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Pets

The Wild Animals Dog and Does Doggy Doors Take Away Togetherness

Another thinking in our local TV news and the local paper reported an incident involving pet doors that turned out to be very scary, but interesting and informative.  I wanted to share this information because of an article posted on March 5, (Does Doggie Doors Take Away Togetherness?)   Living away from the hassle of busy cities, some choose to live in the suburbs of large cities for peace and quiet.

However, some areas away from large cities may have wildlife wandering around looking for food or water…. pets included.  The population of individuals living in these areas most likely do not think about the unusual circumstance that could possibly good dealing with wild animals. Something unpleasant or undesirable could happen and no one would be prepared for the possible outcome.

A pet family having several dogs installed a pet door for convenience purposes and worked well for everyone concerned.  One day last week two of the dogs were out in the back yard which was fenced, playing around when a young male mountain lion came up to the fenced yard.

The dogs started barking trying to scare the wild animal away, but the mountain lion jumped the fence and started after the two dogs.  The dogs run back through their pet door trying to get away from the lion, but guess what, the lion went in after them.  The woman of the house was in the area that the lion came into and she ran into another room with an additional dog.

No phone was available, so she quickly ran into the room where the lion was distracted by the two dogs, grabbed the phone, and went back into the other room closing the door behind her. She telephoned her husband and 911.  The husband hurried home and was able to lead his wife and dog out of the house just as the animal control, police… arrived.  The mountain lion was tranquilized and removed, but not before killing one of the dogs, and injuring the other.

After examining the lion, it was euthanized due to extreme malnutrition.  I am not telling you about this terrible experience to scare or to suggest the pet parent into not installing dog doors, on the contrary, but only to inform you that things do happen.

This was of course an isolated occurrence, and an inconceivable situation to encounter, but I thought it would be worthwhile mentioning to understand that sometimes things happen in our daily lives that will leave a mark, never to be forgotten.

Sometimes in every dog’s life, independence is special and rewarding.  When you have to go, you have to go, right?  Well, I can understand when pet parents work and leave their dog alone; they have the choice of going in and out of their dog doors when necessary and do not have to wait for their family to come home.

This is a good thing.  However, what about if the pet parent is home most of the time and the dog has to go outside?  The look in the doggy’s eyes and gestures they make letting them know it is time to go out and smell the roses is priceless.  The pet parent has to stop doing whatever it was they were doing, open the door and let the dog out.

Shortly thereafter, there is a slight ‘woof’ letting them know it is time to come back inside.  Once again, the parent has to stop doing what it is they were doing, and let the dog back in.  Is this a routine or what?  Doggies sure know how to train their pet parent with just a slight command, (you did not know Doggies know how to give a command to their parents, did you?)  This is togetherness!

As time goes on and the pet parent becomes wise to what is actually going on, decides it is time to install a dog door for convenience to everyone.  Dog doors are great to have, and this way they will not be bothered with activities they enjoy in their home, and doggie can do their thing all by themselves.

What a relief that will be, no more back and forth, opening and closing the door at doggies command.  This is all fine and dandy, but be prepared to know the correct size of the doggie doors opening so moving through the door will be plenty of room to go back and forth.  Also, keep in mind that if the dog door has not been installed in a safe area, security may then become a problem.

It has been reported that burglars may become aware of the door and when no one is at home, bingo, in the crawl (if large door), and when you return home, you will discover a burglary has taken place.  To safeguard this from happening, make sure your dog is aware of any foreign entry, other than themselves.  It is usually true that dogs can detect danger and want to protect their surroundings.  Pick a safe and perhaps an area protected by natural surroundings.

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Pets

You Can Choose the Best Pet Insurance Decisions

It is a big decision on the pet parent’s part in deciding if they should have pet health insurance on their new puppy or an existing dog before medical treatment is a necessity, and having to pay full veterinarian cost that would have been avoidable by having pet insurance.  Ten billion dollars is the amount that pet parents have spent on veterinarian cost this past year and will rise even higher in the near future with so many households caring for pets.

At any given time a pet needs medical attention, the charges are expected to be paid upfront, most veterinarian clinics do not offer payment plans.  Perhaps the thought of having pet insurance is not a priority at this time with financial problems, but if you are able to pay your dog’s medical bills without any worries, then you would not be interested in such a policy.

