Sustainability in Urban Design

It is not enough for a place to be habitable. It also needs to be sustainable.

Urban design is the process, design, and organization of public space, transportation systems, and open space. With half of the Earth’s population crowding in cities, urban design needs to take a hard look at its mechanisms. Each city must commit and choose sustainable development. Philippines, in terms of population and the economy, exponentially grows each year. But, the land areas of its cities remain the same. The same rings true in other cities across the globe. Three (almost four) billion people stay in these urban areas. Therefore, the role of urban design has a significant impact in today’s contemporary way of life.

According to a United Nations’ (UN) report, 60% of the Earth’s population will crowd cities by 2030. This is not good news for various reasons.

Millenials are slow to pick up the traces of needing change concerning their way of living. Thus, it is better for the current millennia to have the collective movement of individuals, industries, and countries to commit to change. The foundation of inhabitation – the Earth, is ruined and its cries are getting louder. The natural structure of planet is sacrificed to have the luxurious comfort of the modern life. The towering skyscrapers, concrete housing units, and asphalt plazas are chosen over the lush greeneries and the natural wonders of the world.

Urban Development

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Urban development is a perennial threat to nature. Fortunately, developers like Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), considers the site’s ecosystem in their planning and design. Bobby Dy coins the term “eco-efficient.” It is a simple yet effective word that summarizes the purpose of their city districts. Natural resources or the natural state of the land area should not be sacrificed because of urban design and development. ALI patterns their design to the area’s original state.

The best example of eco-efficiency is their dynamic suburb in the South, Nuvali. Nuvali has a long stretch of green grass park and open spaces. The structure mixes modern suburban living with green zones and forestry. It also encourages recreation and outdoor activities which are refreshing for the modern dwellers.

Organization and Open Spaces

Although aesthetic plays a major role in urban setting, it is important for a developer to consider general public interest and not be biased towards age and way of living. When the city or structure is open to everyone, the need to have access to additional public infrastructure is removed. The environment becomes inclusive and inclined to only one goal – providing for the years to come.

Ayala Land is best known for their wholesome urban design. The company follows its focus areas as a guide during planning – resilience, pedestrian and transit connectivity, eco-efficiency and local economic development.

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Their latest land developments incorporate wide spaces and parks. Having these spaces encourages time off the digital world and physical activity. It also lessens the dependence on vehicles as these places are conducive to walking. Most importantly, it discourages cul-de-sacs which can be rampant in urban areas. The design also creates low-carbon cities because they become walkable and mass transit-oriented. This is much more sustainable and healthier for the people. It also gives a high quality of life to residents.

Economic Vibrancy

A thing, structure or endeavor that is sustainable is said to solve today’s problems while also providing for the problems of the future. Generations to come should meet their own needs using these structures and environment-friendly solutions. Thus, it should be an enabling environment.

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Rapid urbanization puts pressure on resources. Densely-packed cities can lack sources of fresh water supply and strain the living environment and public health. During planning, local and small-scale businesses are heavily considered. The shops and stores should be strategically placed so they may contribute to poverty reduction. There should also be designated spaces for public utility and health services.

Cloverfield, an ALI development in the North, is an example of a well-planned community that employs living, retail, and health. The development has a residential tower, shopping mall, park and a hospital – all within walking distance.

Well-planned public spaces commune communities and people together. Physical and cultural activities, recreation and play, are also encouraged. The spaces restore a sense of place, identity, and pride in an area, and play a significant part in attracting businesses and jobs. Thus, poverty is reduced.

Technology has picked up speed on constructing mega cities, but it has not made low-carbon cities. Local and international urban development still have a long way to go. Choosing to be sustainable goes back to planning, where all the aspect of the building is considered. When the vision for the future is clear, urban design will manifest through eco-efficient development.

The Big Sell: Experts Share Pitching Advice

Monday.

Another day at UP Ayala Technohub, slaving for 8 hours. You have an idea brewing in your head. You also have a plan to improve your group’s communication system and project management style. But these powerful ideas or well-kept backup plans are just in your head, and won’t matter unless you share it with the group; most importantly, to your superior. Until then, it will just be a plan or idea that won’t be making the changes you envision for the company.

