Knock That Wall Down! Renovations Can Change It All For Your Home

Our homes can be boring. It’s sad but true. Maybe they aren’t that boring at all, but because we spend so much time in them, it can seem that way. What’s more, we all have rooms that we fail to use and rooms that we neglect. Sometimes, our homes can be so big and we lack the initiative to use all of that space.


Let’s be honest. We all have rooms that we neglect and fail to use. A study, second bedroom, office, box room or even dining room! The truth is, most of us don’t have the time to spend in places that offer us nothing. That can transform with a few simple changes to both room layout and your lifestyle.




The simple way to start improving your home?  It’s easy. Furniture. We usually opt to buy furniture for those rooms that need a statement, but this can be lopsided and remove the focus from the other rooms in our houses. It’s important to ensure all the rooms in our home are decked out in the furniture needed.  A lick of paint is never a bad idea as well and can really refresh the feel and mood of a room.


But some plans are a little bigger. Full-scale renovations can be made to homes and are a good idea if you’re inclined to redesign your home. It’s important to act as soon as possible, but you should always take the time to meticulously plan your redesign and use all the resources available, like for both inspiration and planning reasons.


Giving new life to a tired home can be amazing in terms of finances. The Telegraph have the amazing story of Liz and Dan Burgess:


“Take Liz and Dan Burgess, who won the 2013 Homebuilding and Renovating Awards. They converted a crumbling Berkshire bungalow into a handsome, two-storey modern family home . It cost them £825,000, but the house is now worth £1.2 million. It also took them five years to complete the scheme. This is par for the course, explains Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud. “Everyone approaching a project like this should spend three years on planning, and six months on the really expensive bit – the building.”


The Burgess family have added a lot of value to their home. All they did was own it and improve it. That’s it.


Don’t try to do this alone, though. It’s hard work, and you won’t go wrong with calling in a team of builders and carpenters to sort your home out and build to your plans.


As for the actual renovations, those are all for you to decide on. Never be afraid to explore the space of your house. Why not an open plan kitchen area that leads into the dining room? Or even the lounge? What about converting the loft into a new bedroom? It could be an investment that not only changes your home, but your life.

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Make New Friends When You Move Away

There comes a time when we all have to move house. For some of us, it is a decision we have made (such as moving out of our parents’, wanting to upgrade to a bigger house or downsize to a smaller one, to move away for college or university, or to move away for a job) and for some of us it is something we have had to do, for reasons such as financial problems, or a breakdown in a relationship.


It can be a stressful business, moving house. First of all, you may want to put the property up for sale and that can be a huge undertaking which requires a lot of paperwork, calculations and meetings with professionals such as accountants, financial advisors or solicitors. Then, when the house gets bought, you have to move everything out which requires a lot of time and could be a heavy expense if you hire a removals company. Of course, you can always sell the things in your home – this means you will earn money and won’t have to take as much with you into your new home making the task much less arduous and more streamlined.


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When we do move away, especially if it is to a new county, state or even a new country, an aspect of our new lives which we don’t put that much thought into is our social lives. We may have left our friends and family behind, where we used to live, so that means we have to go out and try to forge new relationships with people, who at first, may be strangers.


If you have moved away for college or university, it may be a good idea to attend as many groups and join as many clubs as you can. This is a great way to make lasting relationships. You could talk about your scholarship with John Monash if you’re in an intellectual club, or even talk about the world of sport if you decide to join a football team.


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Another great way of making new friends – whether you have away for university or not – is to go out and mingle and socialize. Going to bars, pubs, cafes and night-classes is a positive way of doing this as you will be in new surroundings, talking to new people who you may not have thought about interacting with before and, of course, you will have a great time doing so. Night-classes reaches out to this point more than the others as you will be learning new skills (yoga, I.T, English, Maths etc) with like-minded people who probably attend the class for the same reasons you do.


Moving away can be a difficult and stressful decision to make, but once you embrace it you will quickly ease into your new life and the new surroundings in your new home. Whatever your reason for moving away to a new place, ensure you are ready for a fresh start and are prepared for what can be a difficult time.

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The Ultimate Driving Checklist For Weekend Camping Trips

Urban life is all good and well, but nothing can beat the feeling of setting off on a Friday afternoon for a weekend of hiking and camping in the great outdoors. Indeed, the sensation of being out in the wild is as freeing as owning a car and being able to drive wherever you please. It’s still a little bit chilly outside, but this is the perfect time to look forward to the great trips that await us as soon as the weather warms up a little bit. Will it be the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands, or even across into the continent for your camping trip? With a properly prepared vehicle, the choice will be yours.



A Well Oiled Machine


Taking a trip into the unknown is as good a time as any to make sure your vehicle is well lubricated and in tip-top shape. You’ll have taken care of the obvious one, petrol, just as you would before any long trip. However, petrol is more important on a camping trip. Why? Because you’re leaving civilisation, and there might not be as many petrol stations as you’d like. If you’re driving off the beaten path, make sure you have a full tank of petrol. Similarly, you’ll want to make sure you’ve topped up your oil before you go. Driving up and down valleys and especially mountains (if you’re on the continent) can play havoc with your car, so make it’s well fed in advance.


