Greener lawn with less water – The myth of the white clover

The lawn has to be green, the greener the better. This is the characteristic mind-set of every individual who owns at least a square foot of empty land as part of her property. Of course a good lawn has to possess other distinct qualities too, such as a limited need for water and fertilizers, and an outstanding resistance to insects. All this and even more can be yours if you are brave enough to introduce a new element to your favourite seed mix: white clover!

White clover amidst grass

Trifolium repens

Continue reading

Set your garden on fire!

Weeds are the greatest enemy of every gardener, as they compete with crops. Additionally, since the soil has to be turned every Spring to loosen it up and aerate it, new weed seeds will surface year by year. Especially, if – by accident of course – a heap of compost from a questionable source got mixed into the soil at some point. Those seeds have  to be stopped from sprouting, at any cost …


Continue reading

How to reduce your water bills and be green at the same time?

Water bills in the Thames region are set to rise by 12 per cent next year and the water industry has warned that fracking will put areas of shale gas extraction under serious water stress, particularly in the south of England. While changes in water bill rises and fracking policy are down to the water regulator, activists and the Government, you can take the initiative to reduce your own water bills by implementing three simple tips.

Ecocamel shower with air-core technology

Continue reading

Co-housing: the trend of the 21st century

Imagine a small community of homes clustered around a central courtyard with communal allotments scattered in the corner. There is a common hall for entertainment, a laundry room accessible by all, and a wood-fired water heater that takes care of the needs of the whole community. It might sound as some sort of utopia, but it has turned into reality in East Grinstead, West Sussex.

Water painting of a co-housing utopia

Continue reading

Government schemes help tens of thousands of people climb the property ladder

New figures show that in the UK government backed housing schemes helped 25,000 people to their first home. Tens of thousands of people have taken their first steps onto the property ladder thanks to government backed schemes and this clearly shows that the housing market is on the move, according to Mark Prisk, the Housing Minister of the government.

Happy young home owners

Continue reading

Checking out the neighbourhood before buying in

Before you decide to make an offer on the home of your dreams, you should fully check out the neighbourhood. After all, this is where you’re going to live for years. Is there something you don’t know about that could negatively affect the resale value later? Is there a neighbour who comes roaring home late at night on a muffler-free motorcycle? Is the next-door neighbour operating a day care for pre-schoolers? Gather all the information you can, lest you see the life you dreamt up turn into a nightmare!

Neighbourhood watch programme in force notice

Continue reading

Choosing the right kitchen cabinetry for your home

Sleek stainless appliances and shiny granite counters may get all the attention, but the real star in any kitchen is the cabinetry. Not only does the functionality of your kitchen depend on choosing the right cabinetry, the costs of maintenance also hugely depend on it, so choosing the best one for your needs is really important. But how do you choose the right one from the myriads of options you encounter? Here are a few handy tips to make your choice easier!

 Kitchen cabinet with an Eastern feel

Continue reading

Everything you didn’t know about metal roofing

If you think of metal roofing as being a serviceable covering for outbuildings like barns and tool sheds, you’re missing the full story. The reality is no other material is more capable of protecting a structure from wind, rain, hail and rot. And since metal roofing now comes in looks that imitate everything from slate to asphalt to clay tiles, it’s easy to understand why this material has become a popular option among today’s homeowners.

Red, gray and brown metal roof tiles

Continue reading

Renting a pad for university – avoid the pitfalls!

Although it’s still high summer, those who have been admitted to university already have to think about their options when it comes to accommodation. Though going to university involves a lot of excitement by its own right, looking for a suitable place to live during the semesters has its own peculiarities. Here are 7 things to keep in mind to avoid all the pitfalls of renting a pad.

Graudating students standing in line

Continue reading

Plants in containers – 5 things you must know before growing your container empire!

Containers are great. They can make handling your plants easier, can take the decorative value of your beloved flowers to a whole new level, and they can help you get rid of most of the gardening chores. Container growing plants is an entirely different field from regular gardening, however. Do you know everything you need to make your container-plants prosper? Find out now!

 Beautiful flowers in containers Continue reading

How to design your children’s room to her greatest benefit?

It is widely accepted that the immediate environment of a child can have long-lasting effects on her development and shape her psyche in many different ways. In order to make the best of it, you should design your child’s room not only to suit her needs the best way possible, but also to teach her organizational skills. Here are a few thing you have to pay attention to if you want your children’s room to be as good as possible:

 Children's room design Continue reading

The accomplishments of photovoltaic solar cell technology

Photovoltaic solar cell technology is a dynamically developing field, where the race for the market leading position becomes fiercer with every passing day, encouraging companies to spend more and more resources on research and development, pushing the boundaries further and further out. But in order to understand where solar technology is headed, we have to see where it stands now.

Graphene solar panel

Continue reading

Reducing bills, this summer!

Before the summer temperatures — and summertime utility bills — start to make you sweat, you might want to consider making a few changes to cut your energy consumption. You can shave pounds off your monthly bills without sacrificing comfort as long as you plan and get creative. Here are a few tips to save money this summer — benefiting the Earth at the same time.

 Utility poles in the sunset

Continue reading

Why hire a home inspector?

Home inspectors see a home the way no one else does. They don’t care how the kitchen will feel for entertaining or whether the bathroom tiles will impress guests. Their judgment is not clouded by emotion. Nor do they have any interest in whether the home sells. In fact, they are financially motivated to find flaws — to avoid liability should something go wrong.

 Cross-section of a house

Continue reading

On the basics of photovoltaic solar panel technology

Another way of going green is to harness the power of the sun and convert it into household electricity, using photovoltaic solar panels.
First used in about 1890, “photovoltaic” has two parts: photo, derived from the Greek word for light, and volt, relating to electricity pioneer Alessandro Volta. And this is what photovoltaic materials and devices, like solar panels do—they convert light energy into electrical energy, as it has been discovered by French physicist Edmond Becquerel as early as 1839.

Photovoltaic panels on a roof

Continue reading

On the benefits of wind turbines

Going green is always a worthy initiative and one way to do it is to utilize wind turbines to supplement the electricity needs of your home. Their popularity is steadily on the rise as the price of electricity creeps up and people are forced to cut their expenses. However, there are several factors to consider when planning on supplementing the energy taken from the grid to power your home, or aspiring for self-sufficiency.

Wind turbine on a house

Continue reading

Looking to buy a new home in London? – Everything you need to know

You have decided to buy a home in London – but what next? The maze of legal work, negotiations, dealing with surveyors and solicitors, finding a good mortgage deal and worrying about your deal falling through, on top of actually hunting down the home of your dreams, is enough to make anyone’s hair stand on end.

After finding a home you like, which can take anything from a few days to many months, the process from having your offer accepted to completion of the sale takes about 12 weeks. This is about twice as long as in many other countries – home-buying in Britain is a notoriously drawn-out business.

Nonetheless, let’s see what you have to do to acquire your dream home:

Continue reading

UK’s construction sector might shake off recession

The UK construction sector is the most optimistic it has been since the start of the recession while architectural firms are hopeful of growing workloads, after Markit/CIPS construction PMI hit highest level since May 2012.

The UK’s construction sector grew for a second month in June, boosted by a rise in house building and supporting expectations that economic growth accelerated in the second quarter.

PMI trends 2004-2013

PMI trends 2004-2013

Continue reading