The aim is to have their approval. To hear that sweet sounding yes is a melody to the ears, which makes you fly high in the sky even if it means being buried in paperwork. Before that, you have to face your boss, the management or who ever it is you have to talk with to settle the proposal. Sometimes, it only takes one chance for the person or committees to decide your faith, so it’s better to ace it on the first try.

Few experts had a say on how to successfully present a pitch to a challenging audience. To show off your ideas without a hinge, read on to find what the experts had to say to amp your presentation.

John Rood of Next Step Test Preparation

John Rood suggests to lay out how managements should judge the project’s success quickly. What are the indicators that the project will be a success? Having a specific goal will help you set measures of success or key performance indicators (KPIs) early on. Step-wise goals or buildable goals are easier to digest than having a long-term goal. It also suggests that fewer risks are involved. Thus management is more accepting of the idea.

To reduce the risk of rejection, form alliances with those in the upper levels of the company who will approve the pitch. Test out the waters, talk with them to see what clicks and what doesn’t.  It will also help you improve and expand your idea. There will be instances when they will see the details you may have overlooked. The more feedbacks you get for your pitch, the better you can prepare for the actual and formal meeting.

Phil Chen of Systems Watch

It’s not enough to just have the proposal ready; it’s also important to prove you can handle it. They want to see a work ethic that can sustain the onset of the project throughout its growth. You have to show redeeming qualities – agility, thoughtfulness, and efficiency.

Remember that you still have current task and projects. Phil Chen advises preparing an outline that illustrates the order of your priorities. It will show you still have the time and resources to lead a new project. The outline is especially useful if you haven’t proven your leadership potential.

Brian Honigman of BrianHonigman.com

Brian Honigman shares a piece of advice that isn’t often followed. Composing a polished plan shows the time a thought invested in it. It also shows you’ve reviewed potential problems along the way. It suggests you can take charge and lead the project which will help convince the management of the proposal.

Kenny Nguyen of Big Fish Presentations

As much enthusiasm you show when presenting the project, prepare to defend your idea when objections arise. Being able to justify your proposal is particularly useful when negotiating with investors. You should not be swayed with counter-arguments no matter how logical they may seem. Withstand the onslaught of questions and prepare a counter-attack.

Thus, when answering the management or investors’ queries, pay attention to the current inquiry only. Give a simple and straightforward answer. Avoid getting thrown off your train of thought by overthinking the panel’s questions.

Jyot Singh of RTS Labs

The benefits of the pitch should be clear – how will it add value to the company. Jyot Singh says the presentation should be directed to those benefits and the ways how it will be utilized by the audience of your presentation.

A presentation that states the advantages of the projects creates a positive mindset over the project proposal. With that, keep your winning statement simple.

Adam Stillman of SparkReel

Of course, create visual aids. Adam Stillman knows the importance of visual aids. Visuals are powerful; they help make the plan seem real and relatable. Visual aids also hold power regarding communication as the information comes much faster and lingers in the form of memory.

When creating visuals, concentrate on the essentials. If it allows you to explain the project, return on investment and growth strategy for five minutes, then you’re good to go.

These experts know what they’re talking about, and you should too. When proposing an idea to top level management, remember to account for risks. The less risk involves, the higher the chance to get their approval. A clear-cut and carefully constructed plan will cover the basics. No matter how polished the proposal is, there will be details which aren’t acceptable to the audience. Hence, prepare to defend your ideas during the presentation. It means you can handle it the pressure and sustain the project.

A Guide to Suburban Neighborhood in the South

There’s a sprouting suburb in the South, and you don’t know if moving there is a good move.

Vermosa is a suburban development that features active living. It’s in Cavite, and it perfectly combines residences, retail spots and business hubs in one area, which make it seem like a good place to settle down. But hold your train of thought. Did you consider what you need to know before buying a house? Do you know what kind of neighborhood will be at Vermosa?

