6 reasons using glass to improve your home is a great idea

Large circular window

Are you looking for the best way to improve your home?

Perhaps you want a new kitchen, you’ve eyed up a new colour scheme, you’re saving for a new bath, or you want your garden redone?

All great ideas, but, they might not necessarily give you the best value for money. There’s one addition to your home that can give you a wide range of benefits including:

  • Increasing home value
  • Increasing the liveability of the home
  • Increasing how eco-friendly a property is
  • Bumping up energy efficiency
  • Improving how aesthetically pleasing a home is

That addition is glass. Read on for 6 reasons using glass to improve your home is a truly fantastic idea.

Angular windows

1. Living in a home with lots of glass could improve your health

Our homes have a lot to do with our health, because they offer us protection, a space to express ourselves, and a place to rest and socialise.

Using a lot of glass in the home like floor to ceiling windows, glass connecting doors and glass roof windows can help you optimise the health benefits of your home. The benefits all relate to the circadian rhythm we all have naturally. This rhythm connects us to the sun and helps us regulate when we sleep and wake properly.

A glass home enables you to have natural light flooding in, satisfying some of your most basic human needs.

Wall of sliding glass doors

2. More glass means more beauty

Glass is a gorgeous material that lets the light pour into a home.

The most modern homes use glass to create an aesthetically pleasing, light and airy space. This is still quite a new change in home design, as a lot of the last 100 years of home design was obsessed with creating more rooms and contained areas. Different rooms for dining, sleeping, living, washing and anything else where necessary for a home to be desirable. Now, open plan living and ‘zoned’ spaces are key to a contemporary home fitting the needs of modern home buyers.

Glass lends itself to open plan living, and without a doubt creates a more beautiful home fit for the demands of home-owners today.

Greenhouse extension

3. Glass extensions add value

According to recent reports, extensions such as conservatories or glass box style rooms can add around 3% onto the value of your property. Any addition that adds space is likely to be of value, but glass extensions like orangeries and conservatories are very desirable because they are so modern and beautiful.

Attic bedroom with circular window and skylights

4. Windows could improve energy efficiency

You may think that having more windows or glass in the home will only decrease energy efficiency through leaking heat out of the building, but the most modern windows can actually increase the energy efficiency of your home overall. Triple glazed windows use three sheets of glass with gas filled gaps in between to keep heat in. If you also get a Low E glass and special glass coatings which keep the heat in even more, your home will let more light in and retain the heat inside. So, a home with more windows that are eco-friendly types will at the very least maintain a good energy efficiency rating, but possibly even improve the rating of the home because there are active products keeping the heat in.

Glass lean to

5. Glass in the home keeps you happy

Many different studies suggest that we are all happier when we are interacting with nature. MIND UK, a UK mental health charity, actively promote eco-therapy, a programme that involves being outdoors to improve mental health. The Japanese government is also a fan of using the outdoors to help with mental health, actively endorsing something called forest therapy, which is another version of eco-therapy.

Many studies suggest being in nature makes us happier, and part of that can be simply being able to see nature. Seeing your garden through your beautiful external bi-folding doors, or across the local area from your loft extension window, reminds you of the outdoors and that you’re part of nature and something bigger.

Internal glass sliding doors

6. Glass in the home improves airflow

It may sound basic, but good airflow in a home is actually really important. At its most basic, it provides more fresh oxygen for you to breathe in and benefit from as a family. It also improves the air quality in your home by working against condensation which causes mould, which in turn releases nasty spores into the air that can contribute to respiratory issues.

New build homes are exceptionally energy efficient but they can suffer from being so energy efficient they don’t let the building breathe. Having plenty of windows to open and close means you have the ability to control airflow in your home, contributing to a happier, healthier environment.

Glass really is an exceptional addition to any home. If you want to benefit from a happier, healthier, more valuable, more eco-friendly home, look into adding or improving glass features next time you plan your home improvements.


What home-owners need to know about asbestos

What home-owners need to know about asbestos

Here in the UK, many home-owners have older properties, as it’s part of the character of the land. While these older properties are stunning to look at, unfortunately, they can house hidden health hazards such as asbestos. According to research carried out by the British Lung Foundation, approximately 14 million
homes in the UK were built with asbestos. Perhaps even scarier than that is the fact that surveys show
that 65% of home-owners admitted they didn’t know how to identify asbestos.

