Winter Insulation Explained

It can be a pleasant experience to return to a cozy family home after a long day at work or after some time spent in the cold outdoors.  During the winter, keeping the home warm becomes even more important for families.  One of the factors used to achieve such constant warmth in a home during the winter is proper insulation.  This is not so much a luxury as a necessity, and the health and financial costs of insufficient insulation can be high.


The importance of insulating a home


Firstly, a poorly insulated home can be detrimental to the family’s health.  Without sufficient heating, the home can become cold and damp, leading to potentially severe health consequences, especially for young children and for the elderly.  Secondly, a lack of insulation can also be harmful to the environment.  To keep a home warm when there is no insulation requires greater amounts of heat energy.  This, in many cases, means burning more fuel, which can release carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere.  Thirdly, it is potentially expensive to overlook domestic insulation.  The amount of money spent on adequately heating a home that has not been insulated can easily, over time, outweigh the cost of the insulation.  Insulation is an investment in health, the environment, and long-term financial savings.


Different ways to insulate a home


There are plenty of well-documented ways in which to insulate a home.  However, to maintain a cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach to insulation, a few alternatives stand out. One of the most common ways to insulate even a small home is through double-glazing.  This additional window glass can halve domestic heat loss. Another way to keep valuable heat inside a home during the winter months is through the installation of custom-made shutters.  Again, focusing on the windows, shutters can keep heat inside and make the indoor feel secure and cozy. Loft insulation and wall cavity insulation are particularly effective ways of reducing heat loss, and these can be completed with environmentally friendly materials for a thoroughly green approach.  Filling the cavities in walls with insulating material has been estimated to be one of the most effective ways of preventing the loss of heat from a home. Floors can also be insulated, while pipes and water tanks can be cladded to prevent heat loss.


The advantages of insulation for a home


The advantages of finding a way to stay warm and spend less during the winter months are clear and widely recognized.  A warm home can be healthy, cozy, and cost-efficient.  Furthermore, imaginative insulation with items such as shutters, double-glazing, and carpeting can greatly add to the attractiveness of the internal décor of a home.  In this way, the practice of insulating a home is not just a practical necessity, it can also be a way to freshen up the look of a home and keep it more attractive to live in during the darker, colder winter months.




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Tips For Packing Collectibles

Whether you’re moving or packing your collectibles for shipping, you must take extra special care in order to minimize any chance of damage to your precious collectible. Here are some tips for making the process easier.


Glass collectibles like shot glasses, collectible glassware, pressed glass or cut glass are one of the most difficult types of items to transport. Since many glass items have elements that use thin glass or decoration, they can be challenging to keep safe while being handled. When packing vases or any item that has space inside, it is critical to stuff the interior with something to minimize the shock from any movement. You can stuff the interior with items like fabric, tissue paper or even packing peanuts. Next, you need to wrap the item with something, typically bubble wrap or a fabric, making sure to take special care when wrapping any handles or decoration that may be on the outside. Lastly, place the wrapped item into a box with a generous amount of packing peanuts or crumpled up newspaper. Place the glass item at least several inches away from the sides of the box for maximum protection.


Similar to glass, you must take special care when handling in pottery in order to not damage it during moving. Place something soft inside the pottery piece first, like newspaper, packing peanuts or crumpled up tissue paper. Then wrap the piece in bubble wrap and place it in a box with more packing peanuts or crumpled up newspaper.


While jewelry is small, it’s not as simple as you might think to pack it properly.  Jewelry is typically very delicate, and collectible jewelry is often especially delicate. You can keep your jewelry safe during shipping or moving by wrapping each piece separately in something soft, like tissue paper or a fabric. The key here is to keep the jewelry from rattling around and getting damaged from movement. You will not only want to wrap up each piece of jewelry , but even with sets of jewelry, like earrings or cufflinks, you’ll want to wrap each of them separately in order to stop them from rubbing against each other, creating small scratches. Then place the items separately into another box for transport.


