Category: Home

How Energy Efficient Is Your Home?

If you are looking for ways to make sure that your home is as green and environmental as possible, then energy efficiency is definitely going to be one of the main things that you need to look into. As long as your home’s energy efficient, you can be sure that it is also going to be much more environmentally friendly, and for that reason you will want to know what you can be doing in order to be sure of this. In this article, we are going to look at some of the best ways in which your home can be energy efficient, so that you can be sure that you are actually living in an environmentally friendly home. Let’s take a look and think about what mich need changing in most homes.

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Water Usage

 

One of the most important way that you could try to be more efficient in the home is in the way that you use water. Clearly, you want to use it as little as possible, and that is going to be one of the first things that you need to think about. Keeping your water usage down is not actually altogether that difficult, so long as you make sure that you are being conscious about your water usage and that you are doing whatever you can rto reduce it. This is where basic, hands-on approaches become much more important, and where the simple act of being careful with the washing up or who you water the garden can make all the difference. Make these small effortless changes, and you will find that you are using less water on the whole, so it really is worth looking at in this way.

 

Beyond just trying to use water less, you should also look into whether the way that you use it is energy efficient too. One of the most important concerns here is how you heat it, as that is obviously going to use energy to do. If you want to make sure that your water heating is much more energy efficient, then you might want to change to tankless water heater as a means of heating your water. These heaters are much more energy efficient, cheaper to run, and they are easy to find and install as well. Alternately, something like a ground source heat pump can be a fairly good and environmental way of keeping your home more energy efficient. As long as you are thinking about your water, where it comes from, how much you use, and how it is heard, you will find you can make some important changes here.

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Insulation

 

Probably the first thing that people think of when they are trying to make their home more energy efficient is the insulation. If you have proper insulation throughout the home, then it means that the building loses less of its heat. This results in the need to heat it artificially less and less, which in itself saves a lot of energy. So if you have good insulation, you will find that it both directly and indirectly helps to make your home much more energy efficient. Of course, there are a few potential issues you might well run into when it comes to insulation, and it’s worth thinking about what they are to begin with, so that you know what you are doing before you set out.

 

First of all, consider that there is likely to be a cost involved for installing insulation, so you really want to make sure that you don’t have it first before you get it installed. You should also bear in mind that not all insulation is made equal, and just because you have some does not mean that the insulation type you have is any good or that it is as good as it could be. If you think you do need to install some insulation, make sure you look around for both the best deal for yourself, but also the most effective. If you are to be spending your money, you want to make sure that you are really getting insulation which is going to make a profound difference to your home.

 

There are a few main areas in the home which will need insulating, primarily the walls and roof. As long as you can find some decent insulation for those areas, you will be able to enjoy a much warmer, and more energy efficient, home for the near future and beyond.

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Windows

 

The windows are another important place to regard, primarily because a lot of heat can be lost there as well. Of course, it goes without saying that there will be many occasions when you need to have the windows open, and in fact getting a good flow of air is necessary in order to be healthy in your home. But you should seriously look into whether you can find some more energy efficient windows than you currently have, as you might be surprised to discover that they can vary quite a lot in how efficient they are. As long as your windows are highly efficient, it will make a huge difference to the whole house in general, so this is definitely something that you want to think about if you are serious about making your home more energy efficient. Pay attention to the windows, how well sealed they are and so on, and you will be able to enjoy a much warmer and more environmentally friendly home.

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Doors

Finally, remember too that a lot of heat can be lost through the doors, and you need to make sure that they seal well and that they are thick enough to keep the warmth in as best as possible. What’s more, thicker and heavier doors will also mean that you have a safer home, so it is definitely a good idea to look into this if you want to make sure of that too. If you think your door needs repairing or replacing, them see to it as soon as you can. Remember too that you need to think about all doors around the house, including any back doors you might have and any garage doors as well.

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How Can You Make an Old Home Feel Fresh and New?

Do you live in an old house, or are you planning on buying a home with a bit of history? Chances are you fell in love with the old building because of its character and uniqueness, however there are plenty of ways that these kinds of properties can be problematic. The trick is to modernise the house so it feels fresh and up to date without losing its charm. Here are some of the ways you can go about it!

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Rejig the layout

Older homes reflect the style of living at the time. Kitchens were once seen as a ‘backstage’ kind of area that hosts could shut the door on, and then bring out food and entertain their guests in a larger living and dining room. Bathrooms in old houses are often located downstairs, added as an afterthought when it became the law for every home to have a flushing toilet. Off road parking generally wasn’t a thing since older homes were built during a time that cars families commonly didn’t have cars. For these reasons, you often need to rejig the layout and make some improvements when it comes to bringing an old house up to modern standards. Extend the kitchen and remove the adjoining wall to create an open concept space. This is popular in current homes and reflects the style of entertaining of today. It tends to be more relaxed, guests join the host in a large kitchen while they cook or sit at an island for casual dinner parties. Move the bathroom upstairs, the place where it’s expected to be in modern homes. If you have space on the side of your property you may be able to have a garage built, otherwise turn the front garden into a driveway to create that all important off road parking. These kinds of changes don’t have to detract from the charm of the old home, but make it so it’s livable for today’s lifestyles.

