How to design your game room?

A game room is an extraordinary piece of everybody’s home, not only for the children but rather for the whole family. It is great if you could have a room loaded with game tables like a foosball table, ping pong table, billiard or even Play Station or other gaming consoles. It is not impossible if you already own one room at home which you don’t utilize.  If you aren’t sure where to put it I would definitely recommend the cellar.  After all, it is the most popular place for a game room. But, do you know how you can design a game room in your home? I want to share with you important steps which will help you in your task of making a game room:

Measure wanted room

It is not enough to look at the room and imagine where you would put the furniture; you have to measure the room. That will enable you to compose the space without too big furniture. You can isolate the gaming tables away from the TV region and, if there is a room, you can put a hangout region. That way you can play on the foosball table in one corner and chat with your companions in the other. Just make sure that you have the space for it.

Think about the design of the room

When you first enter the room, it will be an empty space which means you can start from scratch. The thing about the wall color and the position of the lights in the room. Keep the color bright and light if you are in the cellar because most cellars don’t have big windows. That way the room will feel bigger and brighter, not like the dungeon. Likewise, you can play with the lighting. Put the light on the game tables which will be better for the match, yet keep the TV zone darker. That way you can utilize it as your cinema too.

Equip the room

Now that the walls and the lights are done, you can finally start equipping the room. If you want to have a game table, I suggest a foosball table. It takes less space than billiard. Remember that you require around 3-5 feet space for a foosball table. In the computer games territory, you can pick the diversion seats which are intended for this specific circumstance. They are useful for your back and you won’t feel cramped when you stand up. The TV zone (or the cinema region) is the best to load with additional sofa, easy chair or tabouret. Remember to put some delicate covers on the motion picture night.

AS you can see, you don’t need much for making your dream room come true. The only thing that will keep the process painless is a good organization. That is why it is always better to divide your work into steps you can see in the article.

 Author bio: Mark is a blogger who has a blog about foosball. On that blog he expounds on the foosball world, from fundamental things like how to play foosball to the more confused things like how to pick your foosball table and how to look after it. All that you can read on his blog called Foosball Zone.


measure game table and adult corner

Making Your Home Hazard-Free

We work so hard making savings towards owning a home such that when we buy the home, we forget to make it a haven. It is important to take note of unsafe conditions within the home and repair them in time before a hazard strikes. For instance, it takes one fire to realize that you should have replaced that smoke detector that broke a few years back. The most common accidents in the home include falls, poisoning, fires, choking, and drowning. It is important to take care of broken fixtures around the home that will lead to such accidents.



Doctors’ worldwide report having treated majority of injuries from falls making it one of the most common household hazards within the home. Falls arise from having slippery floors, scattered toys, and slippery stairs. Falls cause potentially risky injuries to the brain, bones and the spine. It is important to minimize falling risks by stabilizing the staircases by having handrails installed. Ensure adequate lighting to prevent one missing a step. Secure the bathroom by having proper drainage of water to prevent water slipping out causing wet floors. Install non-slip stickers on the bathroom floor to prevent slipping on wet floors. Have a secure storage place for children toys to avoid adults tripping on toys that are lying around the home. Clear clutter in the outdoors that may cause injuries to children as they play outdoors.



Majority of house maintenance and cleaning supplies pose poisoning hazards to your family. Always store medications out of children’s reach. Secure paints, chemicals, and detergents in areas away from the foods. Have latches and locks on doors of storage cabinets or rooms containing hazardous personal products such as soaps, hair products, and body products and ensure to dispose of correctly their empty containers after use.



Fires cause devastating damage to your home including the loss of life to both humans and their pets. It is necessary to install some fixtures that will help prevent a fire becoming uncontrollable. Ensure that all electrical wires are unfrayed and unplug electrical appliances when not in use. Avoid overloading electrical outlets by plugging the right appliance in the right outlet. Have a fire alarm and smoke detector installed in your home and change the batteries regularly. Also, consider having a fire extinguisher installed in the home especially near the kitchen and regularly check that it is in good working condition.



Research indicates that chocking is the fourth largest cause of accidental deaths. Chocking is scary, and therefore one should arm themselves with information about chocking to keep the family safe. Keep your home safe by inspecting children’s small toys to avoid swallowing. Cut up foods into small pieces that can be easily chewed by children and ensure to supervise the kids during playtime.



There are rising cases of deaths through drowning in the bathtubs. Keep buckets locked up after use. Always close the toilet lid and never leave the child unsupervised during swimming and bathing.  

