How to Keep Your Bedroom Cool in Summer

Although summer may feel like a long way off, especially given the current weather at the moment, try and think back to last year when temperatures in July peaked at a sweltering 37.7 degrees.

Do you remember struggling to sleep at night?

And were you feeling guilty about complaining about the heat given that you spent most of the year moaning about the wet, cold weather?

It is probably all coming back to you now, so why not make the necessary plans for summer 2020 so that you don’t have to be racing to Argos to wrestle with another shopper over the last electric floor fan.

How Can I Beat the Heat this Summer?

It is safe to say that when the next heatwave arrives in the UK, you will be too hot to sleep, as well as tossing, turning and cursing the unpredictable British weather.

Window ventilation

Therefore, if you want to avoid this happening this summer, you need to find ways to make your bedroom feel less like a hot and sticky oven.

Starting with . . .

Replacing Old Windows

Now, this may seem a little drastic, but old and ineffective windows can not only leave you feeling cold in the winter, but if you leave them open in the summer to let in air, especially at night, then you leave yourself at risk of intruders.

However, if you choose to install new windows which have the ability to keep your home secure while allowing cool air in, you will be able to sleep safe and sound in the knowledge that your home is adequately protected.

Furthermore, double and triple glazed windows can help slow down the rate that heat is absorbed into the home through your windows, meaning they can help your home stay cooler in the day, ready for the long night ahead.

Choose the Right Bed Linen

If you want to know how to keep cool in a heatwave, then you should look at investing in new cotton sheets. You may love your satin or silk ones, but these will do you no favours when it is too hot to sleep.

Can't sleep too hot

Light coloured and lightweight linen is your best option as these have the ability to promote ventilation and increase airflow.

Of course, you should also sleep in cotton pyjamas, rather than fleecy or woollen ones, as these will keep your skin cooler.

Keep Your Curtain or Blinds Closed in the Day

As well as ensuring that your windows are working efficiently, it can also help to keep your room cooler at night if you block out the sun’s rays during the daytime.

Therefore, you should ideally close your curtains and/or your blinds during the day, although you can leave your windows open to help increase air flow into your bedroom.

Place a Fan Across From Your Window

If you want to effectively utilise the cool air that is coming in through your windows, it can be a good idea to place a fan across from your window, creating a sort of cross-breeze that will significantly help to cool you down and help you drift off to sleep more easily.

Simple Home improvements for 2020

There’s nothing quite as gratifying as the feeling that your home has had a bit of a makeover and renovation, and by making a few simple home improvements you can change the look and feel of your home.

Putting your old junk into bags and re-doing that room which had hitherto remained neglected can give you a feeling of renewal, which is so often needed in the new year.

There are, however, more practical and substantial changes you can make which will not only make your home feel updated, but will actually serve a purpose.

Window upgrade

It can be hard to proudly invite people into your home knowing that they are going to judge you for your poor quality windows & doors. If you’re thinking about that and it’s becoming a reason not to invite people into your home, you should really think about how much new windows cost and when you can get yours replaced.

Adjustments being made to Double Glazed Windows

Getting your windows replaced doesn’t just serve an aesthetic purpose, however. It provides a practical means of keeping your home warm and condensation free when it starts to get chilly outside.

Double-glazed windows aren’t just two panes of glass in a modern frame; they have an insulating layer of argon gas to help ensure noise and harsh weather are kept well and truly outdoors.

Replacing your windows will only take one to two days on average, so it could be well worth your time.

Heat pumps

If you are researching means to keep your home warm and toasty, but also save on heating bills then both air and underground source pumps are perfect for fuelling your home economically.

They extract heat through either the ground or air, and it doesn’t even have to be pleasantly balmy weather outside for this to work. It manages to move cold air from the outside, warm it up, and use it to heat your home.

While you won’t be able to see all the components of an underground pump, you will get some insight as to how an air source pump works by how it looks on the outside.

It has refrigerant coils (as on a refrigerator) that absorb all the natural heat from the air. These coils transfer this hot air to your home and start the process naturally again.

