Easy Ways To Improve Your Home Energy Efficiency

Are you thinking about making improvements to your home this year? If so, then you have a number of options to consider. Indeed, it’s true to say that a lot of people will favor making aesthetic changes. However, it could be worth thinking about more practical choices. For instance, you might want to think about ensuring that your home is more efficient. The benefit of taking this step is that you will be able to save a lot more on your energy bill. This is going to help you in the long term and could even add significantly more value to your home. So, how can you do this? Well, there are a few possibilities to consider here. 

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Renewable 

 

Renewable energy is arguably one of the best options to consider and this is a particularly attractive possibility if you own your home. You will be able to install solar panels on the roof. You might think that this is an option that isn’t going to fit into the typical home budget. However, we’re delighted to say that this simply is not the case. Solar panels are more affordable than most people realize and the technology is accessible to anyone eager to go green. 

 

You can also get systems that will allow you to save energy. The benefit of taking this step is that you can use it at times when the sun is not providing many benefits in terms of energy. You can keep it for the time where it will benefit you the most. 

 

Repairs

 

Of course, another option to ensure that you do increase efficiency levels would be to make sure that you are making the right repairs. By focusing on key repairs, you will be able to make sure that your home is essentially providing the right advantages. For instance, if your AC is broken then it could be costing you a fortune to keep your home cool, particularly through the summer. With the right repair, you can avoid and indeed correct this issue. You can make sure that your AC repair restores the system to the right working order. You might also want to think about completing a full replacement for the same impact. 

 

Better Tech

 

Finally, a fun way to improve the efficiency of your property that is going to provide vast benefits in multiple ways would be changing the tech in your home. The latest tech is always going to be far more energy-efficient and thus will provide tremendous savings for you. Green friendly technology is on the market right now whether you need a new laptop, TV or smart device. It might cost you more in the short term but in the long run, the right tech could save you an absolute fortune. 

 

We hope this helps you understand some of the best ways to ensure that your home is more efficient. Do this and you are sure to be able to gain more value from your property. Particularly when it’s time to sell.

Choosing The Right Pipe System For Your Home

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Plastic pipework is truly taking over at the moment. Practically all industries have turned to plastic over metal. This includes all markets from the industrial field to building construction. There are indeed many reasons why this is the case. Not only is plastic more cost effective, but it is more environmentally friendly, chemical resistant and is not susceptible to corrosion. 

 

Nevertheless, knowing that plastic is the best option to go for is only the beginning. There are then lots of different types of plastic pipes and rain water tanks for you to choose between. You need to take into account everything from plastic type to pipe size. However, before you can even begin to contemplate these aspects selecting a brand of pipework is imperative. 

 

You have everything from Durapipe, to Vulcathene, to Marley Drainage. Selecting the right one is important because some brands cater to specific application types whereas others are versatile. 

 

Look for a company that has generated a leading presence in this industry. There are many reasons why a company will have achieved this status. High performance levels is definitely one of the main factors. You can be assured of this because of the fact that their pipework systems conform to certain standards. In addition to this, look for something that is easy to install.

 

It is also worth bearing in mind the fact that you need to look for plastic pipework for your home that is highly resilient. This is imperative because it ensures that the risk of breakages is diminished significantly. Flow rate is favorable as well. Plus, if that wasn’t enough, let’s not ignore the fact that they do not corrode either – as metal so easily does.

 

Aside from the points that have already been mentioned, the pipes offered by leading brands have gained a lot of positive attention because of the fact that they are highly resistant to both alkalis and acids. However, it would be naïve to assume that these pipes stand up tall against all types of chemicals. There are instances whereby certain chemicals would severely compromise the quality of your system. This includes the following; iodine halogen, aromatic hydrocarbons, fluorine halogen, bromine halogen and extremely polar organic materials. 

 

A final point worth considering when it comes to the vast use of plastic pipes in the current day and finding the best brand  is the fact that innovation lies at the core of the leading companies. This is something else you are going to want to look at when you are trying to find the best company for you. 