Packing up paper collectibles, like a stamp collection, autographs, playbills, menus and other ephemera can be tricky. The key here is to pack the paper items with or between something that will keep the items from folding or bending, so use something hard like a plastic notebook or wood board. It’s also critical to keep exposure to any type of moisture to a minimum. For example, if you are moving from an area that is dry to somewhere that is very humid, you need to make sure your paper collectibles will have proper airflow so that the increased humidity doesn’t damage them.Once you have placed your paper items safely between hard materials or boards, you can then place them into a box or bin. Make liberal use of packing peanuts or bubble wrap to allow for airflow between the items in the box.

Author Bio

Marie is a home maker who occasionally blogs in her free time. She lives in Perth Australia and has been moving quite a lot around Australia due to her husband’s changing job profile. She usually calls upon removalists Sydney for her transport needs.


DIY Halloween Home Décor

When you’re on a budget, celebratory occasions can be difficult to fund, let alone when they’re just a few months before Christmas. Halloween is a time of year that’s often dreaded by parents doing their best to save up for Santa’s loot, but of course, you don’t want to disappoint the kids by not getting into the spirit of the occasion. Decorations bought from the store can be extortionately priced, so we’ve put together a guide to creating your very own haunted Halloween house on a budget with a few clever DIY projects.

Spooky Shadow Puppets

Encourage a bit of family fun by getting the kids together to make your own Halloween shadow puppets. All you’ll need is some paper, sticky tape, a packet of Sharpies and some lolly sticks or straws. You could create some card templates using old cereal boxes for younger kids to draw around, including bats, witches and pumpkins. Once the shapes have been cut out, stick them to the tip of the lolly sticks or straws to create a handle and you’ll be left with Halloween toys that will provide hours of entertainment.

Horrifying Halloween Mobile

Whilst you’re creating your shadow puppets, make a few extra spooky silhouettes for a hanging Halloween mobile to place in the entryway. Take a small fallen branch from the garden or your local park and spray paint it black. Next, attach a piece of string and hang it from a light fitting or drill it to a beam using power tools from somewhere like Elcocks.

Then, make small holes in the top of your paper bats, witches and pumpkins and thread some string through them. Tie them sporadically onto your branch to create a horrifying Halloween mobile like this one. If you wanted to go the extra mile, you could spray your paper figures with a glow-in-the-dark paint to make them look extra spooky when the lights are switched off.

Ghoulish Garden Ghosts

If you want to try something that will shock anybody that enters your home at Halloween, then stock up on chicken wire and glow-in-the-dark spray paint and create your very own garden ghosts. Mould the chicken wire into human-like shapes and spray paint them so they glow in the dark. Place them in the garden and turn off any outdoor lights to create the illusion that you have ghastly ghouls visiting for Halloween. If you’re hosting a Halloween party, this DIY project is sure to impress your guests.

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Winter Home Décor Trend: Tartan Twist

Tartan has been a big trend in the fashion world for the past few winters, and now it’s working its way into our homes. How can you incorporate this latest interior design trend into your home décor without going over the top, though?

Cosy Cushions and Quilts

The easiest way to add a tartan twist to your interiors is to incorporate it into your existing fabrics. Add a tartan bed throw in the master bedroom or a few tartan scatter cushions in the living room. If the rest of the décor in the room is simple, you could even go for heavy, soft tartan curtains to keep out that winter chill and make your home feel extra cosy just in time for Christmas.

DIY Feature Wall

If you consider yourself a dab-hand with a paint brush, why not go one step further and add a tartan feature wall in your home? This works particularly well if you have a chimney breast, and using darker colours like navy or racing green will really help the room to feel cosier. You’ll need four different paints, some masking tape and a design in mind. Before you start, you’ll need to draw out your design on paper, and always watch an online tutorial before you start.

When paired with clever lighting, a tartan feature wall will look particularly effective. Place a spotlight just above the chimney breast and add a dimmer switch from somewhere like Downlights so you can adjust the ambience according to your mood.

