WIN the ultimate decorating duo for your home and garden with Harris®

WIN the ultimate decorating duo for your home and garden with Harris®

Give your home a new lease of life with the nation’s favourite decorating brand, Harris®, this summer and transform your indoor and outdoor space with ease.

With the Harris® Inspire One Job Kit, you’ll have everything you need to achieve a superior finish on your next decorating project, including: 

2 x Woven fabric roller sleeves for optimum paint pick up

1 x 1” brush

1 x 2” brush

1 x 9” Roller frame with tray

1 x Easy seal bag

CLOSED - 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.

Family find their dream home in time for new addition

Movemaker scheme

A Warwickshire couple found their dream family, with the Movemaker scheme, home at David Wilson Homes’ Long Itchington development, Spinney Fields.

Alex and Marek Grzegorcyzk (both 38) decided they needed more space for their new arrival and have now moved into their new five bedroom home with their son Cass (9), baby daughter Remi and their beagle Max.

Alex, said:

“It was important to us that we had an easy home buying journey as I was due to give birth to Remi the week before we were expecting to move. One of the reasons we chose to purchase a David Wilson home was the Movemaker scheme and convenient purchase process. The Sales Advisers, Gabriella and Suzy were really helpful in keeping our purchase moving forward within the tight timeframe.”

GO MONO

Cormar Carpets

It might not be all ‘black and white’ when it comes to decorating the home but monochrome is still one of the most coveted looks in the world of interior design says 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.Cormar Carpets

Says David Cormack, marketing director at Cormar Carpets: 

Calling all budding explorers

Redrow Homes South Midlands

A housebuilder, Redrow Homes South Midlands, has come up with a novel way to keep the children entertained this summer.

Redrow Homes South Midlands is inviting budding adventurers to explore the gardens at a number of its showhomes throughout August in an exciting wildlife hunt.

Every adventurer will be provided with their very own ‘Explorer Pack’, which includes a nature tick list and a special pair of binoculars.

Tonia Tyler, sales director for Redrow Homes (South Midlands), said: The nature discovery hunt

How to be more energy efficient at home

Be energy efficient with E.On

by Mike Feely, Green Guru at E.ON

During Britain’s hottest summer in four decades, thoughts about energy efficiency may seem like a distant memory. However, as winter draws nearer and the weather gets cooler, the topic of energy usage at home inevitably starts to creep back into our minds.

Recent research by E.ON found that Brits don’t feel confident when it comes to energy related tasks at home. There are some easy things you can start doing now to get yourself prepped and ready before the fresher nights set in. Whether you’re buying a Victorian terrace or a new build, there are simple changes we can all make to be more energy efficient. 

Simple swaps to go green

All aboard for Herne bay: hyde new homes launch contemporary bayside homes 

The Elements

Multi award-winning Housing Association Hyde New Homes launched The Elements – a unique community of two- to four-bedroom homes set at the west end of Herne Bay, available for sale and through the Help to Buy scheme. 

Herne Bay gained prominence in the Victorian era as a resort town, home to the world’s first freestanding, purpose-built Clocktower, as well as a bustling promenade and pleasure pier. While the coastal retreat has since evolved into a thriving municipality, the area has maintained its traditional charm, making it a favourite of young families, commuting professionals, and first-time buyers alike.

Put the spare room to good use with the Holden at Radstone fields

David Wilson Homes

Leading homebuilder David Wilson Homes is offering homeowners in Northamptonshire some fresh inspiration on putting their spare room to good use in the Holden style home at Radstone Fields in Brackley.

Jason Hearn, Sales Director at David Wilson Homes South Midlands said:

“For those who don’t require the extra bedroom in their new home, they have the freedom to use the room however they wish and transform it to their own liking and our Holden property is no exception. Social media has been abound with hot tips on home organisation so we’ve gathered together some of the best examples from our buyers of innovative ways to use a spare bedroom.”

Top four reasons to move to Willow grove, Wixams village revealed

Willow Grove

According to leading developer Barratt and David Wilson Homes Northampton, location is still one of the most important considerations for buyers looking for their new home and its development Willow Grove in Wixams Village is no exception.

