3 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring in Sheffield

The end of winter is nigh; yes, that’s right spring is just on the horizon. The flowers are beginning to bloom and we’ve even seen a little bit of sunshine. It seems that we can finally put that wet, windy winter behind us, but unfortunately better weather means that all of the dirt, damage and minor cracks on your home will now be highlighted – this is why spring is the perfect time for cleaning and home maintenance. Sheffield is a beautiful part of England, so in order to keep your property looking as good as it should here are 3 home maintenance tips that will ensure that your home looks glorious.

1.       Roofing & Gutter Maintenance

Check your gutters for leaks, if the drainage is loose this can lead to water leaks that can get into your home and cause all kinds of trouble. Ensure that all your downspouts are free of debris and are pointed away from your home. If you’re looking for gutter repair in Sheffield, Dalton Roofing are an expert firm who can repair gutters and other roofing issues at competitive prices. Winter has a habit of damaging roofs, so make sure that you get it checked out to prevent leakage or further damage.

2.       Drain Maintenance

Blocked drains are very common occurrences; especially after the winter months. Blocked drains can be caused by an array of different things, such as fatty build ups and even tree roots; they should be dealt with straight away as this can become dangerous. If you are suffering from blocked drains in Sheffield, drainage experts Inspect-a-Drain ltd can help, as they provide many high quality services right across this part of England. Drain issues can be incredibly unpleasant and even hazardous, so now is the time to ensure that your drains are in excellent condition and are free from blockage.

3.       Garden Maintenance

Winter is especially harsh on the exterior parts of your home and this includes the garden. The recent winds may have damaged your trees and plants, causing them to become unsightly or even dangerous. Nobody mows their lawn in the winter, so by spring time it often looks unruly and almost like a jungle. If you are in need of garden services in Sheffield to help you to get your garden safe and ready for spring, then Green Barrow Garden Services are a highly recommended company who can make your home look incredible again.

Taking care of the maintenance of your roofs, drains and garden will ensure that your home looks in tip top condition this spring. Sheffield is truly a lovely place to live and in fact the happiest place to live in the UK, so it is important to ensure that your home looks the part. Take the above tips into consideration and get your home ready for spring 2014.

Can You Afford To Live in London?

London is an extremely popular place to live. It is considered by many to be the cultural capital of the world, with so much to see and do. If you are considering living in London then you have to ask yourself the question; can you afford to live there?

Although London has a reputation for its prices, recreational expenses might not be as costly as you think. According to Numbeo, the price of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant in London is just £10.00 and the average price of draught beer is £3.50. These prices are perhaps slightly more than round the northern part of England, but they won’t exactly break the bank.

However, it’s not nights out that are the biggest cost. One of the main obstacles that people wanting to live in London have is the price of houses. On the BBC News Website there is a calculator to see where in the country you can afford to live, and you can also compare the prices for renting or buying a property. It is also important to consider that, although houses may be pricier, the money you earn as part of your job will be more down south, and there are many opportunities for employment. According to an article in The Guardian, 3,350 new posts have been created in the city of London alone.

If London is in your price range and you are considering a move to the big smoke, then it is worth speaking to a London based mortgage broker such as Search Mortgage Solutions to get some practical advice. After carefully examining facts, you can make a decision on whether you can afford to live in London. Before making a big move, you may want to research possible areas to live in; there are many hotels for you to stay in, and to get a feel for an area it is worth staying there over a week. This research might seem unnecessary to some, but if it helps you make the right decision then it will undoubtedly be worth it.

Repairing Your Property After The Winter

Every year the winter throws up a tirade of adverse weather that damages properties all over the country, and costs millions of pounds in damage. Once the winter has taken its toll, and finally made room for the spring, then it is time to start repairing the damage that has been inflicted by this most harsh season. There are three distinct weathers that the winter brings with it that are especially damaging to properties, and that often leaves them in need of immediate repair.

Rain

floodingHere in Britain we are used to getting rain all year round, but no other season brings such sustained and heavy rain as winter; and large areas of Britain are prone to flooding. When a house has been flooded it is a delicate process to properly assess the damage and attempt to repair it. First thing to do is to get the water out of the property and let it dry out; if the water is deep then it is wise to rent a heavy duty pump from an expert such as www.CountryHire.co.uk. Once the house has dried you will need to get a professional like www.DJHutchings.co.uk who specialise in repairing the damage that a flood can cause.

