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Add Value to Your Home Build an Extension

Most  people make improvements to their homes to make them more comfortable. Of course, this is understandable, and a very good reason to make changes.

New kitchens and bathrooms add value to a home

However, did you realise that some improvements can add value to your home? Yes, I guess you did. After all, you would have to have been in a coma for years not to have read at least one article that explained that updating your bathroom or kitchen adds value to your home.

Extensions also add value to properties

If you live in an area that has a high house prices, often adding an extension will add value to your property. In some, places you can add tens of thousands to the price of your house.  However, the format of the extension is important. Some add more value than others do. For example, conservatories tend not to make properties much more valuable, whereas adding an office or extending the kitchen usually will.

Bedroom extensionIn some areas adding a new bedroom is the best way to make sure that the extension you build maximises how much value you add to your home. If you live in an areas where two bedroom homes are the norm there will be very strong demand for three bedroom properties. In that situation, adding an additional bedroom will make your home much more saleable. However, if you already have three or four bedrooms adding another may actually have the opposite effect, and make your home harder to sell should you want to.

Loft extensions add value to most homes

If you do not have enough space to build onto your property going up can be an option. In many homes you can easily turn the loft space into accommodation.

It is easy to add another bedroom, a playroom or office space in the loft. Many people opt to turn this space into a new master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.

Costs vary, but usually it works out cheaper per square meter than building an extension does. However, there are a lot of building regulations to consider, and in many homes the fact that there is not enough landing space means that a safe staircase cannot be built.

Calculating the costs

Clearly building an extension or having a loft extension done is not cheap. Therefore, you need to take the time to sit down and work out whether it is worth your while getting this sort of work done.

You need to work out how much the extension will cost first. Then have a chat with a couple of local estate agents to find out how much value can be added to your home. Most are happy to advise you provided you do not take up much of their time. Local builders will also be able to help. You can double check their valuation estimates by comparing the prices of different size properties in your area.

Of course, if you just need the extra space, provided you can afford to do the building work and get the permissions there really is no reason not to go ahead and get the work done. You will create a nicer home, that your family can enjoy.


Bathroom TVs a Stylish Addition to any Home

Over the years people have come up with innovative ideas to give themselves the option to watch TV while in the bath. However, most of these early bathroom TV ideas did not work very well and where downright dangerous.

People have done everything for example risking electric shock by plugging their portable TV into a socket on the landing and putting it on a chair in the bathroom. Not only were they risking electrocution they also ruined their portable TV when condensation worked its way into the TV and broke it. Not to mention the lousy reception this solution gave.

Some people have even gone as far as cutting a hole in their bathroom wall and mounting a TV facing into the bathroom through the hole on the wall of the next door room. Many found switching channels next to impossible and that the screen misted up making the TV impossible to watch. On top of that when in the room next to the bathroom they found themselves having to stare at the back of a TV set.

Luckily, there is now a safe way to watch TV in your bathroom using a modern bathroom TV.

What A Modern Bathroom TV Is

Modern bathroom TVs look very much like any other TV. Except they have been specifically designed for use in the bathroom. They are waterproof, so that the condensation you find in a bathroom does not damage them. The screen does not mist up because it is heated. The remote control used to change channels is also designed for use in the bathroom they are waterproof too, so using them with damp hands is not a problem.

Your Choice of Bathroom TV

Which bathroom TV is right for you is dependant, in part, on the size of your bathroom.  They are available in many sizes, but the most common sizes are between 15 inches and 42 inches. You can even buy HD ready, widescreen TVs with built in Freeview. They can be mounted on the wall or be imbedded into a false wall to give a flush finish.

DIY Home Security System

Want to install a new home security system, and you want to do it yourself (DIY). But where to start?

DIY Home Security SystemA security system usually starts with a control panel and end with an alarm but with new innovation in home automation that’s going toward smarthome, it has enables new functionalities to be added to a security system. It can do more than just detecting and then sounding off alarm.

Lighting, home appliances and many more can be assimilated into the security system and be controlled from just one place which is usually the computer. So many things can be changed or added and only if you do it yourself can you customize your home security system to your needs.

With a DIY system,you’ll have greater control over the components. The easiest type of home alarm systems, installation-wise, is wireless alarms. Wired alarm security systems involve drilling up the walls, running cable through them, and other noisy, tedious chores that the other family members might not appreciate.

Installing a wireless home security system

With wireless systems, it can be as simple as buying a kit and hooking everything up. However, if you are considering a monitored home security system, or a system that calls/pages you when something is amiss (requires hook up to the telephone system), installation will be more complicated, even with wireless.

The basic elements of a standard home security system include:

Home Security Alarm Control Panel

This is the location where the system wiring terminates, the backup battery is located, and where it is connected to the phone lines if it is a monitored system. More about control panel

Home Alarm Keypad

Home security keypadThis is where the system is armed and disarmed. Additional keypads can be installed. For example, a keypad can be installed next to the homeowner’s bed. If the alarm sounds in the middle of the night and the security system had the capability, the keypad display could indicate which door, window, or motion detector caused the alarm.