These are a great means of using the natural process of heating and cooling down air.

Solar panels

Embedded Solar Panels being installed

While the Feed-in-Tariff may have expired, the new Grid Trade incentive gives homeowners an equal incentive to start using their solar panel to not only fuel their home’s electricity supply but also to sell some of that unused electricity back to the grid.

On top of this, you will, on average, save around £90-£200 a year on your electricity bills. Solar panels are a long-term investment.

This is ideal for those who want to improve their home’s functionality and reduce their carbon footprint in the process.

If you are looking for some practical home improvements to make this year, then consider a few renewable means of keeping your home warm and toasty, and economically powered.

Heat pumps are a renewable energy option that many people may have never considered, and when paired with solar panels can save you money on both your heating and electricity bills.

Installing double-glazed windows is just the cherry on top when it comes to saving on utility bills.

The best indoor home projects during winter

While the sunnier months can provide motivation to carry out spring cleans and improve your garden, it doesn’t necessarily mean the colder months are completely void of home inspiration. The autumn and winter are the best times to add some warmth and cosiness to your home, and home projects are the best way to carry this out.

Whether you’re partial to a spiced candle, or want to create the log-cabin aesthetic of dreams, here are a few home improvement projects to consider before the nights get longer and darker.

A fresh coat of brighter paint

Bright Paint

When you get home from work, the house may well be in complete darkness. During the colder months, we can no longer rely on the sunshine to fill our houses with a bright light that bounces around the home. The best way to achieve this effect in winter is to add a fresh coat of brighter, newer paint. Do be wary, however, of ventilating your home, as you’ll be less inclined to leave windows and doors open for long periods of time in cold weather.

Instead, buy eco-friendly varieties, or paint brands that advertise as giving off fewer fumes.

Freshen up the bathroom

Bathroom cleaning

You don’t want your bathroom to emanate the dank, glumness of the winter weather. Instead, you want to feel fresh and clean, and for it to be a relaxing sphere for you to enjoy a comforting hot bath on a cold day. Scrubbing the grouting, giving all the appliances a bleach and deep-cleaning will leave your bathroom feeling much more inviting when the weather is crisp and biting outside.

Upcycling

Let’s face it: the winter months were never meant for that clean, open, minimalist aesthetic. When it comes to DIY and winter projects, up-cycling is just about as satisfying as it gets. Painting and re-varnishing old bits of wooden furniture will not only make them feel like new but also help to add to the rustic feel.

Before you start, just make sure you give each piece of furniture a good wipe-down with soap and water, just to prevent any dust and dirt from clogging up the paint.

Use your chimney

Log Burner

If you have an old chimney that’s constantly being left unused every wintertime, why not finally put it to good use?  When it comes to winter home improvement, sometimes some expert help can really add the finishing touches. In order to use your fireplace in the wintertime, you will need to ensure it’s safe. Hiring a chimney sweep to clear it out for you ensures that it can be used without causing any internal fires. Once it’s clean and ready to go, you might want to add the finishing touches of a log basket, and maybe even some brass fireplace instruments.

Winter is the best time to celebrate the warmth and cosiness of your home. While you won’t be able to use the garden for large-scale DIY projects as you did in the summer, it’s still a great opportunity to refurbish and improve your home.

Quick Home Improvement Tips

  1. Invest in Solar Panels
  2. Replace Your Windows
  3. Build a conservatory

If you’re looking to get a good understanding of some quick Home Improvement tips that could help spruce up your house. What we look at are relatively quick & hassle free solutions to changing the look of your home. By installing things like Solar Panels, Replacing windows or installing a conservatory you can quickly change the appearance of your home whilst increasing increase the value of your home at the same time. If you’re considering getting New Windows then read our article today!

Are you looking to improve your home? Here at Home Improvement Advice, we can give you the advice that you need to make quick and simple home improvement tips that can both save money in the long-term, raise the value of your home, and make your home a more welcoming space for you and your family. Read on for some of the best tips when it comes to choosing the right home improvements that will allow you to make the most out of your home and its value.