What this means is that a lot of education is needed when it comes to home-owners in the UK and the asbestos that may be hidden behind their walls and ceilings. Here we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about asbestos, including why it’s so dangerous to your health, how to identify it, and what to do if your home has the material somewhere.

Blue asbestoscredit

What is asbestos?

Asbestos itself isn’t just one thing. Rather, it’s made up of six different, naturally occurring minerals. The minerals consist of very fine fibres that are resistant to a variety of chemicals, fire and heat. There’s no odour or taste to them and, unless you know what to look for, they’re undetectable.

In the past, asbestos was used to fireproof building materials, which means it was quite common to find it in houses. Unfortunately, after it was widely used, it was also determined that exposure to it can lead to mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer. These diseases can be deadly, which is why home-owners should not be taking a risk. Between 2011-2013, there were 2,538 deaths in the UK due to mesothelioma.

In the UK, structures that were renovated or built before the year 2000 have a chance of containing asbestos. There are some regions in the country that are known to have more asbestos sites than others. These regions contain asbestos not just in homes but in commercial buildings, refineries, power plants, schools, factories and chemical plants.

In 1985, the UK banned the use and import of brown (amosite) and blue (crocidolite) asbestos. The law was then replaced in 1992 to include the use and import of white (chrysotile) asbestos. During the 1990s, the government also clamped down on how work was to be conducted on structures that contained the material, stating that only a licensed professional could go about removing it. Then in 2006, the law was strengthened again, and a maximum exposure limit set that required additional strict training regarding how to handle the substance.

Asbestos in use in roofing

Does your home have asbestos?

Of course, no-one wants to think their home was constructed using asbestos; however, for you and your family’s health and safety, it’s vital you find out. Whilst it’s safe to say that any home built before the year 2000 is at risk, those built prior to the 1980s are almost certain to contain it. The typical areas in which the material was used was in the insulation, exteriors such as the shingles and roof, in flooring, the interior walls, in wiring and in old appliances, and in the heating and boiler systems.

The trick with asbestos is that it’s harmless so as long as it’s mixed with other materials or it’s contained within casings. Once you disturb it, however, is when it becomes dangerous. What this means is that you shouldn’t tamper with building rubble in case it’s present.

If you plan on carrying out renovations, your home is starting to show wear and tear or you simply want peace of mind knowing that your home is free of asbestos then it’s a good idea to look into carrying out a survey. When looking for asbestos services, make sure you choose a UKAS accredited company such as EDP, to ensure that surveys are being carried out safely. They can come out and locate the risk and assess if any asbestos exists in your home. They are even able to tell if any of the substance is present in the ground which is important if you plan on constructing a new structure on a site.

From here, the company can provide a detailed plan on how to get rid of the substance, which is called remediation services. Removing asbestos is something that by law must only be carried out by licensed professionals. It’s an extremely dangerous job and needs to be carried out in the correct manner with appropriate protective tools and clothing. Not only that, it also needs to be disposed of properly once removed. You want to be sure that there are no airborne containments, which are extremely hazardous to health.

Asbestos warning signage

Not to be taken lightly

For many property owners in the UK asbestos is, unfortunately, a very real issue about which to be concerned. Knowing whether or not your home contains it, where it may be, and how to get rid of it will ensure the safety of yourself and all others who live in the home.


Tips on how to style your holiday home

Tips on how to style your holiday home

If you own a holiday home or have recently purchased one, you need to know how to prepare for the guests to arrive. You have a blank canvas on which you can truly use your style to give it a unique touch. Thanks to the rise of sites such as Airbnb, you can now rent out your property for days or weeks at a time when you aren’t using it, meaning you can get some welcome additional income to help with your household bills or Christmas presents. However, you don’t want your home to lose those quintessential touches – making it feel more like a hotel than a cosy bolt hole. So, whether you plan to use your holiday home yourself, or are looking to rent it out to holidaymakers, then keep these styling tips in mind.

Large picture window in a holiday home


Believe it or not, flooring can make or break a holiday home. If your property is by the beach, then carpet is a nightmare to clean, while woodland cabins could soon see your dream floorboards become mud stained and damaged. If you are planning on renting out your home for several months of the year, then you need to make sure that you put practicality over style when choosing the right flooring for your property.