Wixams Village is a flourishing community close to Bedford town centre, offering an array of necessary amenities nearby to ensure homebuyers are welcomed with a relaxed way of living.

Alison Raine, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes Northampton, said: 

“Our beautiful new homes are thoughtfully situated so residents can make the most of the local facilities, meaning they are not only benefiting from a quality home, but also the convenience and pleasure in the surrounding areas.

London’s Largest First Time Buyer Event Returns

London’s Largest First Time Buyer Event Returns

Thousands of budding buyers are expected to attend the eleventh London Home Show, the capital’s largest event for first time buyers, on Saturday 22nd September 2018.

The free exhibition will be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster and will run from 11AM to 5PM.

With 50 exhibitors all under one roof, the event will showcase the best affordable homes - including Shared Ownership and Help to Buy properties - available across London. Offering prospective buyers the chance to explore the home ownership options available to them, the event takes place during Shared Ownership Week, a London-wide initiative designed to raise awareness of the alternative route onto the housing ladder.

COMFORT IS KEY WITH THE NEW CORMAR RANGE

COMFORT IS KEY WITH THE NEW CORMAR RANGE

The Cormar Carpet Company cracks the value versus luxury conundrum with a comfortably priced, ultra-soft new carpet collection.

Apollo Comfort is the latest addition to the Cormar easy clean family. Made with a new, softer Excellon polypropylene fibre that brings a premium feel to an affordably priced range, it is bleach cleanable and dirt resistant and includes a 10 year stain and wear guarantee.

The Cormar Carpet CompanyThe Cormar Carpet Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLANNING THE PERFECT BATHROOM

Soak, Bathroom planning

Naomi Nunn, Interior Designer at leading online bathroom retailer soak.com, offers tips on what to think about when redesigning the bathroom in your first home.

Deciding on the layout and design of a bathroom remains one of the key decisions when any first time buyer gets the keys to their new home.

After all, whether it’s having a relaxing soak in the bath or enjoying a luxurious shower experience, you will spend several hours a week in your bathroom.

Before you even get to deciding on which products are going to go into your bathroom, there are some important questions to answer on layout. 

GROHE Sense & Sense Guard prepared July 2018

GROHE Sense system

The cost of water damage can run into the thousands for homeowners. In the UK the average burst pipe claim is £7,000 with 28% of households not being reimbursed at all. Not only can water damage ruin the home, it can also affect respiratory health. After just 24 hours mould can start to build up due to humidity, causing respiratory problems, asthma and allergies.

According to The Association of British Insurers, escape of water causes approximately £2million worth of damage every day. With stats suggesting that 54% of households have experienced mains-related water damage, it is a common problem of which the GROHE Sense & Sense Guard can offer a solution. In 93% of cases, excessive water damage could have been prevented.

To bee or not to bee: developer offers top tips for nature

Barratt Homes North Thames

Leading homebuilder Barratt Homes North Thames is offering homeowners in Bedfordshire its top tips for making their garden bee-friendly this summer.

The developer is encouraging people to make their garden a haven for our fuzzy friends, by planting flowers to attract them and making small changes to their garden to give bees somewhere to shelter.

There are over 250 bee species in the UK, and most face threats such as loss of habitat, climate change and disease. They are vital to the food chain, with one in every three mouthfuls of food consumed by humans dependent on pollination, including apples, pears, onions, potatoes, cherries, chilies, carrots, margarine and herbs.

Glenn Copper, Sales Director at Barratt Homes North Thames, said;

Over half of Instagram users feel dissatisfied with their homes as a result of social media

HDD conversation

There are more people using Instagram for interiors inspiration than ever before, but over 50 percent of UK Instagram users feel dissatisfied with their homes after looking at images of other people’s houses on social media, a study has found.

Researchers who polled 1,500 UK adults using social media for inspiration with their homes, found that just 29 percent of people are completely satisfied with the appearance of their current home.

A whopping 83 percent of those who are displeased with their home admit to feeling this way once a month or more after scrolling through other properties on Instagram, with 25-34 year olds feeling dissatisfied most frequently.

