Is Your Home An Easy Target For Burglars?

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Want to keep burglars away from your home? The majority of burglars like to do their research before breaking into a property – this could include scanning for weaknesses or checking which belonging are in sight. Here are several steps that you can take to stop your home being an easy target for these criminals.

 

Repair damaged windows and doors

 

Many burglars will look out for signs of damage on doors and windows – these can often make easy entry points. Consider looking into services such as window glass replacement or door replacements if any of these are broken and currently boarded up. Also consider broken locks or weak hinges. Many modern doors have solid frames and robust locks that can’t be broken into easily. You can even consider reinforced glass on windows.

 

Install exterior lighting

 

Burglars are more likely to try and break into your home if they can do it unseen. Adding exterior lighting to your home makes it much more difficult to a burglar to attempt a break in without being seen by a neighbour. Motion sensing lighting is often the best option – you won’t use up unnecessary energy keeping the light on throughout the night as it will only turn on when the movement of someone is detected.

 

Cut down that high hedge

 

A high hedge in front of your home could also make it easy for a burglar to break in without being seen by neighbours. Consider cutting down any high walls or hedges that could be obstructing the front of your home.

 

Draw the curtains/blinds

 

Taking down a high hedge could remove some of your privacy, but you can still stop potential burglars peeking in and looking at your possessions by drawing the curtains and blinds whenever you’re not it. Having net curtains permanently hung up over windows could allow you to see out whilst letting in the light, but could prevent burglars looking in – this could be particularly worth having if you live on a busy road in which many passers-by can peer in.

 

Consider fitting a burglar alarm

 

A burglar alarm may seem like a drastic measure, but in certain neighbourhoods it can be handy to have. An alarm will notify neighbours but more importantly it may cause burglars to abandon their plans if they break into your door and an alarm sounds. You can buy alarm systems that link up to all your doors and windows.

 

Hide/lock away expensive garden belongings

 

Some burglars won’t even attempt to break into your house – there may be some easy pickings in the garden. Expensive garden furniture, lawnmowers and gas/electric barbecues are some of the most popular items to steal. You can deter burglars by not having these items on display when you’re not using them. Covering them up could be enough, but you could make these belongings even more secure by locking them away in a shed.

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.

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.

 

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.

Could Starting Your Own Business Hold The Key To Increasing Your Income?

Are you tired of working for other people? Are you looking for a job that enables you to take control of your schedule? Have you come up with a brilliant idea? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, have you thought about launching your own business? It’s not easy to get a new venture off the ground, but it can be hugely rewarding. If you think you could use your skills, your knowledge, and your experience to establish a startup, here are some tips that could help you increase your income.

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Design a watertight business plan

Before you invest time, energy and money into starting a business, make sure you have a watertight business plan. Trying to make it in the world of entrepreneurialism doesn’t just involve launching a website and printing off some flyers or business cards. You have to go through a series of processes and ensure that every step is financed properly. If you’re looking for funding or investment, your business plan should showcase your business model in all its glory and provide answers to questions. Make sure you’re completely happy with the document or presentation before you approach buyers or banks.

 

Focus on customer experience

In business, success boils down to generating sales, and a major part of this lies in having the ability to impress clients. Competition is rife out there, and if you can outshine your rivals and provide your customers with a positive experience they’re not going to forget in a hurry, this will stand you in good stead. Conduct research, look into marketing techniques that will appeal to your target market and do everything you can to ensure that your customers leave positive feedback and pass on recommendations to others. Consider ways you can make the experience you offer unique. Many companies, for example, focus on visual stimuli when designing a shop floor or a hotel lobby, but think about the impact of targeting the other senses. Studies show that people are more likely to spend longer in areas that smell nice, and this contributes to increased sales. If your day to day business involves inviting customers into a physical space, click here to find out more about scent marketing. When trying to improve customer experience, ask for feedback and encourage clients to share opinions and ideas. This will help you identify and address potential weaknesses and underline your strengths.

 

Get your marketing strategy right

To make money in business, you need customers. It’s very rare for clients to come looking for you when you’re a startup, so you need to be proactive when it comes to marketing. Use the findings of market research to put a strategy together that is relevant to your brand and your ideal customer. If you’ve got an online shop that sells items geared towards customers aged 18-35, it’s a good idea to take advantage of social media platforms and search engine optimization. If you’ve got a local dog walking service, you may find that flyers, posters, and adverts in the press work well alongside online marketing.

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Have you been thinking about ways you could boost your income? Setting up a business may be a daunting prospect, but it could also be a very lucrative move. If you’re ready to take the plunge, hopefully, you’ll find these tips useful.

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