 

Improve the air quality

The thing with older homes, particularly if they’ve been left unoccupied for a while is the air can feel a little stale and musty. To breathe new life into the place, this is something that needs to be put right. Your first step to improving the air quality in the home is to get rid of anything that could be causing a problem. Black mould for example releases spores that are bad for the respiratory system. Pests are another thing to consider, insects breaking down produce irritating particles, and rodent droppings and urine can release toxins reducing air quality. Dust mites are another common yet significant problem when it comes to air quality, if you plan on keeping any carpets or rugs left by the previous sellers then it’s worth hiring a professional carpet cleaner. They might look fine but they could be hiding all kinds of nasties, something like the Rug Doctor will be powerful enough to remove all of the dust, dirt and bacteria that could be contributing to poor air. Another area to look at is the air vents and any air conditioning units on the property, look into how to hire hvac technician and have professional come out and clean everything to a high standard. Giving the property a good deep clean, getting rid of any clutter and then plugging in an air purifier will have the home feeling fresh and clean.

 

Redecorate

A great way to decorate an old home is to freshen things up while maintaining its character features. If you have a stunning brick fireplace, original tiles, a stained glass window or another charming feature for example- keep it don’t cover it up! But modernise the rest of the room around it. Have all of the walls skimmed and painted a light, neutral shade. This will make any home look fresh and maximise the space. Unless they’re original wood and you want to maintain them, paint doors and skirting boards in a brilliant white. Repaint ceilings, removing dated decorative techniques such as artex- this isn’t original it’s just outdated and awful! Be careful though, some old artex can contain asbestos which needs to be removed by a professional. You could have a company come in and remove the lot, or send it away for testing. If it comes back negative from asbestos then you could remove it yourself and save yourself some money. If you want to keep your old home looking classic then things like real wood or natural stone flooring makes a good alternative to carpet. It’s easier to clean and you can always put down some rugs to make it a little cosier.

 

Decorate accordingly

Finally, it’s worth decorating your home with a nod to its past. If you live in a Victorian terrace for example, you could choose a couple of items of furniture in a Victorian style. An armchair, a chest of drawers or a sideboard are examples. You can find just about any style and era of furniture online, but if you’re lucky you might find an old piece that you can upcycle yourself. Something like a traditional lighting fixture or lamp again can be a fun statement piece with a hint of the house’s past in a room that’s otherwise very modern. When you’re adding things like radiators, new taps and fixtures you could bear in mind the era of the home. For example, lots of old homes wouldn’t have been built with radiators so you could choose styles that blend in as much as possible or aren’t obvious to look at.

 

Old homes are a joy, you get to live in a place that’s steeped in history. If you sit and look around the rooms you can really imagine who lived there in decades gone by and what their lives would have been like. There’s something about them that you just don’t get with new homes. But they often do require some work, particularly if you old home has never been modernised. These tips should help you to update the space without completely losing the old home underneath.

 

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Last Minute Crises You Don’t Want When Moving Home

Moving day is fast approaching and it might very well seem like you have more things to do than time to do them with. It’s easy to neglect or forget certain aspects of the move, but there are some that can cause a lot more trouble for you if you do. So, here’s how you prevent some of those last-minute crises so the whole ordeal is a little less stressful.

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Having to clean

The house you’re leaving should be spotless before you go. However, if you’re leaving it until leaving day to tidy after yourself, you will be surprised by just how much cleaning you have to do behind newly moved furniture and how much trash you uncover. You can click here and see the help on offer to help you get rid of any extra trash in no time flat. However, the best strategy is to deep clean the house a room at a time after you pack up that room in advance of moving day.

Packing in a rush

Both the moving-out and moving-in half of moving day can equally stressful. When moving in, a great deal of that stress can be caused by inadequate packing. Make sure that the largest items are the closest to the door so that your moving company or whoever is helping you can shift the hardest to move items, first. Ensure that when you’re packing for the move that you label rigorously. Try to colour code those labels so it’s easier to see where a box belongs at a glance, so you spend a lot less time having to open boxes to figure out where it goes.

Forgetting the essentials

If possible, you want to unpack in the new home as soon as possible. If the moving process takes all day, however, that’s not likely to be the case. Instead, prepare for the fact that you may need to spend the night at the new home surrounded by boxes. Have one box that contains the whole moving day survival kit, as shown here, including the essential paperwork, toiletries, any medication you need and whatever else you need for an overnight stay.

