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With so much activity taking place in a home’s kitchen, they are often considered as the main room of a property. From cooking for the family, hosting dinner parties for friends or simply making a cup of coffee, there is no denying that we spend a lot of time in our kitchens. That’s why it’s important to keep our kitchens fresh and up-to-date as they are the most functional room in the house that gets used more than any other. However, keeping up with the latest kitchen trends...
With so much activity taking place in a home’s kitchen, they are often considered as the main room of a property. From cooking for the family, hosting dinner parties for friends or simply making a cup of coffee, there is no denying that we spend a lot of time in our kitchens. That’s why it’s important to keep our kitchens fresh and up-to-date as they are the most functional room in the house that gets used more than any other. However, keeping up with the latest kitchen trends can be quite difficult as they change all the time. From patterned flooring, industrial textures to traditional designs and Ropunkt kitchens, these trends come and go.
So, whether your kitchen is in need of a makeover or you simply want to freshen it up to keep with the times why not take some inspiration from the top kitchen trends we are going to discuss during this short, but insightful article.
Concealed appliances are all about minimising the amount of visible clutter. These are particularly popular amongst those who have smaller kitchens as it vastly helps to maximise space. Concealed appliances are great for minimalist kitchens as well as they are easily integrated into many different designs.
Many more people are choosing to go for open shelving to show off their beautiful crockery and dishware. This is particularly popular as it means that the crockery and dishware can also be used as decoration together with their actual use. However, one thing to be aware of when using open shelving is only to display the items you use the most. Storing them posh wine glasses that you only use in a blue moon will just accumulate unwanted dust.
The purpose of a backsplash in kitchen design to protect the walls from liquid damage. However, it also serves as a lovely decor point for any type of kitchen design. It also helps to define kitchen work areas and reflect the overall atmosphere in the room. And, one of the brilliant things about backsplashes is that they are endless designs and styles to choose from.
Stainless steel appliances have been an on-going trend for many years. And, for good reason as they can quite literally suit any kitchen style. Some kitchen designers are now starting to mix things up when it comes to stainless steel and use different colours, which gives homeowners more variety to choose from. And, one of the more popular styles is black stainless steel as it is very affordable, extremely easy to maintain and easy to keep clean over a long period of time.
LED lighting has indeed been around for quite a few years now. But, their popularity and place in kitchens are continuing to grow. One of the great things about this style of lighting is that it is highly adaptable and can be incorporated into many different kitchen styles and areas including shelves, ceilings and countertops.
Vinyl flooring is a traditional option that never seems to lose its popularity or place in kitchens. And, one style of vinyl flooring that is set to dominate kitchen designs this year is the wooden look. One of the great things about this style of vinyl flooring is that it is natural looking and available in a plethora of different shades and style, together with looking like the real thing.
Although retro and vintage kitchen designs seem to have proven themselves as timeless, this kitchen style is going to see a surge in popularity this year. As kitchen technology continues to develop, many more homeowners are actually opting out and deciding to go for a more retro and vintage design that doesn’t include this technology.
Bespoke storage solutions are a great way for a kitchen to be designed around the homeowner and their needs. And, the best thing about choosing bespoke storage solutions is that they are customised to precisely what you want without having to select an existing design from a kitchen supplier.
Original article: The Top Kitchen Designs for 2019
©2019 Alternative Mindset. All Rights Reserved.
Your home can be your most significant investment ever. Taking good care of your home with consistent maintenance is requisite to keep its value and ensure it provides a comfortable and safe shelter for you and your family in the future. Maintaining your home can be daunting especially if you are a new homeowner. You lack ideas on how to handle various tasks in your home. You can do most of the works by yourself so, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. You can create a home maintenance...
Your home can be your most significant investment ever. Taking good care of your home with consistent maintenance is requisite to keep its value and ensure it provides a comfortable and safe shelter for you and your family in the future.
Maintaining your home can be daunting especially if you are a new homeowner. You lack ideas on how to handle various tasks in your home. You can do most of the works by yourself so, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed.
