Does Your Home Have a Damp Proof Course?

A damp proof course is one of those things that most of us probably won’t give much consideration.  It is a discreet little black line amid the bricks on the exterior of our home that works away without any effort and we ignore it.  Until something goes wrong and we find signs of damp in our homes – then we turn to see if the damp proof course or DPC is doing its job.  Or we may discover that we don’t even have a DPC in our homes at all.  So what are damp proof courses and how do you know if yours is working?

Damp proofing basics

Damp proofing is a general term used to describe measures taken within homes and businesses to combat the process of damp and associated conditions.  Damp proof companies will use a range of techniques and treatments to stop damp, prevent reoccurrence and deal with the conditions that occur due to damp such as black mold or dry rot.

There are several different types of damp that affect properties, with three being the most common – rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation.  The measures needed to deal with damp within a property depends on what type of damp is present and how it has gained a foothold in the property.

Damp protection

There are two main ways that damp proof companies will secure your property against damp problems – a damp proof course or DPC and a damp proof membrane or DPM.  The DPC is the most commonly used system and is the one that you can see as a thin black line in the brickwork of your home.

Do I need a Land Survey before I buy a house?

The obvious answer to this question is yes, but there are so many more questions to consider when buying a house that we should probably start at the beginning. The first step, even before you begin house shopping, is to look at your budget. Does your life style allow you to purchase a house yet? Next in line is the amount of money you can borrow. This depends on how much debt you have and how good your credit is. Once you have an idea of the amount of money you are working with, you can start visiting banks and financial institutions to negotiate a mortgage. Only then can you seriously look at houses that are within your buying range.

Study the market, look at the selling prices, don’t be blindly seduced by the first house you like without comparing it to others. In this fluctuating interest rate period, play conservative and stay within your means. Once you find a house you like, complete all the building inspections, including a land survey. Then, following the legal proceedings in your selected area, make an offer, and wait. If you are lucky and the stars align, you will soon move into your new house.

Throughout this process, you need to remember that buying a house is possibly the biggest purchase you will ever make. Therefore, you must protect your investment by making sure the house of your dreams does not become a money pit. Your best protection is prevention and this is done through thorough inspections. Money spent on termite inspections, building inspections, drainage surveys, mining surveys and land surveys, completed by a licensed land surveyor, will save you money down the road on expansive repairs or boundary disputes.


3 Features found in dream homes

Whether you are a millionaire or a college student, everyone has an idea of what their dream home would look like. Ever since the idea of becoming a home owner crossed your mind, you think about what your house will have that will make it home. The price, the location, and the number of rooms might differ from one individual to the next as personalizing a house is an excellent way to express oneself; but some features remain similarly important to everyone.

The kitchen is the heart of a home. In a dream house, the kitchen generally boasts a lot of countertop space, many cupboards, and a separate pantry. Most interior designers agree that a dream kitchen should have an island that doubles as a bar seating area. It offers family members a place to sit and eat while meals are prepared. The island or the peninsula also provides additional counterspace and cupboards, both essential features of a dream kitchen. Let’s not forget state of the art, top notch, energy efficient appliances; a dream kitchen cannot be without them. Whether they are stainless steel or embedded in the cabinetry, appliances make a statement about the cooking status of the home owner and must not be neglected.


How to Move Home Stress Free

Moving house is regularly considered to be one of the most stressful and frustrating events. The process involves buying packing materials, hiring a moving truck, making the actual move and arranging your belongings in your new home. With the many activities involved, failure to prepare and plan properly is bound to make the experience even more stressful.

Considering the frustration and challenges that come with such times, most people neglect their needs and health. However, moving home does not have to be stressful. By following the tips below, you will make the entire process manageable and stress-free.

Give yourself time

While sometimes you may be forced to move last minute, most of the time people plan before moving house. In order to make the process stress-free, it is important to plan ahead.

This means that you start preparing at least eight weeks before moving. Giving yourself ample time to plan and organize all activities will increase the chances of having a seamless process.


Whether you hire a professional moving company or do it yourself, moving is likely to be a costly undertaking. You may also incur additional expenses that you had not planned for.

Since such unplanned expenses can be frustrating, you should come up with a budget well before the day of the move. It is also important to ensure that your budget is flexible enough to accommodate all the important costs.

Start packing early

Even the most organized person will have a lot more to do than they had anticipated. If you are to avoid a mad rush, you should start packing early.

This will not only help to ensure that everything is packed in an orderly manner, but will allow you time to rest in between the packing session. You will also have time to buy the necessary packing materials, depending on the shape and size of your belongings.

How To Increase Your Home Value In 8 Easy Steps

If you have plans of selling your home in the future, you really need to take care of the many details in your abode. You may need a little bit of makeover to boost its value.

