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

Recycling Unwanted Electrical Items

DIY & HOME IMPROVEMENT ENTHUSIASTS INVITED TO RECYCLE OR DONATE UNWANTED ELECTRICAL ITEMS DURING RECYCLE WEEK

DIY and home improvement enthusiasts are being asked to give their unwanted or unused electricals a new lease of life during Recycle Week which is taking place between 21 - 27 June 2010.

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Reduced Insulation Costs

The minister for climate change Chris Huhne has announced that promotions on energy saving light-bulbs should be stopped and more emphasis placed on discounting insulation.

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Remortgage Levels Fall By 39%

Approvals for remortgages have fallen according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders who saw remortgage levels fall by 39%.

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Renewable Energy Benefits All

An energy analyst from Confused.com has said that switching to renewable sources of energy could benefit everyone.

Lisa Greenfield has commented that the various grants available to home owners are there to benefit all consumers, although despite the grants available, the bulk of the money required for these types of energy will come from the consumer.

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Renewable Heat Incentive

The government has announced the details of its Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) last week and has hopes that it will change the way that heat is generated in buildings and homes. The scheme is the first of its kind in the world.

The RHI will provide long term financial support to those who produce renewable energy. In the first phase of the scheme it will apply to business, industrial and public sector producers and not domestic.

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Rental Costs Hindering Deposits

Rental Costs Hinder Deposits

Despite the government attempting to encourage mortgage lenders to make it easier for home buyers and their drive to increase self-building, it seems that yet another obstacle has been put in the way of home ownership

A study by the Chartered Institute for Housing has found that the cost of renting is using up a significant portion of income and making it very difficult for people to save the necessary deposit to buy their own home.

In fact, in London many renters are left with just 25% of their income after they have paid their household costs. One fifth of those questioned said that they spent more than they could afford just running their home. In addition 31% said they were paying more rent than they could afford comfortably.

Those with children and people aged between 25 and 34 were struggling to meet their household costs to the greatest extent.

It was also found that renting is almost as expensive as having a mortgage on the same type of property. This makes it hard to save for a deposit.

Sarah Webb from the Chartered Institute has commented that the government needs to recognise how unaffordable many housing options are. She points out that allowing people to save is important for the UK economy.

Renters Say They Like the Flexibility

Renters Say They Like the Flexibility

Specialist letting agents service provider Endsleigh has, this week, released figures which show that there are now twice as many people renting their home in the UK than those who own.

The statistics show that 45% of UK people or households now rent, while just 23% own their own home. Of those who are renting, almost all are aged between 16 and 50 and say they like the flexibility that renting gives them and the ability to move house when they need to.

In fact, 62% of renters are living in an area which is completely different to where they previously lived and many believe that there is more choice and better value for money available at the moment.

Despite the positives of renting, three out of five renters still say they want to buy their own home within the next five years.

Carlos Thompson from Endsleigh has said that there is increased supply of rental properties, but also an increase in the numbers of people who want to rent them. This has meant that some people are choosing properties they may not have previously chosen or they are paying more than they can afford.

Thompson also points out that the rise in renting has led to competition between agents. So, those people who have rental properties need to ensure they are getting the best service possible from their lettings agent.

Report Suggests Low House Prices Until 2020

Report Suggests Low House Prices Until 2020

A report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has suggested that house prices in the UK may remain low until 2020. In fact there is a 50% chance of this being the case.

The firm of accountants has stated that anyone who purchased a home between 2006 and 2008 is more likely to be among the losers should house prices remain as low as predicted.

House prices at that time would have been at their peak and are now 20% lower. Many of these purchasers are now in negative equity, but especially those who took out mortgages which were worth more than the value of the property.

It is also pointed out that people who live in the South East or in London are likely to experience the worst negative effects of a stagnating housing market.

John Hawksworth from PWC has commented that many factors have caused this problem. He blames pay freezes and a lack of mortgage availability.

The figures from PWC are based on house prices after inflation has been taken into account and this shows that in real terms, house prices will increase by just 1% over the next decade.

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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Retailer Next to Open DIY Store

Retailer Next to Open DIY Store

Fashion retailer Next is to open its very first garden products and DIY store in Shoreham next week. The store is due to open on August 10.

The store will offer general DIY equipment such as screws and nails alongside home improvement goods such as bathroom tiles. In addition the current Next Home department will be expanded to include carpets, tiles and other flooring.

Brands such as Dulux have come on board and will be offering their products and an in-store design service will be available for customers. Added to all of this will be a garden centre selling sheds, garden furniture and plants.

Simon Wolfson from Next has commented that they do not intend on competing with the likes of B&Q but hope to offer something different. He describes it as an experiment and is just one of the many trials the company is undertaking.

Riot Rebuild

Riot Rebuild

Two young architects have joined together to launch a new website aimed at bringing together tradesmen, DIYers, construction companies and those with the right skills to help in the rebuild of those premises affected by last weeks riots around the country.

Lee Wilshire and Nick Varey started the Riot Rebuild website as a way of allowing those who want to help to get in touch with the right people. Already they have a long list of professionals and tradespeople who have offered either their time or materials free of charge. The help offered ranges from basic DIY help to advice on planning issues.

The help offered can be immediate; to help shops reopen without delay or more long term, to help with planning considerations or architecture services. They are also working alongside mybuilder.com which already has more than 300 tradesmen willing to help out.

The site also allows those without the right skills to give donations and offers advice on what to do if an insurance claim needs to be made. A list of contacts for those affected can also be found on the site.

The initiative has been launched via social networking sites
and can be found at: www.riotrebuild.co.uk

Rising Demand for Rental Homes

The Association of Residential Letting Agents has revealed that demand for rental homes is rising due to a shortage of available properties on the market.

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