How To Cut Your Energy Bills In Half

The energy bill. Eternal enemy of the homeowner. It can easily sneak up on you and leave you wondering just how it got so high. The truth is that many of us still don’t know how to manage our energy costs. The answer to this problem is often a lot easier than it appears. If you follow all these steps, we promise you will see a massive drop in how much you’re spending on energy a year. So read on and find out if there are any easy solutions you’ve been missing. We have a whole section of tips collected to help with this, but this guide will get you started with major changes we should all be making.

Replace your old boiler


This is the advice you’ll get from almost anyone you talk to. As this link says, boilers account for 55% of the average energy bill. This is mainly because a lot of us are still using boilers from before the time that energy efficiency became a real issue. Now we’re becoming more conscientious of energy use and its costs. Most boilers today can save you a great deal compared to the old one you might have at the moment.

Free insulation for the home


Millions of homes in the UK can immediately cut costs without investing any of their own money. British Gas is part of a government initiative designed to tackle home energy inefficiency. Visit their website to find out if yours is one of the homes that’s still eligible for free insulation but hasn’t got it yet.

Double glazing


This step does require a bit of investing on your part, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. If you’re still using single pane windows, we recommend switching to double glazing at the earliest possibility. With a lot less heat escaping your windows as well as your newly insulated home, you’ll be spending a lot less of keeping the place warm than you used to.



Another replacement for the more energy greedy parts of your home. We’re sure you’ve already heard the tips about turning off lights in your home. Significant cuts can be made from your bill by simply being a bit less wasteful. But even more can be cut by making the switch to LED lighting. Prepare for the next time a bulb blows, or switch out early. Check out LED Light Bulbs from I Am LED for a service that can deliver LED lighting wherever you are.

Consider A Thermostat


The last step goes a long way to being smart with your heating. Most homes these days have thermostats installed, but if you don’t, you should. Look at this guide for buying a thermostat to see what you’re looking for. These devices measure and adjust the heating in your home. Then they automate the process, ensuring you’re kept as warm as you need to be without wasting any more heat after.

This guide is mostly a list of investments. It will cost some money to get your house up to the right energy saving state. It won’t take more than a couple years before you start reaping the savings, however. Your energy bill will be way down and you’ll be contributing to the conservation effort in the process.


How to Improve Your Home’s Kerb Appeal

Depending on the house you have, and when it was built, you might want your house to look better from the outside. If you are thinking of selling, it is the first things that potential buyers see.

Regarding architecture, houses built after the 1950s stopped being as aesthetically pleasing. More modern homes have picked up in the style stakes again, but if you have a house that was built in the 70s or 80s, you probably want to make a few changes.

Detached houses are usually easiest to do a little makeover on, just because of the nature of them. There isn’t a neighbor’s house that looks completely different attached. Planning permission is usually slightly easier to get in a detached house. Having said that, there are changes you can make, whatever style of house you have. Here are some ideas for changes that will make a difference.

The Driveway

This only applies if you have if you have one of course. If you do, though, it is important to make it look good. Have you heard the saying that you never get the chance to make another first impression? This is so true when it comes to your home and potential buyers.

If the driveway is paved, could you get some weed killer to stop the weeds from popping up through the cracks? It will look a lot better if it is weed-free. If you have a stone driveway, does it need a bit of a refill? We all know that they can move around and clump up in certain areas. Something like this wouldn’t cost the earth either.

Cement driveways are likely to crack, especially in cold weather, so if yours has consider getting the cracks filled. Tarmac or cement are the cheapest options for driveways, so if you wanted to repair the whole thing, that would be the cheapest option.



Add Extras

Adding some features to the outside of the home can do wonders for its kerb appeal. Think about the front door. Could it do with a porch added? How about plants or flowers either side of it? Small things like that can make such a difference. It shows to potential buyers that you take care of your home that they hope will carry on inside, too.

Have you thought about getting a new balustrade? Depending on the style of your house, you could go for an ornate option, or perhaps a glass one? Have a look for an online handrail and balustrade shop and see what options are available to you.

