do gutters protect your home by diverting water dirt, and debris away from its foundation, they also give it a nice, polished look. If you don’t have gutters or yours look like they’ve seen better days, schedule a gutter installation Vancouver for your home. You’ll notice a difference when it’s finished and your home will have added protection from the elements. 

Add Some Color

A nice pop of color can add some interest to your home and even make a bold statement. Don’t be afraid to paint your door a bright, bold color that will contrast with the rest of your home. It will show off your personality and spruce up your exterior without making a huge dent in your wallet. While you’re giving your front door a new coat of paint, you may want to consider swapping out your house numbers for a new font that will match your fun door. 

Install Planter Boxes

For an instant lift, build or buy some window boxes to place around your home. Window boxes are a great way to add some excitement around your home and don’t take much time or effort to install. Plant your favorite flowers or other greenery in them for additional curb appeal. 

There are dozens of projects you can complete around your home to spruce up its curb appeal and make it feel like an entirely new home. Try some of these fun ideas and you’ll feel like you’re living in a brand new space. 

How To Make Your Basement Party-Ready

Basements are useful in many ways, especially when you need to throw a quick party. They are a perfect place to have friends over without bothering family members in other parts of the house. However, most basements are boring. If you want to make your space a little more entertaining for your next party, here are some useful tips.

1. Add a Pool Table

Not only can a pool table be an entertaining factor in your party, but it also adds a little personality to the basement. Consider adding some mood lighting for the perfect pool sessions with friends. If you don’t have one now, there are often pool tables for sale California that you can find for a reasonable price.

2. Create a Movie Lounge

Movie nights can be the best parties. If you already have a space made for a television, upgrade it to accommodate more people. Consider adding a nice home audio system to improve the movie experience. Even if you don’t watch a movie, you have a place where friends can gather.

3. Use a Theme

Do you want your basement to stand out? Add a theme. Put up iconic movie posters, create the ultimate mancave atmosphere or go retro. With a theme in mind, you can make your basement a place that guests enjoying visiting.

4. Keep Comfort in Mind

Some basements are known for being cold. The key to a warm room is proper insulation. You may want to check for any breaches and patch them up. Don’t forget to seal up your windows and doors so your warm air doesn’t leak out. If these solutions don’t solve the problem, be sure to have blankets readily available for guests.

No matter what your basement looks like, you can make your parties fun by offering many things to do. Have music, bring food and play games that will get everybody laughing. With a few updates and additions, your basement can be party-ready.

Simple Kitchen Upgrades

If your kitchen needs an upgrade, but you’re not willing to rip everything out and live out of an ice chest for weeks on end, consider smaller stylish and useful touches that won’t be so hard on the family.

Color

There is no reason to stick with your current color scheme in your kitchen. When you commit to interior remodeling Atlantic Beach NC, you get to start fresh. A vibrant tiled backsplash will perk up even the most lifeless spaces. Changing the color of cabinets from dark to light will energize this busy room. If nothing else, repaint the walls with a bright white.

Cabinets

This is the perfect time to customize your cabinets even if you keep the same basic layout. Remove the interior shelving and visualize how the space can be most useful. Simply raising a few of your shelves can work wonders to inner-cupboard organization. Take this opportunity to install pull-out shelves wherever you have wasted space. There are practical solutions to every type of dilemma such as tall pots, an overload of spice jars, large bags of dog food or an abundance of cookbooks. Space can be found in unused corners, over the vent hood and inside cabinet doors.

Drawer Pulls

Changing out drawer pulls is a one-day DIY project that can subtly remake the look of your kitchen. You can stick with the classic gold-tone or silver knobs or add a little whimsy into the space with novelty pulls. Cabinet pulls shaped like silverware go nicely in a kitchen as do mini fruits and vegetables. If you need a pop of color, consider painted metal or even a polished amber. Leather, glass, wood and rope all add a layer of individuality to this busiest of rooms.

Not everyone has the time or money to do a complete overhaul of their kitchen. The best way to breathe a little life into the space is to make it useful with a pop of color.

The Dangers of Letting Corrosion Grow

There are many things in the environment that are corrosive, or capable of damaging and destroying metal. If left unaddressed, corrosion can eventually cause damage to humans, creating problems with the respiratory and digestive tracts, the skin, and the eyes. In the most severe situations, the effects of corrosion can be life-threatening.

