From mediaeval to masterful: property value tips

Imagine living a couple of centuries ago, when the best you could do in interior design was shove a bit of mud in a corner, or collect a few leaves and stick them in your mud. Ye Olde Llewellyn Bowen would have been promoting twig chic while the rest of us lived in monochrome misery.

Be thankful, then, to be living in the present, where your rooms can take on more aesthetic choices than an indecisive Oscar Wilde. But it means there’s a lot more pressure to make your home a stylistic gem – especially if you want to sell it.

If you want to turn your home from mediaeval hut to interior beauty, follow a few of these tips. Your property value will skyrocket in no time.

The major renovations

Windows, conservatories, doors, sunrooms – they’re not jobs for amateurs.

You might’ve tried to do these larger renovations yourself, but no doubt it went awry. Instead of toiling your way into a mess, give a company like CR Smith a call for professional and affordable service.

What can one of these renovations do for the value of your property? Well, with a conservatory you could add on an extra £10,000 to your house price – and you’ll have a cool extension to lounge in while you’re still living there.

Storage wars

Even the largest homes have trouble finding storage space. The bigger your house, the more stuff you buy to fill it, until you’re overflowing with pointless junk.

The design solution for this is simple – look up. With a little bit of DIY knowhow you can create extra cabinets and shelving in your ceiling. Or if you have extra thick walls, you might find a place or two with the depth for new wardrobes.

Potential buyers are always searching for places to put their unwanted mementos, old clothes and spare tellies – so give them it in spades.

The look of (sort of) love

While interior design itself is unlikely to raise house prices, it can raise a few eyebrows for any interested parties. But if your sole purpose is to sell your property, the right style can be a delicate balancing act.

You’ll have to create a pleasant environment without imposing your personality on it. The saleable home has effort put into it, but without the eccentricities of someone who’s lived there a long time. It’s a pristine canvas for the next owners to paint on.

Choose Your Window Coverings to Convey a Feeling about Your Interior

Whether you own your home or rent an apartment, you want to feel proud of your residence and you want to feel comfortable. Every time you open the door into your house or apartment, you want to experience a sense of pride in the living room, kitchen, and other parts of your living space. The components of your interior that convey this feeling may include furniture, paint and wall coverings, accessories, electronics, and window treatments.

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The last item on the above list can be especially influential in the pride and comfort you feel. Does the interior of your residence look welcoming? Does it look comfortable? Does it look classy? It is helpful to decide, in advance, about the qualities that you want your interior to convey to yourself, your family, and guests. After making this decision, you can install window treatments that support the feeling or image you want to present.

There are several options for covering your windows. They include curtains, drapes, and blinds. Within each of these options, you can change the look and feel with color, design and fabric. Below, you will find detailed descriptions of the ways that each of these window treatments can contribute to your home’s appearance and feel.

Curtains: Generally described as a lighter in weight than drapes, curtains supply an airy feel to a room. During the late 1800s, lace curtains were the first type to be mass produced and were adopted by millions of people. Lace curtains go well in a kitchen, especially over a sink, because they offer a decorative, yet transparent appeal. Less transparent curtains provide a feeling of privacy, while also allowing some outside light to penetrate the room. If your goal is to provide an open feel to your room, curtains may be the right wall covering for you.

Drapes: As mentioned above, drapes are generally heavier than curtains. The heavy material blocks out more sunlight and can also provide a more decorative or royal feeling: Think burgundy-colored, velvet drapes. In climates where the temperature can be very hot or very cold, drapes with an insulated backing can reduce drafts and help to maintain the temperature of an interior. While drapes will not contribute to a light, airy, open atmosphere, they will support a feeling of coziness. If you live in a climate in which the winters can be cold and brutal, drapes can provide you and your family with a warm and cozy ambience.

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Blinds: The variety of materials and configurations available in blinds makes them quite versatile for conveying an interior’s feeling. Wood blinds can provide a classic, upscale impression. Faux-wood blinds offer a similar feeling but with the addition of better protection against the sun’s glare. Mini blinds are great for smaller windows in which you want the option of allowing natural light into the room without it getting overwhelming. Your blinds can be made of the material mentioned above, as well as metal and plastic. If you have a wide sliding door, you might want to use vertical blinds to cover it since they are easy to retract during frequent ingress and egress. Interior shutters are also a form of blinds and offer an upscale, classic look. A nice quality of blinds is that they can support an open, airy feeling in a room during the day, then be closed for privacy at night. If you want that option as well as the variety of choice from materials, colors, and styles, installing blinds may be right for you.

