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Bedroom makeover for your child’s success!

This new school year make some design changes to your child’s bedroom that will complement their enthusiasm and help keep them focused.

A dose of colour

The effects of color on learning are well documented.  Studies have shown that light blues and purples have a calming effect on learners and are a good choice for a learning environment.  Warm tones like taupe and peach provide a relaxing atmosphere that allows learners to focus on their studies rather than be distracted by their environment. Avoid bold colors, such as red, since they can provide a huge distraction, especially with younger learners. Black and brown are associated with fear and anxiety in young children and can bring about an undercurrent of anxiety. Yellow is the hardest color for the eye to break down and causes stress when the eye comes across it.

Get your child involved

Find out what your child is interested in and decorate his or her room accordingly. For instance, if your child has shown an interest in astronomy, decorate the room with posters of the planets, telescopes, and stars. Get the child fully involved in selecting these items.

Affirmation Signs

Place positive reinforcement signs around the bedroom that can remind your child’s subconscious mind of his or her potential to learn. You and your child can make these signs together.  Make the signs attractive with a lot of colour. Some examples of affirmation signs include:-

  • I BELIEVE IN MYSELF.
  • I AM UNIQUE AND VALUABLE.
  • I AM RESPONSIBLE.
  • I CAN LEARN.

Display their accomplishments

Whether it is an A plus paper or artwork, make a point to display your child’s work in their room and throughout the house.  Children need encouragement and support in their achievements.

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Advantages of Hiring an Architect

Architects are specifically trained and licensed to work on planning and designing buildings. If you are drawing near to the building phase and are thinking of hiring an architect, we highly recommend that you at least meet with an Architect to discuss how they can help you. Hiring an Architect could prove quite beneficial to you, here are a few reasons why:

 

  • They provide expert information and guidance. Whether you are building a new home or remodeling an existing building a lot of work needs to be done to get the task completed efficiently. An Architect, especially one who has years of experience working in this field is quite knowledgeable about zoning and building codes that can help quicken the process of getting the necessary approval for building.

 

  • By interacting with clients and asking questions, an Architect can create a unique home that has been specifically designed to include the desires of their clients giving them their dream home. Also, Architects have been trained to select the ideal location to utilize the site’s natural lighting, shading and views providing insight the client may not have even considered.

 

  • The quantity and quality of materials needed can greatly affect the final cost of construction. An Architect can advise on the best options to help maximize the client’s budget. Also, with energy conservation being a huge concern today an Architect can implement techniques, construction methods and materials that can help meet conservation goals and make a building more energy efficient.

 

  • An Architect can take on a more fundamental role of Construction Manager. Hiring an Architect as the Construction Manager can be beneficial to clients. The Construction Manager works closely with the general contractor and helps keep construction in conformance with the design and to assist in having the construction completed on schedule and within budget.

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Things to consider When Expanding your Home

Renovations and additions can improve the comfort and functionality of your home as well as increase its value.  Renovation may be very simple in the sense that the only activity it involves is replacing existing materials like windows, doors, cupboards etc.  Larger renovation projects may need a great deal of consideration and planning especially if it’s an addition to an existing building.

 

If you are planning to expand your home please ponder on these:

 

Purpose – The reason for the renovation is a good place to start planning.  Your decision to add to your home may stem from reasons like family growth, increase in disposable income, the need for a more comfortable living space etc.  These reasons will affect things like material choice, style and size.

 

Location – Just as location is important for new buildings, it is important when adding to an existing building especially as utilities are already well placed.  Choose the location that’s most convenient for the purpose.  Enhance the environmental quality of the building by taking advantage of and considering a beautiful view, use of yard space, the flow between the current sections of the house to the addition as well as making use of natural ventilation and lighting.  These aspects are a few that could contribute to your decision.  The extent of the renovation may warrant involvement by the local planning authority.

 

Size – The larger the square footage of the addition the higher the cost of construction.  The reason for the addition and the amount of money available helps determine size.  The purpose also helps determine type of materials to be used.  E.g. a large increase in disposable income could encourage a luxurious finish.

 

Appeal – No one wants their addition to look like a misplaced ornament.  Although additions don’t allow expression of creativity and personal taste as designing a new home would, it could be seen as a pattern to follow.  So if your house has frosted white windows and oversized doors for example you would want to match that.  If it is difficult to obtain those items for any reason then you could simply match the colour and the interior layout. If budget permits, change all windows and doors to create a more cohesive look.  Try as much as possible to maintain one general look on the exterior.

 

Plan and budget – Develop a general idea of the amount of money you want to and can spend on this project.  Once you know how much money is available compare it to your plan.  Comparing renovation plans to budgeted funds allows you to weed out any part of the renovation that is not compulsory or necessary at this time or increase the scope of the project.

 

A lot of components come into play when adding to your home and you may want to avoid costly or dangerous mistakes.  If you intend to renovate or remodel in the New Year now would be a good time to start planning.  If the remodel or renovation is planned for the Christmas, consult a professional before jumping in!

