Are You Evaluating Electric Fireplaces For Your Home? Here’s What You Should Look For

For many homeowners, the perfect cherry on top to redecorating their home is to include a fireplace. Whether the house already had a fireplace originally attached to it or you are looking to install one for the first time, you have a few choices ahead of you. For example, for those who already possess a fireplace in the home, you may be considering closing it up and turning instead to modern fireplaces that run on electricity. For those who don’t own a fireplace, you may be confused about which offers the best experience–an original fireplace or an electric one? To help you determine if an electric fireplace is right for you, this article will cover things you should keep in mind when considering installing an electric fireplace.

How Does It Operate?

Does an electric fireplace really run on electricity? Yes. Whereas standard fireplaces only require a chimney and then wood to run, electric fireplaces require electricity in order to function. This is because the flames inside are artificial. While they most certainly are capable of heating a room, you don’t have to keep running out to acquire more firewood in order to keep your fireplace running. With electric fireplaces, all you have to do to get your fire started–or extinguished–is press a button.

Electric fireplaces plug into a wall socket and can be installed quite easily. In fact, at most, you only need to two people to install an electric fireplace. They’re relatively lightweight and can be placed anywhere so long as they have access to a wall socket. Many people call them portable fireplaces since you can quite easily move them to a different location if you so choose.


Perhaps one of the best aspects of the electric fireplace is that they come in varying sizes. For those who own a smaller space but still want to enjoy a fireplace, this is excellent news. You don’t have to have a grand space in order to fit the fireplace. You also don’t need to include masonry or anything else to fit around your fireplace once you’ve installed it. Essentially, your electric fireplace can be as extravagant or as simple as you desire.

They also come in varying sizes. So, if you want a big fireplace that is the focal point of your room, then you can easily find that model available. For those who are looking for an electric fireplace, keep in mind the size of the space that you want to use it in to determine what fireplace is best for you. If you feel the fireplace is too small, you can always think about including a masonry exterior to fit around your fireplace and give it further character.


As with traditional fireplaces, you typically have to clean them at least once a year. Though if you’re using them a lot, you should definitely clean them more often than that amount. A chimney sweep is usually required to clean out your chimney, so you don’t end up burning your house down. With an electric fireplace, you don’t have to worry about that. Because the flames are artificial, there isn’t smoke that’s being generated that needs to be carried away outside of your home. This makes electric fireplaces clean, efficient, and safe for children. Perhaps one of the best features is that you don’t have to carry in wood from the outdoors–which is a mess all in itself.


You may be wondering just how long you can enjoy an electric fireplace before it inevitably dies on you. True that a traditional fireplace can last forever provided you keep up with the upkeep. However, electric fireplaces have a pretty long lifespan, too. The more expensive models can typically last for around twenty years, whereas the cheaper models tend to operate well for around ten years.

A Fireplace For Everyone

Because of its relatively low-costs, practically anyone can own an electric fireplace. For those who want the benefits of a fireplace without having to worry about the clean-up and maintenance, the electric fireplace is the best option for you and your family to enjoy.

Keeping Your Potted Plants Lush and Vibrant

With effortlessly lush centerfolds in home and garden magazines, tending to potted plants can seem like a simple, breezy accessory. So why is it that some of us just can’t seem to hit the nail on the head?

If the cat grass is always greener in someone else’s home, never fear: chances are, it’s not your fault. Plant upkeep of any kind is a science, and, much like cooking or any home science, a learnable one if only you’re given the right information.

Choosing Plants That Thrive In Container Gardening

If you feel like you kill every plant you touch, never fear! It may not be your un-green thumb at all, but rather an unfortunate history of plants that were never designed to thrive in containers, or plants meant to thrive outside brought indoors.

Why does it matter? Plants that need room to spread their roots deep, that build a special interaction with the surrounding ecosystem, or that otherwise need room to grow may suffer when contained to a pot, though there are naturally large plants (even small trees!) that thrive in large pots. Some gardeners recommend a few solid, easy-to-keep-alive starter plants: aloe, snake plants, and ficus, for example, all require little attention and easy-to-learn care.

A plant doesn’t need to be complicated, challenging, or tamed into an environment in which it can never thrive in order to be beautiful. Instead, working indoors only with plants that truly thrive in container gardening shows a respect to nature and to each plant, as well as respect for the time and effort you put in for their care. For all your work, you deserve to choose plants that won’t set your houseplants or container garden up for failure.

Does Climate Matter Indoors?

Yes, but not exactly in the way you might think!

Growing full sun plants anywhere with under 6 sunny hours on its average day will be a challenge. If it’s one you want to take on, bear in mind that the average indoor lightbulb won’t be enough: You’ll want to consider investing in a sun-mimicking lamp to fill your potted plant’s needs. The more sensible route may be to choose a plant which likes the shade or partial sun.

