Home and Real estate blog

Asbestos Removal: Your Questions Answered

Asbestos removal is an important and quite specialised service that can be essential to protecting the users of a building. This applies to homes, business purposes, and even outbuildings or garages. However, a lot of people may well be uncertain about the various things, and health and safety considerations, relating to asbestos removal. Here are the answers to some common questions:

How do I Know if a Building Contains Asbestos?

There are several factors that may be able to help you work out whether a building does or might contain asbestos. Health and Safety regarding Asbestos in buildings is a major consideration. Other considerations include the date it was built, as well as the dates of any refurbishments that have been carried out. If your building was built after the year 2000, it should contain no asbestos as the use of asbestos for buildings and refurbishments was made illegal partway through 1999.

If you have any of the original documents relating to the construction or refurbishment of the building, this might tell you the types of materials used. This can help you work out whether any asbestos is present in the building and, if so, where it is.

If you are not able to determine whether the building contains asbestos, the best way to find out is with an asbestos survey.


Is Asbestos Removal Necessary?

Not necessarily. This depends on the types of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) present in the building, and what condition those materials are in. Some materials are safe as long as they are in good condition and left undisturbed. ACMs in poor condition, however, may release harmful fibres that can create health problems when inhaled.

An asbestos survey will identify the type, location and condition of any asbestos in the building. This will help you decide which steps to take to deal with the materials. It may well be that asbestos removal is necessary, or simply the easiest and most complete way to get rid of the problem. Alternatively, you may be able to take other steps to manage the risk.

Who can Remove Asbestos?

Asbestos removal should always be left to a professional. Most materials will need not just a professional builder or tradesman, but specifically one who is licensed to carry out asbestos removal. This is because of the high level of risk that ACMs pose, especially when disturbed, and the need to observe strict and appropriate safety precautions in order to eliminate that risk.

To remove asbestos, you should look for a tradesperson who holds an up-to-date license from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out work on asbestos. This will ensure not only that they are carrying out the work legally, but that they are taking the appropriate steps to protect their own health and that of people using the building. Fortunately, licenced professionals are not difficult to come by. Whether you want asbestos removal in Essex, London or just about anywhere else between Land’s End and John O’ Groats, you will probably be able to find a competent, licenced professional to carry out the work.

Finding Hidden Gems in the U.S. Housing Market

Eight years ago, amidst rock bottom prices and unimaginable delinquency and foreclosure rates, the U.S. housing market was in shambles, and it was difficult to imagine that a turnaround was even possible, but eight years later, in spite of moderate U.S. economic growth, the news is good: there is increased demand for housing demand, with a surge in new construction, and declining foreclosure and delinquency numbers.

In 2013 the S&P/Case-Shiller seasonally-adjusted national home price index increased by 13.88% (12.49% inflation-adjusted), the most significant increase since March 2006. In Q4 2013 20 US cities, Western cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego delivered impressive increases.


Inexpensive Options

At the other end of the spectrum Rust Belt cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Toledo, and Akron still offer investors eye-popping median home prices under $40,000.

With a larger investment cities like Tampa, Florida and Mobile, Alabama, still offer hidden gems in the properties market that will turn a strong profit.

Australian Investors

In 2012 some Aussie investors, faced with negative home values, were eager to invest their strong Australian dollars into the U.S. real estate market, with its superior potential to make a return at a currently discounted value.

Market speculation, fueled by unscrupulous investors and the hype and promises of sellers seeking distressed exits – or businesses seeking to finance operations by making a quick sell – meant that many Aussie investors lost their life savings.

According to Consumer advocate and real estate writer Neil Jenman, the biggest red flag was American investors’ reluctance to invest in their own market. He asked, “If the US real estate market was so good, why aren’t the Americans buying it?” and added, “The reasons the Americans aren’t buying it is they know they’ve got an oversupply of properties.”

This “Wild West” mentality is in stark contrast to the approach taken by firms like West-Rock that advocate for strong due diligence (“doing your homework”) with each investment.

A Strategic Approach

Investors shouldn’t discount the potential offered by the U.S. real estate market but, instead, consider the steps taken by like Westrock that focus on searching for hidden gems in the real estate market which will turn a strong profit.

