Examples of Modern Day Renewable Energy

The majority of the world’s countries continue to rely on coal, natural gases and oil for energy, all of which fall under the category of fossil fuels. The downside of fossil fuels is that they are non-renewable or finite, whereas renewable energy sources can last forever. Over time, non-renewable energy sources will become too expensive as a result of an impending shortage and will also prove to be far too damaging to the environment to call upon.

Considering the fact that the continual use of non-renewable energy sources will affect us all at some stage, it’s no surprise that a huge amount of awareness has been raised concerning the availability and research of alternative renewable energy sources.

Solar Power

Most of what we consider renewable energy today comes from the sun, both directly and indirectly. Solar energy is an incredibly powerful and capable source of energy that can light our homes and provide the heating we need to keep warm.

Solar power can also generate electricity that gives us the hot water we need for domestic use, as well as provide a wide range of different commercial uses. Solar power has been utilised a lot more over the last few decades, with the introduction of solar panels and many other forms of solar absorption technology.

As we continue to delve into the future searching for ways to make the most of solar power, new technology continues to be tested and developed. Solar-powered objects that would usually require natural gases or fuel to operate are incorporating solar absorption technology as an alternative.

Wind Energy

The suns heat is also capable of driving wind which is then collected by wind turbines. Despite wind turbines looking like something out of a science fiction novel, the world has utilised the wind’s energy for centuries. Windmills were used in a very similar way to help grind grain in the past.

However, wind turbines have one sole purpose, which is to produce electricity by converting the wind energy that they capture. Wind111 turbines need to be tall (around 30 metres tall) so that they can reach areas aboveground that provide faster and less turbulent wind speeds.

Wind turbines have been criticised by many activists who are keen to protect the environment and local scenery, although many farmers and homeowners can significantly cut their electric bills with the help of local wind turbines.

Hydroelectric Power

The renewable energy chain continues with solar energy and wind combining to assist water evaporation. When the water vapour falls as rain or snow, rivers and streams collect the flowing water and capture the energy produced to create hydroelectric power. Flowing water produces enough energy to be captured so that it can subsequently be turned into electricity.

Hydroelectric power has been harnessed in many power plants that contain reservoirs, which release water into turbines that spin as a result. These spinning turbines activate a generator that then produces electricity. Of course, not all hydroelectric power requires a reservoir, with many generators relying on small canals or streams.


Solar energy assists in the development of plants and helps them to grow along with other vital growth resources such as water. The term biomass is given to the organic matter that makes up our plants. Biomass is capable of being used for transportation technology, chemicals and the production of electricity. We refer to the use of biomass as a means of renewable energy as Bioenergy.

Again, Bioenergy has been around for some time, in fact since humans first started burning wood to keep warm. Wood remains the most popular resource of bioenergy, yet we are now capable using many other types of biomass for energy, such as industrial wastes, residues and forestry. We can significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions with the help of bioenergy because plant growth stabilises the amount of carbon dioxide we produce when using biomass as a fuel.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is an example of renewable energy source that does not come from the sun. Geothermal energy utilises the earth’s internal heat in order to produce electricity and either heat or cool homes and buildings.

The heat from the earth is clean and sustainable, with the best and most accessible resources being shallow, heated ground just a few miles beneath the earth’s surface and even extremely hot molten magma which can be found further down.


Hydrogen is regularly found in compounds but when separated into individual elements it can also be used as a form of renewable energy. Hydrogen is in many organic compounds, the most easily accessible of which is water. It is by far the most plentiful element on the planet. The process of separating hydrogen from its compounds is the essential step to converting it into electricity.

In order to separate hydrogen atoms from hydrocarbons, we need to apply heat, a process also known as reforming. Electrolysis is the name given to a process that involves the separation of hydrogen and oxygen by means of electricity. Hydrogen is also produced by bacteria and algae in some situations.

The appeal of hydrogen is that it contains plenty of energy but produces hardly any pollution when used. The use of hydrogen on space shuttles in particular is fascinating. Space shuttles make the most of hydrogen energy when propelled into orbit as hydrogen fuels the electrical systems in the shuttle. This produces a clean byproduct that the crew can drink.


