Monthly Archives: July 2016

The age old question about new house

Should I stay or should I go? It’s a common dilemma for homeowners looking to upgrade their living space. On one hand, you could sell up and move to somewhere better, or alternatively spend the money improving your existing house. Should I sell my home and move into the one that best suits my needs, or shall I just improve the home I am in and turn it into my dream home? It really is a tricky one and not least because there are pros and cons on both sides. You need to consider a huge range of questions before making this choice and the answer may still not be clear.

The question has been even further complicated by the recent vote in the UK to leave the EU and its somewhat unknown effect on house prices. The Nationwide reported recently that house prices saw a slight rise of 0.5% in July 2016, but that they felt that the EU decision could reduce demand overall. This rise compares to more than 5% in the previous year. If house prices were to fall this could seriously affect your choice about whether to sell or improve.

The pros and cons of selling

  • If house prices are falling, you may be able to get the house you want at a cheaper price. If you are downsizing this might work in your favour. But of course you will receive less for your home
  • You will be able to choose the exact home that suits your needs, but there may be a lower supply as house prices will be depressed
  • The costs of selling (fees, solicitors etc) may be less than the costs of extending
  • Banks have become very averse to offering mortgages – so getting an increased one may be tricky
  • The work is already done and you won’t need to live with the mess and disruption of home improvement work
  • You may find it hard to sell your home in an uncertain market

The pros and cons of improving

  • You already know your home, the area and your neighbours – those things won’t change if you stay put
  • The costs of improving may outweigh the increased value of your home – especially if Brexit really takes hold of property prices
  • You may not be able to afford to improve your home to the extent you would like
  • Getting a loan may be cheaper than ever due to very low interest rates – so improvement may actually be easier than increasing your mortgage
  • You get to improve your home to suit you – not the previous owner

Whether Brexit has influenced your decision or not, this is still a hard choice. But if you are fully informed, you can at least be sure you took the right choice for your personal needs.

Kingspan under floor insulation

When there is winter and snowfall there is a necessity for the room heating system. Whatever heating system is put there is a good effect if there is insulation. To increase the effect of the under floor heating system it is better to use Kingspan under floor insulation.

Not only the floor but the whole room is warm with this insulation. The consumption of electricity is reduced to get lesser utility bills. This insulation gives a good performance. It is fiber free and thermoset insulation. This rigid core has the foil of low-emissivity insulating coating on both the sides. The insulation is for the concrete on one side and the suspending ground on the other.

  • Heat Resistant and Does Not Allow Heat to Pass-through

Thermal insulation is the property used for warming the room quickly. It has the capacity to resist the compression of normal foot traffic. It is light weight helping to handle it easily while installation. The material used is rot resistant as it is in between the layers of concrete and ground. There are different thicknesses of insulation available in the market. It is better if the thickness of insulation is more. The engineers decide the type of insulation necessary for the building. It mostly depends on the height of the finished floor level. There are many holes in the insulation which are mainly meant for allowing water or vapor through. If these holes are not present then there are chances of the water to get collected under the flooring.

  • Adhesive to Be Used

The adhesive used for fixing the insulation depends on the texture and material of the floor. For cement floor water based adhesive is necessary. It is better to fix the wooden flooring boards properly before the adhesive is applied. If the insulation is put properly the whole room is warm and ready for the cold climate.

Insulating may be a bit costly but there is a lot of utility bill savings. Without insulation, the room heaters take a lot of time and electricity for heating the room. This forms a barrier between the inside and outside surfaces of the room. The room heat cannot escape out and thus keeps it at a particular temperature for a longer time. It suits with any type of flooring and thus many people are benefitted by this. Once installed, this stays for a long period and there are not much maintenance issues. The room heaters temperature can be controlled.

  • Easy to Install

Kingspan under floor insulation temperature can be reduced or increased according to the convenience of the people of the house. It is easy to install as professionals do it very easily. There are many types of insulation in the market. It is better to investigate, about the thickness, effectiveness, and many other factors to get the perfect temperature effect. If the features are not understood properly then we cannot purchase the correct insulation. If not understood then it is better to meet the shopkeeper and explain about the type of room and the number of people in the house. He can give the correct suggestion about the type of insulation to be used.

The material that you need for house

The fact is that your front door is the first part of your home that visitors will see and many of us want to choose the most attractive door to make the best impression. But should you be basing your choice on how the door looks, rather than how it performs? Probably not – because choosing a pretty front door might be something you regret in the long term. Follow our tips on buying the best exterior doors for your home so that you can trust your door will do everything it needs to do and more.

