Who needs to buy a bulb? WIN £150 worth of Philips LED bulbs!

Philips LED bulbs

Signify reminds consumers of the savings switching to LED bulbs can make for pockets and the planet!

After weathering the holiday months and the new year festivities, don’t letrising energy bills darken your winter. While switching suppliers or turning down the heating are obvious ways to save on energy, the impact of your choice of lighting within the home is often overlooked. 

Signify, formerly Philips Lighting and the world leader in lighting, reveals how one simple switch to energy efficient LED lighting could help -consumers make considerable winter energy savings for themselves, and for the planet. 

Win a LeakBot, Smart water leak alarm from HomeServe Labs

Smart leak detector

LeakBot, from HomeServe Labs, is a smart water leak alarm for the home which uses patented thermal technology to detect hidden water leaks before they can cause damage. LeakBot monitors your home 24/7 for leaks and bursts in water pipes, alerting you to any issues instantly via your smartphone and giving you the option of calling an approved team of expert technicians to find and fix the fault for you. With LeakBot, you get peace of mind in knowing that your home is protected against the costs and chaos of home water damage.

How it works

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.

How to use London help to buy schemes to your advantage

Help to buy scheme

Is it your dream to own a property in the UK’s capital? In the past, people would typically rent for a few years whilst they saved for a house of their own. Unfortunately, today’s high renting costs make it difficult for people to save for a house. For many, renting has become a permanent arrangement instead of a temporary one. In the past 6 years alone, the price of renting in London has increased by 24% and on average, an annual salary of £51,200 is needed to be able to afford to rent a one-bedroom home. This is well above the average salary and an unattainable option for many.

Homeowners waste over £100 on help for small DIY jobs

woman doing small DIY jobs

●     Two thirds (66%) of young homeowners (18-34 year olds) are planning a home improvement project this year

●     Three quarters (75%) don’t feel confident enough to put up curtain poles, blinds and light fixtures themselves

●     Younger homeowners are spending over £100 on getting a professional for a small DIY job they could do themselves

 

Younger homeowners are wasting over £100 on professionals for each small DIY jobs that they could do themselves.

Two thirds (66%) of 18-34-year-old homeowners are planning on completing a home improvement project this year, but new research has revealed the significant sums of money they are wasting by getting a professional in to do minor jobs.

Three DIY ideas to transform your home this bank holiday weekend

DIY Wall planter

The Easter bank holiday is nearly here, and while many people spend this time off relaxing with family, more and more are using the time to tackle the home improvements and DIY projects they’ve been putting off. In the last 10 years, there’s been a 41% increase* in people searching for ways to improve their homes, with 33,110** searches for home improvements in April last year alone. But how exactly can you add a little something extra to your home this bank holiday weekend without breaking the bank?

From creating your own hanging planter to an Art Deco feature wall, Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture Choice, shares three easy and on-trend DIY ideas to transform your home this spring

1. Get organised with a hanging planter wall

Dare to dream: modern city living for first-time home buyers

Home buyers, city living in North Finchley

Do you dream of living on a leafy, tree-lined street with communal garden, off road parking and a real sense of community spirit, but with the added bonus of being located within 8.5 miles of Central London? Our current development at Rosebay House, North Finchley boasts everything home buyers could wish for in this fresh, elite and vibrant block of eight high-end apartments.

Have you grown tired of living in the hustle and bustle of a busy area, but know you would miss the easy accessibility which comes with city life? This fantastic development in the affluent area of Friern Barnet, has everything you could want, and more.

An aspirational lifestyle

Stylish & Low Maintenance Living Available For Bedfordshire Downsizers & First Time Buyers

Bedfordshire Home For Downsizers & First Time Buyers

Apartment living is no longer just the preserve of first time buyers and young professionals, David Wilson South Midlands has revealed, as its variety of apartments are proving to be a hit with Bedfordshire downsizers too. 

The housebuilder has recognised the growing need for apartments at its Great Denham Park development - as the popularity of them continues to increase - and is expertly crafting a range of one and two bedroom apartments at its King Alfred Way development.

For those looking to move to a more manageable property, for example after the children have flown the nest, the high quality apartments offer a spacious layout and privacy, but with the added features of an easier upkeep and a home all on one level. A selection also have en suite facilities.

