All posts by Edward Perkins

Landlord With Helpfully Handy Wife

The maintenance of a building can sometimes present major headaches which are not considered adequately during buying.   My partner and I lived in a selection of flats for many years – until we too could aford to buy a complete house, of our own.  The flats belonged to our italian landlord and his wife who had inexplicably managed to buy up huge swathes of the old town, in a relatively short time.  Their portfolio were all old and not having funds to spare, they did all the ‘doing up’ work themselves for many years.  The wife was very good at shinning up a tall ladder, no fear of heights for her.   Once her husband was up on the roof of whichever property they were working on, she would be up and down the ladder prviding  him with supplies of roof tiles, buckets of fresh roof mortar, flashing materials, whatever.  They were a truly excellent eam of building owners, maintainers.

How To Deal With Office Decor Politics

Here are a few tips for best results if you’re contemplating decorating your office space.

Pick out features.  If you have a period office, perhaps in an old building, you’ll want to pick out some nice features in the room to make a cool statement!  Fireplaces (even if not used anymore) are super cool to have as a central focus, and draws the eye of visitors to create a great talking piece.  You might have beams or even really high ceilings, in which case, use them to your advantage!

Choose high quality tools – you will thank us once it’s done!  If you decide to use cheap paint or cheap tools, not only will the end result not look as good, it certainly won’t last as long.  High quality paints are formulated to last and usually have a stronger pigment, meaning you don’t need to slap on layers and layers of paint to get an even finish.  Best plan:  Get a professional in.  If in doubt about your decorating ablities – always get a pro in to do the hard work!


Truly Professional Decorating Is An Art

I’ve been trying desperately to get some inspiration for having my house redecorated.  It’s jolly hard as the job won’t be started until at leastMarch, a good 5 months away.  The decorator lives abroad but he comes back to UK every winter to volunteer his decorating and restoration skills  at various heritage properties and he’s allocating an additional 2 weeks of his valuable time to be available to help me.  One job that desperately needs seeing to is the bannister and stair rails – they are now a mixture of coffee and cream colour because the top coat has started wearing off and I don’t have the strength in my hands to rub down the gloss work – a professional does that sort of thing in a trice.  When he decorated the rest of my house a few years ago, I was amazed at how quickly the preparations were carried out – all the doors off and rubbed down in the time it would take me to find the sand paper!

From Concrete Blocks To Prefabs – Family Homes Were Dire

In the years immediately following the last war, the severe shortage of  housing – through years of bombing raids by the enemy, made it a tremendous challenge to try and rehouse all the displaced families.  The main thrust of the housing campaign was by way of corporation or local council housing – great swathes of land were compulsorily purchased from landowners and councils to allow for a new housing to go up in village and small town locations.  These ‘council’ houses were necessarily built in a great hurry and as economically as was allowed. Consequently they were ugly afffairs.    When it became obvious that houses could not be built quickly enough or when land acquisition became bogged down, temporary land was taken and fantastic little prefabricated homes were put up by the thousand.  These were supposed to be temporary, slightly more than a static caravan and sited with full plumbing and electricity, they were fantastic little places for the smaller family.

Keep An Eye On Pantiles & Roof Gables

One of the most alarming things for property owners is to find bits of it falling off or completely missing.    These many facets of ownership are brought to our attention by the conveyancing lawyer we see when we discuss and sign the contracts.  But how many of us really listen and take in the seriousness of maintaining everything within our boundary in a safe & legal state.   One house I had was adorned with pretty gables at the front, but after a lot of bad winter weather and rain, during bird nesting season the cement/mortar gradually fell out from under the pantiles down the front of each gable.  The problem was actually pointed out by the chap up there reinserting the downpipe back up in the gutter . . . .  professionally he looks at everyone’s roof when he’s up at that level on any task.  He then hopped along the garage roof to inspect the rest of the roof and discovered that birds and weather had eroded the pantile fixings all the way round.   It needed fixing a s a p to stop rain, birds and vermin entering and also to prevent the pantiles flying off.  The job required scaffolding to be erected,  It’s not a lightweight job and had I been more vigilant over the previous years, I would have known what to look out for.  I do now so it won’t happen again.

