Winter is upon us and soon, temperatures will be taking a tumble. To make sure your house stays toasty warm, have a look at our winter checklist.
1 Check your boiler insurance. A new boiler can cost upwards of £3000. Some home insurance policies will include Home Emergency cover but others will require you to buy it as an add-on. These usually provide cover for boiler breakdowns.
2 Get your boiler serviced annually. Some cover will include a free service each year, and most insurers will not pay out if the breakdown is due to 'wear and tear'.
3 Lag cold pipes - this would stop them from freezing and avoids blockages.
4 Make sure your guttering is clear of debris. This prevents damp from getting into walls, which can cause damage.
5 Going away over the festive period? Set your heating to come on for an hour or so each day to stop the pipes freezing.
It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be. Paul Arden
Estate Agency remains an easy career to get in to but a difficult one to excel at in the long term.
Housing minister Esther McVey has revealed government backing for a major house building project in Kent that will add 15,000 new homes to the nation's property market in a single stroke.
After nearly five years of planning and political ping-pong, Ebbsfleet Garden City is to come to life with a new central urban area called Ebbsfleet Central.
Land for the new 310-acre conurbation has now been secured and, at a launch event at Ebbsfleet train station, it was revealed that the government has spent substantial sums buying up the estate needed to build the residential and commercial area.
"Projects such as Ebbsfleet Central have a key role in making sure we deliver the homes this country needs while protecting the countryside. The development will make the most of brownfield land and make a big contribution to delivering quality new homes for families within the garden city, at least 30% of which will be affordable.However, it is not enough just to build new houses,we need to ensure we build proud communities with a sense of place. That's why developments such as these are so important, providing facilities and homes for families in a thriving new urban centre at the heart of the community," says McVey.
Nearly half of people have been put off buying or renting a property by the condition of the garden, a survey has suggested.
Some 47 per cent of people surveyed had been put off by shabby gardens in the past, property website Zoopla and the Society of Garden Designers found. Half of the 2,000 people surveyed believe a good garden layout is as, or more important than, a well-designed bathroom or kitchen. Nearly nine in ten home owners surveyed said they consider their outside space to be either very or extremely important.
The survey also asked people to rank their favourite garden design features, with having somewhere to relax coming out top. Here is the list of desirable garden features ranked in order of popularity.
1. Somewhere to sit and relax.
2. Maximum sunlight throughout the day - South facing.
3. Somewhere for children to play.
5. A space for pets.
6. Somewhere to entertain.
7. A plot for growing fruit or vegetables.
8. Extra storage space, e.g. a shed.
9. A water feature.