Gardening Tips for Winter – Preparation

tree-winterWith hot summer months long gone and winter approaching us rapidly, it is time to call in Benton Arboriculture and prepare your garden for harsh winter conditions. You can prepare your garden yourself, and also employ the services of a professional tree surgeon from Kings Cuts Trees to assist.

  • Tackle the inside of your greenhouse. This will help reduce the number of pests and diseases in winter. Remove your plants before sweeping away any plant debris, and disinfect surfaces, paths and glass (a hot garden disinfectant solution is ideal). Ensure your greenhouse is well ventilated after this, to dry it out.
  • We’ve already cleaned the inside of the greenhouse, so let’s get started on the outside. Greenhouses are often covered with shade paint for summer months, to reduce the intensity of sunlight plants inside receive. Yet, with days becoming shorter and natural light becoming an increasingly valuable resource, removing shade paint will maximise light available. This can be done easily with a bucket of hot water and some elbow grease. Use this opportunity to replace and broken or damaged glass, and clean out any gutters on the greenhouse.
  • Maintain your compost heap, as this will be a useful resource for your plants over winter! Clear out last year’s compost and use this around the garden and start making a heap of this season’s waste.
  • Revitalise your lawn. Remove old crass clippings and moss with a rake and add it to your compost heap. Improve drainage and air flow of worn areas with a garden fork. Autumn is also a good time to add new turf.
  • If you have a pond, purchase a net to place above it. Pond nets are ideal for catching any falling leaves, which can block filters and make water foul. Leaves can be added straight onto the compost heap after being collected.
  • Maintain your tools. Ensure your lawn mower is fully functional, if not then fix any malfunctioning parts or purchase a new one if it is beyond repair. Sharpen and wash any tools, but dry them thoroughly to prevent rust.
  • Check your structures, including fences and sheds, for signs of weakness or rot, and get them repaired before snow and winds arrive.
  • Putting out fat blocks and other food on a regular basis. This will help local wildlife to come to your garden. Not only will this encourage fertilisation from their faeces, but they will also repay you by eating any pests they find in your garden.

Why Apartments And Flats Use Service Metres

new-apartment-complex-620x348-on-apartmentpicThere are a lot of apartments and flats in the country especially in the city. People who are working or living alone would prefer apartments since it is cost efficient and a lot closer to their work place. Traditional apartments used to charge tenants on fixed rates or divide the bill by the number of tenants for electricity and water. However, apartments vary in size as well as the appliances available in each room even on the same building. These differences as well as the rate of consumption cause some issues regarding the fairness of the payment method for the tenant’s service bills. To counter these problems, sub metering was introduced in the previous decade which still poses a lot of challenges. Finally, the metre industry has introduced service metres which some called as smart metres. Here are the different reasons why apartments and flats use service metres.

  1. No need to divide the bill for multiple rooms – Even sub metering and master meter has an issue of dividing the building bill. However, service metres do not need such laborious task since the tenants will be deciding on what amount to put in the metre before they use the service.
  2. No hassle on collections – It is hard for landlords and flat owners to collect the bills from their tenants especially if the tenants are busy from work or simply could not find the time to settle their bills at the designated date. With the service metres, there is no need to collect the payment for the service bills since the tenants themselves will pay before using the service.
  3. Free from fixed rate service bills – Since the tenants pay before using the service, there is no need to settle on fixed rate service bills, minimums or trying to decide whether the rate is fair or not.
  4. Pay what is used – This is basically the main advantage why apartments and flats are using service metres. They would like to make the tenants feel that the tenants are not cheated with their money by having them pay the exact amount of the service they use.
  5. Increase safety – Though this is rarely seen as an advantage, it actually is a benefit in service metres since electricity or water will not be supplied to the room unless there is money in the metre. This prevents plugged appliances or gadgets from overheating or exploding from too much charge. Incidents due to electricity or water leaking will be prevented even when the room is unattended.