Before setting your sights at this new development, read on to find out the standards of what makes a good neighborhood.

There are street walks.

And those streetwalkers are for walking.

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Some residential communities are disorderly, so cyclists pass through pavements instead. A neighborhood with functional road walks prioritizes walking over the use of vehicles. Low-carbon communities have sidewalks wide enough for bicycles and establishments. It gives the cafés liberty to set up tables for outdoor lounging.

A spacious sidewalk also gives room to set up benches – a great feature for relaxation and people watching.

 

There are various transportation modes.

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What a nice feeling to have when travel from work to home is a breeze. Often, an exclusive neighborhood isn’t commute-friendly and is only accessible through private vehicles. An ideal community should be available through different road networks. You can get to Vermosa via Daang Hari Road, SLEX through the MCX exit, and the upcoming Cavite Laguna Expressway (CALAX) Road – which are also the routes of public transportation. The proposed LRT 6 will pass through Daang Hari Road which makes Vermosa accessible to the bulk of passengers. The community is also less than an hour away from Makati, Manila, Muntinlupa and Tagaytay.

 

There is a foundation for education.

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De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ), a member of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), is an established educational institution in the South. It will open its second campus in Vermosa to provide quality basic and secondary education. DLSZ is also an establishment that pronounces spiritual and moral maturity through the teachings of Christ.

The DLSZ-Vermosa Campus will implement the Next Generation Blended Learning Program which will include the latest trend and innovation regarding teaching strategies and educational research.

 

There are high-value residences.

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Property value varies greatly from one development to another. A neighborhood with quality housing options allows people with different financial capability to lead a quiet and comfortable life. When there are lots of people are waitlisted, it is a sign that the particular neighboorhood is hot on the market.

Vermosa will have diverse living options with Ayala Land’s urban residential developers – Alveo, Avida, and Ayala Land Premier. Alveo offers upscale residences while Avida is perfect for compact city living.

Since Vermosa is a new community, most of the people in the neighborhood are homeowners. An area with high rate of homeownership is stable. Renters are mobile and flaky, so they don’t add value to the community. Long-time residents have been there all way. They watch out for their neighbors, which makes the area feel safe and secure.

 

There are communal facilities.

 

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Vermosa has a total of 165 hectares of open space for wellness and recreation, training facilities, and retail shops.

There’s Vermosa Sports and Lifestyle Complex which will have an Olympic-sized pool, a 400-meter track oval, and a Sports Science laboratory that caters to all the training needs of endurance athletes. The MX Track and the Bike Skills Park offer a place to fill the need for speed and thrills for bikers.

There’s Vermosa Midtown, a pedestrian-focused, bike-friendly area with a commercial district. The Ayala Malls Vermosa will be within the limits of Midtown and will complement the active life of Vermosa by housing sports themed retail stores.

A contemporary active living is kept alive in Vermosa with its engaging facilities for its residents. Besides these amenities, a balanced community should have a place of worship. It shows the collective and strength of the community.

There should be a hospital, police and fire station.

Safety first.

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The right neighborhood adds value to the entire community, not just to the houses separately. You can check out if the community is fit for you if it has the qualities on this list besides the things that you want. Your new neighborhood should meet your standards and if you’ve found it in Vermosa, then go ahead. Enjoy the fulfilling life of active lifestyle.

Where to Dine in UP Town Center

There are a number of Ayala Malls, but UP Town Center is something special. The idea is that for the students, workers, and residents around the area to have a place which would respond to their needs and wants. The 7.4 hectare UP Diliman East Campus property will be reconstructed to become a hub of opportunities and businesses. Aside from the stores and restaurants in this establishment, there are a lot of events and activities held in UP Town Center. UPTC, as fondly called by their visitors, is open every day, from 10 in the morning until 9 in the evening every Sunday to Thursday, and until 10 pm during Friday and Saturday. Some stores have their own schedule so check them out as well.

To give you a quick food trip in UP Town Center, here are the ten places where you could (and should) try dining in:

Silantro Fil-Mex

Silantro Fil-Mex, Silantro for short, is known for serving Mexican food infused with Filipino taste. You’d get delicious food and fine service with a good price. Since the place is superb, expect a lot of people dining so if possible, get a reservation before you visit.

