Five central heating tips

We tend to take our central heating systems for granted, but as the weather gets warmer and you have less of a need for heat, it could be a good time to review whether your system is up to the job. This is especially wise if you have some other home improvements planned.

Image Credit


Boilers have changed in recent years. Any that have been installed after 2005 have to be a condensing type. These are more efficient than older types because they effectively recycle the heat that would otherwise be lost via the flue.

Combi or not?

Many people think that getting a new boiler means getting a combi, which is a boiler that heats water on demand rather than storing it in a cylinder. This is not the case; it’s possible to get a condensing boiler that feeds a hot water cylinder, sometimes called a system boiler. These are likely to be a better choice if you have a larger house or a big family and tend to use more hot water. On the other hand, fitting a combi boiler wins back the space taken up by the cylinder for other use.

Image Credit


If you’re fitting a new boiler, you may also want to look at the radiators. While you can flush the system and use the old ones, changing the boiler is a good opportunity to think about upgrading the radiators and valves. The latest bathroom radiators are more stylish, and suppliers like have a wide range. Adding thermostatic radiator valves can give you control over the temperature of each room.


A new boiler is also a chance to upgrade your system controls. We’ve already mentioned thermostatic radiator valves, but you can also take the opportunity to upgrade your old mechanical timer to a modern electronic unit that gives you more programming options. The latest thermostats allow you to control your heating remotely from your smartphone .

Plan ahead

If you’re planning other home improvements, such as an extension or a loft conversion, it’s important to also consider your heating system. Will you need extra radiators, and can your existing boiler cope with the extra demand? If there’s a header tank in the loft you’re converting, you need to relocate it or switch to a system that doesn’t need one.

How Can You Panel Your Van for Better Insulation?

For most people, installing plylining in a van is a step taken to protect the bodywork against the kind of wear and tear that can be caused by constant loading and unloading of heavy items and equipment.

Image Credit

Interestingly, there are some other reasons you might want to upgrade your van in this way, whether you use it for business or leisure. For example, did you know that plylining your van can actually improve the insulation it provides?

Here are some quick suggestions on how to use panelling to make the rear of your van warmer and more liveable. With motor home sales hitting new highs in 2016, plenty of people will be looking for an inexpensive way to enjoy a similar experience.

Image Credit

Insulation Options

Panelling alone is rarely enough to have a significant insulating impact on the cargo area of a van, so you will need to invest in additional materials to achieve the desired effect.

The best option in terms of cost-effectiveness is loft insulation, since this is widely available and comparatively cheap. You can find entirely synthetic insulation or opt for one which includes natural fibres such as wool, but both should offer the same benefits.

Rigid insulation can be chosen, but the fibrous alternatives are more malleable, easier to cut and give you improved flexibility. Will also need to invest in some adhesive to keep it in place – look for adhesive which can be applied via a spray can for the best results and the greatest ease of use in this scenario.

Panelling Considerations

If your van does not already have plylining in place then you will need to buy some, which is simple enough thanks to sites such as Make sure that you invest in panelling which is cut to fit the dimensions of your van, or else installation will be tricky.

For the especially adventurous and skilled individuals, making the frames and cutting the boards to size without assistance is an option, although this is not something that everyone will be willing to tackle solo.

You can even insulate the floor of a van, but remember to take into account the kinds of payloads it will need to accommodate when constructing this, as otherwise it may not be an especially long lasting alteration.

Seven ‘healthy’ mistakes to avoid

We all strive to keep our bodies healthy, but with busy lives and stressful jobs, we can get into bad habits. Sometimes these can be detrimental to our health, so let us look at some of the silly mistakes we make on a daily basis.

Image Credit


Sleep – how long should we have? The National Sleep Foundation advises that adults should have between 7-9 hours a night. During this time our bodies restore the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. People who get 7 hours per night have a lower risk of serious diseases as opposed to people who have 10 or more hours. Heart attacks, strokes and diabetes are higher in people who sleep too long and there are also risks of depression, back pain and high blood pressure.


Most people would think it sensible to brush their teeth after eating food. This is a mistake. Brushing your teeth after consuming acidic drinks and foods can weaken tooth enamel. You then have a greater chance of chipped and cracked teeth and it can lead to discolouration. So avoid for at least 30 minutes or brush before eating.

Image Credit


Research has shown that if you take your supplements in the morning with your breakfast, certain breakfast foods can stop you absorbing the pill. Hot food, such as porridge, inhibits the absorption of iron in multivitamins by 75%. A liquid iron supplement liquid iron supplement could possibly prevent this problem. Polyphenols found in tea similarly prevent the absorption of zinc, calcium and magnesium.


Calcium plays a vital part in building and keeping healthy bones and prevents osteoporosis. It also helps our blood clot as necessary and helps our nerves send messages. We need to get enough through the foods that we eat to prevent bone loss and low bone density.


If your ears are ringing after removing your headphones you should reduce the volume, otherwise, this could lead to hearing loss.


