Guest post: The Four Things You Shouldn’t Scrimp on If You Want a Green Property

There are plenty of easy green tips around for any homeowner who wants to live a more environmentally friendly life. Some of these are very easy to carry out and cost little or no money to put into action. However, if you want a truly green property there are 4 main areas you shouldn’t scrimp on. There are all fairly sizeable investments but the benefits in cash and energy savings will be worth it.

Double Glazing

A huge amount of the heat you generate at home escapes through the windows, with some energy experts suggesting that you could see up to a third of your overall heat disappearing this way. By fitting food quality double glazing to your home you can ensure that you lose as little of this heat as possible, which will allow you to burn up less energy in order to keep the place warm in winter.

A Good Boiler

The difference between a highly efficient new boiler and an older, inefficient one is staggering. In fact, you could save several hundred pounds a year by moving to a modern boiler such as those offered by  Help-Link.co.uk. Of course, if you are determined to do more to help the planet then you will be just as delighted to see that this switch can result in more than a thousand kilograms of carbon dioxide being cut from your annual total. This is one of the fastest changes you can make, as the new boiler you order can be installed and working within a day.

Insulation

The addition of cavity wall insulation and loft insulation are another couple of changes which can make a big difference in your attempts to live in a more environmentally friendly way. For example, adding just cavity wall insulation can reduce your carbon footprint by 600 kg a year and save you over a hundred pounds a year in energy bills. It can pay for itself in a year as it stops up to a third of your home’s heat loss from occurring. Loft insulation won’t give such a dramatic saving in most home but it can knock up to a fifth of the annual energy bill.

Solar Panels

One of the best ways of cutting down on the amount of energy you burn up from traditional sources is to produce your own. The addition of solar panels is a major investment but a standard installation can help you save on greenhouse gases each year which add up to the output of at least 2 cars. This approach will take longer to pay for itself than some of the others we have looked at but it is a very smart long term method of going green which simply can’t be ignored.

3 Sure Fire Ways To Leap Up The Housing Ladder

3 Sure Fire Ways To Leap Up The Housing Ladder

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If you have recently added to your brood you are relocating due to work, the chances are you will need to look for a new home to call your own. You may have loved the time you have spent in your current property but feel that now is the time to move on to pastures new. However, it’s not easy to simply pick up sticks and move to a new home when you have a mortgage and need to sell the one you are currently in. To maximize your profit and ensure that you achieve the optimum price for your pad, you need to implement a plan that sees your home appear irresistible to potential buyers. Take a look at these three simple ways to leap up the housing ladder.

Spend A Little

To facilitate the sale of your humble abode, you need to get it fit for sale. This means dressing it in a way so that it exudes a lifestyle appropriate to your target market. If the bathroom suite of your property is a rather fetching shade of avocado green, swap it for a more modern white suite. If your kitchen cabinet doors are falling off their hinges, either swap them for new more modern doors, or change the units altogether. It’s important that your home is a dwelling that is ready to move into. If it appears to need lots of renovation work, a potential buyer will try and knock you down on your asking price. You need to maximize this in order to leap up the housing ladder.

If you are wondering how you can work out the best list price for your home, head to a site like William Pitt that will provide you with three instant online valuations for your dwelling. This will give you an excellent ballpark figure to help you understand what you might be able to achieve.

Declutter And Decorate

Sometimes your home may be structurally sound but still has a few too many personal touches making it difficult for potential buyers to see how they can put their own stamp on your property. Whip out the white paint and cover the deep damson hue in the dining room and the lemon yellow in the kitchen. By creating a blank canvas you will be showing anyone viewing your home just how simple it will be to move in and get decorating themselves. Most buyers want to do a little something to a new home, so make this easy for them.

Get rid of the toys adorning every shelf and put any unwanted junk in your loft rather than on the floor in the corner of the living room. No matter how small your property might be, you need to make it appear spacious and livable.

Don’t Be Greedy

Just because you may need a certain sales price to get the house of your dreams doesn’t mean this is attainable. Look at the ceiling price for your property and don’t list above this. Any savvy buyer will know the prices and property forecasts like the back of their hand so don’t be too greedy otherwise you won’t get footfall through the door.

Selling your home is a balancing act between achieving the optimum price and selling quickly. Use these ideas to facilitate your next move up the housing ladder.

7 Ways To Revitalize A Dull Garden

7 Ways To Revitalize A Dull Garden

When you’re doing home renovations, you probably think about how much value they’ll add to your home. It’s always worth considering because if you can increase the value of the house, that will offset some of the costs of doing the work in the first place. You can think of it as a long term investment. But when people are doing work in the garden, they don’t always have the same mindset. Most people know that a nicely kept garden is more attractive to potential buyers because it improves your curb appeal but it won’t add that much value to the house. If you really want to invest money in the garden, there are plenty of other additions that you can make to the garden. Next time you’re doing work on your outside space, it’s worth considering some of these additions.

