Eco-Friendly Floors

September 18th, 2017 Posted in Flooring, Home Improvements | No Comments »

Over the past five years we have seen an incredible shift towards homeowners and property developers sourcing the most sustainable and economically friendly floors for homes. Unsurprisingly this is a movement that has continued and whilst the threat of deforestation and climate change is still apparent there are many who are doing their upmost to help the environment. So how does this affect the flooring world and what steps have been put in place?

Well, it all depends on what material the product you purchase is made from. Currently, one of the most popular flooring materials is real wood and it’s not difficult to see why. Its ability to transform a room and bring undeniable character through each individual grain is pretty irresistible, but at what price? Well, wood floors are probably more eco-friendly than you might think. These days there are a number of measures and strategies that have been put in place to ensure that our forests are safe from over-logging and deforestation. The first check that you would need to make to ensure your wood floors aren’t too damaging is to check that the retailer has placed a FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certificate on the product. What this means is that the flooring product has been logged, manufactured and sold in accordance to a number of regulations set by the council themselves. One of the most common procedures followed by companies who are FSC certified is that for every tree being felled another is planted in its place. The FSC also ensures that some parts of forests are protected entirely, especially in areas that are habitats for rare animals and plants. So remember, if you are looking to purchase wood flooring, keep an eye out for the FSC certificate!

Although wood flooring is very popular, many are put off by the price of real wood. So what is another environmentally-friendly substitute? Look no further than bamboo! This is a product that initially causes confusion for some, after all, it is most known for being panda fuel. However bamboo is also one of the most eco-friendly floors available today. How so? Well, first of all bamboo is actually classed as a grass and not a tree. With trees taking up to 20 years or more to mature, more of them tend to be felled to meet demand for flooring. Whereas bamboo can only take 3-5 years to reach full maturity, it is also a self-regenerating grass and therefore doesn’t need to be replanted once it has been harvested! Although many may fear that natural habitats are being disturbed in order to produce bamboo flooring this is not the case – only designated areas are used to harvest bamboo in order to protect it. How does bamboo flooring compare to wood flooring? To be honest there is little difference when it comes to appearance, in fact you may even be fooled into thinking that it is real wood. One of the biggest difference is the price, with bamboo being much cheaper than solid wood floors it’s no surprise that they have made such an impact in the construction world. Just like solid wood flooring, bamboo can also be sanded and refinished over time too. Of course the amount of times that this can be done will depend on the thickness of the board but it is definitely something worth knowing, especially if the floor starts to look worn over time. One of the down sides of bamboo flooring is that there is no grading system in place like there is with wood flooring, this can make it quite difficult in knowing what kind of quality the product is.

What about if you’d like to veer away from the wood effect? Well, one of the most unlikely culprits for an eco-friendly flooring alternative is Linoleum. Often confused with vinyl flooring, Linoleum is actually made using natural materials such as wood flour, rosins, ground limestone, powdered cork, pigments, jute and linseed oil. So not only does Lino flooring offer no-fuss functionality, a soft feel underfoot and incredibly distinctive look, it also harbours a lot of green attributes too. Aside of this, linoleum is one of the most budget-friendly flooring products not the market, so if you’re looking to complete a project with a top quality product minus a hefty price-tag then look no further!

Remember, if you’re keen to know whether the flooring you’ve purchased is in line with FSC guidelines then you can check on the FSC website. For any other floors information about them should be available from the retailer or manufacturer!

Electrical Contractors & Air Permeability tests – How to make the right choice

July 26th, 2017 Posted in Electrical, Energy Saving, Housing Policy, Property Developers | No Comments »

Are you in the preparatory stages of a new build? Maybe you’re ready to bring in an electrical contractor but are worried about how they’ll fare coming up against Part L of the Building Regs? In this article, I’ll be covering how to choose an electrical contractor for a new build that will be required to pass an air permeability test.

What is Part L

In 2006 the government passed Part L of the Building Regs setting the standards for air permeability in certain new builds and extensions in the UK. The Regulation is concerned with the conservation of fuel and power through limiting heat gains and losses via the building’s fabric. Split into 4 parts the documents lay out guidelines for both new and existing buildings.
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Garage Insulation – An Expert View

July 14th, 2017 Posted in Energy Saving, Home Improvements, Insulation, Roofing | No Comments »

It’s a well-known fact that a properly maintained garage can add serious long-term value to your property. However, if fallen into disrepair, or poorly insulated, garages can also act as parasites, siphoning off your fuel energy and allowing the elements in.

