WIN A Deluxe Double Spring/Summer Bedding Bundle With Dormeo

WIN A Deluxe Double Spring/Summer Bedding Bundle With Dormeo

With more pleasant weather (hopefully) on the horizon, we can begin to look forward to enjoying the spring and summer. However, this means that those warm, sticky nights when it's too hot to sleep are on their way, too.

To make things more comfortable, we've teamed up with mattress and bedding specialist Dormeo, to offer you the chance to win one of their Deluxe Spring/Summer Bedroom Bundles in a double bed size, which should help you sleep when the temperature creeps up.

Each bundle is worth £59.99 and contains all you need to kit out your bed for the summer, including:

Exploring Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes

Photo of new home example of available on shared ownership scheme or help to buy schemes in UK

Have you ever heard the words “shared ownership”, or “Help to Buy” but always wondered exactly what people were talking about?

The world of affordable home ownership might seem like a complex one, particularly for first-time buyers, but here at HomeFocus we strive to cut through the jargon and tell you exactly what you need to know.

Thanks to the sky-high prices of homes and houses nationwide, people right across the country are being priced out of the open market, and add that to the extortionate cost of renting, it’s no wonder that people are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

However, there are affordable home ownership schemes in place to help you buy your own home - and the key word there is affordable.

Housing developer unveils showhomes at Banbury development

Housing developer unveils showhomes at Banbury development

Following the launch of Bloxham Vale housing development earlier this year, a local housebuilder is inviting the public to celebrate the opening of its brand new showhomes.

Redrow Homes South Midlands is unveiling the Cambridge, Harrogate and Grantham showhomes on Saturday 2 June, with guests invited to enjoy canapes and cocktails from 11am-2.30pm.

Visitors are invited to find out more about the beauty and practicality of the four-bedroom homes, which offer a superb balance between family life and personal space. 

DIY SOS – almost half of uk adults are DIY disasters


NOT-SO-HANDY UK adults avoid common household DIY tasks due to a lack of confidence in their abilities, according to new research.

The survey of 1,483 UK homeowners and tenants carried out by Emo Oil, a home heating oil supplier, revealed that a nervous 52% of UK adults would immediately call on professional assistance before trying to fix a DIY issue themselves.

In fact, the majority (77%) of adults living in the UK do not feel confident to carry out simple home DIY tasks.

More than 1 in 3 (36%) also confess to having a local handyman on speed dial, to offer help with the home improvement and renovation jobs they can’t do.


Cormar Carpets

According to Cormar Carpets it holds a timeless and classic appeal and although it’s a simple palette, the strong black and white theme adds impact and drama to any room in the home.

For those who prefer a slightly softer look, introduce soft dark browns or pure greys to the mix. This works particularly well in bedrooms and living spaces where a subtler design scheme may be required.

Says David Cormack, marketing director at Cormar Carpets:

Barratt homes plants its feet firmly in wildlife gardening

Barratt Homes

Barratt Homes has teamed up with the RSPB to give its customers five top tips this season on how they can give nature a home while the warmer weather is kicking in.

The tips and tricks on what to do as the seasons change are fun for all of the family and have been carefully selected by Barratt Homes to fit around a small budget and a time frame of less than two hours.

So if you want to do a little bit to help preserve Britain’s wildlife or you want to transform your garden for all of nature to enjoy this season, Barratt Homes and the RSPB have got you covered.

1. Create nature highways and byways

A Teacher's First Step Onto The Property Ladder - Hightown Shared Ownership

A Teacher's First Step Onto The Property Ladder - Hightown Shared Ownership

A young teacher has been able to take that all important first step onto the property ladder by applying for Shared Ownership with Hightown Homes. 

After signing up to Hightown’s shared ownership scheme, 27-year-old primary school teacher Lizzie Battams was able to move out of her parent’s home, and now owns a 50% stake in a one-bedroom maisonette in Hemel Hempstead.  She rents the remaining share at a subsidised rate and can increase her stake in the property over time.  

Lizzie says:

“When I found out that my offer was accepted, and I was finally going to be a homeowner I felt elated!  It’s hard to find somewhere affordable, especially in Hertfordshire so it all felt too good to be true! 

Bathroom Basics - Creating a Safe and Stylish Sanctuary

Bathroom Basics - Creating a Safe and Stylish Sanctuary

As the bathroom has evolved to become much more than just a functional place, but rather a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life, it may come as no surprise that it’s more of an interior design focus than ever before. When it comes to creating the perfect bathroom, however, it’s important to put safety first – after all, we all know that electrics and water do not mix and some work may even need to be notifiable. Here, Darren Staniforth, technical expert at leading electrical regulatory bodies, NICEIC and ELECSA, tells of the do’s and don’ts to ensure your bathroom is kept as safe as it is stylish.


Mother and step-daughter decide to further careers together at David Wilson Homes

Bertone Manor

A mother and step-daughter from Northamptonshire have decided to further their careers in housebuilding together by joining David Wilson Homes South Midlands for the new Bertone Manor development.

