London property really benefit from sash window repairs

If you own a property in London then it’s almost certain that you’re going to require sash window repair of some point in your lifetime. So your windows can typically go anywhere from 15 to 20 years without repair but at some point you will begin to get sash cords the fail, or you’ll need to paint your windows, or worse still, if they haven’t been painted for a long time they will need joinery repairs. Whichever group of repairs you fall into, it’s almost certain that if you want to have windows that open and close in the summer, that also keep you nice and warm in the winter, that you’ll require the assistance of a sash window repair specialist some point. In this article I’m going to go through all of the ways in which sash window repairs can really help you and your London property. Not just from a perspective of the prevalue of the property either, from the perspective of you living and enjoying the ambience too.

Replacing sash cords can help you enjoy your property far more.

One of the worst things that any Property Owner can suffer from is a hot day in the summer and they can’t open their windows. This happens for so many London Properties because painting Windows is pretty common, and as a result of painting if someone needs a little bit slapdash than they can actually stick their sasha’s shut quite easily. windows are any typically designed to have a 3 mm gap around the timbers, so therefore if you paint them about 3 times without sanding back the paint on each occasion then you’ll end up with a situation where you just have sash windows that can’t function.

This isn’t the end of the world though, because there are actually plenty of sash window repair specialists that can help you with this particular issue. They’ll simply take the windows apart and then plane off the excess paint behind the frame, this is a particularly normal sash window repair in London.

Sash window sill replacement forms a large part of almost all sash window repairs in London.

Did you know they’re replacing the hardwood sash window could cost you as little as £1,700 but all the way up to £3,500 plus VAT? One of the main criteria for specifying a replacement sash windows occurs when a sash window sill itself is rotten. There are actually a lot of companies out there now that will actually replace the sash window sills so that you don’t have to completely replace the window. Sash windows sills can be replaced from as little as £160 plus VAT so there’s a humongous saving to be had over entire replacement.

Sash window sills are simply cut out. They have got to remove the internal nosing and staff bead and possibly the lower sash as well to gain access to the sill. From there it’s just a simple case of cutting the sill at both ends of removing it. The news there was a load into position and screwed and fixed in place. Quite often and epoxy resin is used to combine the two materials to the original as well. From there the repair is painted with Dulux Weathershield normally externally. This is the ideal paint for the British weather conditions, because it can really withstand a bit harsh treatment.

So as you can see these sash window repairs in London can save a fortune over and entire replacement as well as help you maintain the original joinery and keep your existing features of the property. This is highly favourable not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but also from the perspective of the value of your property as well. Londoners mostly appreciate keeping original features when purchasing traditional Victorian properties so it’s well worth keeping in mind the anywhere that you can save such features it’s an added bonus. Not to forget, that these windows can actually be upgraded with draught proofing and double-glazed as well but that’s something for another article that I’ll go into very shortly.

Tips for Purchasing Property Outside the Country: A Few Things to Remember when Buying a Holiday Home

When buying overseas property it is vital that you research the country you are planning to move to. It sounds obvious but visit and gets to know the area; there is nothing worse than moving to a holiday home and realising that the area only gets two weeks of sunshine a year.

Legal Issues

Research is also extremely important when considering the legal aspects of buying property in your chosen country. No two countries have the same legal system when it comes to buying property. When buying a house within the European Union, and living in the EU, then the same rules and regulations apply but unfortunately every country in the union has their own property laws.

A prime example of a law that could be a sticking point is the Spanish law that passes on any debts on the property to the new owner, so be extremely careful not to pick up a Spanish farmers outstanding debts. Like with most things, do plenty of research before buying, consult a lawyer who specialises in overseas property law and always be careful, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the idealistic nature of it all.

Outside the E.U it becomes a lot more complicated. Unlike the E.U many countries outside the union have different laws for foreign buyers compared to the local population. Prime examples of this are in Turkey. There are restrictions on overseas buyers purchasing property in villages and rural areas and in New Zealand there are limits on how much land foreigners can own.

Tax Issues

The legal systems vary from country to country but there are a few fundamental legalities to consider when buying property outside the E.U. These range from local taxes, registration fees, stamp duties, zoning laws, death duties and tax treaties. It is highly recommended to take out a double taxation treaty.