 

When you take into account all of the points that have been touched upon in this article it is really not difficult to see why plastic is the favoured option of most pipework systems. From chemical resistance, to high performance, to innovation, to ease of installation, to high resilience levels; it ticks all of the boxes. However, this is only going to be the case if you choose with care!

How To Cope With A Tiny Kitchen

How To Cope With A Tiny Kitchen

A small kitchen has its perks – having everything in arm’s reach can make cooking easier. However, you could find that it’s impossible for multiple people to use the kitchen and that you’re constantly running out of space to store food and cooking apparatus.

Extending your kitchen might be an option if you own your home and have the available land. However, even those with the ability to do this may find it too expensive. Learning to make do with the space you’ve got may be the only option. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can maximize the space in a tiny kitchen to make it more practical.

Sort through your shelves and cupboards

We all have stuff in our kitchen cupboards that we don’t need. Getting rid of this clutter could help to free up space for more genuine essentials. Sort though your food first – make it your mission to use any unopened cans of food (or take them to the food bank). Then consider selling or donating any appliances that you never use such as toasties machines or pasta makers.

After this clutter is gone, take the time to reorganize all your kitchen belongings. Try to find the most space-efficient ways to store things such as stacking cans.

Use space-saving appliances

You may be able to further free up space by choosing specific space-saving appliances.

For instance, a fridge-freezer could be a better option to having a separate refrigerator and freezer. There are many slim but tall models that can be great in a small kitchen.

A more radical option could be to do away with your oven and consider counter top appliances. An air fryer could be an option – you can cook everything from roast chicken to frozen fries in an air fryer. By removing your oven, you could free up a huge amount of extra space for storage.

Make use of empty walls

If you have any empty walls in your kitchen, consider ways in which you could convert these into extra storage.

You could try building shelves on empty walls for storing containers of food or utensils. Alternatively, if you have an empty wall above a sink, you could build metal racks for draining plates and cutlery, reducing the need for a draining board at the side of the sink.

You could also look into magnetic strips for hanging knives – this could eliminate the need for a wood block, which could be taking up counter top space. Hooks on walls for hanging utensils could be another option.

Buy kitchenware that stacks

Being able to stack things can save space. While most sets of bowls and plates are stack-able, you may also be able to look into other kitchenware such as stack-able pans. It’s even possible to buy stack-able coffee mugs and even stackable wine glasses.

How To Make Your Garage Absolutely Rock

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Garages aren’t the sexiest part of the house – not by a long shot. But they are incredibly practical and, often large, meaning that they have potential. Your garage doesn’t need to be a dumping ground for anything and everything that can’t fit in your home. It can be an incredible room in its own right with the right approach. Here’s how to make your garage absolutely rock. 

 

Turn It Into A Work space

 

If you work from home, you often want to separate your working and living areas from each other. It helps get you in the mood for the day ahead and prevents you from getting distracted by other people, including your kids running around. 

 

Transforming your garage into a veritable work space is easier than you might think. You already have the basics, such as electrical outlet – it’s just a matter of fitting it out with office equipment, and away you go. 

 

If your garage is a bit bare, then you might want to cover the floor in a rug, add some extra lighting options and fit some windows if you don’t have any already. But aside from that, there’s comparatively little work you need to do. 

 

Sort Out The Door

 

Garage doors are notoriously unreliable contraptions, famous for their propensity to break down, just when you need them the most. If yours is giving you hassle,  then find someone who offers garage door repair and sort out the problem. You’d be amazed at just how much of a difference fixing your old door can make to your quality of life. 

 

Make Space For A Craft Room

 

In many ways, garages are perfectly set up for craft rooms. They already have all the storage you need for your equipment, plus it doesn’t matter if you spill things on the floor – clean up in easy. On top of that, they also offer ample space, preventing you from having to take over a spare bedroom that you might want to use for guests. 

