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The Perfect Home For Retirement In Kent

This light-filled, clean and comfortable house was purposed as a retirement home for the Watling family. It was planned for moving in once they officially retired from their cattery business. They looked over several prefabricated 'off the shelf' houses before settling with the Hanse Haus property. As for the home they'd eventually build upon it, Tony Watling summed up the concept as 'a bright, open house so we could see outside rather than staring at walls'. Construction made a good use of hybrid structural insulated panels. Already in place was the Hanse Haus 245-millimetre 'solid wall' structure, which included another 100 millimetres of insulating cladding. To make the timber frame walls and hybrid SIPs load bearing, studs were used every 300 millimetres and sheathing was done on both sides with OSB boards.

The end result was exactly what the Watlings had aimed for a house brimming with lots of vibrant, natural light, fronted by double-glazed door. Three sets of patio doors, all opening onto the veranda, are established at the rear of their home. The entire width of the area is utilised by including both steps leading to the garden and those towards the hard landscaped driveway. Hanging around the upstairs sitting area is just as relaxing, as Tony mentions how they have wonderful views of the farmland surrounding the house and can enjoy the vista beyond, extending right across the Kent Downs.

To keep the place warm and to generate hot water, an exhaust air heat pump from NIBE is installed. Also included is a mechanical ventilation system, which works by filtering 'used' air the moist air left in bathrooms and kitchens to generate fresh air that gets pumped backed inside the house.

While the house indeed looks complete and cosy, wouldn't it benefit from having an elevator set up? There's one staircase that leads to the upper floor and an open-plan living area. Unfortunately, stairs are where many reported accidents at home occur, especially among frailer individuals. Wouldn't an elevator be better?

The lifts we're talking about are those that operate under innovate vacuum technology. These round elevators are designed to require little electricity. Air pressure and gravity work together for the tricks of going up and down. Unlike traditional lifts, they don't rely on the mechanism of a rope-and-pulley system and therefore, they're much safer to use.

Minimal risk is involved when using an air powered elevator. Anyone regardless of age can safely operate it, as it has buttons that are similar to the traditional kind. The motors controlling these lifts create negative air pressure when there's any failure in the system. The compartment is automatically locked in position, which prevents any sudden or uncontrolled descent. Since the lift is air tight, the contained air below the car serves as a cushion, allowing it to safety reach the ground level. The lower door is then automatically opened. Simply put, the chances of a free fall occurring, unlike traditional elevator, are near zero. That's precisely why we'd recommend these lifts for the Watlings' and all other retirement homes. They're the most practical and convenient home decorations out there.

Best Air Conditioners For Your Space



Air conditioners allow us to maintain a pleasant indoor atmosphere, regardless of how the conditions are, outside our house. Many houses and commercial buildings these days also have central air conditioning systems that use large air conditioning units. Accordingly, you have many choices when looking for the best air conditioners for your space in either a home or an office.

There are also many factors to understand when installing the new air conditioner. An air conditioner that is ideal for your friend’s house may not be suitable at all for your application. It is therefore; always better to take professional advice, although there are some pointers that you can use to select a better option.

Here are some of the tips that will allow you to identify the best air conditioners:

Determine Your Space Size

The most important element in a space is its dimensions. You should measure out your space using a measuring tape or you may also consult your building designs if you have them available. Small rooms start from around 100 square feet and the living room of your house or a hall in your office can stretch to around 400 square feet.

Calculate the Required BTUs

We generally measure the cooling capacity of air conditioners in BTUs. Your space size governs the cooling capacity required for a particular application. A well insulated room of around 100-150 square feet requires around 5,000 BTUs capacity air conditioner. On the other hand, a poorly insulated large living room of 400 square feet may require an air conditioner with a cooling capacity of around 18,000 BTUs.

Efficiency

One of the most important factors in determining the best air conditioners for your space is efficiency. The energy efficiency of air conditioners is found by dividing their BTU values with their power used in watts.

If your house is in a region that has mild summers, then you can discard an AC that has an EER of 9. If you are in a warmer region though, then you need to buy an air conditioner that has a ratio of 10 or above.