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8 Tips for Choosing the House Plan That Best Suits You

  1. Details – Consider the bigger details such as the size of the house, the number of floors, the kind and number of rooms and bathrooms before deciding the smaller details.

 

  1. Establish your budget – You’re going to have to do some math if you want this process to be successful. There are a number of financial and personal requirements when seeking financing from institutions.   Getting prequalified for a loan will be very helpful and avoids getting your hopes up on a home that isn’t in your budget.

 

This is likely going to be one of the biggest purchases of your life, so don’t be lazy about it, work with a mortgage broker/ loans officer to educate yourself.  You may have to disclose personal financial information but at the end you will know what you realistically can afford.

 

  1. What makes the house a home – Determine what your needs and wants are and what will make the home most comfortable and welcoming. What amount of time is expected to be spent in the house and in what areas will more time be spent? What is the present and expected size of your family or home occupants?  Will there be any disabled residents or regular visitors?

 

  1. Location, location, location — Value of land differs based on its location however homes nearby will have a substantial effect on the worth of your home. If you build the most modest house in a high-priced community, you can do very well for yourself in terms of your investment. The more expensive houses will raise yours to a higher value than it would command in less expensive neighborhoods.  You have an equally sound investment if your home is in the same price range as the ones around it, however if you build the same modest home in a neighborhood that is considered bad, you might as well forget your potential investment.

 

  1. If you already have the land, it would be wise to understand the land on which the home will be built before deciding on the plan. The plan you choose must fit the dimensions or specifications of your lot.  These may dictate the maximum depth or width of the plan, or dictate if the plan requires a two-story solution. You also need to know the topography of the lot. If it’s on sloped property, you may have to limit your plan search to a split-level design.

 

  1. Your lifestyle and the lifestyle patterns of your family are very important when choosing a house plan. Some people enjoy cooking so they might require a lot of space for the kitchen. However, other people who are working at home might require more office space.

 

 

  1. Your plans and the local building codes and requirements – Custom plans are sometimes designed with no specific building codes or requirements. If they are, they may most likely be designed to suit the country in which they were drawn. When selecting a house plan, it must be considered whether it complies with the building codes for the area in which the building will be constructed.

 

  1. Add value to your home – The more valuable features of a home should be considered when designing and making preparations for finishes like creating great curb appeal outside the house, placing glass windows and doors on the side of the home that faces the most attractive views. These will add value to the home and make it very inviting to guests and possible future buyers.

 

Click here to view a wide collection of pre-design house plans designed by our sister company Millenia Architects.

 

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Be A Successful Landlord

Wondering how to be a successful landlord, here are a few tips that can help!

 

Take your business seriously

Tenants will not take you seriously if you do not take yourself and what you do seriously.  Too many landlords treat renting out their property as if it is a hobby. To be a successful landlord you must treat renting out your property like a business. You have made an investment and you continue to spend money to service it through either advertising the rental to get tenants; insurance; repairs, etc.  Operating procedures and accounting systems should be set to organize income and expenses and to keep track of things such as cost of repairs, date of repairs/renovations, etc.

Screen tenants

A successful landlord always uses a rental application.  Do NOT allow someone to walk off the street and allow them to occupy your property.  Request references, employment information and past landlord contact in order to weed out the obvious problem tenants. This is not fool proof at getting a good tenant but it will help increase your chances.

 

Put things in writing

Make sure you draw up a lease. All terms, especially those important to you, such as subletting, keeping pets, etc. must be written and signed by the tenant to ensure that all parties understand what is expected.

 

Make repairs

Your tenants need to be happy with where they live, and be equally happy to pay the rent for it.   Be quick to investigate any report of damage or need for repairs.  Insist that this is done promptly.  Making repairs does not only make your tenant happy to pay you rent but it keeps your property in a better condition.

 

Respect your tenants’ privacy

How would you feel if your privacy was disrespected? Always give notice when you need to enter the rental. The tenant is paying for peaceful enjoyment of your rental.  At least 24 hours notice should be provided to the tenant.

 

What do you think of this advice? What are you doing as a landlord to ensure success in your business?  Share them in the comment box below!

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3 Study Tips for the New School Year

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

With summer coming to an end and the new school year a few days away there’s just enough time to put a few measures in place to ensure that your child is ready to make the best out of the new year. To help keep them focus and to help them succeed we have put a few simple yet effective home study tips together.

  • Consider implementing a homework schedule. Children are generally more successful with the completion of their homework shortly after school to decrease the likelihood of children demonstrating frustration, lack of motivation or behavior problems. Decide on the time homework should be started and ensure that they work in an area with minimal distractions. It is also good to offer your support when they are struggling.
  • Setting up a designated workspace or study area could provide a child with a good distraction-free workspace to help them remain focused on the task at hand. For many households the ideal area for setting up a workspace is the child’s bedroom. However, a study area can also be created in the living room or kitchen as long as distractions are limited. The area should also be well organized and clutter free to reinforce the value of organization and care of the environment.
  • To help keep your children organized, consider creating a “study file” by using either a file box or a cabinet drawer with separate files for the different subject area. This system gives children a place to place all their assignments, and it also helps them organize reference materials through the course of the school year.