Approach your window coverings as a way to support the ambience you want your interior to convey.

Considering Subflooring And Living Habits When Choosing Hardwood

Choosing the best hardwood option automatically means that you have to consider many different factors. It is not that easy and the truth is that we normally tend to forget many things. The two aspects that we will highlight below are among those that are forgotten. Never neglect them so that your choice can be a proper one.

Your Subflooring

It is vital that you know what subflooring exists. The three really common ones are going to be highlighted.

  1. Concrete Subflooring

There are not many options that are available if you have concrete subflooring. You are practically limited to the use of engineered wood. It is still possible to use any wood but it just needs to be in a proper, engineered format. Thickness of the wood and veneer will vary and the high end engineered wood is always of a high quality.

It is also possible to install plywood when you have concrete but this automatically means that the costs will be higher as you will need more labor, insulation and extra plywood than you would expect. While you are tempted to stay focused with what you already have and you want to refinish hardwood flooring, considering the appropriate options may be a better idea.

You will need completely flat boards. These are harder to find in a long length. The glue will be pretty strong and you are faced with a permanency. If there is a flood or a leak, you will find it quite difficult to solve the problem. Make sure that you avoid volatile organic compounds as they are toxic.

  1. Plywood

Out of all the subfloor options, Home Tipsor highlights that plywood is the most common. At the same time, it is beneficial because it is the most versatile opportunity when dealing with hardwood flooring. It is easy to use engineered wood or simply nail down solid wood.

  1. Particleboard

Particleboards are common in homes that were built in the seventies, usually used under carpets. This is practically a cheap plywood version. When you have hardwood flooring, the particleboard has to be replaced with plywood. Then, solid wood or engineered wood can be used.

Living Habits

The level of floor abuse counts a lot. You need to learn all that you can about durability and wood species. If you frequently organize parties or you have pets/children, it is quite obvious that you will need something that is more durable. If you travel a lot and you are single, you will not need that durability.

Harder wood is a necessity when your home shows a lot of traffic. This means that the Janka scale of the wood has to be higher. A popular strong wood type considered is usually red wood.

Keep in mind that the structure of the hardwood flooring will change a little based on the staining and finishing that are chosen. In most situations you will want to choose something that is aesthetically pleasing but it is also a good choice if you consider durability, whenever this is necessary.

Don’t Let Your Garden Overwhelm You

If you let your garden get out of control when it comes to actually making it look good again in time for Spring and Summer it can sometimes not seem worth it. If you let it grow and grow it becomes too much work when the time comes for actually beautifying it. I’m here to help. I’ve got some advice and tips on how to make your garden verdant again.

Once a Week

This is the ‘once a week’ trick that means you a do a little every week during the summer and late spring. Saturdays are good for this. All you have to do is cut the grass, dead head any of the flowers, and then do a quick scan of the garden and see if there’s anything wrong and fix anything, that way your garden stays looking spick and span all summer.

I’ve got ahead of myself – I need to let you know how to get to the point where you only need to maintain the garden. Let’s go back to the beginning…

Stripping

Strip everything back. Any vines, thorns, bushes, and grasses that have dared encroach on to your territory over the winter and autumn need to go. Maybe strip one thing back a week and then it’s not so much of a big job. Once you strip everything back your garden will open up and you’ll be surprised how light it becomes. Once this has been done, it allows new plants to grow in their place and if you plant some really nice flowers you will have an Eden in no time.

Sitting

When your garden is at a point where you are enjoying being there and you want to spend more time out relishing in the glorious summer you need somewhere nice to sit. Chances are your existing garden furniture is perfect but may I suggest a little addition. Buy a foam cushion, obviously one for each chair, that way the prolonged garden BBQs can be enjoyed leisurely without getting a sore behind from sitting on wooden or metal chairs.

As a side note, if you’re having trouble with wasps and bees, may I suggest putting some jam in a little bowl away from where you are sitting as they will be attracted to it and leave you alone.

Jet Washing

The humble skin shredding jet wash; these are amazing inventions. As you all know a jet wash fires water out at such pressure that it tears the grime of practically anything. If you have patio or decking, or even a dirty wall, get the jet wash out and make them shine. You’ll be surprised at home much dirt and grime accumulates on patios. I did it to my garden after about 10 years after laying the patio and rediscovered that the slabs were a faint pink and yellow colour… who knew? The grime accumulates so slowly that you don’t notice it, it’s only when you jet wash that sucker that the original slabs can shine through. It makes such a huge different that you’ll be jet washing every year.