Mike James
Content Editor



Teaching Online Security in A New Technological Age

As a teacher, of Generation Z, you may be pressured to use the Internet and computer technology in order to give your students useful resources. With everything available so readily online now, it is important to educate your pupils on the importance of online safety and security, such as never sharing personal details, always asking an adult or a parent for help and never sharing pictures or videos online.

Unfortunately children are often curious, so although it is important for you to teach them about all these things, it is also partly your responsibility to make sure to enforce these rules and to prevent students from accessing potentially harmful things on the Internet. Here are some useful tips to help you to protect your students when using the Internet.

Change from Internet Explorer
For teachers who’ve only known Internet Explorer as a gateway to the online world, you may need to step a little outside of your comfort zone. While Internet Explorer is widely known as the one and only browser, it doesn’t offer much customisation in terms of Internet security. For Windows Systems, both Firefox and Google Chrome offer customisation features in the form of add-ons for Firefox and extensions for Chrome.

Add-ons and Extensions offer limitations on what can be done during an online session. Many school security networks will have certain sites blacklisted, however children will always try to find a way around them. You can never have too much security!

Protect EVERY device
Desktops and laptops are a given, but don’t forget your tablet, smartphone, even the Internet functions on the WiiU, XboxOne and PS4 will need protecting. It is important to encourage both pupils and parents to add online security on every device.

It may sound like a lot of worrying over nothing, but there is a huge amount of content available on the internet and while most of it may appear harmless, clicking on an innocuous link can bring up an X-rated website or even download a harmful file onto your computer than can render your system completely useless, so caution is completely necessary.

Parental Control Apps
If your pupils own smartphones or tablets, there are a few parental control apps available for a small price or even free apps that help their parents to keep tabs on where they can and can’t go when online. There are even applications that limit tablet usage, which is great for younger children who may forget to take a break from casual Android and Apple games.

Take Notice!
At the end of the day, it can be very hard to prevent children from getting into places they shouldn’t, although the recent security add-ons and software does make it harder. However, one of the most foolproof forms of security in the classroom is to stay aware. If you are teaching an online class, wander around the classroom to check on your students. Be diligent.

Mike James

Content Editor


Office Chairs – Are You Sitting Comfortably

If you suffer from existing back problems or notice back pain when maintaining a certain posture, you may be worsening your pain by staying seated for prolonged periods of time. However, seating is often necessary when we’re at work, so is there an effective way of getting around such a common issue in the commercial environment? Pain when sitting is often down to a static posture that causes stress in your back, shoulders and arms. If you end up getting used to a certain posture while at work, you may be completely oblivious to the fact that you are exerting significant amounts of pressure on your spinal cord and back muscles.

The position you should take up when sitting has been widely debated, with a popular view being that staying slouched in your chair can cause overstretching in spinal ligaments and strained discs as well as surrounding spinal structures. However, other studies have suggested that sitting up straight for prolonged periods of time can also have a negative effect on your back. It is universally agreed that an incorrect sitting posture will eventually lead to prolonged and perhaps even chronic back pain as a result of damaging the spinal structure.

The office chair introduced to help combat potential back pain is the ergonomic office chair, which when used properly has the ability to boost back support and help maintain a good posture. What many people forget is that office chairs require adjusting to suit the needs of the individual. Ergonomic chairs will not help unless they are adjusted to meet the requirements of an individual’s body, as matching the chair to your proportions helps promote comfort and reduce the amount of aggravation on the spine.

If you are responsible for setting up an office chair for somebody else, you first need to adjust the chair so that it correlates with the individual’s working environment e.g. the desk, surrounding file cabinets etc. You should adjust the chair in accordance with the person’s height as well as the type of work they will be doing. Don’t forget that workstations vary in height and may require a certain type of office chair at times to be worked at effectively. It can help to do all of this research before you decide to buy a new ergonomic office chair.

Once you’ve done all the necessary research regarding the workstation, you can then allow the user of the chair to adjust it to suit their personal preferences – depending on their physical proportions. In order to make sure your office chair is as comfortable as it can be, here are some of the various aspects of the chair you need to consider when adjusting.

