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Fantastic Ways to Use Leyland Cypress in Your Home

If you are looking for a relatively fast growing evergreen to brighten up your home and garden, look no further than Leyland Cypress. This beautiful tree variety is versatile and will happily grow in most soils and climates.

Provided you buy your Leyland Cypress from The Tree Center or another online tree specialist they are not expensive. Plus, once they are in and established they require very little, if any, maintenance. So, they are also low-cost trees to keep. In fact, because they are very attractive to look at, provided you use them in the right way they can actually add value to your property.

Create an attractive hedge

Most Leyland Cypress varieties are bred to have a conical shape. This makes them look particularly attractive when planted in rows. That means they are ideal for creating an interesting hedge. However, if you use them in this way it is really important to buy the right variety. In some areas, the height of your hedge is restricted by local planning or bylaws. Therefore, you need to check this out and buy a variety that will not exceed that height once they are fully grown. Tall trees and hedging are at the root of most arguments between neighbors, so please do not ignore this issue.

Divide your garden into distinct areas

If you have a large garden using Cypress trees to divide it up into distinct areas can help you to get more use out of it. Plus, make the garden more manageable.

For example, a lot of people screen off the bottom of their garden using a Cypress screen. From the house, everything looks neat and tidy with a row of Leyland Cypress looks attractive and draws the eye. However, behind them, the garden has been left to grow wild. This has two advantages. Firstly, you do not have to maintain that section of your garden. Secondly, that area provides good habitat for local wildlife. You can find out more about creating this type of area by reading this article.

Create beautiful arbors

When young, Leyland Cypress trees are nice and springy. This makes them good for creating arbors and other structures. Once they are mature you can cut the top off to stop them growing upwards. At that point, they will fill out a bit along their length but can be trimmed back to keep your arbor looking thin and elegant.

Green sculptures

Surprisingly, Leyland Cypress is also a great tree for topiary. Its natural elegant pointed shape lends itself to creating beautiful natural sculptures. The basic shape is pretty much there already. All you need to do is to trim it closely and remove any sections of the tree that you do not want to be able to create your living sculpture. Leyland Cypress that has been cut into spirals look particularly nice when planted either side of a long driveway or path. Once they are grown, you will only have to trim them a couple of times, every year, to keep them looking perfect.

4 Décor Ideas for Exposed Plumbing Pipes

Few things are as satisfying as decorating a new home. Even today’s millennials, who are known for their thrift, are spending money on home décor, according to one 2017 survey. However, home décor is not without its challenging, especially when it comes to hiding common household eyesores, such as exposed plumbing pipes. Since these cannot be moved or put behind a wall without some major renovation, another option is to get creative with a few easy design tips for hiding them or blending them into your home’s unique décor plan.

 

1.      Faux Wood Pipe Covers

 

Using repurposed wood is a popular current design trend, and you can treat your exposed plumbing pipes to match with faux pipe covers. These adhesive strips wrap around almost any size pipe and give them the appearance of wood without the expense of constructing real wooden pipe covers. These covers can be found at home improvement or large craft stores.

 

2.      Sink Skirts

 

Hiding exposed pipes in your bathroom can be accomplished in a few different ways, but if you are on a tight decorating budget, consider sink skirts instead of cabinetry. Not only is this cheaper than having cabinets installed, you can choose from a huge variety of colors and fabric to match almost any décor. Vintage sink skirts are a fine choice if you are trying to achieve that rustic, charming feel for your powder room.

 

While sink skirts are relatively simple to create and install, you may want to take your time with choosing a fabric. Consider those that are simple to clean yet rugged enough to last, such as a thick cotton or cotton canvas. While you might have to replace a skirt eventually, you are likely to get a lot of use out of it when it is made of a long-lasting material.

 

3.      Chrome Paint

 

If you yearn for the vintage look of copper piping, you need look no further than your local paint supply store. Painting your exposed pipes with chrome shades of copper, silver or even gold can enhance your décor and make them part of the aesthetic. Copper pipes can brighten up small spaces like your bathroom or a kitchenette. Before you begin, you may want to consult plumbing repair services to ensure your current pipes are safe to paint and that they are in good working order.