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A Garage

A garage is a big priority for a lot of people when they’re looking at houses. It’s a good security feature because people can park their cars in there. It’ll reduce your car insurance as well if you don’t have to park your car on the street. If you aren’t bothered about putting your car in there, it’s a good place to store all of the junk that you don’t use on a regular basis. Building a garage is pretty expensive though and you might not want to spend that much money right now. If that’s the case, you could consider putting a carport in instead. There are some great companies like Stylemaster Patios who can install a covered area for you to park your car in. It’s not quite the same as having a full garage but if you’ve got a nice car and you want to protect it from the elements, it’s ideal.

Decent Fencing

The way that the garden looks is important, but you need to think about security as well. The garden is a common entry point for burglars and if you’ve got low fences and a broken gate that people can open with very little effort, you’re just advertising your house to criminals. Good fencing is also important if you’ve got pets or young children because you don’t want them wandering off when they’re out in the garden. It’s not that expensive to get some new fences put in but it’ll make all of the difference. If you put higher fences in the garden, you can also use them to grow plants up which makes for a far more interesting aesthetic than plain fences.

Consider Removing Trees

Trees in the garden are great, as long as they’re not blocking the light. If you’ve got a nice patio area where you can sit and relax, it’s no good if it never gets any sunlight because there is a massive tree in the way. If you’ve got a tree that is blocking all of the sun, you should consider getting rid of it so you can get more use out of the garden. It’s also worth thinking about the light inside the home as well. Getting more light into the house is tough, especially if you’ve got rooms with small windows. Often, there isn’t a huge amount that you can do about it but sometimes, you’re not getting much light because there is a tree or a bush directly in front of the window that stops all of the light getting in. If that’s the case, you should trim the tree or, if necessary cut the whole thing down.


Artificial Grass

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Everybody knows that cutting the grass is a pain, especially if you’ve got quite a big garden. If you don’t do it regularly, the garden will look scruffy but doing it every week or two is a big undertaking. Brown patches and dead lawns are a big problem as well and you’ll have to spend a lot of time and money nursing the grass back to health. You can get around that and massively cut the amount of time you spend maintaining the garden by taking up the lawn and putting artificial grass in instead. Not everybody likes the idea but there are some good artificial grass companies out there and often, you can’t really tell the difference between the real stuff and the artificial stuff. It’s so much easier than managing real grass and a lot of people see that as a big bonus when they’re looking at houses.

Good Decking

Artificial grass is a great way to avoid the hassle of maintaining a lawn but if you’re not keen on that idea, you could replace some of the grass with decking instead. It gives you a great place to put some garden furniture for relaxing or eating outside in the summer. Splitting the garden into a couple of different areas also makes it appear a lot bigger which adds value as well.

A Good Sized Shed

A shed is always a good addition to the garden, especially if you don’t have a garage. You can store your lawnmower (if you haven’t already switched to artificial grass), barbecue, and all of your other bits and bobs. But a shed can be so much more than just storage. It can be a nice outdoor area to get a bit of peace and quiet for a while if it’s big enough. If you’ve got a bit of dead space in the garden that you’re not really using, build yourself a nice big shed there.

Water Features

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Nobody really understands why just yet but studies show that being close to the water has an incredibly calming effect on people. Swimming in the ocean or taking a dip in a relaxing tranquility pool will help you take a break from the stresses of modern life and find some tranquility. You’re probably not going to install a tranquility pool in your garden but you can get a similar effect from a water feature or a pond. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting out in the sun listening to the gentle trickling of a water feature or watching the fish swim around in the pond.

If you make these additions to the garden, you’ll create a great outdoor space that you can get more use out of and it’ll increase the value of your property at the same time.

Three Great Reasons To Get Outside More This Winter

Three Great Reasons To Get Outside More This Winter

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We’re known as the ‘indoor generation’. Most of us work inside, socialise inside and generally spend most of our days cooped up indoors, and as you can probably guess, this isn’t great for our health. Not only does spending more time inside correlate with less physical activity, but we’re also constantly breathing indoor air which comes with its own set of issues. Toxins from cooking, woodburning stoves, cleaning chemicals and more can all fill the air, and if you’re spending most of your time in the house then you’re never going to get away from that. Even if you’re very careful and only use organic and homemade cleaning products, common materials around the home can break down, and other sources of indoor pollution can all impact your health. When the weather is cold and wet it’s tempting to want to hibernate, but fresh air is so good for our wellbeing and the extra activity will benefit us physically. Here are some great reasons to get outside more this winter!

 

Raise some animals

If you have a large garden or land surrounding your property, have you considered raising animals? You could keep chickens and enjoy their fresh eggs. You could adopt rabbits, alpacas or even abandoned horses. Companies like Vale Stables field shelters can ensure your enclosures stay up to scratch all year round. Getting out there and taking care of your animals is a wonderful motivator to get your wellies on, and get up and outside! If it’s something you’ve always wanted to do then why not take the plunge now, animals can add so much to your life and as an added bonus you’ll be up and out of the house more too. Another option would be to adopt a dog, there are thousands in shelters in need of homes and so bringing one into your life could be hugely beneficial for you both. You won’t mind getting up and out in the rain if it means taking your doggy friend for his much loved walks!