 

Dress The Walls

 

People often view garages as purely functional spaces. But even if they are, that doesn’t mean that design has to be absent. There are all kinds of examples of trendy workshops out there on the internet which beautifully combine both form and function. 

 

Dressing the walls is a cost-effective and straightforward way to give your garage a boost immediately. You can transform even the dullest of walls into something that will make you want to spend more time there. 

 

Add Storage Solutions

 

If you’re like most people, your garage is something of a dumping ground for all the stuff that is too big or awkward to fit in other parts of your home. 

 

Adding storage solutions, therefore, can help a great deal. Here you choose a wall of your garage and install full floor-to-ceiling cabinets for storing long objects, such as brooms and mops. You can also use it for kids’ stuff, like prams and buggies, getting them out of the way when you don’t need them.

Make The Most Of Your Home

It doesn’t matter if the home you have was in great condition when you bought it: to make it truly feel like your own home, you’re going to need to make it feel like yours. The good news is this part of the fun and you will take everything in your four walls and garden and make it completely your own.  To get the perfect home, you’re going to have to follow just a few simple steps, and here below we will have a look at what makes this the easiest way to go ahead:

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Have A Plan

 

Above all, it’s important that you go into the process of transforming your home with your very own plan. Ask yourself what you want you want your home to look like, how it should be themed. Each room should have its own style, but there should be a specific style to your home. Take a look at some of the best interior design blogs that are out there and wait for inspiration to strike. Then, see how you’ll incorporate your ideas into the shape, size, and style of your house.

 

Create A Budget

 

If we had millions in the bank it would be easy to create the perfect home but not many of us have that luxury but it doesn’t mean we have to settle. Figuring out a budget for your decor will let you understand what can be done and you can then keep track if something is over budget, or rejig ideas and plans and go down a different route if needs be. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll need to have some cash, so look at a loan or dip into the savings. 

 

Think Long Term

 

It’s easy to get carried away with what’s in style right now, but it’s also important to remember that you’ll want to live in this home for a long time and the future may come with design trend changes and you may not find it perfect in the years to come.  

 

Extra Attention To Key Areas

 

You won’t get everything about your home exactly right first time and you may need to look at some structural changes and changing up your room design to get the most out of your home. You may need to look at buying the equipment yourself, if the renovations are simple, but it may just be that you want to put up some new artwork, you may want to look at drywall screws and different types of hooks you may need.

 

Don’t Forget The Fun 

 

Finally, don’t forget to add the fun and enjoy what you’re doing as after all it is an exciting prospect! Having a home that looks great will be amazing, but in this modern age,  adding the fun factor will be important too. Look at including things like a surround system, cool reading nooks, or even a man cave or similarly entertaining room will make sure you’re never bored in your perfect home.

What To Consider Before Selling Your Home

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If you are planning on selling your property at any point in the next year or two, you should probably start thinking about maximizing its potential value. There are a lot of different factors that will affect the value of your home. Many people will assume that they will see an increase in the value compared to when they bought the home because that is the way that the housing market works. While in simplistic terms, house prices are often on the rise, it may not always be the case that the value of all houses increases. 

 

There may have been some changes in the area that you live that has had an effect on the value of properties. This could go either way. For example, the building of a major road could increase the value of a home because it puts you closer to a new commuter route making more areas within better reach. However, there could be a negative effect if pollution and noise levels have risen to make the area less desirable to live. The care and attention that you put into your home are also significant too. If you have maintained it well and even modernized as needed, then you shouldn’t need to worry too much about falling into negative equity. However, if the house has not aged well then you should be concerned that the value may have dropped. 

 

Get An Early Valuation

 

Getting your home valued in its existing state will give you a good baseline to see whether you need to be investing time and money into carrying out any works to your property. It is also worth considering what neighboring properties go for and comparing properties in different conditions, and those that have had extensions, conservatories, or loft and basement conversions carried out. 