These international agreements limit the tax liability for a citizen of one country who is a resident in another- thus prevents the same income being taxed in two states. Out of more than 1300 tax treaties worldwide the U.K has the largest network covering over 100 countries, with many more having a large number of links.

As with buying property in the E.U the same mentality should be applied here just be more cautious when considering the legalities of buying property outside the E.U.

Make money from a holiday home

Unfortunately no one can spend every day of the year on holiday so it would be wise to think of a way to make money from your property whilst you’re not staying there. The most obvious solution is to rent it out to locals on a short term lease.

Instead of managing the property yourself it would be wise to seek out a letting agency to do this for you. Although they will take a percentage of the rent in return they will look after the property and sort out any legal issues that may arise.

Owning a holiday home can be a great investment as well as a great comfort, just remember be careful and carry out plenty of research and that ideal place in the sun could be just around the corner.

Feng Shui in the Home for Luck: Enhance Personal Environment Through Asian Decor Philosophy

Many Chinese Feng Shui Masters believe their art is important though intangible, according to J.M. Sertori, author of The Little Book Of Feng Shui.

Feng Shui is centuries old and has enjoyed renewed popularity in the last few years. In fact, many modern psychologist state ones mood is strongly affected by their environment. This gives credibility to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui. Feng Shui Masters believe strongly in creating a harmonious environment which produces positive “Chi”. As many know, Chi is energy. All things are thought to have energy which might be positive or negative

Although Feng Shui earliest roots are in Chinese History, modern cultures might easily use Feng Shui principles in their homes.

The Bedroom

Place the bed in the (ying) dark corner away from the entrance, noise, distractions. Avoid placing the bed in a position where the occupant would have sharp objects pointing towards them. Also, any overhead beams would contribute to bad energy. If one moves to a new home think about purchasing a new bed. A new bed symbolises a new fresh positive beginning.

Grey bedroom
Grey bedroom

The Dining room

Avoid expensive furnishings, dishes, silverware, which distract from the food. The dinning room is about sharing good food in a harmonious environment with family or friends. One should not let worries about damaging expensive furniture or other objects distract them from enjoying great food. Worry dissolves positive chi.

Kitchen

Most kitchens are packed with many sharp objects. Keep the sharp pointy objects hidden from view. These objects create bad chi and might lead to accidents.

Bathrooms

The water element is a powerful and auspicious symbol. Leave plugs in sinks even when not in use. Unplugged sinks and fixtures symbolises water flowing away along with money and luck.

Main Entrance

The door area should be clean and clutter-free to invite positive Chi into the home. A welcome mat delivers positive Chi to the home owners and visitors. The mat acts as a symbol of respect by letting the visitors wipe their shoes before entering the home.

Livingroom

Arrange seating so everyone faces each other to encourage conversation. Avoid placing seating in front of a television. Such placement discourages conversation and focuses all attention on the television. Place a screen in the room to separate a living room from a too-close dining room. If the dining area is in view, thoughts will concern food, not conversation.

Even in these modern times, the ancient Feng Shui principles are heartily welcomed in most homes to bring harmony and positivity. Use these principles to enhance your own environments.

How to Decorate on a Budget: 5 Ideas For Inexpensive Home Makeovers

When budgets are tight, spending money on home decorating projects, no matter how small, can be written right out of the budget. However, it is times like this when staying at home becomes tres chic, because it saves money. Shouldn’t the place where you spend the most time be comfortable, somewhere you love to be? Whether it is a kitchen or a bedroom that needs sprucing up, these no-cost decorating ideas can take rooms from so-so spaces to an I-never-want-to-leave oasis.

Treat the House as a Personal Home Decorating Store

Green contemporary modern sofa
Green contemporary modern sofa

It is easy to forget about decorative items when they are in the same place all the time. When this happens, it is time to redecorate. The best, no-cost solution to cure uninspired spaces is looking at the things you already own with new perspective. Do this by shopping around your house and repurposing what you find. Move an accent pillow from the sofa to a bed, hang pretty china as art or turn an unused sheet into window panels. Be creative, have fun and enjoy the fresh (and free) new looks.

