What is dry rot and how can you prevent it?

What is dry rot and how can you prevent it?

Dry rot has the potential to ruin any wooden structure. You’ve probably heard of dry rot even if you’ve never encountered it. However, you might not know exactly what it is, how to spot it, or how to treat it. Given how common dry rot is, and how much damage it can do if left unchecked, it’s worth understanding exactly what it is and how you can prevent it.

Wood with dry rot

Identifying dry rot

Also known as ‘brown rot’, dry rot is caused by fungi and leads to wood decay. Where dry rot occurs, these fungi break down cellulose and hemicellulose, both of which are important for giving wood its strength and resilience. When these components are depleted, the wood will become brittle and take on a ‘blocky’ appearance.

The fungi responsible for dry rot like a damp environment, so where you have wooden structures and damp there’s a danger of dry rot forming. Some types of wood are more susceptible than others. For dry rot to break out, the moisture content needs to rise in excess of 20%. In most cases, dry rot can be treated by removing the source of the moisture, as well as any wood that’s already been affected.

Dry rot fungus growing on wood

How does it spread?

As with other types of fungus, those responsible for dry rot spread via the spores that they produce. When these spores are released, they become airborne and are easily spread owing to their tiny size and weight. This means that dry rot tends to spread as far as the ideal conditions for dry rot exist.

There are three common sources of the moisture that allows dry rot to spread. The first is due to the wood not being correctly kiln-dried prior to being used for construction, a process which would usually reduce the moisture content to make it more resistant to rotting. The other two common causes are exposure to highly humid conditions and exposure to large volumes of water.

Serpula Lacrymans, the fungus that causes dry rot

Treatment

If dry rot does take hold then you have a number of different treatment options. Epoxy treatments will kill the rot and also reinforce the structure of the wood, they involve filling in channels with an epoxy resin. Commercial antifreeze has sometimes been used as a treatment for wood rot, as it’s effective at killing the fungus responsible, as well as preventing dry rot forming in the future.

If you encounter a particularly serious outbreak then you might want to hire a professional service to remove it.

Wood with dry rot

Prevention

Preventing dry rot is pretty simple. As you may have guessed, it’s mostly a case of ensuring that moisture and damp aren’t allowed to accumulate around any wooden structures on your property. Whenever you paint wood, make sure that you prime it first, as this will prevent moisture becoming trapped underneath the paint and leading to dry rot breaking out.

Keeping the issue at bay is a case of keeping any wood and wooden structures on your property away from excessive moisture. If you can do this, then you should be able to remain free of the condition.

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4 tips for creating a stunning bathroom

4 tips for creating a stunning bathroom | H is for Home

If you’re a home bird who loves cosy nights in, it’s important that you invest in your bathroom and turn it into a place in which you enjoy spending time. This will come in handy whenever you’re trying to unwind with a relaxing bubble bath or indulge in a home spa day. Investing in your bathroom is also a fantastic opportunity for you to impress your guests and to increase the value of your property. That’s why you should do everything in your power to create a stunning bathroom in which to be proud. Below are four tips that will help you to do this.

Modern bathroom with wooden vanity unit

Do your research

Before you make any important decisions, it’s vital that you do your research. This will help you save on time, money and effort. If you’ve never renovated a bathroom before, it will also give you the chance to feel confident in your choices. Why not take it one step at a time? You could read up on the pros and cons of installing a bath instead of a shower. Then, you could look into the best ventilation systems for keeping your bathroom clean and fresh. Finally, you should find reviews that explore specific pieces of equipment such as hand basins and toilets. Simply visit the plumbing info to find out more.

Modern bathroom in neutral colours

Get inspired

If you’re struggling to get excited about your bathroom transformation, you should constantly be on the lookout for sources of inspiration. This could involve flicking through magazines that are dedicated to covetable bathrooms. Or, as a cost-effective alternative, you could read online blog posts and scroll through relevant Pinterest boards. Another great idea is to stay alert when you’re visiting other people’s homes. Make sure that you pay a visit to their bathrooms and keep your eyes peeled for interesting ideas. This is the perfect opportunity for you to find out what you like and what you’re trying to avoid.

Bathroom decorated with accessories in shades of blue

Choose the right colour palette

One of the biggest decisions that you’ll make, when it comes to designing your bathroom, is your choice of colour palette. Instead of opting for a simple white or beige, it’s vital that you explore all your options. If you’re trying to create a relaxing room, you’ll need calming tones such as a pale blue or a mint green. Or, if you’re aiming for a feeling of luxury, you’ll need rich shades such as amber or a deep purple. Whatever you decide, just make sure that you find a paint that’s specifically designed to work for bathrooms. This will help you to prevent mould, damp and water staining.

Fancy hand wash and moisturiser, brushes and cosmetics

Have fun with your finishing touches

Once you’ve mastered the basics, have fun with your finishing touches. Even if you’re dealing with a regular family bathroom, it’s still important to put in the effort. You could do this by purchasing a luxury robe to hang on the door, finding a gorgeous diffuser to place on a shelf, and investing in high-quality towels to brighten up the space. You could also take inspiration from deluxe hotels and include a luxury moisturiser alongside your hand soap.

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Improving your home: When to hire and when to DIY

Improving your home: When to hire and when to DIY

It’s no secret that a lot of money can be made from buying a property that is in need of some work and doing it up yourself. However, depending on the amount of work necessary, this can soon become a costly affair.

Therefore, when you embark on a house-remodelling project, and you’re looking to set a budget, you should consider just how much of it you can do yourself. After all, if you save some money on stripping your own wallpaper, you may be able to afford that beautiful ceramic sink you’ve had your eye on for the kitchen.

The main three questions to consider when deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional are: do you realistically have the time to complete this project? Do you realistically have the skills to complete this project? Could it be dangerous to yourself or damaging to the property if you attempt to complete this project on your own?

Below is a list of some of the most common tasks associated with doing up a house, as well as some recommendations on what you should DIY and for what jobs you should hire professionals.

Opening cans of paint

DIY: painting

Although it can seem daunting, learning to paint a room isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Have a look at tutorials online and perhaps find a more experienced friend or family member to assist you.

Wooden shelves against a grey wall

DIY or HIRE: cabinets and shelves

It may take some practice, but hanging cabinets or shelves isn’t too difficult once you’ve got the hang of it. Again, there’s a wealth of tutorials online on this subject for you to watch and learn.

Repairing a thatched roof

HIRE: roofing

As a rule of thumb, anything that may damage the structure or integrity of your home should be done by a professional. If you need your roof fixed, for peace of mind hire a professional roofing company that has a number of good reviews.

Laying laminate flooring

DIY or HIRE: flooring

When it comes to flooring, you can either DIY or hire, depending on what kind of work you are looking to have done. For example, laminated flooring is much easier to install than hardwood flooring.

Installing plumbing in a house

HIRE: wiring and plumbing

Although most people are capable of doing minor electricity jobs such as changing a plug themselves, all the major wiring should be done by a professional. Getting wiring wrong can cause a lot of damage – not only to yourself but your property. Similarly, plumbing mistakes can seriously damage your property, and the property value along with it, so make sure you hire a trusted professional for all your plumbing needs!

Small jar of chalk paint

DIY: furniture

This doesn’t refer to flat-pack or self-assemble furniture, but rather to a project where you buy a cheap piece of furniture and do it up to your liking. Most people have seen IKEA furniture hacks, and while they may look easy online, it can be difficult getting the desired result. Nevertheless, failed furniture DIY projects would never damage your home and seeing as IKEA furniture is very budget-friendly, you can easily try out your DIY skills without breaking the bank.

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How to reduce the cost of buying a home

How to reduce the cost of buying a home

Are you considering moving to a new house but aren’t keen on the costs that come with it? If the answer is yes, you might be pleased to know that just because buying a house can be expensive; it doesn’t necessarily have to be. The truth is that you can buy property without it breaking the bank, it’s just a case of taking steps to minimize the amount that needs to be spent.

When you invest in property, whether it’s to live in or to rent out to make a profit from, there’s usually a range of fees that come with the purchase. In addition to a variety of other costs. However, just because these costs can be high, they don’t have to be. Want to reduce the cost of buying a home? Below is a list of useful tips that it is worth implementing in your property purchasing search, to help reduce your buying costs.

House shaped from £20 notes

Take out a 95% mortgage

One of the most significant costs that comes with purchasing property is the cost of the deposit. To be accepted for a mortgage loan, usually a 25% deposit is required, sometimes even more than that. This is a lot of money and can be one of the highest costs associated with buying property. However, the good news is that there are 95% mortgages that you can consider taking out. These are mortgages where you only need a five percent deposit, rather than a 25% one. Not all mortgage companies offer these types of mortgages and not everyone is eligible for them, but if you take the time to do your research and shop around, you may be able to successfully apply for this kind of mortgage and save yourself thousands.

Mortgage document

Save on the cost of fees

Another high cost that is associated with purchasing property is the cost of covering the fees that come with buying a property. These can run into thousands and are usually incredibly high in price. However, there are steps that you can take to reduce the cost of these. One of these steps is by using the Open Listings websites to house hunt, make offers online, and securing a 50% commission refund. Believe it or not, there are lots of websites that offer a range of deals for buyers, helping to save money on the cost of property fees. Take the time to do your research, and you’re sure to come across some incredible deals.