You can create a home maintenance calendar to help you get all the tasks done efficiently. Below are the four elements of your house that call for regular maintenance:
A variety of air conditioning systems contain filters to remove dust and dirt from the air. On most occasions, you’ll be advised to change your filters at least every three every month. However, it would be vital if you do some research on your AC model before carrying out any maintenance.
Many HVAC experts will advise you to change your filters every month which isn’t necessary. If you have a smaller family without any pets or allergies, replacing them after every 2-3 months is okay. You can also change your filters if dirty.
Having a qualified roofer check your roof will let you know whether you need roofing repairs or not. Besides, it will help you get your roof inspected every three years. Each time an inspection is performed on your roof, make sure that your skylights are checked too so that there are no leakages from cracks and other interruptions.
Ensure your gutters and downspouts are free from leaves and other objects to prevent clogging. Clogged drains can cause roof leakages. Make sure that you clean them at least twice a year or even more frequently depending on the number of trees around your home.
There are a bunch of ways to maintaining your kitchen sink, but the best of all solutions around vinegar ice cubes seem to prevail.
Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze. After freezing the solution, run the ice cubes through the disposal sink. These ice cubes not only freshen your drain but also, sharpens the blades.
Alternatively, you can invite a plumber to inspect your sink every 2-3 months and make repairs if necessary.
Finally, if you want to use your fireplace, ensure that you build a fire on the andirons and not on the fireplace floor. You can maintain your fireplace by:
While the list seems extensive, the big question is: What do you do to keep your home in shape? Just like regular oil changes for your machine keeps your engine healthy, keeping up with routine home maintenance tasks keep from future stresses thus, saving you more.
Original article: 4 Elements of Your House That Call for a Regular Maintenance
©2019 Alternative Mindset. All Rights Reserved.
The post 4 Elements of Your House That Call for a Regular Maintenance appeared first on Alternative Mindset.
Everybody enjoys getting new appliances, but nobody ever wants to pay for them. They’re costly, and paying for one up front will leave a massive hole in your bank account. Buying new appliances can wreck your credit score, and you still need to pay for it later, plus interest! Sometimes, you don’t have a choice though. There are times when a washing machine breaks, or when your dishwasher washes its final dish, and you need an immediate replacement. In times like that, knowing where...
Everybody enjoys getting new appliances, but nobody ever wants to pay for them.
They’re costly, and paying for one up front will leave a massive hole in your bank account. Buying new appliances can wreck your credit score, and you still need to pay for it later, plus interest! Sometimes, you don’t have a choice though.
There are times when a washing machine breaks, or when your dishwasher washes its final dish, and you need an immediate replacement. In times like that, knowing where to buy appliances at a price you can afford becomes invaluable knowledge.
How does a price of zero sound, though? Some stores have programs that let you pick up appliances you need now, only to pay them off when you can, later. And they’re not shady stores either — many of them are well-known retailers.
Keep reading below to learn where to buy appliances so that you can take advantage of buy now and pay later deals!
Best Buy has earned its name through a diaspora of different deals that almost anyone can take advantage of.
It also features a wide selection of appliances alongside its usual supply of computers and electronics equipment. All in all, Best Buy has become more of a general equipment retailer than an electronics one.
Best Buy understands that getting the equipment you need to live your life can get expensive. That’s why they offer a buy now and pay later program to help people get the things they need. They’ll even reward you for taking advantage of their financing options.
Like with many stores though, you can only take advantage of their deals by applying for their credit card.
While most people will find it easy to get accepted, some people may not be able to get Best Buy’s deals. Their credit score may be too low, or they may be in a variety of odd credit situations.
Yet, if you can manage to get one of those credit cards, it’s worth it. The retailer boasts that you won’t need to pay interest if you pay off your item with six or twelve months.
That means, as long as you make regular payments you’ll be able to get new appliances for the same cost as if you bought it outright.
Lowe’s has a reputation for being the place to go when you need to rent tools or pick up new ones. Yet, the retailer is more than just a tool store. It also features a large stock of the latest washing machines, refrigerators, ovens, and much more.
There are many ways to improve your home, and Lowe’s has worked hard to become the home improvement store. To get that reputation, it needs to appliances for every room of your house.
You also don’t need to pay for any of it the day you go to pick up an appliance.