Invest in Solar Panels

Do you want to combine saving the environment with saving money? Solar panels are one of the best home improvements available for homes as they have multiple benefits for your home. Not only are they environmentally friendly and allow you to reduce your carbon footprint through their creation of clean, renewable energy, but they also save you money on your electricity bills due to the reduction in fossil fuel-based energy that you will be using. In this way, solar panels pay for themselves over a maximum for 20 years as your savings will eventually cover your initial cost.

Invest in Solar Panels

However, one of the main advantages is that they increase the value of your home, with some estimates suggesting that they increase your home’s value by over £15,000. This is because buyers will be interested in a home with reduced energy bills, making your house a desirable and cheaper option overall for buyers.

If you want to find the best companies to install solar panels near you, here at Home Improvement Advice, you can compare some of the best solar panel companies in your area and what they can offer you.

Replace your Windows

Using Home Improvement Advice to find the best window companies and construction services near you is one of the best ways that you can improve your home. Poor and old windows can create draughts, can make your home become a security risk, and can also create issues such as damp through condensation. The best way to combat this is to replace your windows with PVC or wooden alternatives which can not only solve all these problems but can also make your home look stylish and modern.

Additionally, replacing your windows can help you to save on energy bills as triple and double glazing options can help to insulate your home, and many buyers will look for new windows to save them on renovation costs when they move in.

Whichever type of windows that you are looking for, whether they be single-hung windows (the most common type of windows) or bay windows, Home Improvement Advice can help you to find the perfect windows for your home and your personal preferences through the ability to find multiple quotes instantly.

Build a Conservatory

Build a Conservatory

Conservatories are also extremely popular ways to add value to your home by creating an additional living space that can complement your home and give your family more space to enjoy. Additionally, conservatories do not even need planning permission, meaning that you can get a conservatory instantly from our suppliers at Home Improvement Advice. Look on our website to find quotes for your home in seconds, and find the best company to help you to build the conservatory of your dreams.

Top Tips for Home Improvement

Decorating – should I do it all myself?

Decorating your home is a task that all homeowners are faced with at some point. Whether you choose to do it every year, or every twenty years, the major question many of us ask ourselves is – should I just go and do it all myself and save a few pennies? Find out whether to do it yourself or hire a professional tradesman.

It’s easy to assume that heading down to the local DIY store, and buying a few pots of paint, some new paintbrushes, and some masking tape is all that you need for a good finish. It’s not always the case though – especially if you are not an experienced campaigner.

Decorating the Room

Weigh up all the options. Are you doing this before you sell your house? In which case, investing in an outside decorator can be well worthwhile, and pay off in a big way. Or, is it just a re-touching of the paintwork in the Kitchen, in which case doing it yourself may be a perfectly acceptable solution.

The key is to understand your own limitations and be realistic. Don’t simply assume you can do it all yourself – chances are that often this is not the case (a fact that applies to a raft of home improvement projects). Fixing a bad job, can cost twice as much in total than it would have to simply employ an expert to do it in the first place!

Avoiding cowboy builders….

We’ve all heard the horror stories haven’t we? A builder promises a knock-down price for your home improvement job, only to find out that the quality of the finished product either leaves a serious amount to be desired, needs further repair work itself, or even worse isn’t finished at all!

You don’t need any particular qualifications to become a builder, so the market is open, perhaps more so than in other areas, to these types of rogue tradesmen. Whilst they are few and far between generally, they have unfortunately given a bad name to the industry in some corners. Whilst there is no doubt that the quality of service can and does vary across the country, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself as a consumer.

Poor workmanship on roof

Always check the following things when choosing your builder:

Do they look professional – it might sound obvious but if they look dodgy, there’s a good chance they are! Shabby looking, unbranded vehicles are also often not a good sign.

Are they in a hurry to offer a knock-down price? Has he got some spare material that’s left over from a previous job which means he can give you a knock-down price? If so, smell a rat.