What you should try: Beef nachos, Beef Quesadillas, Chicken wings, Seafood Paella (and you can order alcoholic beverages too!)

St. Marc Café

If you’re out for a quick snack and some refreshing drinks or desserts, St. Marc Café is your go-to. This specialty bakery and patisserie is a well-known place from Japan. They envision and work towards satisfying the needs of their customers, as well as making them “need” some more.

What you should try: Little Fuji, Kyoto Delight, Mango Fantasy, Nara, Matcha Latte, Freshly Brewed Coffee, Egg Salsa, Chococro, Salmon Cheese Potato, Carbonara

Cold Stone Creamery

Serving the finest, freshest ice creams, cakes, smoothies and shakes for 25 years, Cold Stone Creamery is really something. This international franchise from Arizona has a signature way of delivering ice creams as it’s created on a frozen granite stone.

What you should try: Berry Berry Berry Good, Birthday Cake Remix, OREO Overload, Midnight Delight (and you can also create your own mix)

Pepper Lunch

ペッパーランチ Peppaa-ranchi is a “fast steak” restaurant in Japan and was established in 1994. The customers can cook their food choice of beef, chicken, pork and salmon over an electromagnetic plate which is heated up to 260 degrees Celsius to make sure that your meat is perfectly cooked. You can also pick your seasoning and sauce – Amakuchi or the honey brown sauce, or Karakuchi or the garlic soy sauce.

What you should try: Beef pepper rice, Shimofuri pepper steak, Salmon pepper rice, Beef BBQ Yakiniku with egg

Rodic’s Diner

Since 1949, Rodic’s Diner serves nothing but the best beef tapa and garlic rice. They are known for being a budget-friendly restaurant for classic Filipino food.

What should you try: Tapsilog, Kare-kare, Sisig with egg and rice

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

As what the name suggests, Mama Lou’s offer yummy Italian cuisine along with a relaxing ambiance. Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen started in 2010 and still delivering good food which they are known for.

What should you try: Spinach and goat cheese pizza, Italian sardine pasta, Gnocchi, Vesuvio, Take the Cannoli

Backyard Kitchen + Brew

If you are looking for a chill place to eat or grab some drinks alone or with friends, Backyard Kitchen + Brew offers good food, drinks, and company. It also has an artsy interior to add on its ambiance and comfort. The servings are enough for you to share, but you might want to eat it alone because the dishes they give are nothing less than perfect.

What should you try: Slow roasted pork and beef belly, Salted egg chicken skin, Buffalo wings, Tinapa and Quinoa Salad (and alcoholic drinks as well)

credits to the owners of the pictures used

6 Things To Do Before Hiring A Mover

 

 

What comes to your mind when we talk about moving out? Perhaps, a lot of you will think about what to do to make sure that there will be no damages while moving the things.

That is why most people would prefer hiring some professional movers to make sure that their things are still intact after the transfer. You may be moving into your new condo in Quezon City or any other real estate properties in the Philippines, hiring a mover is a good choice. However, you also have to know that not all movers are professional enough to do their job properly.

There are actually a lot of things you need to consider before deciding what moving company you should choose. And if you are one of those people who are first timers in hiring a mover, you might as well refer to these tips below on how you can effectively hire a mover.

1. Get recommendation

One of the things you might want to consider is the recommendations from your family and friends. Since they suggested that particular moving company, that means they trusted them when it comes to handling the things of their clients. Obviously, they will not recommend it to you when they know that mover is not that trustworthy enough to do the job properly.

 2. Do an initial screening

When choosing the right moving company, don’t just stick to one option. You must have a list of the companies you may want to hire. And for you to know if they are good enough, do some initial screening on them. Well, you can base your judgments on the reviews from their clients on whether they have a good service or not. And if they don’t have high ratings when it comes to the services they gave, then you might as well find another one.