The Perfect Decorator Earns His Stripes

Needing a decorating expert is probably the bane of many a housewife these days.  Not so many chaps take on these very worthwhile jobs, or only do so when they’ve had a hobby of some sort and then they realise their skills at decorating could earn a fair sized chunk of someone else’s capital     But there are people who are naturally very good decorators –  speedy, accurate, very tidy and trustworthy.    When such a person is engaged for a job, and they do it as well as they usually do, their reputation is enhanced every time and by word of mouth they get recommended and engaged for more and more work.  Sometimes they find there is so much work on offer they can’t actually accept every job available, or have to accept but advise a longer time scale.  Someone who comes that well recommended can generally call the tune and every customer wanting him or her has to accept his popularity is by virtue of him being able to do a fantastically good, economical and timely job!

Dream Building Projects – Experts Needed

It would be wonderful to be able to build ourselves a home of our dreams anywhere we fancied, wouldn’t it.   Well this seems a fabulous plan, on the surface.  However when you look into it a little deeper there are flaws immediately.   As we see from other countries that don’t have our stringent planning controls and regulations, the chance to build absolutely anything anywhere does not actually work.  There have to be compromises with other people who may fance that piece of land too.  So this is where you have to buy it for your self and prove that it is yours and only yours, to build anything on.  Next hurdle is that not every piece of land for sale will have building permissable scope – each county council planning department sets out a five year plan to include the boundary of all permitted developments and anything outside that boundary will not qualify – it will generally be classed as green belt i.e.  plain unbuilt on land.   And with any building project, especially a dream one – a good well experienced professional desiner / architect with good working knowledge of the local planning department is the key to any project taking off.

Choosing Tradespeople With Honesty & Integrity In Mind

There cannot be much more of a frightening scenario on the home front than to have something serious happen to the house – a fire or maybe a break-in.  It makes the whole of our future experience in the property take on a completely different feel.  Nothing is more important than the feeling of being safe and secure, belonging.  When we need to have work done on our properties, the opportunity for fraud or underhand treatment is obviously increased.  That’s why it is vital to engage the services of tradespeople and experts who are known throughout the locality for their good workmanship, honesty and ethical operations.  I for one will never ever pay ‘under the counter’. . . .  i.e. paying less than the usual rate – generally by not paying VAT.  This is a sign of an inherently dishonest operator and therefore not deserving of my hard earned funds.  I mean to say, who is going to pay ito the national treasury for all those new nurses, doctors, police etc etc that were so needed when we had the recent general election.  Evading all taxes is not good.  It is cheating on everyone else.

Retaining Property On Sentimental Grounds

It would be absolutely wonderful to be able to build ay property that took our fancy on any bit of land we owned, or more likely, one or two family members owned. This canot be possible in this little country – it does feel as if we are getting engulfed by all the new edge of town developments already. When I was in the States earlier this year, I was given a tour round the terrifyingly expensive area that the good and the very rich now have their first homes built. I discovered there is no sentimentality towards houses or buildings in general over there as there is here. Some of the neighbours I managed to chat to were incredulous that we have heritage charities set up specifically to care for old properties, historic battle sites, monuments etc. They do still on the whole bulldoze existing houses once they’re deemed a bit old fashioned, and new ones goes up in their place. Theirs don’t seem to be built by the same methods though and do tend to look like the home built property style.

Skimping On Planning Causes Unparalelled Pain

We all need a little help when we start a new project.  Whether this is to do with refurbishing a house or garden.  You can have all sorts of ideas of what ought to be moved from here and put there, or perhaps let’s knock down this wall and make the area open concept – used to be called open plan when I was a nipper. . . . .   however that’s just splitting hairs.  the only way to really ensure that a good project is designed, planned for, approved, costed and adhered to is to engage the services of a good local contractor.  Unless you and your helper have explicit experience in knocking down anything other than a stickle brick mountain, then major headaches can occur from the very first.  A professional company will save hours of heartache, massive fracturing of the friendship and an even bigger rupture of the bank balance.   Cutting corners to save a few pounds has very very rarely worked out for the good in real life.