Deborah Brown (57) and step-daughter Jenni Brown (30) both joined the Northampton based division recently and are already settling into their new roles.

Deborah, who previously worked as a Sales Adviser at a smaller housebuilder, has taken on a similar role at the division’s Bertone Manor development in Barton Seagrave. Jennie, who was working in various sales roles for developers before, now works at the divisional head office as a Sales Progressor.

Deborah, who lives in Raunds, said:

How to protect your home when renovating


Renovation is becoming more popular than ever. People are moving house half as many times in their lives and twice as many Brits are now planning to extend their home rather than move house. Renovation, big or small, normally means making structural changes to your home, so it’s important to think carefully about how to protect your home when work is underway. A recent report reveals that the most popular insurance claim for home renovations and extensions is theft of building materials, closely followed by escape of water.

Matt Poll, CEO at Neos, the UK’s first smart home insurance provider, shares his top tips for making your renovation plans are a success.

Make sure you choose the right professional help

Luxury apartments launch at Park Avenue in Sunbury

Park Avenue

Award-winning developer Crest Nicholson has launched 24 new apartments at its Park Avenue development, located in the town of Sunbury. Birchwood House offers a collection of two-bedroom apartments situated amid natural scenery and carefully landscaped grounds. Aimed at first-time buyers looking to take their first steps and second steppers wanting to move up the property ladder, as well as those looking to downsize, many of the homes are available on the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

How to decorate your home with soft furnishings on a budget for Summer

How to decorate your home with soft furnishings on a budget for Summer

Wallpaper and paint can help to create a beautiful space, but it’s soft furnishings that make a house a home. Adding fragrance such as scented candles are a wonderful way of making your home feel cosy or more intimate.  In addition to fragrances, rugs and cushions in a variety of textures and colours add the finishing touches to your home and complement your space adding comfort and luxury. Picking the right soft furnishings for your home can be surprisingly simple with my top tips: 

Incorporate personality

Bickering Over Household Rules

Bickering Over Household Rules

When it comes to the home it seems we are a nation of rule-enforcers, but this could be at the expense of a harmonious household, according to new research. The survey of 1,067 UK and Irish adults conducted by heating oil supplier, Super Saver Oil revealed how more than half (53%) have fallen out with a household member over rules in the home.

In fact, 1 in 3 (33%) of adults questioned wished they lived on their own because co-habitants don’t follow rules in the home.

When quizzed on the rules in the home, the most common rule was revealed as no shoes on the furniture (62%).

Meanwhile, no phones at the dinner table came in second place, with 46% admitting to implementing this rule.

An emerging interior design trend for displaying rugs on walls is elevating the humble rug to an ‘objet d'art’.

The Rug Seller

Daniel Prendergast, Design Director of The Rug Seller, explains more about the 2018 ‘rugs as wall art’ trend and highlights statement rugs to ‘get the look’

Homeowners are taking a different approach to rugs in home décor; more of our customers are searching for hand-crafted/ statement designs and even replacing ‘art’ by hanging rugs in the vertical space.

This new outlook is reflected in the fact that Pinterest searches for statement rugs have rocketed by 236% in 2018 (YOY).

Room with a view: opulent new show apartment opens at Cambridge development

Trumpington Vista

Barratt Homes Eastern Counties has unveiled a brand new view apartment at its Trumpington Vista development in Cambridge this weekend (Saturday 9th June), providing prospective buyers with their first opportunity to step inside one of the sought-after homes.

The property is one of 65 contemporary two and three bedroom apartments and eight premium villas in this exclusive phase of homes named Vista at the Hauxton Road development, offering a fresh take on modern living and beautifully overlooking a 148-acre country park.

Tips to sleep in the heat

Tips to sleep in the heat

When Britain’s temperatures soar it results in thousands of people feeling exhausted, restless and downright cranky as they struggle to get a good night’s sleep against stuffy bedroom temperatures. 

While most homeowners are prepared with blackout blinds to combat light entering a room in the battle for summertime sleep, it’s actually unusually high temperatures that Brits are most unequipped for. 

As experts in creating the optimum sleep environment, The Fine Bedding Company has looked at all of the key factors that can affect a quality night’s sleep – temperature being the main one.

Helen Johnson from The Fine Bedding Company offers this advice for sleeping in the heat.

Room temperature

The future’s bright – thank goodness for Apollo’s NEW blackout blinds

The future’s bright – thank goodness for Apollo’s NEW blackout blinds

One of the most popular practical features of a window blind, especially during the summer months, is its ability to darken a room and Apollo Blinds has added a new range of blackout blinds to its made-to-measure blinds collection - the BlocOut™ Blind that can achieve higher levels of darkness than ever before.

So why are blackout blinds a must-have for the home?

Mike Stephen from Apollo Blinds highlights how the UK is getting lighter, how darkness aids sleep and the benefits of new BlocOut™ blinds now available at Apollo Blinds.