Refrigerant

Although most of the current air conditioners have now switched to R-410A which is a better refrigerant when compared with the older R-22, some available air conditioners may still employ the older option.

The best air conditioners for your space though are certainly the ones that employ the newer R-410A gas which is better for the environment as well as excellent for your compressor due to a larger thermal capacity.

Type of Air Conditioner

There are several types of air conditioners that are available to cool your space. You can buy a modern split unit AC or opt for a window unit AC. You can also install a portable air conditioner if you want to move your unit around to cover multiple rooms.

All of these types have their advantages and limitations and the best one ideally depends on the individual needs. Offices are better off at installing the newer and more energy efficient split units, while window unit air conditioners can ideally cool your bedroom, if it has a standard sized window that you can replace with the unit.

If you don’t want to tear down your window, you can either use a portable air conditioner that only requires a small exhaust point or a split unit that has a separate compressor.

These are some of the considerations that you have to make in order to create the list of the best air conditioners for your space and then selecting a winner out of them for your cooling needs.

 

Is Fake Grass Healthy For Your Garden?

While many people pick paved designs and potted plants to create a minimalist and functional space that is still pretty for the front of the house especially true when you are a multi-car home the back of the house is often used as your sanctuary away from the world. While a well-designed front garden can add instant aesthetic appeal, for many home-owners parking space is often tight which has led to this rise in front gardens becoming a driveway.

All tradition aside, the back garden has taken over as the focal point of any outdoor space. Regardless of your needs storing bikes, housing bunnies, al fresco dining under the pergola or all of the above, the back garden is a place that is a little more private and relaxed.

In the hectic world we live in we rarely have time to ourselves, let alone to ensure the garden is ready for visitors which can add a whole host of tasks to your ever growing To Do list, week in, week out. There is a solution to quell your worries! Use fake grass instead of real not only will it cut down the upkeep cost but it will also reduce the need for mowing the lawn. Say goodbye to muddy footprints!

Is the investment worth it and can it damage the natural habitat in my garden?

In short, yes it is worth it; and no, it will not damage the nature and wildlife present in your garden.

Not only will you reduce the time spent maintaining a lawn that may or may not grow how you want it to, but you will also be reducing the use of chemicals in your garden, reducing electricity use by forgoing the lawn mower and claiming back all that time spent in the garden over the years.

Faking it will look good all year round will allow your kids to play football without dirtying up your freshly cleaned carpet and is perfectly safe around your pets.

As well as freeing up your time and money, it also makes the gardening much less of a chore. You can tend to your flowers and plants free from the worry of weeds cropping up and ruining your display.

Choose your flowers and plants carefully and you will have an entirely easy to maintain garden all year round, complete with a splash of colour and fragrant scents. These colours and deliciously floral smells will attract insects and bees, ensuring that the wildlife in your garden remains.

The addition of a water feature is another great way of attracting wildlife to your garden. Add plenty of aerating water plants and shaded areas and you will soon spot frogs enjoying your pond as well as attracting yet more insects.

A bird bath or table will attract birds, feed them during the winter and give them somewhere to wash their feathers with ease.

All things considered, your garden might just be healthier and more habitable for wildlife than ever before.

An Introduction To The History Of Plantation Shutters



Throughout time people and civilizations have strived to create abodes that are comfortable and functional. Excessive exposure to the weather can lead to a myriad of health troubles and efforts to avoid high heat and freezing temperatures have been explored for thousands of years. One such solution is that of plantation shutters, though this was not the original name of the functional window coverings.

Around the Mediterranean Sea the bright sun and occasional gusty winds can create uncomfortable living quarters. The ancient citizens of Greece formulated a solution for this trouble with the first shutters. Unlike the shutters in use today, these original designs were constructed of heavy marble.

Not only were the shutters expensive, meaning that only the wealthiest of citizens could afford them, they were also challenging to open and close. These movable window treatments were great at preventing storm winds from wreaking havoc on the insides of homes. However, they were adjustable so that the home owners could ensure that the home had good air flow, which kept the air from becoming stale and heated during the day.

