Upgrading Your Windows: A Guide

The windows are the eyes of the home. Not only can you see out of them but people can see in and there a lot of window types out there to choose for your house. Windows let in light primarily and they also can have the ability to heat a home and make it very cold if you haven’t double glazed. There are companies out there like http://www.jpglass.co.uk that will install double glazing in place of single pane windows. Windows play a huge role in the efficiency of your home, but that’s not all they do; if you’re planning on selling your house in the next few years, new windows are a huge selling feature.

They’re one of the top five things potential buyers ask about a home, so the investment can add considerable value. If your house has only got single pane windows you’ll be very aware of creeping cold and damp specifically in the winter months of the year. New windows also instantly create curb appeal and can make a dated exterior look fresh and modern. If they’re doing their job properly, you shouldn’t notice the windows in your house. But if you’re in the market for an upgrade, there are tons of options that can add value to your home and make a stylish statement. Bay windows supplied by http://www.jpglass.co.uk can dramatically improve the value of the house as they’re designed specifically for home improvement.

There are some very telling signs that your windows need replacing and to make sure that you recognise the signs you have to be aware of what can happen to your windows. You should make a point of inspecting them regularly for drafts, condensation or fogging, rot and mould. There are different types of windows you can choose from and have installed and companies like http://www.jpglass.co.uk can offer a variety of choices. We’ve put together a list of the types of window you can have installed to your home:

1) Casement: Swinging in and out like a door and operating with a crank, they offer a high level of ventilation and have a tight seal when closed. This is a great choice for hard-to-reach or awkward places because they’re easier to open and mean less condensation.

2) Double-hung: One of the most common types of windows through the home and popular with builders, they consist of two sashes that move up and down. They are great for ventilation and complement any style of house.

3) Picture: Large and fixed and usually flanked by two casements or double-hung windows, their big, dramatic shape allows for lots of natural light and unobstructed views. They can be pricey because of their size, and keep in mind that they offer no ventilation. Beautiful though they may be they’re not practical!

4) Bay: Made up of one large fixed window in the middle and a casement on either side, they project from an exterior wall and are a staple in many Victorian-style homes. Take caution when installing – they’re large and heavy, meaning they need adequate structural support.

Things You Should Know About Becoming An Interior Designer

If you’re a bit of a buff when it comes to designing or arranging your interiors at home, then you may well be thinking about becoming a professional interior designer. If you enjoy decorating or rearranging your house regularly then you may have a knack for matching colours of Feng Shui. There are definitely some things that should be known before going down that route as like with any career, there are highs and lows.

There is a definite difference between decorating and designing. Anyone, literally anyone can be a decorator. A person with a good eye for colour and a natural flair for mixing textures can become a decorator all you need is to print out a batch of business cards and market yourself online. An interior designer needs a degree as a requirement for working in the field. Companies like http://www.capitalinteriors.co.uk supply different types of bespoke glass to companies who are interior designers and architects and as the direct supplier you can even contact them yourself from home.

Interior designers need to have a knack for design itself. Sounds really obvious doesn’t it but designers can really project their passion for their craft if they know what they’re doing. It’s not all fabrics and fun textures it’s a hard job and the education behind it is difficult. Interior designers need to know the history of structures and structural designs, building codes, spatial concepts and a lot of the time designers need to have a qualification in computer-aided design. Designers work with a broad range of people and having an eye for detail is extremely crucial. However we don’t just mean an eye for which colour matches with which fabrics, we mean having an eye for detail so that they can deal with builders, architects and business owners.

Being a people person is always a good idea as you can then engage easily with those you’re working with or working for. The companies that are dealt with on a daily basis for materials by builders and architects filter down to the interior designers and they then use the information they have to make the best decision for the job available. Logging online to a website with types of designs available for bathrooms and kitchens and why stop there? Being able to design the concept of an entire house or office building shows flair and excellence in creative ideas. Competition is fierce in interior design so using the best companies and the best materials is imperative and the more you know the better off you will be. Staying abreast of current designs and trends is extremely important for an interior designer who wishes to be successful in their field. Learning the local laws and building codes may seem tedious but as mentioned, the more you know, the more education and qualifications you have and are able to apply to your work the better off you’ll be and the more renowned you can become in your field.

Homeowner Rights You Need To Know

You’re in the midst of purchasing your dream home, or perhaps you’re already in your perfect property caught up in a whirlwind, but do you really know your rights when it comes to owning your own property? Speaking to http://www.kobaltlaw.co.uk/ could really help.

