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Five Ways to Upgrade Your Home

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Whether you are planning to release some money out of your home for upgrades or unlocking some of your property wealth to enjoy a cash boost, it makes sense to keep your house in the best condition you can. Regularly renovating and upgrading the home and garden can make such a difference to the value of the home and it’s a good way to invest some of your hard earned money. The higher the value of the home the greater the equity will be available to you and there are some very good ways of adding value to the property.

  • Adding a bedroom. When you carry out either a loft conversion or build a bedroom over the garage, adding a bedroom can really create value to the home. Investing in a company like Kent conservatories means you can ensure your windows of the new bedrooms are done professionally as well as the doors you install.
  • Build an extension. If you’re in a bungalow adding a whole floor to your home can really add some value. Obviously you have to have the right planning permission but this can be the most expensive way of adding value to your home. If it’s done well and in keeping with the rest of the property the return on your investments can be well worth it in the end.
  • Upgrading the kitchen. Usually the kitchen is the hub of the home and as it’s where you do most of your entertaining keeping it updated is important. You can get the windows and doors done through or a similar company and that way you can add a decent percentage to the value of your home.
  • Upgrading the bathroom. Another way of adding value to your house is by bringing an outdated bathroom to life. A new suite, flooring and tiling will transform the room and adds a good bit of money to your home. You can even add in an en suite to your bedroom and this will drastically change the value of the home as a lot of families – especially new parents – appreciate what a second bathroom can add to the house.
  • Companies such as can install conservatories to the home to be enjoyed by everyone whatever the weather. If it’s under a certain size you won’t even need planning permission and even a small conservatory can add value.

You can have a chat with your mortgage provider as well as someone independent to come out and value your property for you and they should be able to tell you whether the changes you have made have been worth it for the house. Your home can be the most important asset you own and especially when you get to retirement. Your home could be the future inheritance for your children and adding value to it now will mean something amazing for your family in the future.

Love Your Kitchen: Glass Splashbacks

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Glass splashbacks in kitchens are gaining a huge amount of popularity in recent years across the UK and new build modern houses are being built with these in and companies that offer refurbished kitchens and new kitchen packs offer glass splashbacks. When you’re looking into luxury interior design London you should look into your glass needs. Some glass splashbacks even have LED lighting built into them making them look smart and modern in the home. This replicates the trendiest bars and hotels in the city!

Stylish and smart glass splashbacks can achieve stunning results in a new kitchen or bathroom as they reflect and refract light, especially if the architect or designer has recommended you buy stock-photo-86489219-open-concept-home-kitchen-remodeling-improvement-and-addition-interior-designdecorative glass. This fills the surfaces in your kitchen with colour and as glass is available in many designs with the most popular being frosted, they can be used to really achieve stunning looks and effects. Contemporary methods of manufacturing glass have allowed for glass suppliers to provide splashbacks with ridges, curves, grooves and ripples. Budget is always a consideration for glass design but being the practical solution they are for kitchens they’re still very popular.

Glass is an extremely tough material; surprising given how light it can be. It can manage the heat off pots and pans as well as the sharp edge of a knife during chopping. If you’re looking to buy toughened glass for your kitchen then ridged splashbacks are the best way to go as they are extremely easy to clean and don’t hang on to mould and mildew like wood can. Because of its easy maintenance it makes for an easy choice of decoration in the home especially for those who are busy.

Coloured glass for splashbacks is an option and it gives your kitchen a touch of elegance and adventure and the cut of the splashbacks can actually be moulded to a shape and style of your choice. You can have holes cut into splashbacks before installation to accommodate sockets in the kitchen or wires and they’re generally stain proof which makes them absolutely suitable for kitchens given the range of different types of stains that are apparent in a kitchen. Heat resistant is another feature as up to 220 degrees heat can be withstood by a glass splashbacks. There’s really no reason not to upgrade your kitchen with these amazing accessories and you get to choose both bold and subtle glass colours for your kitchen to allow that light to bounce.

Toughened glass is extremely hard to break and withstand all sorts of pressure being inflicted onto them and they are very low maintenance so perfect for those who have busy lifestyles and no time to maintain difficult work surfaces or splashbacks. Glass allows busy working mums especially to keep the kitchen squeaky clean with a quick wipe over. Wooden counters stain with food splash like beetroot, curry or pasta sauces and are notoriously difficult to get out but with glass splashbacks this problem isn’t even a problem.