6 things you’ll probably forget to spring clean

A house plant is one of the things you might forget to spring clean

Spring has officially sprung, which means it’s time to get your home freshened up after a long winter inside. A spring clean tends to be very thorough, however sometimes dirt and grime can build up in unexpected areas that you may not have considered – resulting in them often being missed off the spring cleaning checklist!

From mattresses to house plants, Airtasker has put together a handy set of tips to highlight the areas that people often forget to clean during their spring clean, to ensure you have everything covered:

1.        Remote Controls, Switches & Handles

Transform your garden into a Scandinavian getaway with a log cabin

A woman stands in a log cabin with a blanket round her shoulders

If you’re any kind of social media user, chances are you’ve come across the words Scandinavian or ‘Hygge’ a lot in the last couple of years. With trying to achieve a simple and cosy design in the home, it is no wonder that the Scandinavian lifestyle appeals to so many people — after all, who doesn’t want to feel cosy at home? The Hygge way of life wants people to feel comfortable, cosy, and enjoy the simple things. It’s minimalist, and it’s about enjoying what you have to its fullest. 

Barratt Homes Celebrates A Decade Of Five Star Customer Satisfaction In Bedfordshire

Barratt Homes in Bedfordshire street scene

Local housebuilder Barratt Homes has just received five stars in the new Home Builders Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey. This is now the 10th year in a row that Barratt Homes has been awarded five stars.

The HBF survey asks all customers who have bought a new home whether they would recommend it to a friend. For Barratt to be awarded five stars means that more than 90% of its customers are happy to recommend their home. Barratt is the only major national housebuilder to have been rated as five star for 10 years in a row.

Staircasing explained: moving up to 100% ownership of  your home

staircasing on shared ownership - wooden stairs

Victoria Galligan, Editor of Homefocus magazine, explains the term staircasing and how it means you can own ALL of your own home via shared ownership…

It’s understandable that the term “shared ownership” can make people wary at first – if you don’t own 100% of your property, it’s natural to wonder about the possibilities and have questions about what happens if your situation changes. 

Shared Ownership offers buyers the opportunity to purchase a percentage share of a property (between 25% and 75% of the home’s full market value) paying a subsidised rent on the remaining share. 

Children Enjoy An Eggs-tra Special Easter At Fairfields

Children with easter eggs at Fairfields

Pupils at Fairfields Primary School in Milton Keynes enjoyed an eggs-tra special Easter after taking part in a seasonal egg hunt at David Wilson Homes’ Fairfields development.

Three classes of youngsters at the school were challenged to find 10 especially designed Easter eggs that spelt out the name of the new homes site, which had been hidden around the Vespasian Road show homes.  

After they had hunted all of the eggs in the beautifully furnished properties, they put them all together to spell Fairfields and celebrated their triumph in front of the development. 

Once the children had completed the challenge they were each given a chocolate Easter egg as their prize. 

One in five Brits have MOVED OUT of the family home due to the temperature of the house

Woman changing the temperature of the house

Nobody likes to be too hot or too cold, but new research has found the true extent of how far Brits are willing to go in a bid to ensure the family home is their perfect temperature.

The research, conducted by Boiler Plan, found that half of Brits (49%) have argued with family members over the temperate of the house - with a staggering 18% admitting to even moving out of the family home due to the cold temperature.

When it comes to the lengths Brits will go to, to control the heating at home, more than one in five (23%) have worn excessive clothing indoors, 15% have carried a hot water bottle around with them and just under one in 10 (9%) have gone to the extreme of feigning an illness to ensure the heating is set to an adequate temperature.

Ready, Steady, Grow! Bring Spring To Your Garden!

Street scene of David Wilson Homes in the Spring

With the end of the colder months in sight and spring fast approaching Homebuilder David Wilson Homes’ has collaborated with the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI), to provide a wealth of useful tips that are sure to help Warwickshire homeowners tidy up their garden in no time. 

During the winter it can be hard to feel motivated to tend to your garden, but spring is the perfect time to give your green spaces a little TLC in readiness for the warmer weather. 

Steve Barton, Senior Sales Manager at David Wilson Homes Mercia, said: “The idea of gardening can seem like a bit of a chore, especially if you’re a busy family short on time.