On-Trend Accessories

If you don’t want to spend much, you could just add a few tartan-themed accessories to your home. Printed mugs and tea towels are an easy way to incorporate the trend into your kitchen’s design, whilst a printed vase or some crockery will look lovely alongside wooden furniture in the dining room.

Get Creative with Colour

Remember that when you’re adding tartan to your interiors, you don’t have to stick to the traditional colour palette. There are hundreds of different types of tartan, with each traditionally belonging to a Scottish district or family name. If you have Scottish heritage in your family, it’s a nice idea to find your family’s specific tartan and use that around the home. If not, then tartan comes in pinks, oranges and even yellows on the high street, and although this might not fit in with Scottish tradition, it means you can add a tartan twist to your décor no matter what colour scheme you prefer.

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Wallpaper is Making a Comeback this Winter

The very mention of the word wallpaper for some homeowners has them coming out in a cold sweat. For some, it conjures up images of trying to remove it, and for others, it’s the daunting task of trying to put it up. For years now, wallpaper has had a bad reputation. Even enthusiastic designers who once extolled the virtues of pattern and design eventually declared wallpaper outdated. However in the last few years, especially with design trends changing, wallpaper is making a bit of a comeback. In fact, thanks to impressive new patterns and easy application, it’s considered cool once more.

A Quick Wallpaper History Lesson

Wallpaper stems way back beyond the beige and green swirls and wood-chip of the 1970s to the 14th Century, where historians believed that Flemish craftsmen drew colourful motifs onto paper and placed it on the wall. Wallpaper was also very popular in China as a way of not only decorating the home, but keeping out the cold drafts. In the 18th Century they also began to export hand painted designs for the European market.

Using It in Your Home in the 21st Century

Make a Focal Point: Rather than plastering whole rooms with bright and garish colours, why not try and make use of intricate patterns or bold hues and make a focal point of one feature wall?

Adding Texture: Wallpaper is great for adding texture and depth to a room, so why not make use of designs made from micro-suede, jute or glass cloth?

Jazzing-Up Small Spaces: Despite what you may think, wallpaper is great for small spaces, and provided you get the colour scheme right, intense prints work well in an interesting way, rather than appearing far too overwhelming.

Less is More: Wallpaper doesn’t have to be a floor-to-ceiling application process. Instead, consider using it on half a wall above a rail trim. Alternatively, go completely mad and use it in blocks and create your very own piece of art work. This way, you can buy a more expensive quality pattern without it costing you a small fortune.

With so many modern designs, textures, colours, and patterns on the market, like the ones online at Wallpaper Sales, wallpaper doesn’t have to be dull. In fact, you can have some real fun mixing and matching with your colour scheme. So next time you’re thinking of redecorating your property, think wallpaper.


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LED Rope Lighting: Things You May Need To Consider Before You Buy

For those people who have organised a function, party, or charity event, then you probably know that one of the most important aspects is lighting. The trouble is that lighting can be expensive, time consuming to install and tricky to get right. This is where rope lights come in. LED rope lights provide a simple but effective solution to your lighting needs. They’re incredibly versatile, practical and make it easy to create a professional looking display. This means no time is spent rewiring, there’s no cutting and splicing, and no putting up fixtures and fittings. Here are a few things that that you might want to consider before buying.

Estimating the Length

As you may already know, LED rope lighting comes in length and as a general rule of thumb, the longer the length, the more you’ll pay. Whilst it’s true that the tubing can be cut and spliced together, it then creates a time consuming problem and is obviously not the ideal solution. Therefore be sure to know roughly how much length you’ll need and purchase accordingly.

What Do You Want Them to Do?

LED rope lights can have a selection of effects depending upon how many wires are connected. For instance, a two-wire rope will operate the bulbs in unison with both a dimming and flashing effect. However three-wire rope lights can also give off a chase-effect and a whole host of other special effects. For those who really want to push the boat out and go for a dramatic effect then you can also buy an external controller. Clearly the function of your lighting (or how much you want them to do) is going to affect the price. For your lighting installation ask a help to our electricians, visit

Cost VS Practicality

LED rope lighting will cost you more than standard rope lighting, but remember, if you purchase a good set of LEDs then you are paying for something that is strong, weatherproof (so they can be used inside and out) and built to last. You can get rope lighting online from somewhere like Bright Lightz and rest in the knowledge that this type of lighting is also safer to use because LEDs don’t get hot like normal bulbs and as a result, are cooler to touch and won’t overheat.