  • Start by sitting down and making sure that your arms are parallel to your spine and your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle when rested on the workstation. This will help you decide whether you need to adjust your office chair up or down.
  • Make sure there is enough space between your thighs and the leading edge of the office chair so that it doesn’t feel too tight. Adjust the chair accordingly if this is the case.
  • Your office chair may be too deep if you the space between your calf and the front of the office chair is too tight. There should be enough space to place your fist between your calf and the front of the chair.
  • In order to take some essential strain off of your spine, the armrest should keep your arms raised slightly at the shoulders. Using the armrest will stop you from slouching forward.
  • Tiring can cause you to slouch forward without thinking, so there should be a cushion at the base of the chair that lets you arch yourself slightly so as not to gradually fall forward over time. Your lower back will strain as a result of slouching forward, so whether you decide to sit at a 90 degree angle or leaning further back, it’s important that you can’t accidentally slouch forward.

In 2006, Scottish and Canadian researchers using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning found that sitting up straight at work actually put unnecessary strain on your back. This led them to believe that the best posture to adopt would be a slightly leaned back, 135 degree posture. The study was taken up as people continued to complain that sitting with a straight posture continued to produce lower back pain. The human body is not designed to be sedentary, so it seems understandable that any posture we take up for prolonged periods will lead to some form of back pain. So what can we do to cope with the demands of sitting at a desk for hours on end?

Essentially, no matter how comfortable we manage to make our office chairs, getting up every now and then and staying as active as possible during a working day is the best way to back problems from setting in. Try and stand, walk or stretch every half hour of your day if you can to help prevent muscle strain. You can promote the supply of nutrients to the spinal cord by encouraging healthy blood flow, which only requires the odd 30 minute walk. In fact, regular movement is good for your general health and will keep bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons loose and relaxed so you can operate effectively throughout the day.


Mike James
Content Editor



The Use of Audience Response Systems in a Startup Business

You’ve got an idea, you’ve done the research into the possible products, the revenue needed, and the potential client base and you have just finished setting up the office complete with server, new employees and a few established task processes in order to make sure that everything goes smoothly. As with embarking on anything of a larger scale, starting up your own business can be a risky endeavour, but one that has many benefits if you manage to stick to it, use your revenue wisely and make informed decisions.

Audience Response systems are a fantastic way of getting ideas across when starting up a new business. Colleagues entering into a group decision at the start of a business can get over-excited and may end up talking over the top of each other during discussions, so an audience response system is an excellent way to create a structure to these discussions.

Instant Communication System

Communication is key in every business and even more so with start-up businesses as you work out an efficient system that gets the ball rolling. With smaller companies communication can be easier as many colleagues will be working in the same office, however with so many technology devices and systems available nowadays, it can often be easier to send a quick email rather than walking a few desks to the left to have a chat with the person you want to speak to.

While this is an excellent method of communication it can be misguided, which is why regular meetings to discuss and exchange ideas as well as work on the progress of the business is important when starting up. Also, with the help of an Audience Response System you can help provide an expert structure to these meetings while allowing for every individual voice to be heard.

With a number of capabilities available ranging from multiple choice questions to built-in microphones, using an audience response system allows the person hosting the meeting to draw his or her audience’s attention back to the matter at hand while also encouraging discussion about the topic. Every individual is free to make their point without having to wait hours or days for a reply, like an email, and because of the built in microphone system colleagues will not need to shout over their peers in order to be heard.

Stress Free and Accurate Voting

When it comes to reaching a final decision many small businesses will take a vote over various issues; such as whether or not to choose a certain design over another design. Before the use of modern technology a show of hands might be seen, or even the voters writing down their choice on a piece of paper, however these votes can possibly be skewed by peer pressure.

An audience response system allows complete anonymity for votes. Each individual can give an honest and direct answer that is relayed directly to the system. Plus as the audience response system tallies up votes automatically there is no room for human error or mistakes in counting up the votes.

Voting as a group is a great way to get an idea of what people in your company would like to work on, so if you give them an opportunity to vote for a product or a service anonymously, the votes you receive will be the honest truth and will effectively help you on the way to making a more streamlined, effective business.

Whether you have decided to sell a product or service in your new business, communication between colleagues is essential. If you do not have efficient communication or regular meetings to discuss the progression of the company and its aims you may end up being stuck in a rut. With many different customisation options available, an audience response system is an ideal system for your fledgling business as it provides an instant and easy means of communication that collects data and encourages group discussion where every voice is heard.