If you own a flat or an apartment complex, switch to service metres with current transformers for both the tenants and your benefit.


Benefits Of Having A Greenhouse In Your Garden

Garden-Greenhouse-108Gardening is one of the coolest hobbies you can do in your home. It enhances your backyard’s appearance and can provide you with fresh vegetables and fruits without having to go to a grocery store. If you are into gardening then you surely know the challenges that come along with it. You need to consider the plants which are perfect for the season as well as how to protect them from extreme conditions like overexposure to sunlight. These challenges are the reason some people would hesitate to engage in gardening. However, this changed with the introduction of greenhouse gardening. Greenhouse uses different materials to limit and control the environmental factors that the plants are exposed with. It could be made of polycarbonate sheet. Here are the different benefits of having a greenhouse in your garden.

  1. Consistency – With a greenhouse made of polycarbonate sheet, you don’t have to worry about choosing plants that are in season since a greenhouse will let you plant any kind of vegetables or fruits you like all year round.
  2. Protection for plants – Extreme winds or too much sunlight and rain can be catastrophic to your garden especially if you have delicate plants. A greenhouse provides perfect protection for your plants.
  3. Ideal gardening environment – For plants, there is always an ideal environment for them to thrive in. A polycarbonate sheet greenhouse can help you achieve an ideal gardening environment for your plants.
  4. No gardening limit due to seasons – You do not need to worry about the changing climate and seasons since a greenhouse can create a consistent gardening environment. You no longer have to change plants as the seasons change.
  5. No landscaping – Not everyone is good with landscaping thus you might worry about having a messy garden. With a greenhouse, people will not see how your garden actually looks unless they are inside which relieves you from having to perform landscaping on your garden.
  6. Personalise without care for the world – Each person has his or her own taste and style. You can customise your garden inside a greenhouse any way you like without worrying how others would react.
  7. Extra place for storage – You do not need to build any storage for your gardening tools since a greenhouse can provide you with the perfect place to store your gardening tools.
  8. Multipurpose gardening – You can plant any kind of vegetable and fruit inside your greenhouse at the same time. This is perfect if you love to plant any vegetables you need for a salad.

With all these benefits in a greenhouse, there is no reason why you don’t want to try gardening. Just be sure to use a polycarbonate sheet to make your greenhouse last longer.


Why Paying For Car Storage Saves Money

Cars have become more than a luxury. Nowadays, our lifestyle significantly rely on cars. We use cars to go to work, go shopping for groceries, going to offices to pay our bills and even going on a vacation trip. Without our car, we will not have the luxury of traveling conveniently. However, when we are not using our car for a long time like for the off season or a long business trip abroad, we need to keep our car safe. There are long term car storage uk companies which can provide a secured space for our precious car if we won’t be using it for a couple of weeks or so. Though there is a fee for leaving your car in a car storage, it can save more money in the long run.summer_drive_0713_604 Here are the reasons why paying for car storage saves money.

  1. Car is expensive – Even the cheapest car can cost way more than the average daily income of a middle class citizen. If a car is stolen or damaged, the cost of purchasing a new car or paying for the repairs is definitely higher than paying for a car storage. This reason alone has convinced many car owners to use car storage for their cars.
  2. A new paint job costs a lot – Anyone know that leaving the car outside while being under bad weather conditions can deteriorate the paint quality on the car. Given that you won’t be using the car for an extended period of time, there is a higher chance that your car will need a new paint job after you got back. A complete new paint job can cost at least 5 times more than the rent.
  3. Car corrodes – Bad weather conditions especially heavy rain can cause the car to develop rust on several parts. Rusted parts can break your car and could affect other parts. If this happens, you will have to replace the rusted parts which definitely cost more than the rent for a car storage. Even if you have a car cover, it won’t be enough to protect your car from bad elements.