Opportunities Available For Bedfordshire Homebuyers

Master bedroom in Lidlington Court, Bedfordshire

Leading homebuilder David Wilson Homes’ development Lidlington Court has sold out after being popular with Bedfordshire homebuyers, due to a demand for high quality properties.

The development located on The Lane in the village of Lidlington, has been a hotspot with property seekers due to its family style houses and ideal location, with the benefits of both town and country living. 

Jason Hearn, Sales Director at David Wilson South Midlands, said: “This site was ideal for a range of different homebuyers and we have now come to the end of what was a popular development

“Families wanting a semi-rural area to enjoy scenic views whilst not missing out on any local amenities have found their ideal home at Lidlington Court, which offers the best of both worlds. 

Family Exchange Home And Upsize To Join New Wixams Community

Family Exchange Home And Upsize To Join New Wixams Community

A Bedfordshire family of four have found the ideal solution to upsizing and selling their existing property at Wixams newest development Willow Grove thanks to its bespoke Part Exchange scheme. 
Jemma and Ian Smith (both 36) moved into their new David Wilson home on the development recently with their daughters Sienna (four) and Poppy (two) and are already enjoying the growing community flourishing in the new homes.

They upsized from their three bedroom townhouse – also located in Wixams - after recognising that whilst they loved the area, they needed a bigger home for the whole family. 

Gira Plug + Light 

Gira Plug + Light 

Gira, one of the world’s leading full-range suppliers of intelligent system solutions for building management, showcase Plug + Light: a new and defined interface which unites light control and power supply. 

Combined with appropriate light top units, Plug + Light offers easily controllable indoor lighting – from dimming to warm dim – making it an infallible solution for professional electricians, installers and system integrators so flexible indoor lighting can come to life for the end customer.

For flicker-free, dimmable light in matching switch design, Plug + Light is an open system which can be used with standard Gira flush-mounted device boxes, as well as models from Gira‘s British Standard Range. 

Capture your own slice of Notting Hill life at prestigious Portobello Square 

Night shot of Portobello Square in Notting hill

Catalyst is offering a rare opportunity to be part of one of London’s most desirable and photogenic areas with the launch of the second phase of its award winning flagship scheme, Portobello Square, close to Notting Hill and the iconic Portobello Road. 

Portobello Square combines distinctive contemporary architecture and a strong sustainability ethos to create homes that complement the local surroundings. With shops, a new park at the heart of the development and the great connections to central London, these new homes meet the needs of modern day life.

‘Holistic Design' with Daval Bathroom Furniture

‘Holistic Design' with Daval Bathroom Furniture

Rich warm coloured woods are creating a coup in the bathroom this season, with timber-clad wall panelling, featured furniture and the use of hardwoods and tropical timbers like Walnut being used to elevate the bathroom and transform it from ordinary to extraordinary. 

Daval, leaders in the British design and manufacture of quality fitted furniture embrace the markets need for holistic design with a collection of furniture that allows you to synchronise a bathroom scheme with your living room, kitchen and bedrooms in terms of quality, design and style. 

‘‘Join the holistic design revolution, your heart and home will thank you for it!’’

Holistic interiors draw inspiration from the following design principles: 

Planning to Renovate Your Property?

Planning to Renovate Your Property?

There is no doubt that renovating a property is a mammoth task and takes patience and perseverance.  Reuben John from City Living - Fine & Country East London gives a few tips on where to start.

The reason for your renovation will determine the extent of the work you undertake. Are you doing the renovation solely for your own benefit or with an eye to adding value for future resale? Renovating for yourself is not the same as renovating for profit, however, the process is similar.

Grand Designs: The Street

Grand Designs: The Street

Grand Designs: The Street has been an epic five years in the making. In this six-part series, presented by Kevin McCloud, cameras follow the first 10 pioneering households who are building a brand new street from scratch, on what will ultimately be the UK’s largest self-build project. 

This ground-breaking experiment takes place in a prime location near Bicester, just 14 miles from Oxford and under an hour from London by train. The local council bought the land from the MOD, and instead of selling it to a developer for a quick profit, they have simplified the planning regulations and sold plots to the general public for around £100k each.