The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.

 

Making The Most Of Pre VAT Change Prices

With the new rate of VAT due to start tomorrow, more shoppers than ever have been hitting the shops to make the most of the pre-VAT change prices. Many shoppers have been buying big ticket items such as televisions in the past few weeks, according to the Bluewater general manager, Andrew Parkinson.

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Double Glazing Firm Wins VAT Case

Double glazing specialists Everest, have become one of the few businesses ever to win a battle with HM Revenue and Customs. The company had been accused of owing HMRC £1.9m in unpaid VAT after they offered a cashback scheme on their windows. The offer centred around a 10% rebate on loans taken out with Clydesdale Bank to fund windows or other home improvements.

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Home Values Doubled Over 10 Years

Research by Halifax has discovered that the average first time house buyer will now have to put down a deposit of £29,000 to get their foot on the ladder. This is the same as 21% of the typical house value. This figure is nearly three times as much as would have been needed ten years ago and is much less than the £56,000 needed by first time buyers in London.

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Van Emissions

DIY enthusiasts and tradesmen will soon have to take the latest emissions allowances into account when they consider which new van to buy. The European Commission has finally agreed to a target of 175g/km by 2017 and this will reduce to 147g/km by 2020. This target is more than was originally proposed, but is thought to be a sustainable target which will also allow growth.

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Borrowing DIY Tools From Neighbours

A new website has realised the value of lending to and borrowing from neighbours, particularly when it comes to DIY tools which are rarely used. Ecomodo is a new community enterprise which allows its members to borrow what they need from each other for a small fee.

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Damage to Homes Caused By Parties

With the New Year party season nearly upon us, insurers are warning their customers about the rise in damage to homes caused by teenage parties – in particular, those advertised on Facebook.

A survey conducted by Allianz insurance has found that £14 million worth of damage was caused to parents homes by teenage parties which got out of hand last year.

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Environmentally Friendly Village

A village in South Lakeland called Casterton has received a grant of £140,000 to allow them to invest in developing an environmentally friendly community.

The funding was won from British Gas under their Green Streets scheme.

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Phasing Out Peat Based Fertilizers

A new report published by DEFRA has called for the phasing out of peat based fertilizers over the the next 20 years. The long term goal will be for gardeners and growers to switch to more sustainable peat free fertilizers by 2030.

Current use of peat in the UK is three million cubic metres each year.

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Reserve And Collect Mobile App Success

Homebase has reported a 600% increase in the number of sales it has received from mobiles following the release of its new Reserve and Collect mobile app.

The app allows customers to browse through 30,000 home and DIY products, check stock and reserve products for collection from all Homebase branches.

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Focus DIY kicks off January sales this week

DIY and gardening chain Focus DIY is the first home improvement store to launch its January sale – three weeks early. It kicked off in store and online this Monday 13th December, five days ahead of other DIY chains, which will not launch their sales until Friday 17th December.

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Width Of Pen Line Causes Boundary Dispute

The matter of a thick pen line has led to a £400,000 legal bill for two homeowners in Hertfordshire. The Cooper's and the Silverman's live in adjoining properties and had common ownership until 2006. At that time part of the original property was sold off and a small scale plan was drawn.

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Poorly Insulated Homes Cause Major Energy Waste

The comparison site Confused.com has revealed the results of a study which shows that homeowners in the UK are wasting £2.5bn due to poorly insulated homes.

Just 13 million homes in the UK have loft insulation, which is just under half of all the homes in the UK. Just 10 million homes have wall cavity insulation.

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