3 Tips on Choosing the Right Building Company

DIY is certainly a popular pass-time when it comes to essential building work it is more sensible to leave it to the professionals. Price is always a consideration. However, if anything good wrong, and there are legal as well as safety aspects to consider, the “cost” could be substantially more.

Professionals are Called that for a Reason

One of the most important things to do when choosing the right building company is choosing a professional. If you opt for less than professional, the chances of something going wrong invariably increase. If this happens, mistakes are usually extremely costly to make good, says Paul from Touchstone Builders in Warwickshire. A definition of professional is “a person engaged or qualified in a profession. The all important word here is “qualified”. To ensure you are putting your hard-earned cash in the right direction be certain the building company you choose are registered and can prove their ability through their track record – Essentially, they are qualified. Today most people understand, trying to tackle essential building work and repairs will all too often ends in tears. After all, without these qualifications how can you be sure the company will be any better than your own efforts? Anything less than a professional building company will invariably create more problems than it will be worth.

Do not be shy!

Getting a recommendation from someone you know and trust is definitely a big plus. If that is not the case ask the company for references and make sure you go through and check them out. Recommendations are a great way to work out how good that building company really is as well as how much customer satisfaction truly means to them. In the same way, be forward with regards to asking what their qualifications are. Are they registered and licensed? Do they hire subcontractors? If they do and a problem reveals itself it is important to know exactly where you stand. For example, what happens if the sub-contractor goes out of business? After all, your contract will be with them not the sub-contractor. Are they insured? Knowing what coverage you have with regards to anything going wrong is paramount.

Know What you Pay For

Most would not go to the supermarket and put items in our basket with no price on: So do not do it now. While you want a professional you also want clear and transparent rates and clear-cut costs laid out, before you start handing over money. Insist on a detailed quote and be clear on your budget. Is the price guaranteed and if so, for how long? For example, if material prices change will you be notified immediately if you are liable for these extra costs? Unquestionably, a contract is essential. Make sure the contract reflects the quote and clearly states when payments are due: Never release the last payment until all work’s completed exactly to your contract – Including the snagging. The contract should also include a warranty: One that is clear with regards to exactly what is and is not covered, as well as the duration. Another important point is to know what would happen if you did want to cancel the project.

Get Familiar With The Most Successful UK Property Investment Methods

UK Real estate investing is just one road you can take for wealth creation, but how does real estate differs itself from other investments opportunity in the country? This is a big question that an answer, as lots of investors in United Kingdom still doubt the potential of real estate to generate substantial amount of money for the progress of their business portfolios. Real estate is the sector of the economy that deals with lands and other fixed assets permanently attached to it. This is one of the most lucrative sectors of the economy, that even despite the current worldwide economic downturn, the gateway to the millionaire’s league is still very open for people who understand how best to do business and make money in the market. Investors can still avail the vast opportunity of trading in the real estate market to buy and sell land and properties and make their millions with ease.

Successful UK Property Investment Method

There are different ways to invest in property business, though this depend on the rules and laws governing the buying and selling of lands and properties in each country; but in the case of the United Kingdom, basically, there is only one property investment method, and that is buying a house to flip, which can be sub divided into two categories, namely buying a house to sell on at a later date, or buying a property and reselling it immediately. There are also many options for you to consider when you require a fast house sale in London when you received a return on your investment.

Properties bought to flip can be either commercial or residential. One exciting fact about this investment method is that there is no limit to the numbers of houses you can flip in a year in the UK, so there is no limit to the amount of money you could potentially make from the business.

Buying a home and holding on to it, with the intention of selling at a later date is an attractive option that many people resort to as it allows them to let it out to tenants  giving them the opportunity to have access to a passive source of income.

Important Tips

However, though, it may sound very easy to buy a home, renovate it and sit on the income. But there is lots more to real estate investment than this alone. Investors, whether new or old, need to be familiar with techniques and the latest strategies such as expert home staging in the world of real market in order to be successful, as real estate business entails a fair amount of knowledge and professionalism.

Drawbacks to Building a Loft Conversion

A loft conversion is a great way to add value to any home, but there are also loft conversion london (9)drawbacks that you should consider before starting work, according to loft conversion experts.

The most obvious one is the inconvenience of having the top of your house virtually removed while the conversion is being carried out.

Converting a loft is not a cheap option. Obviously the cost of the work will depend on the size of the conversion and how elaborate the final extra area is.

Prices vary from around £10,000 for a small basic conversion up to £40,000 for a loft with a bath room installed. These are just rule of the thumb prices and a more detailed estimate from a specialist loft conversion builder will give a more accurate price.

The value of a house should be taken into consideration before any decision is made. A small terrace house valued at £160,000 would not recover a cost of a £40,000 loft conversion, where as a modest conversion of say £15,000 would show a profit of around £17,000 if the values increased by twenty percent. Obviously a £40,000 loft conversion would produce a very healthy increase in value on a house worth £350,000.

You must take expert advice

So the answer to the question “would a loft conversion be the best way to add value to your house?” is yes. As long as you take all the advice the experts will give you, and do not over spend on the budget you set yourself.

