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Quality and value plaster – thinking about whole life costs

Italian or polished plaster wall finishes offer an original decorative option for your home, but how do costs compare with obvious choices such as wallpaper, vinyl wall coverings, traditional paint or even tiles? Coverage rates costs will vary depending on choice of material, but for comparison, professional supply and apply of polished plaster can be as low as £65.00/m2. The price should be considered over ...

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Going green – environmental product selection and use of recycled material

Italian or polished plaster wall finishes offer an original decorative option for your home, but is it a ‘green’ choice? What do you know about your environmental product selection? Proving incredibly durable and hardwearing, a hand-applied polished plaster wall finish is effectively compressed reconstituted stone – with some quality recipes including up to 60% recycled marble. The coloured marble used is o ...

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How to accessorise your staircase

These simple beaded pendants will add a delicate touch of colour and texture to your staircase. Choose the beads and string according to the materials and colours of your staircase. We used brown string with natural and coloured wooden beads to add warmth to our glossy white staircase. Try glass or acrylic beads on a natural wood staircase, or mix beads of different materials. Choose a range of tones in one ...

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Stop damp from taking hold

Recent research has shown that thousands of houses in the United Kingdom have problems due to damp, a source of irritation and misery for both occupants and house owners. Excessive damp can be caused by a wide range of factors, and many people think that the problems are beyond our control but this is not the case. There are three causes of damp - penetrating damp, rising damp and condensation. Penetrating ...

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Three ways you may be a mortgage prisoner locked into your home

As mortgage lending rules tightened and new restrictions were imposed, more and more UK homeowners found themselves effectively trapped with their current mortgage lender and as a result, were forced to stay in their homes. A combination of falling house prices, high LTV’s, the elimination of self-certification and the restrictions on interest-only have meant that many borrowers have found themselves unable ...

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Paint, wallpaper or polished plaster

If you’re looking for an original decorative option for your home, beyond the obvious choices of wallpaper, vinyl wall coverings, traditional paint or even tiles, consider polished plaster wall finishes. But how do they compare? Specialist Application The principal difference is the requirement for a specialist decorator to apply polished plaster. The skilled requirements of the material application are suc ...

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The heat of the moment: Cast Iron Radiators

Whether you are sprucing up your interiors in preparation to sell or refurbishing a room that’s looking shabby, it's well worth installing new radiators for an instant makeover. Radiators have long been seen as an ugly inconvenience and a waste of wall space. For years we've been hiding them away under clumsy boxes or camouflaging them with cunning colour schemes. But we're currently seeing something of a r ...

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Is it time to introduce triple glazing into your home?

We’re going to have to accept that, although we're nearing Spring, our unpredictable British weather means your home’s heating system will still be working extra hard as the temperatures fluctuate.  Over the past few years, the UK has been experiencing increasingly cold winters, and with the steadily rising costs of oil and gas, we’ve seen our heating bills getting larger year on year. The cost of heating a ...

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How to get rid of those ceiling cracks

A ceiling always works and moves, so it's no surprise that you can see cracks in your ceiling after a few years, and it's guaranteed you will get them. After analysing the different options to get rid of those infamous ceiling cracks, we have found several alternatives. 1) The simple option is to fill in those cracks with any filler available in DIY shops. It is quite quick, anyone (almost) could do it, but ...

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The problem with damp

Damp can affect any property, large or small. It may not be immediately obvious and could take several years before visible signs begin to appear. There are many reasons for damp developing in a property, for example lack of maintenance, deterioration of the building fabric or poor build quality. Most damp problems will be linked to one of three main issues: Rising Damp – here ground water is drawn upwards ...

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Sarah Beeny’s top tips to renovate your house

Has the start of 2014 given you itchy feet? If you’ve decided you want to sell your home or renovate certain areas, take inspiration from Sarah Beeny’s simple tips. whether moving house or staying put, you’ll reap the renovation rewards More and more homeowners are looking to improve what they have rather than move. And often it’s the smaller, cheaper and easier improvements that are more cost-effective tha ...

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14 tips for selling your home in winter

Winter probably isn't the ideal season in which to sell a property in the UK. It’s bitterly cold, wet and the fact that it gets dark at around 4 o’clock doesn’t help. That said, not everyone can afford to wait around for the traditional spring or summer house-buying season and whilst it’s true that there will be less buyers on the market, it can also be argued that there is less competition as well. This me ...

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Affordable winter beauty tips

Winter can wreak havoc with your skincare regime - battle the effects of the cold and maintain a healthy, glossy appearance with our five thrifty winter beauty tips… Property queen, TV presenter and our resident celebrity guest editor, Sarah Beeny, 41, recently revealed her love for Dr Hauschka's Rose Day Cream – a scented cream with rose oil and wild rose hip extract designed to 'envelop the skin with a pr ...

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Getting the most from your garden

This is an exciting time for the green-fingered. As summer reaches its peak, there’s lots you can be doing to eke that last bit of life from your garden, as well as getting prepared for the cooler and frostier weather ahead. And with water shortages rife in the UK, getting the most from your garden using as little water as possible during this frequently dry month is going to be crucial. Harvesting Now’s th ...

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Would you kiss on the first date?

Dating can be a horrific experience for some. Along with first date nerves comes the uncertainty of whether you should wear a skirt or trousers, order the spaghetti or the salad, and repeatedly going over exciting topics in your head, just in case your conversation dries out. But have you ever thought about what you'd do once the date is over? A recent survey by online dating website MySingleFriend.com to c ...

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Looking for a unique property? Four unusual homes…

Looking for a unique property? Check out these unusual abodes 1. Victorian water tower This 130-year-old Grade II-listed Victorian stone water tower has recently been renovated by one of Britain’s leading architects to create a 5,500ft multi-award-winning contemporary home. The wrap-around extension follows the shape of the octagonal tower. Various spaces are arranged relating to their function; to follow t ...

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Damaged Roof? Be Prepared…

When was the last time you checked your roof for cracks, broken tiles or gutter damage? With April showers inevitable, be prepared. Maintenance is key to ensuring that nothing goes wrong with your roof when the weather gets a bit lively. And it’s not just protection your roof provides – it can help save you money on those energy bills, too. Get to know it If this is the first time you’ve even thought about ...

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A loft conversion can add value as well as a new room

If space is an issue in your home, look above your head. A loft conversion can add value as well as a new room. Converting your loft will give you another functional room under your roof to play with – whether that is an office, a den for the kids, another bedroom or even an extra bathroom – and free up space downstairs, too. It will almost always add value to your property. According to the 2012 HSBC Home ...

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Transform your garden

Your garden can be more than just a place that grows flowers. Transform it with a unique addition that adds Outdoor space is an extra area, a room with no walls which you can really put your stamp of personality on, but that has one of its own, too. Once established, it can be left to do its own thing or controlled, trimmed and hoed every hour – it depends on how you want it to look and feel. Once you’ve re ...

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40 ways to make your home greener

Reduce your carbon footprint by recycling and being energy smart. Small changes will help you make big savings… Save energy 1. Say bye to standby Eight per cent of domestic energy in the UK is used by items left on standby. If they were all switched off, you’d save enough energy to decommission an entire power station! Take a good look at all your appliances and gadgets, and start turning them off at night ...

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