The Housing Market can be less daunting if you shop around in different areas
This Tool From The BBC Might Help You Find Your Dream House
We hear a lot about how people are finding it hard to get on the housing ladder and so we thought we would introduce you to this great new tool we found on the BBC website which will help you to plan where you can afford to buy or rent property in the UK.
You simply add in your budget which if you are renting will be rent per month or if you are buying it will be the mortgage amount you can afford plus the deposit you have (or plan to have), and it will then show you on the map where you can afford to buy or rent within your budget.
Obviously this is a bit of a blunt tool as it relies on statistical averages in terms of housing pricing but it is an interesting illustration if you are truly struggling to get yourself on the house buying ladder or if you need to move areas for work and you have some flexibility on which county you might live in.
Not everyone has the choice of where they will be able to live, but if you have the sort of job that is not geographically bound to one area, if you are planning your retirement or if you are able to work from home, then you might decide to cut your monthly outgoings by moving somewhere cheaper to live – which has got to be good for stress levels.
If you are thinking about becoming a tenant in England or Wales you can take a look at our Guide for Tenants for more information on the process of finding a property to rent and renting a property.
If you are one of those people who dreams about selling your flat in a city, to buy a nice house in the country you can really have fun seeing what your Mayfair apartment will buy in Camarthenshire or County Durham.
DIY Doctor setting up the stand at the National Home Improvement Show
There will be GIVEAWAYS to celebrate our new online DIY Superstore, so come over to the Tricks of the Trade Theatre to see the team and so see what goodies they have for you.
DIY Doctor will be pleased to welcome you to the Tricks of the Trade stage at the National Home Improvement Show where you will find lots of free-to-enter competitions which could bag you some free-to-receive prizes.
The show is the pre-launch to the DIY Superstore, and so we will be turning up with ‘Super Sample Tools’ at Knock Down Prices!
Don’t miss out on these great deals, and our bonanza of freebies.
For the first time in the Home Improvement Industry you can now buy tradesman’s tools at DIY Prices. Not only that but we will show you how to use them and if we think you can do the job with a cheaper tool we will tell you.
Don’t forget you can still get free tickets to the show
Click on the Banner for Free Tickets
If you are thinking of Replacing your Garden Gate with Automated Gates be sure that they are safe
Not everyone knows that Automated Gates do not have to have a safety shut off to stop them closing on people. Of course most of them do stop and even reopen if the sensor beam is broken, but not all of them do this.
We have been made aware of Gate Safe, which is an organisation that is campaigning to make all automatic gates include this safety feature, and to have legislation passed to ensure that all automatic gate installers are registered to prove that they are competent to fit the gates in a safe way and with safeguards in place.
Tragic Deaths Caused by Unsafe Automated Gates
Gate Safe was set up following the avoidable deaths of two children in separate incidents in 2010, who were crushed in automated gates. Three children were injured by automated gates in the same year, and the founders of Gate Safe felt they could not stand by and allow this to happen. They aim to change guidelines for installers and suppliers to ensure that gates have safety mechanisms built in and that they are installed in such a way that they work effectively if someone gets caught in the gate as it closes. They want to stop any further fatalities or injuries caused by automatic gates.
If you are thinking of getting an automated gate fitted or maintained you can ask to installers who are registered with Gate Sate, for peace of mind that the installer will be aware of the safety requirements and will have passed the training necessary to make sure your gate operates safely.
What Can You Do?
If you are an installer of automated gates and you want to find out more about training courses and Gate Safe accreditation you can visit the website to find out more.
Gate Safe plans to bring together ALL parties affected by automated gate safety, which includes:
- suppliers of Gate automation equipment
- suppliers of access control equipment
- gate manufacturers
- gate installers including electrical specialists
- insurers / surveyors
- construction companies
- trade organisations / safety organisations
- general public
If you think you have an unsafe Automated Gate then get in touch with Gate Safe for help and advice.
Control the Temperature in Your House with a Room Thermostat
Central Heating or Immersion Heater
It is usually cheaper to heat your hot water using your boiler if you have one. However if you are on an Economy 7 tariff it is cheaper to heat up the water overnight, during those economy hours. Using an immersion heater is the most expensive way of heating water and it’s especially expensive during the day if you are on an Economy 7 tariff, because while the electricity is cheaper during the night the daytime tariff is usually higher than normal.
Combi Boiler or Regular Boiler?
If you have a larger family then you will find that a regular boiler with a hot water storage tank is most cost effective, however if you have a smaller household, using less hot water, then a Combi Boiler is likely to be the most efficient (and cheapest) system for you. A combination boiler (Combi) heats water on demand rather than having a storage tank. If you are thinking of changing your boiler you may be eligible to take advantage of the Governments Green Deal Programme, read more here.
Water Heating with Economy 7
If you are on an economy 7 tariff your hot water system should be set to automatically turn on when the electricity is at its cheapest rate. You should make sure your tank is really well insulated so that the water stays as hot as possible for as long as possible.
Correct Use of Your Immersion Heater
If you run out of hot water during the day/evening you may need to put on the immersion heater, which is sometimes called a boost. To make this as economical as possible, you should run this for as little time as possible to get the hot water you need.
Immersion Heater – Mythbusters
You may have heard some people say that it is cheaper to leave the immersion on all the time rather than turn it on and off again. However, this is not really true. The immersion heater is usually positioned towards the top of the tank so that when it is turned on it heats the top layer of water in the tank. This means you quickly get a quantity of hot water that will be enough to wash up, bath the kids or have a shower. Once you have done that you can turn off the immersion heater and allow the normal water heating to commence on the next economy cycle.
If you leave the boost heater on then the convection current in the tank will start to allow the whole tank to be heated by the immersion, and because you will be using the higher rate electricity this will get expensive over time.
We did have an opportunity to try this out when the Economy 7 heater in our hot water tank broke a few months ago so, in the interests of DIY Doctor research, we did a controlled experiment for a couple of days and measured the amount of energy used and the relative price of the units used. Our findings agreed with the Energy Saving Trust’s recommendations.
Today we are going to reflect on how you can save money on heating your house.
Even if your walls are the best insulated in the world, which they are probably not, some of the heat from a radiator is sent backwards into your walls. This heat loss is not so great with convection radiators, but why would you want to lose any of that heat into your walls? After all you are paying for it, so why waste it?
If a wall is soaking up heat from a radiator it is not going to release much of it back into the room. This problem can be overcome quite easily, by simply fitting radiator foil
to the wall directly behind the radiator. This will bounce the heat back into the room, making your heating more efficient and your room warmer. You can then turn your thermostat down and that will bring down the cost of your heating.
While we understand that you may not like to have highly reflective silver foil all over your walls, you can cut it down smaller than the radiator, so it is not visible. Unless that is you are living in a house that has pretensions of being the 1950’s idea of a space-age home, in which case you may want to make a feature of it, and coat the whole wall!
Even if the foil is cut down so that it can’t be seen from the front, it will still reflect most of the heat from the radiator back into the room, making (with our own calculations) a 10% difference to the room-heating efficiency of each radiator. However the calculation does not really matter too much, the idea is just full of common sense!
Radiator foil is available on a 4 meter roll, and you can just cut it down to size. You only need to use ordinary household scissors to cut it.
Click on the image to go to Screwfix where you can buy the foil online with next day delivery. The radiator foil is stuck to the wall using adhesive and can be pressed in place using a thin batten or a radiator paint roller if you have one.
Using Reflective Radiator Foil Can Save You Money on Central Heating Costs
If you want more great money-saving ideas why not go to our project How to Save Money on Your Heating Bill.