Mike James
Content Editor

Tips When Joining the Property Ladder

It’s always helpful to take onboard a few tips concerning the housing market before you decide to jump on the property ladder. However, if you haven’t mastered the basics then you’re probably gearing up for quite a daunting process. Carrying out thorough research before purchasing your first property can really help to settle the nerves and make buying a home all the more exciting. Here are some of the basic steps you’ll need to take on your road to buying a new property.

As a first time buyer, you’re probably eager to start designing your own living space with all sorts of decorative features and styles that suit your preferences. However, it’s important to remember that houses aren’t like other objects you buy for your own pleasure, such as a car or motorbike. In fact, properties should be seen as investment because you could strike the wrong deal and end up losing vast amounts of money.

The next thing you need to do is learn about mortgages and what they involve. The vast majority of first time buyers rely on mortgages to purchase a property as they simply haven’t come close to acquiring the huge amount of savings you’d need to purchase a house outright. Mortgages are the essential first stepping your road to buying a property, so doing thorough background research on them is vital. You need to consider how much you’re capable of spending each month, whilst you also need to be wary of your financial circumstances in case they change. You should always leave space to manoeuvre with regards to your monthly payments as properties can be taken from you if you can’t afford to pay.

So how can you locate a mortgage? The first thing you should do is consider your budget and a price that would suit you. You can get a mortgage by contacting a mortgage broker, a bank or by carrying out online research. The easiest place to go is the mortgage broker as they can provide you with a detailed selection of mortgage opportunities and assist you with the process. Banks might offer deals to existing customers though, so keep this in mind when searching for the ideal mortgage. Once you’ve found a mortgage that suits you, you can have an agreement in principle so that everything is prepared once you have an offer accepted for a new property.

The next step is to make an offer for a house that you’ve identified. With a mortgage agreement in place already, the chances of having the offer accepted increases. You can make an offer through a local estate agent and if the offer is accepted, you can focus on the paperwork. You’ll need to hire a solicitor to deal with all the legal aspects of the property purchase. The next step is to get the property surveyed in order to evaluate its condition. This is vital because many properties have underlying issues that bring the value down. You can drastically reduce the risk of finding flaws in the property after you’ve bought it with the help of a survey.

With everything covered and the deal agreed, it’s time to move in! Remember that buying a property can have its hurdles, so be prepared to overcome them with determination and confidence if you want the process to run as smoothly as possible. Just try and make it an experience you enjoy!

Mike James has vast experience in the real estate area and is one of the increasing number of people who “let to let”, i.e. renting out owned property in addition to renting himself. As a writer he also covers specific issues of concern for Tim Greenwood & Associates, an independent specialist building surveying practice.

Important Things To Think About For a First Time Buy-To-Let Investor

Buy-to-let can appear attractive to investors looking for a steady way to generate income and investments for the future but often it is not made clear how much effort is needed to become a successful buy to let investor. It is important to know exactly what is needed of you when you decide to become a buy-to-let investor, as unless you have the right skills or experience or know the right type of people, you may find yourself in a rut before too long.

The average rent for UK tenancies starting in May 2014 has been shown as £846pcm which is a 7.5% rise from the £787pcm it was in May 2013 and in London the average rent is £1348pcm, up 9.4% from last year’s £1232pcm. With such encouraging figures it is no surprise that buy-to-let investment seems like an ideal opportunity.

What is Buy to Let?
Buy-to-let is essentially buying a property for the purpose of letting it out to tenants without the intention of ever living in it yourself. Some buy-to-let investors will purchase older and run down houses at a lower price, refurbish them and conduct the necessary repairs and then rent them at an elevated price. It is widely considered a solid form of investment, although it may require a bit of elbow grease.

If you don’t have a specifically large amount of cash lying around to simply buy a house of flat with the purpose of letting it out, you can get a buy-to-let mortgage. These mortgages work in the same way as normal mortgages but generally the rates are around 1% or 1.5% higher than a normal mortgage, as considerably more risk is involved on the banks’ behalf when lending for a buy-to-let house.

This is because the landlords will normally rely on rent taken from the tenants to cover the costs of repayments on the mortgage, and rent is not always forthcoming depending on the type of tenant you happen to be negotiating with. The general assumption that landlords make is that the rent they charge the tenants should meet or exceed the mortgage repayments, otherwise buy-to-let is not a worthwhile investment.

Small Scale or Large Scale?
When starting a buy-to-let investment it is important to consider on what scale you want to invest in buy-to-let properties. If it is on a smaller scale then you will only want one or two extra properties to oversee and this can be good for inexperienced investors as it is less stressful than investing on a larger scale.