How to Relocate Successfully

My estate agent friend Derek, who deals in property for sale in Javea, Costa Blanca, tells me it may seem very tempting to move overseas, but before you make such a monumental decision, you need to ask yourself if you really have everything that is needed for living in a foreign country. Moving overseas can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. However, it also takes a lot of willpower and planning.

Plenty of preparation is needed before moving abroad. You need a lot more than just a plane ticket and valid visa to have a fulfilling and rewarding experience while residing in a foreign country. The following advice for moving overseas might not seem all that romantic. However, if you follow this common sense advice, it will definitely benefit you while you are abroad. As you plan your overseas move, keep these following factors in mind.

If you are planning to move overseas, solid financial planning and financial stability are vital to your success and safety. You need to have a financial cushion that can cover unexpected or additional costs. Many people believe their cost of living will be much cheaper if they move overseas. However, there may be some factors that make living just as expensive, or even more expensive, as residing in your home country.

Even if you are moving to a country that has a supposedly “cheap” cost of living, life overseas can still end up being more expensive than what you were expecting. When you first move abroad, you will probably want the expensive expat lifestyle that comes with all of the amenities you were used to having at home. Trying to maintain a Western lifestyle, particularly in a third-world country, can be extremely expensive. In order for your expat experience to be successful, careful planning or being willing to adapt to local ways of living might be necessary.

You should line up some work opportunities before moving overseas, unless you are a student, retiree who has a decent retirement income or you are being transferred there by your employer.

If you do need to find work, make sure you become thoroughly familiar with the local job market in the country and area you are interested in living in. See whether the qualifications you have are in demand there. It might seem very Bohemian to work as a freelance language tutor, blogger or travel writer in one of the capital cities in Central Europe. However, before embarking on such an adventure, make sure to acquire a few business contacts that might help you with acquiring regular work and learn the basics of self-employment before you move abroad.

To find the best place to live overseas, you do need to let go of some of your romantic ideas. Think about what language skills you have as well as your physical constitution. Some climates and countries require you to be quite healthy. You need to be aware of whatever safety and health risks a specific country might possess.

An overseas moves requires a lot of organizing and planning. There will be bureaucratic hurdles to deal with. Your finances and paperwork need to be in order, luggage must be packed and shipped, personal items will need to be stored or sold, etc. It is important that you are organized, thorough and patient when dealing with bureaucracy and all the details that moving abroad entails.

The most important thing to do is to make a plan, with all of the above factors considered, and stick to your plan. With proper planning and a great mindset, your move overseas will undoubtedly be a success.

A Brief Guide To Welding Metal, Safety Involved And Different Forms Of Welding For DIY

When you think of welding metal, what do you imagine is involved? Simply using a blowtorch against the edge of metal seams to weld them together? Do you also know think you can just use the same type of flame on any type of metal and cut it like you see in movies? The reality is that welding actually involves a lot of skill and knowledge and the techniques can take numerous years to master, says Adam from Arcrite, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of welding equipment. If you are still interested in learning though, there are some basic techniques you can practice. Once you have the basics mastered, you are then ready to move onto the more technical skills.

Safety First

Before starting any project, safety should always come first. Remember that although supplies and equipment can be replaced, you can’t. Burning may seem like the worst that could happen to you. In actual fact, damage to your eyes caused by the intense light generated by welding is worse. Furthermore, there are many metal welding methods that involve high voltages of electricity in the process that make the risk of electric shock or death a possibility.

When starting a project, wear a high-quality helmet, along with clothing and gloves. You also need to make sure you read all the welder manufacturer’s instructions and safety procedures.

Oxyfuel or Oxy-Acetylene Welding

Oxyfuel Welding is probably the most commonly recognised form of welding. It is this form that is often described as using a blow-torch. It is though, the least used technique. However, it is also less expensive and complicated compared to other welding techniques. So, it is great for beginners, but one of the reasons it is used less now is that it is not as accurate as other options. The weld bead produced is not as clean as other techniques and has weaker joints due to its slow cooling. It is still a good place to start your foray into welding.

Arc Welding

Arc Welding is an essential technique to master if you are wanting to weld metal. Instead of a gas torch, this method uses a high voltage of electricity and passes it through metal. The spark, or arc, jumps from one metal piece to the other, producing enough heat to melt the metal together, creating a weld. The reason for its popularity is due to it producing an accurate weld that is strong and clean.

The term Arc Welding is actually an umbrella title for a number of different types that can be used, depending on the metal you need to weld.

SMAW or Shielded Metal Arc Welding

This is best used when a rough weld is necessary. Electricity is passed through stick or electrode which melts and produces the joint.

MIG or Metal Inert Gas Welding (also known as Gas Metal Arc Welding)

If you are working on a welding project that needs to be completed quickly, MIG welding is a better option. Instead of rods, this method uses special equipment for sending electricity to a metal tip that doesn’t melt, while a separate and continuous piece of wire is fed through the tip which is melted and forms the joint.