Choose a Decorating Theme for the Entire House

Blue living room
Blue living room

If the bathroom mimics the ocean, the kitchen is country chic and the master bedroom is a Zen oasis, it can be hard to move pieces from room to room. Instead, try to establish a single decorating style throughout the home to create a cohesive look. This can be as simple as painting rooms in different shades of the same colour or using all white furniture. With a common style, furniture and accent pieces move seamlessly from room to room.

Create a Focal Point in Every Room

One of the six principles of design is bringing focus and emphasis into a room. The best way to do this is by creating a focal point. In a living room, a fireplace is an obvious focal point. Draw attention to it by decorating the mantle, hanging a striking piece of art and arranging furniture around the fireplace. Need ideas for other spaces? Think about the bed in a bedroom, a wall of built-ins in a study and a dramatic centrepiece on a dining table.

Dress up the Walls with Art

While blank walls can fit in with the overall design scheme of an uncluttered modern space, often, they are empty because people are unsure about what to hang up. This is decorating mistake because wall décor adds substance, style and colour to a room. The right arrangement can even serve as a focal point. Transform a large black wall with framed pieces of scrapbook paper arranged in a grid. Enlarge a favourite photograph from vacation and hang it above the bed. The piece you hang doesn’t have to be a famous work of art; it just needs to work for your family.

Craft Homemade Decorations

Take inspiration from homemade decorations showcased during birthday parties and holidays. They add fun and unique feel then, so why not take advantage of them all the time. Coordinate these decorations to match the colour scheme in your house to keep from looking festive. Here are some examples:

  • Fashion an everyday garland for the mantle using scrap fabric.
  • Use pretty wrapping paper as inexpensive photo mats.
  • Sew a ribbon trim border onto window shades.
Homemade christmas tree
Homemade Christmas tree

Making a home a haven is always important. These low-cost decorating ideas make it easy even in tough economic times.

 

Tricks to Make a Small Space Larger: Discover Ways to Make your Tiny Room Feel Huge

More and more people are moving into smaller homes, its an economical choice that reduces the environmental footprint you leave on the world. But there are downfalls to living in a smaller place, mainly that it can feel cramped at times and its hard to find room for all of your stuff. The obvious solution of course is to get rid of anything you don’t need, but there are other, less drastic, ways to make your small home seem larger.

Organise Your Stuff

Rather than tossing it all, find a way to organise your things and then do your best to keep them where they belong. Clutter quickly makes a room feel full and crowded.

straw baskets in modern minimalist white closet
straw baskets in modern minimalist white closet

Get Creative with Storage

If you own the home, take advantage of empty wall space by adding some built-in storage units. If you’re a renter, take advantage of every opportunity to find storage. Use a steamer trunk for a coffee table and load is with junk. Use footstools that have storage compartments inside. Think of new and creative storage ideas to keep your stuff at hand, but quietly hidden.

Interior of a Modern Living Room
Interior of a Modern Living Room

Lighten Up

Create an illusion of space by painting the walls white or a light colour and incorporating more airy hued neutral tones. You can even use actual lights to brighten up a small space and make it seem more expansive. An overhead light only illuminates the centre of a room but cleverly placed lamps will include the far reaches of the room and cast more visually interesting light.

Modern Interior
Modern Interior

Open Up the Space

Let there be some open spaces in your home. Again, clutter takes up space and can feel confining, but open space lets the eye rest and the viewer relax. Leave one wall blank and let it speak for itself. Don’t cover the floor with busy patterned rugs. Choose fabrics with solid colours or small prints.

Monochromatic Color Schemes

As discussed light colours tend to make a space seem larger, but many colours can do the same thing. By keeping your colour scheme basically monochromatic you give depth to your room or home and you can then play with one bright or contrasting colour in very subtle ways and give the room interest. One painted accent wall, a few throw pillows in a contrasting colour, accessories or special collections highlights by brightly coloured backgrounds.

Use Mirrors

A little care needs to be taken when decorating with mirrors as too many or ill placement can ruin the effect, but pairing mirrors across from one another can really give depth to a room and make it seem much larger. And a mirror places across from a window can give your room added visual interest.