What kind of tiles does your roof have? If they are unattractive concrete tiles, do you have the budget to change them perhaps, to a more attractive option, like slate? The whole roof wouldn’t need repairing, but it would make such a visual difference.

The Garden

Gardens can be one of the most neglected areas of the home. The work to keep on top of a garden can seem never ending. If you have a garden, chances are it could do with some tender loving care, especially in winter.

One of the best options is to spend a day blitzing the garden and getting rid of weeds. Trimming trees and cutting the grass. Once that has been done, it just to be kept on top of. A way to make the weeding easier, is to get a strong weedkiller. This will save a lot of time in the future. Be sure to avoid spraying on the lawn though as you don’t want to kill the grass off, too.




Sometimes all that the walls will need is a lick of paint. Could you paint the whole house to make it look as new? Sometimes it might just be the window frames that could do with an update.

There could be an issue with the render, though. If you have a stone or pebbledash style render, it can be removed. It will then get covered with a smooth finish that will make it look like a whole new house. Pebbledash style render is not to many people’s tastes. If you change it, it could widen the number of prospective buyers, when selling.

The final thing to do before you make any changes is to get planning permission. You don’t want to start something and then not be able to finish it. That would end up looking much worse! The best thing to do is to contact your local council with your plans and see how your plans might be affected.


Make It A Home; Put Your Mark On A New House

You might think that once you buy a house the biggest hurdles are over. You can look forward to living a life in your new home. Perhaps building a family or spending time with the one you love. But actually, once you buy a house the real fun begins. You start making your mark on the property. When you look around a home before you buy, you’ll see the design and furniture the previous homeowner used. You can take inspiration from this or you can make your house unique for your family. One thing is certain though. You’ll begin by cleaning the home from top to bottom.

We’re not suggesting the home you’ve just bought is dirty. Quite the opposite. We’re sure that to sell their home the previous owner would have needed to make it spotless. But the fact is, it might still have familiar scents of the previous owner. It might be dusty in places that they missed or spots where furniture had been for a long time. That’s why new homeowners always give the property a clean. They want it brand new, ready for their design work. In fact, you might start the cleaning before you move in any of your possessions.


Flickr Link


It’s quite possible that you’ll buy a home and still want to repaint every room in the place. Sellers often paint houses to make sure that they get the best price. They usually paint most rooms cream or colours that are easy to paint over. That makes the task simpler, but it also means you’ve probably got a lot of work to do. You’ll need to choose the colour of each room, making sure they don’t clash too much.

You might also be looking to improve the floors. For instance, many homeowners buy a house based on already installed floors. Or they buy with the idea in mind of taking the carpet away leaving hardwood.

If you’re going to be completing these jobs it’s better to do it as soon as you’ve bought the place. That way you won’t have the hassle of moving around your furniture.

Buy New Furniture

Speaking of furniture, you may find that rather than set up old pieces you buy completely new sets. The reason for this is that you might have bought the old furniture to match the aesthetic of your previous home. Now that you have bought a new property it might not be the right fit anymore. You might also find that it won’t look right in the new home because, in your mind, it’s part of the old property. Luckily, House Of Oak has got some gorgeous wooden furniture for you to browse while you consider this option. Some of these pieces are sure to look stunning in your new living room.

But Always Start With…

Our final tidbit of information is to start with a piece of furniture that you associate with home. We’ve all got one. Some people associate home with a coat rack or a coffee table. But if you find that piece first, you’ll find furnishing the rest of your home comes easy.


Jeremy Levine Flickr


When Should You Think About Moving House?


It’s a question that we will all have to think about at some point. As romantic a notion as it may be we won’t pick a home and stay in it for the rest of our lives. Most of us will think about making a move. Either we choose to, or it’s not a choice at all. Our life changes, and it forces us to think about switching to a different home. We’ve gathered together a list of the biggest reasons to move and signs that you might need to.