How to Increase the Value of Your Home on a Budget

When considering putting your house on the market, it is important to consider getting the maximum value out of your equity. Remodeling your home is the best option to increase your equity. However, consider any form of remodeling on a budget to ensure that when selling the home, one maximizes on the profits. Plan the remodel in phases with consideration to the money and time it entails. Have realistic goals to help determine realistic activities for the project. Prioritize the activities to determine which sections of your home require an immediate fix and which improvements are mandatory. Talk to your realtor to help determine which remodeling areas will lead to more returns or an increase in value to your home. Consider the following options to boost your property value on a budget.


Structural Problems

Structural problems are the essential fixes to be done in your home that may seem costly but guarantee a great rate of return when selling the property. Have a list of the structural structures to be fixed such as a sagging or leaking roof, cracks on the walls and floors, rotten timbers, rats and insect infestation, missing or broken tiles and a collapsed floor. It is important to identify and fix such problems before moving into the property.


Update the Services

Services such as electrical wiring and plumbing ducts that may require the lifting of floors, chasing of walls are necessary before moving in as they are quite disruptive.  Consider rewiring the house installing modern circuits and more sockets with attractive switches, lighting, and sockets to increase the property value. Change the pipework in the property installing pressurized systems to free up space for other fixtures and to avoid leaks as well as rattling noises.


Clean Your Home

A dirty home will put buyers off and result in a decrease in property value. A bright, clean and neat home will attract buyers. Fix small problems as they arise before they convert into expensive fixes. Ensure to declutter your home, give some of the excess property to a charity or organize yard sales to avoid clutter. Regularly clean and maintain the area around the house to prevent mold, fungi as well as insects such as ants and rats inhabiting your home and causing damage to your fixtures. Ensure to fix strange odors from home by airing constantly and fixing dampness within the home.


Consider Having Cosmetic Improvements

Consider adding cosmetic improvements to your property by adding new flooring, redecorating the home, landscaping, remodeling the kitchen, bathrooms, attic space etc. and changing some of the appliances in the home such as installing a modern bathtub, ceiling, kitchenware, lighting etc. to enhance the property value. Cosmetic improvements increase the aesthetic appeal of the property attracting buyers to the home while masking some problems existing within the property.

Making low-cost improvements to your property helps to make great returns when reselling the property helping to get your home quickly sold.

Effective Ways of Planning Your HOA Budget

There are various budget requirements homeowners are required to fulfill that can prove to be quiet stressful if not taken into account in time. The various budgetary requirements for homeowners or HOA board members include disclosures to HOA members, assessment limitations, government regulations time restrictions, and budgetary constraints. The budgeting process, therefore, should be broken down into achievable steps that could ease the budgeting process. Planning your HOA budget also guarantees your selling the property for up to double its value. Planning also ensures the smooth implementation of last minute changes requested by homeowners and investors within the neighborhood.

Always plan your budget at least five months before the implementation year to avoid panic and executing a stressful project. Project your annual incomes and expenses to come with realistic activities within the budget that can are achievable. Make a list of the assets and achievable operations beforehand. The list should include the utility costs, income statements, financial statement for the current year and previous year, and insurance quotes. Remember your budget should enable achievement of the maintenance plan, social activities, and capital improvements geared towards the resident’s satisfaction.

Prioritize the properties that are important to fix regarding cost based on what needs fixing and the location of the property to project the long-term returns of the project. Consider outlining the projects to be achievable projects in a business plan to determine which activities are most crucial that require immediate implementation and their various costs. Outline the repair costs as well to accommodate for uncontrollable circumstances such as extreme weather conditions that may cause breakages that will lead to a rise in cost within the fiscal year. Set a reserve for legal costs as well to cater for any arising emergencies that may require legal representation.

Establish the mandatory requirements stipulated by the homeowner’s associations that may require reserve contributions. For instance, the homeowner’s association may require that all homes within the neighborhood have a minimum given some rooms, which may require your adding some rooms to meet the requirements. The addition will incur a cost, which if not budgeted for will be a strain to the homeowner. A delay in the implementation of the homeowners’ association requirements also lowers your property value.

Evaluate your utilities and focus on preventive maintenance whereby you maintain your property in good condition and add some fixtures that will help you save on utility costs and at the same time enhance the outlook of your property to ensure an increase in the property value. Fix problems as they arise rather than waiting for serious replacements that may cost a fortune.