Moving cardboard boxes

Move out of your old home & into your new one

The moving costs that come with purchasing a new home can also be high. Instead of renting out a moving van and professional movers, consider moving yourself out of your old home and into your new one. The process may take longer and be more stressful, but if it reduces the cost of moving to somewhere new, surely it is worthwhile?

Buying a new home is always going to be costly. However, it doesn’t have to be overly expensive.

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4 tips when looking for your next home

4 tips when looking for your next home

Have you ever thought about getting your own place but are afraid of taking this big step? It’s likely that you’re hesitant due to the responsibilities that this involves or the money that you’d have to invest. Here you’ll find 5 tips that you may find very useful in the quest to find your new home.

Monthly budget

Establish your budget

Often, we get excited about getting new things and we forget about the limits to our purchasing power. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to us over-extending ourselves and getting into debt. It’s vital to take care with this because you don’t want to be worrying about losing your new home. The best way to avoid falling into arrears is to work out an affordable monthly budget and select a mortgage plan that fits your payment capacity.

North West England road map

Location, location, location

One of the most important things when it comes to choosing a house is the location. Why? Well, because it will be the starting point of all of your daily activities. You have to take into consideration that from home, you’ll be going to work, taking your kids to and from school and their recreational activities, visiting family, going shopping, socialising with friends etc. If things aren’t within easy reach, you don’t want to be spending long periods of time travelling from one to another. Be sure to keep all of these geographical things in mind when property searching.

House plans

Size, design and layout

Whether you have a large budget or small, decide upon a home that will fit your and your family’s needs for many years to come. Choose a house that works for everyone on a practical level and makes daily living enjoyable. If you’re planning to start a family or having an ageing parent move in at some point, find a house that you can expand into when necessary. If you’re going to be working from home, you’ll need a quiet space where you can remove yourself from day-to-day distractions during your 9 to 5. If you or a family member has mobility issues, a single level property is most practical.

Estate agent

Get professional help

You’ll come across a whole world of options on your quest to acquire the perfect place. You’ll likely find the process a little bit overwhelming at times. Luckily, there are people that can help make your life easier. Estate agents have the experience, knowledge and skills to assist you in your search. You should do a lot of research before selecting the agent with whom you want to work. Fortunately, there are many companies like liveloveathome.com that have a list of agents near your chosen location.

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How to build your dream house

How to build your dream house

The idea of being able to create a place where you can live and enjoy your life is something that everyone has thought about from a young age. However, being able to make that dream come true is very rarely a simple process. It takes time, a lot of saving up and a great deal of thought. Even though this is probably one of the most time-consuming, stressful and expensive projects of your life, the end result is definitely worth all the sleepless nights.

In order to be able to keep your sanity throughout the process, you can find a few useful tips in the following short-list. Building a house is a project that will allow you to discover who you are, what you like and how you want to live.

Calculator and accounts

Establish your budget

The budget for your home is one of the primary sources of conflict in this process. Being able to make a list of all the things you can afford can help you a lot to understand the following steps. Moreover, you can then find out whether you need to save up more money in order to be able to add certain things to the list. A builder or architect will be able to tell you what you can acquire with the money that you already own. Generally, you should consider the cost of the land, the cost of construction, other fees and taxes and furniture and décor.

Solar panels on the roof of a house

Think about your home needs

Consider your lifestyle and think about all the aspects that could facilitate living in your dream home. Moreover, make sure you only add aspects that will make your life comfortable from all points of view. Even though it might seem difficult, try to draw a clear line between your wants versus your needs. A good way of making an investment that you’ll be able to benefit from in the future would be by including innovative technology in the plan. San Diego home solar power is a good example in this case. Solar power systems can be integrated to most house types, allowing you to reduce electricity costs and help protect the environment.

House plans

Create a house design

Once you establish your real needs, it’s time to get even closer to your dream. Although the architect is the one who usually puts together a house plan, you need to be involved in this process as well. Make sure you choose a design that fits your tastes, budget and future plans or ideas. For example: a home office, a gym and a playroom or a nursery for your future kids. Make sure you discuss everything with your designer and suggest changes if needed.

Welcome to our home painted sign

Move in and enjoy

After endless months of building your dream home, the day will arrive when you’ll finally be able to move in. You’ve worked hard for it, so you should enjoy every second that you spend in your new place to the maximum. Invite your family and friends over and celebrate!

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