Friday, 30 September 2016

Changing Lifestyles and Housing Constraints

As a society, we’re growing to live well within years that we wouldn’t expect to reach 100 years ago. As such, an unprecedented challenge is placed where the current housing market simply cannot take everyone that needs a home. It’s not anyone’s fault, of course. The older generation deserve to live comfortably as much as the younger one, which are forced to stay within the family home for much longer. Civil Engineers and Construction firms in Conwy and the UK at large are looking into what exactly is required when it comes to meeting these extreme challenges, and what can be changed within the Construction industry in order to do so.

It appears unanimous that affordable housing is the way to go. A far cry from social housing, affordable housing is a concept which means that through saving money through the Construction process, houses are more accessible to more people. Of course, demographics also highlight that within modern living, society’s aging means that single occupancy living is on the increase, and family groupings are also becoming more varied and indeed intergenerational. Economic pressure has meant that designers, civil engineers and builders have to more clearly understand housing needs in the 21st Century, whether in North Wales or beyond.

This involves more single person households, more flexibility in builds to support intergenerational families, and the need to design buildings to encourage community bonds and encourage good neighbourliness. Regulation within the past 10 years has focused upon defining what makes a decent place to live and what doesn’t, promoting universal accessibility and inclusivity in design.

Design quality in 2016 and beyond will target all of this, as well as the unbelievable challenge with what is to come. There are an array of talented construction professionals, civil engineers, architects and designers out there which are aware, and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.  

Reasons to Buy a New Build

We’re not all that enthralled with the thoughts of old houses. While indeed an older house has a certain feel to it, we’re really not fans. Feature fireplaces to us make us think of musty, old drafty things that require a kick or three to even get working. That, and when they’re not on, they simply look dreadful and hog much needed space for living.  Beamed ceilings. Yuck. How on earth anyone thinks in this day and age, rafters of wood poking through the ceiling is attractive, we’ll never know.

Notable property developer Blue Bay Homes within North Wales have a very special site going. It's called The View, and other than offering some of the best views you're likely to find within Wales and the UK at large, all of the properties, either apartments in Colwyn Bay or houses in Colwyn Bay, are part of the Welsh Government's Help to Buy Scheme.

Blue Bay's The View is offered ‘off plan’ – in other words, they're not quite built yet. This enables buyers a dream opportunity - to purchase before they’re even built. This means that you can take your time and literally cherry pick your dream home. And these houses and apartments are dreams, indeed.

With new builds as well, a very important point to think of is that you can move at a pace that suits both you and the house builder – and you won’t be reliant on other people in a chain to do the deal. There's nothing more heartbreaking than having a party interested in your existing home and being let down by who you think is perfectly happy to sell their home to you. With new builds, you don't have to worry about your dreams being crushed by the whims of other property owners.

With Blue Bay's The View, You're absolutely free to make your home your own right from the very start, knowing that it has not been touched by any other owners. And with this development in particular, you're more than welcome to choose your own bathroom and kitchen tiles, units, and you'll even get a choice of other fixtures.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Choosing An Architecture Professional

What do you think about where you live? Many of us are trapped in the awful feeling of when our houses don’t truly feel like homes.  That can be the result of a number of things. Perhaps you’re bored of certain features, or always wanted to do something with your property and never found the time to be able to do so. Perhaps even, your circumstances have changed which means that you require a lot more space, or you purchased the building with the understanding that you’d overlook something that let it down, but never really got around to sorting it out.

It can be depressing to look upon something you dislike day after day, and feel that you can’t do anything about it. Don’t let your house drag you down! Take advantage of services offered by architects North Wales in order to make your house truly feel like a home again.

Whether you’re looking for an extension to your house, a loft conversion to properly make use of what’s above you, or even wish to reconfigure your internal space to something that suits you better, a good architectural specialist can help you through every stage of the process. There are a number of specialist architects Cheshire and North Wales area, but what one is right for you?

We recommend looking for a specialist with relevant experience on varied projects, be them commercial or domestic. Furthermore, one that provides site visits and free advice with no obligation as standard and provides a very personal service is certainly advantageous. An architectural designer with experience is one that understands that no two conversions or extensions are the same, and where you live is somewhere that’s very special to you.