The retailer offers six months of special financing to help people get exactly what they’re looking for. You’ll need to apply for a credit card, but you’ll also walk out with a new fridge without paying a dime.
The possibilities of the internet are infinite, especially when it comes to finding appliances you need. You can do almost anything online — from buy an appliance and pick it up yourself, schedule a delivery, or apply for a loan.
If you’re looking for a quick solution to get new appliances without leaving home, the answers you’re looking for may be on this page.
Simply put, there are many online retailers out there that keep costs down by not having to invest in a physical storefront. Instead, they only exist online, which saves them money — then they pass the savings onto you. Yet, you may also not need to spend a single cent to get what you need.
Keep reading below for a few examples of what you can get online with buy now and pay later programs.
Zebit is an online retailer that launched with the purpose of giving people access to name-brand products, without the brand-name cost. The Zebit market features everything from blenders to smart home accessories, all of which can be bought on credit.
Since Zebit doesn’t need to invest in a physical storefront, it can bring the costs of brand-name items down. That means you can pay off your appliances quicker and easier than with regular stores.
The Affirm store gives you the choice of how long you want to pay for something so that it fits into your budget.
It’s selection also includes everything from mattresses to fashion accessories, with appliances also in the mix. Most t of its items are also brand-names, so you’re not sacrificing quality for cost.
Just like with Zebit, Affirm doesn’t need to maintain a physical store. That means the store and you both save money by doing everything in the transaction digitally.
Although the internet is a great way to save money, you also shouldn’t forget to try and take advantage of local retailers.
Small businesses have a lot of competition in the modern market, and they bring down costs to keep people coming in. They also develop payment programs to work with people who can’t pay for items right away.
When you choose to go with a local store buy now and pay later program, you keep your credit close. The business will know you as a person, not just an account number. That means they’ll be more willing to work with you if something comes up and paying for your appliance becomes harder than you expected.
The retail market is filled with business, all competing for you to shop with them. That means almost everywhere you look, prices are being slashed and new payment programs are being made. It can be confusing to know where to buy appliances when it all looks too good to be true.
The truth of the matter is that you should go with a retailer that you trust, and will work with you to make a transaction as seamless and fair as possible. The business you choose should also work with you to find the right appliance you need.
Alternatively, you can just keep reading here. It’s better to go into a retailer already knowing what you’re looking for, and our website is always updated with the latest information about home improvement. We’re here to support you and your home.
Original article: Where To Buy Appliances: Top 4 Best Stores To Buy Now, Pay Later
©2019 Alternative Mindset. All Rights Reserved.
The post Where To Buy Appliances: Top 4 Best Stores To Buy Now, Pay Later appeared first on Alternative Mindset.
Tax season is great for people with 9-5 jobs. Getting a nice chunk of your money back is always refreshing. But, it’s a little different for freelancers and independent contractors. If that’s you, you probably have had to deal with a 1099 tax form. More specifically, a 1099 misc form. These can be a little intimidating if it’s your first time around, but I promise it’s not a complicated task. There are just a few simple steps you have to take when filing a 1099 tax form....
Tax season is great for people with 9-5 jobs.
Getting a nice chunk of your money back is always refreshing. But, it’s a little different for freelancers and independent contractors.
If that’s you, you probably have had to deal with a 1099 tax form. More specifically, a 1099 misc form. These can be a little intimidating if it’s your first time around, but I promise it’s not a complicated task.
There are just a few simple steps you have to take when filing a 1099 tax form. Keep reading to learn more about what this form is, and how to file a 1099 misc correctly.
In short, the 1099 misc form reports the total number of payments which you receive for a specific service.
If you are the employer or the person receiving the service, the 1099 misc form is what you would provide for your independent contractor.
Those who would receive a 1099 misc form are technically “non-employees”. This includes people who work for you or your company that are not your direct employees. Examples are cleaning services, IT support, and maintenance workers. This also includes independent or freelance contractors.
The 1099 misc form is required for payments of $600 or more. Even if you receive less than the $600 threshold, you’ll still have to report your income to the IRS.
If you are an independent contractor, you are required to file the schedule C section of the 1099 misc form yourself. Your pseudo-employer is only responsible for providing you with the form itself as well as a W-9 form. The W-9 serves the purpose of proof of a valid tax identification number.