Neglecting to tell people

Before you move, ensure that everyone who needs to know does know. Click here to put together a list of who to notify of your move and get through them as soon as possible. Financial institutions like the taxation office, credit card companies, and your bank are most important. If you still get letters from these organisations going to your old address, you never know who might soon have a hold of the kind of details that make you an easy victim for fraud and identity theft. Notify those on the list and check them off one at a time so you can be certain you don’t forget anyone.

The more prep time you give yourself before the move, the better. Take down a to-do list of all the essential tasks, including those mentioned above, so you’re not at likely to be panicking about them at the last moment.

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Take Your Bedroom From Boring To Beautiful

Have you found that your bedroom has been feeling a little boring lately? You walk in, and instead of loving what you see, it’s just the same old boring room that you’ve had for years. There are some simple ways to spruce up your bedroom so that you enjoy spending time in their rather than only going in there at night time. Here are our favorite ways to take your bedroom from boring to beautiful.

 

Brighten It Up

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One of the easiest ways to make your bedroom more beautiful is to add some more colors throughout. You can do this by getting a new duvet set that has some a funky pattern on it or picking out some new curtains to really make the room pop.

 

If you want to go for something a little more adventurous you can always go ahead and repaint the room or hang some stunning wallpaper. If you still want to add some more color, you can always consider things like paintings, wall paintings, and wall decals.

 

A Personal Touch

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A fabulous idea for a bedroom makeover but without having to break the bank is to add something that you or one of your family members have made. It could be that you or someone that you know knits and have made you a blanket for your bed. Or, your kids could have drawn or painted something especially for you and adding this to your room would certainly give your room that little something extra.

 

For those of you who are looking to make something yourself but don’t have a huge budget, you could pick yourself up some discount fabric and create something magnificent that only you will have.

 

Out With The Old…

 

Furniture is an important part of any room, but especially the bedroom. If you don’t like the furniture that you have in your bedroom, then you should really consider updating it.

You should consider is to identify anything that looks dated or worn down. For example, you might have an old dressing table or an old chest of drawers that is making the whole room look boring and dated. Now, you can either get rid of these items, or you can sand them down and paint them to make them look good as new.

 

Try A Theme

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With so many themes to choose from, there is guaranteed to be some sort of theme that you would love to have in your bedroom. This could be anything from a contemporary theme to a colorful flower theme. A contemporary theme could look something like a large bed in the middle of an otherwise minimalistic room. Having only a few pieces of furniture in your bedroom can really show off the space that there is in the room.

 

If you are someone who likes a bit more clutter then maybe a contemporary theme isn’t for you. Instead, you can look at having bookshelves built all around the walls and filling with them with all kinds of books and ornaments.

 

We hope these ideas give you some inspiration when you are looking to give your bedroom a makeover.

 

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Golden Rules For Your Renovation

If you are planning an extension or renovation to your home, there is a heck of a lot of things to consider. The budget for it all, as well as the design and practicality, can do you easily do the things that you have planned for it? So to make things a little easier, here are some of the rules of renovations to abide by (or at least to think about and consider in the whole design process). You’re going to be spending quite a lot of money on the renovation, so you want to make sure that you can make the most of the investment that you’ll be making.

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Price Up: Get Quotes and Advice

 

It can be a good idea to get a few quotes for the work that you want to have done. You need to know if your ideas are going to work, and then get an idea about how much it could potentially cost you. Getting at least three quotes is a good idea, as it can help you to see if they are all saying a similar amount, or if one is quoting way more than others. From there, you can finalize your design, as well as look at your budget and what you can afford. Sometimes friends or family can be a bit too emotionally invested in your ideas, so choose people that are impartial for advice or quotes.

 

Know What is Included

 

Finding out what is included in the quote is really important; are they only charging for labor costs and will other things be extra? There can be design fees, as well as arranging things like windows or concrete from a separate provider like R&M Concrete. So sit down and make sure you know what has been quoted for. Ask about final prices and if anything is likely to cost more? Are there any legal or planning permission fees, for instance? Getting a quote in writing is a good idea too.

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Plan Your Decor

 

When you are thinking about a renovation, you need to think about all aspects of it. Even right from the start you need to think about what you do or don’t want in the space. If you want a television installed onto the wall, for example, then believe it or not, you need to know exactly where you want it to be before it is installed. As part of the renovations it could mean making space for a plug socket while a wall is being built, for instance. So you need to have it planned out in fine detail, before everything starts.

 

Stick To Plans

 

From time to time there will be some projects that you are going to need to charge more for, as some unexpected things can come up. But that can be quite rare. So be wary of making any last minute changes; these will be extra and not accounted for in the builder or contractor’s budget. So make sure that you’re happy with your designs before you make a start.

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