Otherwise, a stunning portfolio certainly helps. An example of a wonderful portfolio can be seen on BR Architecture – As you can see, the company has over 20 years’ worth of solid experience in this field. Their attention to detail and level of skill certainly shows in everything that they’ve completed, and their portfolio is neat, and very simple with the work doing the talking.

Whoever you appoint, you don’t have to let your house drag you down. With a little care, attention and a bit of a shakeup from a company qualified to do so, you can make a simple house into your dream home with very little fuss. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Why Switch to LED?

LED lighting has proved to be phenomenally popular, and it’s not difficult to see why. There are a number of solutions which are more than ideal for lighting your home or commercial place of work – be them LED strips , Rope lighting, ribbons, lamps or bulbs, the choice is absolutely staggering. It’s also unbelievably good for the environment.

Did you know that lighting in general equates to a staggering 12% of the world’s global grid-based electricity consumption? That figure is absolutely shocking.

LED lighting provides some truly significant energy savings compared to traditional CFL bulbs. Believe it or not, if the entire world changed to LED Lighting, 50-70% of this 12% of the world’s energy grid would be saved. Should smart controls also be used, you’re looking at a saving of 80% of this 12% of the world’s energy grid. Essentially, that’s a saving of almost 10% of the total power consumed by the world, for absolutely no downside.

That’s not all that LED Lighting can do for the environment either. You can reduce your carbon footprint significantly with LED lamps, especially when combined with smart controls. You will be able to cut your co2 emissions by a staggering 50-70%.

It’s not just the environment that benefits to your switch either. The savings are absolutely gigantic when it comes to switching to LED Lighting – you can expect an absolutely gigantic 50,000 hours out of every single product you buy. The extremely long lifespan of LED products will also slash your maintenance bills, as well.

Gone are the illusions that you’ll need to re-mortgage your house in order to afford LED lighting. They’re a very old mentality, and while perhaps one day, LED Lighting was a product that was more novel than anything, reputable electronic manufacturers such as Phillips, OSRAM and such have full production for all things LED.

As with electronics in general, the more something is produced, the less expensive it is. Now’s the time to get out there and get into LED Lighting, as well as make some massive savings along the way. 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Landlord Insurance for You

Being a landlord is undoubtedly difficult. Whereas it seems quite easy to purchase property via mortgage and rent it out to people, there’s actually a sizable amount of procedure, information, legislation, and so many regulations to digest, not to mention of course the very full time job of attracting tenants, keeping your properties in excellent condition, managing rental payments, paying off your second mortgage… and of course finding the right Landlords Insurance in Conwy, Llandudno.. and further afield in Liverpool, Manchester and Chorley.

In a world full of gimmicky offers, deals, and comparison engines (with some very skewed results) how on earth are you meant to ascertain what deal is the cheapest, but what provides you with what you actually need, without clauses, and leaves you with the peace of mind and confidence you need in order to get on with what’s truly important.

BiS Insurance appears on the outside, quite a small outfit. But, this Llandudno based commercial insurance provider, is very much mighty. It has quite a reach throughout North East England as well as within North Wales. With offices in Liverpool, Manchester and Chorley, BiS Insurance offer a face-to-face service, which is a far cry from most insurance providers and the frustrating act of waiting on the phone for what can seem like hours just to speak to a human being.

BiS Insurance pride themselves on their vision, which is “large enough to matter, but small enough to care” and that mentality comes out in all of their policies. They’re a friendly, reliable and professional Commercial Insurance provider which will enable you to have a comprehensive, high level of cover for anything and everything that might happen along the way.

They stand apart from the rest by the virtue that they’re a friendly, face to face service that you simply don’t get with the large, heavy-hitting Insurance giants and their telephone numbers. You might be convinced at this point that BiS will charge you an arm and a leg compared to other providers. That’s simply not true – In particular, BiS’ Landlord Insurance policies are very competitively priced, and covers property on a commercial and domestic basis. 

