5 tips for a successful collision repair

Nobody wants car accidents and car dents, but unfortunate events happen from time to time. The best thing to do is to be mentally prepared for any situation. As the premium auto body shop in Toronto, Modern Automotive is happy to share helpful tips for people to understand the basic process of collision repair.   

Don’t hesitate to ask questions 

Car owners are not mechanical professionals, so they will not know every detail about collision repair. Just like you will call appliance repair technicians when you have a problematic fridge. When there is a need to repair a car dent, he needs to know the costs, time frames, and warranties. It is true that people tend to trust in a local service provider, but it is always recommended to have a clear picture of the services from the auto body shop. Nobody wants to find hidden costs after the repairs.

Use certified technicians 

When a car owner plans to work with an auto repair shop, he needs to figure out if the technician is certified by the auto manufacturer or others. A proper certification means that the technician receives professional training to perform quality repairs. People are more likely to receive great services from certified technicians.   

Check the source of replacement parts 

It is important to understand where the replacement parts come from. Are those parts qualified? How about the costs? It is always worth being well informed of the prices.  

Get a complete quote 

A car accident might affect many parts of the vehicle. Before the repair, the car owner should have a clear understanding of which parts need repairs. Common repairs include bumpers, dents, paints, filters, cracked glasses and doors. Try to go over each item carefully and ask questions when necessary.  

Don’t have to use the recommended auto body shop 

While it is easier to go with the auto body shop recommended by the insurance company, a car owner still has the right to choose the right service provider after a thorough research. After all, reliable and effective repair is the priority.  

It might be stressful when faced with collision repairs. That’s why Modern Automotive wants to shed light on the process to help car owners to get prepared for any unexpected accidents. If you live in a remote area, you can simply search on Google to check your nearby service providers with good SEO ranking and reviews.

** This was a contributed post.

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a few of the benefits of living somewhere a bit wilder

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Approximately hundred years ago, the vast majority of human beings – including those living in Europe and the United States – lived in rural settings, with only a minority of the population living in highly urbanised environments.

Today, the situation is the exact reverse, with urban areas being highly crowded population centres, and the wilder parts of the world being increasingly sparsely populated.

Throughout almost the entire span of human existence up until this point, we have lived in natural settings that bear virtually no resemblance to modern cities and large towns, and there’s a lot of evidence that living somewhere a bit wilder and a bit closer to the heart of nature can convey all sorts of different potential upsides.

Civilisation provides many amazing benefits, ranging from modern healthcare, to the ability to purchase the best quality eyeglasses for your needs, within moments, via the Internet.

Fortunately, living in a wilder or more rural area doesn’t mean that you have to become a hermit and totally turn your back on technology and modern innovations.

Here are a few of the benefits of living somewhere a bit wilder.

A much closer connection to nature and a sense of being part of a greater whole

For a long time now, a wide variety of people have reported feeling alienated, atomised, and disconnected as a result of city living.

Sociologists dating back at least to the 1800s have made the point that living in dense urban centres naturally creates a sense of distance and disconnection from other people, even when you are completely surrounded by them, and fosters sensations of anxiety and rootlessness.

As human beings, we all need to have a sense of connection to a greater whole in order to really thrive – and that sense of connection to a greater whole frequently comes in the form of a connection to nature, and the more natural and organic kinds of communities that tend to develop in wilder and more rural settings.

Increasingly, psychologists are finding that people who regularly spend time in nature enjoy an enhanced sense of well-being, feel more balanced and whole, and suffer less from many of the issues that afflict people in urban environments.

The psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist, for example, makes a compelling case that urban environments keep us completely submerged in a landscape of human artifice, which makes it very difficult for us to feel the sense of organic wholeness that we associate with things like the natural world, and nourishing interpersonal relationships.

Regular opportunities for “silence” and getting in touch with what really matters

One of the most common issues that afflicts virtually everyone today, is the sheer, ever-present, overpowering nature of the various distractions that we are surrounded by day and night.

Whether it’s advertising, worrying stories in the news, the latest celebrity gossip or cultural event, notifications in your social media feeds, or any number of other things, it can often be overwhelming just going through day-to-day life while trying to maintain a bit of balance and poise.

On the one hand, having your attention under constant attack is certainly annoying, but the issue might be significantly more serious than that.

The highly accomplished Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, who – among other things – was the first man to walk solo to the South Pole, believes that we all need moments of “silence” and freedom from distraction on a regular basis, in order to help us get in touch with our authentic selves, and truly thrive.

For Kagge, many of his best moments of what he calls “silence” came about when he was doing feats of endurance in extreme natural environments.

In recent years, however, he has written a book entitled “Silence in the Age of Noise,” and he argues that it’s possible for us all to find moments for this kind of silence in our own daily lives.

