How to build an energy-efficient extension

Adding an extension to your house is a great way to increase the space in your property and potentially add value to your home; however, the bigger the home, the more space there is to heat, which – of course – can increase your energy bills. Factoring energy efficiency into your design is not only beneficial for the environment but will also help you to keep your energy bills in check.

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Planning your extension

When planning an energy-efficient build, consider the materials you use. Building regulations have certain criteria that promote efficiency, including the insulation of cavities, lofts and floors and the installation of low-energy lights. Depending on your property, you may have existing foundations or walls that are not compatible with a fully-sustainable build, but there are many things you can do to improve the efficiency overall.

The fabric of the building itself is one way to improve energy efficiency; for example, rather than using brick, erecting a breeze block extension with external wall insulation over the top can cut energy bills by 40 per cent. Good-quality render helps to maintain efficiency and is a durable weatherproofing solution.

Oak framed extensions are a great sustainable option. Trees are the ultimate source of carbon capture and fulfil this function over their 100-year life span. Provided it is from a reputable source and harvested correctly, oak is a renewable and beautiful building material. Choosing oak framed extensions can mean simpler foundations, as they are lighter than concrete.

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Heating and lighting

Connecting your extension to existing central heating is one option for warming the space; alternatively, you could consider installing infrared panels. They are a cheap and efficient method that can be plugged or wired into the mains and controlled with a thermostat.

Insulating a solid floor with PIR board improves thermal mass, allowing the floor to absorb heat. Instead of leaking into the ground, the heat is retained and maintains a comfortable temperature.

LED lighting will soon be the only option for most light bulb sizes, and for good reason: they use 90 per cent less electricity than traditional incandescent lighting and do not waste energy through heat.

Whether in your choice of building materials for the extension itself or by making smaller decisions such as lighting, your choices will immediately affect your monthly bills and make a long-term impact for future generations.

House moving and the reasons why we move

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Moving home is a mixture of emotions all rolled into one. The stress and nervousness of packing up all your belongings to move to a new place, the sadness of leaving your old neighbourhood and the excitement of a new chapter in your life and a new home to make many more memories in.

One of the main reasons people move is to set up in their first home either independently, with friends or their first serious relationship. One of the other reasons is to move to be closer to local amenities and schools when thinking of starting a family. In some cases people look to move to bigger homes when their family starts to grow or to move to a smaller space when their children have moved out. With each move that people make they tend to have accumulated more and more stuff. This is why it is always best to use a professional Removal Company Essex way such as who can help with all the packing and moving of your possessions.

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The cost of moving also has an impact on when people look to buy. There are a number of schemes available for first time buyers who are looking to get on the property ladder. It can take a number of years for people to save up to get the deposit that they need for their chosen home.

How to Prepare for a Boiler Installation

It is always good to know the basics in order to be able to know how to prepare for a boiler installation. This will ensure that you are comfortable with everything, such as the size of the boiler and how it will be installed. The size will determine how much water is produced and the capacity of the boiler that is used. If the boiler is too big then you can be sure that you will not be able to keep the water hot long enough. However, if it is too small then you will have no choice but to use the cold-water supply to keep the water warm.

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Before the installation process actually begins, you need to make sure that all the components of the boiler are in good working order. This means that they are all safe and in good condition. Any equipment that you are going to be using on the installation should be taken care of properly so that it will not cause any problems later on. For a Boiler Installer, visit a site like Plumb Agent, suppliers of Boiler Installer information.

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After you have chosen a suitable boiler in great condition, you will need a qualified engineer to follow the proper safety precautions to avoid any problems. To prepare for the fitting, keep the area around the installation clean and uncluttered. You do not want to risk the chances of any accidents if you have the equipment in the right place. This will ensure that all is safe when the installation is being done.

Potential Problems when Selling your Home

Because of the stamp duty holiday announced by the chancellor in July, the UK property market is currently having a bit of a boom. Buyers who are keen to take advantage of the break from paying stamp duty are deciding that now is the time to buy, and because of this a flurry of people are also going to have a home to sell.

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If you would like to move soon and are going to be putting your home on the market, here are some of the main problems that a home could have that will deter buyers, so if you do have any of these, get them sorted before you go ahead with trying to sell your house…

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Damp – Damp is a common problem in lots of homes, but left unchecked it can run riot, and is a definite red flag to potential buyers who will be worried about the extent of the damage that will need to be repaired. It is most common in areas of the home with poor ventilation where water is abundant such as the bathroom, but this doesn’t mean that is the only place it can be found.

Drainage Problems – If you have a problem with your drains it is likely that the bad smell emanating from them will give it away. It may be something as simple as food clogging your kitchen sink which is easily rectified yourself, but if it is something further along the pipes or in an exterior drain find a company who specialises in blocked drains Bristol company can help you to put this right.

The benefits of installing a glass balustrade

1. Glass creates the illusion of extra space

One of the main reasons that glass elements are very popular in home design today is that it helps to create the illusion of more space in the building. This is especially true if items like balustrades are made from clear, see through the glass. The illusion of more space makes the area seem larger than it actually is, which is something that cannot be achieved using metal choice, chrome, or iron.

For glass railings on stairs or areas such as glass shower screens or glass doors, you can enjoy a transparent border, creating an open, fresh atmosphere with a little added privacy.

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  1. Glass doesn’t block the light

Glass balustrades are very popular because they have the benefit of not blocking out the light in the building. Glass also allows lots of light through, increasing the amount of natural daylight which helps to create an airy, open and fresh interior atmosphere.

  1. Perfect for contemporary interiors

A significant advantage of installing glass is that it brings an element of contemporary sophistication to any home. It would also be useful for you when you plan to sell your home because you will get a good amount of money for the sale again. This type of stylish beauty will attract many buyers too. For Bespoke Glass Balustrades, visit

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  1. Glass is easy to clean

Not only does a glass balustrade look fabulous, they are also easy to keep clean. Using a top-quality glass cleaning product with a microfibre cloth is all that’s required to keep your new installation in excellent condition, and it can be wiped down in just a few minutes.

What colours should you paint your bathroom in

Every room in the house needs a bit of colour even if it is a bit of off white. One of the most difficult places to get right is in the bathroom. What colour should you go for in the bathroom? There are several lines of thought. One thing is for sure you need to make sure that the plaster is solid before you start to apply anything to the walls. This is where a Plasterers Gloucester based firm comes into help if need be.

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The problem with a bathroom is that it will involve water. One of the most popular themes is that of the nautical and the seaside. When that is the case one of the most popular colours is that the dark or light blue stripe or hoops. That is not to say that you can’t use another colour. With Nautical it is sometimes a good idea to combine it with a rich red or green stripe as well.

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Be aware that if you use blue it can be quite a cold colour. Is this what you want when you get out of the bath or shower? This is why there is an argument for richer, more earthy colours.

We still love wooden houses.

When we decided to leave caves, possibly, archaeologists believe, because of overcrowding,  the first humans were faced with the immediate problem of where to live and in what. Maybe it was a race memory of when we lived in the trees but it was wood that they turned to. Using the paleolithic axes they had they began to chop down and shape the trees around them into  crude logs. This was the beginning of the Mesolithic era and the start of our love of wooden houses.

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There is something about a log cabin. It feels homely and secure. Trees naturally reduce heat so they act as natural barriers to keeping out the warmth of the day. On the opposite, they are also great at keeping out the cold. Just ask Southampton Timber Merchants

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In films and television the log cabin wood house has been used in so many settings. It is the scene for the hardy Frontier family battling against the elements and the Native Americans. In the horror genre it is where the teenagers make their last stand or an ill advised holiday like in The Cabin in the Woods.

Keeping your heating

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When it comes to keeping your heating system running smoothly there are a number of things that you can do to try and ensure that your system is working to the best of its ability and hopefully make sure that your energy bills don’t skyrocket.

The first thing is to ensure that you have a Boiler Service Gloucester company such as come in annually to look at your boiler and give it a service to ensure that it is safe to use and running efficiently. If there are any issues with your system they will be able to tell you and deal with any remedial works or they may suggest a new boiler depending on the extent of the issues and the age of your existing boiler.

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Next you want to ensure that all of your pipes relating to your heating system are insulated to help prevent them from freezing during the cold weather. Frozen pipes can cause your boiler to have a major breakdown that will require and engineer to come and unseize the condensate pipes.

Lastly you should ensure that you regularly check the pressure in your system. You can do this relatively easily and adjust the pressure if you need to. Ask you boiler engineer to show you how to do this next time they come to do your annual service.

How to create a retro kitchen

Have you long dreamt of a retro kitchen? This look is enjoying a surge in popularity that includes kitchens decorated in light, fun colours and designs with soft, rounded shapes. If you desire a unique and different aesthetic for your kitchen space, here are some ways to create a retro feel in your home:

  1. Go for pastel

For retro kitsch, choose pastel colours. Blue, green, pink and yellow are ideal for creating an understated look, especially if you paint just one wall in this colour while keeping the rest of the walls neutral with cream, latte or light grey.

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  1. Get the diner look

The kitchen diner is a big part of the retro chic. During the fifties, the family combined the traditional dining room with the kitchen to make a more open, friendly and cosy dining space. Think of the bright chrome furniture with wipeable tabletops and chairs to match. For Norwich Fited Kitchens, visit a site like Norwich Fitted Kitchens through Graysfitted Kitchens

  1. Go retro with equipment

The perfect way to add some retro style to your kitchen is to do it through your appliances. This is also a more economical option than installing all new. Appliances such as refrigerators, coffee machines and kettles are all available in retro design. American style refrigerators in cool pastels and soft edges are perfect for either a modern or retro kitchen style.

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  1. Tiles for the splashback

Other looks you can try out include splashback tiles, which you can DIY if you are on a budget. Think of geometric patterns and pastel colours for the best retro designs.


Stress free house moving tips

Moving house can be exciting and a great time to get rid of things you no longer want or need. However, it can also be a very stressful time as well as emotional, especially if you have lived in the house you’re leaving for a long period of time. Once your Solicitor Southend way has exchanged contracts is time to start sorting through your belongings and packing ready to move.

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There are things you can do in order to make the move go as smoothly as possible, and the key is to be organised.


The best thing to do is to start as soon as you have a moving date and decluttering should be first on the list. Garden sheds, garages, spare rooms and lofts are all spaces that can be packed up and sorted early on.


Before packing, work out what will go where in your new home and this will mean you can be more organised in both packing and unpacking. This is especially helpful with large furniture. If you are downsizing you may need to check that certain items such as sofas and tables will fit, or alternatively look at investing in new furniture if moving to a bigger home.

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The best way to make sure furniture and boxes end up in the right place on the day, is to colour code them with stickers which can be easily bought from the high street. You can then give the removal company a floor plan showing what colour goes in which room.


When packing, try to have an essentials box for each room that you can unpack first. For example, toiletries and essential clothes for the bathrooms and bedrooms as well as bedding for the beds. For the kitchen, don’t forget to include the kettle, some mugs and some snacks so you can easily make refreshments when you need to.

Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, house sales have seen a steady increase, so you won’t be the only person moving!

Valuables and essentials

Finally, it is most likely you will be travelling to your new home via car and separately from your other belongings, so it is a good idea to take your valuables with you and anything else including any cleaning essentials.