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.

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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?

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Get The Whole Family Involved To Make Your Garden Summer-Ready

Get The Whole Family Involved To Make Your Garden Summer-Ready

With all the great weather we’ve been having lately, dare we say that summer is here – and earlier than expected! While you’ve probably been ready for it for a while since the infamous ‘Beast from the East’, can you say the same about your garden?

Gardening can feel like a chore, especially if it’s not your favourite household job. However, when you get the whole family involved – it can become a much more enjoyable task.

Here’s how you can get the whole family involved in making your garden summer-ready.

Many hands make light clearing work

Clearing the garden of debris can make a big difference to the overall look of your garden. Stray rubbish, leaves, and other things that have made their way into your garden can spoil the look during the summer months. Getting everyone involved in clearing up will make it much quicker to restore your garden. Make sure everyone wears gloves to prevent injuries and keep young children away from glass and sharp objects.

Build something together

A home improvement project can be a fun way to bring the family together and is a great way to help get everyone out of the house and get some fresh air. You could build some garden furniture from railway sleepers, add some decking or a patio – something that you can all enjoy during the summer months. Take a look at Pinterest or YouTube for some fun garden DIY projects that you can all do together. Even small children can help with painting and watering, so there are different ways you can help them feel involved.

Get planting

By getting your kids involved in planting, you can help to teach them some useful skills that will benefit them in the future. Some of the easiest vegetables and herbs to plant now include beans, carrots, chives and lettuce – which all make excellent ingredients for many summer dishes. Teach your kids the value of growing fresh fruit and vegetable and the importance of healthy eating – it’ll be extremely satisfying getting to eat produce you know you’ve grown yourself.

Add some garden tasks to the chores list

Having chores to do around the home is important for the whole family. It teaches kids responsibility, stops them spending all their time in front of a screen and it helps keeps your home in order. Add some garden tasks to your family chores list to help keep it looking fresh throughout the summer months. There are several health benefits of having a family garden, including helping to ease stress and can form a part of your recommended daily physical activity.

Getting your garden ready for the warmer months is one way to get your home ready for summer. From simple garden maintenance to a complete renovation, there are some great things you can do as a family to make your garden great. Make the most of the good weather when it’s here and get gardening with the family this summer.

 

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How to get your home in shape for summer

How to get your home in shape for summer

Finally – we’ve hit some nice weather! After a start to the year that could be described as nothing less than ‘temperamental’, the ‘best from the east’ seems like a distant memory after the recent bout of lovely weather we’ve enjoyed. The most recent bank holiday weekend was the hottest on record; there’s no doubt we’re all well and truly in the mood for summer now! As we hope the good weather continues, attention quickly turns to our homes. The transition from the cold to hot weather means change is needed. Here’s how to get your home ready for the summer – both inside and out!  

Getting the outside in order 

During winter, our homes take a beating from the elements. When it’s cold and wet outside, the last thing on your mind will be to get some outside work done. Because of this, the outside of our homes can look a little neglected once the nice weather comes back around. Take some time to look around and which areas need some TLC and get to work.  

Windows 

As the sun shines through your windows, you soon realise the amount of dirt and dust that has collated on them. Whilst the insides might have been kept clean, the outsides can be covered from top to bottom in water spots and streaks. Warm water and soap will help to get rid of dirt, and for an extra gleam factor you could try using some specialty window polish.  

Patios and Walkways 

If you’ve got a path leading to your front door, this is often the first impression visitors to your home will have. Best to make sure it leaves a good one! Stray leaves and mud can make their way onto pathways, and flag stones become discoloured due to excess grime on top of them. The same goes for patios. Give the stones a thorough jet wash to return the stone to its former glory.  

Get Back into Gardening 

With the warmer weather comes more care for our gardens. It’s time to plant the flower beds and cut the grass. After all, the time for barbecues is only around the corner! Take some time to care for your neglected garden. Days out to the garden centre can also be a good family day out. If you’ve got little ones, let them pick their favourite flowers – and maybe enjoy a cake form the café, too!  

Moving indoors… 

Getting your home prepared for summer means adding a light and airy feel to your home’s décor. It’s time to move away from thick blankets and candles, and create a more seamless transition from the outside in. 

Get rid of excess clutter 

Creating a feeling of space is important when planning your home’s summer makeover. By removing unnecessary clutter from around your home, you lend it to a much more contemporary interior design. Move around your home and find a place for anything that doesn’t need to be there. You might have to be brutal at times and remove items you really love – but it’s for the greater good! These items can always be moved into other rooms, and of course brought back out when it gets cold again. 

Incorporate light colours 

Whether you’re making small changes or looking for a complete design overhaul, the colours you use are crucial to the overall feel of your home. You could re-paint your walls to represent a summer-themed haven in your home, or use small design aspects to add splashes of bright colour. Small throw pillows and thin blankets work well for this. After all, here in the UK we’re unlikely to have zero use for a blanket every now and again – even in summer! 

Use natural elements 

Blending elements form the outside into your interior design helps create a buzz and summery feel across your home. Small indoor water features and house plants are great for creating the seamless transition from the outside and, as previously mentioned, this is important for summer décor. House plants will also make the air feel cleaner, so it’s a win-win!  

Clean the floors 

In some rooms, your home may be one of the main features of your interior design. If this is the case, you definitely need to make sure they’re as clean as possible. Even if they take a back seat to the rest of your décor, you should do your best to maintain them. Carpets should be washed and cleaned as much as possible, and wood or laminate flooring should be swept and cleaned using a damp mop (although don’t get them too wet as this can cause more harm than good!) 

Have you got any more tips for getting your home in shape for summer? 

This is a collaborative post.