Okay, so it takes a little longer than 3 minutes to install a Hydrotherm heat pump, but this great time lapse video shows that it’s still a relatively straightforward task, and it looks great when it’s finished.
So you have this beautiful home that you have spent years perfecting and you are justifiably proud of it. Of course, it did cost a bit of money to get your home just as you want it but it was worth it.
But did you know there is a way to a make a bit of money from your beautiful home by following a big trend in the UK – turning your home into a film set.
There are thousands of films out there that could be used as an example –
real homes that have been rented with the exact purpose of filming a movie there. In fact, many movies that are based around a house actually use someone’s home as a set rather than constructing an entire property within a movie studio. From Home Alone to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Driving Miss Daisy to Charlie’s Angels, all of these films have used a real house as part of the set.
In the UK, the trend of renting out your home for a short period to allow filming in it has taken off in a big way. It began with shows such as Downton Abbey that used Highclere Castle in Berkshire for most of its filming – and the location now makes a tidy income as a tourist attraction due to the show’s popularity. However, the most searched for type of properties are the houses that are beautiful, well laid out and already look like a movie set – just like your home. Top location agencies are the people who match up properties with filmmakers and are the best people to organise everything.
Benefits of renting out
It can be surprising just how much money you can make by renting out your home for movie or TV show filming. In fact, it can be anywhere from $1000 to $5000 per day, varying depending on how much of the house the crew needs. The owner of the house used in the film Argo made over $50,000 by renting her house to the film crew to make the film.
Another good point about this is that as long as you rent your house out for less than two weeks a year, you do not have to pay federal taxes on the money you make and many states, including California, don’t have to pay state taxes either. You also get to stay in a hotel free of charge while the crew are filming if your house can’t be lived in and can pop in to watch the filming for free.
You may even get some free home improvements out of the experience if anything needs to be changed or if something is damaged. Filmmakers often leave a home in better condition than it was before they arrived, including a fresh coat of paint or some free landscaping.
While there are no real downsides to the idea of renting your house, there are a couple of considerations. For starters, you have to be okay with your life being disrupted for the time the filming takes – the crew will literally take over your home. But it is a worthwhile disruption both in terms of money and being able to say ‘that’s my home!’ when the film or show is released!
What is the best carpet for your home? The answer to that question is largely determined by a number of factors. These can include how much you want to spend on the carpet, which room of the house it is for and what kind of use will it see. The answer will be different for a living room to a spare bedroom or from a kitchen to a master bedroom. Here are a few general ideas to start you on your quest.
When you look at carpets, there seem to be lots of specialist terms thrown around that don’t mean a huge amount to many of us. Pile? Isn’t that what the teenagers do with their clothes in their bedroom? Density? But all of these things effect the carpet in key ways.
The fibre of the carpet is the material it is made from and are usually made by weaving them material to a backing material. The pile refers to how high these fibres are and is also called a face or a nap. Texture is often used with the fibre to discuss how it is made and therefore how it looks and feels. The density is how closely packed the fibres have been woven onto their backing which effects how strong the carpet is.
Which Fibres to Choose
Going back to what the room is used for helps you decide which fibre to consider for it. For example, for living room carpets, wool or a wool blend is popular. It costs more than some options but has that luxury feel to it. It is also hugely practical and will reduce your need for the carpet cleaners Leicester homes often use, to just an annual job.
Polyester is a man-made material that doesn’t have the natural plushness of wool but is very economical and has a natural stain resistance. They often tend to be made from recycled materials so if environmental concerns are on your list, this may be relevant.
Nylon carpets are somewhere in the middle – they are very durable and great for areas that see plenty of traffic such as the stairs. They do tend to stain easier so a good stain removal product will need to be on hand but by using a good product, the carpet will come up good as new in most cases.
What’s in a Pile?
The pile of the carpet fall into two categories – cut pile and loop pile. Cut pile comes in three main types, depending on the density of the fibres involved. Saxony is a very popular cut pile that has fibres around ½-inch high to give a smooth surface – it is often referred to as plush – but can get indentations from footprints and vacuuming. Textured isn’t as dense but is very soft and has an uneven look that makes it perfect for bedrooms.
In the loop pile category, Berber is perhaps one of the best known, featuring large, uncut loops of fibres in a dense and highly stain resistant carpet. It isn’t ideal for houses that have pets however as the loops will catch in their claws.
If your house is over a certain age, the chances are that you might find you experience issues with damp. This is simply because, when your house was built, little was understood about problem of rising damp, or at least there weren’t sufficient remedies in place to ensure that damp wouldn’t become a problem at some point in the future. as a result, houses that are over a certain age are more prone to issues with damp, and the potential problems this can cause.