 

Wind

The damage that wind can cause to roofing should never be under-estimated, and every year millions of pounds of damage are done to property by high winds. Despite our roofs being incredibly sturdily designed and constructed, it is inevitable that under extreme pressure they will suffer. When things such as slate tiles are damaged it is essential to act quickly and get in touch with a quality slate supplier like www.AllSlates.co.uk to get replacement tiles. Quickly replacing these will lessen any risk of water ingress and keep your home properly protected.

The Cold

storm damageExtreme temperatures can have a disastrous affect on your home and can cause serious damage; in many cases it can even affect the structural rigidity of a home. If your home already has cracks and crevices in the brickwork, then the extreme temperatures are sure to find them and exacerbate the problem. Once water is in these cracks it expands during freezing and forces the rock even further apart. This can leave your house with serious drafts and at risk of water damage. There are products on the market, such as Ronseal filler, but it really is best to seek out a local contractor and asking them to undertake any work that needs doing. If you are unsure which contractors to trust in your area then sites such as www.RatedPeople.com can help you to find the best local contractors.

When the winter really shows its teeth it can leave you unsure on the best path to getting your home fully repaired. Fear not though, as the help is out there, and the damage that seems insurmountable is just part of the job for those skilled tradesmen that help to keep Britain’s homes in tip-top condition.

Landlords Preparing For Tenants

Are you a new landlord with a newly acquired property? Renting a new property can seem like an overwhelming task. There are a wide range of things you have to complete before a tenant can move in, and it is very easy to forget certain aspects of what you have to do. In this article we will go through some important areas that you will need to look into, because being a landlord is an important business endeavour.

House

Of course, before any tenants move you will have to make sure that the property is clean, so it is worthwhile investing in cleaning accessories and giving the house a spring clean. But more importantly, you will have to make sure that you call in tradesmen, such as electricians, to ensure that there is no faulty wiring because it can be extremely costly and dangerous. In addition to this it is important to get your boiler serviced, so there aren’t any problems further down the line. The reasons for making this decision are outlined perfectly in a statement by Exeter based Range Experts:  ‘Full blown boiler problems can develop from minor faults, servicing your boiler can catch these problems, thereby saving you money in the long term.’

Tenants  

You will have to make a decision on whether you want to enlist the help of a property management company or do it yourself. There is an old article in The Telegraph which looks into whether estate agents are worth the money; if you live far away from the property you are renting then it is worthwhile getting an agent. However, if you are opting to do it by yourself then it is a good idea to get references from previous landlords and employment details. Once you receive these make sure you follow them up; there is no point requesting references without getting them confirmed.

The importance of choosing the right tenant can be seen when cleaning company Spick and Span explains, on their site, that the most common reason for requiring their services is end of tenancy cleaning. Although this could perhaps comes across as cynical, it shows that many landlords have to call in a cleaning company as the house is left in such as bad way.

Providing you approach being a landlord proactively and get on top of home improvements and cleaning before anyone views your property, you will find that tenants will actively seek you out and extra income will be easy to come by.

2014 Bathroom Decoration Ideas

If you’re planning a bathroom makeover as a lot of us do at the beginning of the year, you want to take a look at the latest trends in home-design to make sure that your bathroom will look as contemporary as possible. If you’re looking to have the best, most beautiful bathroom in the land this year then take a look at the following trends for 2014 choose your favourite then make it look stunning!

Simple-Modern-Contemporary

If you’re looking to completely renovate your bathroom then go for a simple, modern and contemporary design. Simple isn’t boring, it is sophisticated, stylish and chic. It is the perfect choice for 2014 and beyond as it won’t age quickly, therefore it won’t look out of style. With a new frameless shower you with certainly evoke a futuristic look.  Quartz tiles are fabulous for adding a splash of colour as they are incredibly colourful. These bathroom features are easy to clean therefore it is easy to keep your bathroom looking fabulously fresh. Make sure you choose the correct bathroom lighting; LED spotlights are the perfect choice for a contemporary bathroom style as they keep it looking brand new even when it is years old.