Other countries throughout Europe, beginning with others lining the gorgeous sea soon began to follow suit with variations of the functional shutters. Among the changes is a change in building materials. The marble originally used for construction was not only expensive, it was time consuming to create shutters for an entire home from it.

The most popular material for these experimental changes was wood. This continues to be one of the ideal choices for home shutters. When the Europeans began to explore other lands, they took with them their knowledge regarding home construction.

In the United States, the shutters were a popular choice for homes in the south. The high heat and humidity levels throughout the southeast made for uncomfortable homes. Many of these houses were on large cotton plantations. The use of shutters not only increased the comfort levels of the houses, it also formed the basis for the name plantation shutters.

Over time, the large cotton plantations gave way to other industries and the use of the effective and attractive shutters expanded to smaller homes and those across the rest of the nation. However, the name has stuck and continues to be used in the US and even other parts of the world.

Today, there are several companies that manufacture these window treatments and many contractors will custom make them for oddly shaped windows. Not only do they provide excellent protection from the elements, they add to the aesthetics and value of a home. They can be adjusted for air and light flow throughout the day to minimize damage inside the home from UV rays while still allowing plenty of light and air to enter the dwelling.

Plantation shutters are one of the best choices that can be made in regards to window treatments for the modern home. Functional and stylish, these designs will enhance any home or commercial building!

Own A Condo Instead Of Renting

Renting an apartment may seem like a carefree and easy choice for a lot of people. The common misconception is that they are saving money by renting an apartment instead of buying and owning a condominium unit. To make it simpler for you, here are some of the advantages of owning a condominium unit.

Overall Cost There are a lot to consider when it comes to comparing the costs of owning a condominium unit versus renting it. The most notable difference is the upfront cost. You may be required to pay at least 2 months of rent as deposit before you can move in as a renter. If you want to own a condominium unit, most of the time, you have to pay at least 10% of the total price plus other fees for legal compliance and insurance. This may make it appear that renting is more cost-efficient, but what you are paying for in buying are the equity and the freedom when it comes to customizing your home.

Freedom When you are renting a condominium, sometimes your landlords will have more rules for you to follow than what a new recruit has to deal with in the army. Those rules can be as simple as No pets allowed or as ridiculous as a curfew. When you own a condominium unit, the only rules you follow are the general guidelines set by the condo association. You will have more freedom to improve your unit and add value to your investment.

Long-Term Returns While paying for mortgage for years may seem a bit overwhelming and intimidating at first, it has a very big payoff. Knowing that you own a property after paying that mortgage is a big reward. You do not get that privilege in renting. Even if you pay rent consistently for years, the time may come when your landlord will force you out.

Flexibility When you decide to buy a condo unit, you are thinking of staying put for good or for a long time. During that time, you might start a family and may need a bigger or better place. Since you own the condo, you have the right and freedom to shape your place according to your needs through home improvements. This is a privilege that no renter can enjoy.

Amenities and Benefits If you choose to buy a condominium unit, you will have access to many luxurious amenities available in your neighborhood. Things like rooftop pools, recreational centers, gyms, and function halls are at your disposal because these are included in what you are paying for. These are benefits that renters may have restricted access to because they are technically not part of the condo association.

In conclusion, the advantages of owning a condominium unit outweigh the pros of renting one. It is a smarter choice for people who are looking for a long-term housing solution. It will show you where every penny of what you are paying for is going. A condominium unit is a great investment and you should always consider buying one instead of renting.

10 Things To Do Before You Select A Locksmith

Here are 10 simple things you can do to make sure that the locksmith you select is trustworthy, qualified and reputable:

1. See if they have a physical address. This is important. It is estimated that about 92 % of the locksmiths that appear in online search engine maps do not really exist! Call around and request their retail location, if they cannot provide you one, do not offer them your business.

2. Ask if they belong to the Associated Locksmiths of America. This association is the best method for a locksmith to become certified. The locksmith must have the ability to provide you their accreditation.