Even better, BiS Insurance can give the giants a run for their money when it comes to the price of their policies, so give them a call today and see what they can do for you.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Ways to Make Your New Kitchen Smell Amazing

You only ever notice it when you walk into someone else's home just how lovely it smells, compared to your own. Perhaps cooking smells just don’t seem to budge in your kitchen, even if you leave the windows open for a time. What’s more, after long exposure to certain smells, we just get used to them, so it’s easy to forget. We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve to help you keep the most amazing kitchen all day long. Kitchen designers Anglesey recommend the following:

Oil on lightbulbs – It’s a super simple trick that should keep your kitchen smelling fresh for a while, rub some room fragrance oil onto your lightbulbs so that when they’re on, they’re filling the room with a scent. You don’t keep your lights on all the time, so when you do (usually when your cooking during the eventing) you should really notice the difference!

Move your bins and clean your sink drains - Your bin is usually the biggest culprit in creating the lingering stale smell and it certainly makes no sense to change it unless it’s filling up. Think about storing your disposal bin inside a cupboard where the smell won’t escape so quickly. If your drains smell a bit, a good way to clear it, is pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by two cups of vinegar. This will create a fizzing mix that will clear all those bends before you flush it away with boiling water.

Room fragrances – Candles are a quick and easy solution to making your kitchen smell beautiful before you have visitors over. The choice is so varied that it means you big and beautiful or cheap and cheerful if you need to. Marble is a kitchen must-have at the moment so, getting hold of a marble oil burner will be a piece of cake.

Fresh flowers and indoor plants – If you’re keen to go natural, why not add a few fragrant fresh flowers to your kitchen to help clean the air as well as adding a splash of colour to the room. Potted plants are advised to keep them lasting so much longer.

Create a stove simmer – Another natural way to create a beautiful fragrant room is to add some water, lemon and lime slices along with some mint or lavender to a sauce pan simmer for an hour. It’s a traditionally, yet not so well known favorited method to refreshing the house.

Get Baking – Nothing beats the smell of fresh ground coffee or baked bread and it’s easier than you think. Last thing at night before your go to bed, chuck in your ingredients into the break maker, which will do all the work for you. You wake up in the morning and the whole house will smell delicious!

Monday, 19 September 2016

How to Appoint A Professional For Building Design, Construction, And Improvements

You might feel that today’s the day when it comes to improvements you’ve wanted on your home, and now might be the perfect time to wave goodbye to things which have either irritated you for a very long time, or stand to do so. For these matters, the service of an excellent architect in Cheshire will be essential.

But how exactly do you go about the process of hiring a professional? The preliminary call might be pretty easy, but then after that what is to be expected? Will you be given your marching orders while the work is done? How much input will you actually get?

It depends on a number of things, really. The practise of the Company you go for, your own design ideas, and of course planning permission and whether or not the building in question is Listed. Whatever sort of situation you’re looking at though, it’s best to get these questions straightened out via an initial appointment.

Your initial appointment may be made via recommendation, client research and interview, or even a design competition. With all appointments, it’s important that a wide range of subjects are spoken about. Some examples of which are interior design and artwork, landscape design, acoustics, lightning protection, security systems, planning applications, furniture, fixtures, fittings, specification writing, and of course supervision and inspection during construction as well as production of 3D models, keeping a very clear picture of the results you will expect.

The above should come under an architecture designer’s initial fee, though depending on the site itself, additional services may be required. For your initial appointment, you’ll want to be prepared, too. Generally, you are expected to supply a “request for proposals” which can include a strategic brief, confirmation of the scope of services required, a request for references, and a written request for hourly rates to be applied to any design work to be done.

Please keep in mind that it is good practise for the client (yourself) to offer payment for any work involved within the preparation of designs. Of course, preparation of designs can be rather time consuming for your architect, and you as an individual will benefit from offering payment for any preliminary preparation of plans, as it demonstrates to the architect that you are serious about the project.

A Kitchen for Families

It isn’t easy make time for family at the best of times, especially when you spend a large part of your time in the kitchen, preparing food, washing and drying clothes. Long gone are the days of pinning down all the family members to share stories of their day over a dining table. Everyone has different schedules from school, to work to hobbies. Of course, a way around this is to make your kitchen truly multifunctional to meet everyone’s needs as central point for relaxation, cooking and study. Kitchens designers Conwy have brought about a new range of kitchens that help make the best of family time. Here are some tips that they’re sharing.

Open plan works for the family- if you’re lucky enough to have the space, creating a kitchen space with separate seating space is your first step in creating a multi-functional room. If you currently have a separate dining space, consider making it one large room that’s divided off for cooking and dining. The open space will make your kitchen appear less cluttered, even after a busy evening in the kitchen, whist a separate seating area offers the ideal spot for study.