Shack-Chic Style

Shabby chic was the huge trend of 2013 and it is still going strong however shack-chic is now on the rise. The shack-chic style is all about creating a coastal beach hut or surf shack look and this is easy. Paint your bathroom white; make sure you choose the right type of paint. You could have a natural coloured tiled area to really bring this aesthetic to life. Combine the shabby-chic and shack-chic style by adding antique storage units and add wonderful wicker accessories as this will complete the beach-hut look. This is the perfect trend for you if you desire a relaxing bathroom aesthetic with that happy holiday feeling.

These two ideas will give you two completely different results; shack-chic style is softer and will surely help you to feel like you’re reclining in an exotic paradise. If you’re looking for a bathroom that screams modernity then keep it simple, modern and contemporary. No matter which style you choose you’re bound to have the best bathroom in town!

Moving House: London Calling

Many people can’t resist the lure of city life. There is a lot to see and do with concerts, Broadway plays and a vibrant nightlife. It isn’t a surprise that London is widely considered the cultural capital of the world. Many people up sticks and move, not looking back. If you are considering this then it is important to plan ahead. Don’t make any knee jerk reactions and plunge straight in, you should consider your move carefully.

Employment  

It is a good idea to have a job lined up before you move. If this isn’t possible but you are desperate to move then you have to consider brushing up on your CV because there is a lot of competition out there. If you are struggling with your CV then there are companies out there who can provide you with assistance. Although there is a lot of competition for employment in London, there are a wide range of industries for you to work in so you can find your feet.

Finding a House

You will have to make a decision on whether you want to rent or buy a house. It is a good idea to rent a property if you are just moving, rather than tying yourself in with a mortgage. You don’t know what the future holds for you, although London is a vibrant place to live, you may miss your friends and family. If you haven’t lived in London before, then you may also wish to stay for an extended period of time to get acquainted with the area, and to find the right part of the city for you. Staying in London for just a weekend is much different to living there, so try to give yourself at least a couple of weeks testing the waters.

Removals

If after visiting London you still have your heart set on a move then you will have to research local removals companies. It is widely understood that moving house can be stressful. Of course this is going to be a happy experience in the long run, but it is still a disruption to your routine. Packing up your belongings then unpacking them is a hassle, not to mention the fact that you may not have enough room for your belongings. Removal specialists can often provide you with a storage service, so you don’t have to get rid of treasured possessions.

If you are considering a new life in London then this is no doubt an exciting time for you, but you will need to be prepared beforehand so you can settle into your new city seamlessly.

How to Maximise the Selling Potential of Your Home for the New Year

For many people, the new year is the perfect opportunity to make a new start with any aspect of life and, as well as including personal goals in their new year’s resolutions, many people may vow to begin a new life by moving home. If you are planning to move in the new year, but your current home is beginning to look slightly worn or outdated, to maximise your chances of selling at a good price it is very sensible to ensure your home decor is modern and attractive, and showcases the best features of the house. Here are some tips to maximise the selling potential of your home.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the main selling point for many homes, and in the modern home it should be spacious and functional, with ample space to cook and store food, as well as to entertain. Although buying a whole new modern kitchen is a considerable investment, if you choose the right one it can add a considerable amount of value to your home, and be very worthwhile. Go to www.housetohome.co.uk to have a look at some examples of excellent modern kitchen design, which will guarantee to get your home noticed.

If buying a whole new kitchen is out of your price range, some simple painting and accessorising can still create a very appealing space. A great idea is to distract attention away from tired kitchen units by creating other distinct focal features, such as a vibrant painted wall. Visit www.littlegreene.com to buy high quality kitchen paint in interesting and long wearing paint from Little Greene in both neutral and eye-catching colours. If you have wooden units, you may even want to consider painting them themselves with specialist wood paint to create a new and distinct personality.

The Bathroom

When it comes to the bathroom, clean and modern is absolutely essential if you wish to maximise the selling potential of your home. Consider going for something fashionable to make your home stand out, such as some fun wall tiles. Porcelanosa tiles are ideal if you want the modern look; they are highly versatile and come in a wide range of textures and fashionable colours, and can be bought from Tilehub from their website at www.tilehub.co.uk. Additionally, if you make the walls and small fixtures interesting, there is no need to invest in a completely new bathroom suite.