Effects of Damp
Not only does damp cause problems by damaging the very structure of your house, it can cause a whole host of other issues, like mould, wet and dry rot, condensation etc.. At best these are unsightly and can affect the heat efficiency of your property; at worst, they could cause your property to become damaged to a point where it is structurally unsound, or they might cause potential threats to the health of you and your family.
Getting Rid of Damp
If your current property has issues with damp, or you’re looking to purchase a property that might have a damp problem, it’s always a good idea to hire London damp proofing services like Crown Preservation to help resolve the issue. From small instances of damp, to large scale problems that affect the safety of your home, a professional damp proofing company will provide the remedial treatment you need to make your house a safe and enjoyable place to live again.
Damp Proofing Specialists
So, whether it’s issues with rising damp, dry or wet rot, condensation, mould or anything else related to issues with damp in your home, a professional damp proofing company should be your first port of call. Check their accreditations and ask for references form previous projects they’ve worked on, and you can be sure you hire an experience professional that will resolve your problem quickly and cost-effectively.
When you buy your dream home, you want to spend a bit of money on it and give it that WOW factor that will make it perfect. What that is depends on what you like, the house itself and the budget you have. So here are some inspirational ideas to help you plan how to make your home just that bit more ‘you’ and fill it with the features that you will get the most enjoyment from.
Making use of the basement
Many homes have a basement and these can often end up simply being a storage area – a little dark, sometimes with a slightly musty smell and used only when required. But there is so much more you can do with a basement. Say, for example, you are a wine collector – then why not make your basement into a wine cellar? You can even add a spiral staircase from the level above to enter the room and make for a statement space that you will want to show to all of your guests.
Unusual types of extension
For many, one of the first things we do to our dream home is to add an extension and maximize the space available. While there are many classic looks for conservatories, single story extensions, orangeries and garden rooms, there are also many innovative ideas. A cantilever extension is a modern idea that is popular in warmer parts of the country. Another idea is to create an outdoor media room complete with smartphone-controlled TV and mood lighting.
Making staircases interesting
Talking about spiral staircases, why do most homes have straight up and down staircases? Why not instead look to replace it with a spiral, helical or custom designed staircase like some of the amazing examples from UK manufacturers Elite Metalcraft, that works perfectly with the space and creates an eye-catching feature in your property.
Alternatively, if you need a straight up and down staircase, why not look to make it double up as innovative storage space? If one side of the staircase is open you can make drawers and cubby holes to store all sorts of items and use unusual drawer handles to make the whole area into a feature.
Using glass in different ways
Most of us think of glass as the stuff of windows or perhaps a conservatory roof but there are lots of ways to use glass within the house to make for a real WOW factor. Glass flooring is one idea popular with people living in some types of house – if there is something worth seeing below the house then it is a perfect idea. Take a house built partially over a river or the ocean. Here you can add a glass floor to enjoy the amazing view downwards as well as out of the windows.
Making your home what you want it to be is about finding the perfect features and working with people that can create those features for you. That way you can get the maximum enjoyment from your home for many years to come and have something that will truly WOW every visitor.
Home automation has been around for nearly 3 decades, however many people still regard it as rather a gimmick, or something that resembles the floating skateboard in Back to the Future. But are home automation systems useful in the modern home? Do they come in forms that are workable by anyone less than Bill Gates? And most importantly can they benefit the average household in day to day life? We spoke to Mile High Automation to get answers to all of these questions, and more besides.
Home Automation… The surprising benefits
Home automation systems seek to do one of three things, and those are to: increase security, improve efficiency and convenience or provide comfort. By looking at what the market has to offer today, it is possible to gain an insight into the sometimes surprising benefits of home automation.
- CCTV System – CCTV systems have been employed by private residencies since their conception; however they can now benefit from their owners using a mobile device to view their property from anywhere, and at any time.
- Remote access control – Whilst at first glance a remote access control system may seem a frivolous waste of money, its practicality is somewhat surprising. Such systems allow the user to remotely control who accesses their property, whether it’s the house sitter watching the pets whilst you’re on holiday, or a teenage child returning home from school; remote access provides a helpful solution, whether you’re at work or aboard.
Efficiency and Convenience
- Lighting Control – If you think that lighting control is reserved for only actors creating an ambient mood at the flick of a switch, then you should think again. Lighting control systems come in all shapes and sizes, and can range from allowing you to switch off all the unissued lights at once, to recreating your own mood lighting.
- HVAC (Heating, ventilation and air conditioning) Automation systems – HVAC automation systems provide a little more freedom than the traditional home systems. Just think, no more returning to a cold home after that beautifully warm holiday. You can switch your heating on from another country.
- Temperature Adjustment – If you’re a frugal person, and you turn your thermostat down every morning before you leave, then you’ve probably gotten to work and started wondering whether you remembered to do it that day. A home automation system could manage all this automatically for you.