A Handy Guide to Children & Carpet Care

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Our carbon footprint is so important these days, and this trend toward safe chemicals that do not harm the environment is great for families that include small children. Many safe regular cleaning products are being sold at supermarkets and used by professional carpet cleaners. Chemicals that were eco-friendly used to be hard to come by and now they’re far more readily available. Being able to buy environmentally friendly cleaning products means that you can now get top quality safe chemicals that will be good to both the earth and to your children, at a fraction of the cost of years gone by. You can fight dust mites and other allergens without draining your bank account every time you need to clean the house and companies such as are full of 14520429077_8ac7e3a609_oknowledge about which products are the best to use. Everyone knows that having children around can make housework difficult, especially if those children are under 5 or at the crawling baby stage. When you perform your regular cleaning routine in your home, you may be leaving behind all sorts of dust mites and other allergens that can have a negative effect on your children’s health, especially crawling babies.

Having children that crawl tends to go hand in hand with them putting their hands or toys in their mouths. You’ve got to use safe chemicals to deep clean your carpets and you will be increasing the cleanliness of your home while protecting the health of your little ones. There are many companies who clean carpets with safe chemicals. So many carpet cleaning chemicals get the job done right but they are not all child friendly and that can be a problem with little ones in the home. Generally children have sensitive body systems and are more vulnerable to harmful chemicals in their environments than are their parents.

Children are brand new and not used to the poisons in the air in the same way grown-ups are as they’re still relatively new with vulnerable immune systems. While deep cleaning is really important in order to keep your home free of the dust mites that can stir up allergies in your kids, it is important that you only use safe chemicals. Make an effort to only use products that will not cause harmful effects, even when used frequently. When you are hiring a carpet cleaning company, make sure that you discuss all of the products being used during the cleaning process. You need to know the names of the chemicals that you use so you can make sure there are no allergens in the bottles that your children wouldn’t breathe in. You’ve got to make sure that the chemicals used are correct.

Make sure you don’t stay quiet; ask any and all questions that pop into your head during the cleaning process and make sure children are not in the room while you clean.

How Much Does A New Kitchen Cost?

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The cost of getting a new kitchen can escalate easily, running into thousands depending on what materials you go for and which company you use. But choosing carefully and using a few money-saving tricks could cut your final bill considerably. Map out your current kitchen layout (or empty kitchen if you plan to start from scratch) on graph paper using metric measurements, as this is what kitchen manufacturers use. Corian Worktops 1

Central to the design of your kitchen are your storage requirements. Assess your needs – what do you need to store and how much storage space will you therefore need? What do you use regularly and what do you use less often? Of the things you use regularly, where would make most sense for them to be stored? For example, if you like to try new recipes and experiment with spices, having cookbooks and a spice rack to hand near the hob would be useful. Or if you’re a seasoned baker, storage for baking utensils and ingredients might be best placed by the area where you’ll do most preparation. Once you’ve thought about what you want to store and where it makes most sense to place things, have a think about the different types of storage available: kitchen islands, open shelves, pull-out units, corner storage racks, hooks, freestanding units such as dressers, floor-to-ceiling cupboards, plate racks and wine racks (built-in or freestanding).

Look out for sales to grab a bargain kitchen – post-Christmas and pre-Easter are usually good times to buy.  Websites like can help you find the design you want. Once you’ve found a company you like, if it can’t reduce the price any further, ask whether it will include the sink or certain appliances for no extra charge.  Avoid giving a company more than 25% deposit before everything is delivered. If you’re able, pay at least £100 of the deposit on your credit card. This will give you extra rights, should you encounter problems later on. Check the payment schedule before signing any contracts for products and fitting. You can also buy a second-hand kitchen at a bargain price, but it’s vital to check it all fits well and that care has been taken to avoid damaging the kitchen when units are removed from another building. Whether you get a new kitchen or a second-hand one, if it’s from a big brand, it’s worth checking how highly its customers rate it.

If you decide to buy all new appliances, a typical list, including a washing machine, built-in oven, hob, cooker hood, dishwasher and fridge freezer, will cost from around £1,500, if you choose budget Best Buy-rated appliances. Installation is an extra expense on top of the kitchen itself and could be anything from £250 for pre-assembled units up to around £1,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and what’s being installed. Your kitchen’s plumbing, electrical wiring and waste water pipes also have a bearing on the overall cost. The more pipework and wiring you need to move, the higher the cost of your kitchen improvement will be. So if you can keep the layout of your old kitchen, the cheaper the installation will be.  Many kitchen companies offer an installation service, at extra cost. We asked customers to rate the firm they used for installation, including the speed and quality of installation, the amount of mess made and the communication with their installer. Overall customer scores ranged from 84% to 56%, so it’s worth taking a look at our guide to kitchen brand installation to find out how your preferred company scored.

