Is Your Home Ready For The Heat?

We’re now officially out of the coldest time of the year, and it’s time to start thinking about the warmer weather. Whether you’re a fan of the heat or not, you’ve got to make sure that you’re ready for the sun to come out. This means that it’s time for sunscreen and cool clothes. But it’s not just a matter of getting yourself ready; you also need to make sure that your home is ready. Your home reacts to temperature changes almost as much as you do. With that in mind, here are a few things that you can do to make sure that your home is ready for the heat.


  1. Check your air conditioning


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There really is nothing worse than the temperature getting too uncomfortable heights, only to find out that your air conditioning isn’t working properly. Companies like Academy Air can help to provide you with reliable systems as well as a great deal of assistance in the event that something goes wrong. Sometimes your air conditioning is the only thing preventing you and your family from completely overheating, so it’s important that it works at all times.


  1. Check your windows


Depending on where you live, you might have had to install som storm windows during the winter months. If that’s the case, then it’s important that you take them down once the weather starts to warm up. You might even want to replace them with screens. That way you’ll still be able to keep things out, but you’ll be able to get a lot more air flowing through the house.


  1. Clear up your yard


Image Taken From Pixabay


The garden is the place in your home that tends to get neglected the most over the winter. It’s pretty understandable that this happens of course. After all, it’s hardly perfect conditions for mowing the lawn when you’re ankle-deep in snow and mud! But as the weather warms up you should take the opportunity to get your garden ready for people to use. You’re probably going to be spending a lot more time in your yard as the weather warms up and you want it to be the kind of place that you can actually enjoy being in.


  1. Clean your gutters


The winter is the time of year when your gutters tend to fill up with a lot of gross gunk. But the real issue is when the weather warms up, and that stuff starts to dry up. This is the point when really serious blockages can happen. In the event that it does rain during the warmer seasons, you drains are much more likely to flood and overflow when this happens. So, it’s incredibly important that, as soon as the weather starts to clear up, you get up on the ladder and start cleaning out your gutters. Use a trowel to scoop out the majority of the stuff that’s blocking the gutter, then use a hose to wash away the rest as well as forcing out any clogs that might have appeared.

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Buying A Write-Off Car: Can You Grab A Bargain?


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Plenty of cars and other vehicles that are written off by insurance companies are not necessarily as dead as a dodo. In fact, many can be fixed up and sent back onto the road in no time at all, and for any car buyer looking for a good deal, a write-off can prove tempting. However, you do need to be careful, as there are plenty of ways you could end up being taken for a – very dangerous – ride. Let’s take a closer look at some of the basics of buying a write-off, and what you need to do to avoid trouble.


The value in written-off cars


Cars are written-off because they are damaged beyond a point where insurance companies feel it will cost to fix. So if your car is worth $5,000 at the point of an accident, but repairs will cost more than that, no insurer is likely to give you a payout – and will write-off our vehicle. For a car buyer, the value lies in a written-off car that doesn’t cost as much to repair as the insurance providers think. However, some cars are written off merely because they are dangerous, and it’s important to understand the difference.


Check the Written Off Vehicle Register


To accurately establish the condition of any vehicle you are thinking of buying, you should always check with the Written Off Vehicle Register (WOVR). This initiative was created to prevent dodgy repair companies fixing up write-offs and putting them back into the market as used cars, rather than ex-write-offs. It’s a process known as ‘rebirthing’ and often results in the car getting a new identity. The truth is that whether you are buying new or a write-off, you should always check this service out regardless.


Find repair services


Obviously, the best value in buying a previously written off vehicle relies on you doing the repairs. They are a great option for a DIY project, of course, but you should be able to find plenty of professionals to help if you don’t have the skills. Check your local business directory for mechanics with experience of working with write-offs and smash repairs. Bear in mind that buying a write-off is not for the faint of heart, and it’s important to be able to estimate the actual cost of any damage. Some repair jobs could exceed your expectations, so always get it inspected by a qualified individual first.


Return to the road


You will need to have a string of safety checks on your new purchase when it is fixed, to prove its roadworthiness. If you don’t go through this process, the car will be illegal – and you will end up in a lot of trouble if caught. You should also bear in mind that when you sell it on, it will be necessary to declare it as a write-off. And this could cause you problems, as most people will turn their backs on a car as soon as they realise its history of being a write-off. However, if you want to save money and grab a bargain vehicle that could last you for many years, the write-off market is worth a look – just be careful what you buy!

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The Essentials Of Buying Vehicles For Your Business

There are a million and one reasons why you might need to consider buying cars, trucks, or vans for your business. Whether it’s a little company car or an entire fleet of delivery vehicles, there are plenty of advantages of investing in wheels for your enterprise.


