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Six Storage Areas in Your HDB Flat You’re Probably Not Using

HDB flats are the cheap housing option in Singapore, but just because a space is a little cozy doesn’t mean you’re using the space as efficiently as you can. In fact, there’s a good chance there are still some spaces you’re missing out on.

Here are the five storage areas in your HDB flat that you’re probably not using enough:

The space above your bed

The space directly above your bed is the most under-utilized space in your entire home, and you want to make a shelf over your head for two reasons: (1) it can be a decorative space for paintings, houseplants, and decorative accessories; and (2) it can be a practical storage space (i.e. books, boxes for other stuff).

Overhead bed shelves can also work for your kids’ rooms, as long as they don’t fall over or bump their heads every time they try to reach for something.

The space under your bed

Under your bed is another useful storage area just waiting for you to use to its fullest advantage. Just because it’s dusty doesn’t mean you can’t use it for stowing stuff away – all you need is a vacuum cleaner and the right storage containers and you’re good to go!

Behind your door

The space behind your door has more utility than simply installing a coat rack. When you build a shelf in this area just the right way, you don’t need to worry about stuff getting knocked over every time it swings open.

Add a clothes rod to your floating shelves

Already have a floating shelf or two installed? Make them even more useful by bolting a clothes rod directly underneath that shelf for easy access for your clothes, including uniforms or your work attire.

Overhead space

Floating shelves and cabinets installed on the upper parts of your walls clear up much more space than a standard shelf. Instead of taking up floor space, they can be bolted to any height you want.

Unlike ordinary shelves and cabinets, floating shelves give you better options in customizing your storage space that emphasize on both aesthetics and functionality.

Consider a Self-Storage Company for Your Storage Needs

If you just don’t have enough space in your home, you have two options to manage your belongings: donate the things you don’t need, or call in the help of a self-storage company to provide a reliable storage option for your belongings.   

Self-storage comes in many different options depending on the space that you need. Some options offer the space of a walk-in closet or a child’s room, while others can be as big as a one-car garage or even a two-car garage.

A Guide to Commercial and Residential Painting

Looking for the best painter in Singapore to complete a condo painting project? Or is your office in need of the best painting services for exterior and interior makeover? Check out the different options you can enjoy from HBD painting service, the best painting contractor in the country.

Professional Preparation
Painting services should always include professional prep right after the inspection and estimation. Any furniture and item that can be removed must be covered and relocated, including outlet and switch covers, down spouts, and shutters. Commercial buildings in Singapore might also include parts such as metal surfaces, steel panels, paneling, siding, cladding, roofs, framing and support structures. The walls must also be prepared to make sure that the paint will last for years. Scraping, caulking, sanding, and priming are part of the painting preparation.

Professional Cleanup
Exterior painting projects take more preparation time than when doing interior painting. Commercial buildings in need of repainting will need power washing (hot or cold), treatments, sandblasting, and repairs before any work can commence. For large-scale projects such as these, you should only contact a reputable painting contractor. They will also make sure to take precautions when safeguarding other areas in the building such as gardens or landscaping, so that the daily operations can continue. Most commercial buildings have different services rates compared to a residential paint contractor.

Interior Painting
Condo painting for interiors can be done room by room. A good house painter in Singapore, however, has more considerations to keep in mind when doing interior versus exterior painting. The occupants and the property must be protected, and if possible, daily routine must only be minimally interrupted while the interior house painting is ongoing.

Several steps are taken to ensure that the interior painting project is a success. These include the moving of furniture, removal of outlet and switch covers, drywall repair, sanding, taping and back filling, priming, drywall review, finishing coat, and cleanup. Commercial buildings need not worry about having their business interrupted by the HBD painting contractor, because they can work around the business hours to finish the project on the agreed schedule.

Exterior Painting
Condo painting for exteriors is a bit more complicated than interior painting projects. That’s because the preparation can take some time before the crew will start to paint the wall. The painter ensures that the following steps are followed: power washing of the exterior surface, scraping to reveal solid edge, removal of the down spouts and shutters, caulking (for seams and cracks), masking and covering of landscape and features that cannot be removed, and painting. The type of paint applied, the cost of paint, and the paint colours appropriate for the building depends on the material of the surface and the effect the owner wants to achieve, especially if it’s a commercial painting service job.

