How to Choose a Drywall Contractor

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The first things people see when they come into your home is your walls. If they have been installed by a professional like Lloyd Claycomb II and you have looked after them properly, your home will make fantastic first impression. If they are starting to crumble, however, it may be time to find a good contractor to fix the issue and do a good job. But what makes a good contractor?

  1. Experience

First of all, you need to make sure that the company you work with has at least one member of staff with five years’ experience or more. Usually, five years is the minimum required to become a truly skilled drywall taper, as this will have given them the time to learn about all the different complexities. Experience takes time, after all.

  1. Quotes

Secondly, you need to get quotes from at least three different companies, although preferably five. What you will find is that there will be great differences between each of those quotes. This is because they all have different charges and costings. You need to take a good look at what each of the costs does and does not include. You need to find the quote that offers the best value for money, which is not necessarily the lowest price.

  1. Check the Phonebook and the Internet

Usually, a good drywall contractor will advertise both online and in the phonebook. If they do not have this, then you need to ask yourself why. Does it mean that they don’t have faith in their own skills, or perhaps that they don’t really want to be found at all? Considering a lot of advertisements are available for free, not having a presence like this should be a real red flag to you.

  1. Ignore the Lowest Quote

As previously said, you shouldn’t be looking for the lowest quote, but rather to the best value for money. A quote that is surprisingly low, or even significantly lower than other quotes, is another red flag. It is possible, for instance, that the company is not properly licensed, registered, and insured. It is also possible that they do not pay their staff the salaries they deserve. Alternatively, the quote may be artificially low because it doesn’t show the cost of things like materials.

  1. Get References

Last but not least, the company should be more than happy to provide you with references. What is even better, however, is to find these references yourself through independent sources. Social media is a really good platform for this, as are internet forums. You can simply ask people whether they have had experiences with the company you are considering and see what they have to tell you. No matter how good someone is at marketing and advertising, word of mouth will forever be the best way to find out what is really going on.

With these five tips, you should be able to find the best drywall contractor for your needs.

How to Build and Design the Ultimate Man Cave

Are you tired of tripping over toys every time you walk into your house? Are you sick of seeing your office overrun with piles a laundry, broken electronics equipment, kitchen appliances, and tons of other things that don’t belong there?

It’s time to take back your life. It’s time to build and design the ultimate man cave. If you’re worried this is going to be a huge DIY project that you’ll never accomplish, it’s also time to get your priorities straight because your line of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.

With prefabricated steel buildings, it’s easier than ever to build a man cave. You’ll have a place to call your own right on your property that’ll feel like an impenetrable fortress of manly solitude.

Building Your Man Cave from the Ground Up Is Easier Than You Think

You might think building a prefabricated steel structure is going to be a real pain in the neck. But nothing could be further from the truth. These structures were specifically designed with the average handyman in mind, and all the pieces were precisely designed to fit together easily to make construction a breeze.

The most difficult decision is picking the perfect spot in your backyard to build this amazing steel structure. You’ll want it close enough to your home so you can easily get inside if there were ever an emergency. But you also want it far enough away so you aren’t easily disturbed during your man time.

According to American Steel Span, creators of metal hangars for airplanes, “Adding a new metal garage or storage space to your property can boost your home’s value by as much as 14% and they consistently retain their value.” Not only are you building an awesome man cave, you’re increasing your property value by as much as 14%. Sounds like a win-win situation all around.

Visualize Your Space and What You Want in It

Now that you’ve built your prefabricated metal building, it’s time to walk through this empty canvas with visualization in mind. By taking this time to get a good feel for your space as you look it over, inspiration will most likely strike and you’ll suddenly visualize exactly how you want your man cave to be.

Do you want to have a bar inside? Do you want a pool table? Do you want a large flat screen TV with cable or satellite and a top-of-the-line sports package? Do you want Internet access? Are you going to add a dartboard? How about video games?