A third of renters don’t want to buy a property

Sofology

A study, done by Sofology, of 1,000 renters reveals people are happy to rent long-term and have no plans to purchase a property.

A third of renters (33%), which equates to over 1.48 million renter households in the UK1, are happy to rent long-term and have no plans to purchase a property in the future, new research reveals.

The feeling of freedom

Examining people’s thoughts on buying a home, nearly a third (31%) said they don’t think getting on the property ladder is important.

A quarter of renters (26%) state that they don’t want the responsibility of owning a home and love the freedom of renting, whilst almost 1 in 10 (7%) said they prefer to spend their money elsewhere, such as travel and other life experiences.

5 ideas to turn your balcony into your favourite hangout spot from Bosch Home and Garden

Balcony

Do you love your living room as much as your balcony, but find yourself laying on your living-room sofa longing for some fresh air? Well we've got some inspiration for you: once you see our five ideas for comfy balconies and terraces, you won't ever want to be indoors during the summer again!

1. Look to the east – between rugs and tealights 

Make the most of your garden all year round with DeckWright

DeckWright

Moving into your own home is an exciting time. You finally have your own space and the chance to put your stamp on a property.

And if you’re lucky enough to also have your own garden, it’s not just the interior where you can start to make your mark.

Whatever sized outdoor area you have, decking is a great option.

It’s low maintenance, looks great and is perfect for entertaining on.

But there is one drawback – it can become very slippery when wet.

This can create a real hazard, especially if you have an entrance, such as a backdoor, which opens directly onto your decking area.

Homebuilder hosts dinner with a difference in Warwickshire

DWH raises awareness for Guide Dogs

A homebuilder has hosted a dinner in the dark at its development in Long Itchington to raise awareness of the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

David Wilson Homes invited the Chairman of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Cllr Christopher Kettle to join local guide dog user George Upfield with his dog Yoko and Chris Roberts, a Guide Dog trainer alongside directors of the company to a ‘dinner in the dark’ at Spinney Fields, located on Stockton Road.

Historic Gloucestershire discoveries set to be donated to museum

Gloucestershire Museum

Historians will be able to build up a better picture of life at a Gloucestershire village thanks to a donation of artefacts from David Wilson Homes to Gloucestershire Museums.

The housebuilder commissioned a specialist team to undertake an archaeology project at the site of its Whittington Park development in Longford, near Gloucester, before work started to build new homes.

And, with the project fully complete and artefacts assessed by experts, the items have been passed on to the local museum service for preservation.

Kids schooled in safety by Barratt Manchester

J One Seven teaches safety

Pupils at Offley Primary have been learning how to stay safe on site, thanks to a visit to J One Seven hosted by Barratt Homes Manchester.

A total of 30 school children donned hard hats and hi-vis vests and set off to the development to learn the importance of site safety.

The educational visit aimed to promote staying safe on site, whilst informing the children on what goes on at a building site. The children were able to learn about the machinery on site and all of the different tradesmen and what they do. 

The youngsters were also given a tour of the show home at the development, where they were able to see what the homes look like once they have been completed.

Looking to buy your first home through a housing scheme?

Looking to buy your first home through a housing scheme

By Melanie Mihill, Mortgage Consultant, Ipswich Building Society

There’s no shortage of media coverage around the problems faced by first time buyers. Taking the first step on the housing ladder can seem like an impossible task to some, which is why in the last ten years the government has introduced a series of low-cost home buying schemes, such as shared ownership and the Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21 aims to increase the supply of shared ownership and other affordable homes by March 2021.

Comfort is key with the new Cormar range

Staying safe on site with Barratt Homes

Pupils at Offley Primary have been learning how to stay safe on site, thanks to a visit to J One Seven hosted by Barratt Homes Manchester.

A total of 30 school children donned hard hats and hi-vis vests and set off to the development to learn the importance of site safety.

The educational visit aimed to promote staying safe on site, whilst informing the children on what goes on at a building site. The children were able to learn about the machinery on site and all of the different tradesmen and what they do. 

The youngsters were also given a tour of the show home at the development, where they were able to see what the homes look like once they have been completed.

Andrew Couch, Assistant Site Manager at Barratt Manchester said: