Hacks all homeowners wish they’d known sooner

Hacks all homeowners wish they’d known sooner

Owning your own home is a wonderful feeling. The fact that you don’t have to answer to a landlord for any changes you want to make gives you the freedom to really show your style within your home. However, one of the downsides of being a homeowner is the fact that if something goes wrong, you’ve got to repair it and also find the money for the repairs. This can become a big problem if you don’t have the knowledge or means to do so. It doesn’t have to be so difficult though, so check out these hacks all homeowners wish they’d known sooner.

Eliminate central heating

One of the biggest problems that homeowners face is their boiler breaking down. The problem here is that your boiler is what powers your central heating and if you’ve got a small family, this is an issue that needs sorting quickly. While you might not want to get rid of your central heating altogether, take a look at these ideas which could easily warm your home until you can get that pesky boiler fixed:

Halogen heaters; they’re really inexpensive to buy and run. They cost pence an hour to run from your electricity, and they kick out some serious heat, so your home will be far from cold!

* If you’ve got a chimney, consider installing a wood burner into your home in place of a gas fire. If all else fails, you can chuck some wood or coals in and have your home warm in no time at all. Also, they look really rustic and can add style to your home.

*Window tinting is another way of helping your home regulate heat. In the winter, they help keep the heat in and in the summer, they help keep your home nice and cool.

Flush drain troubles away

Toilet blocked? Drains outside smelling or overflowing? Problems to do with drains can really be a pain to sort out, especially if you’ve got no idea on how to fix the problem. It’s important to have these problems sorted as soon as possible, especially if you have a small family because you want to keep them away from any germs as much as possible. While your local plumber might be able to sort the problem, you should consider calling Drain Detectives so that you’re getting specialised help and can have your issue solved quickly and efficiently. To help prevent issues like these cropping up again, be sure to never rinse any fats or thick liquids down your drains, as these are usually the culprits.

Power your life with a small investment

We all know how expensive electricity can be, and with pretty much everything being powered by electric these days, it’s no wonder that our bills are through the roof. Not only is it harmful to our wallets, but it’s damaging our environment more than ever. There is a simple investment that you could make which would solve both issues: solar panels. While it might sound like a large chunk to come out of your bank account, they pay for themselves within a year of purchase. Many people who have them have commented that their bills during the summer are practically eliminated, and during the winter they are significantly reduced too. Consider investing in solar panels to save yourself some money and also increase the value of your home too!

 

This is a collaborative post.

Is your home ready for your new arrival?

Is your home ready for your new arrival?

Having a baby is one of the most incredible, exciting and terrifying things you can do in your life. Your world changes forever, and you change forever- you truly get to understand love in its purest form. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it’s difficult at times too.

As well as making sure everything is OK with yours and your baby’s health, you have the practical things to consider. For example, are your finances in order? You certainly don’t need to be rich to give your child a good life, but there are significant costs to cover and so getting yourself in the best position with money that you can makes sense. Is your car up to scratch? If you currently only have a two-seater car for example then you won’t have space for your partner as well as the car seat. Maybe you only have a two door model which would make getting a car seat in and out a bit of a pain. Perhaps the safety features aren’t as modern as you want- either way, a new car might be on the cards. Your home is another thing to get right, and before you get pregnant (or before your baby arrives) here are a few things to consider.

Location

If you moved into your home before thinking about having children, then things like how good the local schools or parks are probably didn’t cross your mind. You might live in a place that has a high crime rate, but decided to take the risk because as a couple it was close to work or generally made sense at the time. However when a baby comes along that can change, and you will probably want somewhere safe and family friendly. If you decide to move home, be sure to look into the amenities you might need nearby- soft play centres, nurseries, schools and parks. Check out the crime rates and make sure you’re not in a dangerous location such as on a very busy road.

Practicality

You might have a good house in the right area, but perhaps you don’t have enough bedrooms? Maybe the layout feels cramped and doesn’t make sense? You could get around this by having an extension built, a loft conversion or re-jigging some of the walls. You could even have a company like County the home improvers come in and refit everything for you. Spacious rooms with hard wearing and easy to clean flooring is no bad thing when you have little ones.