3. You should end up with at least three or four companies to call for an in-home estimate

After narrowing down your options, make sure to end up with at least three or four companies on your list. Well, that is for you to make sure that if one is not available at that moment, then you still have the other three options for you to call. Just make sure that those remaining companies in your list are all trustworthy and professional enough on their field of work.

4. When an estimator comes to your home, show home everything

When you hire a mover, you should also expect that there will be estimators that will come to your home. Of course, they have to know how many moves will it takes to transfer all of your belongings to your new home. From the things in your closet, backyard, basement, and even in the attic, you have to show them everything. This will also give the estimator an idea on how much you should pay for the overall moving package.

5. When you’ve gotten all your estimates in, compare the bids

Whether you realize it or not, each moving company has their own way to estimate your things. That is why it is a must for you to know which company offers a lower price than the other. Moreover, don’t forget to make sure if there are any add-ons on the overall cost of the moving process.

6. Make sure your moving company has the license and insurance it needs to move your things legally

For you to avoid any complications later on, you need to make sure that the company you choose is legally enough to do the job. At least, if there will be some problems later on, at least you know where to complain. Moreover, this is also to ensure that they are not any scammers who will trick you will a higher price yet with a lower quality of moving services.

Four Features of a Good Neighborhood

 

 

Love thy neighbor as yourself, but choose your neighborhood. ~Louise Beal

One of the most crucial aspects to consider in purchasing a home is the neighborhood. As it is, you are not only there to buy a comfortable home to live in, but you are buying into a neighborhood where you would raise your children and foster relationships as well.

Considering this to be the case, it is a good idea to carefully scrutinize every single facet your potential neighborhood has in such a way that when you have ultimately arrived at a favorable decision, you can see yourself and your family acclimating to the new environment well.

Every single one of us may have a different set of standards for when purchasing a home, but a universal characteristic for these homes regardless of whether they may be billeted in a condo in Mandaluyong or any other lush area is that they should all be from good neighborhoods.

So what are the various characteristics that would make a good community? Read down below to find out.

1.) It should encourage greater mobility

Apart from accessibility, your neighborhood should offer its residents the convenience of getting around not only for motorists but for pedestrians as well. It should provide an equal ease of access and mobility for everyone. In the same vein, your neighborhood should be equipped with adequate parking spaces for cars or motorcycles and similarly should have sufficient pathways for pedestrians.

These pathways should be well lit and should accommodate pedestrians of any kind (cyclists and people on non-conventional vehicles such as Segways, Skateboards, wheelchairs and the like).

2.) It should have features that would add to the overall comfort and convenience of residents

A comfortable and safe home is one thing. But a good neighborhood complemented with essential establishments within its vicinities such as places of work, malls, recreational facilities and hospitals is the penultimate factor in deciding whether a home is billeted in a good neighborhood.

This provides its residents easy access to major establishments and would make city living rather easy.

3.) It should have adequate security measures

One thing you should never compromise when it comes to choosing a neighborhood is safety. It is imperative that each and every single one of your family members can truly feel at safe whether they are coming home from work or school or are making their daily commute towards their destination.

One thing that can guarantee you that a neighborhood’s safety is of paramount interest to the developer is when you see visible security personnel such as security guards doing rounds at random hours of the day. Take note, your home is a place of sanctuary, and if your neighborhood is not even safe, to begin with, any potential breach into your homes is not entirely impossible.

4.) It encourages social interaction

People are social creatures, and in choosing a neighborhood, it is important that you consider the potential neighbors you might have should you integrate yourself into their social sphere. One aspect if a good neighborhood is one that has an established sense of community and belonging among its residents. This is because should you be their neighbor, you would know that your neighbors would be more than willing to help you should there be anything you need.

Community facilities such as playgrounds, sports courts, and other recreational amenities would provide easy avenues for neighbors to interact and bond.

Last, but not the least characteristic that one should consider in choosing a neighborhood is that it should have character. Whether that may be the artsy neighborhood where most lost artists, vocalists trying to find their voice and soul or revolutionary chefs or an emerging hub for young corporate employees looking to establish a family.