 

Adding Value To Your Property

 

There are many ways that you can add value to your home. The work that you carry out will depend on how much you need to increase the value. You should make sure that anything that you spend on getting the value up gets factored into the value of the home. There is no point spending thousands on doing something to the home that only adds the exact same amount on in value. You need to be able to recoup the lost equity and pay for the works within the sale price. 

 

A few areas that you could look at might be improving the curb appeal of your home. Look at getting New Life Rockeries to renovate your garden, or have the entire exterior of the property painted. 

 

Modernizing is often helpful. By rewiring an older property and fitting new fuse boxes and sockets, you will be bringing the home into the 2020s. Installing an eco-efficient heating system will also entice buyers, as would installing a new bathroom or kitchen suite. 

 

You may be able to make large increases in the value by adding living space to the home, having your garage, loft, or basement converted might prove to be the most cost-effective option here.

5 Important Considerations For Building Your Home

So, you’ve decided that building a house is going to be way more fun than buying one outright. We’ll agree with you there; it’s one of the most exciting projects that you could ever embark upon. You can build a whole home with some planning, money, and the right builders by our side.

 

You can daydream about the house that you want all you like, but if you’re not thinking of the crucial questions to ask, you’re going to have a flop on your hands. It would help if you asked questions like how much are building permits, how long will the build take, and whether you are reaching too high with your planning. These are all important to ask – you don’t want things to go wrong in the planning stages.

 

It’s therefore so important to consider the next five items. You want to have a dream house, not a flop that has cost you money and you can’t live in it! So, let’s take a look.

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  1. Get Your Team Together. You’re building a house, but YOU are not building a house. You’re planning your home, and you need to think about how you’re going to get it from paper to placement. You need a builder, a planner, a surveyor – it all matters! You need to make sure you have the right team around you who know what they’re doing. Without them, you’re going to struggle with getting your house ready.
  2. Design The Floor plan. The positioning of every single room in your house is going to matter. It would help if you considered what it’s going to cost you to build this house, and it’s going to depend on how happy you are with the plans before they can go ahead. It’s a very delicate balance, and you should work closely with your contractor and your designer to get exactly what you want at the price you want it at, too.
  3. Expenses, Expenses, Expenses. Remember those building permits we mentioned? It would help if you considered the cost. It’s not just about the fixtures and fittings, though those are very important. You need to add up every single cost – and more. Building a house is an unpredictable process, and you can’t always tell when things are going to go wrong. Plan for everything from the soil tests to the additional interior design help.
  4. Storage Space, Don’t Forget It. It doesn’t matter how big your house is; you’ll find that the lack of storage space is going to get you down! You need to plan to have more than just a tiny closet in your home. The best thing to do is to work your storage into your design, and it saves you building in tons of storage units afterward.

Let In The Light. Plan for big and bold windows with your home. You want lots of natural light pouring in the house and lighting everything up. This way, you can ensure that your emotional and psychological well being are accounted for, and you get that bright home you wanted.

How Your Household Could Become More Inviting

It’s hard to create a perfect living environment. That means something different for everyone. For some people, a great home is a well-designed abode. For others, a great home is a place in which wonderful memories are made. For most people, the perfect answer is a balance. You need to find the solution that works for you. Luckily, this article has been put together to help you achieve that. So, the following pieces of advice could give you some guidance if you want your household to become more inviting.

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Use light to create the right atmosphere.

If you want to make your household feel more inviting, then you should use light to create the right atmosphere. You might be surprised by the effect that light can have on your physical and mental well being. Lighting affects your sleeping pattern, for instance; it’s a key contributor to the maintenance of a steady circadian rhythm. That’s why you should use daylight to improve the ambiance of your home. You might want to start by painting your walls white. This would naturally reflect light and brighten up each room in your house. Natural light affects our emotional health in a positive way, so you should welcome it into your home to create an inviting living space. Artificial light is important, too, of course. You should think about the purpose of each room in your house. A bathroom should be lit brightly, for example, but you might want lamps that cost soft and relaxing light in rooms such as your bedroom and living room. After all, those are supposed to be rooms which allow you to unwind at the end of a long day.