All in the Grip/Lighting the Way


If you don’t often taken camping trips, you might be surprised that driving isn’t all about smooth roads and genteel winding country tracks: once you step off the map, the terrain you encounter is anybody’s guess. You might be splashing your way through mud, tackling country dirt roads, or be driving on surfaces that aren’t cleared when it’s snowy or icy. This is all a way of saying: make sure your tires are up for the job. This could be as simple as checking your tire pressure gauge to make sure it’s as it should be or getting a new set from a company such as Wiltshire Tyres. You don’t want to any chances, especially if there’s a chance the roads might be slippery (in some places, snow will be on the ground well into spring!).


Additionally, you have to make sure your lights are all in working order before you set off. You might not notice that you’re missing lights when you’re driving around town, but will when you get out into the country and there are no lights anywhere to guide you.



Emergency Kit

Even the most reliable of cars can break down from time to time, and if you’re driving in difficult terrain, this becomes even more of a possibility. Make sure you pack an emergency kit in the pack of your vehicle besides your camping equipment. Luckily, you should have snacks and bottled water already with you as part of your trip supplies, but having a few specific car items can also go a long way.

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Getting The Most Out Of The Cloud?


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Ever since the birth of the cloud, the niche has been flooded with all kinds of great platforms. Like many business owners, you may be planning to use one of these platforms for all or part of your business infrastructure. While I agree that cloud platforms can be a great tool for many businesses, some can be pretty complex and difficult to wrap your head around. Here are my best tips for getting the most out of it.

Set a Static IP to the VM

With its default settings, many cloud platforms will assign your virtual machine and IP taken from a pool. Unfortunately, this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the same IP if the VM happens to be de-assigned from the platform’s infrastructure. To make things a little easier, you may want to ensure that the VM you’re using gets the same address every single time it’s turned on. You can do this by setting up a virtual network through the web portal. Then, open the platform’s console and enter certain commands. Usually, when creating VMs on your platform, they should be assigned their own cloud service unless you’re planning to load balance one or more virtual machine.

Make Sure You’re Equipped

As you’re probably already aware, the basic service of any given cloud platform isn’t the be-all and end-all of everything it can offer. Within most good cloud platforms, there’s a whole store’s worth of add-ons and auxiliary apps which add a range of great functions to the existing apparatus. Have a quick look around the platform’s store right now, and you’ll get a taste of what I mean. You can find apps that give you industry-grade image processing capabilities, give you easier channels for monitoring Azure when you’re using it for running a web app, and add-ons to make the process of sharing images much more seamless. The platform in its bare bones may seem like enough for you, but chances are your competitors are already using a wider range of add-ons for their benefit. Be sure to hit the marketplace soon and check out your options.

De-Allocate Unused Resources


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While cloud platforms like Azure and IBM certainly have a lot of potential as tools, they share the one drawback that anything else with a practical use has: they cost money! Though Azure and other good platforms are certainly worth the investment, you may need to ensure every penny you invest is working for you, and there are various ways you can save money on the platform. For example, to make sure you’re not paying for any VMs while you’re not using them, be sure to open the web management portal and set the status of the VMs to stopped. Just remember to give anyone access to these settings who may need it when you’re out of the office. Remember that shutting down VMs from the OS won’t de-allocate any resources from the fabric.

Take these tips on board, and you’ll have a great experience with the cloud from the very start!

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Turn Your Dump Into A Gorgeous Showhome


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We all have those ‘really’ moments, where we suddenly think is this really it. Such as, is this really my wardrobe, is this really how filthy my car has got, and is this really where I live. The last one is the most common. We get so comfortable with our homes we sometimes forget how amazing a quick home-improvement can be. It doesn’t have to be a whole makeover; it could just be one room, and it doesn’t have to cost thousands and thousands; it could be a few hundred bucks. So why not get your DiY head on and turn your dump into a gorgeous home you can be proud of with these simple ideas.


Paint Your House Happy

The obvious first move is to lift your home with a splash of paint. This is a surefire and stunning way to get rid of any grubby finger marks and hide the beige life encouraged by magnolia walls. That is paints magic ability, it can change your mood, it can uplift your mornings, it can alter your perceptions. As such, why not make your entrance brighter, or your living room softer or your bedroom more wow. And why stop with the walls. A great place to use paint is in your kitchen. Most kitchens are made to feel dated or dark because the cabinets are either dated or dark. So why not give them a makeover. Paint them a lovely green to make them feel a little bit more in touch with nature.


Lift Your Floors

Floors can be the defining feature of your house, and is usually the first thing that catches and steers your eye. But adding a new hardwood flaw tends to cost a bob or two. So why not consider the alternatives. Why not check out the quality laminate flooring by Carpet One and see how easy and cheap it can be to get a gorgeous floor that not only enriches your home, but draws your eye along your hallway and into your kitchen.


Add Some Charm

It’s the little things that will give your harm that little sprinkling of charm and, what’s more, it’s the little things tend to be cheap. So why not get lost on Pinterest for an hour and see what will do wonder for your home. It could be a crown molding in every room, something that is sure to add charm and value for very little money. It could be a DiY stair-runner that captures your heart the moment you step through your front door, like a brightly coloured and self-woven runner from the local market. It could be the striking addition of interior shutters that give your home that old french feel, light cascading through the gaps in the slats. What’s more, these don’t just serve as decorative, or gorgeous, or as a way to stop your neighbors peeking into your home. They actually serve as a means of keeping the heat in during the winter and the heat out during the summer. What an investment.

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