Whatever it may be, make sure it has that one distinct and identifiable character that would strengthen your affinity towards it. This would set your neighborhood apart from all other communities and make it uniquely you—a home in an environment you can truly come home to.

For Homeowners: Morning Rituals You Should Try To Become A Winner

 

 

One way or another, our home plays a big role in achieving our goals in life. And whether you realize it or not, the activities we do at home can also affect our attitude for the entire day. That only means, your day will always start and ends at home. But let’s face it! It is not all the times we encounter happy moments at home. Sometimes, we need to reevaluate the things that caused a gap or tension around our home.

Although problems may be around the corner, successful people won’t allow such unwanted situation to ruin their day. It doesn’t matter if you are living in a condo in BGC, Taguig, you too can have a good morning vibes. But the real question is – HOW?

Basically, starting your day right at home is not that hard as you think it is. Although there are times that you need to adjust to adapt the situation you are in, then you must also know that there are also certain ways where you can follow to make sure that you can achieve the desired outcome. And to give you some ideas, below are some morning rituals or things most successful people do at home.

They wake up before or just after the sun rises with ease

Always remember that mornings are important. It can either break or make your day. If you are not keen enough in doing the right thing every morning, then you might not like the way you start your day. However, successful people avoid such unwanted situations by getting up early before or just after the sun rises. Just so you know that you can always get good vibes and other benefits when you wake up early since it put your mind at ease and prevents you from panicking when it comes to time management.

They revisit their to-do list made the night before

One of the nature humans have is being forgetful. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t mend it, right? That is why having a to-do list is one of the important things you need to have. It’s not just about taking down notes, but it also helps you to remember the things you need to do for the day. And revisiting it the night before makes sure that you don’t forget important things or tasks. Moreover, for you not to be confused, you better check the tasks that you have finished working with.

They get active

Successful people don’t just settle for a norm. They tend to seek constant change in everything they do. That is why engaging in physical activities makes them feel energetic and productive to the every task they do. Moreover, engaging in an active lifestyle would also mean they are physically and mentally fit to do the everyday tasks. Well, there are actually a lot of activities you can engage with. You can do some exercise such as running, a 7-minute full body workout, 20-minute yoga session or a 30-minute jog around your neighborhood. This will keep your body fit for the day.

They do something that reminds them of their goals

One thing that most successful people never forget is to set their focus on their goals. And one thing that helps them remember such is doing something that would keep them in mind that they have something to reach and that is their aim. The more they are focused on their goal, the more chances they will be most likely to get what they want in life. That is why they tend to start their mornings with activities that would draw them closer to their goals.

They update their knowledge bank

Every day is a learning day. Yes, cliché as it may seem, but this holds dear and true to every successful people. Although they may have a lot of experience already, they still strive to learn something new each day from the people around them. Moreover, they also tend to read books that would help them gain more knowledge on a particular topic. That is why they will always find a way to learn something out from everything they observed.

Home Security 101: Five Essential Things to Have and Do

My house is my refuge, an emotional piece of architecture, not a cold piece of convenience. ~Luis Barragan

Our homes, may it be the cheapest house and lot in Laguna, Philippines, are our personal sanctuaries where we should feel most safe, protected and at home. It is that one place that we can count on to shelter and shield us from any harm that the outside world may bring upon us. The living spaces we reside in do not only function as dwellings but safe places where we can foster the growth of our children, nurture and cultivate relationships and serve as the comfortable respite from the day’s activities.

This is why any form of breach into our private refuges is the pinnacle of any homeowner’s trepidation and anxiety. It matters not whether you are living in a lush estate or elsewhere because burglars do not discriminate. When they see an opportunity to steal, they will steal.

Installation of home security equipment and gadgets may be a way to discourage unsavory, uninvited guests and pilferers from marking your home as their next potential target. And though installation of these state of the art devices would allay your fears of possibly having your house burgled, complementing them with classic security measures would be your home’s best avenue for security.

And the great thing is? Some of these would not even cost you anything at all.