 

4.      Invest in Climbing Plants

 

Indoor plants can enhance your décor and beautify almost any space, but climbing plants and vines make an especially useful choice if you are trying to conceal exposed plumbing pipes. Ivy, jasmine, and purple heart plants are all climbing or creeping plants that can be grown and kept indoors. If you have pets, ask your local gardening shop which of these are safe to keep around curious cats or young dogs.

 

One other factor to consider when buying a climbing plant is how much sunlight it will need to grow properly. Think about where your pipes are in relation to your home’s windows and take photos to show your local nursery experts so they can help you make the best possible choice.

 

Your home’s exposed plumbing pipes can throw off your home’s décor aesthetic. However, with a little creative thinking and some inexpensive materials, you can make them fit right in.

 

Choosing the Right Glassware to Use for Various Drinks

What would a party be without drinks? Whether you love throwing a party in your house, or you are planning to open your own bar, learning about the right glassware to use for specific drinks is important, as this will impress your guests. Here are some of the most common types of glassware to use for specific drinks.

Glassware for Cocktail Drinks

The most popular glassware for cocktail drinks is the cocktail glass. It’s commonly used for cocktails that do not come with ice. Most of these glasses are 3-6 ounces, although there are bigger ones. The large opening of this glass makes it perfect for this kind of drink, as you can easily smell the cocktail’s aroma. Some typical cocktails that use such a glass are the Cosmopolitan and Martini.

Another cocktail glass option is the lowball glass. It’s a short glass that has a thick base. This is often used for cocktails with ice like a White Russian and Negroni. A highball glass is taller than the lowball glass. It is also used to serve cocktails with ice, especially those that contain more non-alcoholic ingredients. This includes, for example, a Mojito or Bloody Mary.

Glassware for Wine

Red wine needs aerating and stirring, which is why a glass for red wine with a rounder and bigger bowl is perfect. One that has a long stem is also ideal, so the drink doesn’t easily warm via the heat from the hand. A flute glass should be used for sparkling wine because it’s thin and tall, making it easier to maintain the bubbles in the drink for a longer time. A white wine glass is not as round as a red wine glass, but not as thin as a flute glass. It also has a smaller opening or mouth than the red wine glass to prevent the wine from quickly oxidizing, thus keeping it light. Wine glassware is available both at local stores and online. Crystal Décor is one of the online stores that sell glassware for various drinks, offering various sizes and designs of glasses.

Glassware for Specialty Drinks

Margaritas can be served in various glasses. However, if you want the classic or traditional way, a margarita glass is the way to go. It has a small base that opens wider at the mouth. A Martini glass is almost like the typical cocktail glass. Its shape is more of a cone and it has a wider mouth. If serving hot cocktails like a Hot Toddy, use an Irish coffee glass. This is made specifically for hot drinks, as it is resistant to heat. It also comes with a handle to easily hold it.

The right glassware will add to the overall experience of your guests, so it would be a good decision to invest in a variety of glasses for different drinks.

Instances When You Need To Call For Emergency Plumbing Services

An emergency when you need a plumber can be one of the most distressing times. However, most people may not know when to call for emergency service. One thing to bear in mind is that an emergency ought to be fixed as soon as possible. This is to avoid any damage that may be caused. Here are some instances to call for emergency plumbing services.

Frozen pipes

This is common in areas where the weather is extreme. This is common in the winter season. Frozen pipes will not allow any water to go through. The frozen pipe might soon turn into a burst pipe. Trying to thaw pipes on your own is not a good idea. This will cause you, and your family great inconvenience. Give your plumber a call immediately before the problem gets out of hand.

Leaks

With a leak in your pipe or tap, it can be very annoying. This may make you even lack sleep. You may also lose a lot of water and need to pay increased bills. Some of the leaks increase within a short time and can soon get out of hand. To avoid any last-minute rush, call your plumber in North London immediately to rectify the leak.

Clogging

Clogged drains, especially the toilet, can be very serious. It starts with a slow drain of the waste water. The next time might be a flow back, spilling the waste water on your floor. You do not need to wait for this. Call your plumber immediately to unclog the drain before it is too late.

Sewer backup

Sewer backup is as bad as a clogged toilet. This is a major problem and you need a plumber immediately. A flow back of the sewer to your home is not right. It would be tricky to determine the cause on your own, without professional help. Give an immediate call to your plumber to resolve the problem right away.