Think about your hobbies and all your favorite things to do. Start asking yourself important questions about the things you want inside of your man cave. This is your place to go to when you need to relax, so it has to completely meet every one of your needs if it’s ever going to fulfill its purpose.

Call Up Your Buddies, Invite Them Over, and Let Them Help You

It’s highly unlikely you’re going to be the only person to enjoy and experience your man cave. If you have friends that you intend to invite over on a regular basis, you should call them up and ask for their ideas.

Even though it’s your man cave, these guys will spend lots of time there with you. So it makes sense to ask them for help. They’ll have some amazing ideas you might’ve missed and your man cave will be better off because of their suggestions.

Conclusion

Building the ultimate man cave is a dream many guys have. If you’re ready to take the challenge, just know it’s going to be easier to build and design than you think.

Pat Sava is an influencer marketing pro with brownboxbranding.com who is passionate about building authentic relationships and helping businesses connect with their ideal online audience. He keeps his finger on the pulse of the ever-evolving digital marketing world by writing on the latest marketing advancements​ and focuses on developing customized blogger outreach plans based on industry and competition.

Best neighborhoods in Miami to buy a home

The last few years have cemented what many have been thinking: the real estate market in the Miami area is back with a vengeance. With Florida mortgages still being relatively affordable compared to where they were before the 2008 crash, now is the time to get in before things get crazy again.

With plenty of homes in desirable neighborhoods below their historical value, now is the time to stop renting and start building some equity in one of the most dynamic cities in the Americas.

If you are ready to put some skin into the property investing game, here are some neighborhoods where you should begin your search.

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1) North Miami Beach

Undoubtedly, Miami Beach is one of Greater Miami’s most glamorous spots. However, many buyers looking to invest in the real estate market in Miami erroneously assume they could never afford to put a down payment on a shoebox there, let alone a condo.

While this might be true in South Beach and Miami Beach proper, the city of North Miami Beach is home to developments that are more accessible to the entry-level real estate investor.

Located on the Intracoastal Waterway across from the northern reaches of Miami Beach, you won’t be far from the hottest action this area has to offer, but you’ll get to come home to a quiet, established neighborhood filled with long-time residents.

Around home, you’ll have easy access to Miami’s Chinatown, situated between 163rd and 167th Street on the west end of town and filled with plenty of amazing dining and shopping options from the Far East.

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2) Coconut Grove

Looking to get value for your real estate dollar? If you aren’t opposed to buying previously owned homes, investing in Coconut Grove might be a good move for you.

As the oldest neighborhood in Miami, and the historic center of this city’s counterculture movement, this place has an interesting backstory to it.

Today, it is one of the most sought after addresses in the city, as it is close to downtown, a number of glitzy high rise developments have broken ground here in recent years, it has marinas filled with expensive yachts, as well as a downtown filled with trendy businesses.

The newer properties may be out of reach, but there are plenty of bungalows from the 60s and 70s and condos that may work for your budget if you act fast.

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3) Wynwood

Want to live downtown? Out of all the options available, Wynwood is the one that has the perfect combination of amenities, value for money, and a location that puts you within a healthy stroll from Miami’s CBD.

With over 70 art galleries and frequent on-street art installations throughout the year, culturally-attuned individuals will love living in this part of Miami.

Additionally, with plenty of trendy microbreweries and restaurants, you won’t ever be left wanting for innovative food and drink options, which is good news for those days when you don’t feel like cooking.

Beautiful Ornamental Grasses to Create the Garden of Your Dreams

A lot of people plant ornamental grasses, and they are very popular with professional landscapers and garden and farm designers. One of the reasons for this is that grasses like blue grama are incredibly versatile. They add more movement, color, and texture to a garden, turning it into a place of true natural beauty.

Also, most ornamental grasses can cope with almost any type of soil. They are quite low-maintenance, which means they are perfect for domestic gardens as well. Best of all, you can really let your personal garden vision shine through, adding them to other plants and perennials to create stunning and unique effects. Ornamental grasses are perfect to blend textures and colors, after all.