1.) Update exterior locks

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Deadbolts may look clunky and may seem outdated, but they should be the primary lock when it comes to your exterior doors as this is the primary door that separates your home from the outside. Your throw bolt which is the part that enters the door frame should extend deep into the frame.

It does not stop there, however. You should also make sure that your windows (especially the old ones) have window locks installed that still work well.

2.) Choose solid doors

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When it comes to exterior doors, you should not want anything fancy such as glass doors which are not only easy to break but would give potential miscreants and thieves a peek into what they can potentially steal from your homes.

Exterior doors should be made entirely from wood or are otherwise wood covered or enclosed in a steel shell. Additionally, these doors should not be weaker than the lock you place on it.

3.) Consider having a dog

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Dogs do not only function as your furry and cuddly pet companions, but they can also serve as your home’s chief in security as well. They do not have to be incredibly huge so as to deter robbers from raiding your homes as their bark would be enough to prevent thieves.

Dogs are known to be loyal to their owners and would easily recognize who is an unwelcome guest. Alternatively, if you are allergic to dogs, you can install security alarms that would mimic a dog’s bark.

4.) Trim areas where robbers may potentially hide

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Having a beautiful lawn can aesthetically augment any home, but having an unkempt one can be to your disadvantage. Bushes, shrubs and trees positioned near doors and windows can be tricky spots for robbers. This why they should be routinely trimmed and cut down. Thieves can easily hide behind these plants and go undetected.

5.) Have a safe

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If there is an imperative need to invest in anything that would contribute to home security, acquiring a safe should be your first bet. These safes do not only function as an obstacle for your thieves in accessing pivotal documents and items, but they also keep those precious items in case of a fire which effectively doubles its purpose.

Should you have documents (marriage certificates/licenses, birth certificates, social security cards) and small items of great value (jewelry and spare cash for an instance), placing them inside a safe is the best way to conceal them or if discoveredkeep them from falling into a thief’s hands.

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Home Living: How to Deal with Bad Neighbors

A bad neighbor is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing. ~Hesiod

Say what you may about choosing the perfect location for your home, but it remains a fact that you can never be as discriminating and selective when it comes to your neighbors.

Where you live is of no consequence as you can have a luxurious and posh townhouse or a luxury condo Philippines Ayala, but unless you live in a gated abode with walls high enough not to be breached, interacting with your neighbors is an inevitability. No matter how you put it, living with bad neighbors is still a pressing social issue until today and unless you could afford a change of address, you would need to do something about it in order to make your home living a lot more pleasant and comfortable.

Dealing with these types of neighbors can elicit a range of reactions from being passive-aggressive to receptive and accommodating with the latter being the favorable one. Settling with irksome neighbors amicably can cause you a lot of stress but, as it would negatively affect your experience at home, it would be best if you dealt with it and communicated your concern.

The worst that could happen is that they would be uncooperative, but at least you conveyed your issues. The ball would be now in their court in addressing your complaint. If you have a bad neighbor (or think you might be one), consider the steps below in dealing with them.

1.) GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER

This is more of a precautionary measure than an actual solution, but it works. Introduce yourself to the community or befriend new neighbors, say a little “hi” and “hello”, maybe borrow a cup of sugar of some garden tools to start establishing a rapport and a working friendly relationship. Chances are, whenever your neighbor starts doing something that may cause you to take issue, it would be a lot easier to convey your problem than be all awkward about it if they were strangers to you. Additionally, constant chafing neighborly issues rarely happen between two neighbors who actually are in good terms with each other.

2.) DOCUMENT THE PROBLEM

If a certain issue arises, keep notes and photos if necessary. This can assist you in evaluating the problem (or whether there really is a problem), give you some information that would back you up when you tell your neighbor your concern. Finally, when worst comes to worst and everything escalates, you have proof to show authorities instead of looking like a whiny and finicky neighbor.

3.) COMMUNICATE

Do not readily assume that your neighbors are well and aware what your issues are—chances are, they do not know they may have less than neighborly practices. Discuss your concerns with them. Be open and direct about it and be respectful as well. Ask for their side and propose a solution that might be favorable to the both of you and compromise. Whatever you do, do not lose your temper as this will only aggravate the tension between you two.