Scalding water

This is a situation whereby there is extremely hot water coming out of your tap or shower. This means that something is wrong with the heater. This could be caused by overheating and poses a great danger. At times the water may be hot enough to give you a burn. When you notice such an issue, turn the heater off, until you get a plumber to check out the system.

Awful smells

When you notice a foul smell in your home, it is important to call your plumber. This is mainly because there could be a sewer leakage. This needs to be rectified immediately.

There you have it. Some of the reasons why you might need to call your plumber immediately. Avoid any delays that will cause you a bigger situation that will destroy your house or valuables. Whenever you notice a leak, turn off your water until you get a plumber.

Image: pixabay.com

Tankless Water Heater Considerations

If it is time to get a new water heater, you might be considering going tankless. There are a variety of tankless water heaters for homes of all sizes. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of such a shift before jumping in. There are many advantages to such a change but there may be some drawbacks as well.

 

Advantages

 

  •       Convenience: With a tankless water heater, you no longer have to compromise on hot water usage. Your family can take a hot shower one after the other. The joys of continuous hot water cannot be overstated. They also take up much less room than traditional units.
  •       Eco-friendly: These units tend to be more efficient than traditional hot water heaters, possibly as much as 30 percent more efficient than a 50-gallon tank heater. This leads to monthly energy bill savings. Because they don’t have to keep water hot constantly, they are much more efficient. This could save you as much as 20 percent from your water heating bill alone. Electric modes also don’t produce greenhouse gases.
  •       Durable and reliable: Tankless units tend to last between 15 and 20 years. Most hot water heaters that rely on a tank need to be replaced every ten years. This means you can rely on them to deliver hot water when you need it. You also don’t have to worry about leaky tanks.
  •       Clean: You get to enjoy clean, fresh water. With tankless, you don’t have to use water that may have been stored in an old tank that may have accumulated rust. A leaky or busted tank can also cause a lot of damage and lead to mold.
  •       Save space: Because most units are relatively small, they can be mounted under cabinets or in closets. They can even be installed on walls or outdoors. If you choose to mount a unit outside, make sure you have an anti-freeze kit.

 

Disadvantages

 

  •       Up-front costs: One of the biggest disadvantages of tankless water heaters is the up-front costs. They can cost as much as twice that of conventional storage tanks. A traditional tank-style water heater usually starts around $800. Tankless models start around $1,600.
  •       Installation costs: These units need good venting which can be rather costly. There may be other installation costs associated as well. The necessary piping could add up. It all depends on your current situation. If you have hard water, you will need a water softener installed. Some units need to be retrofitted. This can add to the cost of the unit. A skilled plumber can provide the needed details. Gas units may need a larger natural gas line to provide enough fuel to the unit.
  •       Hot water output: The output is split among all your household fixtures. When choosing a model, this should definitely be taken into consideration. A unit that is too small might not be able to keep up with the output. You may need to run your water for a longer period of time while the heater heats up the water. A tank heater might feel like more instantaneous hot water.
  •       Energy requirements: Some models require a lot of energy.
  •       Other considerations: Gas units require annual servicing. Tankless heaters have minimum flow requirements to activate. Gas-powered units produce greenhouse gases that are not good for the environment.

 

In many cases, tankless water heaters are a good investment and offer many advantages. Take the time to compare the energy guide stickers on tank-style and tankless-style models. Weigh in any expenses associated with the switch. Consider the time necessary to regain costs. Your monthly savings may make the up-front costs worth it in the long run. Remember, most tankless models outlast traditional water heaters by five to ten years.

DIY and Other Simple Ways To Save On Home Decoration

As each year goes on, so does everything we see and feel around us. The temperature changes, colors change with the seasons, and so do the decorations in our homes. As even more time passes, our styles sometimes transform to reflect how we are growing as individuals, and that means your home decorating style will continually evolve.

Home decoration is a lot of fun but it can be costly if you try to pay for everything. Why not check out some tips that will get your costs down on decorating your home, from second hand shopping to DIY, to bargain hunting.

Pick a Theme and Avoid Overbuying

Whether it’s one room or your entire home, picking a theme can help bring everything together. But what do you want your decorations to say? Deciding a theme ahead of time can save you from overbuying decorations and then feeling forced to piece them altogether later.