Whatever you decide, you can have great fun with LED rope lighting. So whether you’re decorating your home for Christmas or jazzing-up a venue for an upcoming event, then LED rope lighting is perfect.


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Ways to Winter-Proof Your Home

Winter tends to be a love or hate time of year for most people. Some love trudging through the snow on a crisp morning walk, whilst others despise donning extra layers and shivering as they try to keep warm. Regardless of which camp you sit in, you don’t want to be cold whilst you’re at home this winter, and there are a few steps you can take towards winter-proofing your home before the cold weather really starts to set in.

Holding On to the Heat

There’s no point blasting out the central heating unless your home is able to hold onto the heat. Draught excluders can really help with this problem, and they’re so inexpensive that even those on a budget will be able to winter-proof their home this way. If your window seals are no longer effective or your home still only has single glazing, then you might want to address this problem by contacting a window specialist like Pavilion Glass. Loft and cavity wall insulation is also a good way to maximise your home’s ability to hold onto the heat, so consider that too.

 Get Your Boiler Checked

If your radiators are colder at the bottom than they are at the top, or your boiler starts to make unusual noises, you need to get it checked out. The last thing you want is your boiler breaking down in the winter, so make sure everything’s in working order before the cold weather sets in.

Salt Bucket at the Ready

It’s a good idea to have a supply of grit at the ready in case your paths or driveway get icy over winter. This is a particularly good idea if you have small children or elderly relatives that might be more vulnerable to seriously injuring themselves should they slip and fall. If you can get hold of proper grit, then simply stocking up on cheap table salt should do the trick.

Keeping Cosy

When you’ve exhausted all other measures, simply changing duvets to a higher tog and keeping a stack of cosy blankets and throws in the airing cupboard will help to ensure that nobody in your family suffers in the cold. If you really hate being chilly, investing in an electric blanket will be the best thing you ever do, but if that’s too expensive, a few hot water bottles should do the trick when the weather gets really cold.


Making the Most of Your Mantelpiece

Beautifully decorated chimney breasts and mantelpieces adorn the pages of premium interior design magazines on a monthly basis, but creating something similar at home would probably cost you an arm and a leg. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out though, so we’ve put together a guide to making the most of your mantelpiece without spending a fortune.

Family Photo Wall

Why not use the focal point of the room as a place to hang your favourite family photos? Keep an eye out for ornate vintage photo frames in thrift stores and pick up some cheaper ones from homeware stores until you’ve built up a mismatched collection. Paint them different colours to complement the room’s colour scheme and arrange them unevenly on the wall for a kitsch effect.

Rustic Charm

To make a room feel cosier, if you have an older house, you consider chipping away at the plaster to reveal the original brickwork underneath. If your house is a new-build, you could call in a professional to render it for you; it would be a more expensive option, but the finished effect is completely worth it. Exposed brickwork looks particularly good on a chimney breast that houses a traditional wood burning stove like the ones from Glowing Embers, so if you already have one of those, then this is the option to go for.

Pinterest-Worthy Wallpapering

Forget bold floral prints and modern stripes; when it comes to wallpapering, you should go for something a little more out of the ordinary. Wallpaper printed with the world map can transform your chimney breast into a sophisticated, unique feature if you choose a design that matches the rest of your décor, but if that’s not your thing, there are hundreds of unusual designs available online if you’re willing to hunt around.

Simple Stickers

If you can’t find an unusual wallpaper that fits the bill, then you could go for a wall sticker instead. From animal prints to iconic quotes and phrases, wall stickers are easy to apply and can simply be peeled off when you fancy a change. They give the illusion that the design has been carefully painted on, but it’s far simpler than that, just take a look at this online tutorial and see for yourself.