Ethanol fireplaces from Ignis products

Keeping ones family warm and hot is a dream of every single home maker as comes the winters. With the advancement in science various ways were found, various inventions are made, all done, just to keep up with the needs of people. But if I sincerely think about keeping my place warm with something that is safe and something which occupies minimum of space then nothing could be better than an ethanol fireplace.


http://www.ignisproducts.com is exactly the site where you will get all the kinds of ethanol burners. If you are looking for the kind of burner that you can fit and forget in your guest’s room or modern room then nothing could be better than the freestanding Ethanol fireplaces. Not only will it be useful to the burner but will also be useful in giving your house a designer cult. The products need minimum of repairing, which means every ethanol burner available on this site can be used for years without broaching any serious issues with its working. [Read the rest of this entry…]

Display Units Online in India are on the rise

In this short text I will show you the basics you need to know in order select a quality display unit, mostly focusing on India.
India is a fast growing market due to the BDP per capita rising, which means that more and more people can afford quality furniture.
Display units are a fundamental piece of furniture which is present in most modern homes. And due to the modern technology developments, much of these can be ordered online! [Read the rest of this entry…]

French Furniture – Stylish and Trendy Furniture

1. French Furniture

French Furniture is being used for several centuries. It is being considered as status symbols because it was only affordable by the aristocrats of the society. Once its popularity starts emerging in the world everybody became keen to adorn his house with French Furniture. The skilled craftsmen make French Furniture with ultimate perfection. The designs that are being crafted on French Furniture include lots of detailing. It requires expertise and experience. These attributes makes French Furniture famous and worthy. [Read the rest of this entry…]

Buying Your First Home

After you get married and begin the process of starting a family, you’ll want to consider buying your first home. Buying a home rather than paying rent each month is great because you are actually investing in something that can earn you money in the long run; or at the very least allow you to break even. When you are ready to start thinking about buying your first home, there are many things you’ll need to consider. Most people focus on the size of the rooms and the color of the siding, but there are many things that you need to take into account before you decide on a final location.


Since you are probably looking to buy a home to start a family, you’ll want to do some research on the local schools to see how they stack up against other districts. If the school in your neighborhood ranks well, it is a good sign that this will be a nice place to raise children. Additionally, you should make sure that you’re near a good park and that there is a public library in the town or city you choose so your children will have access to research and play.

Local Laws

Another thing you’ll want to check on is the local laws. For instance, you’ll want to know what the ordinance for noise is so you can avoid being woken up at 11pm by loud music next door. Furthermore, certain items such as sparklers aren’t allowed in specific areas, and you may even need to have a permit to have a fire in your backyard. By knowing the local laws, you will know exactly what to expect while living in that neighborhood. [Read the rest of this entry…]

Increase the Value of Your Home

Want to quickly increase the value of your home? Install some hardwood floors throughout the house. Hardwood floors are elegant, classic, and timeless – I seriously can’t think of anyone who doesn’t absolutely love them. And when you’re in the real estate business, you can believe that having them in your home can greatly incase the value of your property. [Read the rest of this entry…]

Handmade oriental rugs

The handmade Oriental rugs are long known for their royal looks and presidential appearances. As the name suggests the handmade Oriental rugs are brought into the world by the oriental world which includes: China & Vietnam in the East to Turkey – Maghreb countries – the Caucasus in the north – Cyprus and Iran in the west & India in the south. The handmade Oriental rugs come with a great history of struggle, sustenance and indulgence. For few the handmade oriental rugs were the sign of their hard work and for some it was the representation of their class.


Even on today these handmade Oriental rugs are made with extreme caution and diligence. Every single piece is either knotted with pile or woven without pile, individually, which assures the buyer of its uniqueness and preciousness. There are various kinds of handmade Oriental rugs available in the oriental countries markets, like Persian rugs, Arabian rugs, Anatolian rugs, Kurdish rugs, Caucasian rugs, Central Asian rugs, Turkestanian rugs (Turkmen, Turkoman), Chinese rugs, Tibetan rugs, Indian rugs.

All these kinds of handmade Oriental rugs are pristine in their own special ways. They all come with different designs and colors and each color symbolizing something or the other, for instance red is the color of happiness and joy while white is for bringing harmony and peace. On the similar note the handmade Oriental rugs either animals or plants patters crafted on them, with each signifying an important message.

These rugs are available in all shapes, sizes and prices, so you can choose according to your needs.

The history of Parker Knoll furniture

Parker Knoll furniture was founded in 1931 by Frederick Parker, an English furniture maker, and Willi Knoll, a German inventor.

Frederick Parker was born and raised into the world of furniture. He learned his trade as an apprentice in his father’s furniture factory in Shoreditch, before moving to High Wycombe, a historic centre of the furniture trade, and choosing to focus on making high quality handmade furniture. His work graced ocean liners, royal yachts, viceroy’s houses and even an emperors throne. His son would follow in his footsteps, also becoming a furniture maker and later taking over his father’s company.