If you are trying to save a few dollars by opting to park your car outside your house or in a public parking area, think again. The three reasons above are more than enough for you to reconsider such decision. After all, paying for car storage saves money if you consider these factors.…

Quick Fixes for Uneven Wall Panels

Drywall panels are pretty popular among households because they are easy to install, maintain, and clean, plus the fact that they aren’t too pricey. Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly unheard of for a wall panel to suddenly turn uneven. There are several reasons that may cause this, such as poor installation and natural house settling.
Regardless of the reason, the effect is one and the same—an unsightly wall. Even if you try to cover them up with wall tiles, you’ll find that it’ll be impossible to do so unless the surface is perfectly level. The good news is, there are a few simple fixes that you can accomplish in just a matter of hours.

Fixing the Original Tape
Depending on how uneven the panels are, you’ll either be adding more tape to secure the bond (if not too uneven) or re-taping the whole thing (if wall panels are very uneven). To reveal the original tape, scrape off the joint compound on the surface. Remove any tape that’s peeling off and scrape the surface clean. Add a new layer of tape and press down firmly to provide a better seal between the drywall panels.

Applying Joint Compound
When trying to level an uneven wall, one common mistake people do is to slop on a lot of joint compound and expect to do the job in one go. It may take a lot more time to apply the compound in several layers, but you should keep in mind that each time you put a coat of compound, it should only be ¼ of an inch at most. If you go any thicker, the compound will not dry completely and you’ll end up with a messy, crumbling compound. Wait for the first layer to set until hard before proceeding to the next step.

Levelling the Surface
With a level placed over the panel, check how uneven the wall panels are. Apply another layer of joint compound to level the surface. Wait until compound sets and test again. Repeat if necessary until the level reads the wall as level.
Tip: Make sure you sand down any ridges off of the compound so that it is smooth before you use the level on it. Otherwise, chances are you’ll throw off the reading.

Replacing the Wall Panels
If the panels are off level by more than an inch, you might want to reconsider starting from scratch. Pry off the uneven panels. From there, you’ll be able to see whether the problem was caused only by poor installation or by uneven wall framing boards. If it’s the former, re-apply the panels correctly. If it’s the latter, you’ll have to use shims to build the framing boards up until the surface is level.…

5 Things You Should Look For in a Portable Air Conditioner

5 Things You Should Look For in a Portable Air Conditioner

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If you strongly feel that enjoying the summer heat does not have to mean being baked inside your own house, then you should go out and buy yourself a portable air conditioner. It’s more economical to use one than to have a traditional air-conditioning system installed, and you can even install it without having to call an electrician.

Before you bask in the prospect of being able to move your air-conditioning unit from room to room, however, it helps to learn the five things you have to keep in mind when buying your first unit.

  1. Appropriate Unit Size

Factor in room size. Get a large unit for a small room, and you will end up feeling damp instead of refreshed, which simply means too much refrigerated air is produced. On the other hand, a unit that is too small will have to be run constantly to be able to cool a room. Opt for a unit that marries room size with cooling capacity perfectly.

  1. Cost Efficiency

Consider EER ratings. Check the label that shows a unit’s Energy Efficiency Rating. Select the one with more stars, which means it uses less energy, as well as lets you save more on electricity bills, compared to other units.

Count BTU ratings in. It helps to remember that the higher the British Thermal Unit rating given to a portable air-conditioning unit is, the faster it is able to cool down a room. But don’t waste your money on a unit that shows a higher BTU rating if you only need something a bit lower.

  1. Easy Maintenance

Efficient in water removal. You will be better off choosing a portable unit that has an automatic evaporating system, instead of one that needs periodic emptying. It will allow you to let it work for hours without having to constantly drain the condensed water out.

Comes with accessible filters. Make sure your chosen unit comes with filters that are easy to clean or replace. You will benefit from a cleaner air, more efficient unit operation, and no-fuss maintenance.

