Tips on making room for Christmas

Would you believe that Christmas is just five, short weeks away? If you’d taken your cue from any of the major retailers, you might have thought it started a good few months ago. But now it really is approaching fast, and we’re all looking forward to the big day. Many of us have family coming to stay over Christmas, and even those who don’t will have to find room for all the toys, gifts and gadgets we accumulate over the holiday period. This means we need to make room, but clearing space in an already overcrowded house can seem like an impossible task. Check out our top tips for making space for Christmas, even if you think your home is already overflowing. 1.      Declutter first It can be tempting to stuff all the clutter and junk into already overcrowded drawers and cupboards just to make more room in the house. But this is counter-productive because all you’re really doing is making more of a task to sort out later on. Let this Christmas be a fresh start for you and your family by really setting at the decluttering and making a bit more room to breathe. Start in one area, such as a drawer or cupboard, and completely clear that before moving on to another. Consider each thing you take out of the pile, and decide whether it’s something which is useful to you. If not, you can either bin, donate or sell it to free up more space. 2.      Raise cash by selling We’d all love a bit more money for Christmas, so why not make the most of your clear out by selling some unwanted items? If you feel your house is overrun by toys, you can even get the kids involved by encouraging them to pass on [...]

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Built-in Sanitary Ware for Modern Bathroom Look

Your bathroom should not only be the place to take care of personal hygiene but also a place where we can take our time to relax the weary mind and body, away from the daily stress and troubled thoughts. There is a scarce number of people that won’t appreciate a cozy bathtub filled with warm water. You won’t find better fatigue treatment after a hard working day. Keep your personal hygiene at level makes you feel better no matter if you prefer long warm baths or quick refreshing showers. What most people imagine when they hear the word bathroom is a place designed to attend personal cleanliness and even a room with toilet in it. The thing which most people miss is that bathroom is a place where you must find comfort and relaxation. Therefore you may want to think about paying some extra effort to improve your bathroom for maximum comfort, space and stylish look. There are many design solution to choose from. The possible options for setting up a look for your bathroom are numerous. The truth is that space and budget often tend to be factors which cut down  your design improvement options but that doesn’t mean that modern look can’t be achieved. Built-in bathroom ware can be found in every store. Another advantage is that they are a cheaper solution which won’t empty your pockets that much. Nevertheless built-in sanitary ware can give you the modern look you have always dreamed of. Built-in bathtubs can be tiled up in order to fit perfectly to the new contemporary look that you desire. Modernistic design are space oriented. Having enough room to breath and move is important to receive that effect. With built-in sanitary ware you save some extra space. That will give your bathroom the contemporary eastern [...]

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A Beginner’s Guide to Home Decorating

Itching to redesign your room but don’t know where to start? Well, you’re in luck! We have found this simple yet clever infographic to help you execute your ideas and exploit your design options. The infographic teaches you the fundamentals of design, learn the basic principles when adding or removing furniture and what to consider when incorporating new colours in your home. Find out the trendiest and coolest styles in interior design! Beginner or not, this infographic will guide you to decorate like a pro and create the space you’ve always dreamed of. This is home decorating made easy!

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Tips and Tricks to Organising your Home

organised workspace

The New Year is coming this way and before you can safely welcome it, you will need to optimize your home and organise it for the coming season. It will be relatively difficult to deal with, but you won’t have to spend excessive amounts of time organising. The tips ahead will give you an idea about the things you can do to make it happen: • Shower hooks can be used to organise and store all your necklaces and other hanging jewelry. They can be used as a simple yet elegant and easy solution to your organizing problems. • Organising your spices in the kitchen may seem hard at first, but it can easily be made more manageable with the use of casserole servers. They can be used as makeshift shelves of a kind and depending on their looks they may even fit well on your walls. • You can organise your belts by cutting equal lengths of PVC pipe, rolling up and placing each of them inside a length of pipe. This will help you keep them from unrolling or having to tie them up somewhere. Using this simple solution you can just pull them out when you need them and store all of them in a single drawer. • Organising your paperwork can be done in a number of ways, but using sweater shelves is a good way of making things more colorful and interesting. You can find them in most retail stores that sell household goods. • Have you ever had the problem where you wonder where to store the Christmas decorations of yesteryear, but you’re not sure what to do about them. You can fix most of the problems with that by using the humble egg carton. Use it to store the smaller decorations and ornaments, [...]

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Preparing Your Property For Winter

winter home

Winter is a time for winding down and warming up, which is easier for some property owners than others. Making sure your home is ready for the onslaught of winter is vital in ensuring a merry holiday season and toasty New Year. Failure to do this can not only keep you cold but can do some damage to the property itself as well as the things inside it. Here we have a closer look at the things you need to be thinking about when the snow starts to fall. Sufficient Insulation Having good insulation is key in cutting down your heating costs as many people every winter loose out, plus the cold can crawl in and make everyone uncomfortable. Having loft insulation is always a must as heat rises and a lot of it can be lost without it. Many homes already have it but it’s worth checking just in case it should be replaced or repaired. There are many tradesmen who can give you a quick quote if it needs seeing to. Dealing With Drafts These can be a true pain especially if you can’t figure out where the draft is coming from. Drafts commonly come in through the windows and doors, so a good idea would be to use draft excluders for your doors which you can find in shops or even make your own. You should also make sure the curtains are closed to keep the heat in and the cold out. You should also investigate the sealant to see if there are any gaps that need filling. Battling The Ice Ice can be a nasty piece of work if it manages to get into places where it shouldn’t be. The main issue it can cause is plumbing problems as it can completely clog certain pipes. You [...]