4.) CHECK WITH YOUR OTHER NEIGHBORS

This does not necessarily mean you are snitching on your infuriating neighbors. This means you are trying to find out if you have a solid claim and whether your other neighbors are experiencing it as well. If some of your neighbors are experiencing the same predicament as you are, they may be more than willing to assist you in resolving it. So, when the time comes that you would confront your errant neighbor regarding your issue, you may have someone to come with you to talk it out.

5.) GET A MEDIATOR

A neutral party that is rather experienced in the area of settling disputes amicably may succeed in resolving your issue better than you can—especially if your bad neighbor is willing to talk. This will save you a lot of money instead of taking up your claim to court and in most cases, it is free and much less hassle. Try looking for a neutral third party or a friendly neighbor who is not involved in the issue in any way and have them assist you in dealing with your concern.

Furniture 101: When to Splurge or Save on Furniture

 

 

Furniture must have a personality as well to be beautiful. – Rose Tarlow

It is said that a house is merely a shell without its furniture. In fact, nothing can be more drab and dull that a house devoid of its customary fittings and furnishings. This is why people would actually dedicate time and effort to finding the best types of fixtures their home should have. And because of this, furnishing styles have become incredibly diverse.

Styles emerged such as modern, minimalist, traditional, art deco and the like–all to cater every type of homeowner there is. However, as enthusiastic as we may be in committing ourselves to shopping for house furniture, we should never let that very same enthusiasm cloud our judgment when it comes to choosing the best bargain and deals.

Of course, this is not to say that you should always negotiate with the pricing as there is some furniture that you could actually splurge on. The key is to know which of this furniture you should splurge money on or strike a bargain with or perhaps get at a lower price. So that regardless of whether you are finishing up your condo Philippines interior design or your residential homes, you would be conducting your furniture shopping wisely.

WHEN TO SAVE

If a particular furniture is seasonal

Some of us, Filipinos, are known for being festive when it comes to house decorations–Easter, Halloween, and Christmas, you name it. But think about it, these seasonal items only see the light of day about once a year when the holiday occurs. Seeing as this is the case, the wisest course would be to skimp on splurging on those lavish yet pricey decorations. Go for the thriftier options when it comes to these decorations.

If the item is not a necessity

This needs no further elaboration, but to illustrate what need means in this context think of your budget and see how far it would stretch. Suppose it is kind of tight, and yet you saw that beautiful antique vase that would make the perfect decoration for your living room. The thing is, as pretty as it may be, this item is not a necessity, and it is certainly not worth compromising your budget over.

If the item is not an accent piece

Accent pieces are items that are of pivotal use for your everyday living. Non-accent pieces are their designated complementary furniture that serves a secondary purpose which is to enhance how the accent pieces look. These pieces would include side tables, storage bins and the like and more often than not, they rarely become a room’s main feature, so it is best to save on these and splurge on the primary ones such as sofas, dining tables, etc.

WHEN TO SPLURGE

If it affects your productivity

Furniture items that would make you more productive is a sound investment. It is definitely better to have a good night’s sleep on a good mattress after a day’s long work, so you could definitely splurge on a premium mattress. In the same vein, if it is how you earn your living (such as writing freelancer), it would be best if you splurged on furniture that would enhance your capability in doing your work such as a computer with a good processor and air conditioning to help you stay focused.

If the item has more than one purpose

This one is relatively straightforward. When you splurge on items that have a dual purpose, it is essentially getting two or three for the price of one which is necessarily practical as living spaces have no become rather smaller and yet pricier. So, the more functionality the furniture piece has, the better as you may be splurging a lot more when it comes to cash, but you are definitely saving up on space.

When it comes to furniture shopping, come up with a realistic budget before heading out to the home depot. Think of the things that you will truly need and take note how much time you would be spending at home to enjoy these items (a TV set wired to cable is hardly practical when you are never home to enjoy it). From there, use this as a guide to tick some items off the list on which ones you should save on and splurge on.