TIG or Tungsten Inert Gas Welding

Though TIG is similar to MIG welding, it is best used when working with thinner materials where speed nor high quality is important to the weld.

Don’t try to remember all the different types of welding though, and instead stick to the one you are learning right now.

The Slow Growth of the Spanish Property Market

The Spanish property market will move to the rhythm of the slow hand of a watch according to the latest reports

Is the Spanish property market finally picking up?

Is the Spanish property market finally picking up?

on the Spanish property market. The market has now entered a stabilization process that will last for two years (2014 and 2015) to resume its expansion from 2015 .

” The time of stabilization seems to be close ,” said an estate agent in the Costa Blanca resort of Javea. The evolution of price and house sales usually follow the same pattern throughout the economic cycle. Like the hands of a clock mechanism, the real estate situation progresses along four different phases: expansion , slowdown, followed by contraction and stabilization. And for 2015, both home sales and prices will return to expansionary phase , or in other words , will rise again .

According to certain banks in Spain, the market is at the gates of the latter phase we start the cycle again . “This measure is clearly seen in the U.S. housing market where, between 2005 and 2012 , the needles have already completed one lap and have returned to the expansive phase , with price increases and house sales picking up and expected to continue to rise in  2014 .

This still remains to be seen before we can say house values are going up for sure, but it is good news for the thousands of home owners who have been living with negative equity since the collapse of the market in 2008.

To get an idea of what you can expect to pay for a property in Spain in 2014, take a look at this article. You should bear in mind that this is one of the more exclusive holiday resorts on the Costa Blanca, and prices will be lower for those who are prepared to buy inland away from the coast. However, inland properties are not so easy to rent out, and you will not have as many attractions for visitors and tourists on your doorstep.

Selling House Tips That Will Put Ahead Of Your Competitors

If you are considering selling a house, it is important to begin by understanding the current market status. Is the houseforsalemarket saturated with houses for sale? Are there many potential customers in the market? Would your house likely fetch the maximum possible profit if you sell at this moment? In most occasions, the most likely scenario is where there are a handful of potential customers and several houses for sale. For you to sell your house under this market situation, you will need to gather a few selling a house tips that will give you advantage over your competitors.

Selling A House Tips That Will Make You Sell Your House Fast

The best way to a fast house sale is to make sure you are not repeating some of the common selling mistakes most sellers make. You should get your house price right before listing it on the market by asking the Star Estate Agency. Most sellers are tempted to list their houses highly and when they do not sell, they start making small price reductions again and again. It is important to note that the longer the house stays on the market, the more jaded buyers become and thus, you should always plan to sell your house within a few weeks. Furthermore, small price reductions will make customers reason that many other customers have seen it and rejected and thus, they would tend not to consider it. The bet strategy is to find out the cost of the current price for the most enticing houses and then sell your house at 10 percent below that price.

The other mistake that you should avoid is hiring the wrong agent. It is important to note that the top 10 brokers usually sell 90 percent of all houses sales in the market and thus, you should take hiring an estate agent seriously. You need an agent with enthusiasm and drive, someone who will be able to ease the house selling process while giving you the attention you deserve.

You should avoid showing your house to potential customers without investing on its appeal. Most house sellers usually invest on improving the image of the house but forget to get rid of clutter. It is important to note that clutter is more visible than decorative fixtures. Therefore, if there are boxes, old building materials, or any other clutter in the garden or house, you should get rid of it, or put it into storage. I recommend this Bristol storage firm.

Installing a conservatory, kitchen or loft extension is another great way to increase the value of the property and attract buyers.

You should avoid refusing the first offer too quickly. Most sellers are overjoyed when they see the first offer and usually tend to hold out for other improved bids and by the time they realize the first offer was the best, the customer has already purchased another house.


The Netherlands – Ever Considered Holland As a Place to Live?

Amsterdam in the evening

Amsterdam in the evening

I recently travelled to Holland for the first time, and really was quite impressed with the country. When traveling around the Netherlands a person needs to stop at the one place that has everything you could ever possibly want. That would be Amsterdam and it has a little something for everyone, of every age. Enjoy the views as you walk around the city along the canals and enjoy the lights at night. Step into one of the many pubs and bars along the way for a quick break or enjoy the cuisine at a local restaurant.

When you need to take a break after spending hours looking at art at the Van Gogh Museum, or the Oude Kerk which started as a simple chapel and became a grand church. The Jewish Historical Museum is another great place to look around and possibly see some culture from your own family. Either way when you are done seeing the sights you will need a place to rest and relax for the rest of the evening.

There are tons of great Amsterdam apartments has to offer. They range in size from a Studio apartment all the way to a three bedroom depending on how much room you need. They are comfortable and many of them come furnished which means you can travel from place to place as you need to. Along with the many apartments Amsterdam has available is how and when they are available. You can rent some of them for the day, or the week or go on a month by month basis. It all depends on location and what is available at the time you happen to be traveling there.

So don’t worry about a place to stay when you are looking at all the great sights in Amsterdam, instead enjoy the atmosphere and know there are always apartments available when you are ready for them.