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Homes of the Future

Spiraling energy costs over the years have become a real headache. Most of us search for ways to be greener and to try to cut our energy bills at the same time. Well, below you will be able to see some fantastic, eco-friendly alternative homes that architects have designed, which don’t just lower your energy spend, but could also be the perfect home too. These innovative architects are utilising natural energy sources, with some also using recycled materials for the actual building to make as green a design as possible. Our infographic shows 5 of the most impressive of these green home designs. So have a look through each one carefully, as who knows you may be looking at one of your future homes…

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6 property letting tips and guidelines

Letting properties means you will need to be well-prepared for what comes ahead before the first tenants move in. These 6 tips will provide you with the help you need to become a successful landlord: • If you want to consider letting a property, especially one that has a mortgage connected to it, you will need to have the lender’s consent before you let it. The lender will need a copy of the tenancy agreement, as well as the rent indemnity schemes before you can let the property itself. You will need to do the same thing when it comes to leasehold, where you will once again need to have the consent of the freeholder. • The law requires landlords to conform to health and safety regulations. Landlords will need to do annual checks of electricity, oil, water and gas services as well as the sanitary and utilities. Make sure you also check the switches, electrical sockets and any other issues that may have occurred since the last inspection. If you fail to deal with these early on, you will not have to deal with losing face with your tenants in the future. • You will also need to make sure you keep some other laws in mind, such as furnishing regulations, fire and electrical equipment regulations, gas safety regulations, plugs and sockets and any other laws that concern the safety of the home. Make sure you keep good track of the smoke detectors around the home as well as having fire blankets if possible. This will ensure your future tenants will have the tools to deal with an emergency in the future if the worst happens. • Insurance is another step that needs to be covered. Standard household insurance will often not cover properties that are let out so [...]

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Tips on Preparing Your Home for a Building Survey

Building Survey

Whatever your reasons for moving on, whether you have recently been promoted and need to move closer to work or you are looking to buy a bigger house, selling your home is an important part of the moving process. It is crucial to start taking steps to ensure that your home is truly worth the price tag that has been placed upon it, and this means checking the house for signs of damp, rust, rot, mould and other such troublemakers that could cause a problem and reduce the value of your home. You may feel like you just want to move out as soon as possible and leave the potential problems to the new owners, however if there are any structural or major problems with the property this will certainly come up in a Building Survey . What is a Building Survey? As one of the most comprehensive surveys available, more often than not a building survey will be requested by potential buyers of your property. It is a wide range inspection of the entirety of a property done in more specific depth than a Homebuyers Report or a Mortgage Valuation. A Building Survey’s purpose is to give a detailed report of the condition of the property in question. A Building Survey, otherwise known as a Structural Survey, will detail the condition of each element of the house while suggesting which aspects are of immediate and major concern and may need further investigation. This type of survey will be carried out by a Chartered Surveyor and is an ideal report for most property types. More common aspects of the property that the Building Survey may cover can be woodworm, dry rot or damage to timbers, structural damage, results of tests for damp in the wall, information regarding the materials used in the property construction, [...]

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Understanding the threat of Japanese Knotweed

Dendroica cerulea

The highly destructive qualities of Japanese Knotweed have recently put the problematic weed on the public radar. The plant’s rampage through the UK has resulted in stories of the weed causing damage to property and costing homeowners thousands of pounds to rectify. Japanese Knotweed is a hot topic in the media at the moment, but how many of us are truly aware of the problems this plant can cause? What is Japanese Knotweed? Japanese Knotweed is an ornamental vine which was brought to England from Japan during the Victorian era and can be identified by its bamboo like stems and small white flowers. The weed’s most challenging feature is the rate at which it spreads; each plant can grow up to an inch a day meaning it has the potential to mature rapidly across a large surface area. This is despite the fact that it does not produce seeds. Japanese Knotweed’s incredible growth comes from its ability to sprout a new plant from a root the size of a fingernail. Its fast growing nature is incredibly difficult to keep under control due to the weed having no natural predators in the UK and now occupies one site in every 10km in England and Wales. In its natural habitat, Japanese Knotweed is regulated by a variety of pests and fungi which help to slow its growth. Why is it a problem? Not only is Japanese Knotweed’s growth difficult to control, it is an incredibly resilient plant that can easily destroy structures. Japanese Knotweed can: damage tarmac and concrete increase erosion damage retaining wall structures restrict visibility damage building foundations damage flood defence structures block drainage pipes damage archaeological sites The discovery of Japanese Knotweed on your property can lead to a drastic reduction in land value. It is important to remember [...]

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Why it’s a GREAT time to buy right now

We’ve been hearing a lot about how the housing market is slowing down, with a potential ‘mansion tax’ on the horizon and a recent tightening of the rules under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR). However, don’t let these scare stories put you off: it could be a better time than ever to buy – and here are five reasons why… 1. Interest rate rises could be further delayed We’ve been hearing about interest rate rises being ‘on the horizon’ for a while now – experts were predicting a rise in the first quarter of 2015. However, recent global economic data has pushed economic analysts to believe that interest rate rises in the UK could be delayed until after spring next year. This means that despite the onerous new mortgage rules, borrowing will still be very cheap. A recent report found that current low rates have meant that it’s been easier to buy a home – although in London it’s more expensive. This can be counter-balanced by the fact that London property generally gives a greater return on investment. There was lower growth in August, with buyers turning down higher-priced properties as there were concerns about interest rate rises. 2. London and the South East are great places to buy Housing is still in high demand in London and the South East, largely due to a lack of supply. The South East particularly has seen residents staying put with the lowest pick up in properties being listed by estate agents, as owners hope to benefit from house price growth over the next ten years or so. High prices in London have produced a knock-on “ripple effect” filtering out to the Home Counties. 3. Renting is still very expensive Renting has hit an all-time high as average residential rates reach £768 per month. [...]

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