Do they want large amounts (or even the full amount) of the agreed price in cash up-front? Good builders will not do this (only ever asking for a small up-front contribution to start-up materials)

There are also a large number of schemes to which tradesmen can sign-up, and it’s a good idea to check for proof of membership to any of these. That said, it’s not a pre-requisite to finding a good builder, and plenty operate outside of these schemes. A good example would be the ‘Trustmark’ scheme.

In the absence of sound recommendations from friends and family, always be sure to get multiple quotes based on fully drawn up project specifications and check all of the points mentioned above. There are a huge number of quality builders out there in the UK so don’t let your home improvement project needlessly suffer by working with a bad one!

Landscape your garden and boost the value of your home!

Landscape Gardening

It’s easy to forget that a well maintained garden, and one which looks attractive, not only improves quality of life, but can have a hugely beneficial impact on the value of your home too! It’s a common mis-conception that landscaping your garden involves huge investment and upheaval – but that does not have to be the case.

Simple changes, such as creating new flower beds, using trellises or paving a patio area can make all the difference to the appeal of any out-door space that you may have available. The rewards for any investment you do make are more than likely of offset the cost of the work many many times over. It’s one of the soundest investments you can make in your home.

That said, it’s important you don’t rush into anything and fully consider all the options available, and of course the cost of doing the work. Be sure to get quotes from a few sources and only use reputable companies. Don’t always be tempted to choose the cheapest option – it’s important to examine all aspects of the companies you receive quotes from. Always be sure to get references where you can and also check for any affiliations with key industry bodies.

Here at HomeImprovementAdvice.co.uk we only work with contractors that are fully approved and qualified. Using our fast quote form will get you access to several quotes in an instant.

How to find the best value double glazing company

The Double Glazing market is simply huge. There are a vast number of companies out there offering a variety of deals, special offers and varying specifications. Navigating your way through it can be daunting to say the least – especially for someone with little to no experience in the field.

The first thing to decide is exactly what you want for your property. Whether it’s windows, doors or a conservatory, it’s important that you keep the look of the installation consistent with the existing property. An inappropriate double glazing installation can certainly do more harm than good, so the message is to do your research and be fully informed before you start shopping around.

Secondly, it’s a good idea to choose a FENSA registered installer. FENSA registered installers offer financial guarantees, and ensure full building regulation compliance too, giving you much needed peace of mind.

Finally, be sure to compare quotes from different installers. Prices can vary enormously so it’s always a good idea to shop around. Savings of up to 70% have been seen, simply by choosing a smaller local firm than one of the larger national brand. Invariably time spent on shopping for a cheaper deal is time well spent!

Reduce the cost of home improvements by utilising government backed grants!

If you are a UK homeowner, there’s a very good chance that you’ll be entitled to financial assistance with your home improvement project, particularly if it’s energy efficiency related. Loft and cavity wall insulation grant finding is one of the best pulicised initiatives in this area. With grants of up to 100% of the cost available depending on personal circumstances, the funding represents an excellent opportunity to reduce energy bills as well as boost the value of your home.

Solar panels are another that have received a lot of attention recently. The Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) scheme offers homeowners the opportuntiy to sell all the electricity they produce back to the grid at a fixed rate, offfering homeowners an attractive investment opportunity, whilst once again also saving on electricity expenditure.

Financial assistance isn’t just related to energy efficiency-related home improvements though. If you are on a low income, or diabled, Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) all accross the country (not for profit organisations) can offer assistance. There are also charities which may be able to assist with basic home improvements including vital security upgrades whihc can help to provide much needed peace of mind for many. Finally, local housing associations can provide assistance to those living in rented accomodation.

The message to anyone looking to start a home improvement project is to understand what levels of financial assistance is available from a variety of sources, and be sure to check out as many of them as possible before you commit to start.

When it comes to planning your extension, start with….. well, planning!