Where Corrosion Like to Hide

Any material can have an adverse reaction to the environment around it. If this happens, deterioration occurs that can lead to corrosion. In many commercial settings, you will find damage to iron, steel, or metal, everywhere from warehouse tanks and cylinders, to pipework, rails, and bridges. Once corrosion begins, is it certain that structural failure is inevitable. Key risks with corrosion include:

  • Loss of equipment longevity
  • Increased risk of injury to employees or the general public
  • Reduced value for a building, location, or piece of equipment,
  • Pipe blockages leading to mechanical failure for pumps and valves
  • Increased potential for gas or chemical leaks
  • Potential contamination of liquids contained in corroded vessels or pipes

The Cost of Corrosion

Though many of the problems with corrosion affect the industrial sector, the heavy cost of corrosion is the impact it makes on human life. It endangers public safety and creates additional expenses for the costs to repair parking structures, bridges, and signs. Electrical towers are in jeopardy, as are traffic lights and street lighting. Corrosion costs the nation hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Fix for Corrosion

In addition to relying on stellite manufacturing to produce quality coatings for materials, more consistent use of thermal sprays can help reduce material degeneration. Many household items are already equipped with protective barriers, but technology can improve the delivery and quality of these protections.

Unless protective measures are taken, corrosion has the potential to wreak havoc on the nation’s infrastructure, industries, and public health.

5 Ways To Cool Off This Summer

If the temperature is starting to rise in your part of the world, you may be looking for ways to cool down. Sweltering summer heat can quickly drain your energy and leave you feeling less productive. Fortunately, here are five simple things you can do to cool off.

1. Fix Your Air Conditioning

If you’re fortunate enough to have an air conditioner, take the necessary steps to ensure it runs efficiently this summer:

  • Change the filter on a regular basis
  • Clean the outside condenser
  • Make sure there’s enough space around the condenser

If your AC unit isn’t working, hire a certified technician to perform air conditioning repairs Durham NC.

2. Stay Hydrated

One of the most important things you can do personally is staying hydrated. Too many people fail to drink enough water each day. Your body won’t be able to cool itself off without the right amount of moisture provided by water. There are some simple ways to drink more water: keep a reusable water bottle by you all day, drink a full glass of water before each meal and set reminders on your phone.

3. Open Windows and Use Fans

If the temperature in your area is between 50- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit during the morning or evening, open the windows to allow a cool breeze to blow through your home. The cooler outdoor air can pull the warmer air out of your home. You can also use fans to cool off if you’re going to be spending time in one particular area.

4. Close Curtains and Blinds

While it’s nice to open curtains and blinds to let natural light in, it’s better to close them during hot weather. This is especially true with windows that face the morning and evening sun because it shines directly in and heats up the indoors.

5. Cook Outside or With Alternatives

In hot weather, plan to cook outside on a BBQ grill or use alternative cooking methods like slow cookers and pressure cookers. Not using the oven will help keep your indoor temperature down.

Summer is full of fun activities and hot weather. Keep yourself cool by using one or more of these methods.

4 Prep Areas to Address Before Clearing Your Land

If you’ve purchased a property and need to have the land cleared, there are several things you need to do before you can start the process. A complete land clearing will remove plants rocks, and other debris from the property, and it is often done by clearing contractors like those working in agricultural excavation Houston TX areas.

Start With Zoning Laws

Before you know what work can be done, you need to check with your local zoning office. The zoning laws are often divided by category, and officials can tell you if a permit is required and the cost to obtain one. Not having a permit could result in steep fines and serious delays with your building project.

Research Local Contractors

While there are many rental service companies that can provide some tools to help with land clearing, you are better off hiring an expert. They don’t all specialize in the same area of clearing, so know the scope of your project before hiring someone. You will also want to make sure they have a business license and insurance. The right contractor can make sure your job is done timely and safely.

Mark the Land

Depending on the extent of the clearing, you may need to worry about buried gas lines or field lines. If you are building, you will also need to mark the footprint of any buildings or structures being erected on the property. You may need to have a surveyor come out before this is done to document the boundaries of your property and the different elements of the topography.

Decide Your Budget

How much you are willing to spend influences how much land clearing will be done. If the terrain is woodsy or sloped, it will increase the price of services. Different land types affect what type of equipment will be needed.