Cars are flexible and can act as an enticing offer to prospective employees. Vans are handy for deliveries and are also the workhorse of many a business. And if you need to deliver on a  massive scale – possibly across international borders – then trucks will be an essential purchase.


The big question is, how do you go about investing in a fleet of vehicles? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know – and what to expect.




Is it worth buying?


First of all, you will need to establish whether buying vehicles will be more cost-effective than leasing them. In many cases, leasing your fleet of vehicles will be a better move, as it helps you control costs and spread them evenly over a year. Bear in mind that depreciation comes into play when you buy new vehicles, too, which you won’t have to worry about in a leasing plan. However, in some cases – if you are using plots of cars, for example – it is sometimes better to buy than lease. When you buy multiple vehicles, you will often get a fleet discount, and there may be other accounting reasons for making a purchase.  


What are the costs?


The expenses of owning a fleet of vehicles will vary depending on what – and how many – you buy. You will need to run regular maintenance programs to ensure your assets are in good shape and there are plenty of one-off costs to consider, such as using a 24/7 truck breakdown service or bringing in mechanics. There’s the cost of storage to consider, too – lorries and vans take up a lot of room, and you will need to pay for that space. Finally, insurance is a must if you have a business fleet.




What systems do I need?


You will also need to invest in a robust fleet management and logistics program to ensure you are keeping track of everything. Fuel costs, health, and safety, routes, license checks – they are all needed when you own a fleet and are employing drivers. Logistics is a vital part of any business that uses vehicles, and the goal for every company in this situation is to cut costs without impacting service quality.


Who should drive them?


While company cars can be offered to any employee with a license, it’s a little different for vans and trucks. It is imperative that you hire drivers that are sensible on the roads, and have clean licenses. You should also offer plenty of training, to ensure they always comply with health and safety issues. It might be worth buying a fleet with telematics technology on board, too, so that you can ensure that all drivers are using their vehicles at the appropriate speeds.


OK, so there you have it – a brief guide to some of the basics of buying a fleet for your business. I hope it has helped!

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Trust: A Business Essential

There is one thing that is applicable to all aspects of the workplace that is valued more than stats, marketing, and tech. Trust. It is what will build bridges, seal deals, and communicate with care. Staff needs to trust your judgement; you need to trust your staff will deliver the goods. The transactional process that we engage in as customers is the “what are you going to do for me” attitude without ever doing anything in return. Trust in business is not just on a human level either, we look for the trustworthy clients to work with, and it is something we are not too keen to dish out to anyone, and other businesses are not so keen to dish out to you too! This could be losing you customers. How can you redress the balance?




We need to establish trust with our clients in a manner of ways. The cliché of honesty being the best policy is a cliché for a very good reason, it’s because it’s true. People speak of transparency in business being an admirable quality, and it’s something they strive for in their companies, and in themselves. The very notion of being open and honest, in whatever scenario, from a big client meeting to talking around the water cooler, it makes for a very easier life than trying to “big up” your business when you don’t have the goods to back it up. The same goes for things like accreditation. Clients like accredited commercial builders are contractors that you are willing to put trust in to expand your business base, or to work on your new buildings to the standard you need them to do. Being accredited is just an official statement that these people are trustworthy, and by having a piece of paper saying that you are officially reliable may sound irrelevant to smaller businesses, but these are the tools you need to get your business to the next level.

Trust as a leader is a skill that can take a lifetime to perfect, but you can get it correct now. Striking the right balance as a leader that gets work done and makes time for their staff is a difficult task, but it is one that will help to strengthen bonds between colleagues and yourself. There is a big separation between the boss and the workers in an organization, but it’s not an us versus them style situation. This again reinforces the transparency aspect. Taking on board other viewpoints and looking to your colleagues for support helps to develop trust as an important tool. Starting an open-door policy, welcoming feedback, or just making the effort to spend time with people you don’t normally are all approaches that are not just good for the staff, but it’s good for you. Start by opening up the floor to some honest debate about the state of affairs, and welcome constructive criticism about the business workings. Your colleagues want to make their working environment better, not worse. So implementing trust should be top of your priorities.

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3 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes That’ll Make Meat Eaters Green With Envy!

It’s easy to assume that all meals should contain some form of meat, pork or poultry. The truth is, there are many delicious vegetarian meals out there. What’s more, they will secretly make many meat eater envious!


With more people becoming flexitarians (only eating meat some of the time), there is a need for good recipe ideas. Of course, there are also some people wishing to convert to vegetarianism as well. So, just what kind of veggie meals are out there that taste great?