3. Request a quote over the phone. Genuine locksmiths in Atlantaought to have the ability to provide you a precise rate over the phone. The locksmith trade is very basic and rates do not differ typically. If the rate over the phone sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

4. Do they drive a business car? Locksmiths need many tools and parts to do their job properly, so they will certainly drive something big enough to accommodate all of the tools of their trade. If they appear in a small vehicle, holding a drill, ask them to leave, as they are simply going to drill your locks and make you spend a lot.ost you a lot of money!

5. Do not let anybody persuade you that your locks are high security. Few homes around Atlanta have REAL high security locks on their doors. If the locksmith says that your locks are high security and he needs to drill them, he is most likely not telling you the truth. Drilling your locks is a last option, and a genuine locksmith will certainly attempt a number of other options before he drills.

6. Check their branding. An expert locksmith needs a uniform, an industrial branded vehicle and some form of I.D or company card. If they can not supply any of these things, look out!

7. Searching for something "bump resistant locks?" Get all the truths initially. Yes "bumping" does exist and it most definitely can be avoided. Right here at 24 Hour Locksmith Pros, we make use of a high security cylinder called primus. Do not be tricked by somebody asserting that a lock is bump resistant, ask how it works and why it's bump resistant. Most locksmiths will willingly describe how it works and it's not as complicated as you may believe!

8. Inquire about Master Key Systems. A masterkey system can prevent a great deal of trouble and it's not expensive. Instead of having several keys for numerous doors, it is possible to have one key fit everything, while each door has it's own individual key.

9. Take note of how your call is addressed. If your call is addressed with a boring "locksmith" and absolutely nothing more, hang up! They must at a minimum use their business name when answering the phone.

10. Get informed. Unscrupulous locksmiths are a countrywide issue and countless individuals similar to you have actually been ripped off. This is a huge scale issue and it's not disappearing any time soon. When it comes to the security of you company or house you need a real specialist who will see to it you are genuinely safe. Do not underestimate how vital your locks are.

Window Options: Magnetic Retrofit Double Glazing

Chilled to the bone, or squinting and sweltering in your home? Before you reach for the thermostat to crank up the heat or ratchet up the air conditioning, reach for the Internet or the phone. It could be the windows that are to blame for all the discomfort in your home.

Apartment-dwellers, condo and townhouse dwellers, listen up, because this applies to you too. Even if your homeowner's association or landlord takes care of structural changes and the exterior of the home including windows, you may not have to grin and bear it any longer.

The magnetic retrofit double glazing system is a subtle secondary glazing and minimal frame that inserts within the existing window frame to add the superb insulation against air for better temperature regulation and sound proofing.

It provides either a clear acrylic or glass material within the existing window assembly. The subtle frame is generally made from vinyl or PVC, which is a superior material for causing thermal breaks.

A thermal break is simply a material that does not allow air to penetrate it. For instance, old aluminum conducts hot or cold air. Newer windows employ thermal breaks, or pieces of vinyl or PVC to "break" the flow of air.

The magnetic channels ensure an airtight seal for the window by creating a sandwich of air. This is a superior and fully natural insulation using just air entrapped between two materials (glass in this case). It results in extremely low air infiltration among all types of windows.

This results in a massive reduction in both noise transfer and air infiltration. The magnetic retrofitting frame works with any frame material, from timber to aluminum and even steel.

Another added benefit to realize with the addition of magnetic retrofitting material is that it can be additionally altered to block out the sun. Having films applied to the windows helps cut radiant heat within the home tremendously.

The film gets applied within the inside of the existing glass. This enables the glass to bounce the heat back out of the home before it ever gets to the cavity shared with the new retrofit material.

Better performance of your windows can be realized whether you have an apartment or own a single-standing home. It is far less expensive than purchasing replacement windows and paying to have them installed. It will also contribute to more favorable utility bills too. Contact your local Magnetite supplier supplier today for more information.



Financing Your First Investment Property

When it comes to buying a real estate investment property, the first deal is the hardest. I know this from personal experience. I kept talking about buying a rental property for several years until my husband finally took the initiative, found a property, and made me buy it. From a hotel room in Texas, where I was staying on business, I nervously signed a contract and committed myself to buying a “bread and butter” house in Florida. Thanks to rising real estate values, the house has appreciated substantially…leaving me to wish I had bought ten more!