The Two Year Touch Up

My last suggestion is that every two years or so replenish your stocks of slate, bark, or gravel etc depending on what you have. The two year touch up also includes a lick of paint for the shed and fences, and maybe hiring a tree surgeon to keep your trees at an appropriate level. Every garden is different and so only you know what you’ll need to keep up to date, so to speak.

Just a Little Bit

Doing a these things over the course of late spring will mean that you hardly have to do any work when summer comes and it means you won’t have to do everything all at once before your massive, 60 people strong, garden party.

Keep a Vacant Property Secure with a Wireless Alarm

Having a vacant property can be a real worry. Without someone there to look after it all day there is sure to be a great deal of concern about whether thieves could take advantage of the situation to break in.

To add to this, there is also the fact that you will know that any incidents such as fires or floods could easily go undetected for long enough to cause a substantial amount of damage.

The good news is that the use of a modern alarm system can make the owning of a vacant property a far less stressful business. The top vacant property wireless security alarms can give you a range of benefits to set the property owner’s mind at ease.

 

Different Types of Set Up

A huge advantage to wireless alarm systems in general is that they offer a highly flexible way of protecting a property. This is particularly useful to anyone looking after an empty place, as it means that they can choose the ideal set up and then leave the system in place to give them complete peace of mind. One of the first big decisions to be made is around the number of wireless sensors to be used. While the flexibility of wireless alarms usually allows for additional sensors to be added later on, the number initially chosen can determine the type of system which can be used. Once the system is in place it can be moved about anyway, which is one of the benefits of choosing a wireless alarm over a hard wired one. They can also be moved from one property to another easily, as there are no wires to dig out from the walls or floors. This means that they can be moved from one vacant property to another if the owner is, for example, a property developer with a constantly varying portfolio.

Control the System Remotely

A terrific modern advance with burglar alarm systems in general is that you can control them remotely. This is especially useful for anyone who has a property they don’t visit very often but still want full control over. Some instances in which this type of technology can come in especially handy include when the property receives a lot of visitors such as tradesmen when the owner isn’t there. Remote control of the alarm system can be especially useful for owners of multiple vacant properties. In this way, they can control the security in all of them from their home computer or mobile device. This can allow the owner of various empty properties to save a lot of time by monitoring them remotely and therefore not having to physically visit them all on a regular basis for security reasons.

 

Get Notifications Instantly

Of course, if something bad were to happen in a vacant property the person in charge of it would want to know right away. This is why the instant notification service is such a valuable and important part of the wireless alarm system for vacant premises.  There are some different ways of doing this, with the option of receiving text messages to a set number of different phones one of the most popular. Another option is to put the control of any incidents in the hand off a specialist alarm response centre rather than deal with them yourself.            

 

Check for Fires and Flood

Having a wireless smoke alarm in a vacant property is another very good idea. At first glance this might seem a strange idea. After all, smoke alarms traditionally work by emitting a loud noise when smoke is detected. In a vacant property there would be no one there to hear this noise, no matter how loud or high pitched it is. The smart thing about these alarms for empty premises is that they work in a different way. Instead of making that loud noise they send out text messages to the pre-designated phone number when smoke is detected. Floods can also be detected and notified very quickly with the most advanced type of alarm system. Al l of this means that leaving a house or business premises empty for a period of time is no longer as nerve-racking an experience as it used to be. 

Getting Your House Ready for Summer is Easy!

With the school year ending and the weather getting hotter every day, it is clear that summer is here to stay. This season is a favourite of many, as it is a time of year that encourages you to relax, have some fun, and take a much-needed holiday to a place that you have never been to before. And it is also a great opportunity to have some friends and family over for outdoor grilling, pool parties, and simply enjoying one another’s company on a breezy, cool evening perhaps with an outdoor fire going. But how can you prepare your home for all of this summertime fun? Continue reading for a few helpful tips.

Get a Breath of Fresh Air

After a long, cold winter that forced you to keep your windows closed, causing the air inside your home to stagnate and become even more polluted with everything from dust mites to chemicals and other indoor allergens, summer is the perfect season to open up all those windows and let some fresh air in. The best time to do this is in the morning, as the air will be cooler and cleaner, but the evening and overnight hours are also ideal for the same reasons.