Lounge area – Instead of a dining area, a lounge space might work better for your family. Think about incorporating a fireplace and coffee table in your seating area to offer a seating taste for everyone. Even on cosie nights in, a comfy two-seater chair will make the ideal resting spot for any member of the family.

Include carpets- It’s a simple touch but it makes your seating area in particular look and feel so much more inviting.  Keep them, for your seating area to define the space for relaxation and rest. Carpets are an easily way to spice up the colour scheme or to even change up the colour as the room progresses.

Tech point – The modern family will use technology almost all day long to learn, play as well as to be informed and communicate. It makes sense to apply features to your kitchen that’ll accommodate the modern lifestyle. USB charging points close to your cooking zone will allow you to follow online tutorials, whist a charging point by your main seating area will allow for laptops.

Storage and fold away shelving – A busy kitchen means you’ll need lots of storage and multi-use items where possible. You won’t appreciate anything more than pull out shelves, where you can find everything easily, without straining. Shelves can be created to house anything, even your spices – giving you order in the busiest of spaces.

Becoming a Landlord in Retirement

Lots of us are starting to consider retirement plans. Becoming a Landlord is a very viable way to retire from work at a relatively young age, and enjoy your life before age starts to become an issue. In order to do so, you’ll want to consider remortgaging your existing property or perhaps even getting a new mortgage entirely in order to purchase property to renovate in order to provide an attractive living space to potential tenants. However, not many of us think of matters of equal importance, such as Landlord Insurance in Manchester, Liverpool, and North Wales.

It’s vitally important to have a decent service behind you when it comes to matters like this. Landlord Insurance, after all, is a failsafe – in case something happens to your property, yourself, your tenants or even in matters of non-payment of rent. In cases like the latter, Landlord Property Insurance will provide you with a buffer in order to make your repayments to your money lender, and empower you to take what legal measures you need to take in order to receive payment, without the fear of a gigantic legal bill at the end of it all.

Hypothetically, if someone is hurt in your property, it can be quite a headache. This person may sue for damages from yourself (even if it wasn’t your fault that they were injured) simply because you will be listed as the building’s owner. In cases like these it can be stressful and time-consuming to fight a legal battle, but thankfully, with Landlord Property Insurance, you’ll not have to face it alone.

Whether with the capital needed to defend yourself, or the appointment of a specialist solicitor to do it for you, Landlord Property Insurance will really help you when it comes to being able to weather any possible storms to come - leaving you free to enjoy your retirement as a property owner.  

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Water Management Strategies And Homeowners

In September 2016, a report which has been years in the making was finally published, and has led to a number of construction firms in Denbighshire and beyond taking notice. Interestingly, the findings of this report has detailed measures needed to avoid both flooding and drought, from both ends of the spectrum regarding drought and consequential impact on the public water supply.

Agriculture and the environment are also factors within water management, and both can therefore be irrefutably harmed as such. This leads to significant disruption and severe economic damage.

Essentially, flooding doesn’t just affect homeowners. It affects absolutely everyone, and common themes established within this report involve long-term water resource planning, the National Flood Resilience Review coming into play, as well as the appropriate modelling tools and data to be used within every single coastal defence within the UK.

Key findings from the report conclude that:
  • There is a very real risk of severe drought across South East England. It has been established that planning for the future based on flooding of the past is absolutely unacceptable for any government.
  • The risk of homes being flooded by abnormal weather conditions cannot be established based upon whether or not they have in recent years.
  • Findings indicate that there is a very real need for both the English and Welsh Governments to adopt national minimum levels of resilience toward floodwater. Essentially, the misery brought on to home and business owners at being flooded year after year is no longer something that should occur.

The report shows remarkable similarity to the National Flood Resilience Review, which was conceived, researched and eventually published with the aim of improving flood resilience and improving existing modelling tools surrounding flood defence structures.

This study provides a significant new form of evidence to properly defend properties throughout England and Wales. As weather patterns break records month after month, it is absolutely imperative that the recommendations of this report is embedded into longterm national infrastructure strategy – and homes, businesses, and agriculture at large is defended from a trend of extremely wet winters.