Bedroom with Mirrors
Bedroom with Mirrors

Small homes need a little more thought than large ones when it comes to picking just the right accessories and furnishings as you have to limit yourself to things that really work for the home but the final effect can be huge and expansive.

How to Purchase a “Lucky” House: Applying the Principles of Feng Shui to House-hunting

The Yellow Emperor’s Dwelling Classic, a fifth century Chinese text, states, “A good earth will grow exuberant sprouts, a house with a good fortune will bring prosperity’” (Kwok & O’Brien).

tipsThis proverb offers sage advice for both first-time homebuyers and those who are looking to relocate or upgrade. In fact, anyone who is in the market for a home should keep this proverb firmly in mind, for if they do, they can avoid making a purchase they will later regret.

The Lay of the Land

The principles of feng shui teach that a house sits amid four animal spirits: the Green Dragon, the White Tiger, the Red Bird, and the Black Tortoise. Each spirit maintains a certain position around a dwelling. To the left is the Green Dragon; to the right, the White Tiger; in front, the Red Bird; and to the rear, the Black Tortoise.

According to Feng Shui master Man-Ho Kwok, on an ideal site even balance should exist between the left and right sides of a house, with neither the Green Dragon nor the White Tiger being dominant. For example, a wing on either side of the house should not extend into the front yard since it would make that side of the house dominant.

Ideally as well, the land should be flat (most Chinese Buddhist temples and shrines are built on flat land); but if the land isn’t flat, that which lies in back of the house (the Black Tortoise) should be at least slightly higher than that in front (the Red Bird), since higher land in the back protects the home from invading forces (negative energy) and provides support (in the form of family and friends).

Buyers should avoid a house built on a triangular plot if the front of the house faces the triangle’s point (this indicates ill health) or if the back of the house faces the triangle’s point (this indicates fatal illness or suicide).

English garden
English garden

Additionally, flower gardens in the backyard should be larger than those in the front, since large back gardens will help assure the homeowner of prosperity and admiration, as well as successful, although often unexpected, business ventures. Plus, the property should be deeper than it is wide since this layout encourages happiness and stability of home life.

Neighbouring Structures

When house hunting in a subdivision, potential buyers should look for a house that is built close to the other houses but in a rectangular pattern. This allows Chi (the breath of life) to move smoothly and evenly from one house to the next. Moreover, the house should be as tall, if not taller, than any directly opposite it and slightly lower than those behind it, which encourages the free circulation of Chi but also provides protection from secret arrows (irritating conditions).

On the other hand, in order to attract positive Sheng Chi (moving energy) instead of Si Chi (dying energy) or Sha Chi (harmful energy) and to deflect secret arrows, a house should not be positioned so that the corner of a neighboring house points directly at its doors or windows. Plus, according to Raphael Simons, author of Feng Shui Step by Step, other undesirable traits include such things as:

Fallen tree on the roof
Fallen tree on the roof
  • Doors and windows that face a steeply pointed roof on another structure;
  • A front door that faces an empty lot;
  • A house or other structure immediately across the street that is in disrepair;
  • A dead or dying tree that stands directly in front of a door or window;
  • Electrical wires that sag and block the view from a door or window;
  • Nearby large structures, for example, a bridge, water tower, or building, that overwhelms the house;
  • A graveyard, hospital, or funeral home that is visible through the doors or windows;
  • Glaring lights or neon signs that are visible through the doors or windows.

Considering Amenities

Although many people love the sound of tinkling waterfalls and enjoy watching colourful tropical fishes swim around among lily pads in a backyard pond, feng shui practitioners know that water in the backyard, with the exception of swimming pools, should be avoided because ponds create an excess of yin. In the ideal setting, yin and yang should be balanced.

On the other hand, if potential buyers are determined to have a home with a pond, once they purchase the home, they can balance the backyard’s yin and yang by planting certain shrubs and trees, for example, magnolias and bonsai, while eschewing plants like azaleas and banyan trees.

Finally, though an inner courtyard might be attractive, according to Man-Ho Kwok, it is considered a “Heaven Well” because the yin spirit is far too strong in such settings; therefore, an inner courtyard is considered bad feng shui. If a buyer, however, finds no other fault with the house and is willing to make the investment, he or she can enclose the courtyard and turn it into a home office or game room. The important thing is that the area is not allowed to remain conducive to an overabundance of yin.