Project Follow-Up
A good painting contractor will guarantee that the result of the work will last for years. They will ensure this through inspection and follow-ups in case retouches are needed. Before a project is completed, the painting services company will schedule a final inspection and walkthrough of the building. Always hire a painter if you need touch-ups and to enjoy more options for a cheap house painting service.

5 Hand Tools You Should Have at Home

Whether it comes to maintenance or repair, hand tools are a must-have for any home, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared whenever something you need breaks, or if you need something installed. After all, living in Singapore is expensive, and the last thing you want is having to replace an expensive appliance.

There are many advantages to having these tools at hand – they make general repairs and basic maintenance faster and so much easier. Perhaps the best part about having these tools is that you can buy them at any hardware store, and are generally cheap.

1. Screwdriver
A third of every problem you will encounter at home will be because of a few screws loose, from faulty door knobs to shelf joints. With a screwdriver, these are avoidable.

Having both flathead and Phillips head (star screws) screwdrivers is a must, since most screws come in these shapes. Appliances with less common screw heads, such as a Robertson head (square drive), would usually come with their own special screwdrivers.

2. Hammer
If you need a pesky nail in place, you can stop scrounging around for something hard to hit it with until its head stops sticking out. Having a hammer in hand lets you not just stick nails in, but also remove them.

3. Pliers
It’s ill-advised to handle wiring without pliers, even if it’s disconnected from the power source. Even if you don’t run the risk of electrocuting yourself, scissors happen to be at cutting wires, and some wires aren’t exactly the most pliable with hands alone.

You should get at least two of these: one for cutting wires and rods (wire cutter), and one for gripping them (flat-nose or long-nose).

4. Duct Tape/Electrical Tape
Do you have exposed wires at home that could lead to potential electric or fire hazards? If you don’t, good for you. However, if it turns out that this is unavoidable, keep a few rolls of electrical tape at hand.

Be careful with electrical tape, though, as the adhesive eventually wears off when exposed to open air and heat.
A good option is duct tape. Why, you ask? The answer is simple – it’s reliable enough that Formula One pit stop crews use it on racecars to make quick repairs.

5. Hand Drill
You usually wouldn’t need a hand drill for the most part, but if you need to install a joint or a fixture, or even add screw slots in a wooden shelf, then this would certainly come in handy.

Electric drills often do the job for most things nicely, but a manual drill (reserved specifically for wood) is good as a last resort if the power goes out.

Be sure to store these tools in a dry environment, preferably a good-sized toolbox, to keep them from rusting. When kept well, you’ll never have to buy another one again.

What is the Difference between a Humidifier, a Dehumidifier, and an Air Purifier?

Singapore may be humid, but there are instances where a place, such as an office or your own home, may not have the same quality that you’re used to. Throughout the year, you may need the help of a machine to regulate the air quality depending on how dry or humid it is.

These devices should ideally keep the humidity in an enclosed area within thirty-five to forty-five percent. However, while these three devices may seem similar at first, they serve different purposes. Here they are for your consideration:

Humidifiers add humidity to the air, which is great for areas or rooms that feel too dry, which can cause sores and itching for sensitive skin that also dries out as a result. They usually come in four types: ultrasonic, evaporative, impeller-driven, and steam vaporizers.

Both ultrasonic and impeller-driven humidifiers produce a cool mist to add humidity to the room in different ways. The latter uses ultrasonic waves in order to produce mist, and the former uses a high-powered fan to evaporate the water into the air as a way to make cool mist.

Meanwhile, steam and evaporative vaporizers heat water into mist with electricity. While some models allow the mist to cool down slightly before exiting the machine, these models are usually known as warm mist humidifiers.

While humidifiers work by adding moisture into the air, dehumidifiers do the opposite by taking moisture from the air to lower its humidity. Dehumidifiers are often used for areas where the humidity is too high and needs to be lowered, such as rooms with little ventilation.

Reducing the humidity will also reduce the instances of allergens, such as mold and mildew, from thriving. This also makes them great for drying laundry indoors quickly and easily, aside from being generally easier to maintain than humidifiers.

However, if the lack of moisture triggers nasal allergies that are more prone to infection, a humidifier may be needed to add water into the air and keep the humidity at a level that will minimize said allergies.

Air Purifier
This device is helpful for those afflicted with an allergic reaction spread through dust mites, pollen, or pet hair. Air purifiers remove these pollutants and other particles from the indoor air and do so via two methods: mechanical filter and electrostatic filter.

While mechanical filters are fairly straightforward, electrostatic filters use static electricity in order to make suspended particles stick to a surface where they can be easily wiped. Purifiers can also produce either ozone or UV light, which may have their own side effects.

Ozone, for instance, should not be used if there are people nearby who suffer from respiratory problems such as asthma, and should instead be near purifiers that use ultraviolet light, which are often used in many hospitals and health centers.

(Disclaimer: This list is compiled in no particular order.)

Insider Things to Know About Hiring a Plumbing Contractor

There are certain types of home repair and maintenance work that an average homeowner can perform. When it comes to the plumbing system, however, it’s an entirely different story. Doing even the smallest mistake in your DIY plumbing repair could end up in a disaster. This is why it’s crucial that you call in a professional when something awry is happening with your plumbing system. But before you proceed on contacting the nearest plumbing contractor in your area, be sure to know the following information that your prospective plumber might not want you to know.

1. Getting a Recommendation is the Best Way to Go

There are several ways on how you can look for a reliable plumber like in Singapore, and perhaps the easiest way to find one is through knowing someone who is informed about the best person in the field. So rather than combing through the lists of plumbers found in the internet, contact a plumbing supply or a home repair store in your area to get an idea as to which plumbing companies in your area offers the best services.

2. Every Plumber Should be Licensed and Insured

Although it’s considered as a requirement by some, some plumbing contractors in Singapore are not licensed and insured. This is the reason why it’s crucial for you to ensure that the plumber you are planning to hire is licensed, since the license certifies that the individual is following the standard building codes and regulations in your region. Aside from that, the licenses and other certifications also verify that the contactor provided by the company has undergone all the necessary training and tests before being allowed to perform an actual plumbing system repair.

3. Certain Plumbing Issues Can Be Prevented

While some plumbing contractors provide preventive and maintenance care tips for your plumbing system, there are also others who will not inform you that your current issue is something that can be prevented. In most situations, you will need the help of a professional plumber, but there are also certain plumbing issues that you can avoid by just performing some preventive care.

Instead of immediately calling for the plumbing services of a plumber, try looking up your plumbing issue on the internet and see if you can perform any preventive measures to keep the issue from worsening or recurring later on. Not only will you be able to learn something about your plumbing system, you will also be able to avoid the costs of hiring a plumbing contractor.

4. An Assistant Plumber Will Work on the Job

Whenever a plumbing contractor books a job, it is always his intention to do the work himself. However, most plumbers get more repair jobs than they can actually handle, causing them to dole out some of their jobs to their assistant or apprentice.
While you may think that the contractor should prioritize your plumbing needs, if he is overbooked, he will likely prioritize his work based on how complicated each repair job is. This means he will likely send his assistant or apprentice to provide plumbing services to clients who only need some minor repairs.

5. You Get to Choose the Materials to be Used

The plumber usually has the say on the kinds of plumbing parts that will be used on the job. In some instances, he might prefer using a low quality version of a particular material, such as using a PVC pipe instead of copper. Sure, this might be a more cost-effective option, but it might not be the best choice when talking about the lifespan of a material. So if you prefer using high quality materials, but does not want to pay a pricey bill, consider discussing the ordering process of these materials with your contractor.

It’s similar as dealing with an automobile parts and automobile mechanic. Although purchasing cheaper parts will make the repair job easier and will be more profitable for the plumber, keep in mind that your own interest is what matters the most.

6. Paying Professional Repair Job Cuts Down Your Costs

Equipped with a hands-on experience and all the necessary certifications, a professional and reliable plumber knows very well what they are up against. To ensure that your plumbing problems are taken care of by professionals, call from Singapore. Paying for professional work is far more worth it than paying for an unsure job executed by an unlicensed worker.

7. You Will Clean Up the Remaining Mess

One problem with most plumbing works is that a demolition work needs to be done first to get the repair job started. Unless you’ve had a conversation with your plumbing contractor as to who will be responsible for cleaning the mess, you will likely end up doing the clean-up yourself.

Keep in mind that a contractor’s job is to give plumbing services, and not rebuild any wall that he took down to do his job. So make sure that you initiate this conversation with your service provider beforehand so you can hire additional workers to handle all the clean-ups once the plumbing work is done.

While there is a good number of regular and 24 hours plumber whose plumbing services you can trust, knowing and keeping these things in mind is one way of educating yourself about the basics of plumbing, as well as keeping yourself protected from the fraudulent plumbing contractors.

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