Living in a wilder and more natural area naturally makes it easier to escape the countless distractions that so often bombard us. Simply stepping outside into your garden, going for a stroll, or even just turning off your TV, opening the window, and listening to the sounds of nature, can help you to take a breather.

Importantly, it’s in these kinds of moments of calm and quiet that we often realise what it is that we actually find most significant and meaningful in life.

A higher baseline level of physical activity

As you hear from a huge number of different sources, one of the most pressing public health issues across the developed world today is sedentary living, and lower and lower baseline levels of physical activity for the average person.

Maintaining a high level of low-to-moderate intensity physical activity on a regular basis is associated with all sorts of fantastic health benefits, ranging from improving cardiovascular function, to maintaining a healthy body weight, enjoying an enhanced sense of well-being, experiencing improved immune function, and more.

Living in a wilder locale almost automatically means a higher baseline level of physical activity, as you walk more around your neighbourhood, go strolling through the landscape, potentially work in your garden or on your smallholding, and so on.

At the very least, you’ll almost certainly find it easier to motivate yourself to go out for a stroll if you have some beautiful natural scenery to appreciate just beyond your front door.

Daily opportunities for fascination and insight

It’s probably fair to say that everyone wants their life to be full of moments of fascination, novelty, and insight – and living in a wilder and more natural setting can provide a virtually endless number of opportunities in this regard, if you approach things in the right way.

The natural world is an extremely intricate and fascinating web of different interdependent organisms, forces, and dynamics.

In her book, “Finding the Mother Tree,” plant scientist and former forester Suzanne Simard describes some of the profound ways in which trees and other plants communicate, engage in deeply intricate symbiotic relationships, and shape forests as essentially interconnected, living and breathing mega-organisms.

Whether you are interested in hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, or other high-octane sporting activities, or whether you want to take up birdwatching, explore the forests, try your hand at beekeeping, plant a vegetable garden, or a variety of other things, there are opportunities – on a daily basis – to explore new avenues, delve into new interests, and keep a childlike sense of wonder alive.

While there are certainly all kinds of different things to do in urban environments, the very nature of those environments tends to give us less room to explore and experience those sorts of primal pastimes. Instead, urban environments typically present a preset number of different recreational activities.

Less pollution

Pollution is one of the most pressing issues in the world today, and a lot has been said – and continues to be said – about the ways in which air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and more are not only undermining the stability of the planet’s various ecosystems, but also directly harming human health.

Many common pollutants, for example, have been associated with hormonal changes and an increased risk of serious disease.

While many modern cities are far cleaner than they used to be, and while there are pollution concerns in certain rural areas, related largely to pesticides, living in a relatively wild area is likely to mean you will be exposed to significantly less pollution, and can literally “breathe easier” as a result.

Particularly if you have a young family to raise, things like the relative pollution levels in your environment might be major factors to consider, when planning for the future.

More space

It almost goes without saying that living in a wilder and more rural environment automatically tends to mean that you have more space available – both in terms of a larger home and plot of land at a more affordable price, and also in terms of more space between you and your neighbours.

There are many potential benefits to simply having more space at your disposal – ranging from the fact that it might allow for a more comfortable style of living, the fact that it might allow you to work on various projects and interests of yours that would be difficult to work in a more urban environment.

For example, you might be able to create a small barn or workshop, grow a well-sized garden, keep a certain number of livestock, or a variety of other things.

A bit more space between you and your neighbours also means a bit more privacy, and less of the sense of claustrophobia that people sometimes experience when living in crowded cities.

Ultimately, living somewhere wilder can really allow you to tailor your living situation to your particular preferences, in a variety of different ways that will often be at least quite difficult, if not impossible, elsewhere.

** This was a contributed post.

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tips for finding the perfect home

Buying a new home is always an adventure. No matter whether you find it stressful or exciting – or more likely a combination of both these things – you will, once the dust has settled and the boxes are removed, be living somewhere new, and if all has gone according to plan, that new place will be the perfect home. 

Of course, in order to be living in the perfect home, you need to find it. With that in mind, here are some valuable tips for finding your perfect dream home and enjoying it to the fullest. 

Photo by Jessica Bryant from Pexels 

What Is Your Perfect Home? 

Before you can begin to search for your perfect home, you need to know what that ideal home looks like, or at least what elements it needs to have to make it right for you. Make a list of everything you must have in the new place, and ensure anyone moving with you does the same. Ideally, you should have two lists; one that contains ‘must haves’ and one that contains ‘nice to haves’. The first list is unchangeable, but the second is full of things that you could compromise on if need be. 

Once you have your list, you will be able to narrow down the options available to you and only seriously consider the ones in which you’ll feel most comfortable. This is particularly important if you are preparing for interstate moving and not staying in the area you currently live, as you’ll only want to visit houses that are really going to suit you so you can save time and money. 