  1. Quiet Operation

Rated to work silently. Choose a unit that is labeled “for quiet operation,” which is the manufacturer’s way of assuring you that it will not generate much noise. Just look for the rating which ensures it will work without reaching urban background noise levels.

Ensures minimal disturbance. Find a unit that will let you work around the house in peace, or watch your favorite TV shows without turning up the volume.

  1. Additional Features

Allows easy operation of controls. Check that the unit you choose comes with light-touch controls, a bright digital display, and automatic switches. It would be better if a remote control is thrown in — you will then be able to operate your unit from afar.

Provides programmable thermostat. A timer will enable you to cut down on run time, avoid freezing at nighttime, and save on electricity.

Offers conventional fan setting. A fan-only function will help you sleep better in the night — it will not get too cold, and the soft sound will not disturb you.

Look for these five essentials when choosing a portable air conditioner, and you’ll soon be on your way to owning an equipment that lets you make any room in your house feel cool and comfortable within minutes.




Purchasing the right Sofa: Where to start?

Different Styles of Sofas

Selecting and purchasing the right sofa is a hard task to do, especially with all the Sofa companies online, including However, with basic knowledge of the different styles, the job will be much easier and fun to do.

Chesterfield Sofa

This sofa style’s distinct quality is its high sides. This quality makes chesterfield sofas very comfortable and intimate to sit on. Additionally, chesterfield sofas are very versatile and can fit in almost any kind of room and setting. Upholster it in leather and it can be added to a room to provide high-end feeling. Cover it using velvet materials and it instantly becomes more elegant looking or most commonly, dress it with linen and the chesterfield sofa becomes soft and understated.

Classic English Rolled Arm Sofa

A unique characteristic of this style of sofa is its deep and low seats. Deep and low seats make this sofa very inviting to sit back or curl up. It also provides the sofa with a softer, comfortable look. It is perfect to add in a living room where a family can gather and relax.

Streamlined Tuxedo Sofa

Streamlined tuxedo sofas essentially have arms and a back that are of the same level or height. This characteristic gives the sofa a relaxed and generous seating capacity. It can fit in any traditional or contemporary settings or themes. In addition, although some streamlined tuxedo sofas are upholstered, its even back and arm levels also make it easier for them to be slipcovered.

Camelback Sofa

This sofa, sporting a serpentine back, is considered the traditional of all the sofa styles. The two sides of the sofa’s back are low but they gradually increase in height as they reach and meet in the middle part of the sofa. Camelback sofas typically come with a tailored skirt but for a more contemporary and refined look, the unskirted base variant can be chosen. Although this sofa is traditional in style, the right fabric or upholstery can make it look more modern and stylish.

Sectional Sofa

The sectional sofa is the most functional type among all the other kinds of sofas. This style generally comes with a chaise. It is perfect for a small room that can only fit a limited number of tables and chairs. It is very roomy, comfortable, and perfect for lying down, snuggling with loved ones, or curling up to read a book. The chaise part of the sofa can also be used as a temporary bed when a guest comes over unexpectedly.…

Importance of Locksmiths in Maintaining the Security of Your Home

One of the alarming issues that homeowners are facing all over that world is more on their home security. There have been spikes in home intrusion reported which can be attributed to the increase of unemployment rate. Your garage is just one part of your home that is very vulnerable to intrusion. There are still other parts of your home that needs to be secured hence you need to provide adequate level of protection to your home by means of choosing professional locksmith services.

Why is it significant to hire professional locksmith for the security of your home. Here are some of the reasons with regards to the importance of locksmith and these are as follows:

Post with advice from Fast Key Services, based in Essex.