Accessibility

If you live in an apartment block which can only be accessed via stairs, or if your home has lots of steps outside then think if this would be practical with a pram. Life with a young baby is already difficult enough, not being easily able to get in and out of your home is only going to make things worse. If you can’t make the changes that you need to, then it could be worth looking for something new.

This is a collaborative post.

Seizing New Opportunities For Your Blog:
What To Do Next

Seizing New Opportunities For Your Blog: <br> What To Do Next<br/>

There’s a lot of money to be made in blogging. That is, if you have the right kind of knowledge to push yourself forward. We all know that once you’ve established your blog online, to make the first steps into making money you’re going to want to sign up to Google Adverts and begin looking into affiliate programs to join. That’s just the basic information that you’ll pick up from the generic “how to start a blog and monetise it” kind of posts. However, there are other ways in which you can make money from your blog, and open it up to new opportunities in the process. Take a look at the next steps you should be taking:

Running competitions

Sharing competitions on social media and leading them back to the blog encourages people to subscribe to your blog and also can make your stats boom. So, where you might be getting say 200 views a day, while your competition is running you can expect your views to be in the thousands, depending on how valuable the giveaway prize is. Be sure to follow the guidelines that social media platforms have put in place when running competitions. For example, you can’t ask for a direct share on Facebook any more, so be careful with what terms you’re setting out on the competition. While hosting a giveaway might not necessarily make you money, it exposes you to new readers and also potential clients that might be interested in working with you.

Accepting pre written posts

You may not have heard of a service called blogger outreach services. Basically, companies who want to get their website around, or even information that they specialise in, head to companies like Get Blogged for some expert help. Get Blogged then source bloggers like myself to write a post around an anchor text and link that the companies provide to them. The post is then published and you receive payment for displaying the post on your blog. In this case, I’ve written the post, but often similar companies will outsource freelance writers and you will receive pre-written posts to publish on your blog for a fee. The fee you receive will depend on how high your DA is. The higher your DA, the more money you’ll be paid to publish. Consider either signing yourself up for accepting pre-written posts, or have a go at writing them yourself. Be prepared to have all sorts of links within your blog, right from parenting advice to drain detectives for advice on how you can help yourself at home. Things like this help your readers take something away with them from your blog, so it’s definitely worth it!

Don’t sell yourself short

Finally, as time goes on and your DA rises you will find that you’re contacted by external companies wanting to place their link on your blog somewhere. This is usually within a written post (as above) and they will almost always try and get a cheaper price from you. Set yourself a minimum price for publishing and make sure that you don’t sell yourself short. Time is precious as a blogger and if it’s not worth your time, don’t do it! Take a look at pricing for your DA on your blog and decide yourself a price!

This is a collaborative post.

How to Have a Fabulous Time in Finland

How to Have a Fabulous Time in Finland

When you think of Finland, you probably think of Father Christmas and cold, harsh snowy winters, but there is far more to Finland than Lapland and the weather. It is undoubtedly one of the most underrated holiday destinations in Europe, and no matter what time of the year you visit, you are guaranteed to have a good time, well providing your take the time to plan your itinerary to squeeze in as much Finnish magic as you can, anyway!

Want to have a fabulous time in Finland? Here are a few things you simply must do when you’re there:

Explore Turku Castle

The ancient castle in Turku is one of the oldest properties still standing in Finland and it is truly a sight to behold. With impressive architecture and bags of interesting exhibitions on the history of Finland, as well as a very good cafe, it is the perfect place to find out about the magic of Finland before you head off and see more of the country for yourself.

See the Northern Lights

Okay, so the Northern Lights are not exclusive to Finland, but the country is arguably the best place to see the Aurora Borealis in the world. Your best chance of seeing them is in the winter when the skies are totally dark, so if seeing this wonderful natural light show is important to you, be sure to book in the Autumn/Winter months. You might also want to hire a guide to help you chase the lights and increase your chances of seeing their beauty (it’s unlikely you won’t get to see them if you’re in Finland for more than a day or two).

Eat a Pie at Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta is a small town on the east coast of Finland just a stone’s throw from the Russian border, so it might not be the first place that you consider visiting when you’re in Finland, but there is one very good reason why you should head there – the pies. Providing you’re a meat eater, you will not regret sampling the traditional meat pies that are sold in Lappeenranta. They taste kind of like doughnuts stuffed with hamburger, which might sound mighty strange but that are totally to die for, especially if you order from Satama Sanni.