So, whether you go for the rustic look or get experimental with a unique wallpaper design, making the most of your mantelpiece can be quick, easy and doesn’t have to break the bank if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves ready for a bit of DIY.

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How to Choose the Right Power Tool For the Job

Let’s face it, DIY is big business and as a nation we just love our power tools. The trouble is that often our fascination with power tools can leave us buying something that we’ll probably never use, only to see it gathering dust in the shed. If this resonates with you then you may want to read on. Whilst the right power tools make light work of projects by cutting down time and energy, the wrong tool is likely to be to be an expensive mistake. So just how do you choose the right power tool for the job in hand? Here are some tips.


Before you get carried away with the nicest, shiniest power tool in the showroom, try asking yourself is this project going to be something you’ll do more than once? If the answer is no, then you may be better off renting or hiring. If on the other hand you can see yourself carrying out similar projects in the future, then you may want to go ahead and make the purchase. It could be a wise investment.

Size and Weight

You may think that when it comes to boys toys, the bigger the better, right? Well not always, especially when it comes to power tools. If the tool feels heavy in the shop, just imagine how it’s going to feel after a couple of hours use at the weekend. Instead, think about the smaller and lightweight versions. They’re often better than the really heavy-weight ones.

Buy Branded

If you’ve decided that you need a specific power tool, then it’s always best to go for quality branded tools. There may well be many cheap foreign imports that are a fraction of the price, but don’t be swayed. More often than not, you really do get what you pay for. Branded tools have an established reputation and are generally built not only to make light work of the job in hand, but also to last. So if you don’t want to be forking out for the exact same tool next year, then pay that little bit extra for quality.

Look it up Online

Before starting a project and buying a power tool, get yourself online and onto a reputable site like Anglia Tool Centre to find out exactly what tools you need for the job and when the next tradeshow is. You can get some great deals and expert advice at tradeshows. Then look for reviews. If you do your homework you’ll find some pretty useful information about how to best carry out the project.

So there you have it, four great tips on how to choose the right power tool for the job.


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5 Home Improvement Jobs Best Left to the Experts

You might think you’re a DIY expert, however, with 220,000 of us turning up at hospitals with DIY-related injuries, and the risk of finishing a job sub-standard, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts.  Here are five good examples.


5. Wall Papering

Wall papering is one of those tasks everybody thinks they can do themselves.  The reality, however, is that as with most home renovation projects, it’s best left to the experts.  Lining up the edges of wallpaper sheets is easier said than done, particularly when you’re covered in wallpaper paste and have been working for a full day. In contrast, painters and decorators will have years of experience, so they’ll do an expert job.


4. Guttering

This is a job that everybody dreads, but one which every homeowner has to face once in a while.  Unfortunately, it’s a job that’s deceptively challenging, and one which you’d be well-served leaving to the professionals.  Working on a ladder is extremely dangerous, so leaving the job to somebody who does it day-in-day-out is good common sense.


3. Indoor Plumbing

Although this isn’t a job that every person would consider attempting themselves, when an unpleasant smell in your kitchen starts to bother you, you might feel you have no choice but to take out your spanner and have a look at the pipes.  Don’t.  This can lead to more problems than you can solve. If this happens to a professional plumber they will at least know how to make the appropriate repairs efficiently.


2. Garden Hedge Trimming

Do you have unruly garden hedges?  You might think that trimming them yourself will save money, but in reality, the time it takes will cost you more than hiring somebody once a year to do it for you.  A professional gardener is likely to be an expert in hedge sculpting, making light work of what has the potential to be back-breaking work.


1. Moving House

This is the ultimate home project, and one which many people attempt to accomplish without any external help.  However, as with all of the above, saving money comes at the cost of your own time and energy.  On a moving day, the last thing you want is extra pressure.  Moreover, a company like The Yellow Van Company can provide you with an efficient, professional removal service which will save you a lot of hassle.