Compare pet insurance companies and find out what is covered and what is not, also keep in mind that most pet insurance companies do not cover pre-existing medical conditions, this is the main reason insuring your pet while they are still young and healthy makes a lot of sense before the fact – not after.

Depending on your choice, $10 a month to $50 and upwards is usually the cost of having coverage, but at this time, $25 – $30 a month is pretty much the cost of a premium.   Another thing to check into is if you have more than one pet, most of the pet insurance companies offer some sort of discount that makes it affordable for multiple coverages.

Pets between the ages of 6 to 8 weeks up to 9 years old, will be covered by most all of the pet insurance companies, but regardless of your decision, keep in mind, if you do or do not choose to insure your pet, you can expect medical problems will arise during your pets aging process, there is no way to get around it, just like humans.

This morning in reading the newspaper an interesting article about a large grocery chain stating they are now supporting pet insurance with a pet insurance company with the quick and easy process in claiming, and very affordable in protecting the health and welfare of our furry friends. When your pet is in need of veterinarian services due to accidents, sickness, and scheduled office visits, the reimbursement on a claim is usually within several weeks.

This is really a great way to go in protecting your financial concerns regarding the health of your pet.  Pet insurance companies offer different coverage’s and the age of the pet may be different as well, but anywhere from several months to 9 years of age can be insured for medical coverage.

This particular pet insurance company offers coverage with the renewal of the policy that will ensure your pet for life. The eligibility of accident coverage is for all ages of dogs and cats, and deductibles may vary from one insurance company to another, but being able to save money in keeping and maintaining your pet’s health is worth every penny of the cost for pet insurance opposed to not having any coverage at all.

I am sure that all of us have heard friends, neighbors, etc., talk about how expensive their veterinarian bill was after an illness, accident, surgery, or for whatever reason.  With the economy as it is today, you cannot be without a medical insurance policy on your pet, and another good reason is that the pet parent is able to use any veterinarian nationwide.

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Pets

The Consider Flying Your Pet in Comfort

There have been issues with flying pets in commercial airlines because of the percentage of people who may or may not have pets of their own and are allergic to pets and pet dandruff, so some airlines are not offering to fly pets as before.

In the re-circulation of air in the main cabin, inhaling the particles that may be in the air, just as peanut dust from peanuts are not served to passengers because of allergic conditions, is no different from pet dander.

If flying small pets that have a carry on pet carrier that slides under the seat, airlines that approve flying pets will accept that, but not large dogs.  Cargo and the baggage department will accommodate large dogs, but there is much to be said about this because of the danger to the dog.

Short-nosed dogs do not do well in this environment because of breathing problems that some may have, and the American Veterinary Medical Association does not advise sedating or tranquilizing dogs due to their panting that regulates body temperature because under any kind of sedation they may not be able to pant causing complications.

Therefore, what is the answer in the event that the pet parent wants to fly their pet child to another location for whatever reason?  Perhaps with Holidays not far off flying the pet child to join the family may be the most practical situation, but another scenario might involve moving to another state and the pet child is a large dog.

Pet Airways, the pet-friendly airlines for pets only is gaining popularity in flying pets to many major cities and provides a climate-controlled, lighted cabin for comfort and the only humans aboard are the pilot and the pet attendant.

Time sure flies when you are having fun, but before long, the days will begin to shorten, Labor Day will be getting close, and school will start again for another year.  Therefore, what does that tell you, vacations will soon end and every pet parent will have considered including their dog in activities away from home?

Whether it be vacations or visiting friends or relatives in other states other than your own, takes some serious planning, and taking your dog in the family vehicle for several days, especially if they are large dogs is not the best choice, or favorable to the pet family and their pet. Fly them in the sky on the pet-friendly airlines that are committed to pets only, flying in the main cabin with no humans aboard except the pilot and pet attendant.

Pet-friendly airlines continue to add additional cities on their flight plans delivering pets to places where their pet parents can pick them up and enjoy being all together as a family.  They are flying into cities such as Phoenix, Denver, Los Angles, New York, Ft Lauder dale, Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington DC, Chicago, and Omaha.