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Make your property secure.

The safety of your home is a big part of making it inviting. Well, that’s a big part of making it inviting to you. In terms of intruders, you should aim to make your home look as unappealing as possible. This will make you and your family feel safer and happier. So, you could start by planting some thick shrubbery under your ground-floor windows; that would prevent criminals from entering your home through a potential entry point. You might also want to get security cameras set up. These would deter would-be intruders because they wouldn’t want to be recorded in the act of committing a crime. There are security system companies that you could check out for useful alarm systems. That could help to keep your property secure. You and your loved ones will feel more relaxed at home if you keep your household well-protected. This will make your abode feel inviting.

 

Add personal things to your home.

Adding personal things to your home could make it feel more inviting, too. As explained in the introduction, many people feel that memories are crucial to making a household feel inviting. Well, personal touches are great ways to capture the personalities of you and your family members. They’ll help you feel as if you’re living in a place that’s yours. Placing photographs on surfaces and hanging them on walls would remind you that you’re living in your family household. That would make your humble abode feel warm and inviting. You could also hang some handmade artwork on your walls. Creating statement pieces as a family could be a fun and creative task. It would be another thing to make your house feel like home.

How To Prepare Yourself and your House for Sale in 2020

When it’s time to move, it’s time to move. For many of us, even thinking about hauling all of your stuff to a different location can be a real headache, and that is without even thinking about searching for a new place to live and getting settled.

Selling your home is a big decision and is one that comes with a lot of strategic planning in order to get it done with minimal stress

 

Here are some of the things you should focus on when trying to sell your home. 

 

Here are some of the things, both emotional and physical that will help you to get your house sold, and your life moving forward. 

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Let Go

 

You’ll have your reasons for wanting to move, but that doesn’t make letting go any easier. 

When it comes to selling your home, you must sell it for what it is, it’s physical features and the potential it has to be a future home for others, rather than simply holding onto the associations you hold onto. 

 

Start by removing personal photographs, kids paintings and awards. As proud as you are of your child’s painting of a tree they made at kindergarten, a buyer might have a hard time seeing past these personal features. 

 

Utilize a local storage facility to store excess furniture. Even if the old dresser given to you by your great aunt means the world to you– if there’s no logical serving for it to be in your home at the time of sale- store it away.  Yes, you may love your home furnishings, but it may not be to every buyer’s tastes- they are buying the room, not the couch. 

 

Deep Clean and De-Clutter  

 

One of the most stressful things about moving is packing up all of your belongings. Do yourself a favor and de-clutter before allowing potential buyers to walk-through your home. 

 

Not only will it help you out in the long term with moving your belongings (seriously, if you haven’t even seen it in years, you don’t need to take it with you to your next home) but it will also aid in the sale itself. Assume your buyers have no creativity and can’t see through personal clutter and you’re set. 

 

A deep clean will improve the prospects of selling, too. As well as the positive psychological effects of cleaning (or paying somebody else to do it for you..) a cleaner house will sell better, showcasing it to its full potential. 

 

Use your nose to trace the hidden smells in the home- it may be that some food rolled under the refrigerator some time ago, long forgotten, or the windows have been kept closed for too long? Not everybody can stand the smell of our furry friends. Use an air diffuser to eliminate pet odors before having people round to view your property. 

 

When guiding people through the home, the scent can either make or break a deal. Overly musty, damp, dirty smelling homes are going to put people off, as will overly perfumed homes. Aim for something neutral and inviting that teases all of the senses. There really is something magnetic about the smell of baking or freshly brewed coffee that puts buyers at ease and feeling at home. 

 

Focus on Curb Appeal 

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You want to draw buyers inside your house as soon as they pull up outside the door. They have to be so intrigued by the property that they cannot help but want to look inside and see what the deal is. 