It is important to remember that although you are not living in the properties it is still your responsibility to maintain the structural integrity of your properties as well as ensuring they are safe to live in. This can be a time consuming and stressful process and if you are planning on buy-to-let on a larger scale it may be wise to seek out various technical experts such as professional plumbers, electricians, cleaners etc. who will work with you (for a price) to ensure that your properties remain in good condition.

What is the property to be used for?
It is crucial to decide on how your property is going to be used before you start looking for potential homes. Do you want to let out a weekend cottage? A holiday home? A student house? Depending on the function of your property you will want to look at various different properties in different areas.

The area of your property is also important as it will have an effect on the overall worth of the property and how much rent you will be able to charge on it. Remember that no matter how luxuriously you refurbish the property, if it is not in a ‘good’ area or close to any coveted facilities there is a limit to how much rent you can charge your new tenants.

What sort of tenant are you looking for?
Likewise with the purpose of the property, it is good to keep in mind what sort of tenant you want to attract. This is important when selecting the location of the new property, as well as choosing how best to renovate it or to accessorise it if you choose to provide furnishings.

For example in student accommodation, normally simple furniture is best with whitewashed walls that are easy to clean. No thick carpets or expensive draperies as it is important to remember what can be bought or replaced with a student accommodation loan.

If you are planning on renting out to retired holiday makers, choosing bungalows or cottages can be ideal. Small, compact homes are good where everything is within easy reach. Make sure to have your tenants in mind, or at least the sort of tenant you are looking for when you start looking for a buy-to-let property.

How much effort?

Would you rather play it safe and buy a property that is ready to be moved into? Or would you rather shop around and fix up an older or decrepit looking property in the hopes that you’ll make a little profit? It is important to be aware of how much effort you are willing to put into the buy-to-let investment scene.

If you want to do the bare minimum in terms of renovating and refurbishing the property be prepared to spend a little extra money on a house that has already been made fit to live in. Nobody wants to rent a house that looks like a rubbish tip unless the rent is dirt cheap. However, it makes more sense in the long term to maintain the good condition of a property as you will attract tenants who are generally more respected and will – and this is the important part – pay their rent on time!

If you’re willing to take the extra risk with a property of lower value with the intention of fixing it up, make sure to take into account the amount of approximate labour hours that will be needed to make the renovations, as well as the cost of materials, equipment and labour. Renovating older properties can be a great returns investment but you must be willing to put the effort in!

At the end of the day it is important to take your time when thinking of becoming a buy-to-let investor. Make sure to do ample research before you attempt to buy and be prepared to put extra effort in during the first couple of months. This can be a worthwhile long term investment plan, if you are willing to spend not only money, but time and effort to ensure that both you and your prospective future tenants get the most out of the property as it is.

Mike James has many years experience working in the real estate industry and enjoys refurbishing properties to release back on to the lettings market. He writes about his experiences and other relevant issues for Property Frontiers, an independent property consultancy.


Simple ways to decorate a new home

Whether you’ve invested in an apartment in the city or a cottage in the country, you may need help from experts like these experienced chartered surveyors in Suffolk to offer insight into how you can maintain your new abode so it stays afloat in the property market.

After covering the cost of a survey, stamp duty and legal fees to ensure you snag your dream home, there may not be much left in the budget for decorating.

However, to make sure your new home is definitely where your heart is, read on for a selection of simple but fab ideas to transform your rooms affordably.

Get creative in the kitchen

Get that expensive finish by replicating high-end looks – no matter what the kitchen’s current design.

Remove upper cabinet doors and arrange dishes and glasses in an eye-catching way and invest in wicker baskets to display cutlery or accessories to their fullest.

Choose curtains in the same shade as the walls, and paint the rod and rings accordingly as this will magnify the spacious feeling of your kitchen.

Brighten up your bedroom

To create a soothing, inviting and romantic sanctuary, give thought to the soft furnishings in your room.

Opt for 100% cotton sheets that will be cool in the summer and warm in the winter in neutral shades that complement the room’s existing décor.

Offset this neutrality by investing in a piece of textured wallpaper which can be painted in a dramatic shade and used to create a fantastic feature wall. Choose a coloured bulb for the room to lend atmosphere to the space.

