Increase The Value Of Your Home – Cosmetic Changes

This article is the second in a two-part series on how to upgrade your home and increase its value.

The property market is very unpredictable nowadays – sales are slower and buyers more demanding. It can therefore be difficult to make a profit on selling your home unless you think carefully about how to make it more marketable. Increasing the living space is always the best way to add value to property, for example by building an extension or conservatory or converting a loft or basement, but this can involve major work and a large outlay. For those who can’t afford to make such big changes, simply renovating or redecorating can make a difference, and it needn’t be expensive. In fact, you should be wary of splashing out too much money on cosmetic changes as the increase in property value that they will achieve is normally quite limited. Having said this, if you spend wisely, you can make your home more marketable and increase your profit when you sell.

The key selling features of most houses are the bathroom(s) and kitchen, and updating them can make a house much more attractive to homebuyers.

A bathroom is no longer a functional room – it’s now a place of luxury, a sanctuary within the home where we can relax from our busy lives. People are looking for stylish design and luxury features – heated towel rails, whirlpool baths, multi-jet showers, fitted furniture, and sink vanity units. You don’t always need a large room to achieve this – there are many clever space-saving options available, such as combined furniture and suite units, wall-mounted towel rails, a shower over the bath or corner sinks and toilets. An it needn’t cost the earth either – DIY stores have a wide range of bathroom furniture, suites, fixtures and fittings. Always play it safe though – neutral white is the best option, as it can be co-ordinated with any colour of décor to suit all tastes.

Ensuite toilets are very attractive to homebuyers and will add value to a home, as long as they’re in a good location in the bedroom and don’t detract too much from the bedroom space.

The same is true of kitchens – people want style, luxury and space. Kitchen design is very important and there are many modern ways of maximising what room you have. New fitted kitchens can be very expensive though, especially if you’re having all the work done by a professional company, so you may not recoup the value in the short term.

A major turn-off for homebuyers is a home with no central heating as it can require a great deal of work and expense – installing a boiler, laying pipes and fitting radiators. However, if you have the work done yourself before putting your house up for sale, you’ll increase the marketability of your property and you’re certain to make your money back when you sell.

Replacing windows can make a big difference too. Aside from the fact that old window frames can make a property look unsightly, they make not provide effective insulation. New windows can reduce heating bills dramatically and can be easier to maintain, particularly the uPVC variety. Beware of fitting uPVC windows in period properties though – they can look cheap and out of place. New double glazing units on all your windows shouldn’t cost more than a few thousand pounds.

Even just a lick of paint and a few new soft furnishings can make the world of difference to freshen up a room and make it look more attractive. Redecorating isn’t expensive and it’s easy to do yourself. Choose fairly subtle or neutral colours to try to appeal to most tastes.

Here are some useful tips to consider whatever work you decide to carry out on your home:

Do a cost-benefit analysis – is it worthwhile? Are you likely to make your money back?

Hire a plumber, electrician or joiner for some of the tricker parts – or at least consult someone for advice. They may be able to provide you with useful guidance on how to carry out the work.

Before you start, always work out a budget and decide where you will get the money from to finance the work.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew – only do as much work as you can afford in terms of both time and money.

Source by Benedict Rohan

Some of the Most Common Types of Cosmetic Surgery

Brow Lift

Often referred to as browplasty or forehead lift, it aims to lift drooping eyebrows and/or get rid of forehead wrinkles or worry lines that are usually associated with aging. This procedure is done together with other cosmetic procedures that intend to achieve a more pleasant facial appearance.

Chin Augmentation

This procedure aims to make a patient’s chin more prominent and facial features look more balanced. A surgeon places an implant. Usually, a patient who has gone through a nose job (rhinoplasty) also goes through chin augmentation at the same time. At times, the surgeon manages to work on the jaw bone without the use of a prosthetic implant. Nevertheless, chin augmentation that uses implants is more popular among patients that have teeth and jaws that function normally.

Cheek Augmentation

This operation aims to provide the patient with more prominent cheekbones. Some surgeons do this by placing an implant above the cheekbones. According to most patients, weak cheeks let their face look skinny and aged. As we grow older, our cheeks tend to lose their fullness.

Cheek Lift

Also called a midface lift, this operation lifts the middle part of the face (the cheek) to improve the fullness and contour of the cheek and under-eye area.

Hair Transplant

Most males – especially Caucasian men, but some women as well – experience hair loss. This condition happens because of genetic reasons. Transplanted hair replaces large grafts of hair. To get desired results, patients may need to undergo several sessions of micro-hair transplantation. After six weeks, transplanted hair will fall out then will be replaced about three months after when new hair comes out.