Land clearing isn’t a one-size-fits-all service. Make sure you prepare your property before getting an estimate from a clearing company.  

3 Things to Consider When Renting Your Home

You’ve decided to rent out your home, but now the real work starts. While painting, replacing carpets, and making other aesthetic improvements is very important, here are 3 other things to consider when renting your home for the first time.

Protect Your Property with Insurance

Rental insurance is an essential part of protecting the assets inside and outside of your home. Renter’s insurance can cover the cost of lost or damaged items, but it can also be used in the event of a disaster or, in some cases, it can be used to pay for an alternative place for your renter to live (such as a hotel) should your HVAC malfunction or should something else happen that would deem the home uninhabitable. 

Hire a Property Manager

If you aren’t the type of person who is willing to take calls at all hours of the day and night, then you may want to consider hiring someone to do property management Watauga County. A property manager acts as a landlord and is the first line of contact for your renter. They will handle all maintenance issues and act as a middleman between you and your renter-so you don’t have to get involved in any awkward situations.

Always Be Prepared for a Bad Tenant

As terrible as this sounds, sometimes even the best tenants can turn sour. Understand the costs and rules associated with eviction in case you have to do it suddenly. Typically, if a tenant does not leave when asked, you cannot simply kick them out and you may have to go to court, which is not always a cheap undertaking. 

Renting your home is a great way to make money, but it can take some getting used to. Ensure that you understand the key tasks that need to be handled in advance, and you’ll have a profitable investment property. 

Ways to Make Your Landscaping Stand Out

Summer is a great time for spending time with friends and loved ones out in the sun. It’s also a great time to get those projects done around the house that you’ve been putting off until the weather got nicer. Many homeowners use the warm summer months as an opportunity to spruce up their landscaping. If you’re a homeowner then you know how much time and effort go into landscaping. If you’ve been putting it off, here are some easy ways to make your landscaping stand out this summer. 

Mulch

Mulching around your home is a great way to add some color and interest around your home. It contrasts nicely with plants and also provides a protective barrier against weeds and other pests that may want to get at your plants or blight your landscaping. You can have mulch delivery cincinnati right to your door so you don’t have to waste time running to the store to get what you need, so you can start right away applying mulch around your home.

Add Color

After a long, dull winter, many homeowners are ready to add some color to their lives. A great way to do that is to purchase annuals such as flowers to put around your home. Flowers are beautiful and fragrant and can attract bees and hummingbirds around your home, which is an added bonus if you love to watch birds. If you’d rather not deal with annual flowers, there are plenty of perennials you can purchase that will bloom each year. 

Garden Items

From lawn gnomes and hummingbird feeders to birdbaths and garden statues, you’ll never run out of interesting things to place in your landscaping around your home. Find some garden items that reflect your personal style and add them around your home to provide your landscaping with additional interest and flair. 

Using these simple tips, your landscaping will be summer ready in no time. 

Preparing Your Rural Property for a New House

More people than ever before are moving away from the cities and into the suburbs. For some, nearby housing communities are not far enough away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Those individuals are choosing to build homes on rural properties located in the country. If you are one of those independent, countryside loving people, here are some helpful hints about what you can expect when you build a rural home.

Dirt

Unless your property is perfectly flat, slopes must be leveled, and dips should be filled in. Your contractor will hire a bulldozer or earthmover that will flatten the ground before home construction can begin. Depending on how much soil is displaced, a dump truck may be needed to haul the big rocks and extra dirt away.

Vegetation

If your acreage has trees, brush, and other types of vegetation growing on it, some of the trees may need to be removed or cleaned up before preparing the ground for building. Call in a tree services Green Cove Springs FL, to grind the stumps and eliminate hazardous branches.

Drainage

Proper drainage is essential for country homes. Water levels naturally rise and fall during the year, and when the water tables are high, the liquid could seep into your house. Your contractor will establish a sufficient drainage area around your home and your septic tank – if you have one.

Utilities

Country utilities may not automatically be provided to your building site. In fact, many companies request homeowners pay to have pipes, lines, and fibers laid to the edge of the lot. Water in rural areas often comes from wells dug near the house, and internet choices may be limited.

When choosing to build a country home, there are many new and exciting rural experiences you will encounter. Hopefully, the majority of those new events will be positive!