Is your conservatory too hot to handle?

When considering ways to increase the living space in a property some people decide to build a conservatory and with current planning regulations there is no need for planning permission for most conservatories. It is a good idea to think carefully about the construction of the extension because if it is to be used all year round there are some key features that need to be addressed.

The material that is used for the conservatory roof is one of the major decisions that will need to be made and can be crucial in the cost and the functionality of the space. The traditional polycarbonate roofing material that is used on many conservatories is a cheaper option but has its disadvantages. It is not a good insulator meaning that the conservatory will be hot in summer and cold in winter. A tinted glass roof may be a better option but will be more costly and may require more substantial foundations to the conservatory. Whichever material is used it is wise to have opening lights in the ceiling that can be opened when the temperature rises.

Installing blinds on the windows and ceiling of the conservatory that can be retracted when not in use is a good way to keep the room cool on sunny days and a ceiling fan will disperse the rising hot air as the air is circulating.

Building the perfect extension on your home

With the cost of houses going up many people are deciding to stay put and extend to give themselves the extra room they need. An extension can be single story, or if the foundations allow, double. This means you could potentially add 2 or even four rooms to your property just by building an extension. The building work for this type of projects not cheap and you will be looking in to the tens of thousands for even a single story but it can not only give you the additional space you need but it may add a substantial amount of money on to the value of your property.

It is important that the extension is done properly and that you obtain any planning permission you need before starting. You may also want to do some research in to the builders you are considering using to make sure that they are reputable and that they do a good job.

Be sure to have plans drawn up of the extension and try and plan out exactly where everything will go before the building work starts as making changes afterwards could increase your costs and make the project spiral above what you had budgeted. 

Artificial grass in your garden, is it practical?

After a long season of rain, snow and sleet our gardens can be left looking messy, muddy and boggy with the grass either growing wild or trodden down into the mud.

Looking out the window at natural grass during this season you may think, ‘why don’t we just get artificial grass laid’ but is it really the best option for your home?

Artificial grass has become very popular with many people opting for this when having their gardens done, there are lots of different types of artificial grass all with varying prices depending on quality. Its also something that can be laid yourself if you are willing to follow online tutorial videos.

But artificial grass does have some downsides that are important to consider. If you have a dog at home that is going to have access to the grass then you have to be prepared that the level of maintenance for the grass will increase. If the dog uses the grass for the toilet you will need to regularly wash and sanitise the area to avoid lingering smells. There are specific disinfectant products on the market that can help with this so it’s worth doing your research. The other important thing to remember is that in the sun artificial grass gets to much higher temperatures than natural grass and can actually cause burns particularly to dogs paws that are very sensitive. So if you have a dog artificial grass may not be for you.

How an electric gate can improve your property

Electric gates are becoming increasingly common and are no longer just for big stately homes. There are many advantages to having an electric gate installed at you home. Initially you may decide to have one installed for security. It may be that you want to ensure that no one is able to come on to your driveway without your knowing. Security gates can often be installed with a range of different devices to control them. You may have a remote control or a button in your house that allows you to open and close them. You may also want an intercom installed to allow two-way communication before opening the gates and allowing someone in.

Electric gates are much more practical than manual ones as you do not have to worry about getting out of your car to open them. You can stay in the comfort of your vehicle and click a button to allow you access. Sometimes manual gates can cause security concerns as often owners pull up by the gate, get out of the vehicle and leave it running whilst opening the gate. This is the perfect opportunity for criminals to strike as they often watch a property and learn your routines before committing the offense.

Adding an extra level of security to your home through driveway gates

Gates are a fantastic addition to a driveway. They can not only add a touch of class to your home, but they can also add an extra level of security. There are so many different types of gates on the market you need to do your research to find out which are the best ones for you.

Firstly, you need to consider if you have some way of attaching the gates. It may be that you have a hedge and are going to have posts installed in which the gates will be attached to or that you want a wall building and have the gates built on to them. If you already have a structure such as a wall then you may need to check to see if it is strong enough to withhold the gates you wish to have.

If you need to take you car on and off the drive regularly then you may want to invest in electric gates. Although these will be more expensive, they can save you a lot of time, are more secure and are a lot more practical. They can often be controlled by a remote control or a unit within your home allowing you to get on and off your drive without having to leave your vehicle.