As time goes on pet-friendly airlines will most probably add more destinations to and from the pet parent’s home state.  A pet-friendly airline takes care of your pets as if they were their own, and has a lighted cabin with controlled temperatures for a safe and happy flight.

Just a Word of Caution

In my local paper today, there was an article cautioning pet parents who have short-snouted dogs such as pugs and bulldogs have had a  higher death rate in the last 5 years due to being shipped as cargo, again this is why it is so important to fly your pets in a pet the only airline, in the main cabin where there are no humans except the pilot and pet attendant.

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Pets

The Best Dematting Comb for Pet Grooming

It is essential that all cat owners have grooming supplies made especially for cats. A metal comb is the most essential basic grooming tool. Most stainless-steel combs for cats have wide-set, round teeth that are perfect for long and short hair cats. A slicker brush is perfect for all cats. Most cats enjoy the sensation of the slicker brush and the metal comb and it helps to prevent hairballs.

Most cats love being stroked and enjoy the feeling of light grooming, so don’t be afraid to brush and comb your cat or kitten regularly.

The dog owner can do much to help a dog’s hair coat achieve its full potential and to keep it in good condition: feed a good quality nutritionally complete and balanced dog food; keep the dog free of internal and external parasites and maintain a regular grooming schedule with the appropriate pet grooming equipment.

Grooming your dog not only helps him/her look their best at all times but also helps keep them clean and healthy.

Grooming sessions are an excellent time to assess your dog’s health. Learn what is normal for your dog, what characteristics distinguish him. Changes in appearance or behavior may be signs of illness. If a dog displays constant problems such as itching, sudden loss of hair, inflamed areas, any signs of tenderness or lumps under the skin, a veterinarian should be consulted.

A dog who is accustomed to grooming will be more at ease when he is examined or treated by a veterinarian.

The kind of grooming routine you establish for your dog will depend on how much time the dog spends outside, weather conditions, and whether the dog is a longhaired or shorthaired breed.

Shorthaired breeds should be groomed two to three times a week. Longhaired breeds require daily grooming. Many terrier breeds require periodic plucking to remove dead hairs and to give them a trim appearance with careful brushing and combing between plucking.

If your dog’s hair coat requires complicated grooming, you may want to have it done professionally. However, trips to the groomer’s are not adequate to maintain a healthy, handsome hair coat. Your dog still needs to be brushed and combed regularly between professional grooming sessions.

Most people don’t really think about how important dental hygiene is for their dogs or cats.  It’s been stated by veterinarians that approximately 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of gingivitis by the time they are 3 years old.

If it is left untreated, this disease can also destroy gums, teeth, and supporting structures just like in humans and it will also cause very foul breath.   If allowed to go on too long, serious problems such as irreversible bone loss, chronic pain, continuous foul breath, and even eye problems if a tooth abscess can occur.

The only sure way to prevent plaque buildup and dental disease and to keep that bad breath away is to make cleaning your pet’s teeth a frequent routine just like grooming routines.  There are so many dental products to make it easy for you to clean your pet’s teeth such as dental gel which is made especially for pets and doesn’t have to be rinsed out.  There are also great toothbrushes in a variety of styles made just for pets.

Maintaining your pet’s dental health is another way to help make sure your pet lives a long happy and healthy life, after all, we want to keep them around for as long as possible!

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Pets

The Dog Coats and Dog Jackets to Keep Your Pet Warm

There are so many different coats, jackets, and hoodies that are a must for keeping your beloved dog or puppy warm in cold or wet weather.  You have many options because there are a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes that are available.

You can go classic college-style sweaters, vintage 60, camo, knit, or anything you can think of for all types of dog apparel.  Boots protect your pet’s paws from not only the elements, but from salt, stones, and rough terrain.

There are raincoats, hoodies, and tee shirts for all tastes and all sizes of dogs and puppies.  All pet parents want their pets to be safe and protected from the elements when they go outside for whatever reason and you can find any kind of dog apparel to fit your needs and your pet’s needs at First Rate Pets where you can shop and get friendly expert advice about pets at any time.

Camo or Camouflage apparel has always been popular with people and now you can get them for your dog!  When you think of camo colors, you normally think of green, but did you know you can also find camo prints in pink for the girl dogs?