I know that financing your first investment property can be daunting. It scared me — and I have a mortgage broker’s license, for heaven’s sake! But as they say, it’s usually the things we don’t do that we regret later in life. So if concerns about financing your first property are stopping you from getting started, here are some tips:

Check your credit early for mistakes and items you may need to address. Once you review your credit report, do not take any drastic action without first consulting with an expert. In particular, don’t close old accounts or pay off collection accounts right before trying to get a loan. Either action may hurt your credit score rather than help it.

If you are not eligible for a loan based on your credit or other qualifications, look for an investor partner to go in on the property with you. There are many others out there wishing they owned more real estate who lack the time and/or expertise to find and buy property. There are also “hard money” or private loans for good deals. The interest rates are high but can be worth it if you can refinance or sell the property in a relatively short period of time.

Decide What You Are Buying
All things being equal, second homes may offer better financing, but it will depend on where the property is located and what you intend to do with it. Talk with your tax advisor about how you plan to use the property to decide whether it would be better to buy a second home or an investment property. I am not a fan of stretching the truth on applications. If you are buying an investment property, call it what it is. Whatever you do, don’t buy a property where someone talks you into saying you will live in it when you won’t. There are illegal scams that solicit “straw buyers,” and these can get you into hot water.

Understand the Numbers

Investors have different goals. Some want to buy a rehab property, fix it up, and sell it quickly for a big profit. Others specialize in pre-construction, which means they put a contract on a home or condo in a development before it is built and then sell it for a profit, sometimes before they complete the purchase! Others will buy a home they can rent out, and are happy to break even or make just a little money each month, expecting appreciation to be the pay off. Still others want to buy a vacation home in an area they want to visit. They may use it from time to time and rent it out the rest of the year for a profit. Whichever approach you decide to take, make sure you understand the numbers, including the cost of financing, a down payment, advisor fees, repairs, etc. Be realistic about whether you can afford to make the mortgage payments for as long as it may take to find a buyer or a tenant.

Now that you see the possibilities, here are the steps you will want to take to make things move smoothly:

1. Gather Your Paperwork
Be prepared to provide copies of: two month’s worth of your bank statements, investment account, and retirement account statements (all pages; not Internet statements); the last two pay stubs if you have a regular paycheck job; driver’s license and Social Security card; and bankruptcy, divorce or separation papers, if applicable. If you are self-employed, you may be asked for some or all of the following: business license or occupational license, letter from your CPA establishing two years’ self-employment, last two year’s tax returns, business bank statements, and/or business financial statements.

2. Assemble Your Team
You will want an accountant who understands investment property tax strategies; a realtor or real estate attorney who can help you make sure you use the properly worded contract and include the right contingencies; a mortgage professional with experience in investment properties; an attorney who understands asset protection to help you form the right structure for holding your investment property (often a limited liability company or LLC); and an experienced insurance agent. I strongly believe all of these professionals should invest in real estate themselves since investment property transactions have special nuances.

Advisors with investment property experience can help identify potential problems before they happen. One of the big ones: holding investment property in your own name, warns Rich Dad Advisor Garrett Sutton, an attorney and author of Own Your Own Corporation (Warner) How to Use Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships (SuccessDNA). By doing so, you expose your real estate and personal assets if a lawsuit arises.

3. Get Pre-Approved
Before you start house-hunting, get pre-approved for a loan through a mortgage broker or lender, and request it in writing. That piece of paper can be very helpful when you negotiate the purchase of a property since it gives the buyer greater assurance that you won’t tie up the deal and not qualify.

Now it’s time to dive in! You’ve heard of “analysis paralysis?” It’s a disease I, and many other would-be investors, suffer from. Fortunately, I have a spouse who drags me out of it from time to time. While you don’t want to dive in blindly, if you have done your homework and have found a good deal, at some point you have to just go for it. If you can’t seem to take the plunge, ask financial advisors to help you make progress, get involved with your local real estate investment club, or find an investor who can act as a sounding board.

Source of the Article https://www.credit.com/loans/mortgage-questions/financing-your-first-investment-property/