When The House Isn’t Big Enough

If your house getting crowded with either people or items? If that’s the case, you should certainly consider moving. Perhaps you need to start looking for your dream family home? Although you might want to try a couple of other options first. You could consider adding an extension onto your home, thus making it a bigger place to live. But you should be aware that adding an extension is a lot of work, and it’s in no way an easy task. You will also find it costs a fair amount of money. That said moving is filled with stress to so you’ll have to make the decision that best suits you.

Of course, if your home is packed down with items, then you can think about decluttering. This is just a case of minimizing the amount of items in your home. If you like, you can put some things in storage, or perhaps get rid of some furniture. Most decorators agree that the best way to make a home look stylish is to use a minimalist design. But it will also save you some space you might need.

You’re In The Money!

Are you making more money in life? Moving home is a great way to invest it wisely and safely. It’s far better than keeping it in the bank. Even if you don’t need a bigger house, you’ll know if you buy one your money is safe. Linden Homes have got some great new houses for sale that are sure to keep you happy while you’re living there. Then once you decide to move again and downsize you’ll have a lot of extra cash when you sell. Think of it as investing in property without the risk of property flipping. You’ll be keeping the house and the cash you invest in hand and in the land that you own.

You’re Struggling

It’s not the nicest reason to move house, but it’s certainly something to think about. Are the bills getting to be too much? Is your income not quite covering how much it costs to keep your home? If that’s the case, you need to think about selling and downsizing. Once you do this, you’ll find your money problems have been relieved. Young people often buy a house too quickly and then struggle with the cost. If you have this issue, take a step back and buy a bigger house again when your career is at a later stage.

Whatever your reason for moving house, we hope it goes well. We’re sure you’ll have a wonderful life where you live next.


What’s The Best Way To Improve Your Bathroom?

Bathrooms are quite challenging to renovate. This is mainly due to the fact we need them so often! Turning off all the electrics and plumbing while work is being carried out can be particularly difficult to bear. Often homeowners go on holiday while works are being carried out. Then they don’t have to deal with these inconveniences.

To make your bathroom into your dream bathroom, you may already have lots of ideas. If you don’t like the position of the bath or toilet, they can often be moved. However, in some places, you need to request permission and certification from your local authority. This is in your best interests as it ensures any works have been carried out to standard.

Many people don’t like the toilet situated so close to the bathtub. Changing the layout of the bathroom can be difficult in a small space, but it is often possible to do. Choose a good plumber and builder team who can manage these works for you. Usually, homeowners prefer just to update the bathroom suite.


The pic is from Flickr

Updating your bathroom furniture can even be done as a DIY job if you are adequately skilled. However, don’t try to install or change electrical items in your bathroom. This should be done by someone experienced and qualified. Electric showers, heaters, and lighting should all be installed by professionals.

Most people like the idea of a contemporary bathroom. This could include glass shower enclosures, free standing bath tubs, and towel radiators. There are plenty of other mod cons that could be included in your dream bathroom. You might choose to have some mood lighting, with color changing LED bulbs. You could even install waterproof speakers and TV panels.

The choice of decor in a bathroom is usually kept quite simple. The suite is usually white, and tiling is often large in size. Marble finishes are quite popular, but vibrant colors have also been trending lately. You can mirror those colors in your towels, mats, blinds and dispensers. Candles or small ornaments help complete the look. You could even add some steam proof wall art for an extra splash of color.

Something as simple as installing under sink cupboards or vanity units can completely change the look of your bathroom. It provides a home for all your products and items. This leaves the room clutter free, easier to clean, and very contemporary in style. If you’re looking for a way to maximize the space in your bathroom, then fitted furniture could be ideal. It also provides good surfaces for decoration or to place your clothes.

Simple changes like installing hooks for bathrobes on the back of the door can help keep your bathroom looking tidy and smart. You could have a towel radiator or hanger to keep damp towels on too. Cupboards for your clothing, towels, robes or bathroom products are ideal for a minimalist look in your bathroom. It can help you keep the room clean as well. If you’re looking to remodel your bathroom soon, why not give these improvement ideas a try?