Extension

Before you go in all guns blazing with your home improvement project, be sure to call in to your local planning department before you do anything. Whilst they won’t be able to tell you whether your application will definitely be accepted, for many cases they will at least be able to advise if it’s a non-starter.

My advice would be to submit an outline application. This way you can avoid the costly expense of an architect, and be confident of whether your application will be accepted or not before committing to the expense of skilled expertise in drawing up designs.

How do I submit my return?

Complete all the relevant application forms, and be sure to supply all supporting documentary evidence. Plans and drawings of the proposals will certainly be required at this stage. Failing to supply the right information will only delay things so it pays to be scrupulous.

Who can see my application?

It will be visible to any interested member of the general public via the planning register – and they can object too if they feel strongly against your proposals. This is not uncommon!

Fear not though, your application will not be judged purely on the opinion of others. Factors such as access restrictions and the creation of potential eyesores will be of equal if not greater importance. The planning department, backed by the planning committee will have the final say.

How long does it take and what if I am refused?

8 weeks is the standard time frame, and you should be informed if there is likely to be any delay. If you are ultimately refused, your best bet is to contact the planning department directly. Generally you will be permitted a further free application after 12 months in any case.

For more information on planning and what to look out for, see our planning section.

Getting your extension right

Extending your home can add considerable value if done correctly. If done badly it can just as easily cost you money. So what are the key pitfalls that we should all be looking out for?

  1. Get multiple quotes. Always be sure to shop around for multiple quotes and don’t always settle for the cheapest…. a poor quality job can often cost you far more than you save.
  2. Single vs multi-storey? Planning permission for a single story development may well be more attainable than for a double storey extension. Moreover, selling your home with planning permission for a second storey may well achieve a higher price than building it yourself. Think clearly about what you are trying to achieve, and don’t assume building will yield the best return. 
  3. Is it in keeping with the rest of the property? Ensure brick types, tiling and colours are as consistent as they possibly can be. If it’s an old property, avoid the temptation to go too modern – and vice versa.
  4. Understand all the regulations. Make sure you follow correct procedure too. You will obviously need planning permission (generally minimising disruption will help there) and need to comply with all current building regulations.

To get a quote for your extension use our free, no-obligation service. Our extensive guides on planning permission and other useful information will help your extension turn out just as you planned!

Should I borrow to improve my home?

If you are looking to make a financial return from property, the look no further than your existing home as a sound starting point. With mortgage applications still being declined in huge numbers it’s never been a better time to look for a return out of your existing property.

Increasing the value of your home, whether it be through a loft conversion, home refurbishment or simply double glazing for example, can be an excellent financial investment. Home improvement loans provide an accessible source of credit, and returns can be excellent. Lower interest rates, longer repayment periods make home improvement loans an appealing option for many.

As always, our advice is to make sure you understand which provider can offer you the best terms for your individual needs, and also that you understand those terms and conditions fully. See our home improvement loan section for more detailed advice and information. You can also get a completely free no-obligation quote with us. Our service compares the whole market and is absolutely free to use!

Insulate whilst grants are still available

Expenditure on energy costs is one of the heaviest burdens facing homeowners today. Energy costs are set to soar over the next 10 years as government renewables obligations and rising wholesale costs start to bite.

It’s really not all doom and gloom though, and the government is doing its bit to help homeowners to mitigate sharp increases in cost. Grants are available as part of the government’s Carbon Emissions Reductions (CERT) targets and will help to cover up to 100% of the cost of cavity wall and loft insulation, depening on individual circumstances.

With free help available, but limited availability on funding (it is set to cease completely by 2015), then there is no reason to delay. Get a free, no obligation quote for installing cavity wall or loft insulation today whilst funding lasts!

Welcome

Welcome to HomeImprovementAdvice.co.uk where we’re working feverishly to help provide you with all the top tips and advice you need for improving your home and garden. We’ll be regularly adding more content and links to other great sources of information, so check back regularly.

Why not leave us some comments on what you’d like to see added to the site? 

We Love Decorating!

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