Liven up your living room

Aside from displaying wicker baskets in the kitchen, invest in small galvanized pots and fill with small branches from your local park. For added character, try spotlighting these with lamps for added character.

Add interest to your living room by hanging mirrors, artwork and antique wall coverings in unexpected places such as above a door. Remember, carpets can be costly to maintain. Remove any rugs and enjoy the elegant look of the bare wood or stone beneath.

Freshen up your bathroom

If you simply can’t spare the cash for paint, try accessorising to suit your taste. By incorporating small changes like new shower curtains, adding some colourful potted plants or introducing a selection of inexpensive tea lights to the surfaces of your bathroom you can really make the space your own.

For a fun feature, snap up small snippings of quirky wallpaper from charity shops and paper the back of cabinets or bookshelves. Animal prints, patterns and brightly coloured pieces are great choices which will help to lift your mood.

What You Forgot When Renting A New Apartment (A List)

checklistRenting an apartment is a big investment both financially and in your personal life. You are uprooting your current home and changing landscaping the scenery. Also you have to factor in your moving costs and new rent. To help keep all of these changes in check it is necessary to create an apartment shopping checklist, we’ve listed some easy items that must be paid attention to while shopping for a new apartment rental.

1. Calculate moving costs.

An obvious note on this quick and easy checklist is to calculate the cost of moving. It sounds simple however there are often costs that we overlook when simply making mental notes of what we will have to pay for. Take some time to write down every possible thing that you can think of that will have to be paid for in some way or just use a nifty cost of moving calculator online. Here are a few examples to think about:

  • Moving Supplies: boxes, tape, packing peanuts etc.
  • A truck or other large vehicle
  • Apartment deposit
  • New gas mileage to work
  • Keep going, I’m sure there is more finances specific to you!
  • Look through countless options before deciding.

Sometimes when we are searching for a new apartment or home we can be a bit quick to the draw. The necessity of finding a place to live can trump our ability to be picky with the selection. Before signing a lease be very careful that you have found the best available deal.

To make sure that you are getting a fair price and proper quality of apartment for your price range do an absolutely extensive search of the apartments for rent in the area. There are websites that are location specific that can show you every available apartment rental in a specified radius. Use one of these sites to make sure that you end up living exactly where you belong.

2. Research nearby amenities.

The state of your happiness can sometimes be in direct relation to what kind of amenities are a close drive or walk from your home. Before taking the big jump to move from your current rental do a quick search online of locations of interest to you around your prospective new home.

If you are interested in nightlife find some restaurants and bars nearby, if you are a parent locate nearby schools and parks. Doing this research before you physically visit an apartment creates familiarity in the area. This way you will know your way around the places that may sway your decision to move in.

3. Drive through the new area.

This task directly relates to the last one. Once you have looked through tons of apartments, researched the areas around each one and figured out a couple of places to check out plan a day trip. If possible make appointments to view the rentals and then while you’re in the neighborhood check out the spots that attracted you to the area.

Visiting the surrounding attractions is the only way you can assess what your life will be like in your new apartment. Whether you frequent restaurants, shopping malls, playgrounds or parks taking a stroll through the adjacent amenities will help you truly decide if you want to sign a lease.

4. Use this opportunity to sell unused stuff!

There aren’t many times that we find ourselves sorting through every one of our possessions and packing them away neatly. Take this opportunity to sort through everything that you own and decide what must move with you and what you can do without. Host a garage sale, take your clothes to a local thrift shop or even sell some things online. All of the revenue from your decluttering efforts can go to the moving costs or purchasing new furniture.

Starting in a new space is a chance to create a new environment for yourself. Not only can you find a bit of extra cash but you can give yourself the opportunity to truly start fresh in your new rental. Letting go of junk, furniture or clothing that we have lugged from rental to rental can be a freeing and frugal experience.

Hopefully this checklist brought you some insight into what different avenues you should explore before signing a lease to a specific apartment or neighborhood. There are tons of online tools and fantastic apartment rental websites to help on your search for your new home.

Bonus Features To Look Out For When House Hunting

When you are looking for a new home you will probably have checklist of things you want to have. These things are probably essentials such as the amount of bedrooms, the style of house you like, a garden, location etc. However, there are some extra bonuses that you should look out for when house hunting. These things may not be essential things you need from your new home, but if you find a house that just happens to have a few of these things it might just be the one. Here are a few extra bonuses that can either save you money or make your house feel more like a home.