Beach Dangers you Need To Watch For

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It’s not something that is thought about much, but if you are a hiker and you’re in the wilderness alone, it’s something you should prepare yourself for coming across. As a child, quicksand was the bits of the carpet in between the furniture that we had to dodge while leaping from couch to couch. It was always something that seemed like a far bigger deal as a child than as an adult but quicksand is real and is a very real danger. While quicksand isn’t nearly as dangerous as the films show it, it is a real thing and just about any silt can temporarily become quicksand if it has enough water saturation.

There have been reports of quicksand in the dunes at Camber Sands in East Sussex so if you are a hiker and staying at a local hotel or bed and breakfast like with you should make sure you are aware of your surroundings before you find yourself one of those having a bit of a sinking feeling! If you step into quicksand by accident, and you are wearing anything on your back like a rucksack drop it immediately. Your body is much less dense than quicksand and you cannot fully sink unless you panic and struggle too much or you are weighed down. If you can, try and get out of your shoes because flat shoes make a suction as you try and pull them out of the quicksand.

If you do get a bit stuck, move horizontally. Take a quick couple of steps backward before the quicksand takes hold of you as it usually takes a minute or two to liquefy which means the best method to unstick yourself is not getting stuck in the first place! Try not to take massive steps because lifting your leg to stride can push the other further in. Don’t panic. As best you can, don’t panic when you get stuck. Frantic movements will only suck you down further and rapid movements make the ground turn from otherwise firm to quicksand. Quicksand can act unpredictably to your movements.

Relaxing and laying back if you get stuck in quicksand is actually the best way of getting out. Floating on your back while you extract your legs will enable you to ‘swim’ yourself to the edge of the quicksand pool. When you’re walking, make sure that you have a long stick with you so you can check the ground for ripples. If you see unnatural looking ripples in the texture of the ground, use the stick to check for stability before you walk on it. If you are walking with fellow hikers, bring rope with you if there’s a chance you may encounter quicksand as that way if one person falls in the other can stand safely on firm ground and pull the other out. Relax as much as you can and don’t fight the suction but just be gentle with your movements.

Reasons To Hire A Contractor

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In today’s unpredictable business world, permanent roles are not always suitable for the needs of an organization.  Increasingly, companies are relying on contract or interim employees to augment their teams during periods of organizational change. Sometimes there is foresight to these changes such as busy season or project implementation, but there are also situations where employees are terminated or leave for other reasons, and employers are left in a pinch, needing talent immediately.

Here are six scenarios that demonstrate why you may want to consider general contractors in MA:

  1. One-off, short-term projects

Companies often find themselves struggling with a lack of resources or skills for projects that may be one-off or short term. This can include undertakings such as IT or systems implementations, compliance requirements for new legislation or policy, and process/efficiency evaluations, among others. A contractor provides you with a more flexible arrangement to complete these projects without needing the commitment of a permanent employee.

  1. Financial advantage and risk mitigation

Contract workers often result in cost savings to organizations. While they may earn a higher wage, you will often save on costs such as taxes, benefits, training and development, redundancy payouts and vacation pay that ultimately end up being more costly in the long-term. In addition, you can protect your organization from unforeseen legal issues and costs as most contractors maintain their own liability insurance.Hire-a-Certified-Locksmith

  1. Leaves of absence

Employees may go on leave for a number of reasons, such as parental leave, a sudden illness or sabbatical. Upon these departures, you may be required to bridge a skills gap or cover responsibilities for a certain period. It is helpful to utilize a contractor in these circumstances, as they can cover off a predetermined timeline or can be used for an indefinite period until you find a more permanent solution.

  1. Fill an immediate need

Imagine that you are in the middle of developing your budget and your CFO suddenly leaves. Contracting with an interim CFO is a great way to assist in this type of situation for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are experts at entering an organization at difficult times. They have experience dealing with new processes, cultures and teams at a moment’s notice. Secondly, their productivity is instant as they are trained experts in their field and are used to navigating various systems and procedures. Hiring interim support not only helps fill the immediate need, but also gives the organization time to critically think and assess their next move.

  1. Specialized knowledge and expertise

As an organization, you may come across situations where you require specialized knowledge in a particular functional area. Whether it be, specialization in compensation, labour relations, project management, systems integration or technical experts in fields such as engineering, or geology, there are a variety of individuals with specific expertise that are available for contract or interim positions.

