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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Get their look: Dramatic rental property

Dramatic rental propertycredit

This striking rental property is the home of Northumberland-based stylist and blogger, Kerry Lockwood and her family. If you were of the impression that being a renter meant forgoing a beautiful home, then this fabulous place can certainly change that. We know that it’s not always easy (or even possible) to convince landlords to allow changes, but if it is, then the before and after photos of Kerry’s home should provide real inspiration.

This living room is filled with natural light from a large bay window. The dark walls provide a real sense of drama both day and night – and are a perfect backdrop for her collection of artwork. Furniture, accessories and textiles layer natural tones and there’s a shimmer of metallic here and there. It looks like a comfortable, relaxed home – and very lovely indeed.

  1. Bellenger ‘simple pratique élégant favor’ reproduction poster
  2. Kate Moss ‘Life is a Joke’ photographic print
  3. ‘On air’ light box
  4. Nadadora glicée print by Blanca Gomez
  5. Farrow & Ball ‘Stiffly Blue’
  6. Dark grey Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen
  7. Original 1227 giant floor lamp by Anglepoise
  8. John Lewis Ikon large 3-seater sofa
  9. STOCKHOLM handmade/striped black/off-white mat

Click here to see more of our ‘Get their look‘ features.

Get their look: Dramatic rental property | H is for Home

5 Tips for adding an extension on to your home

5 Tips for adding an extension on to your home

As a home-owner, you often consider ways in which to improve your house. A growing family might mean that your house is no longer able to accommodate you all comfortably. Improvements to consider include adding an extension or embarking on some renovation/remodelling jobs. People’s homes are usually their largest single financial outlay in life, so you want to get things right. Major updating work can mean a big investment of money and time. However, if the additions to your house are done properly, it will not only improve your quality of life, but also add value to your house. These simple tips will help you achieve those goals.

Circular saw and ear defenders

  1. Determine what type of addition are you planning

Some forward thinking is the first and most important step. You should establish what improvements will have the greatest benefit – and if it’s possible to do it both in terms of budget and building regulations. Jot down thoughts, draw rough sketches or create mood boards. Most house additions aim to improve flow or add extra internal rooms, conservatories, terraces or verandas. Once you’ve determined the kind of additions that would be of most benefit, you can start contacting the professionals – architects, planners, builders and other tradesmen.

Building professional

  1. Consult the professionals

Always consult the professionals – they have years of training and experience upon which to draw. Architects or engineers will give you expert insight on your planned extension. They can also give safety suggestions and will advise you at an early stage as to whether your plans are attainable or not. You can’t just set about work just because it seems like a good idea on the surface… it might cause catastrophic problems to the structure of your home making it unsafe or unsellable in the future. Architects can give you designs that will compliment the rest of the house enhancing its value. They’ll also probably throw ideas into the mix that you hadn’t even considered. Engineers can make sure that your plans are safe. It’s essential to consult the professionals to assure the quality and safety of your additions.

Installing a new roof with a crane

  1. Work out your budget

After all your consultation and planning, options available ultimately come down to the budget. It’s better to determine your budget first and how high are you willing to go. The larger your extension is, the more expensive it tends to be. When you’re coming up with the budget, you should consider the other expenses such as the consultation fees to the engineers and architects, the contractor team and the materials. Remember to include a contingency fund for those unforeseen complications or problems. Researching suppliers at the start of the process might actually contribute to formulating a realistic budget.

Building materials

  1. Cost your materials

Once you have your budget sorted, it’s crucial to start sourcing and purchasing materials wisely. Ordering early could avoid the increasing costs of materials over time or paying premium prices for urgently required products or parts. If you’ve already made a deal with the construction supply company regarding prices, hopefully they wont increase the price for additional orders of the same products. And getting materials ordered and delivered early in the process is important so as not delay the start of building work. It will also prepare you for any unexpected shortages on the materials.

Large pile of building debris

  1. Hire a dumpster for the debris

After you’ve finished your extension or remodel, the only task left is to remove the inevitable debris created during the process. The best way to deal with this is to hire a dumpster / skip to take it all away. A disposal company can take care of those unwanted wood off cuts and piles of broken wall. They’ll have all the relevant licences for legal disposal. There’s nothing worse than doing the bulk of a job, then not clearing the area properly – or doing it painfully slowly. Weeks pass by, the work is finished, yet your house still looks like a building site. Remove the rubbish quickly and efficiently – then all that’s left to do is enjoy your new look home.

If you want to search for the best deals, you can visit http://eagledumpsterrental.com for further information.

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