- Sound or Home Cinema System – Many of us have seen those private cinemas that are seemingly a standard feature within the homes of the rich and famous. But are they really reserved just for those that represent ‘the other half’? Today people are able to install similar systems with a little investment, and a home automation system can provide a one stop remote for switching between home cinema, TV and music.
From this list, it is easy to see that home automation systems have a wide and varied range of benefits; whilst some systems may be of more use than another, there is certainly no modern home that wouldn’t benefit from some sort of home automation system.
A solid wood floor in your home can be an object of great pride and beauty. It not only adds immediate value to your home but, when properly taken care of, lasts for ages as well. But owning the kind of timber flooring Gold Coast homes love is only satisfactory when it is installed correctly.
There are a number of different ways of installing a floor correctly; here is a quick how-to of going about it. Continue reading
Paying for energy is, to be frank, a pain isn’t it? I mean, it’s great to have hot water at our finger tips and we’re lucky to live in a country where you can get that. But spending more than you absolutely have to on an energy bill is just like stuffing money into your drain, and flushing it down with all that nice hot water. In Queensland, it’s estimated that 35% of household energy consumption is spent on heating water, so that’s a lot of money you could be shelling out to a utility company. If you feel the same way as we do, maybe it’s time to start looking for a more efficient source of energy. One way of saving money is to improve the efficiency of your water heater. Monitoring the amount of water flowing from your water heater is an important part of what makes it efficient and this can be monitored by installing a flow meter.
Another recent innovation that is capable of efficiently providing the hot water Gold Coast homes need is the heat pump – it draws energy from the air and uses it to heat your water. Clever, hey? By using the energy already available to us it is a heap more efficient and, unlike solar panels, it doesn’t rely on direct sunlight to work.
If you try a heat pump like the Hydrotherm, you’ll see savings of around $400 a year on energy bills. That means it pays for itself within two years, on average. Imagine the savings over a lifetime! They would be incredible. The guarantee of up to 15 years also gives you peace of mind that the savings are going to continue.
So, why are heat pumps so efficient? And how do they work? Well, it draws in the energy from the air (specially designed for a humid climate) and across an evaporator. Inside the evaporator coils, there’s a refrigerant which stores the energy. That changes from a liquid to a gas, the gas is compressed and the compression is what produces the heat. Basically, it takes a readily-available resource (ambient air energy), and turns it into heat energy in a simple and efficient way. It also works in a cycle, so that once the refrigerant has transferred its heat, it goes back to being a liquid ready to start again.
It’s simple, yet so clever at the same time. The parts are made from tough steel, so they’re not going to need replacing any time soon, and the Panasonic compressor is built to withstand all the pressure of the process. It’s also independently tested, so you know you’re getting the best quality. It’s all pretty efficient to install too. It’s compact, there’s no need for unsightly roof panels and it’s even subject to government rebates, which saves you even more. Lucky that the government are so forward-thinking when it comes to alternative energy solutions! In fact, the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target ensures that by 2020, 20% of Australia’s energy will be from renewable sources.
So, there are savings to be made. What else is good about the Hydrotherm? Well, there’s the all-year-round performance. The Hydrotherm works on cloudy days and even freezing, rainy days. There’s no need for back-up generators or batteries or any other specialist equipment. Once it’s installed it’ll just do its own thing, providing as much hot water as you need. It’s environmentally friendly, but without the pitfalls of solar panels. You also don’t have to worry about getting the perfect roof alignment, or making sure your panels stay out of the shade.
Of course, there are a lot of models of air heater out there, but none of them quite compare to the Hydrotherm. Some have an internal heat exchanger, some work without an electrical booster but the Hydrotherm is the only one that has all the features you need. So scrap, that inefficient old boiler – it’s draining your money and it’s not environmentally friendly. Invest in a Hydrotherm, and enjoy the savings the efficiency brings!
Keeping your home protected against burglary doesn’t need to involve expensive and complex systems. The majority of us already have various safety measures in place which go a long way towards making our homes feel more protected. However, burglary is often an opportunistic crime and identifying the seemingly small issues that could put you at risk can have a huge benefit on the overall security of your home. From storing your valuables in a home safe to investing in a monitored alarm system, the following tips are all simple steps that you can take to deter potential thieves and give you peace of mind.
Window locks may seem like an obvious step, but they’re easy to overlook. Ensuring that all of your accessible windows are fitted with locks offers a huge boost to the security of your home, giving would-be burglars fewer points of access. Sometimes though if you have older windows, the locking mechanism may fail. In this case, Art Roofing Contractors recommends looking into installing some new ones. If your locks are visible from outside, this also has the extra benefit of deterring thieves from targeting your home in the first place. Different types of windows require different types of locks, so consider consulting a reputable locksmith for further advice. More info. Continue reading