You can also create a strong vertical presence by adding ornamental grasses here and there. There are lots of different varieties to choose from, and you can buy them from garden nurseries or, now, even online. Do make sure that you look at where the grasses should be planted. Some prefer wet conditions, others like slight moisture, and others still fare best in dry conditions. Of course, what matters most is that you choose a grass that really goes with your landscape. You can usually also purchase grass seeds, and you will find that these tend to have stunning little flowers in the spring. Plus, if you really have green fingers, you may be able to divide them and propagate them, so that you get even more grass.

Generally speaking, grasses are native, which means they are less likely to get diseases or pests. So long as they get the right nutrition from the soil, and the right amount of sunlight, they will do really well and make your garden more beautiful. A slight breeze will sway them, making your entire landscape move. Plus, you can use them to attract wildlife, like insects, birds, and butterflies. Some of the best ornamental grasses to choose from this, besides blue grama, include June grass, velvet grass, ribbon grass, dwarf pampas grass, and lemongrass.

The best time to plant your grasses tends to be during the spring, which will enable them to grow healthy roots and be well-established by winter time. However, you also plant them in August or September, so long as they have enough fertilization and moisture, enabling them to strengthen as well. However, if you do this, you will have to mulch them in the winter so that the delicate root system is protected from the cold and frost. Drought is usually not a very big issue once the grass has grown to maturity, so care and maintenance is kept at a minimum.

Because of the low maintenance, the easy of growing, the beauty, and the various other benefits of ornamental grasses, they truly are the perfect choice for a home garden. Spend some time in your local garden centers and online to find the grasses most suitable to your needs. Because you have such diversity of choices available, you will be able to create a truly unique garden.

Which Furniture Is Right for Properties with Limited Space?

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It is quite difficult to pick the right furniture, because there is so much available! Finding a furniture store is really easy, because these stores are just about everywhere! But they don’t all sell what you want, and this needs to be your starting point.

What Do You Want?

There are a few questions you need to ask yourself in order to determine what type of furniture you like. These questions include:

  • Do you want a modern, open, and airy room, or would you prefer rich furnishings and solid wood?
  • Are you looking for a cool home, or a romantic one?
  • What solid material do you like most – glass, stone, wood, or metal?
  • What sort of colors do you like?

Once you know this, you can get the furniture that fits your personal needs. But it has to fit your home as well!

Furniture for Apartments and Studios

If you live in a small property, such as a studio or apartment, then you have much less choice. You need to go as minimalist as possible, so that you save space and can easily maintain things. Do also try to look for things that double as store, such as an ottoman chest, or a side table with drawers. Storage is significantly lacking in small properties, so this really is important. Also, try not to choose a huge couch, as it will dominate the room. Pastels make the room look slightly smaller, as well as warmer. Try to avoid patterns, however.

Looking next at your kitchen, it is likely that you will have very little space there. However, in studios, they tend to be designed to work. In fact, you shouldn’t need much furniture there, bar perhaps a breakfast table. Again, make sure that anything you do add, can also double as storage.

Then, there is the bedroom. Choosing the right bed is vital to building a home. If you are part of a couple, then you will need a double bed at least. Try to go for queen size as much as possible, avoiding king size and definitely super king size. Make sure that you have a good quality mattress. High panels should be avoided, as they make the room look even smaller. Again, try to opt for a bed that also acts as storage, such as a high raised bed with under-bed storage drawers. Do also choose a nice nightstand, and again pick something that also has a drawer and/or shelves, so that it functions as storage as well.

Lastly, there is your bathroom. Again, it is all about clever with your storage. Think corner shelving units or under-sink cupboards. Your windowsill, if you have one, is also an excellent storage space. Bathrooms always look small anyway, so try to stick to white walls and furniture wherever possible, using color for detail objects instead. You could, for instance, add a bathmat in a bright color, and make this match with your toothbrush holder.