But even if heavy downpours and cold snaps don’t quite make their way inside a well-insulated home, indoor potted plants will continue to have some climate preferences. The bathroom, for example, makes a great location for potted plants that prefer moisture.

Giving Your Plants The Right Soil From The Start

Though it’s easy to pick up “potting soil” and call it a day, the name on the bag is deceptive: there is no one-size-fits-all soil type for every plant you can grow inside a pot. Herbs require rocky soil, and may even benefit from a layer of pebbles laid out in the bottom of their container before adding a mixture of potting soil and pebbles. Some plant types, like orchids, require special pH measures or levels of clay soil content best found, for beginners, in specialized commercial soil mixes. Others can benefit from some DIY adjustments to your average potting soil, like adding pebbles for drainage or peat moss for moisture retention.

Placement, Placement, Placement

Every plant sold at a reputable nursery will come with an information card stuck into the soil around, or sometimes tied around the stem of, the plant. This is for more than reminding you of the plant’s casual and scientific name: most cards contain information on optimal sun exposure, space requirements, and watering.

Take some time to observe various spots in your home and yard through the day, and see how much sun each gets. “Full sun” is generally considered to be 6+ hours, but most potted plants that thrive indoors will prefer “partial sun,” or 3-6 hours. No matter how much sun a plant requires, never place a delicate plant up against a window: the glass acts like a greenhouse wall or a lens and intensifies sunlight, which means that placement too close to a window can leave plants burnt or withering.

A Note on Pet Safe and Child Safe Indoor Gardening

Adding a plant to your home is, always, introducing a new living thing into a small human ecosystem. Always check online, at the library, or with the experts at your local nursery before bringing a plant into the home to make sure it’s non-toxic to any young children or animals. Even common plants can pose a risk, so be thorough!

So what’s the verdict? Green thumb, schmeen thumb. If your potted plant efforts have been foiled no matter what you do, there is always some cause—and no, it isn’t that your hands are cursed to leave healthy plants wilting. Do your research, ask questions, and know that most plant experts at nurseries, hardware and gardening stores, or even just in your neighborhood are delighted to offer advice to an up-and-coming container gardener.

Looking To Sell Your Home? These Upgrades Are Most Attractive To Buyers

2018 has been a great time for those who are interested in selling their home. With more individuals looking to settle down in certain areas, there are homes that are being snapped up for thousands over their asking price within weeks of being posted.

If you are one of the many homeowners who is interested in selling your home this year, you may be wondering how to get the most bang for your buck. While there is little doubt that your gem of a home will be snapped up within a few months, there are a few upgrades that you can do now that will spell big bucks down the road.

Bathroom Remodel

You can either completely overhaul the bathroom for a new look and all-new appliances or you can do a smaller remodel that will still push up your price point. Re-caulking your tube or reglazing it doesn’t take more than a few hundred dollars and adds a layer of sparkle to the room. You can also upgrade the walls with new paint or texture and replace older and dated shower doors.

Add A Porch, Deck, or Patio

Adding a porch, deck, or patio to your home can greatly enhance the value and attractiveness of your home. You can continue to increase the price point that you can ask for by adding interesting gates, decorative planters, and attractive lighting. For additional purchase appeal, you should ensure that your handrails are safe and that the new outdoor section is handicap accessible.

Transform Your Attic Into a Room

Adding another room to your home can seem a daunting task but it is far easier if you are just converting your attic into a living space. It can add up to $40,000 to your resale value if you add another room and can cost far less if you have the ability to do any of the work yourself. You should also focus on any green incentive programs in your area and add solar energy for a tax refund or a discount on property taxes before you sell your home.

Kitchen Remodal

You don’t have to go big on this remodel if you don’t have the extra cash but you can still gain a large payment with a little effort in this room. Many first-time home-buyers are invested in having a well-rounded kitchen and focus on this room above all else. You can give your kitchen a serious re-vamp for as little as $5,000 by replacing old appliances, putting in a new countertop, replacing the flooring, and applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls. These little touches can make your kitchen look more inviting to those who are seeking a new space.


Making sure the outside of your home has curb appeal will generate a lot of interest in potential buyers. Make sure that you have a good strategy before you begin to landscape your yard. Focus on making sure that your landscaping choices fit the style of your yard, choosing lower maintenance plantings, and planting trees and flowers that will bloom at different times in the season.

By following these tips, you will see a large return on any investment that you make in your house. Remember that even though the housing market is currently firmly in support of sellers, there is no reason to slack off. Choosing to put in some time and energy as you upgrade your home will give you the type of return that you are seeking.