 

Outdoor space can be an even more critical selling point to a home than the property itself. It’s what encourages somebody to turn the door handle and walk inside. Make it seem move-in ready by focusing on the front yard, doors, cladding, etc, not something made to seem like an afterthought. 

 

Paint the door an inviting color- nothing too garish that will put buyers off, but something that makes the home look like a finished piece that could be a home for them- not a project! 

 

Make sure that a buyer is able to clearly see the door number so they know which property they are walking through. Ensure all the paths point to your door, and not at number 1029 when you’re at 1038-  don’t leave them guessing.

 

Create a DIY Checklist

 

Of course, there will be those DIY projects that have been on the ‘to-do’ list for years. A blown light bulb here, a scuffed wall there-it can soon become a little overwhelming to deal with.

 

However, a buyer may well naturally begin to mentally decrease their potential offer depending on what they see needs doing around the house. Check on the smaller, and bigger things that need doing. 

 

If you have a cracked window pane, enlist the services of Renewal by Andersen windows to get that sorted right out. Clear your gutters and get the windows cleaned. Check all of the lights and electrics work throughout the house. 

If you’ve disassociated yourself with your home, it can be even easier to put these things off, but now is the most important time to focus on these little tasks so you don’t have to think about them later on. 

 

Even spending those extra few hundred dollars can increase the property value by thousands, which is thousands toward your new home.

 

 

Get in The Kitchen

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A kitchen has the most value tied to it per square footage, so it’s obvious to focus on this when preparing your home for sale. 

 

Your budget may not allow for a complete kitchen refit, which is fine- there are some simple ways to add value without having to do that. Even something as simple as painting cupboard doors or changing the handles can make it look more finished. 

 

When selling your home, you need to show it off to its full potential so that buyers cannot refuse to make an offer having walked through. Use some of these simple tips and tricks to get your property sold for the biggest possible amount of money!

Insulating Your Home’s Walls

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Today, there is a lot that needs to be considered when it comes to maintaining your home. One area that needs to be considered carefully is insulation. After all, you want to make sure that your home is warm during the winter and cool during the summer months. This can be a lot easier said than done, though. With that in mind, let’s take a look at insulating your home’s concrete walls in further detail. 

 

In general, concrete walls are poor when it comes to retaining temperature in the home. They also tend to get damp extremely easily as well. This is because air (whether hot or cold) and moisture travels straight through the material. Nevertheless, if you insulate your concrete walls then you can completely counteract this issue. This article will explain exactly how to do so.

 

First and foremost you need to begin by creating a barrier to the potential moisture build-up. This ensures you create a drier environment around the wall. You should begin by purchasing concrete seam tape and using this to cover any cracks evident in the material. This ensures the amount of moisture travelling through the wall is diminished monumentally.

 

Once you have done this you then need to use furring strips for the retaining of temperature. First, you should cut these to length and then begin by attaching these at the head and the foot of the wall. These are easily attached – simply use a drill. After you have done the header and the footer you can then begin to fill in the body of the wall following the same process.

 

And finally, to complete the process you will need to insulate the areas in between vertical furring strips. Simply use pre-cut panels, otherwise technically known as batt insulation, to complete the process. This ensures that all areas of the wall are entirely insulated. You don’t leave yourself at risk of certain areas of your wall attracting dampness.

 

In addition to this, there are a number of other steps that you can take in order to protect your home and ensure it is well insulated. Siding is a necessity, for instance, you also need to make sure that all of your windows and doors are energy efficient. Steps like this will make a massive difference when it comes to the comfort levels in your home. Not only this but by improving the insulation in your property you are also going to be able to enhance the value in the process. This is something that a lot of people are interested in when they are trying to find the best property for them.

 

The potential for moisture and vapour build-up will have been deduced dramatically if you use the steps given in this article to insulate your concrete wall effectively. Not only this, but the walls will retain temperature better as well, and therefore the hot and cold air will not merely travel through the wall as it used to.