You can get just about any type of apparel for your dogs in camo pink or green including hats, hoodies, coats and jackets, tee shirts, collars and leashes, and even boots!  If you love that outdoor look, then you really should check out all of the camo gear for your dog so you both can enjoy the great outdoors in style.

Can you even begin to count how many tee shirts you own?

This staple to any wardrobe has crossed over as a popular entity for dogs. Comfy and casual, tee shirts are a canvas for self-expression for you, and you’re pets. As a dog owner you’ll be the brains behind any fashion purchase for your pooch, so ask yourself: how would my four-legged friend express himself?

From the hipster tie-dye look to a fun floral print, it’s certain that you’ll find the perfect style for your pooch. Maybe you’re the type of person who enjoys a matching ensemble between you and your pet. Sports teams are a terrific way to show your spirit and an ever-so-popular selection for a dog tee shirt.

Well, September is already here and it’s already starting to get cooler at night.  Have you been thinking about getting your beloved friend a sweater to keep him warm while out for those early evening walks or even for early morning walks?  So many people agree that a sweater can really make those walks on chilly nights or mornings more enjoyable for you and your pet.

And you can find just about any kind of sweater you can think of for your dog from classic styles such as cable knit or maybe even a little more sophisticated like the Ranch Style dog sweater, you can even get retro styles with peace signs.

No matter what you fancy, you can find all kinds of styles and colors of sweaters made just for dogs and puppies that will fit your lifestyle and preferences and there are so many sizes that fit even the smallest dog and even great dog sweaters that fit medium and big dogs like German Shepards and other big dogs.

Your dog will appreciate that you thought enough of him to buy him his own great dog sweater and will come to associate his new sweater with a fun time outside with you.

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Home Improvement

Another Best Tips to Fix Shower Leaks for Home Improvement

Many home remodeling projects require you to err on the side of caution. Shower projects require a whole new level of care to ensure that you don’t run into serious and costly problems. Shower leaks under floors or behind walls can lead to serious problems that require professional help to remedy and cost a lot such as insect invasion, mold growth, and flooding.

You should seriously consider consulting an expert to remodel a shower unless you are familiar with working under strict conditions and are comfortable with doing plumbing work. In most cases, it makes more sense to hire someone with experience to specifically fix shower and bath leaks.

Once the old shower has been removed you need to remove as much of the old glue or caulk as you can to ensure a flat surface for the new shower to fit against snug and evenly. Begin with making sure the pipe for the drain is clean and smooth for at least one inch from the end.

Sand away any rust or calcium buildups and if the pipe is corroded replace it with a new one. If you require a pipe replacement you should stop working and call a professional as this is a delicate job that requires that it be done properly.

When attaching pipes of two different materials, namely copper and galvanized pipes, be sure to use an insulating material at the joint to prevent an electrochemical reaction that can cause the pipes to corrode. Also, be sure to wrap threaded joints with a generous wind of Teflon plumbers tape.

Once your surfaces are carefully prepared you can lower the unit into place being sure to lay a bead of caulk around the base of the unit follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and seal the resulting joints with silicone caulk. Pay careful attention to placing the unit and components at the proper angles to provide for proper drainage, positioning, and fit.

Once the unit and joints have had a few hours to dry test for leaks use some material to plug the area around the flange then flood the area with water and check for leaks. Once you have fixed any leaks you can install the shower door’s hardware components.

When drilling for fasteners be sure to follow instructions that came with the unit and seal the exterior surfaces. You should not seal interior surfaces as you want that moisture to drain back into the tub. This will cut down on the buildup of mold and mildew as well as help prevent the warping of the tracks the door lies in.

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Home Improvement

The Best Lighting Options for Your Home Improvement

Selecting lighting options for your home these days can be overwhelming as there are more choices and varieties than one can imagine. You can find lights to achieve any look that your imagination can dream up.

If you have an older home your options may be slightly limited as the wiring may be old and not be quite as sophisticated as wiring in newer homes. Getting familiar with the quality of your home’s wiring as well as with local electrical codes will help you tremendously when shopping for lighting.

For older homes, it’s recommended to have a contractor come out for a consultation to help you decide if you should replace an older wiring system. Find out what your existing electrical system can handle capacity-wise prior to making lighting decisions. You may also be able to save on electrical costs over time by installing a new and more energy-efficient system.