You might not think it, but there are hundreds of meal ideas just waiting for you to try them out! Here is a selection of some of the most delicious ones to tempt your taste buds:


Image via Wikimedia Commons


Macaroni Cheese


Let’s face it; you don’t always have to create a culinary masterpiece that takes you a long time to prepare. Nor do you need to make meals with scores of ingredients. There will be times where you just don’t feel like spending lots of time in the kitchen.


Sometimes, you just want something quick and straightforward to prepare. For such occasions, Macaroni Cheese is an ideal choice! Check out for a recipe that takes just ten minutes to prepare! All you need are a few ingredients, and you can let your oven take care of the rest.

Homemade Veggie Burger with Potato Wedges


Are you someone who enjoys eating the occasional burger? Well, the good news is that you can cook a delicious veggie burger at home.


Sure, it might not have a beef patty. But, it’s just as mouth-watering and a lot healthier too! If you feel like making a diner-style meal, either for yourself or your family, how about some homemade veggie burgers with potato wedges?


You might be wondering what your burger will consist of; after all, you won’t be using any meat. To be honest, there is a variety of recipes out there that use all kinds of ingredients. Take a look here to see a few examples!


Image via Wikimedia Commons


Mushroom, black bean or even Quorn mince burgers are a few examples that you can try. Bear in mind that it does take a lot of prep work to create veggie burgers, but the end results are superb.


Be sure you’ve got the right gear in your kitchen before you begin. For a start, you’ll need to do a lot of chopping, so some sharp, good quality knives are essential. Check out for some knife set ideas. You’ll also need a robust and powerful food processor to mix the ingredients.


When it comes to the potato wedges, simply peel and chop up some potatoes into wedge shapes. You can either fry them or cook them in an oven. If you’re doing the latter, coat them with some oil and paprika if you wish to make them a bit spicy.


Pasta with spinach and pesto


Are you in the mood for something Italian? If so, how about a quick and easy yet scrumptious pasta meal? It only needs just a few ingredients:


  • Fusilli or Penne Pasta;
  • Walnuts and basil leaves;
  • Garlic;
  • Soft cheese; and
  • Spinach.

150 grams of pasta will serve a couple of people. Simply boil the pasta and while that’s happening, use a food processor to blend everything else except the spinach. Once the pasta is boiled, you can drain the water and then stir in the homemade pesto and spinach. Et voila!

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Are You A Safe Driver?

What would you say if somebody asked you if you were a good driver? Some people love driving while others feel a lot less comfortable and confident behind the wheel. Sometimes, the people who think they’re brilliant drivers are actually the most dangerous. They tend to be fearless, and they may assume that every problem they encounter is somebody else’s fault. If you’re hitting the roads soon, it’s time to think about whether you’re a safe driver.


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Do you drive too fast or too slowly?

Speed limits are there for a reason. They encourage you to drive at a speed, which is suitable for that stretch of road. If you drive too quickly or too slowly, you could put yourself and other drivers at risk. Always aim to drive just under the speed limit, unless you’re driving in adverse weather conditions or there’s heavy traffic. In these cases, you should reduce your speed. For more bad weather driving tips, check out


Have you checked your car recently?

You could be the best driver in the world, but if you’re driving a car that’s a deathtrap, there’s every chance that you could end up in an accident. Every driver should take responsibility for their vehicle. Before you set off on a journey, check the tyres and brakes, make sure your lights are working, and check the oil level. There are legal requirements related to car maintenance, but you can also take additional steps to make sure your car is safe. If you haven’t had it serviced for years, for example, now is the time to get in touch with a garage like Regular services may cost you more in the short-term, but they’re likely to save you a lot of money in the long-run. If you notice problems between services or MOT tests, don’t cross your fingers and hope for the best. It’s always best to get issues like noisy brakes and squeaky sounds from under the bonnet checked out.


Do you drive tired?

Tiredness is one of the most common causes of road accidents. If you drive tired, you’re putting your safety at risk, as well as that of your passengers and other drivers on the road. If you are tired, pull over and take a nap. Weariness increases your reaction time, which could result in devastating consequences.


Are you prone to road rage?

Do you tend to get angry when you drive? Do you find it hard to keep your emotions in check when other drivers are going too slowly, or somebody cuts you up? It’s normal to have a reaction if other drivers make a mistake, but getting wound up can increase your risk of being injured. Try and stay calm, and don’t dwell on what has happened. Focus on the road ahead, and make sure that you’re the safest driver you can be.
If you think you’re a good driver, ask yourself these questions. Driving can be enjoyable, but it’s also dangerous. Sometimes, it’s impossible to prevent accidents, but if you drive safely, you give yourself every chance of getting from A to B without any trouble.

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