En-Suite Bathroom

This might be on your ‘must have’ list. En-suite bathrooms are a bit of a luxury. Not everyone will consider it a necessity but if you find a house that has a lovely en-suite bathroom it will definitely seem more appealing. This may be more of a need for those with large families according to Learnitivity “it gives you extra space and time the whole family can enjoy, instead of on a morning every one battling to use the only bathroom.”


Rooms With A View

Make sure you take a note of the views from each window. Do they look out onto anywhere nice? Is there a particular room in the house with a spectacular view? Some people aren’t that bothered about views but a lovely view can really make a house stand out from the crowd.



Not everyone loves a fireplace in their home, but for a lot of people they do make their house feel cosier. Eric of PG Fireplaces said £

“Fireplaces can really add some character to your home and make it feel more unique. They are also great to gather round throughout the winter. Keep an eye out for houses with nice fireplaces when you are looking for your perfect home.”

Good Insulation

This is quite an important part of buying a new home. Your prospective new house should be fairly well insulated. Added insulation features can save you a huge amount of money. Ask whether the house has cavity wall insulation, floor insulation and check the loft to see how well insulated it is.

Energy Efficient Lighting

Ask about the lighting throughout the house. What sort of bulbs do the lights use? Houses that are already fitted with energy efficient lighting will save you a fair amount of money over the years.

Unique Features

It’s always nice when you find a house that stands out from the crowd. The simplest features can change the overall look of an entire house. Be sure to look out for unique features that give your house some character. Unique features include things like wooden beams, fascinating decor and interesting garden landscaping.


When you are all excited about viewing a house sometimes you forget to consider important aspects of your new home. It’s hard to find a house with total privacy these days if you are on a budget. Check to see what other houses are overlooking your garden, how secluded the garden is and how private the house feels as a whole. Privacy is definitely a luxury and an added bonus when it comes to finding the right house.

At London’s luxury hotels, service is the key

London has some of the most luxurious hotels in the world, but it’s those that provide intricate detail to their services and treat their guests like royalty that really trump the lot.

It’s precisely because of this excellence in service that these luxury hotels in London retain a fiercely loyal clientele, people who appreciate the finer things in life and for whom only the very best will do. For this, they are more than willing to pay top dollar.

Guests speak in glowing terms about their favourite 5 star hotels in London: they are their home away from home, a sanctuary in the roiling city where the management and staff not only know their name but their needs and desires.

They may like their room or suite laid out in a certain way, with a particular type of towelling, robes or bed linen. They might want various specialty foods provided, as well as drinks and favourite newspapers. Some may wish to stay in the same room each time, as if they’d never been away. It’s all about anticipating guests’ needs and knowing what they want before even they do.

Part of the family

For the discerning clientele of leading hotels in London, there’s an emotional connection with the property, and the staff and management are almost like family to them, so often do they visit the hotel, sometimes for extended stays. It’s this cherished atmosphere that almost impossible to find at any other kind of London hotel.

In a world where the personal touch is so frequently absent from business transactions and general daily life, cast aside in the frenzied rush to make money, this once traditional aspect of doing business is wanted now more than ever. This is where luxury hotels in London and their unrivalled service win the day.

Luxury hotels’ concierges are also a world apart. These valued employees know their guests’ whims and desires and have an uncanny ability — and an extensive list of contact — to get them whatever they want, whenever they want.

Perhaps a guest wants tickets to a sold-out show and there are none left, or a certain kind of cigar, or maybe even something flown in from abroad. No request is ever turned down, nor deemed impossible. At luxury hotels, the customer really is king.


Indulgence at its best

Dining must be really fine, and cater to whatever it is that guests require, even if it’s not on the menu. Luxury hotels further indulge their guests with a range of services that include spa treatments that will really bliss them out and make them feel renewed.

It’s not only the fabulously wealthy who stay at luxury hotels in London. Ordinary people with ordinary jobs and lives increasingly choose to save up for a few days or a weekend at a place that for a while gives them a taste of a different life, away from the grind, a chance to unwind in real style.

Author Bio - John Stokes is a freelance writer with an interest in the hotel sector. He writes for and researches on a number of websites, including http://www.landmarklondon.co.uk.