  • Locksmith services could provide precise assessment at the same time recommendation and solution for your home security. Depending on the type of neighborhood, properties inside your home and other things, they can offer you the best recommendation when it comes to the appropriate locks and security systems that needs to be installed in your home.
  • Security and safety guarantee will be given to you by professional locksmith services. This is one of the benefits of seeking for licensed and professional people who are really equipped with the right skills in locksmith services. Product warranties and work guarantees assure superior kind of result. It also gives you assurance that the money you’ve spent is completely worth.
  • Locksmith services could be trusted enough with regards to handling security needs of your home. Since locksmiths have their license to practice their work, they are usually bound to offer ethical codes of professionals in their work industry. Homeowners who gave their electronic locks and other types of locks installed in every room of their house could have peace of mind that everything will be safe and secured.
  • It is safer and more convenient to seek for the assistance of professional locksmith that can handle all the security concerns of your home. Fewer hands on security systems and locks manifest less possibilities of inside jobs risks. During lock out situations inside and outside of your house, you can already have an idea on how to solve the problem easier and faster. This is due to the fact that locksmiths have the right equipment that could offer minimal damages to your home property in case locks and security systems at home needs to be forcibly opened.
  • Professional locksmiths for your home security offers different types of services. Since there are different types of homes, this would mean that there are also diversified services and solutions in terms of the security system and locks that will be installed on it. When it comes to locksmith services that goes beyond ordinary need, only those professional locksmiths can assure of the best possible work that you are highly in need of.

To those homeowners or office owners who wanted to make sure that their home & office safe should trust only those locksmiths that could prove their work qualification at the same time good reputation. Key Safes from FK are great for safety for offices. This way, you are given an assurance that every penny spent on their services would truly turn out to be part of your good investments at office.


Choosing Your Home Elliptical: Finding A Trainer That Can Keep Up With You

Choosing Your Home Elliptical: Finding A Trainer That Can Keep Up With You

Elliptical trainers can provide users with effective, low-impact exercises minus the punishing effects on their joints, therefore lessening the likelihood of injuries. What’s more, spending half an hour on the elliptical allows the average user to burn as much as 270 calories.

It is for these reasons that these savvy workout must-haves have found their way from the gym to the home of fitness enthusiasts everywhere.

But prior to investing in an home elliptical machine (check reviews here), there are some important things you should consider and this includes the budget. The more expensive ellipticals are usually more durable and come with special built-in features ranging from chest-strap monitors to USB ports.

If you have extra cash to spare, then consider putting your money on a machine that can stay with you until you are able to meet your fitness goals. For more convenient storage, it is advisable to purchase a compact, folding elliptical which can be kept inside a closet when not in use. As for the extra built-in features, you should ask yourself first which of these conveniences you can and cannot do without. The benefits derived from the elliptical depend completely on the type that you choose. For instance, X-trainers with their movable hand grips and changeable resistance enable you to shift easily from your cardio routine to a full-body workout — thus allowing you to maximize your training time.

Comfort is another feature that you mustn’t overlook. You are more likely to stick to your routine if you are able to perform your workouts with ease. It is therefore important to select an elliptical which can provide the most natural simulation of walking and running movements. To involve all muscle groups and to prevent boredom, you need to add variety to your routine. For that reason, it is wise to determine if the elliptical has an adjustable incline and whether it is manual or automated.

Some ellipticals have way too many buttons so to suit your busy lifestyle, go for a machine with a “Quick Start” mode. Keep in mind that an elliptical with a wider base offers more stability during high-intensity exercises, therefore allowing more sideward movements. Also, be sure to check for safety features such as locking mechanisms that will prevent the pedals from accidentally moving.

Lastly, anticipate improvements in your level of fitness and opt for an elliptical trainer with a wide range of resistance levels. By doing so, you’ll end up with a trainer that can actually keep up with you.


Selling a property in London

Selling a property in London

The process of selling your property for the best price can feel like a financial and logistical minefield filled with stressful and time-consuming processes.

There are many steps along the road to selling a property, including: the selection of the most suitable representative for you and your property, the calculation of a reasonable asking price, marketing your property to reach the most relevant potential buyers and preparing your home for viewings.