Ensure to involve the resident, as they are the affected parties. When residents are involved in the budgeting process, you eliminate delinquents and unnecessary politics. Remember the budgeting process is to enable maintenance of given standards that will enable all residents to enhance their property values as they enjoy the quality of life.  The residents should embrace the process for effectiveness.

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Creating a Beautiful Building with Curb Appeal

Any building, whether private or public, should have a pleasing look. First impressions really do matter. A building that looks good the moment it is seen is a building that will invite potential tenants and clients inside. If you own a building, you might be thinking the many ways you can make it look better. It’s easier than ever before to make the front of the space look appealing. You can use many kinds of techniques to help it come to life. Such techniques can also help you increase the value of the building and the lot as well as making the entire space safer at the same time. It’s important to explore your options and think about what works best for your professional needs. 

Exterior Materials 

One of the best ways to make your building look fabulous is with the use of exterior materials. For example, copper cladding, as those at Pro Facade know, has become increasingly popular in recent years. Lightweight materials can be added to the side of any building. Cladding helps add an element of surprise to the building and make it unique. It also helps reduce sound penetration and keep the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Using cladding also helps create spaces that look up to date and exude an air of modern flair. The cladding can be custom designed for each space, making it easy to get a look that has been customized to a specific space and building. 

Using Landscaping 

Another way to create a building and lot with more curb appeal is with the use of landscaping. Landscaping should focus on all areas of the property including the front yard, the areas around the sides and the back of it. A good landscaper can help the entire space come to life and be full of pleasing colors and scents. Landscaping should include annual and perennial plants that come alive all year long. It should also include attention to details like height. The use of large trees against a wall can help draw the eyes upwards. The use of smaller bushes is also effective as it can help create privacy and allow people to work without feeling spied upon as they go about their daily work plans. 

Creating a Walkway 

All those who view a building will start with the walkway to the building. A walkway should be free of any impediments and lead directly to the buildings front doors. Use materials that are easy on the feet and yet durable. Concrete is ideal in urban areas while materials like brick can work well in more suburban communities. A good walkway can help draw in customers and make it easy to get in and out. Careful attention to all the details of the entire space is vitally important when making the lot look attractive. It’s vitally important to provide elegant and useful details that help bring it to wonderful life.

5 Reasons to Give Thanks for Your HOA

As you’re prepping the turkey and stuffing and planning any travel to see family members this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to use it as an opportunity to give thanks for everything in your life — including your homeowners association!

Here are five reasons to give special thanks for your community this year (and every year):

#1 The Sense of Community

This one might be pretty obvious, but it’s too often overlooked and not remembered enough. Being in a homeowners association often provides a great sense of community, especially if your board holds regular social events and meetings to bring everyone together. This encourages others to join and draw in quality community members that care about where they live. If you can, even plan a Thanksgiving-themed event in the association that everyone can enjoy before having their personal celebrations.

#2 Special Amenities

Many HOAs have their own pools, clubhouses, gyms, and other amenities that normally most homeowners wouldn’t have themselves. Those are great reasons to be thankful for what’s provided to the community.

#3 Maintenance Services

Maintenance services provided in most HOAs cover areas, such as buildings and landscaping, that homeowners and community members don’t have to worry about. This can save a lot of money and hassle, especially for those who have disabilities or aren’t home enough to handle certain aspects of maintenance.

#4 More Security

Most associations have enhanced security and a better sense of safety than properties outside of an association. This is increased when the sense of community is strong. Security might include patrols at night, private gates or security systems, or a neighborhood watch program. Either way, feeling secure where you live is a great reason to be thankful.

#5 Community Volunteers

Any board member knows the struggle involved with getting some community members to volunteer for positions, so be thankful for those who do show interest or volunteer their time to devote to the association. And be thankful for yourself, too! Being on the Board of Directors is not an easy task, but it’s a noble position that benefits everyone in your community.

Being a member of an HOA includes many reasons to be thankful each year, and taking some time to recognize those can go a long way. You might include some of these reasons in your weekly newsletter to members, and let them know you’re thankful for them being a part of the community too!

Are You Asking Enough Questions Before Hiring an HOA Contractor?

The HOA board is responsible for making decisions when the community is in need of maintenance or repair. Different skill sets are required based on the area of need, so it’s important to be mindful of the contractor you use to get the job done. It’s easy to go with anyone and assume they’re able to perform whatever type of work you need, but that line of thinking can get you in a lot of trouble. Let’s go over the top factors to consider when hiring a contractor to work on your HOA.

Are They Licensed and Bonded?