Start with the Unseen

Sometimes an adjustment to the unseen elements of a room can be enough to redecorate and give the room a different feel. Have you ever seen a bed that you didn’t want to lay in? Even the most beautiful quilt can look drab on a flat bed.

In the name of decorating, add some warmth to the room with a mattress topper. This will not only make the bed more comfortable for your guests, it will make the bed the focal point of the room. Add some decorative pillows or colorful knick-knacks to compliment the bed set to bring the whole room together with an inviting feel.

You can even add an oil diffuser or scented candle to add an inviting smell to the room. Scents like lavender, cinnamon, and vanilla are said to boost happiness and feelings of well-being. That scent may be the thing that is missing and save you the money of redecorating the whole room.

Hunt for a Bargain and Inspiration

You know the old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” That concept belongs to decorating just as much as it does anywhere else.

Venture out to your local charity shops and rummage sales to find “new to you” items to decorate your home. Someone else may be redecorating and offering your new centerpiece at a great price.

Reuse Decorations and Ideas from Other Holidays

If you have some single color decorations, considering using them to decorate for other holidays. You can even use décor ideas from other holidays and adjust them to fit what is coming up. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Reuse individual colors from Christmas to decorate for Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day instead of buying new candles if they didn’t burn down all the way.
  • Try adding colored glass rocks found at a craft store or online to the bottom of the vessel of your floating candles to add more dimension. Complementary colors to your candles can make it a unique centerpiece all year long.
  • Spray paint pinecones and pebbles pastel colors to transform their fall magic to spring sensations, or bright colors for a summery feel.

Do It Yourself and Save

With a combination of unused household items and a few craft supplies, you might just make something you love more than anything you could have purchased. Pinterest has an endless amount of inspiration if you need some.

  • Use old bottles to make a one of a kind vase. Remove any labels then decorate it using spray paint, glitter, or anything else you can think of. Place some wildflowers in the bottle then display the piece on a side table or outside your front door.
  • Collect large fall leaves and tie them together with string to make your own garland. Spray paint some leaves metallic colors to reflect light and make it more eye-catching.
  • Make a personalized wreath from old t-shirts. Cut the t-shirts into strips and tie them around a Styrofoam ring until it’s covered. You can add other decorations like photos, flowers, and buttons once you’ve finished tying on all the pieces.

With these tips, you can save up and splurge on the next piece that really entices you. Then use these tips again to accent it in your home. Redecorating doesn’t always have to be out with the old and in with the new. It can be as easy as turning in the old into the new.

Change Up Your Bedroom For A Better Night’s Sleep

Struggling to sleep well at night? Those who suffer from insomnia, frequent midnight wakefulness, or early morning wakening, all know exactly how damaging this problem can be to your quality of life. Not only is it extremely frustrating to lie awake all night staring at your clock, it also has a dramatic negative impact on your mental and physical health. If you’ve been battling for sleep for some time, it’s time to make some changes to your bedroom to help you switch off and stay asleep until morning.

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  1. Transform your bed. The most important place to focus your attention if you want to sleep well at night is your bed. After all, that’s where the action happens. An uncomfortable bed can do more harm than you might think, especially if you struggle with illness or chronic pain. The first step is to switch out your mattress for a more supportive, back-friendly option. You can shop around at mattress warehouse sydney to find the type that suits your needs – try out a few before you make a decision.
  2. Get better bedding. Once your new mattress is sorted, it’s time to make sure your bedding is up to the challenge of a proper night’s sleep. Your bedding should be weather-appropriate so that you’re not sweating and overheating in the summer or shivering away all winter. Use breathable cotton fabrics that feel soft and comforting, and make sure you have plenty of layers available to add or remove to make sure you’re at the perfect temperature to relax.
  3. Adjust your room temperature. If your bedding is just right for the weather but you’re still having trouble getting comfy, it may be time to check that your space itself is weather-appropriate. Not everyone has air conditioning, but that doesn’t mean you should be sweaty and sleepless all summer long. Invest in a decent fan and place it next to your bed to keep the air moving around, and use a space heater to warm the room up before bed in the winter. It may hike your electricity bills up slightly, but it’s certainly worth it for proper sleep.
  4. Opt for calming décor. Even if you normally go for busy and bright décor in your home, you should try to choose a more soothing style for your bedroom. Your mind responds on a subconscious level to the atmosphere for a space, so busyness and lots of colours and images could be keeping you awake without you even realising it’s a problem. Paint your walls with a relaxing colour like lavender or blue, and choose minimal wall art to limit the amount of stimulation in the space.
  5. Keep it clean. Naturally messy people often struggle to keep their bedrooms neat and tidy, especially as it’s the space that visitors are least likely to see. Resist the urge to fill your room with clutter and keep it neat and clean so you can truly relax in bed and not feel overwhelmed by mess. Cleaning regularly will also keep dust at bay, which could cut down on the chances of allergic reactions waking you up in the night. Your room should feel like a secure sanctuary, and a chaotic mess certainly won’t help you feel that way.