THE PROBLEM WITH LIGHT - The UK is Getting Lighter And It’s Bad For Our Health

Generation Z Stepping Onto The Property Ladder

Generation Z Stepping Onto The Property Ladder

With a recent survey* by Countryside revealing two thirds of Generation Z renters are already saving for a home deposit, Telford couple Aimee and Ryan have secured their first home at age 23 thanks to Help to Buy.

The couple, who have been together for six years, were the first residents to move into Countryside’s new Silkin Green development in Telford, having picked up the keys to their New Stamford home last month.

Aimee, who works as a Sales Coordinator, commented: “We’ve both always been in the habit of building up our individual savings, so we’d actually been saving for a while before we decided to buy a house. We weren’t looking for very long - we started house hunting one Saturday in October, last year, and then reserved our home the very next day!

Couple use help to buy scheme to secure dream family home in Langford

Help to Buy scheme

Making effective use of the Help to Buy scheme, a Bedfordshire couple has been able to upsize to the perfect family home at David Wilson Homes’ Kingsley Manor development in Langford.

Alan Endersby and Cheryl Oswick-Endersby chose to move from a three bedroom mid-terraced property in Clifton to their new four bedroom detached Bradgate style home at the leading developer’s Station Road development.

The couple, a Chartered Accountant and a Pre-School Assistant, thoughtfully selected Kingsley Manor as the ideal location to raise their 13-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son.

Alan said:

Speed Up The Buying Process & Move Home In Just A Few Weeks Using Part Exchange

Speed Up The Buying Process & Move Home In Just A Few Weeks Using Part Exchange

Warwickshire second steppers who are looking to move to a larger home but need to sell their existing property are being advised that they can to speed up their buying process and minimise stress with David Wilson Homes’ popular Part Exchange scheme.

The scheme has helped hundreds of buyers in the county so far and is ideal for those who want to cut out the hassle of selling the property independently and move into their dream new home quickly.

David Wilson Homes’ development Poets Meadow, located on Harbury Lane, currently has a selection of properties available to reserve with the scheme. 

Jason Hearn, Sales Director for David Wilson Homes East Midlands is urging existing homebuyers to consider the many benefits of the scheme

David Wilson homes invests in its commercial team with new appointments and promotions

David Wilson Homes

David Wilson Homes South Midlands is investing in its commercial team with promotions and new appointments as the demand for quality new homes across the South Midlands continues to rise.

Two employees within the department have been promoted within the Northampton-based company’s head office and the division has also recently welcomed four new staff members to the team.

Daniel McDonald (27), from Kettering, is now a Quantity Surveyor, after working as an Assistant Surveyor for just over a year. His responsibilities include the cost management of four large developments within the division.

Homeowners urged to ‘Look for the Badge’ during Scam Awareness Month

Homeowners urged to ‘Look for the Badge’ during Scam Awareness Month

With nearly 40% of adults in Ireland concerned about scams in their everyday lives, OFTEC, representing the domestic oil and solid fuel heating industry, is calling for homeowners to protect themselves and their homes during Scam Awareness Month taking place this June.

Joining the Citizen’s Advice scam awareness campaign, OFTEC is urging householders to be aware of potential fraud and over-pricing tricks carried out by some dishonest doorstep callers.

Research from FraudSMART has revealed that 58% of people in Ireland feel more vulnerable to fraud now than they did in 2015. 

Do you still call parents for help with basic DIY?

DIY advice from Emma Gannon - Credit Holly McGlynn.

When it comes to keeping homes in tip-top condition, new research(1) by E.ON reveals a third of Brits struggle to tackle home maintenance tasks (34%). Some 15% of people say they can’t change a light bulb without help and almost a third need help mowing the lawn (29%). To relieve the pressure on parents, and help fill the knowledge gap, E.ON has partnered with author, podcaster and digital expert Emma Gannon for DIY advice.

Energy-related tasks are the area people feel least comfortable tackling. Two thirds of people are unable to re-pressurise their boiler without help (65%), 40% don’t know how to bleed a radiator, and a similar number struggle to set the timer on their heating (41%). And almost one in five struggle to read their energy meter (19%).

The eagles have landed at homebuilder’s new development in Milton Keynes

Eagles Rest

In celebration of three new show homes opening at its Eagles Rest development in Milton Keynes, David Wilson Homes South Midlands recently hosted an exclusive Birds of Prey show to welcome eager homebuyers and local residents.

Birds of different species were at the Fen Street development last weekend (Saturday 26th May), entertaining visitors with a static display to showcase their predatory prowess.

Make no Mi-steak when hosting the perfect summer barbecue

National Barbecue Week

With the summer sunshine and National Barbecue Week (May 28th to June 3rd) on the horizon, Barratt Homes Northampton and David Wilson Homes South Midlands have cooked up some creative ideas on how Bedfordshire homebuyers can host the best barbecue party in their brand new property.

The hottest part of the year is fast approaching which is ideal for homebuyers wanting to welcome their friends and family to their new home, and there’s no better way to get together than with some ice cold drinks and freshly grilled food in the garden.

Jackie Day, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes South Midlands, said: