Getting the best bathroom

Your bathroom needs to be functional and practical, but good design can also turn it into a haven where you can relax and unwind and it can also add a great value and appeal to your property. Read on for the best tips on how to strike the right balance and find out how to get the best for your money.

When you move into a new property or undertaking a property improvement project, the bathroom is often the first to get an overhaul. Before splashing out, think carefully about what needs to be changed to avoid any costly mistakes.

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Below are the tips you need to consider to get the best bathroom;

  1. Determine the best layout – many bathroom suppliers produce templates for standard sized baths, basic etc so that you can experiment with layouts to find the best that meets all your requirements. Draw out a scaled down version of your bathroom’s floor plan, marking in the windows and doors and then use the templates to determine the best positions for the fittings. Remember if you change the position of the plumbing or pipes, this can add considerable to the cost of your new bathroom.
  2. Choice your bathroom fittings – when choosing bathroom fittings, you have to consider what you enjoy doing in a bathroom for example do you enjoy wallowing in a long hot bath? Or is an exhilarating, power shower more of your thing? Your choice will either be to sacrifice a bath for a shower or have both separately or incorporated together. Whichever bathroom fittings you choose, think space, practical and long-term; a classic, white suite will never go out of fashion.
  3. Get rid of the clutter –  as most likely the smallest room in the house, its easy for your bathroom to become cluttered. Solve the problem by making sure there’s sufficient storage in which to keep toiletries, towels and other items. Installing a  vanity unit under a basin is the best use of this often underutilised space, while fitted furniture throughout creates a sleek, streamlined look.See the source image
  4. Get the fixtures right – wall tiles can really help to add colour and style to your bathroom, but floor to ceiling tiles may appear cold. Try tiling halfway up the wall, behind a basin or behind a shower instead. With flooring you need to be practical and go for a slip-resistant option. There are various floors to chose from including vinyl, rubber and stone flooring/tiles. For lighting, there are various low energy lighting options and designs to choose from. Try using spotlights over mirror or recessed area.
  5. Accessorise – complete your new bathroom with accessories such as fluffy towels, stylish taps, handles, nobs, mirror etc. And where possible and affordable add designer radiator, picture frame or paintings for a stunning focal feature.

If you can’t afford a whole new bathroom, its easy to get a whole new look by simply replacing taps, add a fresh coat of paint or new colour, installing a towel radiator or changing the wall or floor tiles.

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Selling or renting your property? First impression is key

House buyers and renters decide within few seconds whether your house is ‘the one’. Updating the front and inside of your property for instant first impression can help bring those buyers and renters in and have them hooked on your home.

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Basic updates that can give you the required first impression are;

  • Kerb appeal – make your property attractive from the road.  Mow the grass, move bins, clean windows, impressive front door with lighting’s/flower decor, and tidy the garden and surroundings.
  • De-clutter – clear out the junk and depersonalise the space. Ditch or store away personal stuffs, kids’ drawings, and unnecessary items. The main goal is for potential buyers or renters to envision themselves in your home, and they can’t do that if your stuff is everywhere they look. All signs of you should be gone and replace with special items and features that appeal to your target buyers or renters.See the source image
  • Fix or replace faulty items/workmanship – little things like switch, lighting’s, door handles, cabinet nobs, tiles, paint, wall paper can be a deal breaker.
  • Make small improvements that pack a punch – focus your attention on the kitchen, bathrooms, and flooring, you can boost a tired home’s overall appearance for less than you think.
  • Standout furniture and fittings – Where possible invest in furniture and fittings that will give lasting impression on your target buyers or renters. For example fire place, wardrobe, bath, light fittings. The aim is to have an item that gives a wow factor in almost every room.

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Property Refurbishment: Should I improve or extend?

When undertaking property refurbishment, to make the decision of whether to improve or extend your existing property there are things you have to consider with cost being top of the list.  You will need to consider what your requirements really are.

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For example, here are some of the reasons why you may consider carrying out improvement and alteration, as opposed to building an extension – to:

  • Create a larger or open plan kitchen
  • Enlarge the dining room
  • Enlarge the living room or create an open plan living space
  • Create space for en-suite bathroom to the master bedroom
  • Create a utility room
  • Create a play room
  • Create more storage space
  • Create a grand entrance hall
  • Create additional bedroom

See the source imageMany properties may offer the space to achieve some of the above without the need to extend. Improvements and alterations may cost considerably less and could be carried out without the necessity of obtaining planning permission, although it is advisable to contact a professional builder or structural engineer to ascertain the structural implications when planning to remove dividing walls or chimney breasts, etc. Depending on the age of the property, and other factors associated with, for example, historic buildings, you may need to contact the planning office to ensure that you do not need planning permission to carry out the work.

If you are in two minds about extending or improving your property, it could be beneficial from a financial point of view to start off by making small non-structural improvements. This should in any case add value to your property and make it more desirable. It will also give you the opportunity to see if it meets with your requirements, and if it doesn’t you can then plan for the next option.

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How to turn your home into a luxury property for less

Fancy making your home a luxury property for less than you imagine? Get inspired by some tips in creating a glamorous living space;

Stunning  seating 

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A luxurious living room needs a variety of seating which is both comfortable and stylish, with the sofa being the centre of attention. Shop for a classic, well upholstered furniture with a look of timeless and a distinguished design like leather Chesterfields or clubSee the source image armchairs. If you got space then go for an ergonomic modular corner sofa. For the ultimate in decadent seating, choose a sumptuous chaise longue or a classic recliner leather armchair.