Ultimately, when it comes to finding just the right house, although most potential buyers tend to concentrate on the inside, they need to devote just as much time, if not more, to scrutinising the outside, that is, if they want a home that will ensure them of good health, happiness, and prosperity.

Choosing Sanitary ware & Taps

From antique style roll top baths and stately pedestal sinks to modernist taps and minimalist wall-mounted toilets, your options for kitting out your new bathroom could be virtually boundless – if you have unlimited time, money and space, that is. But if, like most of us, you don’t, here’s some advice on finding a bathroom suite to suit your needs.

Tub types

  • Plastic: Light, easy to transport, warm, readily available in many different styles and sizes, and by far the lowest cost option. However, you do tend to get the longevity you pay for and a plastic bath will become discoloured, worn, and cracked after a few years of use.
  • Steel: Enamel-coated steel baths are a longer lasting choice and minor damage can usually be repaired.
  • Cast iron: Highly robust. But pricey and heavy, so be sure your floor can support the weight (when it’s full of water) before you install one of these.

Pick ‘n’ Mix Suites

The complete bathroom suite is a popular option, often including the whole shebang – bath and panel, sink, pedestal, and taps, toilet bowl, cistern and seat – all matching for one comprehensive price. This will usually be your most economical choice and ensure everything fits properly. However, mixing and matching could be a good idea if you’d like to have some variation in your suite. Perhaps you’d like to have a basic sink and toilet with a feature bath, or a low-priced bath and toilet, but splash out on an eye-catching designer sink. Just be aware that when buying separately compatibility may be an issue, for example, most sinks only sit properly on the pedestal designed for them.

Baths

There’s a wealth of options, so start by narrowing down your choices. Panelled wall-side bath or freestanding? Traditional or contemporary? Corner or standard? Double ended baths are becoming increasingly popular – with central taps to allow you to lie at either end of the tub. Roll top baths are back in a big way, but require a lot of space, and be aware that the plumbing is likely to be on show. Other popular designs include “slipper” baths, where the side is higher at one end than the other, and “boat” baths, which have the lowest part in the middle and taper towards the floor. But don’t be too swayed by fashion, choose a tub you can see yourself relaxing in, that meets your household’s needs and fits with your overall look. Remember, a bath is a big item, so do make sure the one you choose will fit through the door to be installed.

Sinks

Traditional pedestal sinks are popular because all the plumbing is neatly hidden behind the stem. Or, if you’ve got the space, a vanity unit encased sink is a good way to add storage and conceal the plumbing. Plus, the unit can easily be refreshed and updated, possibly with just a coat of paint, in the future. Wall-hung sinks are a good option if space is minimal and have the advantage of being able to be placed at whatever height suits you. Just make sure your wall is strong enough to support the weight.

WCs

Most modern toilets come with the cistern attached close to the back of the pan, making them quieter and neater than the old high-cistern models. However, if you’re going for the traditional look these are still available if you shop around. If space allows, you could have the cistern concealed in the wall, but do ensure the panel covering it is removable for maintenance. This is obviously a more expensive option because of the work involved, but you can recoup some of the cost by using a cheaper plastic cistern. If you really can’t stand the sight of plumbing you could complete the look with a wall hung toilet. These are becoming increasingly popular with their slick, minimalist look, plus they have added benefit of being more hygienic as it’s easier to clean the floor beneath.

Taps

Your choice of taps can transform your bathroom, so think carefully about what you want before making your purchases. Mixers avoid the old scorch-freeze shuffle between taps when washing hands, but will look out of place in an antique-style bathroom. Polished stainless steel or chrome finishes look clean and light, or a brushed finish will avoid smudges. Copper gives a lovely antique look, whilst brass gives a luxurious feel. Or, if you really want a decadent bathroom and your budget allows, you could even go for gold plated. Always check your taps fit the holes in your bath or sink before making your purchase.

Organising Your Attic or Cellar: Tips for Clearing Clutter and Maximising Space

At least once a year, it’s a great idea to go through your home’s storage area, clear out clutter, and reorganise. Pick a day on your calendar to dedicate to the big project. Wear comfortable clothes, play your favourite music, and roll up your sleeves for the day ahead.