 

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Useful Tips for Moving Into Your Newly Purchased Home!

You have done it! The documents have been signed, the sale has been finalized and the keys are now in your hands. Congratulations!!! Now that your real estate dreams have been realized and you are finally the owner of your dream home, what’s next? Now you are ready to move in.

Today we share a few simple but useful tips for homeowners who are moving into their newly purchased home.

1) First thing you do is change the locks of the new home! Do I need to say why? I did not think so! Apart from the previous owners, real estate agents, cleaners, maintenance workers you really have no idea how many strangers could have access to the keys of your newly purchased home.

2) Remember to have your mails forwarded to your new address! You may also need to have your address updated at important institutions. Otherwise your mail will keep being sent to your listed old address.

3) Do not give junk a free ride! Before you move, sort through your belongings and get rid of as much things as possible: sell, donate or throw away.

4) Make sure to pack socks in pairs! Just kidding, that was a bonus. This fourth tip is to place screws, bolts or plugs for all furniture in clear bags and tape them to the respective piece of furniture.

5) Label all boxes or bags with numbers and create a master list separated by rooms and place the relevant numbers with the room it belongs to.

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Study Tips for the New School Year

After several months away, preparations for a new school year can be overwhelming and intimidating.

Whether you spent the summer relaxing or working, transition to the routine of the school week can be a challenge. Some adjustments to personal habits, mental preparation, and simple organization of supplies can boost confidence of both the students and parents as the school year begins. Below are a few helpful tips:

1) A designated work area can make studying more fun and help motivate your child. Students require a work space that is quiet and limits distractions so that they can study effectively. As young as they may be it is beneficial to create an environment where they are able to complete their home assignments, study and read. To maximize efficiency in this work space, try out these simple organization tips:

a) Keep the area neat and clutter free. Ensure that there is adequate space for the basics and get rid of everything else!

b) Having a personalized calendar to keep track of assignments throughout the school term can help students remember the work that needs to be done – some children need extra help remaining organized and remembering their assignments.

c) Including a clock in the study area can also help them stay on schedule. A clock matching the decor of the study area would be a great idea. Musical wall clocks that emit a tune after a certain period of time such as a cuckoo clock are great for children.
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Design Tips for Your Small Kitchens

Many homeowners dream of having a large kitchen with ample floor space that can accommodate all their appliances and furniture, possibly designed with a decent sized island capable of sitting the entire family. But the reality is that when the total floor space of the home is limited it usually results in a small kitchen in order to allow for the other rooms to be larger. And at times it may prove difficult trying to make a small space function as it should while making the room look stylish, and spacious. Difficult yes, but not impossible. Here are six (6) tips that you can use to give your small kitchen a spacious feel.

 

  • A functional floor plan is important regardless of the size of your kitchen. The most fundamental appliances (the stove and the refrigerator) as well as everything else in the space should be easily accessible. Also, ensure that there is enough countertop, and cabinet and cupboard space.
  • It will be very difficult for a compact kitchen to effectively function with large appliances that take up most of the space. When buying items for the kitchen you will need to scale down the size of the appliances to save on space.
  • Using glass is one of the easiest ways to make a kitchen look and feel larger. Glass surfaces reflect light which helps visually expand the room. Consider including glass furniture, or glass counters, tiles, cabinets or doors. One or two mirrors can also be placed in strategic areas in the kitchen where they would be most effective in reflecting light.
  • Using too many colors in a small space will overwhelm the room so consider sticking with a single color or a monochromatic color scheme. Light colors are known to reflect light and draw the eye upwards making ceilings appear higher and the room by extension larger. Regardless of the color(s) that you choose keep the kitchen appliances and décor in mind.
  • In a small room storage is extremely important so having ample cupboard space is a must. However, having too much of anything has its drawbacks. In the case of cabinetry including too much can make the room feel claustrophobic. One way to get an open feel while maximizing on storage space is by trading the cupboards for open shelving. If you do not like this option, cabinets with glass doors are a good alternative. Other options to consider are installing pot racks and spice holders on the walls. Or maybe including a pantry where items can be stored in bulk to cut down on the need for cupboards.
  • Ensure there is sufficient light. Light plays a major role in the atmosphere of a room so no matter what you do to create a spacious environment, if the lighting in the room is bad it will always feel small and stuffy. To set an ideal ambiance, a compact kitchen requires a combination of both task lighting and atmospheric lighting.
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SCHOLARSHIP NOTICE

We invite applications from students who will be enrolled for the Architecture Associates degree program at the Dominica State College in September 2018 for the award of a scholarship covering tuition fees for the two (2) year duration of the program.

 

Applicants should apply using the online application form by clicking here or by collecting an application form from our office at 24 Church Lane, Pottersville, Dominica.

 

Deadline for receipt of scholarship applications is 15th August 2018.

 

For further information:

Jillian La Rocque

Marketing and Sales Manager

614-1806

jjnocharles@millenia.dm