Spend Some Time in Helsinki

Helsinki’s downtown area is one of the best places to go if you want to get a feel for what life in Finland is all about. Not only will you have fun people watching, but you’ll delight in the historic squares and buildings like the impressive Lutheran Cathedral and Market Square, which give the city so much of its unique character. If it gets too cold or wet for you, pop off to the Ateneum and check out some impressive works of art.

Stay at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

If you’re looking for somewhere fabulous to stay when you travel to Finland, look no further than the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort which is made up of several glass igloos that give you an uninterrupted view of the beautiful skies above you. Imagine lying tucked up in bed watching the natural light show that is the Aurora Borealis take place above you – it simply doesn’t get much better than that!

Check Out Suomenlinna Island

Suomenlinna Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the ruins of an old fortress and lots of rugged nature. Pack a lunch and spend the day there exploring the ruins, having fun on the beach and looking out for interesting Finnish wildlife and it will be a day well spent. This is one place that the kids will absolutely adore if you’re travelling with them.

See Santa in Lapland

Okay, so I said earlier that there’s more to Finland than Father Christmas, and as you can see, there really is, but it would be kind of sad to visit  Finland and not go and see the good man himself, especially if you’re travelling with children. Lapland is truly a magical place thanks to the pure white snow, the beautiful reindeer, the regular appearances of the Northern Lights, and of course, Santa himself, So, make an effort to visit if you possibly can.

Have a Sauna on Saunasaari Island

It might be cold outside, but you’ll be pleasantly warm and totally relaxed if you pay a visit to Saunasaari Island, which is home to several amazing smoke saunas that truly feel like a little piece of heaven right here on earth. Bliss!

Finland is truly fabulous!

This is a collaborative post.

Tips for building an outbuilding in your garden

Tips for building an outbuilding in your garden

If you’re looking for a way to increase the value of your home, your garden is a gold mine. If you’re looking for a place to escape from the family, food missiles being thrown by toddlers, and an incessant noise that you’re convinced is giving you tinnitus, your garden is a gold mine! We all need time to escape from the hub of the home, and an outbuilding is the perfect solution. Not only is it an extra room for your house, but it’s can look stylish for a relatively low cost. But, what do you need to consider when building an outbuilding?

Is It Going To Have Multiple Uses?

The possibilities of an outbuilding are endless, from an entertainment room to a gym, to a place to store all of your garden tools. If it’s going to have multiple users, you need to consider the materials for the building. If it’s going to double up as an art studio, while also a place to store plants in the winter, is it going to be warm enough or cool enough for the purposes? You need to think about the overall practicalities and factor these in when creating a budget for the outbuilding. The floor materials, as well as the internal walls, need to be practical enough, and so if you are working out the polished concrete floor cost, in relation to the interior and exterior walls, but you don’t have enough in your budget, it’s important to go back to the purpose of the building. Because if you want it to be an extra room, but it’s completely uninhabitable in the winter, you’re not going to get much use out of it, and therefore it’s a waste of money.

Does It Need Planning Permission?

This is when it gets into many technicalities. The bottom line is that if you are hoping to make it an extra room used for the purposes of getting five minutes away from everyone, rather than it being an extra bathroom, kitchen, or any other type of accommodation, you don’t need to acquire planning permission. If the outbuilding is within the Permitted Development Rights, you don’t need to get planning permission.

Other Concerns

If you live in a terraced house, you need to consider if building an outbuilding will prove to be annoying for your neighbours. This goes back to the purpose of it, but also, if you plan on setting up the building close to one of the neighbour’s walls, is this going to cause strife further down the line? If it’s a place for the kids to go and play, you need to think about the noise levels. It’s worth bearing all these in mind.

An outbuilding is a great idea to get an extra room, especially if you are all sandwiched together, but there are many things for you to consider. It can be a great place to go and escape to, but if it’s not practical enough, especially when the weather gets cold, are you going to be using it much? In which case, aren’t you just better hiding from everyone in the toilet?

This is a collaborative post.