The material

This factor is probably the most important of all considerations when buying your new door. While a solid wood door may look lovely you should be aware that if it gets wet, it will swell and as it dries it will shrink. This continual change in size will mean it is frequently sticky and gaps will appear letting in draughts. These doors are best for doors that are very much under cover and not exposed to wet or cold. For a wood look you can choose a composite door which will have fewer of these issues and it will need very little maintenance – unlike wood. UPVC is also a good option, but they can be unattractive – but you will have no trouble with them becoming sticky or draughty.

Glazing

Do you want your door to have any glass? You should be aware that any glazing will inevitably mean that you more draughts around the door, however glazing can be very practical for seeing who is outside and for letting in light. You may prefer to have double glazed windows to each side of the door and a peephole instead. This is certainly down to preference as the best doors are still very secure even with glazing.

Security

No matter what type of door you choose you need to ensure that it has excellent security features. That means installing a good lock (even a double lock if necessary) or choosing a door that comes with the best lock you can afford. Some of these will have bolts that are at the top and bottom and some will have self locking mechanisms. Be aware that some doors can be manipulated through the letterbox to be opened from the outside unless you double lock them from the inside.

Colour
You can choose almost any colour for your door and one advantage of choosing a wooden door is the fact you can repaint it any time you like. Many of the plastic or composite doors are made in white which is a very safe option, but for an attractive look to the front of your home, try a colour such as green or red.

Roof lights or skylights

When you decide to get your extension built you will probably choose your doors and windows based on whether they fit in with your existing home and by how thermally efficient they are. You may give very little thought into whether these choices will affect your requirement for Planning Permission. But if you make the wrong choice you may find yourself having to go down that route.

For the vast majority of cases, you will not usually need to apply for Planning Permission for the doors and windows on a permitted development extension. If the extension itself has been carefully planned to avoid planning then you are normally home and dry. If you stick to the following rules, your chances of needing planning are greatly reduced.

  • You are simply repairing or maintaining the existing windows – you may do this as part of a general refurbishment during your extension build
  • The new doors and windows look similar to those already on the house
  • Side windows are made from obscured glass, if they face towards neighbours
  • Upper windows need to be at least 1.7 metres above floor level or non-opening

Roof lights or skylights

If you want to add a skylight to your extension you can normally do so without the need of Planning Permission as long as they protrude no further than 150mm beyond the roof slope, they are no higher than the current roof and the adhere to the obscured glass and opening restrictions detailed above.

When will I need Planning Permission?

In some cases, your new extension may not be eligible for permitted development because it is too large or your home is listed or in a conservation area. If this is the case you may need to apply for Planning Permission that will include some restrictions on the type of windows and doors used. This will also apply if you live in a flat.

Building regulations

Doors and windows, whether replacement or new are almost always subject to buildings regulations approval. These rules ensure that you meet the regulations surrounding thermal performance, safety, air flow and fire escape rules. If you use a builder who is part of the Competent Person Scheme, they will ensure you comply with the guidelines and will be able to provide a certificate to show the work was carried out correctly.

Solar panel battery storage

Are we seeing a second revolution in terms of solar panels? Solar panels saw a huge surge in interest in the last few years – mostly due to the excellent feed-in-tariff returns. However in recent years the returns available on this investment have considerably reduced and solar panel installation levels have predictably reduced at the same time. But could battery storage systems be the start of a new surge in solar panel interest and are they really worthwhile?

Solar panel battery storage

One of the main drawbacks of solar panels until now has been the fact that it was impossible to store the energy produced during the day for use at night. This issue was offset by selling the unused daytime energy back to the grid at a profit. Now that this this profit has been significantly affected by changes in the feed-in-tariff, consumers are getting a worse deal. However that could be about to change with the introduction of a battery storage system that could allow consumers to save the energy produced during the day for use at night, rather than selling it to the grid.

Tesla – leading the way

Tesla is already well known for their electric cars and now they are looking to provide battery storage systems for homes that have solar panels. They are selling the concept as a way to go off grid and to contribute to the country’s energy issues by selling off unused and stored energy from your solar panels. For the first time consumers can have solar power at night and make the most of the natural power of the sun.

These lithium based batteries have already proved themselves to be incredibly efficient and economical and once installed require little or no maintenance. The batteries are even connected to a smart system that will work out the best way to use the power generated, when to store it, when to sell it and when it is best to use grid power.

Are they available yet?

Not quite, but they are expected to be available for sale during 2016. Tesla is not the only company that is looking into this technology and it is expected that there will be quite a bit of competition. So prices are likely to tumble as the technology becomes more widespread.

Will this lead to a surge in solar panels
It could. The introduction of battery storage could give solar panels another route towards improved sales. The feed-in-tariff is hardly worth the installation costs, with it now taking upwards of 25 years to pay off solar panel installations. Battery storage could allow those who love the idea of going off grid a real option. Once that was not available before and it may even provide a small income as well. That sounds like a win win.