Outdoors

To ensure your home is attractive to all potential buyers, it is just as important to ensure the outside of your home is just as attractive as the inside, as many people will make lasting decisions about the suitability of a property before they even step through the door. Ensure that the front of your home is tidy, has curb appeal and reflects the style of the interior. Small garden decorations and furniture can help to show that all space in the property is functional and well cared for, and a simple bench and flowerpots outside the front door can make a big difference. Having a beautiful garage door will really enhance the aesthetic of your home and you can find a great range at www.lakesgaragedoors.co.uk. The perfect garage door will add a hint of class whilst providing additional security – two factors that potential buyers really look for in a home.

When it comes to the finishing touches, and tying the house together, the most important thing to remember is to keep things simple yet interesting. You should aim to show some personality and style in your home, without going over the top, allowing potential buyers to imagine how their possessions and daily routines could fit within the space.

Give your house an eco-friendly makeover

Global warming has been one of the most discussed topics of the current and previous decades as the concern for the earth’s wellbeing rises. Many environmentally friendly measures that were introduced have been positively embraced by the public. Many households are now observing eco-friendly practises to contribute towards conserving the earth’s resources.

Energy saving measures have plenty of other benefits. Whatever your views on climatic condition and global warming are, there is no doubt that an eco-friendly home will conserve the earth’s resources and your bank balance too. There are many options available that you can use to achieve an environmentally friendly home. Here are some suggestions:

Lighting

Swapping normal bulbs for LED lighting is very popular among many homeowners nowadays. The light bulbs are renowned for their excellent cost efficiency and energy conserving qualities. LED lights are toxic free and have an estimated energy efficiency of between 80%-90% compared to traditional light bulbs and conventional lighting. The bulbs have a long-life of up to 100,000 hours before needing replacement. Invest into the bulbs and boost their appearance in the house by complementing them with eco-friendly chandeliers from ECO CHIC.

Heating

Installing an eco-friendly fireplace in the living room not only helps conserve energy but also adds character to the living room. Companies like Real Flame offer bio-ethanol fuelled fireplaces that help reduce the house’s heating energy consumption especially during the winter season when heating is constantly switched on. Fireplaces also help bring the cosy atmosphere in the house that you cannot get from any other heating appliance.

Furniture

Home furnishings crafted from recycled material plays a fundamental part in environmentalism. The majority of such furniture is made without processes whose by-products release chemicals that cause harm to the earth’s atmosphere. Apart from the ecological benefit recyclable furnishings bring to the household, they also provide an artistic and contemporary look that uplifts any room they are located. If you wish to purchase eco friendly furniture, SCAFFA commercial is an organisation selling a variety of products for the household.

Windows

Windows enhance the attractive appearance of the house by bringing in natural light especially in summer. Despite this desirable characteristic, inefficient windows can waste large amounts of energy from the house. Energy lost through windows accounts for between 10 -25 percent of the annual household bill. Experts have proven that single glazed windowpanes are usually the major cause of energy inefficiencies. This is because they are poor at retaining heat so it is a good idea to purchase double glazed sash windows from Darcy Joinery to preserve the heat. It is in the utility bill payer’s interest to install double glazed windows or even change the window frames for both appearance and energy saving reasons.

Energy audit

An energy audit is a very helpful form of energy conservation that can considerably reduce the household energy bill. The process is a thorough inspection of your home, in which an inspector such as those employed at The Home Improvement Advisory Service examine your property for any air leaks, improper insulation and inefficiencies in your electrical system and appliances. If you have a flexible budget, higher-tech assessments involving intricate checks are worth the extra money.

It is a good habit to observe environmentally friendly practises in the household. Everyone has a contribution to make to conserve the earth and make it a better environment for generations to come. Most eco-friendly materials help you save money and make your house a beautiful and modern place.

Minimalist Modern Home Design Trends

Modern kitchen interiorModern home design is a popular trend for many London homeowners to now adhere to. Modern interior design typically majors upon function; although that doesn’t mean that the look of a room needs to suffer. Particularly for those who live in a busy city environment, the concept of a clutter free decor is very appealing as it has been proven to minimise the stress in an otherwise busy life. Have a look at this article on stress.about.com to see just how much a cluttered environment can become a drain. Minimalism is one of the most popular modern buzzwords precisely because it complements a tidy home so well, and it undoubtedly lends itself towards an airy and calming environment.