  1. Mentoring or coaching

Many companies are faced with an aging workforce and as their businesses have grown, have neglected effective succession planning at the leadership level. In many cases, organizations have strong technical talent willing to take the next step, but have not yet mastered the strategic skills required to take on leadership roles. The use of an experienced interim professional with both a functional and mentoring/coaching mandate may be beneficial to the long-term success of organization. Furthermore, these individuals can be utilized in technical development and performance management scenarios.

Transferring Your Car Number Plate

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If you’ve just sold your car with then congratulations! Trouble is, what do you do about your personal plates? Not to worry we’ve put together this informative guide on how to transfer your plates easily.9

  • Get yourself online and download the form V317 from the DVLA website and fill it in. if you’ve already bought yourself a new car you’ll need the details for the new car as well as the old one so you can fill in the information for which car plate transfers to which.
  • Send the form along with the either the new keeper V5c with a completed V62 to the DVLA and this does come with a small fee so make sure you send a money order or a cheque for the correct amount.
  • There aren’t very many conditions but obviously you need to ensure that both the old car and the new car are registered in the UK and taxed. If your old car does not have road tax and has already been sold to, then you should make sure that you have declared the old vehicle off-road. This needs to be less than five years old to be valid.
  • If your personal plates will make your new car appear younger than it actually is you won’t be able to transfer the plate.
  • Make your car available as the DVLA may pop along and inspect the new car to ensure its age.
  • You’ve then got to wait and find out if the change has been approved and if so the old plate will be withdrawn and the new plate will be transferred on the same day.
  • Lastly, inform your insurer! Don’t get in trouble by having incorrect plates on your insurance or worse, the incorrect car registered to the now invalid plate. You want the whole process to be as smooth as possible and the best way to do this is to take your time.

You won’t be able to transfer a licence plate number if it starts with a Q or NIQ for Northern Ireland registered vehicles. The DVLA will send out new registration certificates for both vehicles and that can take 4 weeks to arrive.

When you want to sell your car, van or bike with they can advise you every step of the way about your vehicle registration, insurance and tax issues so you’re not going to be left in the lurch! Not only will you have cash in hand with your car sold properly or scrapped the correct way, you’ll have been dealing with a company you can trust who don’t charge you random and hidden fees during the process. Being able to have your car sold at a time convenient to you from your workplace or home is something that you should be proud of! Being associated with a company that offer such a fast service is convenient and easy. As it should be.

Why We Need CCTV

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With the country the way it is at the moment, most of us are extremely thankful of the presence of CCTV shops, pubs, car parks and other public places. Now, thanks to easier installation and falling prices, it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for security-conscious homeowners. It’s not for everyone though as although cameras can be bought on their own, they can be pricey! Cameras can be bought as part of a whole security package.

32605715645_702ee6189a_oCosts can range from low to high for a vandal proof camera with a great night vision range. You of course also have to purchase equipment to accompany the camera, depending on which type you choose, such as connectors and a digital video recorder to store and view the footage. You can also buy dummy cameras quite cheaply as deterrents. CCTV is just one line of defence against crime and works best when combined with other measures, such as a burglar alarm, door and window locks, and gravel around the property and security lights.

Bear in mind that the measure you take have to be legal: there’s no requirement for Home Alone style prank set ups! Wired home CCTV systems are the most common and cheapest type of camera, where a wire plugs directly from the camera to the monitor. The downside is that the wires which includes the extension cables and connectors, can be difficult to install. With wireless systems, images can be transmitted using analogue or digital technology to your computer, tablet or mobile smartphone. Many smart security cameras link to an app that you can use to monitor your home while you’re out and about. Digital cameras are generally higher quality but more expensive.

Wireless systems can suffer a bit of interference from devices such as routers, cordless phones and microwaves and can be blocked by heavy masonry or metal objects. Your filming may also be interrupted if you lose your internet connection. Companies such as can advise on the right systems you should use for your home and if you are choosing to use CCTV cameras outside the home, make sure they are weatherproof – an international protection (IP) rating of six is recommended here. Wireless cameras are available but you’ll still have to run a cable to a power source. Position cameras where they cannot be tampered with, but can be accessed for maintenance and cleaning. You can buy vandal-proof cameras but these tend to cost more.

Indoor CCTV cameras come in three types: wired, wireless and powerline networked and these plug into your electrical sockets and transmit images to a storage device. Wireless cameras are not recommended inside the home unless the signal can be encrypted as anyone within range and using a suitable receiver would be able to view the images. CCTV image quality is linked to the size of the chip is uses and cameras with tiny chips also tend to be able to pick up less light, and therefore produce lower quality image so make sure you choose a camera with bigger chips for better image quality.