Get Supplies

Before you get started you’ll want to have everything you need for the day ahead. Large plastic containers with lids, sturdy boxes, permanent markers, masking tape, and large plastic contractor bags are must-haves. Home improvement stores are the best places to purchase all of the above items in one place. Also, be sure your storage area is well lit for your organisation project.

Move That Stuff

Before you can decide what you want to put back into your storage space, you will need to take everything out. Create a separate area in a nearby room to bring items from the storage space. This will give you a chance to sweep or vacuum the storage space. If your storage space is crowded, try emptying half a side of the room so you can switch items from one side of the room to the other while you work.

Make Piles

As you begin to go through the stored items, you are going to want to separate them. Items that will go back into the storage area should be boxed and labeled. Items to be donated can go into a box or contractor bag, and so can potential ‘yard sale’ items. Keepsake items should be organised (for example, if they are children’s items, separate by the child’s name), labeled and boxed in sturdy plastic stackable containers with lids.

Charitable Donation
Charitable Donation

And don’t forget the biggest rule of any organisation project: IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!!

Rotate the Seasons

If you have a lot of holiday items, it’s a good idea to separate them in your storage area by space, in the order you’ll be taking them back out. For example, if you are cleaning your storage area in the spring and will need the summer clothes next, put them near the entrance to the area. Or, if it’s fall and you will be decorating for the holidays soon, place those items near the entrance.

Brighten Walls with a Faux Finish: Faux Painting and Venetian Plaster

Vibrant wall paint colours are becoming increasingly popular for brightening up homes and personalising spaces. Adding texture to these vivid colours can add depth and interest without wall paper or pattern that could clash with other designs in the room.

Venetian Plaster adds Old World Charm

Venetian plaster is a technique of adding colour and texture to the wall by applying thin coats of coloured plaster to the space. The first coat will prime the space; the second will add deep crevices and grooves, while the third evens some of them out. These layers and then sanded down with different levels of pressure, which results in areas of the wall gaining extra smoothness and shine, while others remain matte and rough.

Venetian Plaster
Venetian Plaster: Credit pinterest.com

The result is a worn, plaster wall in a rich, deep colour that goes all the way through. Older homes and formal spaces, such as dining rooms with heavy furniture, will especially benefit from this beautiful technique.

Faux Finish to Give Walls Multiple Looks

Faux painting is a technique used to “fake” or mimic another look. This could mean using paint to create modern looks like leather, or more rustic ones like stone. Faux painting also uses different techniques to merely add interest and pattern to the walls.

Some faux painting techniques include colour washing, for a casual and multidimensional look, combing, for a textured, wallpaper finish and strire painting, which creates the appearance of fabric on the walls.

These techniques can use one or more colours of paint, as well as unusual paint applicators, such as rags, rubber squeegees which have been cut into combs, and even toilet brushes. Faux painting can range in difficulty levels from extremely easy, and able to be completed by an amateur to extremely difficult and best left to a hired professional.

Faux painting
Faux painting: Credit pinterest.com

Stencils add Decorative Elements to Walls

For a subtle border, or discreet accenting in corners of the room, consider using stencils to create an even look. Plastic stencils can be purchased at many craft stores, or can be made with stiff poster board and scissors.

By placing a stencil on an area of the wall to be painted, and sponge painting, or rollering over it, a transfer will be left that can be repeated around the room.

Before beginning any paint job, whether in a DIY capacity, or by a professional, be sure that the paint colour choice is correct by using small amounts of the paint colour in question on a piece of poster board. Look at it from all areas of the room, in many different lights and times of day before finalising the choice. Some types of faux painting can also be first tried out on the poster board, as well, to get a feel for how they will compliment the space.

Wall Stencils
Wall Stencils: Credit pinterest.com

Try to compliment the space in question by utilising design elements already present in the room. Pick up a print from a pillow or rug to recreate on the walls in either a “fabric” inspired faux painting technique or with a stenciled border. Keep family rooms and kid’s rooms more casual with sponge painting or colour washing, while updating dining rooms and living rooms with more formal looks.

Whatever the style, be sure to pick colours that inspire and that will show off the finishes to best effect.