This is also an ideal time of year to check all of the filters that you use throughout your home to ensure the best air quality, including your furnace filter, air conditioning filter, and air cleaner filter. Having these in working order will ensure the air in your home is free of common allergens and toxins that can lead to respiratory ailments, particularly in those who suffer with allergies or asthma.

Clean Off Screen Doors and Windows

In keeping with the idea of letting more fresh air into your home during the warmest season of the year, you should also take the proper steps to ensure all of the screens on your windows and doors are cleaned thoroughly. If there are a lot of tears and holes in these screens, have them repaired or replaced so that you do not risk a lot of bugs climbing or flying into your home when you are just trying to enjoy a cool breeze.

Go a step further and make sure you also lubricate and tighten all door closers and hinges, particularly those on wooden doors that can be adversely affected by humid weather, wet weather, and changing temperatures. Do the same for all of your window screens to keep them in the best shape.

Wash Off Your Windows

When you have guests over for summertime fun, you definitely want your home to look presentable. But instead of just focusing on keeping the interior of your home clean, from your floors to your furniture, and making sure you have great looking summer décor around, you should also take the time to wash off your windows, which have collected a lot of grime and dirt over the winter months.

Clean a window on the outside and inside. It’s best to use a gentle, non-toxic, and eco-friendly solution that is safe for your entire family, like a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar. Let the solution sit on the glass for about 10-15 minutes so that it can really cut through all of the debris that is stuck on it. Then use a plastic bristle brush to get rid of any salt that has accumulated on the window. Finally, if necessary, you can finish up by using an eco-friendly window cleaner and a trusty squeegee to really make the glass shine and let the most light into your home.

Clean Off the Patio Furniture and Invite Guests!

Finally, before inviting guests over, take your patio furniture and accessories out of storage and give them a quick cleaning to make them look like new.

Sure, the summer season is a great time to set out flowers, get rid of those flannel sheets and down comforter and opt for lighter sheets on the bed, and incorporate brighter colours into your home. But it is also the ideal opportunity to make some much-needed repairs, do a bit of cleaning, and check the quality of the air inside your home before inviting guests to enjoy their time with you.

Why Is Still So Often Chosen In Building Construction?

There are many misconceptions that are associated with steel that is used during the construction process. A lot of people believe that other materials, like wood, are better. This is definitely not the truth. Steel is highly common as it brings in many advantages we cannot dismiss. The material has been used for over 100 years now and the popularity constantly increases every single year. We now use steel in a huge variety of structures from the small ones in our backyards to the huge skylines that you see in the major cities around the world. Steel is always considered when a building is constructed.

Historical Use Of Steel in Constructions

The material was first used over 200 years ago. It was first implemented in the support columns and walls of some buildings. As time passed and it became easier to manufacture the material, it started to be use more commonly. That was because of the strength that was offered. Steel structures withstand the test of time and structural integrity is not affected.

Steel was used in basically any structural element from pipelines to bridges. It was even utilized in order to aid the transportation of other materials over a long distance. Nowadays it is the material of choice when referring to skyscrapers and any other major structure that implements unique architectural.

Steel Is Simply Better Than The Alternatives

The reason why companies like Canonsteelsltd.co.uk Steel Fabrication London are so successful is really easy to understand: we constantly need steel. Other materials that are used in buildings like concrete and wood have problems as time passes. They can easily wear out and lives are shortened due to the effects that weather can have on them. Steel does not experience such problems. It is popular, easily made and very easy to put together. It will not pollute, wear away or crumble so almost no problems can appear when using it.

Lower Construction Costs

This is one thing that many do not know about using steel in construction projects. This is a material that can easily be put together and the costs of using it are really low as compared with many other materials. You can easily erect a structure in a shorter period of time so this automatically means that you need to use less contractors and labor. The deadlines are easier to be met so everyone involved in the process will be happy.

Steel Weight

One thing you may not know about steel is that it is actually lighter than other materials. It is a lot stronger than others and can be maintained with ease. There are basically no risks when referring to fire as compromising steel requires so much heat. Because of this factor, it is important to consider using steel structures when referring to tall buildings.

Steel can be recycled, unlike concrete or wood. You do not need to throw away steel in a dump. Around 60% of this material is completely recyclable. On the whole, this is definitely a great choice that you have to take into account.

6 Best Tips for Being Entertained and Connected at Home

At this very moment, you have more options available for staying connected and entertained than at any other time in history. This is great if you are able to access what matters to you, but often what you encounter through outlets on the web is content that you don’t want to see.