How To Effectively Plan An Office Move

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Relocating a business can be a huge investment, both financially and practically. Don’t ever underestimate the time and resources your office move can demand. It’s important to contemplate the implications of the move with regards to the costs involved, the extent of its impact on the day to day running of the business and how employees will be affected. If this stage is completed thoroughly you can then identify any potential cost savings and ensure your move is efficient as it can be. All moves will cause a level of disruption to a company but if you plan it correctly and at the right time of year for your business, you will be able to have minimal interruption to not only your business practice but your staff.

USED (5)When you move to a new office location, you have to consider the location of your staff versus their travel time into the company and by planning your move with them you can avoid awkward conversations. Ensuring your relocation goes smoothly is the first priority and there is a certain checklist to follow when relocating. Companies such as can assist with a start to finish move and once you have decided to relocate, it is crucial to start planning as soon as you can. Charting the quiet time of your business activity will make sure your move doesn’t conflict with promises you’ve made to your customers as this could jeopardise your relationship with your clients. Moving companies can help you plan this. In your plans you can include time taken to fit out the new office and install any furniture.

You can get in the IT and telecoms teams to set everything up as well as efficiently as possible while you change over the important documentation for your company. Don’t forget to speak to your clients and talk through with them any business interruption and impact that may happen during your move. You want to interrupt things as little as possible. If you can, appoint a project co-ordinator and this can be an existing employee or an outside company and whoever you decide to appoint to the role will have to take on the responsibility to ensure that the project runs on time.

Employees will ultimately be the end users of the new premises and ensuring they have working key fobs or entrance cards ready for the first day in the new office is crucial. Keeping your staff updated through every step of the process will mean the difference between them being happy to start at the new office or them needing to find a new job. Allow time to pack and clean and don’t waste any time doing so. It’s important you have time to pack around your business commitments and the actual move needs to move smoothly. If necessary, request an early delivery of some of the boxes in the office in order for people who will be on leave to pack up their items later on.

When You Should Pick Your New Front Entrance

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The perfect front door will create a stunning entrance to your home and set the tone for what’s inside. Choosing the right Solidor door fitters is important but what other doors are available to you?

uPVC front door

When uPVC front doors were first introduced, they were a welcome alternative to the traditional timber front door – lower in cost and with greater thermal performance. However, not everybody appreciates the aesthetics of uPVC and the variety of styles and colours can be limited.32095437912_234595ce5f_k

Usually 28mm thick, many people feel they are easy to break into, and, although there have been innovations in the uPVC sector, the popularity of the uPVC front door is diminishing.

Glass reinforced plastic (GRP) composite

Composite front doors were introduced to the market around 10 years ago, aimed at homeowners wanting to retain the appearance of a timber door whilst benefitting from modern materials, which require less maintenance and work harder to keep out the draughts. Now they’re a fast-growing option, with sales of composite doors almost doubling year on year.

Usually 44mm thick, GRP doors are the most thermally efficient, but they’re not the most secure. And because colour is normally applied on a white fibreglass skin, GPR doors are prone to scratches. In particular, beware of asking door manufacturers to match any RAL colour, as colour applied in this way is especially at risk of scratching.

Timber core composite

Nearly three quarters of all new-build homes this year will have composite doors and they are now more than twice as popular as timber doors amongst home improvers. More environmentally friendly than GRP composite doors, are timber core composite doors; the timber for which is sourced from sustainable forests and can be recycled at the end of the door’s lifetime.

Solid timber core doors with high-performance security features are the most secure front door available, and with a robust thermo-plastic door skin, they’re also the most durable. If you look for a brand with colour applied as a vacuum-formed thermo-plastic ‘skin’, you’ll minimise scratches and eliminate the need for re-painting or touching up.

There are some fantastic traditional and contemporary front door designs out there in some beautiful colours. So whether you’re looking for a standard size, or a door which is bespoke in both size and design, there are timber core composite door manufacturers who can help.

There’s also the option to bring your vision to life using a ‘design a door’ function online or via a phone app – many of these even have the facility to upload a picture of your home to see the impact a new door would make.

Solid hardwood front door

A bespoke, solid hardwood front door will add a touch of luxury to any home. Ideal for period properties, a solid hardwood front door will be made-to-measure and can be designed to a large extent by the homeowner. The end result is likely to be a high-quality front door that will last for many years – but you’ll need to be willing to look after it in order to protect your investment.

Any paint or varnish will inevitably need to be re-applied as the colour fades or peels away.

And without care and attention, a solid hardwood door may crack, absorb water and eventually rot.

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