The W-9 form is an absolute necessity when filing your 1099.
You should receive your 1099 misc form by January 31 of each year. A copy should also be sent to the IRS, however, this is the responsibility of the employer. (If you are the employer you are expected to submit Copy A of the 1099 form to the IRS, and Copy B to the independent contractor).
It is important to note that if your payments are processed through a third party company, then your income will most likely be reported on a 1099-K.
There are three steps to filing a 1099 misc form:
The first thing you’ll want to do is get all of your income information together. This includes any tax forms you receive in January. As mentioned previously, even if you did not receive a 1099 misc form because you did not meet the $600 threshold, you’re still required to report any income.
It’s best to keep a thorough record of your payment history as an independent contractor or freelancer. However, you can always check your bank statements for proof of the income that you will need to report.
It is also important to understand that as a freelancer you will have different taxpaying responsibilities. You are expected by the IRS to pay a self-employment tax quarterly. This covers the Medicare and Social Security that would normally be withheld by your employer.
The general rule of thumb is to save about 25%-30% of your overall income. The IRS will penalize you for not paying your quarterly taxes. But, if you get stuck in a bind and need help covering your IRS payments on a contractor’s income, Hunter Galloway may be able to help.
Next, you’ll want to gather all of your deduction information. As a freelancer, you will most likely have work-related expenses. If you pay for these expenses out of pocket, then you will be able to deduct them from your business income. This will reduce how much you will pay in taxes.
In terms of deductions, what you consider business expenses must be commonly accepted as ordinary and necessary. Some examples of these acceptable deductions are:
Of course, you’ll have to provide documentation as proof like receipts, invoices for inventory and equipment, phone bills, internet bills, mileage logs, and bank statements.
The documentation you provide will have to justify the business purpose of your expenses. They will also have to be explicit in their details in terms of the amount spent, the time and place of purchase, and the name of the vendor.
Most of these expenses will likely be applied to both your business and personal life. In this case, the IRS will want to see how often an asset, like your cell phone, is used for your work and how often it is used for your personal life.
For added protection, you’ll want to hold on to all of your receipts and documentation for at least three years after filing your 1099. Why do you need this kind of protection? —Because you don’t have to send in the physical documentation of your expenses with the 1099 misc form. It usually takes the IRS up to three years to check suspicious tax returns and perform audits.
By keeping your documentation and receipts in your records, you’ll have the proof of your expenses should an audit arise.
Lastly, you’ll need to choose how you will be filing your 1099 misc form.
There are a few ways that you can file your 1099 misc form. You can go through your tax preparer or CPA, tax filing software, non-profits, or you can always fill out the forms by hand.
If you have multiple complicated forms and are able to pay a professional, hiring a tax preparer or CPA is your best option. They will be able to answer any questions that you have and provide you with information that you may have missed.
If you make below $55,000 per year or have a disability, you may be able to qualify for Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA). VITA are IRS-certified volunteers who will provide free basic income tax filing.
If you’ll be filing your 1099 forms by yourself, software is a good option as well. Prices vary depending on the company, but the process is generally straight forward. When you pay and download software for companies like H&R Block, human support is included as well.
However you choose to file, just make sure you do so by the deadline!
Now that you understand the correct way how to file a 1099 misc form, tax season should be a breeze.
For more life tips from gardening to taxes and beyond, come and check us out. We’ve got plenty of advice to give.
Original article: Don’t Mess This One Up: How to File a 1099 Misc
©2019 Alternative Mindset. All Rights Reserved.
You don’t want to get caught out in the storm. Severe weather is happening all around us, all of the time. It seems like there are more hurricanes, horrible winter storms, tornadoes, and flash floods these days than there ever have been before. But, how do you prepare yourself for the unknown? It’s tough to predict when severe weather could occur, but it’s not impossible. It’s also possible to remain prepared for a severe weather event at all times. With the right...
You don’t want to get caught out in the storm.
Severe weather is happening all around us, all of the time. It seems like there are more hurricanes, horrible winter storms, tornadoes, and flash floods these days than there ever have been before. But, how do you prepare yourself for the unknown?