Willi Knoll on the other hand had no background in furniture. He was a fighter pilot in World War 1, but it was the seat of his fighter plane and the sheer uncomfortableness of it that would bring him into furniture. After the war he worked on a sprung seat design, and came to the UK in order to try and find a commercial maker for his sprung chairs.

It was Frederick Parkers son, Tom, who recognised the ingenuity and utility of Willi Knoll’s design and introduced him to his father. Frederick Parker agreed, and the two joined together to found Parker Knoll furniture.

While previously Frederick Parker had focused on high quality handmade furniture, the new Parker Knoll furniture was most suited for mass production for the general market, and a very successful marketing campaign in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph for their low price tension sprung furniture soon followed. A dedicated factory was built for Parker Knoll furniture in High Wycombe, which sadly burned to the ground in a fire in 1970. Parker Knoll furniture had opened a number of other factories before the fire, and manufacturing continued, with the company now being based in Riddings in Derbyshire.

Parker Knoll furniture turned its expertise to manufacturing A-frames, wooden boxes, wings for the de Havilland mosquito and repairing gliders during the Second World War, with the company only returning to manufacturing furniture after the end of the war.

During the 1960s Parker Knoll furniture became known for its reclining chairs, which were soon a signature item for the line, and became popular enough to open a second factory in Chipping Norton, fortuitous given the loss of their main High Wycombe factory in 1970.

The company has remained strong, with only a small hiccup in 2005 where it was purchased by Christie-Tyler but within months Christie-Tyler had collapsed into administration. Parker Knoll furniture was snapped up quickly by Sofa Brands International who made possible both the move to Riddings and refocusing the company back to its roots of high quality design.

Today, Parker Knoll furniture is the byword for quality, design and style, and all designed and manufactured in the UK. It has a timeless elegance that is sure to grace any home, and is a worthy addition to any room, whether your home is a flat or a palace.

The Benefits of having Stratton Exteriors’ energy efficient windows

It may be common knowledge that choosing energy-efficient windows will save you money on your heating and cooling bills. Unfortunately, it can come as a surprise that the initial investment is often a bit higher than people expect. It is higher than standard windows. Energy Star certified windows can reduce home energy costs by 7-15 percent, but this only happens a few years after you buy the windows and the difference between the lower bills and the higher cost of the windows balances out. Initial savings may not be the best reason to choose energy-efficient windows, but luckily there are many other benefits to get rid of old, leaky windows and install new windows with energy saving characteristics. All these benefit make it worthless to replace your windows with anything but energy-efficient choices.

We at Stratton Exteriors recommend all our customers make an investment in low-emissive (low-E), double-hung, argon gas filled window replacements. They do cost approximately 10% more than regu006Car windows, but the benefits are many. The brand we most recommend is Alside Excalibur Fusion-Welded Vinyl Windows, which are favored by our Nashville clients. The benefits of these windows may not be apparent to the general public and they might feel reticent to pay more for them. The first thing to understand is this: energy-efficient windows usually pay for themselves within four years, which is much longer than they’ll last. After those initial years, you will be keeping more money in your pocket every month when the energy bill comes due.


Great Benefits to Home Exterior Appearance: Old windows with peeling, cracking frames can make a house look a lot older and more run down than it really is. Buying and installing new, energy-efficient windows not only increases the overall value, but makes your home look fresh and up to date too. Our Alside Exterior windows come in a range of colors to match your exterior.

Does Block Heat But Not Light: Low-E windows are coated with a special treatment of invisible metallic oxide or metal. This material allows all the light to come through the window so your home is bright and cheery, but blocks the damaging rays that will fade window treatments. It also reflects heat very efficiently.

Warmer Surface:Double-paned windows are warmer to the touch than old single pane varieties. This is partly due to the multiple layers, but also because of the non-toxic, odor-free gas called argon which fills the space between the panes. This noble gas is heavier than air, which increases its insulating capabilities.

Cleaning is a Breeze: Save your own energy on cleaning double-hung windows that tilt in so you can access both sides without needing to remove the screens or climb ladders.

Environmentally Friendly: Installing energy-smart windows reduces your family’s carbon footprint in many ways. Not only will you save energy and money on home heating bills, but the benefits translate to less pollution from power plants too.

Receive Tax Credits: Visit EnergyStar.gov to learn about generous benefits you may get for installing energy-saving skylights and windows in your home. Owners can get a 10% tax credit for windows (up to $200) and doors (up to $500).

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