How To Turn Your City Apartment Terrace into A Country House Garden

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Image from pixabay.com

Living in the city sometimes takes its toll and you would love a countryside getaway. Well even if you only have a terrace or a balcony you can still bring the country feel to your outside space. Here are a few ways to help you enjoy your own slice of the country in the city by investing in some simple things.

Outdoor furniture

Whether it is just a small chair, waterproof beanbag or a porch swing. There are plenty of options in a shapes and sizes no matter the size of your space. Outdoor furniture can give you that break you need to spend some time outside even when you live in a city. Whether you want to Whether you want to spend a day in the sunshine or pop outside for a quick coffee in the morning, it’s lovely to have somewhere to sit outside.

Potted plants

You may not have room for a planted garden but you can make a place greener by adding some pots. Potted herbs are a great place to start, adding both some greenery and a useful addition to your cooking. You can also add small plants to window boxes or boxes on your balcony to add colour and fun. Don’t worry if you are busy, they don’t take too much time to tend to. Just some water and pruning once in a while will keep them pretty.

Trellises

Growing climbing plants on trellises makes your garden or terrace feel bigger and more intimate at the same time. You don’t even have to grow plants on them, but plants like ivy make them a little more special. They grow and climb over along the wood making their very own design. They also provide some privacy or block out any unsightly views. Giving you your own little sanctuary to enjoy. You might even feel like you are in your own countryside garden.

Bird feeders

You might not get to see much wildlife in the city but we need to look after those who share our space. A bird feeder or bird box are great ways to bring the local wildlife to you and to look after the birds in your area. Just a small bird feeder is all you need to get started and the seed to fill them is pretty inexpensive too. Hang it outside and you’ll be surprised how many bird friends you’ll attract. Very relaxing to watch too.

Scented plants

Not only can you change what you see on your balcony or terrace but you can also inspire other senses. By planting bedding or potted scented plants, you can make your space an even more pleasant place to relax. Plants such as lavender are quite hardy and will give you that scent of a countryside garden. They are also great for bees and butterflies helping the natural environment. So you will improve your own wellbeing and that of your surroundings too.

Do you have an outdoor space you want to transform into a countryside like retreat? These ideas will get you on your way to making your balcony or terrace a place you will love to spend time. A place to relax, destress and enjoy the fresh air. Makeover your alfresco area and reap the rewards for years to come.

Gift Ideas For Your Artistic Friend

We all have that one friend who’s notoriously difficult to shop for. Now that the holiday season is approaching, it’s time to start considering what you’ll get that tricky friend. If yours is a lover of all things artistic and creative, you’ll definitely want to find a gift that’s unique and thoughtful, not a generic store-bought option. Use one of these creative gift ideas to make sure they feel loved.