Replacing the doors and windows in your home

If you have old style wooden doors and window frames in you home then you may decide that you want to upgrade to UPVC.

Changing all your windows and doors can be expensive but somethings it is better to get them all done at the same time as you are likely to get a better price than if you had them done separately.

Often the old style wooden doors and window frames do not have double glazed glass in. Double glazing makes a huge difference to the amount of heat you can retain. This will help reduce your energy bills which is more important than ever this year with the rise in energy prices going up and up.

Before committing to having the work done, be sure to get a few quotes to allow you to compare costs. Also try and find reviews for the company you wish to use before deciding to use them. It’s not always the cheapest company that is the best.

You may be able to get a great deal if you wait until the new year as many windows and door companies have a sale in January to drum up some new businesses.

Creating a winter wonderland in your garden

It is not long now until Christmas is here and many people are already dying to get their decorations put up. Most people wait until December to put their decs up but for some the middle of November is late enough.

It is not just the inside of our houses that we like to decorate for the festive period. More and more people are investing in lights for the outside of the house too. With the awful couple of years that many of us have had due to the pandemic, people are wanting to make the most of the special time we get to spend with our friends and family. Creating a winter wonderland in your garden is the perfect way to bring some festive cheer not only to your home but to the rest of the street.

Christmas decorations and lights can be expensive so it is worth keeping an eye out for items in the sale. These can often be picked up in the January sales.

You need to ensure that any lights that you have for the inside or outside of your home are safe and are installed correctly. Only ever use proper outdoor sockets for pluggin in your lights on the outside of your property.

Buying your first home

If you are currently in rented accommodation or living with parents or relatives then you may be looking to purchase your own home. These days, it’s is no easy task purchasing your own home as long gone are the days of 100% mortgages. Most mortgage companies like you to have at least ten percent deposits but ideally twenty percent. With the average three bedroom home in the UK costing in excess of two hundred thousand pounds that is a huge amount of money to have to save up. With the cost of living rising too, many young people are struggling to get their foot on the ladder. Some government schemes may help them such as the equity loan which tops up their deposit up to twenty percent. The buy must have at least five percent deposit but the government can then loan them up to an additional fifteen percent. This offer is only open to people who have never owned a home before.

If you are considering buying a new build then you will need a minimum of fifteen percent deposit. You may be able to go down the shared ownership route if you are not able to get a mortgage for the full amount that you require.

Transforming your room with clever lighting

If you have recently decorated a room but it still doesn’t seem quite right, it could be that the lighting needs to be changed.

Lighting is so very important to the ambience of a room yet very often it is a bit of an afterthought. You may spend hours agonising over which wallpaper looks the best and which pictures or ornaments will complement the design, without really giving a thought to the lighting. You should try and decide what lights you want and wear prior to the decorating as if you need walls chasing out or new lighting circuits put in then you will want to have that done before you decorate.  

Dimmable bulbs are a great option as they allow you to have the light when you need to do something but make it more relaxing and calm when chilling out.

Many people install under cupboard lighting in the kitchen so they can have a subtle light on all the time. This is usually done by gluing an LED strip under the cupboards with can often be either battery powered or mains powered.

You can even have smart lighting installed in your home which can be controlled via an app or smart devices such as Alexa.

If you are moving to a new area, be sure to do your research

If you are considering moving house or buying / renting a new home then you should ensure that you do your research before deciding exactly where to live. It may be that you are limited as to where you can live as you need to be close to your place of work, children’s school or family.

When property searching it can be very easy to fall in love with a property without really considering where it is and what’s close by. You firstly need to establish if you want to live in the countryside, in a city or somewhere in the middle. Living in the countryside can be great and very relaxing but there are also downsides. You may find it hard to adjust to country live it you have previously lived in a city. Simple things such as the convenience of the shops being on your door step and takeaways galore can take a while to adjust to. Often people have to relocate for jobs in which case you may want to live as close to work as possible.

When doing research think about not only the street that you will be living on but also surrounding streets, especially ones that back on to yours. Have a look at the local schools and their Ofsted reports if you have children or are planning on having them.