It’s tough to predict when severe weather could occur, but it’s not impossible. It’s also possible to remain prepared for a severe weather event at all times. With the right preparation and resources, you can keep your house and your family safe from the worst weather imaginable.
In this post, we’re going to talk about 8 severe weather safety tips that might seem over the top now, but when mother nature gets angry, you’ll thank your lucky stars that you were prepared.
Even if you’re not always preparing for the worst, you can learn a thing or two about how to stay safe in the direst weather. If you can commit these 8 tips to memory, then you’ll put yourself and your family in the best position to succeed when the going gets tough.
Something all homeowners should have is a well thought out disaster supply kit. In the event of a disaster, you’ll want to have all of the things you need to survive without power, heat, water, etc. A quick Google search will tell you the types of things that you should include, but we’ll give you a rundown.
The most important thing to keep in mind is nourishment and hydration. Not enough people consider how quickly all the food in the fridge can go bad without power.
The simplest power outage can render all the consumables in your home useless. It’s good to keep a few gallons of water and a couple of weeks worth of food handy for worst-case scenarios.
Beyond food and water, you should have lots of other supplies to help you get through this hard time. Flashlights, kitchen supplies, dry clothing, hygiene items, and first aid items are all useful. Basically, anything that you can possibly think of that could be of use in a severe weather situation should be included.
Without seeming like an overbearing husband, wife, or parent, you should lightly drill a family emergency plan into everyone’s head. If your family knows what to do when severe weather is occurring, it could save time, headaches, and possibly lives. So, what should you include in a family emergency plan?
To properly create one, you should learn about your community emergency evacuation plans and warning signals. Then, pick one or two places to meet outside your home in case you get separated.
If you want to take it to the next level, you can make sure that everyone in your house knows CPR and first aid, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how to turn off water, electricity, and gas in your home.
One of the simplest ways to avoid a long, cold time without power is to purchase a portable generator. You can also have one installed in your home, but portable generators are cheaper and you can make use of them in non-disaster situations.
Depending on your geographical position, it can get really cold at night when you lose power. If you charge a solar generator during the day, you can heat your house at night to keep your family comfortable and safe.
Solar generators are cheaper and easier to use. You can find more information on the benefits of solar power and where to purchase your generator at sites like PoweredPortableSolar.com.
There are measures you can take ahead of time to prepare your home for disaster situations. If you live in a hurricane or tornado-prone region, it’s important to take certain measures that give your home a chance to survive. It all depends on how handy you are and how insanely prepared you want to be.
You can caulk and seal every crevice of your home, reinforce your roof to prevent water damage, or put removable or permanent storm shudders on all your windows. If your house has visible weak points, it’s a good idea to strengthen them.
After you’ve done all you can to prepare your family and your home for the worst, you need to look at your insurance situation to see what kind of kickback you’ll get if something bad does happen.
Many homeowners insurance plans won’t cover damage associated with severe weather. It’s rare, for example, that flood and storm-related water damage is covered and in the tornado and hurricane-prone areas of the country.
It’s important to know what is and isn’t going to be covered when the storm comes. This is why you need to protect your home as best you can when you live in a certain storm-prone region.
If you live in a coastal region, you’ll need to be prepared when hurricane season hits. This is when you’ll prepare for power outages, rain damage, and wind damage.
We already talked about reinforcing your doors, sealing the crevices in your home, and preparing for days without water, but you should also be aware of any nearby shelters in the event of severe damage to your home.
You should have an idea of where to go if your home is rendered unlivable. Whether that’s a family member’s house in a place less affected by the storm or a shelter closer to where you live, it’s important to keep your family protected.
Flash floods occur in the highest mountain ranges in the US, but also in the plains and as a result of severe storms. It’s hard to prepare for flooding, but try to bring your valuables up to higher levels of your home and keep electronics above the predicted flood levels.
Try and waterproof your basement as best you can, but it’s a good plan to purchase flood insurance on top of your regular plan to protect your finances, as extensive damage is often unavoidable when it comes to flooding.
Living in tornado alley presents a very specific set of challenges. Although tornadoes are a rare occurrence, they can be extremely destructive to homes. With winds up to 300mph in some cases, there’s not a whole lot you can do to protect the structure of your house when one hits.