Stay In Budget 

There are lots of houses that are definitely going to suit whatever your idea of perfection is. However, they may not all fall into your budget range, and this is important to think about. It’s not worth stretching your budget to breaking point (or beyond) and being very uncomfortable every time you need to pay the mortgage for the next twenty or thirty years just to get one more item on your list ticked off. It makes a lot more sense to compromise on some of those listed items and pay less for a property. 

In the end, you’ll be much happier in a house you can comfortably afford, even if it doesn’t have everything you thought you wanted, than you would be in a home that is difficult to pay for, even if it has all the things you thought were important. 

Use Your Imagination 

Some of the houses that will be in your budget and seem to have everything you need will require a lot of work – this is why they are priced much more cheaply than anything else you are looking at. In this case, you’ll need to use your imagination when you go see them or when you conduct a virtual video viewing (whichever is best for you). 

It could be that your perfect house is lurking underneath a layer of old wallpaper and wonky floorboards and that with some time, money, and effort, you can create something that is exactly what you want out of the bones of the houses you’re looking at. Using your imagination to think about what the place could be like might be the thing that finds you your perfect house when you didn’t think you would.

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how your home can make better first impressions

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or you simply want to make the most of the home you have for yourself and your family, it’s always worth thinking about how you can improve it. And one area in which it makes sense for homeowners to improve their homes is through the first impressions they’re able to deliver.

So what does it take to ensure your home gives off the right kinds of first impressions? That’s a tough question to answer and one that you might be struggling with right now. The truth is there’s not just one thing that goes into creating good first impressions; it’s more about the overall package.

We’re going to talk today about some of the things you can do to make your home more appealing at first sight. And a lot of these changes will also improve your living experience in the home too. So read on to find out more.

Go the Extra Mile with Your Floors

One of the first things that people tend to see and look at when they step into your home are the floors. These are important because we all look down and see them as we take in a space and judge it subconsciously. So that’s why you’ll want to go the extra mile with your flooring and make it as strong as it possibly can be. Doing so will certainly pay off for you. Whether that means laying some nice tiles or exposing and restoring the original floorboards is up to you.

Keep it Well Cleaned

The inside and the outside of your home will benefit a lot from being kept properly clean at all times. If the space isn’t properly clean, people will notice it right away. And that’s why it might be a good idea to invest in a pressure washer so you can really take on the dirt and grime on the outside of your home. You’ll be astounded at how much of a difference it makes, and a pressure washer is great for cleaning the driveway and any of the paths around and leading up to your home as well.

Create a Well-Lit Entrance

You should want the entrance to your home to be light and well-lit if you want to make some positive first impressions. That applies to the outside and the inside. So think about the porch area and whether a small light is needed there for when arriving after dark. And when it comes to the inside, having a light hanging from the ceiling can offer the light you need as well as creating a nice visual effect. Either way, you should make the introduction to your home as bright and light as it can be.

Take Steps to Declutter It

If your home is full of clutter, it’s going to be quite difficult for you to get the most out of it. And it’ll make first impressions far less favorable than they might otherwise be. Start with the outdoor space and ensure you don’t have any lawn clutter or toys that are making your front garden look messy. From there, tackle your home and get rid of everything that you don’t really need or that doesn’t have a useful place in your home.

Pay Attention to the Scent

The scent in your home is something else that’ll have a big impact on the overall first impressions the home creates. It’s up to you to make sure that you have a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the home and the scent of it will definitely play a part in that. The right scent is the one that offers what you’re looking for and that makes the home feel welcoming. It might be lavender or maybe the scent of freshly baked bread. That’s something only you can decide on.

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Work on the Exterior Landscape

Before people see the inside of your home, they’ll see the exterior and the way in which the greenery is presented. If you’re not much of a gardener and you don’t have green fingers, it might be a good idea to hire a professional gardener who’ll be able to take care of this stuff for you. The main aim when working on the landscaping of your exterior space is to make the home look well looked after and manicured. Nicely shaped hedges and a landscaped lawn will help to make that possible.

Replace and Upgrade the Front Door of the Home

It’s often a  good idea to think about the front door and the visual impact it has when you’re looking to boost first impressions. Replacing the door with something new and more modern can make a difference. But what matters most is making sure it has an impact and fits in with the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve throughout the home. It’s also vital you work with the best door replacement company you can find in order to achieve the best outcomes when the work is done.

Do Something New with Your House Number

If it’s been a long time since you did something different with the house number on the front of your home, it might be time to do something about that. With a fresh new number you can make the exterior of the property look and feel far more appealing, and that’s never a bad thing. It can be elegant or dramatic or whatever you want it to be. But it should fit in with the design of the home and the overall aesthetic you’re looking to achieve. People notice those kinds of things.