This is so important. Always be sure the work being done is performed by a company that is licensed and insured. Yes, other companies might be cheaper, but they are cheap for a reason. Having insurance means you have protection is the contractor doesn’t complete the full work for some reason or if someone gets hurt on your property.

Ask each contractor you interview for proof of insurance and verify with the insurance company to make sure it’s legit.

Ask Questions

Be sure the contractor is knowledgeable in the area of work you need. Ask them how they will handle the project and what they know about the process. Look for someone who has done the type of work you need many times before and seems confident in it. You’ll also want to do a review of their online status. Google their name and see what their online ratings look like. How are they rated with the Better Business Bureau? And do they have a company website?

Set Scope of Work

If you find a  roofing contractor you’re impressed with, start talking about the specifics of the work. Be clear about costs, expected timeline, and materials needed. The bigger the project, the more you’ll want to go over details and be clear on expectations. This will help you avoid any surprises or disappointments down the road. And board members will be able to watch the work in progress knowing what’s expected.

Get Contact Information

Do this way before the work begins. Tell the company your preferred form of communication, then get more than one form of contact for them — preferably at least two phone numbers. Also, find out when they are available to answer during the day and make sure they are responsive while doing the work.

If you have any doubts about hiring a contractor, a homeowners association management company can also help guide you or give you a list of companies they suggest.

How to Stay Neutral as an HOA During Election Time

Election season is in full swing, and it’s usually expected to see people supporting their political views publicly, often in the form of yard signs, flags, or car stickers. And while it’s of course fine to have members in your HOA with passionate and opposing views, you also want to make sure everyone sticks to your HOA’s rules related to this.

Know Your CC&Rs

So, are members in your HOA allowed to post political signs in their yards? That can depend on your state and your rules. In some states, HOAs have to allow political signs, but they have to be restricted to a certain size. Others prohibit them completely. Encourage each owner to understand your state’s and HOA’s specific rules before putting up anything about the election outside their home.

And of course, make sure you as a board understand the rules so you can relay them to any owners who ask. And always be sure that the board and HOA as a whole sustains a completely neutral bias during each campaign election. You can, however, encourage homeowners to go out and vote.

And remember that if your CC&Rs conflict with the law, the law does take priority. If you have any questions or doubt about what to follow, speak with your attorney and call on your HOA manager to help you deal with any conflicts of interest among members.

Remain Unbiased Online Too

Remember that there shouldn’t be any leanings towards one political view or another on anything related to HOA business, including the HOA website, social media accounts, and (online and offline) newsletters.

Finally, send out reminders to owners during each election season about what is and isn’t allowed, and encourage everyone to remain respectful of their neighbors’ opinions. We all know politics can get heated, and it’s important to maintain the sense of community among HOA neighbors despite any conflicting views.

3 Ways HOA Management Can Benefit Your Association

At some point, every HOA will turn to the question, “should we work with a homeowners association management company?” It’s an important question that should take time and consideration based on the association.

It can be tempting to do it all yourselves in an attempt to save money on management frees each month, but you also have to account for the amount of time and work you’ll save — not to mention the expertise you’ll gain.

To give your board a better picture of the the positive of HOA management, here are three of the top reasons a management company can provide value to your HOA:

#1 HOA Managers are Professionals.

Those working at an HOA management company are professionals who are trained to handle many different types of challenges HOAs run across. They are dedicated to helping you succeed, and they have the experience to help you think long-term and make decisions based on what is best overall for your community.

Plus, they have the time to dedicate to your association. Most board members are volunteers who have other lives outside of the HOA and who aren’t receiving payment for their time. But for HOA managers, managing your HOA is their job. So they can spend that extra time helping to make decisions and bringing their full attention. They also understand best practices for HOA business and requirements.

#2 They Enforce the Rules

Since board members are also living in the HOA, it can become awkward to always enforce rules that you know are affecting those living around you. When you have a management company, it’s an unbiased third party that can help you navigate tricky conversations and situations you might not know how best to handle. Plus, they can make decisions that isn’t as “close to home” for them since the are seeing the big picture without too much of an emotional attachment.

#3 They are Organized

HOA managers bring good communication, organization, and a solid structure when running your association. For example, they often have full accounting teams to provide accounting services and help with payments. They’ll also have staff available to quickly answer emails and phone calls that come in, as well as help you set up or improve your association website. This makes each process more enjoyable for both the board members and those in the community.

You always want to consider all aspects of HOA management before making a decision about whether or not it’s right for your association. You might find a little extra management is just what your HOA needs to meet its goals.