Luscious lighting

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With the right lighting, your living room will have a warn, intimate feel. Nothing shouts luxury more that a statement chandelier. This elegant form of lighting has a ‘wow’ factor and it doesn’t have to look traditional; there are plenty of striking contemporary designs available. You will need to supplement the chandelier with other forms of lighting, place wall lights on either side of a fireplace, table lamps around the edges of the room, and a floor lamps behind your main seating area. Use accent lighting to highlight favourite pictures, ornaments or other treasured objects.

Fabulous fabrics

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In a luxurious living room, you can really go to town with fabrics. Choose sumptuous velvet, satin, linen and silk rich in autumn colours like purple, raspberry or chocolate. If you prefer more subtle colours, go for sophisticated neutrals and muted tones of blue, coffee or grey. Pile the sofa high with cushions of different textures, the more the better, and add a soft throw or two to ring the changes. Dress your windows with extravagant full length curtains or softly folding Roman blinds in prints or plains.

Wonderful Walls

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Be bold with colour and pattern of wallpaper in your living room. There are amazing designs with striking patterns you can choose from such as over-sized florals on one feature wall or pick a subtle design for all your walls. Paint is still one of the cheapest ways to give rooms new look and it’s easy to create a luxurious effect using metallic shades on a feature wall, picking out decorative details with gold lustre, or adding stencilled patterns.

 Fantastic floors

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A beautiful, plush carpet will automatically make your living room feel and look luxurious adding pattern, texture, colour or elegance.  However, as this is generally a high traffic area, you need to get the balance right between durability and quality.

Accessorise

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No luxury living room is complete without a feature statement piece such as fireplace, mirror or artwork. Finish off by adding a bit of sparkle with gold vases, lampshades, diamante-edged photo frames and a mirrored table.

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Home Improvement: Exploiting opportunities for energy efficiency

To identify opportunities that are likely to arise for energy efficiency upgrades, start by making a list of future home improvements you plan to carry out over a number of years. then try to match these to major energy efficiency projects, such as insulation, solar installation, window and boiler replacement. Below are some planned projects and recommended opportunities for energy efficiency improvements.

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Planned project and energy efficiency opportunity 

  • Internal decoration, Re-plastering walls, Refitting kitchens, Refitting bathrooms and cloakrooms etc.

Internal wall insulation.

  • Rendering external walls.

External wall insulation

  • Re-roofing.

Photovoltaics (PV) Solar panel roof installation, Roof or loft insulation. If external wall cladding is planned, prepare the way by extending the roof at eaves level.

  • Replacement windows.

Specify high-performance windows and combine wall insulation works.

  • Replacing old hot water cylinder.

Specify a twin-coil (or triple-coil) cylinder ready for the later installation of solar water heating.

  • Replacing worn-out boiler.

Specify ‘A’-rated high-efficiency replacement boiler.

  • Replacing floorboards

Floor insulation and underfloor heating (can be paired with renewable technology).

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My Christmas decoration – What do you think compare to yours?

Christmas decorations are a must for most families as the Christmas season approaches and jingle bells start to ring. Decorate your home with your favourite Christmas themes and colours.

Below is my Christmas decoration which I have used for some couple of years with little additions and slightly different display style. I recommend you buy Christmas tree and decorations that can be reused for a couple of years to save the environment, money and help combat climate change.

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Christmas Tree decoration
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Christmas decoration of ceiling, wall clock and TV
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Christmas decoration on windowsill 
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Christmas figurine on windowsill 
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Small Christmas tree on windowsill
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Father Christmas figurine on windowsill
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Christmas decoration on cabinet drawer with fish tank
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Santa stop sign on window
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Christmas decoration on kitchen window
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Christmas door bell
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Rotating Christmas light display on ceiling
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Christmas decoration on toilet
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Christmas shower curtain decoration 
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Christmas tree
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Christmas decoration on ceiling and curtain
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Christmas bell decoration on window

I wish you and your family Merry Christmas and happy new year. Remember the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of our Savour and Lord Jesus Christ.

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How to identify damp in your house

Damp is one of the last things we want to face at home. It doesn’t matter if we’re a homeowner or a renter, it’s not a good thing. It can make a room feel cold, unwelcoming and unhealthy, and at worst it can mean structural or weatherproofing issues.

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Structural dampness is the presence of unwanted moisture in the structure of a building, either the result of intrusion from outside or condensation from within the structure. A high proportion of damp problems in buildings are caused by ambient climate dependent factors of condensation and rain penetration. Capillary penetration of water from the ground up through concrete or masonry is known as Rising Damp.

From condensation to penetrating damp and the dreaded rising damp, different types of damp present different problems, below is how you can identify defects that will cause damp in your house and fix them on time before they cause structural and health issues.

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Damp checks

  • Flashings at junctions to roofs and chimneys.
  • Uncapped pots to open chimneys.
  • Badly eroded mortar joints to brick or stonework in walls.
  • Leaking gutters, downpipes and overflow pipes.
  • Leaks around windows and door flames.
  • Windowsills that don’t project out from the wall sufficiently, or have eroded drip grooves underneath.
  • Garden shrubs or mounds of earth banked up against walls.
  • A lack of ventilation indoors allowing a build-up of condensation from steamy kitchens and bathroom.

 

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