If your home is likely to be popular with families, then a non-slip and easy clean option will be a functional ideal to help any little accidents to be removed quickly and easily. If your property is in a more urban setting, or you only rent out to adult guests, then go wild with your dream cream carpets or wooden floors. However, if you want to make sure that you protect your flooring then warn your guests before arriving. Stiletto heels will cause some serious damage to your oak floorboards, so it’s better to set some ground rules before you start welcoming guests.

Open fire in a rustic holiday home

Embrace the surroundings

Remember, that your property is your second home, rather than a hotel or guest house. So, don’t let yourself be too influenced by the latest style trends or colour palettes. If you are fortunate enough to own a log cabin or cottage in Cornwall, then embrace your surroundings and any features that your home already offers. Don’t spoil gorgeous wooden beams with garish paint, or get rid of architectural features – as these add a unique touch to your property. Remember, these are all aspects that you can highlight when marketing your house to potential guests. If visitors wanted to stay in a hotel, then they wouldn’t be choosing your home.

Neutrally decorated sitting room in a holiday home

Be bold

Use colour to give your vacation home a truly unique touch. Remember, that you can use bright and vivid colours in the living areas, although bedrooms should be kept neutral so that your guests can feel a sense of calm when they are resting. Neutral tones can make the house feel modern, open and clean, but the use of dark colours in small, cosy living spaces can make any property feel cramped and oppressive for guests. Always buy sample tins of the paints that you like and test them in natural daylight for a true representation of how it will make your room feel. If you have a room that is for younger guests, then you may even want to consider using paint that is designed for easy cleaning. Tots and little hands will soon wreck any white walls, so make sure that you choose a darker neutral tone to conceal any damage.

Neutrally decorated double bedroom in a holiday home

Add unique touches

If your home is full of quirky or unique furniture, then this could influence whether your guests keep coming back year after year. Especially if you are marketing your home for adult guests, then make sure that you use a few unique pieces and items across your home to give it a personal look and feel. From adding some flea market finds, to leaving family photos on display, there’s no reason why you should make your home a sterile or boring environment. So, let your creative juices flow and be sure to include several items or pieces of art work that celebrate who you are as a family. It’s advisable, however, to refrain from keeping objects of high sentimental value in your holiday home, some things cannot be replaced!

Patio overlooking the Greek coastline

Ample seating

Don’t scrimp on seating! Even if your home is small and perfectly formed, remember that when your guests stay in your property they may invite friends and family members over for meals. Be sure to have ample seating in your living room, with a cosy couch and lazy chairs for your visitors to chill out in after their family meal. If your property has a deck, then be sure to provide some outdoor seating too, as your guests will love the opportunity to spend time eating and sharing time with family outdoors. You could even consider keeping some extra seating in store, if you have a garage, so that any visitors can help themselves and make good use of the space. If you’re looking for advice or help on renting out your holiday home, then sites such as TripleNet Gateway can help. Visitors may be put off returning to your property if they can’t enjoy it to the full, so make sure that you consider all options as you prepare your home to receive paying guests.

As a holiday home-owner, you need to make sure that your property reflects your own tastes and style, while providing a practical and welcoming space for any potential visitors or guests. Make sure that you provide enough seating and consider the type of flooring within your home. Don’t be afraid to include a few unique items or family photos to make guests feel welcome and at home – it’s a holiday home and not a hotel. Finally, have fun with colour to make your property feel stylish and warm. There’s no reason why you can’t inject your holiday home with a few stylish touches and colours, just make sure that whatever you choose suits your space. Once you’ve given your home a makeover, you can sit back and enjoy your stylish efforts.


3 signs you might need to call a plumber

3 signs you might need to call a plumber | H is for Home

As a home-owner, you’ll sometimes be faced with repairs and other home improvement projects. While many of these fixes can be done without the help of a professional, some problems require expert knowledge. Plumbing is one area that often requires a professional and trying to fix plumbing issues on your own can turn into an even bigger problem.

Today, we’re going to learn a few signs that just might indicate that you need to call a plumber for backup.