 

Get gardening

It might seem like this time of year isn’t the best to get gardening, but actually there’s plenty you can do to get established for the spring. Buy some bulbs and seeds, put these into the ground now and they’ll be ready to pop up when the weather warms up next year. You could buy a greenhouse and plant all kinds of crops in here. Thanks to the fact that you can control the temperature, you can keep the growing season going all year around.

 

Exercise outside

When it comes to exercising, going to the gym is the preferred choice for most at this time of year, it’s indoor and out of the elements. But actually, braving the cold can really add to your workouts. It’s always going to be better running outdoors and enjoying the scenery and fresh air compared with a stuffy gym- even if you do have to deal with a little drizzle! If you live by scenic surroundings, you could practice yoga in the country or on the beach on a dry morning or afternoon.

 

Make Money With Your Home Using These Wonderful Hacks

Make Money With Your Home Using These Wonderful Hacks

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There are a lot of things you can do that will help you to improve the home as much as possible. It is important that you are focused on helping and improving the property for the future, but you should also think about making money for the home as well. This is something you need to make a priority in your life, and there are a lot of things you might consider doing if you want to make money using your home in 2018.

 

By using the different ideas on this post, you should be well-equipped to start making money at home as soon as possible. Turning your property into a revenue stream adds an extra dimension to it, and helps to make it an even more precious family asset. This is why you need to look at the different things that play a role in helping your home generate more money for you moving forward. Use these hacks as a great way of bringing more money in for the family, and exploring other avenues of money making in 2018.

 

Solar Power

You need to consider the most important parts of the home, and how they can be utilised to make money now, and in the future. There are so many great choices to keep in mind, but the main one is to do with solar power. You should look at getting solar panels installed somewhere on your property, as this is going to be a great way of making your property more eco-friendly, as well as making you money in the process too. Click here to find out all about solar financing and the best way of realizing your solar dream! Investing in solar energy is so important because this is a great way of allowing you to make more money while keeping your home greener at the same time.

Rent Your Driveway

This is a bit more of a modern concept, but it is no less effective – try to make sure you rent your driveway out for a bit of extra cash. There are even apps these days that will allow you to do that as much as possible. Consider what it takes to make more money on a daily basis, especially with a family. Every little bit is going to be helpful, so if you have the space to rent out part of your driveway, this is definitely something you should do. It’s best for localised dealings, but it is a good way of enjoying a small cash injection moving forward.

Spare Room

One of the most effective ways of using the home to generate more revenue is to rent out the spare room in your home. This is something people have been doing for a long time, and taking on lodgers can’t be something of a mixed bag. It is definitely not for everyone, but, if you can find the right lodger, it is an excellent way of making more cash and helping the family home thrive. It also makes it a more sociable space and allows you to have a more vibrant home life. Just make sure you are careful when it comes to the screening process, and be sure you get references for your lodger before you accept them into the home.

Start a Business

These days the 9 to 5 job is starting to become a thing of the past, and more people are starting to gravitate toward starting their own businesses or freelancing. And this is another area where you can utilise your home to make money. It saves you having to rent office space, and provides you with a working environment to help get your new business off the ground. So, you need to make sure you use the home as your base of operations for a new startup. That way you can be making money from home even without having to change out of your pajamas! You should definitely do this though…

Sell Unwanted Items

While we’re on the topic, you should also take a look at some of the unwanted items in and around the home. These are literally cash lying around, and you need to sell them to help make some money. It might seem like a pain, but using sites like eBay or Facebook to shift your unwanted possessions is an excellent way of building up some cash, and having a much-needed clear out at home as well. Make sure you get rid of as much of your unwanted stuff as you can right now and take advantage of all the cash you can make as a result.

Improve the Home

There are plenty of things you can do that are going to help you make money from your home, and sometimes you need to think long-term. The fact of the matter is that the home itself is a huge asset, and you need to think about how you are going to make the property more valuable for the future. There are plenty of ways of achieving this, and considering things like extension and renovations are the best place to start. They can add significant value to the home in the future, and provide you with an excellent asset moving forward.

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Save Money to Make Money

Sometimes you can make money by saving money, and this is a mentality you need to embrace in and around the home. There are plenty of ways you can save money as a modern family, and things like couponing and smart devices are a great way of achieving this. So, you need to make sure you think carefully about what you can do to save as much money as possible. Get this right, and you will have more money left over to play with and improve things.

 

Coming up with plenty of ideas that are going to help you improve and enhance your home, and help you to generate more cash as well. This is something that is going to make family life more comfortable and will allow you to maximise the potential of the family home. Make sure you look at as many different ways as possible of making money with your home, and you will find that this is actually more achievable than you would think.