Instead, have your family emergency plan handy, and if your area is particularly prone to tornadoes, consider building an underground bunker in your yard where you can hide out and keep your reserves. It sounds over the top, but it can be the difference between life and death.
Now that we’ve given you a few severe weather safety tips, you can start to prepare your home and your family for the storms. Don’t wait until it’s too late to prepare. Severe weather can pop up out of nowhere, at any time during the year. But, if you’re prepared, you can mitigate the damage before it starts.
For more informative posts on real estate, home improvement, and home protection, visit Alternative Mindset.
Original article: Problematic Weather: 8 Severe Weather Safety Tips for Homeowners
©2019 Alternative Mindset. All Rights Reserved.
The post Problematic Weather: 8 Severe Weather Safety Tips for Homeowners appeared first on Alternative Mindset.
It’s raining outside and it’s dripping inside your house. Have you ever been in such a situation? Where you have to position buckets to catch the water beneath leaking areas in your ceiling? It does not have to be this way. This does not have to your lot every time there is a storm. More than just allowing a few drops of rain water into your house, roof leaks are known to cause a lot of damage – weakened beams, rotten wood, ceiling stains, growth of mold… just to mention a few. Here...
It’s raining outside and it’s dripping inside your house. Have you ever been in such a situation? Where you have to position buckets to catch the water beneath leaking areas in your ceiling? It does not have to be this way. This does not have to your lot every time there is a storm.
More than just allowing a few drops of rain water into your house, roof leaks are known to cause a lot of damage – weakened beams, rotten wood, ceiling stains, growth of mold… just to mention a few.
Here are five common causes of roof damage that you should know of so that you can take the necessary measures to make sure they do not cost you money in the long run.
When was the last time you checked your roof? Not inspecting and repairing your roof regularly (once or twice every year) will give room for minor issues to become major ones. Roof damage in its early stages can be repaired at little to no cost at all. Do not neglect your roof. If you are unable to carry out regular maintenance by yourself, you can bring in some professionals to do the job for you. Read more here.
Hail, rain and snow can cause a lot of damage to your roof. Hail pounds on your roof and weakens it. Snow adds both weight and moisture, which can be damaging. Alternatively, during the summer, the heat may cause drying and cracking of roof tiles or shingles. When it rains, the rainwater will begin to seep into these cracks. Winds are also hazardous to roofs as they can lift or loosen roofing materials.
When leaves, tree limbs, and other debris collect on a rooftop, they become water collection points. They may also create environments that are conducive for insects. They will also probably rot. All this can cause damage to your roof. Over and above this, they add unnecessary weight to the roof thus weakening it over time. Make sure you clear all debris from off your roof from time to time. Don’t allow trees to grow near your roof and spread their branches over it. Trim the branches and let there be some clearance from the edge of your roof to the branches. This will also make your roof inaccessible to animals, which are also a common cause of roof damage.
When the gutters of a roof are clogged up, rainwater cannot be drained from it and hence it collects and settles on the roof, resulting in rot and water damage. Water on the roof may also freeze thus creating ice dams which can destroy your roof over a period of time. One way to sort this is by installing gutter guards which prevent clogging.
Do you know how the neighbor’s cats like to play on your roof? Well, that is not the best thing. Depending on where you live, you may have different animals visiting your roof, for example, raccoons, rats, mice, bats, squirrels, birds, and cats. Depending on the nature of the animals and how long much time they spend on your roof, serious damage will be the most likely end result. Birds will build nests, squirrels may burrow into your roof, and so on. Keep an eye out for these visitors.
It can be very costly to fix or replace a roof. The wise thing to do would be to work at preventing or reducing the risk of damage to your roof. Your roof is your first line of defense against adverse external conditions. It is one of the most important components of a building. Take care of it so that it can take care of you.
Original article: Spotting a Leak: Do You Know These 5 Common Causes of Roof Damage?
©2019 Alternative Mindset. All Rights Reserved.
The post Spotting a Leak: Do You Know These 5 Common Causes of Roof Damage? appeared first on Alternative Mindset.
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