As independent property consultants, we have extensive experience in guiding our clients through the sales process from start to finish, providing independent advice, reaching out to our trusted network of local property professionals and providing weekly progress reports on the sale once a buyer is in place. Here are a few considerations for anyone who is about to begin their property journey to make sure the road to a successful sale is as smooth as possible.

Choosing a reputable agent:

1. Choose a property expert that has a strong presence within your community. This can be found through the use of boards and advertisements – and do not underestimate the power of word of mouth. Choosing a great property consultant will be a big advantage in the long run. Ensure you choose an agent with a large network of contacts to help gain traction and grab the attention of high-end buyers and their property consultants within the marketplace. Within the luxury housing demographic, homes can be bought and sold before they even go to press, so it is vital that you choose a consultant with the appropriate client base.

2. Online research can help pinpoint the correct agent for your specific property. Make use of external reviews and recommendations from those that have sold similar properties in the local area recently.

3. A vital, but sometimes overlooked, aspect when selecting an agent is to ensure you pick one that you have a good relationship with. Property consultants will become part of your property family whilst your house is on the market and a good relationship is key to ensuring a smooth and successful selling process.

Achieving a realistic asking price:

4. Do not be won over by the agent who values your property at the highest price, look for a reputable property surveys – overpricing your property can put buyers off. A good agent will understand the specific locale that you are selling in. This is of particular importance in larger cities where real estate micro-environments can coexist in very close proximity. So make sure your agent understands your postcode, and not just the general area you are selling in.

5. Compare and research your property on a variety of portals. Some people fall into the trap of comparing their property’s perceived price to that of their next door neighbour’s house. Instead, compare floor plans to achieve an informed and realistic understanding of your property’s asking price.


6. Choose an agent that offers various marketing methods for your property. An effective marketing campaign is a fundamental requirement for any business, and selling your home is a business transaction. By utilising online, print and any other available channels to market your home, a luxury property can gain the level of exposure required to reach the correct audience and bring in potential buyers. Video viewings also enable buyers to have a closer inspection and a better feel for the property than traditional photographs.

Be prepared:

7. Instruct a solicitor in advance and organise all your paperwork and finances in order to push the efficiency of your sale.

8. Be prepared for some honest opinions. A property consultant’s primary objective is to satisfy their client but this can mean that a seller sometimes has to hear a few hard truths about their property, including its staging and even the asking price. What is important to remember is that a property consultant is a professional that must maintain a level of honesty in order to set realistic goals. Additionally, the better a seller and property consultant can communicate, the more the seller will feel empowered and understand what’s needed to fulfil their expectations.


9. Make the right first impression. There are numerous ways to capture the interest of a potential buyer from the first moment they arrive at your property. You can enhance your property’s curb appeal with garden landscaping; indoors, you could simply rearrange the existing furniture to provide a cleaner layout. Also, vacate your property whilst your agent is carrying out a viewing to avoid any awkward moments and ensure all pets (and their odours) are banished from your property during a viewing.

10. Patience is a virtue. Irrespective of market conditions, many sellers are eager to sell in the shortest time possible, but this can be detrimental in several ways and could ultimately increase the time it takes to complete the selling process. Sellers that want to rush through the process can cause tension with property consultants and buyers, or even put off buyers entirely – plus, this kind of seller often ignores important market trends. It is crucial to follow the lead of your property consultant, who has the experience to design and execute a successful selling strategy for your home.

11. Ensure your agent gives feedback proactively and in a timely fashion after every viewing. Therefore, any constructive criticism can be taken on board and changes can be made before the next viewing takes place. You should also be updated continually on how well your property is performing in comparison to other similar houses on the market.

Added extras:

12. Consider extra incentives when motivating a buyer. Sometimes an added extra is all it takes to complete a purchase. This is particularly true within the premium housing market where touches such as handpicked pieces of art or imported furniture contribute to the overall design of a property and offer an incredibly unique selling point.…