How can you take advantage of the continuing rise in entertainment options while not wasting time on dud? Here are six different ways you can best use your incredible internet services to access entertainment.

Choose a News Aggregator
Sadly, there’s not much of a line between news and entertainment these days. Staying informed is fun and useful, so find a way to get the content that matters most to you delivered without having to waste time filtering. Choose a customizable news aggregator like Google News or even Fark to deliver the most recent and interesting stories directly to you. You will save time while never missing out on the most popular content.

Increase Your Social Media Expertise
If you spend much time on social media and need to do it for business purposes, you know that much of the content is interesting to you. Even if it comes from your favorite aunt or your best friend, many posts are simply not going to be entertaining to you. But it does not have to be that way. If you find yourself wasting a lot of time digging around Facebook or other outlets for entertaining content, consider taking a free social media course. The time you invest now will be returned to you in better connections, and higher quality entertainment choices.

Find Critics to Trust
Whether you spend most of your entertainment time and money on music, movies, or gaming, you definitely do not want to waste your time. Instead, find trusted critics who can guide you to the best choices; who seem to think like you. Sites like Pitchfork for music, Rotten Tomatoes for movies, and IGN for gaming provide you with reviews that you can trust.

Don’t be a Cheapskate
There’s no point in having access to great entertainment if your movies are constantly trying to load, your music cuts out, or your ping rate is slower than the competition’s. It is worth it to invest in the proper bandwidth and equipment to keep your entertainment accessible. 

Expand Your Options
While much of what you need to do as a savvy user is to limit your entertainment options to what is right for you, you should also explore new entertainment. If you find yourself stuck in a rut of always watching the same type of movies, listening to the same music, or gaming with the same group, pick a time to explore. Try something completely outside of what is normal for you.

You can do this by asking friends and even strangers online for new ideas. Use social media to ask your friends for new ideas and entertainment options then share in the experience.

Go Outside
Much of our entertainment is now enjoyed indoors, but you need to get outside, explore, move a little, and have fun with friends in person. This does not mean you need to be disconnected from your online world. Instead, use your resources to plan and explore ahead of time with maps and reviews of places and activities. By combining your virtual and real world experiences, you can make both of them better.

Bioethanol Fireplaces As The Future Of Innovative Fireplace Design

Bioethanol fire is a lot more eco-friendly than many believe at the moment. Such a fire is completely fuel-less. You do not need to have an utility connection or complicated installation in order to get a fuel supply for the fireplace you would install and that allows addition in any part of the home. Whether you currently live in a small apartment or a huge old cottage, bioethanol fireplaces have to be considered because of numerous benefits that are associated with them.

The Innovation Of Bioethanol Fireplaces

We are looking at an environmentally friendly and biological fuel that is made out of various different biological products like sugar beet and cereals. In most situations the ethanol you would use is made through the fermentation of sugar. Yeast basically transforms glucose into alcohol and ethanol can be obtained from any element that includes sugar.

Bio fuel is highly popular these days and it has various different uses. You can see it blended into petrol so that transport fuel has a lower environmental impact and it is also present in cosmetic manufacturing processes. In addition, the burning that is obtained is cleaned and looks great. You can easily enjoy benefits associated with a regular fire without having to worry about ash or smoke. The heat that is gained is really high and we can say that burning ethanol is effective and efficient.

Bioethanol Fireplace Uses

The first thing you will notice when you look at online shops like imaginfires.co.uk is the huge design availability offered. You can so easily see such devices used in locations where a regular fireplace could not be installed like on a table or right in the center of a modern hair salon. The last example we offered is actually associated with an interior design in London that won various different awards because of the innovation that was highlighted. All customers feel safe as ethanol is completely safe and is burning cleanly with water steam being the main compound released into the air. You can easily imagine how stunning such a design looks like.

When thinking about your own home, the only thing that you really need to think about is where you will install your new bioethanol fireplace. It is practically impossible not to find an option that you can use and that would look stunning. We have fireplaces that are suitable for any design trend you may be fund of and that is a huge advantage. In fact, most people today buy the fireplaces because of the way they look like, without even realizing the great choice that they make when thinking about the environment.

Have Patience When Choosing A Bioethanol Fireplace

By know you are surely aware of the main reasons why you should buy such a fireplace but we have to highlight one tip that you have to consider: never hurry the choice process. There are so many interesting options that are available on the market that it is practically impossible not to locate something that you would absolutely love. That is why we have to tell you to choose wisely as you do not want to see a fireplace that looks great after you bought one that you initially liked.