White is possibly the most prevalent colour for minimalist modern decor, though that statement doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. One of the advantages enjoyed by present day decorators is the sheer range of paint colours and hues on sale, and this scope of customisation allows a bewildering array of subtle variations to be enjoyed. Click here to see how easily the colour selection service at Infinity Paint works.  This level of choice allows a full range of pale colours to be enjoyed, so pure white doesn’t have to be the only point of call. A favourite combination with a minimalist wall colour is a wooden floor, such as those provided at www.woodyoufloor.co.uk, and the combined effect can help a room to appear far larger than it actually is.

Minimalism doesn’t necessarily have to translate as ‘empty’, and a few furniture centrepieces definitely don’t go amiss. Have a look at the Living Space website to see some examples of modern furniture that would be perfectly suited to this style of interior design. Where you arrange your furniture is also incredibly important. You want to keep the sense of space, but you also want some truly eye-catching statement pieces, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different arrangements to find out what looks best.

Whilst we’ve touched upon the benefits of a light coloured room, you’re certainly missing out if you don’t use a few spot colours to your advantage. Different colour accents can give any room a touch of distinction. This can be as simple as a bowl of oranges on the coffee table, or include a variety of intricate monochrome patterns such as those seen on dornob.com. You’ll also need to make sure you keep the aforementioned clutter well out of site in some suitable storage areas, as nothing spoils a minimalist room more than a pile of stray possessions.

Whilst minimalism isn’t the only modern design trend to be on the rise, it is certainly one of the most widely used. For a busy city dweller, there’s also something calming about returning to a light and airy room, so make sure you don’t discount the idea next time you get round to a spot of redecorating.

Interior Essentials for Your London Living Room

A London home should be luxurious. England’s capital is an incredibly fashionable place to live therefore your interior home decor should reflect this. This doesn’t mean that you have to completely redecorate or renovate your home; you can create a glamorous atmosphere simply by adding a few accessories. So, if you’re looking to improve the interior of your London living room then here are the essential accessories that you should include.

A Magnificent Mirror

Mirrors are fantastic for creating the illusion of space, therefore they are perfect for use in smaller rooms, but can also add an atmosphere of grandeur to larger living areas. You can find mirrors in every size, colour and style so whatever theme you decide to use in your interior decor you will always find a mirror to match. If you are particularly love a vintage aesthetic head to www.thefrenchhouse.co.uk where you can find an array of spectacular mirrors that will help to give your room a luxurious atmosphere.

A Grand Clock

Every room requires a clock, not only are they exceptionally useful devices, they look absolutely stunning. A clock is essential to creating successful living room decor that works. Be careful when it comes to choosing the style of clock, for example you won’t want a grandfather clock if you’re looking to create a contemporary styled room! A clock is more than just a device for time-telling; it is a piece of art. If you’re looking for a fantastic, stylish and uniquely glamorous clock range, take a look at the selection from www.clockcentre.com. The fabulous thing about this item is that it never looks outdated – so long as all the interior design features complement each other!

An Impressive Painting

Paintings give an extra dimension of sophistication to a room. They draw they eye in and create a talking point, or they can simply make a statement about your personality, depending on the style of the painting and subject. Paintings add panache to a dull wall; they can fill up that awkward empty space where there’s no window, or you can sit them proudly above the mantelpiece. You can find a range of charming contemporary and vintage paintings by semi-famous artists at www.markmitchellpaintings.com or visit their showroom by appointment which is based in Mayfair.

 A Fabulous Fireplace

Everybody’s living room should feature a fireplace not only are they useful for adding warmth, they also look fantastic. If there is one factor of interior design that will always add a touch of class it is the fireplace. For a selection of environmentally friendly, stylish, biofuel fires check out www.smartfireuk.com. Whether you’re looking to create a vintage-inspired haven or a meticulously modern living room, you can create the perfect look by adding a fireplace feature to your living room.

There are many more accessories that you could add to your living room from sumptuous soft pillows to regal rugs or anything else that you desire! Try to decide on a theme or a trend to follow before choosing your home’s accessories or you could end up with a severely mismatched interior decor. Go on, get decorating and ensure that your London living room is looking spectacular.