The good news is, you don’t need to spend big bucks to sell your home at an expensive price. Small, but valuable improvements can make it worth more.

Check out the list on how you can improve your home’s value:

  1. Install new windows.

Windows are one part of the home that buyers often check when purchasing a property. The future home owners don’t want a home that has damaged windows, where nearly 30 percent of energy escapes based on research. Well maintain windows are one reason why they will be interested to purchase your home. Windows add a statement to a home.

  1. Upgrade your popcorn ceilings.

Do you still have popcorn ceilings? Removing them is one sure way to add value to your precious property. This kind of ceiling is obsolete and having them in your home may turn the buyers away. Replace them with modern ceilings because a contemporary style of home is more pricey.

  1. Add a new bathroom.

Does your home only have one bathroom? It’s time to add another one in a space that is unused for a long time. Consider the convenience when deciding to add another bathroom. Your home buyers will surely love to have a bathroom upstairs and downstairs, especially when they have guests.


Clean with Mean Green in 2017

There are quite a few items in the Mean Green family of cleaning products, all of which help make your home cleaner- more quickly and easily.  2017 is going to add a few more items to its already robust line of products.  These are Heavy Duty Super Strength Wipes, Auto and Garage Cleaner and Degreaser, and the Car Wash.  All work great in the garage, outdoors, and so many other messes (even your car).  The wipes are a favorite, being so “ready to go” and remove grease, grime, oil, adhesives, and other gross stuff with little effort.   They an be used all over the home, from the garage to the kitchen to the bathroom and beyond.  I would of course use a different wipe for each room…

Use by spraying down the walls and crevices after you shower, and keep mildew from growing in your bathroom. Bonus? No scrubbing required.


Top tips for saving water at home and reducing your bills

You may not think so, but the water we drink is actually a limited resource. This is why it’s important to conserve water as much as possible. An added consideration, when you waste water, is that you end up spending more on water bills. Household expenditure is often high, so anything you can do to reduce it is a good idea.

Hopefully, you can see the benefits of saving water in your home. But, how do you do it? We have put together ten tips on how to stop wasting water at home.

    1. Only use your dishwasher when you have a full load

Using a dishwasher can actually use less water than washing dishes by hand. But, you should wait until you have a full load to start the dishwasher as it uses the same amount of water whether it’s full or not.

    1. Do not pre wash dishes before you put them in the dishwasher

If you are using a dishwasher it’s not necessary to pre-wash dishes. All you need to do is scrape off food remnants. If you do pre-wash all you are doing is wasting water.

    1. Plan your clothes washing so you have a full load

Just as using a dishwasher with a reduced load wastes water, so does using your washing machine when it’s not full. Make sure that you plan your clothes washing so that the machine is full when you use it.

    1. Use cold water to wash clothes

It’s not necessary to use hot water to wash your clothes. They will be just as clean if you use cold water. Using cold water helps to preserve water, and also helps you save on your energy bills.


Great DIY Home Decorating Ideas and Tips

Do it yourself, or DIY is a goal oriented hobby initiated and done by an individual or groups. The fundamental prerequisite is that the person needs to learn quite fast and understand how to apply the skills to the important project, and then he does not need to hire other individuals to assist him. In the last few years, DIY home improvement and decoration has made an impact on TV and the hearts of interested professionals and homemakers. The idea of cultivating your home looks by the use of essential talent appeals to many individuals. If you want to begin the journey in do it yourself home improvement, you need to take several things into consideration for you to increase your rate of success in the projects.

Forming a plan

Planning is a vital aspect in home decoration so that you accomplish it successfully and more efficiently. It makes sure that you do not end up spending what you cannot afford or spending too much money on what you could otherwise avoid. Before writing the plan, you need to visualize how you would like your home to look. Settle on a particular colour style and theme that you would like to adopt and from there, you can start planning for the things needed to decorate your home. You need to generate a list of items you require and determine the ones that you can make by yourself from what you have and the things you need to purchase. Come up with a realistic budget for all expenses so that you avoid overspending.

Adopt a theme

Having a theme for your home will not make decoration easy but choosing a practical theme will help you save money and time. For example, you can get the right theme from Amantii fireplaces that will save you money because you will access great tropical decorative accessories for your home. You will get accessories like seashells, driftwood, starfish, corals, and leaves. You can also use what you have collected to create tropical wall hangings.

Choose a color scheme

You need to do an in-depth research of the color scheme because you will notice that most decorating themes rely on particular color schemes that will help you get the desired results. These colors are standard to a specific theme. An example is the Asian decorating themes and styles dominated by dark blue, black, and red colors. The other example is the tropical decorating themes that rely on aqua, green, and red colors. Your theme of choice will follow the same basic pattern of a fixed palate of colors for the whole DIY project.