Boost Your Kids’ Grades with a DIY “Homework Haven.” - House Lift

Boost Your Kids’ Grades with a DIY “Homework Haven.”

After school, kids need a break from work to relax, play, and eat a nutritious (or not-so-nutritious) snack. Eventually, though, it’s time for homework. With some American students being sent home with upwards of 18 hours of homework each week, it’s easy to understand why some kids struggle to complete their assignments. Studies show that students, from kindergarten through college, benefit tremendously from having a designated homework space. By turning a nook, corner, or room in your home into a dedicated schoolwork zone, you give your students a leg up in their education. Keep reading for tips on how to create a perfect “homework haven.”  1. Create a Space That Fits Your Child Just like adults, kids stay more alert and focused when working at a desk. Working at a desk that isn’t a comfortable fit, though, can be just as detrimental as working in bed or on the couch. When creating your homework haven, make sure to outfit it with a comfortable desk and chair that works ergonomically for your child’s size. Because kids grow so much each year, consider an adjustable desk that can grow with them.  2. Shine a Light on the Subject When it comes to...
Text: "why building costs are rising in 2021"

Why Building Costs Are Rising in 2021

It’s true that building costs have gone up over the last year and are continuing to rise. If there’s one thing real estate and construction experts agree on, it’s that no one can predict if and when prices will return to pre-2020 levels.  If you’re a homeowner who’s been waiting for construction costs to fall before starting a remodeling project, take a moment to understand the current market and discover why it may pay off to get started on your project sooner rather than later.  Why are costs going up? There are many factors that contribute to the price of building materials, all of which stem from two fundamental economic concepts: supply and demand. When the pandemic hit last spring, it threw previously efficient national and global supply chains into chaos. Production in the mills and factories that supplied the construction industry with everything from lumber to light fixtures ground to a halt as staff stayed home. Similarly, the logistics companies that delivered products to wholesalers and retailers slowed or stopped their operations. The construction industry has been dealing with the fallout ever since. Add to this the current labor shortage and rising labor costs, and the supply of construction...
Text: How to Start a Garden by the team at House Lift

How to Start a Garden

Your home is more than just your physical house. Adding and maintaining a garden can be a lovely addition to the exterior of your home, gracefully adding to the ambience and color of your environment. In addition to any flowers that might speckle your outdoor space, growing fresh fruits and vegetables can also help you cook healthier, tastier meals. Here are the basic steps to starting your garden. Decide What You’d Like to Grow It’s important to give this step some dedicated thought. After all, what you decide to plant will shape your gardening experience. Would you like some fresh vegetables or colorful flowers? How much work are you envisioning each week? Once you’ve got a firm idea of your vision, you can move towards implementing it. Plan Your Space Your garden will be the main focus and fixture of this area of the property – make sure you take the time to map out what shape and location you are envisioning. Keep in mind how much space your plants will need to grow, especially if they have deep root systems or bloom into large vegetables. Invest in the Right Tools Your local gardening outlet or cooperative will be an...
Image of a modern kitchen with text: "Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Appliances"

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Appliances

Spring cleaning – it’s that gritty process you’re thankful only occurs once a year. But giving your house a facelift is a great way to start off the fair-weather season the right way, even if it takes some effort and a few rolls of paper towels. However, when we freshen up our homes in the springtime, we normally neglect our appliances. In fact, there may be a couple that you only clean in the case of a spill, or have never cleaned at all. But how exactly do you go about cleaning your appliances? Is it possible to do it yourself? In short, there are some easy steps you can take to spruce up the cleanliness of your kitchen appliances without hiring a professional cleaner or shelling out for expensive chemicals. Keep reading to see our top tips for cleaning out each appliance this spring: Microwave Place a microwaveable container filled with water and a few lemon wedges in the mic, and nuke it for 3 minutes. The vapor and lemon will loosen any stains and smells living in your microwave. Let it cool down, and give it a wipe. Easy peasy! Oven Similar to your new microwave strategy, place...
3 Spring Updates For Your House

3 Spring Updates For Your House

Spring is a time for renewal and rejuvenation. After months of a cold, dry, and dreary Minnesota Winter, we all feel ready to embrace the Spring weather. If you’re feeling the urge to update your home, here are three ways to embrace the Spring season in your home with style. 1. Flowers and Plants Brighten up your house with some freshly cut flowers or potted plants. Next grocery haul pick up some fresh flowers or plants from the grocery store or order online at marketplaces like Amazon for added convenience. Another way to welcome the Spring into your home is to plant an indoor garden which will make your house feel Spring-ready as it brings the outdoors indoors. You can build a beautiful Spring garden inside by installing a rack, hanging capabilities, or an indoor trellis. To make sure you choose the right plants for your house read The Spruce guide to indoor plants for your best indoor garden. If you’re worried about remembering to water your plants, there are many custom, self-watering systems available for installation. All the plants and flowers in your house will improve air quality; making the house feel healthier and happier. Between mini-cactus desk plants...
How To Organize Your Closet - article by House Lift

How To Organize Your Closet

As we transition into the fall and back-to-school, it’s important to keep a tidy closet space to stay organized. Here’s some tips from House Lift to organize your closet: Design Your closet space should work for you and your family’s lifestyle. Consider if you want a walk-in, California, or hidden closet, ask yourself the following questions to see what kind of closet you need: What are your style needs? How do you plan to use your closet? How will your family use the closet? Is your family messy or organized? Do you value function or style more? Organize If you create places for all of the things in your closet it makes it easier to clean and creates a more tidy look. Try shelf dividers to keep your folded shirts, organize jewelry on a jewelry tree, install a pegboard on the wall for backpacks or raincoats, find a shoe rack to lift shoes off the floor, or buy matching storage boxes to hide sweatshirts, scarves, or sunglasses. Simplify The easiest way to streamline your closet is to invest in hangers that match. Matching hangers not only tie your closet together, but also highlight your wardrobe. If you or your kids...
Tips For A Kid-Friendly Home

Tips For A Kid-Friendly Home

A beautiful and kid-friendly home is within reach, here are a few tips as you design or remodel your bathroom, living room, and kitchen to create a stylish and family-friendly home. The Bathroom To achieve a safe and convenient bathroom, consider installing a separate shower and bath, instead of a combination of the two. Design a “wet zone” to keep the water confined and place the shower next to the bath with a glass wall dividing space from the rest of the room. For flooring, large-format tiles are easy to maintain, and the designs are both modern and classic, so you can enjoy function and style. The Living Room A living room adjacent to the kitchen not only gives a communal feel to your home, but also allows you to keep an eye on your children while they’re playing or doing homework. This layout will bring your family together in unexpected ways that matter most. Unless you have a separate playroom, you’ll need to keep this space tidy while housing the kid’s toys. Find furniture that’s stylish and storage-friendly, like an ottoman or sofa with hidden storage. Designate a few bookshelves or cupboards for books and toys. This way, your...
Top Updates Before Selling - article by HouseLift

Top Updates Before Selling

To impress potential buyers, there are five areas of your home to focus your decorating efforts. Don’t worry — these are quick upgrades. Your real estate professional can help you determine your target buyer so you can tailor your upgrades to the local market. Here are the top upgrades for the five high-impact areas in your home: 1. Curb Appeal First impressions matter in real estate, increase your curb appeal with these simple changes: Reduce clutter: if your porch or yard has been cluttered for a while it’s easy to ignore it. Tidy up your yard and pressure wash your driveway, porch, and garage. Upgrade accessories: pick out a new welcome doormat and add a simple, seasonal wreath. Choose timeless accessories so your photos won’t look dated if a holiday passes. Add accessories: your porch shouldn’t be bare but don’t go overboard with accessories. Think of your porches’ accessories like jewelry; they should enhance your home, not overpower it. Add some colorful and stylish potted plants to your exterior entryway or an understated outdoor cafe table and chairs for coffee and morning showings. Paint your door: a beautifully painted front door is always a favorite. It’s an important part of...
4 Ways To Smarten Up Your Home

4 Ways to Smarten Up Your Home

Your home just got smarter, and more efficient. With smart home technology, you can control cooling, heating, doorbells, locks, and lighting from the comfort of your smartphone. Smart technology isn’t just a way to make your life easier, but also a way to save energy, strengthen security, and differentiate your home on the market when you decide to sell. The convenience, luxury, and security smart technology creates can change your life forever, for the best. To help get you started, we’ve highlighted some essential smart upgrades for your home below. Thermostat A thermostat may seem like the most basic feature of the home, but it has a large impact on your energy bills and overall comfort. Half of your monthly energy costs are controlled by your thermostat, and a smart thermostat can reduce your energy expenditure greatly. What if you could use your phone to tell your thermostat you were on your way home? Or what if your thermostat could sense your proximity and calculate the exact time to make your home warm and cozy when you arrive? A smart thermostat can learn these household’s patterns and adjust heating and cooling according to when the home is occupied or not....
Image of an outdoor deck with text: "Building A Deck - What To Plan For"

Building a Deck – What To Plan For

Whether you’re looking for another DIY home project or you simply want to add a deck to your house for functional purposes, the process is completely doable and enjoyable no matter your handyman abilities. Depending on the type and design of deck you want, there are variations in the procedure. In addition, you should consider your needs and your lifestyle before beginning the design process. Planning Your Deck Before diving right into the construction process, it’s important to consider the type of deck you want, what function you want it to serve, the size you can afford, and your budget. It’s a smart idea to start small, and then if down the road you decide you want to upgrade the size and quality of building materials, you can. Will the deck be a simple aesthetic piece, or will it be a frequent place of gathering for your large extended family? You should also consider the current layout of your yard — trees, bushes, patio space, etc. — before creating a game plan. Size and Shape A common homeowners’ rule of thumb is that the deck size should be no more than 20% of the size of the house. If you...