Invest in Quality Windows

High-quality windows will always serve you well when it comes to creating a home you can love and be proud of. People will notice the fresh new frames and the clean aesthetic that come with new windows. It really pays off to think about buying new windows if the ones you currently have in place are old and starting to decay a little around the edges. That’s certainly not what you want to be contending with later on and they’ll certainly damage the first impressions your home gives.

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Keep Plants or Fresh Flowers in the Home

When people enter a room and see flowers and houseplants, their attention is drawn to those things. It adds a touch of nature to the space and really adds an important element in an understated way. It’s a simple thing that anyone can do and it’ll make your space so much more inviting that it would otherwise be. That’s not an easy thing to achieve, but the right flowers and plants can make it happen.

Think About the Pathway Leading Up to the Home

First impressions are established to some extent before a person even steps into your home, and that’s why it’s important to work on the pathway leading up to it if you can. There are lots of ways to improve the pathway, such as adding new paving stones, adding small lights along the way to light up the path at night. It’s up to you, but do what you can to create an approach that’s fitting for your home and that delivers the first impressions you’re looking for.

Fix What’s Broken

If there are occasionally issues that arise in and around your home, you should try to deal with them sooner rather than later. When something’s broken or no longer functioning as it should, that’s a sign that you should step in and get it fixed at the soonest opportunity. That could mean doing the work to carry out the fix yourself or it might mean calling in a professional. But if you ignore those minor issues, they’ll only get worse until they eventually cause you big problems that are very costly to fix.

Pay Attention to Signs of Exterior Wear

The home’s exterior will no doubt show signs of ageing and wear as the years pass. It’s up to you to find ways to maintain that exterior and keep it looking fresh and in check for as long as possible. Paying attending and tending to issues as and when you see them will help you to keep that exterior appearance in check. 

Use Signature Art Pieces

Finally, you could think about potentially adding a new art piece that acts as a signature item in the living room or maybe in the hallway as people enter. That way, it acts as part of the first impressions people get when seeing your home for the first time, and that can only be a good thing. Choose a piece that says something about you and makes a wider statement about your interests and aesthetic preferences

So if you’re looking to make your home’s first impressions stronger for whatever reason, you should be sure to make the most of the tips and ideas that have been discussed here. Each of them will help you to improve your home and its overall vibe in one way or another.

** This was a contributed post.

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4 ways to upgrade your outside space

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Is your backyard ready for outdoor parties, barbeques, lawn games, and family dinners?

Your outside space is an extension of your indoor living space and a wonderful place to spend time in the Summer. Keeping on top of your backyard duties in the Winter is not always very appealing, so it may need a little sprucing up! 

Your backyard should be a welcoming space to spend time with the family or entertain guests in the sunnier months. It can get expensive to renovate your backyard, but there are many cost-effective ways to upgrade your backyard, regardless of the size, without breaking the bank. 

#1 DIY canopy 

Why not indulge in some alfresco dining this Summer? Building your DIY canopy does not cost a lot of money and can add a stylish eccentric vibe to your outdoor space while protecting you from harsh sunlight and even rain! Add some curtains for extra shade and even add some fairy lights to brighten it up at night. 

#2 Sort or replace your grass 

The grass can make or break any theme you are trying to create with your backyard, regardless of how expensive your decking is! If the grass is not in good shape, it will ruin the vibe.

Consider spending some time nurturing your garden by removing any weeds, watering during dry spouts, and even adding a small stoned path to protect the grass. Another inexpensive option could be to completely replace the grass if it is too far gone, or if you don’t have any already. Surprisingly, there are different types of grass that you can choose for your garden, but it is best to do your research first, so you can decide which is best. The most common debate for best lawns is bermudagrass vs tall fescue

#3 Build a seating area 

The best (and cheapest) seating areas are the ones you build yourself. All it takes is some old wood, food palettes, or even old bricks and concrete slabs and you can build a customised seating area. When you build it yourself, you can make it as big or small as you want, as well as decorate it in your unique style. Building your own creates that trendy rustic look. 

#4 Outdoor cinema

Once you have your DIY canopy and seating area set up, a fun addition to your backyard is an outdoor cinema. This can easily be achieved on a budget, with the only investment being a small projector to hook up to your laptop where you can log in to your favorite streaming service or watch old-time DVDs. Bring things you already have in the house, like a bedsheet for the screen and cushions and blankets to cozy up with, get some popcorn and enjoy a warm summer’s evening with your cinema! 

There are so many ways you can upgrade your backyard in preparation for summer fun, without breaking the bank. It just requires you to think outside the box and get your hands dirty. If there is anything this past year has taught us, it is that we need to spend more time with friends and family, and in nature! So make sure your backyard is up to scratch!

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