People think that eating more fibre will boost our digestive system. This is quite true, unless you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, in which case too much fibre makes the problem worse.


It’s a myth that replacing sugar with honey is a healthier plan. Honey contains 17g of added sugar per tablespoon which is more than half the recommended healthy daily intake.

How to increase natural light in your home this summer

Sunlight can make a terrible day seem better, and it even has health benefits by warming us and providing a more positive mood. It’s no surprise that people want to incorporate the benefits into their home rather than living in the dark. The good thing is that getting more natural light is easier than you would think.

Image Credit

First Things First

Windows are the biggest source of natural light in a home, which is no surprise. However, what is surprising is the difference that can be made by simply keeping all your windows sparkling clean. In addition, consider ditching dark curtains for light ones, allowing you both privacy and plenty of light. Both of these will make a huge difference.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

If you want to improve the natural light in your home and don’t want to spend a lot, mirrors are a good option. You can install a mirror on the wall across from a window, which will allow it to reflect and give you more light. An added bonus is that mirrors can also help a room feel larger than it actually is. You can even go farther by adding mirrors to stairs, as noted by Apartment Therapy.

Image Credit

Trim Those Hedges

You may not consider it, but the trees and shrubs around our beautiful houses can actually block natural light. A good rule of thumb is to avoid trees on the southern side of your house. These trees actually block warmth in the winter and do not provide useful shade in the summer.

Skylights Over Dark Rooms

Skylights are lights in the ceiling that offer extra natural light where they are placed. They come in a number of sizes and prices, so you can work your budget around them. These are especially nice in rooms that are extra dark because the light will pour down from above. Sites like can help you determine which choice is best for you.

Pay Attention to Colors

Light colors have a habit of making use of light and brightening up an area. Dark colors absorb light more than reflect it. Dark colors on walls that are far from the windows are a bad idea, so consider switching to lighter colors. Colors like white, light tan and cream are great options to try.

I Do Not Care If Someone Deserts From The Classroom

About twelve years ago I became quite friendly with a “partner” who had been a consultant for five years in Via Augusta. Yes, for those of you who do not know it, Via Augusta is where the secret services of the Departament of Education were located – yes, then it was still called Education before it was changed by teaching. A site from which the plans for the distribution of computer equipment for School 2.0 were designed and, of course, certain infrastructures and services closely related to ICTs were generated, which, in commissions, should have rented a real pasture because, the costs of Certain things, even to this day still surprise me when I look back. But no, I was not going to talk about squandering public resources or mismanagement of them.

Love at sea: Top honeymoon cruises

Romance and luxury are two things that come to mind when it comes to cruising, so there is no better way to spend your honeymoon! Cruising is definitely all about spoiling yourself, so be sure to take advantage of the amazing onboard amenities and impeccable service that you’ll find on your floating resort. Waking up in a new place every day also makes it a trip to never forget.

Image Credit

Celebrate your love in the Caribbean

A honeymoon should be full of romantic experiences and time spent celebrating your love and new life together. It’s easy to do this in all Caribbean holiday destinations, but a cruise really takes the cake when it comes to romance. Most large cruise lines have spas onboard to get a romantic couple’s massage, followed by a meal in one of the fancy specialty restaurants with sunset views over the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

Learn and love the Adriatic

If you are the type of couple that is looking for something a bit different and exciting, check out the smaller ships that visit the amazing ports of the Adriatic Sea. From visiting ancient ruins in Greece to exploring the UNESCO site of Kotor in Montenegro, the culture is rich and the history is interesting. Even though your ship is sure to have plenty of food options, you will also want to check out the local cuisine in all of the ports of call.

Image Credit

Relaxing in luxury

On cruises to the Caribbean, be sure your ship stops in one of the ports that have some amazing Caribbean resorts to visit, such as those at You can get a taste for island life at these resorts with all of the amenities you would want in a vacation. Day passes are offered at most of these resorts and are a great way to spend a romantic day on land!

Romance in the Mediterranean

For some amazing ports of call all around Europe, a cruise to the Mediterranean has it all. Many cruise lines head to this area of the globe for a long summer. Plan your trip on the shoulder season in May and September and you can find good deals on ships that won’t be too busy. Sit back and enjoy the romance in the air both on sea and on land!

Best Places to Live if you’re an Artist

If you’ve often imagined what life would be like living alongside like-minded artistic people, then you’ll be interested in learning about where the most arty communities base themselves. Artists have traditionally sought out low cost areas to have their studios and congregate with people who share their passion. Here we take a look at some of the best places to live if you’re an aspiring artist:

East End, London

After Chelsea became too expensive following its success of the sixties, artists descended on areas of the East End. This area was perhaps made popular in the late eighties by Damien Hirst who attended college in the area and held his first exhibition here. Charles Saatchi moved into the area and the movement known as the Young British Artists was born. This area has also become quite expensive though, as arty areas often do when they become successful. Another cheaper area with a strong artistic atmosphere is Bow.