We have put together a note, below, of some of the key areas you may want to consider before you go signing contracts and parting with the big bucks. Whether you’re yet to sign on the dotted line or are planning a property renovation it’s certainly worth a read.

Buying as a Couple or Group

If you’re not buying on your own and are purchasing a property with a partner or a group then there are two options available; joint tenancy and tenancy in common.

Joint tenants are considered to be as one where the law is concerned and are required to take out a joint mortgage. They would therefore be unable to mortgage their proportion of the property and cannot pass on their share of the home in a will as it would go to the other joint tenant.

Tenancy in common is often a popular choice for groups of up to 4 people as tenants aren’t required to have equal shares in the property. This means that each member of the group can leave their share in a will to someone of their choosing rather than a co-tenant. In theory they could also find their own mortgage agreement, but it may be difficult to find a lender who would agree to such circumstances.

Shared Ownership

If you don’t have enough money for a deposit or mortgage on your own or don’t want to purchase with a partner or group then shared ownership is another option you may want to consider.

Shared ownership can be done in the UK but for the rules on going abroad, look at http://www.kobaltlaw.co.uk enables home buyers to purchase a home with a stake in the mortgage and then pay rent on the remaining share to the other party – often a housing association or developer.

Whilst shared ownership is a great way to get on the property ladder there are a few things you may want to consider before you go ahead. The rent you pay may be on a discounted rate, but purchasing a higher share in the mortgage can be costly although in time this will reduce the rent you pay. The property is also likely to be a leasehold meaning you will need to contribute to a maintenance charge and restrictions are likely to be in place as to whether you can rent the property out.

Offer Acceptance to Completion

Putting in an offer is the calm before the storm, because once that offer has been accepted things seem to take forever. The process is supposedly meant to take around 3 months but things can drag on a whole lot longer than that.

Once you’ve found a solicitor, you’ll instruct them to complete the conveyancing process for you. They will then request the contact from the sellers solicitor, before raising any queries or concerns on anything that may stand out. You’ll also receive a fixtures and fittings list of what’s included in the sale. Property searches will also need to be completed as well as surveys and valuations. Once all has been deemed satisfactory then you’re ready to sign and exchange contracts.

Once contracts have been exchanged the property purchase becomes legally binding and if anyone pulls of the sale then it can be extremely costly. Contracts are usually exchanged a minimum of 7 days before completion (the date you get the keys) but it is possible to exchange and complete on the same day.

Mortgage Advice for First Timers

If you are a first-time homebuyer, finding the best mortgage terms can be difficult. Though a mortgage is a product like a car or anything else you buy, it is likely to be the biggest purchase you ever make in your life. For this reason, it is imperative to go into the market prepared and with your eyes open. Going abroad for the first time with your property purchase can head different pitfalls, so check out what you need with http://www.kobaltlaw.co.uk. Here are some tips to help you.

Assess Your Budget and Improve Your Credit Score

First of all, estimate your ongoing income and determine how much you can afford to spend on a house before you look for a mortgage. Do not estimate on the high side. Take into account any other upcoming expenses or fluctuations in income. Next, learn your credit score. If it is already good, maintain it by not applying for new credit or closing any existing accounts.

If your score is a little low, the fastest way to raise it is by paying down balances on credit card debts. Check for errors affecting your score, such as debts erroneously listed as unpaid, or late payments that you paid on time. Do not close unused accounts. Instead, transfer balance from maxed-out cards to other cards. In some cases, taking a few months to improve your credit score can save you thousands of dollars in mortgage terms.

Prepare Your Paperwork

Before meeting with lenders, gather your financial paperwork. You need a lot to go and buy abroad, so speak to http://www.kobaltlaw.co.uk. You will need tax returns from the past two years, W2 income forms, and recent pay stubs. Bring your recent credit card, bank account, and investment account statements. Have divorce decrees and child support documents ready, if applicable. Itemize your family budget, including both your income and total monthly expenses.

Types of Loans and Interest

Most mortgages have a maturity of 30 years (‘maturity’ in this case refers to the length of the mortgage). If you can afford higher payments, a short maturity saves you money on interest. The interest rate is the price you pay for the loan, and it may vary from lender to lender. Fixed-rate mortgages keep the same interest over the entire length of the loan, regardless of outside interest rates. In variable-rate mortgages, the interest payments go up or down during the life of the loan. These usually start out at lower interest than fixed-rate mortgages, but if you plan to keep the house for a long time, a fixed-rate mortgage is a safer investment.