Modern compact fluorescent lights can produce a somewhat natural light with up to 30% efficiency increases over incandescent bulbs. These compact lights come in a ton of wattages, sizes, shapes, and colors.

The latest in the light design are LED lamps. These lights are made from arrays of tiny light-emitting diodes. LED lighting solutions are usually quite expensive but produce far less heat, last a tremendously long time, and will provide huge savings in electric costs. Some LED lamps are rated to last 35 years, with more common lifetimes coming in around 6-7 years.

If you have a penchant for high-tech you may wish to consider concrete with embedded fiber optic fibers. These blocks provide a unique look when backlit, providing various colors and effects.

When designing an effective lighting system you need to consider what room you are designing for and your specific lighting needs. Bathrooms generally are brighter than bedrooms to be suitable for shaving and makeup application. Living rooms often have a more dynamic lighting profile including both intense and soft lighting.

Objects appear the way that they do in part due to what have called lighting temperature. This measurement, in Kelvin units, is used to measure how close lights are to natural sunlight. Lights that appear artificial and unnatural often have lower “color temperatures”.

A northern sky in clear conditions near noontime will be somewhere around 7,000 to 8,000 Kelvins; the average florescent bulb weighs in at 4,000 Kelvins, while a regular old incandescent at about 2,800 Kelvins.

More modern light types will give you an appearance closer to that of natural light. Keep this in mind when deciding which type of lamps to purchase. If you wish for a softer lighting scheme consider recessed lighting options or lights that have lower color temperatures.

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Home Improvement

You Should Know All About the Insulating a Ceiling for Your Home Improvement

Insulating ceilings is like putting a thick blanket over each room. It seals the warmth in and keeps the cold out. It cuts heat loss by as much as 50 percent while the cost is minimal. For an average home should cover all of the necessary expenses in properly insulating your ceiling varying by coverage area.

This is not an expensive home improvement project if you keep in mind that you could well achieve a 30 percent savings to your winter heating bills. In addition, your home will normally stay cooler during summer months as well, by retaining the cool air from your air conditioner within the room.

Tools and Materials

Simply calculate the total ceiling surface area (width x length). In addition, measure the distance between floor/ceiling joists. Insulation is sold in varying widths depending on their application so being prepared will help prevent multiple trips to your home improvement retailer. Your insulation supplier can calculate the number of bats required for the job and the proper size of the individual bats.

Also, consider the reasons you wish to insulate. It isn’t always to cut heating and cooling costs. You might also want to dampen sound from carrying through the home. If you are insulating a room when finishing a basement and that basement is primarily used for watching movies and shooting pool, you may wish to use insulation rated to also deter sound.

With the bats, a ladder, leadlight, a trimming knife (for cutting the bats to size), gloves, particle mask, long-sleeved shirt and long trousers (the insulation can irritate your skin and nasal passages), and two pieces of meter square 18 mm ply or particleboard for cutting and kneeling on, you’re ready to go.

For upstairs rooms, meaning you are visiting your attic to install the insulation, use planks that span at least four of the chords to spread your weight evenly across.

Steps to Insulate Your Ceiling

Choose a cool day (especially if installing in the attic) and begin packing the bats tightly between the joists, making sure you reach right to the external wall plate. Work back toward the access hole. Leave no spaces for maximum effect.

Again, for attic installation, remember to always keep your weight on the joists and not the ceiling itself, the drywall will not be able to support you! The recommended plank or plywood square will make the process more comfortable.

If installing under the roof itself, use a 75 mm slat of wood that just fits between the joists and affix it to the end of a broom handle. That will provide a useful push-in tool for moving the bats into awkward places.

Be especially careful around any wiring

When necessary cut around things like ceiling fan electrical connections some have suggested using a stiff cardboard separator between the insulation material and the wiring, but if you can, simply tuck the insulation further in behind the wiring.

In most cases, the wiring has been stapled close to the end of the joist so there is often enough room to install the bat behind the wiring so that the paper side is still tucked behind the wiring and does not come into contact at all.