St Ives, Cornwall

This beautiful, picturesque seaside resort is ideal if you want to be inspired by awesome views, wildlife and the tranquillity to get creative. The area has become popular for retiring artists who buy a cottage to let out during the summer and then live there out of season and attend local art classes. St Ives has been an attractive spot for artists since the 19th century.

Image credit


The world-famous festival attracts many artists who seek to find a more permanent base in the city. Edinburgh boasts such a wealth of museums, galleries and literary heritage that it’s easy to see why artistic people flock here. For Artwork Reproduction, visit


This charming village in Wales is a haven for book lovers with book shops on every corner and the Telegraph Hay Festival that attracts big numbers of literary fans. The beauty of the nearby Brecon Beacons is enough to inspire both writers and painters alike.


This stunning town is unsurprisingly a World Heritage Site with incredible architecture, the Theatre Royal and many music and literary events. The beauty of Bath should be enough to inspire any budding artist with its glorious views, parks and heaps of heritage.

Image credit

Isle of Wight

Ever since the days of Tennyson and Dickens, the Isle of Wight has attracted artistic types. The Isle hosts both an internationally acclaimed music festival, a literary festival in Cowes and an arty extravaganza in Ventnor.


Sir Edward Elgar spent his career in Malvern and the surrounding beauty of the Severn Vale countryside must have influenced his work. The town still holds music festivals and for a more contemporary vibe, the Malvern Fringe offers modern art and entertainment. 


You might not associate this rather run-down seaside town as an artistic hub but it is experiencing a regeneration. World famous artist Tracey Emin spent her formative years in Margate and recently the opening of the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery has breathed fresh energy into the coastal town.

What Makes a Professional Footballer?

So you think you have the talent to make it as a professional footballer? But do you know how much sacrifice, dedication and sheer hard work goes into making it in the Premiership?

Image Credit

Be Confident

Football is as much a mental game as a physical one, so you need positive thinking and inner confidence to be a success. Visualisation techniques are practised by all the top players and help train your brain to cope with anything in a match situation.

Supercharge Your Fitness

Getting your head in the right place is one thing, match fitness is another. You’ll really need to step up your regime, and focus on agility, coordination, core and leg strength and the ability to speed up, slow down and turn within seconds.

Fuel Up, Recover Right

The modern game isn’t just about the right diet and nutrition. It’s about what you eat and when, as an important tool for energy and recovery. Say goodbye to a recovery pint down the pub and say hello to ice baths, sleep training and warm down routines.

Image Credit

Be Aware

Tactical awareness becomes increasingly important the more you progress in the game. You need to know how to connect with the other players in your team in order to become a better and more well rounded player.

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s an old saying but it’s true. You won’t make progress as a player unless you’re prepared to practise over and over again. You may know the basics of the game, but it’s only when you’ve practised to the point that they become second nature that you’ll begin to really reveal your skills.

Look the Part

Whether you see yourself as a Messi or a Ronaldo, with silky skills or a lethal shot, you’re going to want to look the part. Start by looking at football kit suppliers like for the perfect gear and the complete kitbag on the pitch, and start taking care of yourself off it. Personal grooming and looking good are all part of building self confidence and presenting the right image.

Play the Game Not the Occasion

So you’ve made it to your first trial. It’s time to put into play everything you’ve learnt about the mental and physical aspects of football. Play the game not the occasion, show initiative and you’ll impress.

How your garage can add value to your home

With parking space at a premium in many towns and cities, a garage is on many property hunters’ wishlist. One of the best ways to increase the value of your property is to add a garage, says the National Federation of Builders. Figures suggest that sellers can add 6% to their property’s value if they have a single garage and about 15% if they have a double garage.

Image Credit

Why add a garage?

In an article, renovation expert Michael Holmes writes that off-street parking makes a big difference to a property’s value, particularly in urban areas. As well as providing a secure place to park your car, it can also mean lower car insurance if you keep your vehicle in a garage.

Tips for building a garage

When building your garage, don’t be tempted to join the neighbours to build a ‘link detached’ garage for both of you, as this can lead to maintenance problems. You should try to use the same brick or stonework as your house to improve its appearance and so to make the garage fit in. If possible, leave about five metres between the garage door and the top of your driveway so there is space for another car to park. Always check if you need planning permission, although a garage built to the side of the house is usually exempt, because it is covered by general planning permission.

Image Credit

Providing extra storage space

As well as a secure place for your car, a good-sized garage is handy to store garden equipment, patio furniture, bicycles and other useful objects which you don’t want lying around the house. You can add garage shelving systems, such as those provided by, to keep the space tidy and make everything easy to find. Storage can be a real selling point, so building shelves or cupboards is a great way to increase storage space and make your home more attractive to buyers.

If you think that a double garage will cost around £18,000 to construct, but will increase the value of your home by around 15%, that’s an extra £32,432 on the asking price if you take the average cost of a semi-detached home in England at £216,217. These are all useful figures to bear in mind when looking at the advantages of building a garage.