  1. Unique antiques: Artistic people usully like their homes to reflect their imaginative spirit. When it comes to home décor, the usual department store pieces probably won’t impress. If you want to get your friend a décor item that they’ll be happy to display proudly in their home, consider something unique like oriental antiques perth for a one-of-a-kind exotic treasure that they can feel inspired by.
  2. Adult colouring books: Artsy people can get overwhelmed like the rest of us from time to time. Give your friend the gift of an outlet that will allow her to relax and unwind by buying them a beautiful adult colouring book for Christmas. You can find a wide variety of image styles and themes, as these books have become increasingly popular amongst the mindfulness-loving crowd in recent years.
  3. A beautiful journal: Journals are pretty easy to come by, but not all of them are tailor made for the talented friend in your life. Shop around for a truly special journal with pretty illustrations, leather binding, and paper that’s easy to sketch in if they love to draw.
  4. Art print posters: Very few of us can afford to buy our friends original copies of famous pieces of art, but you can definitely get them a print to hang on their wall without maxing out your credit card. Seek out prints from their favourite artists and put it in a beautiful frame to hang in their home.
  5. Sketching pencils: For the friend who loves to draw, few gifts could be more precious than a new set of finely crafted sketching pencils. Opt for good quality over quantity, and place them in a pretty box to be wrapped. A sketching pad that they can carry around makes the perfect accompaniment present to this gift idea.
  6. A fun phone case: With all of the creative options out there today, there’s no excuse not to have a unique phone case. Find a case that matches your friend’s aesthetic, or have them create their own design and then use it to order a customisable case. They’ll be able to stare down at their own artwork every time they check their phone.
  7. Interesting jewellery: There’s plenty of bland and boring jewellery out there, so track down something special for your artistic friend. Browse homemade creations on marketplace sites like Etsy, or shop around at boutiques in your local area to find a piece with a stone or design that makes you think of your friend.
  8. Good quality speakers: For the friend that loves music more than anything else, a set of wireless speakers makes an awesome holiday gift. There are some great low-cost decor options available now if you shop around for a good price – just make sure it’s a set that can handle reasonably high volumes so they can blast their favourite songs.

How New Condos Compare to Older Condos: Making the Right Choice

It does seem like new condos in Montreal are cropping up everywhere these days, as developers are trying to take advantage of the huge demand. But are you sure you want to get a condo in a new building, rather than an older condo instead? While a new condo does offer several distinct advantages, older condos do have their own special kind of charm.

Here are some factors you may want to consider if you’re unsure whether to pick a new or old condo for your next home:

HVAC

For this purpose, newer condos are decidedly a better option for you, since you’ll get the latest and newest innovations for heating and air conditioning. Most of the time, the HVAC units as well as the wiring and piping are much more energy-efficient. Besides, the appliances are often new as well.

With older units, you may want to check whether the HVAC system has been properly maintained and renovated recently. What you don’t want is an HVAC system that’s due for replacement. That can be very expensive, plus it can cause a lot of inconvenience.

Available Amenities

Many condo units these days offer many types of amenities to differentiate themselves from the competition. That’s why newer condo buildings have fitness centers, swimming pools, and private parking for each unit. Others may have lounge areas for residents to hang out and relax, and some may even have spas so the residents can get regular massages.

These are the amenities that are often lacking in older condo buildings. Most of the time, you get private parking and that’s it. Sometimes it’s just a parking lot reserved for residents so you can park anywhere that’s open.

Closet Space

Modern condo designers have finally recognized the fact that many condo residents require storage space. That’s why the most recently built condos these days tend to feature large closets with lots of space for your stuff. Now you don’t have to hunt for various storage space solutions for your cramped condo unit.

When the older condos were built, this need for bigger closets wasn’t yet recognized by the designers. That’s why a lot of these older units only come with a few closets. The closets they do contain are also often very small. This was a design decision to create more living space, but of course modern condo buyers now tend to prioritize the presence of large closets for all their clothes and possessions.

Layouts

Modern condo designers have made it a point to make sure that units these days are very efficient in their use of space. Lots of condos today are small, so designers have made sure that just about every square inch has been maximized for use.

On the other hand, this tendency to prioritize space-efficiency has resulted in rather blander and sometimes even downright boring designs. Also, it’s like every new unit seems to look alike. It’s like modern cars—they’re all aerodynamic, but they seem to look very similar to each other.

With older units, you can have many different types of layouts to choose from, and some of them can be rather unusual. You may find nice areas like foyers that many modern condo designers have abandoned since they’re not exactly efficient in their use of space.

Ceiling Height

Have you noticed that many new condos have ceilings that are just 8 feet high? This is again because of the emphasis on efficient use of space. It can feel a bit cramped. Older units generally have ceilings that are much higher and they tend to feel more open.

So overall, these new condos do bring a lot to the table, with more amenities, more efficient HVAC systems, and the maximized use of space. But then the older units do have their own charm.