Most pre-batted insulations have folds of paper running along both sides that allow for flaps to be folded against the joists and stapled. Take the time to do this. It provides a cleaner installation and prevents any need for worry that at some time in the future the insulation may be resting on wires, etc.

You are now snug in your home during winter and summers should be cooler, too.

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Home Improvement

You Can Home Improvement With Kitchen Cabinet Installation

Installing kitchen cabinets is a project that most do-it-yourselfers can handle without a problem for home improvement. If you have some basic skills and care the results obtained by doing it yourself can be just as good as if a professional did it; and save you money to boot.

A key to installing cabinets is making sure that they are level. If you don’t have two or three people available to hold the cabinets and help you install them you can use a support or a jack.

You can build a simple T-shaped brace from wood, place it under the cabinet, and then insert the jack underneath of the cabinet. You can also use specialized support systems made for installing cabinets. Be sure to use multiple supports to make sure that the cabinets don’t wobble.

If the bottom cabinets are already installed you can use metal stain buckets and phone books on top of them to position the top cabinets? This works in a pinch but jacks made for installing cabinets would obviously be the ideal solution.

Once you have the cabinets positioned you will have to locate the studs in the wall that you will be attaching the cabinets to. Never attempt to attach cabinets to the drywall by itself. The studs located in the walls of most homes’ inner walls will be placed sixteen inches apart.

To locate them you can use the sixteen-inch guideline as a starting point and then use an electronic stud location device to find their exact positions within the wall. You should be attempting to locate the center of each stud as this is the ideal location to drive the fastener into.

To make this easier you can draw the locations of the stud centers onto the wall and then pre-drill the holes for the fasteners using a bit slightly smaller than the screw itself. You also will need to drive any holes for wiring before installing the cabinet units themselves.

You should double-check your measurements by making them both on the wall and on the actual cabinets. You should try to provide for eighteen inches of clearance between the cabinets and the countertops.

For a more secure cabinet, you should drill and fasten the unit through the trim or supports rather than through the back wall which is often thin. This may not be possible for the cabinets that you choose but if you can do it this way it’s much better. Also, be sure to use three-inch screws for the major support fasteners that hold the cabinets to the wall.

If you wish to add additional support to your cabinets you can take a one-inch thick strip of wood that is 2 inches tall and screw it into the wall where a stud exists. It’s possible to attach the support strips first but if you need to tweak the cabinet position and this could present a problem.

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Home Improvement

Doing Up Your Spare Room for Home Improvement

If you’ve decided to finally get started on that project to do up your spare room for home improvement, a call to your home contents cover provider is unlikely to be high on your list of priorities. With exciting things like color schemes, new furniture, and the ambiance of the room to think about, the comparatively dull world of insurance could seriously dent your creative mojo.

However, avoid making that call to your contents insurer at your peril; if you’re spending a quid or two on the job, you’ll want to make sure everything is covered, especially considering the number of accidents we Brits have when carrying out a spot of DIY. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, a staggering 600 people go to the hospital every day after suffering a DIY mishap.

Every year 20,000 Brits are injured while using scalpels and knives during their home improvement projects, while an eye-watering 15,000 suffer an injury while using a saw. More painful still, 2,000 ends up in A&E after a sticky situation with an ax, plane, or welding equipment.

Scary statistics, but there’s a real message behind the numbers: accidents can and do happen and it’s best to be prepared. Before you start a project, this could include making sure that you have adequate home insurance, including accidental damage cover.

Although it’s nice to think of a project going as smoothly as possible, it’s not hard to imagine the things that can go wrong, whether it’s spilled paint pots, broken furniture, or collapsed ceilings. Smash into the wrong wall or pull up the wrong floorboard and you could even be looking at structural damage.

So you’ve completed the project and everything’s gone smoothly, you’re out of the woods, right? Sadly not. Once you’ve finished creating your exciting new space, you may also need to put a call into your insurance provider again – this time to let them know of your changes. The cost of new furniture can mount up, especially if you’ve let your imagination run away with you and invested in some opulent pieces to complete your new room.

The easiest way to get the best value out of your home contents insurance is to regularly review exactly what’s in your home, how much it would cost to replace and get it covered. Pay for too much cover and you’re wasting money, cover too little and the results could be disastrous – find the right balance and you’ll be well on the road to a harmonious home.