Compare Lenders

Commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and thrift institutions all offer mortgages, and you should contact a number of them and compare to ensure that you are getting the best price. Mortgage brokers do not lend money directly, but instead arrange mortgages for you. Going through a broker might help you negotiate better terms, but it is still best to contact several brokers and compare offers. Be sure to factor in extra costs like broker fees, underwriting fees, private mortgage insurance, as well as transaction settlement and closing costs. Remember that fees, costs, and interest rates are negotiable.

Moving To The UK?

There can be a variety of reasons for you to move into the UK and when you need advice about international property, you need www.kobaltlaw.co.uk. It could be down to finally landing a dream job in the country, or it may be down to just wanting a fresh start in one of the world’s top countries. Whatever the reason, there are certain things you should be aware of before moving to the country – and knowing how to find the right property is certainly one of these things.

Read the Contract – Whether Buying or Renting

This is one of the most important aspects to be aware of when you are moving to the UK. Whether buying or renting your new property, you need to be particularly careful about the fine print. As an example, if you’re about to rent a property, there can be a number of clauses put into the contract (the ‘Tenancy Agreement’) that can be potentially very detrimental to you as the tenant. Depending on the type of landlord you’re dealing with, the clauses can be either quite straight forward or they can be designed so that, in certain circumstances, you’ll have unexpected fines imposed on you. Therefore, if you are unsure what these clauses mean you may want to contact property lawyers like www.kobaltlaw.co.uk or, specifically in the case of buying property, conveyancing solicitors, to read over the contract for you and make sure that everything is correctly in place and without imbalance in favour of the landlord/seller. This will make sure that you aren’t hurt further down the line and it makes sure that your time in your home in the UK can be enjoyed without any doubts your rights in future.

Check Your Meters

The vast majority of homes in the UK are fitted with a meter for your gas and electricity, and it is vitally important that when you first move into your home you read the meter and make sure that it is up-to-date. If this isn’t done, you may be stuck with the bill from the previous tenant/owner of the home as the home would’ve been passed over into your name. You should therefore try to contact the supplier and make sure you’re clear from your side of things.

Make Sure You’re Clear On the Legal Front

It is important to know about the different visa tiers that are in the UK. Since 2013 the tier system has become the way for how the government decides how migrants coming to the UK are classified, and this can be the deciding factor for a number of banks to give you a mortgage for your home. For instance, if you are given a tier 1 visa then this would mean that you work in a desirable profession (as classed by the government) which would mean it would be fairly easy to gain a mortgage. However, if you have a tier 4 visa it may be harder to land a mortgage straight away and you may need to look to renting a home until you have spent sufficient time in the country.

Warning Signs Your Roof Is On The Way Out

Most homeowners figure they need a new roof after they spot a leak in their ceiling. This leak could be due to many different roofing problems. But, what factors really determine whether a roof repair will solve the problem or the house needs a roof replacement? The roof is responsible for protecting the home and its occupants from the elements, and as a result, it endures substantial wear and tear. Severe weather, like high winds and hail storms, can cause considerable damage to the roof and put its structural integrity in jeopardy. Companies like http://www.roofbuildhomeimprovements.co.uk can assist with your roofing needs.

Replacing a roof is an expensive process, and it’s not something most homeowners will have to do more than once or twice in their lifetimes. The best way to ensure a long life for your roof and to minimize costly repairs is to perform regular, routine maintenance.

Here are some tips to help you determine if you need a new roof:

1. Roof age

How old is your existing asphalt shingle roof? Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. It also depends on whether the old roof was removed and you only have one layer of shingles, and if it is properly ventilated. If the roof was installed over another layer or several layers and it is older than 20 years, chances are you need a new roof.

2. Shingles curling and buckling

Shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. Look at the slopes of your home that get direct sunlight and if you notice the shingles are curling and losing granules, it could mean the shingles are past their life expectancy. There could also be a possibility that the roof is defective.

3. Roof valleys

If your roof shingles are falling apart or missing in this area, it’s a definite sign you need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters. If the valley is compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks and companies like http://www.roofbuildhomeimprovements.co.uk can help.

4. Missing shingles

These are another sign your roof could be failing. Check to see if all of the shingle “tabs” are intact.

5. Chimney flashing

This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long-term, water-tight fitting, which would be a metal flashing system.

6. Shingle granules in the gutters

Look in your gutters to see whether they are loaded up with shingle granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Inconsistent or darker colour on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away.

7. Daylight through the roof boards

You notice a spongy feel or trampoline bounce when walking on the roof, which means the underlying decking is weakened from moisture. Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.