CD Hood's Building News

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Apr 27
2011

There's no need to move out, just move up...

Posted by CarlHood in Untagged 

HOUSE PRICE NEWS -Checking out house price news can be a bit depressing. The headlines of 2011 have already been filled with apparently contradictory tales of lowering house prices on one hand and increasing asking prices on the other. Recently Rightmove.com said that the early Spring market bounce has seen asking prices increase by 3%, but of course this is only the asking price, not the selling price.

But maybe it’s not so bad locally. When listening to reports of the housing market nationally it is important to remember that these figures take the average from across the country. In places like Cambridgeshire, and in particular in and around Cambridge, we are still experiencing high levels of demand for housing with prices remaining relatively stable.  Says Alex Plant, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Horizons

All said and done it’s still not an easy time to buy and sell, perhaps there is sense in well chosen home improvements.  Many people are taking advantage of the low interest rates to extend their homes. Building a loft conversion can prove very effective in many ways.  Why move when you can expand upwards converting dark and dusty lofts into beautiful airy living spaces.

It doesn’t have to involve loads of paper work an easy way to check out the idea is by using Planning Portal a Government operated website that manages conditional circumstances with in England and Wales about planning permission. Planning portal is one of the most highly highly recognised tools for accessing information regarding whether planning permission in needed or not, might be worth checking it out. There is also some more information in the loft conversion section of our website.

Apr 26
2011

School budget cuts don't necessarily mean building cuts...

Posted by CarlHood in Untagged 

Good news for some schools as RE-DEVELOPMENT PLANS are UNVEILED FOR THREE MORE FENLAND SCHOOLS. Plans for the re-development of three more schools in Fenland will be on display at community consultation events in Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey next month.  Meadowgate School in Wisbech, Cromwell Community College in Chatteris and Sir Harry Smith Community College in Whittlesey will each be hosting exhibitions to show off the designs for their new schools.  A total of £28 million is being invested to provide additional accommodation and much improved facilities in each of the three schools. Alan Kippax, BSF Project Director at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “I hope people will come along to the exhibitions to see for themselves the exciting future which awaits the next generation of secondary school students in these areas," writes Simon Cobby on 25th Feb 2011.

Not every community will fare so well but even with the collapse of the BSF and the reality that even those that have the go ahead may have to face 40% reductions in their budgets there is still plenty that can be achieved.

Many schools might find that they only have budgets for condition work but again that doesn’t mean good work can’t be done.  Lots can be achieved with good design, replacement and redecoration. Education Design can still deliver real change to the physical environment of a school just because it’s called condition work doesn’t mean it can’t improve the school environment.

What’s most important is making the building you have work for your school and your community and that any money is well spent to have the most impact.

Apr 19
2011

GREEN DEAL OR NO DEAL

Posted by CarlHood in Untagged 

It was interesting to hear David Strong – the founder of the UK Green Building Council talking at the EcoBuild event in Olympia recently.  We all know this coalition government want to be remembered as the greenest administration to date but how are they actually going to do it is the question?

David Strong has worked alongside the DEC, the Department for Energy and Climate change and described what he thinks the Green Deal is all about.  He says it has been made very clear that there are no public funds available for green builds or retrofits and he doesn’t think that the government will be introducing regulation to force people to be green in their building but they will be trying to stimulate the market to be greener.
He thinks The Green Deal is all about trying to drive the market in a new way.  This government want to produce the market conditions for greening the existing building stock.  The main tools they have available to them are fiscal incentives so one of the ways they might try to drive the market to a greener place it by offering tax incentives. The kind of things they might put in place as market drivers for the uptake of energy efficient products and systems could be Stamp Duty rebates and Council Tax rebates. This seems like something to look out for in the next budget if you are thinking of having a loft conversion done or even updating your bathroom, boiler or central heating system.

Apr 18
2011

HOUSE PRICE NEWS

Posted by CarlHood in Untagged 

Checking out house price news can be a bit depressing. The headlines of 2011 have already been filled with apparently contradictory tales of lowering house prices on one hand and increasing asking prices on the other. Recently Rightmove.com said that the early Spring market bounce has seen asking prices increase by 3%, but of course this is only the asking price, not the selling price.

But maybe it’s not so bad locally. When listening to reports of the housing market nationally it is important to remember that these figures take the average from across the country. In places like Cambridgeshire, and in particular in and around Cambridge, we are still experiencing high levels of demand for housing with prices remaining relatively stable.  Says Alex Plant, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Horizons

All said and done it’s still not an easy time to buy and sell, perhaps there is sense in well chosen home improvements.  Many people are taking advantage of the low interest rates to develop their homes.  Using your attic space can prove very effective in many ways.  Why move when you can expand upwards converting dark and dusty lofts into beautiful airy living spaces.
It doesn’t have to involve loads of paper work an easy way to check out the idea is by using Planning Portal a Government operated website that manages conditional circumstances with in England and Wales about planning permission. Planning portal is one of the most highly recognised tools for accessing information regarding whether planning permission in needed or not, might be worth checking it out.

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/loftconversion/

Apr 13
2011

UK homes need more carbon monoxide alarms

Posted by CarlHood in Untagged 

Maintenance of boilers and other heating products is vital.  If you rent a flat or house you have to do a gas/boiler check every year.   How many people do that in their own homes?

I came across another piece of worrying research all be it a little bit old, it was conducted in 2008, but it’s still a bit shocking.

The Corgi Carbon Monoxide Report revealed while 91 per cent of homes have a smoke alarm installed, 65 per cent lack carbon monoxide alarms and three per cent of people do not know what such devices are.

The report noted that "the lack of servicing and maintenance of gas appliances continues to be a key factor in the majority of all carbon monoxide incidents".

Hopefully more people are becoming more aware of the need for proper maintenance, indeed the report found that 91 per cent of respondents saying they would only use a registered professional to check their boiler and heating products. It is so important to promote gas safety in the plumbing, heating and electrical sectors.

More and more surveyors are flagging up boilers that haven’t got a service record.   You wouldn’t risk not servicing your car when you know you might be putting your family at risk so why not think about servicing your boiler at least once a year.  I’m going to install a carbon monoxide alarm at home and I think I might even use the timing of my annual car service to remind me to get the boiler serviced.

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