Home Alarm System Siren

A loud siren sounds when there’s been a break-in and it also lets an intruder know they’ve been detected.

Home Alarm Inside Motion Detector

Passive infrared, microwave, or photoelectric detectors sense changes in a room caused by human presence. Special motion detectors are available for people who have pets. More about motion detector.

Home Alarm System Door and Window Contacts

Magnetic contacts form a circuit between a door and door frame or a window and a sill; when the door or window is opened (and the system is on), the circuit is broken and sounds the alarm.

A Central Monitoring Station

If the system is monitored, in the event of an alarm, the control panel sends a message over a telephone line to a central monitoring station, which is manned 24 hours a day. After attempting to contact the homeowner, the central monitoring station will contact the police, fire department, or medics. There is usually a monthly fee for this service.

The heart of a decent DIY security system is the same popular X10 technology used for networking home computers, household appliances and other domestic gadgets. By plugging window and door sensors, motion detectors, inside and outside lighting and video cameras into the X10 network, you can control the operation of all these components from your computer (or via a stand-alone control console). The beauty of X10 security is that you can pick and choose the components you want.

You decide based on your needs and budget and if you choose to upgrade later on, you just add the components in. For example, if you choose to add a front cam to your current x10 security system, you can just add into your network easily.

The Eight Stages of Pool Construction

Swimming Pool ScrewsIf you are having a pool built it is important to realize that the process will take time. When it comes to the building of inground pools, each stage is important. Here is an overview to help you to understand the process and to know what to expect.

Stage 1 – Design

The pool design stage is probably the most important. If this is done right, the pool should not only look good it will also function properly.

Stage 2 – Excavation

Perhaps the most drastic of the stages is the excavation of the site. At this stage, the hole for the pool is dug and any further landscaping is carried out. Trenches for the plumbing or any walls surrounding the site are normally also dug at this stage.

Stage 3 – Plumbing and Steel

Next, the plumbing is laid and the pump house is installed or built. At the same time, the pool hole is lined with a steel mesh, which reinforces the concrete the pool is made of. Sometimes the steel mesh for the decking or tiled area is also laid at this stage.

Stage 4 – Gunite

A special type of concrete, called gunite is sprayed over the steel mesh to form the sides and bottom of the pool.

Stage 5 – The Electrics

Once the gunite is dry, the electric to the pool can be turned on and any lights that have been installed can be tested.

Stage 6 – Tiling and Coping

If the pool has a coping edge that is installed at this stage. Usually the interior finish tiles are shown to the owner to double check that they are happy with the look before they are actually installed.

Stage 7 – The Deck and Landscaping

Pool landscaping, including the laying of the deck is normally completed next.

Stage 8 – Finishing off the interior

The last job is to tile the interior of the pool and fill it with water.

The entire process typically takes about two months, but some time can be saved if construction begins immediately the design stage is completed.

Preserving a Deck

Tips for Painting with Decking Preserver

If you are going to use decking preserver this article is for you. Here we explain how to find the right preserver for the job and the best way to use it to get the results that you really want.

Buying your preserver

DeckingDecking preserver comes in an array of colours. You need to bear in mind that the finished tone of any wood you paint will be dependent on how many coats you apply. The colour shown on the tin is usually the tone you would achieve if you apply two coats to fresh wood. If you are painting wood that has previously been stained or painted this will affect the overall look and colour. If you are not sure which colour preserver to buy, ask for advice from the retailer.

Always buy a good quality product. Buying cheap preservers is a false economy. The finish will not be as good and you will have to re-stain or paint far sooner than you would if you use a good quality product. Also, bear in mind that the point of painting your decking is to preserve it and protect it from the elements. If you buy a cheap preserver, it will not be very good at actually protecting your decking.

Prepare the surface well

With decking preserver, good preparation is vital. Take the time to clean the decking down properly. If you use a pressure washer, make sure it has enough time to dry out properly. Sanding the surface down will remove some of the old stain making it easier to achieve a similar colour to that on the tin. If you do this, remember to wash the decking down again after sanding it down and let it dry out.

Apply one coat of preserver and allow it to dry. If the result is patchy or it is too light, apply another coat.

Replacing the screws

A big issue with decking is the fact that the screws tend to rust and rot. When that happens the wood around the screws tends to rot as well. Water tends to pool in these places and sit between the screw and the wood. It is like a mini puddle, which is why the rot sets into these areas.

If you leave things as they are each plank will start to lift and become loose. What happens then is that the wood moves around when people walk on it. It also flexes more as it drys out in the sun and swells when it rains. Over time these actions cause the wood to warp more and is what starts the process of your decking breaking down.

Therefore, you need to pay attention to maintaining your decking screws. Periodically you may need to remove and replace some, or, on occasion all of your screws. When you do so use good quality fasteners that are designed for the job. If necessary remove any rotten wood and fill it, then re-drill the holes. You may have to use larger screws to bolt each plank down securely.

Before you put the screw in, drip some preserver into the hole. Doing so provides an additional layer of protection, and will slow down the degradation process.