Soldering a water pipe

You have a slight leak in your pipes

If you notice a small leak in one of your water pipes, you may think it’s no big deal. However, small leaks can turn into serious flooding in a matter of seconds. Small leaks can also be an indication that your water system needs a major overhaul. If you notice leaking pipes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Calling a professional plumbing service like Reckon Plumbing for those of you who are based in Los Angeles will ensure that your small leak is fixed before it’s too late. Water damage is a serious issue that could end up costing thousands. Get those leaks fixed so that your biggest investment is protected.

Shower head

You keep running out of hot water

When you take a shower, do you notice the hot water runs out before you’re finished? This could be a sign that your boiler isn’t working properly. In more serious situations, it could mean that your water heater is about to fail and should be replaced. But, only a qualified plumber can determine the condition of your boiler.

In some cases, boilers can be repaired. However, if your unit is more than 10 years old, you may want to think about having it replaced. If you do need to install a new boiler, you should allow a certified plumber to do the job. Boilers can cause house fires if they’re not installed properly.

Damp basement

Your basement always seems damp

If your basement is always damp or you notice water seeping from the walls, you should call a plumber. This could be a sign of a leaking water pipe or drain line that is hidden underground. While you can take measures to get rid of the moisture by installing dehumidifiers, you should have the problem checked out by a plumber.

As we’ve learned above, water damage is a serious issue that could cause many different types of problems. The worst issue you may face is a mould infestation. When there is moisture present in your basement, it will often attract dangerous mould. Once mould has taken over your basement, it can make your family sick and cost you thousands of dollars to remove. To play it safe, call a plumber as soon as you notice moisture in your basement.

These are just a few signs that it might be time to contact a plumber. Remember, there are many jobs that only a certified plumber can handle. They have the knowledge and tools to do these jobs properly, so when in doubt, always give them a call.


Effective and stylish ways to make your home a more private place to live

make your home a more private place to live

Do you want to make your home a more private place in which to live but don’t want it to resemble some kind of prison? Combining home privacy with style isn’t an impossible task. With some thought, you can transform your home into an eye-catching place in which to be, where only you and people you allow onto your property can enjoy. Below are some tips that will let you do this.

Metal wrought iron gates

Install the appropriate gates

When most people think about making their home more secure and private, they instantly think about installing some kind of gate such as sliding gates. This is particularly true if it’s easy to drive into your property or go around the back of your property.

Sliding gates and swing gates are the two main types of outdoor gates available. Sliding gates and swing gates can be opened and closed manually; or, if you have the budget and it’s practical to do so, you could install electronic gates, giving you more privacy when you leave and return home.

You have a wide selection of gates to choose from, which you can browse online at https://www.mistergatesdirect.com/sliding-gates.html. You can install large sliding gates at the entrance to your home, at the side of your home, or any other location where you want to restrict access.

Perimeter fence around a house

Add natural features around the perimeter of your property

Planting trees, shrubs or hedges around the perimeter of your home gives it a much more natural look and feel. However, doing this also allows you to create a secure border between your property and the outside world. Laurel, beech, hawthorn, blackthorn, and English yew are just some of the options available. They are difficult to see through and prevent intruders from walking onto your property.

White picket fences

Wooden fencing

Today’s home owners have a wide range of attractive and stylish fencing options from which to choose that are available in different heights and sizes to suit different homeowner’s needs and requirements. Fencing products are made from various types of sturdy, long-lasting wood, such as cedar and treated pine. Popular fence designs available include shadow box, dog eared, picket, privacy with lattice, privacy arched and picket scalloped designs.

turquoise-painted metal fence

Other fencing options

As demand has grown for fencing in modern homes, fencing manufacturers have looked to alternative materials to make stylish fencing products. Corrugated metal fencing and PVC fencing products have become just as popular as more traditional wooden fencing. These alternatives may be more expensive, but they are guaranteed to make it difficult for people to trespass and they will last a long time.

Whitewashed garden wall

Boundary walls around your home

If you’re not green-fingered or you don’t have the time to prune and tend to a natural boundary of trees or hedging around your home, adding a wall may be a more practical option.

This may seem like a boring and dull option, but the materials and wall designs available now can make the walls around your home another attractive feature that also serve an important function. Bricks, stone, white-washed render and metal are just some of the materials you can use to build these structures around your home.

Green painted wooden shutters on a yellow house

Blinds, shutters and curtains

If your home is close to a road, street or neighbour’s property, or you have limited space outside your home, it’s not as easy to put features in place that will prevent people from looking inside your home. However, there are steps you can take to address this issue.