First Things First

Before insulating any garage, it is important to know what that garage is going to be used for. Garages can double up as workshops, exercise spaces and games rooms, offices and studios. To know what type of insulation to use it is essential to know what it will be required to do.
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Property conveyancing and legal process – Part 2

June 28th, 2017 Posted in Guest Articles, Land Registry, Property Conveyancing, Property Market | 4 Comments »

In part 2 of our property conveyancing guide we look at what is involved in the closing stages of the home buying and selling process. You may wish to read Part 1 of the Property Conveyancing Guide here.

Signing the contract

signing contractOnce your lawyer is satisfied that all of his enquiries have been dealt with; he has seen satisfactory search results and he is in possession of his copy of the formal offer of mortgage you will be invited to sign the contract and various other papers. This will either be in person or through the post. You should also receive a report, often called a “property report” at this stage which will set out any salient points arising from the searches and enquiries.

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Property conveyancing and legal process – Part 1

June 22nd, 2017 Posted in Guest Articles, Land Registry, Property Conveyancing, Property Market | 5 Comments »

What is “conveyancing”? – Simply, it is the legal process of transferring ownership of land and property.

Instructing a lawyer

Once you have decided on a property, made an offer and had that offer accepted it’s time to instruct a lawyer. This can be either a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. You should try not to pay over the odds for property conveyancing work. When obtaining a quote you should be given a fixed fee but ask for a list of any additional fees charged for different aspects of the transaction.

Instructing a lawyerSome firms might charge an extra fee for completing the SDLT1 form for example, even though this will not need to be done in every case. These additional fees can really push up the final bill. An average bill for professional fees only (i.e not including addtional search fees, land registry fees etc) would probably be around £300-£400 at the moment.

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Can Five Minutes Of Your Time Really Save You £100s A Year?

May 19th, 2017 Posted in Energy Saving, Top Tips | No Comments »

We are helped out in this day and age when it comes to wanting to switch energy suppliers, but most of us are still very cynical of the whole process. Did you know it can take as little as five minutes to switch, and you could save around £200 in the process over the whole year? Think what else you could spend that money on. Home interiors? Holiday money? Clothes? For just five minutes of your time, it’s silly not to save yourself some money.

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Energy efficiency: how to make your house more efficient

March 22nd, 2017 Posted in Energy Saving, Home Improvements | No Comments »

At the end of 2015 the Daily Mail asked a simple question: Has Britain created the most efficient home?The four-bedroom home described in the piece allegedly cost a total of £15 a year to power – including heating, lighting, cooking and water – thanks to a pump for pulling in heat, solar panelling, triple glazing and other insulation.

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Accountants call for clarity over scrapping of class 2 NICs

February 6th, 2017 Posted in News, Press Releases | No Comments »

Top 40 accountants Bishop Fleming are calling on the government to be open and honest about its plans to reform National Insurance Contributions (NICs) paid by the self-employed.
The firm fears that the promised £145 a year saving for the self-employed from the scrapping of Class 2 NICs in April 2018 will be cancelled out by a corresponding tax rise. Whilst some will be better off, many could face an effective tax rise of up to 2%

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M&G Real Estate installs largest shopping centre solar panel system in UK

January 26th, 2017 Posted in Energy Saving, News, Property Developers | No Comments »

M&G Real Estate, one of the UK’s largest property investors, has announced that it will install the UK’s largest shopping centre solar panel system on the roof of The Galleries shopping centre in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

The system will comprise 1,317 individual photovoltaic panels, covering an area of 41,000 sq ft – equivalent to a professional football pitch – on an otherwise unused part of the centre. New technology to save 165 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually

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Planning Applications for Home Improvements – What’s Hot and What’s Not

January 19th, 2017 Posted in Home Improvements, Housing Policy, Property Market | No Comments »

In the latest house price index, it was revealed that property in the UK had seen an annual price increase of 6.7%, with the average property now valued at £217,928. Naturally, with a rise in house prices will come an increase in home improvements. Recently, home services marketplace,, ran a survey which found that 1 in 3 renovate their property with the aim of increasing its value. As such, whether buying a new property or updating their current one, many homeowners will plan to renovate to take advantage of the increasing value. Consequently, many areas will see an increased rate of householder development planning applications being submitted to the government. Through these statistics, we can see the latest trends of home improvements in different regions across the UK.

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Canyon Bikes lose Christmas Cheer; profit rules

December 20th, 2016 Posted in News | No Comments »

So after detailing last week how Canyon Bikes sold me wheels they decided they no wanted to supply in various places across the internet. For eg my open Facebook post to Canyon (which they were asked to comment on) after they deleted my comments on their Facebook page which obviously didn’t fit in with the image they are trying to portray; lets be honest they are doing a good job on the marketing front and I know many are tempted. However, marketing and spin is one thing but backing those claims up are where from my experience they are lacking.

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