Collagen Injections

Collagen is commonly used in plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures for burn patients, as well as bone reconstruction. It is also used in treating patients that suffer from urinary incontinence. Collagen injections, though, could come with some drawbacks, one of which is prolonged redness in some patients. Prior to surgery, doctors can perform a patch test to know if a patient is at risk. Majority of collagen are derived from young beef cattle, since they do not come with BSE or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease). Collagen may also be taken from pig tissue.

Such treatments are dermal fillers that cosmetic medicine uses to reduce lines, scars and wrinkles plus augment soft tissue contours. Collagen treatments are temporary since the body degrades them. They have to be repeated later on.

Fat Injections

Also known as fat grafting, these have several applications in cosmetic surgery. This is done by collecting fat from one part of the patient’s body then injected into parts that need volume improvement. In general, these produce safe and lasting results. Patients are more satisfied with fat injections since these target two issues.

Fat is removed from a body part that requires fat reduction then added to another body part that needs more volume. Fat is removed, washed, purified then re-injected with the use of special needles. For the most favorable results, the patient has to go through the same procedure for many times.

Source by Matt McWilliam

The Curly Toe – Causes and Treatment

Of the many conditions which result in a change in the shape or position of the toes, the curly toe stands out as a more unique deformity that is treated in a somewhat different manner than a standard toe deformity (like a hammertoe). This article will discuss this unique deformity, and ways to treat it effectively.

Due to a variety of reasons (but mostly because of one’s arch structure), the toes can gradually develop a change in their shape over the course of many years of standing and walking. The most common change is the development of the hammertoe, in which the first joint, or ‘knuckle’, of the toe pulls upward, while the middle of the toe flexes downward. Although rarely painful in and of itself, a hammertoe deformity can allow for excessive pressure from the top of a shallow shoe onto the toe. A corn will develop on the skin where the toe joint is prominent, which can eventually lead to pain. Another change that often develops is a rotation of the little toe towards the toe next to it. Often called a curly toe, this condition is the combination of a hammertoe deformity, and an actual inward rotation of the toe. The result of this abnormal toe position is usually a very painful corn that forms due to the pressure from the shoe on the toe, where the toe bone is now prominent due to the toe rotation. The difference between the corn that forms in this condition as opposed to that of a regular hammertoe is that this corn is less on the top of the toe than it is more along the side of the toe. The involved skin is still the ‘top’ of the toe technically, but the corn appears on the side because the top of the toe has rotated to the side. In this case, not only does the top of the shoe irritate the corn, but the side does as well. A second pattern of corn can also form along side the outer edge of the nail where pressure from the ground builds up due to the toe’s rotation. This corn is often mistaken for an ingrown nail due to it’s closeness to the nail edge itself. Removal of the side of the nail in this case will only temporarily relieve the symptoms, as the toe pressure from the rotation will allow a corn to form again despite the nail edge’s removal.

The little toe is not the only toe that can curl inward. This can also be seen in the other smaller toes, although the fourth toe (the one next to the little toe) is the primary toe outside of the little toe to develop this. However, this toe does not tend to develop the same sort of painful corn as the little toe, due to the unique position of the little toe on the outside of the foot.

Treatment of this condition is fairly straight forward. One either conservatively lives with the condition or one has the toe straightened out surgically. Self-care with gentle filing of the corn with an emery board or pumice stone after bathing can flatten the corn and limit it’s potential to cause pain. Taping the toe out of a rotated position has limited benefit, and may actually cause additional discomfort. The use of a wider and deeper shoe seems to give the most benefit by reducing the external pressure on the toe. Padding the toe with gel, foam, or felt pads can provide some pressure reduction, although they need to be applied daily. Topical corn removers should be avoided as they contain skin acids that can potentially harm the surrounding good skin and create a chemical burn on the toe.

Surgery to repair this condition is possible, and is usually quite effective. This fairly simple procedure combines a fixing or straightening of the hammertoe deformity (by removing a small amount of bone near one of the toe joints), as well as a procedure to straighten out the toe rotation. Fixing the rotation can involve plastic surgery techniques to re-rotate the skin back around, or a technique to partially fuse the little toe with the base of the toe next to it to keep it stable and straight. The plastic surgery technique uses various skin incision orientations to effectively push the toe back into a non-rotated position. The fusion procedure removes part of the space in between the little toe and the fourth toe, and then stitches the skin together. Once this heals, the bases of the two toes will be as one. This has no effect on the way the foot functions in walking, and cosmetically is barely noticeable. The end result is a little toe that cannot rotate out of position any longer. Recovery is fairly simple for both the bone and skin part of the procedure, with most people able to return to a normal shoe within three to four weeks. Complication rates are low, and the toe tends to stay in the corrected position for life.

The curly toe deformity is common, can cause discomfort in shoes, and yet is easily treated. Anyone suffering from this toe deformity should see their foot specialist (podiatrist) for evaluation and treatment options specific to their toe.

Source by Scott Kilberg DPM