Firstly, you should consider installing blinds or shutters. These features will not only give you more privacy but will also helps regulate the temperature inside your home during hot and cold weather.

Night-time is when many burglars strike and when it’s often easier to see what’s happening inside a home. Adding a thicker set of curtains on each window in your home will ensure that nobody outside your property knows what’s going on within.

frosted sash window

Frosting and mirror films

A wide range of security technologies is now being used by window and door manufacturers to make homes safer. Frosting or adding mirror films to windows and doors are two ways this is happening. With these features, people inside a house can look out but people outside can’t see in.

Beware of the dog sign on a fence

Add deterrents

If you’ve had enough of people wanting to look inside your property or trying to trespass, there are more direct ways you can solve this problem. Getting a reliable guard dog and placing clearly visible signs outside your home should act as strong deterrents for anyone who’s thinking about entering your property or wants to get a closer look at your home.

Most homeowners want to be left in peace and don’t want any unwelcome intruders. However, to achieve this, homeowners must make changes to make this happen. Each of the points above can help you to achieve this outcome.


How to successfully sell your house for cash

How to successfully sell your house for cashcredit

You may, perhaps, have been faced with the situation where you’ve had to quickly sell your house for cash. Sometimes this is the best option for a given set of circumstances. If you’ve ever had to go through selling your house, you’ll be aware of how stressful it can be. There are a few basic principles to follow to make the most of the process of selling your property and keep anxiety to a minimum.

Here are some of the foolproof ways in which you can speed up the selling process and successfully sell your house.

Mayfair on a Monopoly board

Have a realistic valuation

One mistake that vendors often make is setting the asking price too high and then lowering it later when they’ve failed to attract prospective buyers. What people often don’t understand when selling their house is the fact that this can ultimately lead to a slower sale and sometimes at a much lower price than first expected. The first 30 days after you put your house on the market is the optimum time that you’ll see most interest and activity. If you’ve initially set the price too high, buyers would choose to stay away assuming that your property is out of their price range or not good value for money.

House with curb appeal

Improve your house’s curb appeal

You can improve your property’s curb appeal by adding a few touches here and there to make the exterior of your house more appealing to buyers. Mow the lawn and trim the hedge, put some potted plants on the doorstep, give the front door a wash or a lick of paint and make sure there’s no litter near your front gate. First impressions count and it’s especially important to bear this in mind when trying to sell your property. Prospective buyers are already beginning to form an opinion before they even enter a house. However, curb appeal is just the start.

Clutter-free living room

Clean and de-clutter

This one should be quite obvious but you’d be surprised how often it’s overlooked. The fewer things there are in an interior, the larger it will appear. Therefore, remove unnecessary things and any excess furniture. Store away things that you’ve added for that personal touch such as family snaps on the mantelpiece, knick-knacks on shelves and children’s artworks on the fridge door. Fold up the laundry and tidy away clothes & shoes into drawers and wardrobes. Make sure the bath and shower are spotless. Creating as blank a canvas as possible is important so that the buyers can envision themselves, their family and their possessions in the house.

If your property really needs help, hire a professional to do a deep clean of the house. If you have an appointment with a viewer, make sure any pets are kept out of the way – take the dog for a walk and make sure the hamster, guinea pig or rabbit is secure in its cage. And, if you do have pets, be aware of any odours that may be present to which you have become immune. The same goes for cooking smells; baking bread and freshly brewed coffee are said to be good for helping to sell your house – not so fry ups or kippers… ditto tobacco smoke. Counteract these by opening some windows, spraying air freshener or lighting a few scented candles or incense.

Property for sale signs

Ensure your listing is on all the property portals

Finally, when you’ve decided to sell your house, make sure that it is listed on all the major online property sale portals. Also ask your estate agent to showcase your house on their social media channels. This would increase the chances of your house being noticed and thereby getting sold. Most estate agents have Twitter accounts and Facebook business pages where they publicise their listings.

In addition to all of the above, get all the necessary repairs done before the house goes on to the market. Make sure that your house is as presentable as possible and doesn’t appear to buyers that too much work would be needed after the purchase. This will attract more buyers and your house should sell more quickly and for a better price.