Can You Do A Loft Conversion Yourself?

A loft conversion is not a small project, and if you are not a builder it’s likely you would never even consider doing a large job like a loft conversion as a DIY project, says Jeff Mercer from Touchstone, a loft conversion specialist company. However, perhaps if you are a bit handy, and have some building skill and experience, you may contemplate a loft conversion.  The skills required will be a long list and will include the following:

  1. Architecture or some good drawing skills.
  2. Structural engineering – to be able to provide structural calculations for the building inspector.
  3. The plans produced will need to be sent to the planning department for planning permission or a “certificate of Lawful development”, once you have figured out what is considered “permitted development” and which of the development requires planning permission.
  4. Crane operator- the steels that will be required for the floor and roof structure will be required to get the steel up to the loft and into the correct positions.
  5. The loft will no doubt be full of your old unused belongings and old insulation, these will need to be removed and skipped.
  6. A good carpenter with a full set of power tools will be required alongside a carpenter’s mate and of course a labourer for doing the carrying and cleaning.
  7. Once you have got the steels into place you can fit the floor level using joist hangers. The floor will require insulating and then over boarding with waterproof floorboards.
  8. The existing roof will require complete removal if a dormer is being built and the remaining roof will require re-supporting.
  9. The dormer will require insulating, breathable membrane and can be leaded and tile hung.
  10. You will have measured for the bespoke stairs and they would have arrived for fitting into place.
  11. The electrician and plumber would have visited and added there 1st fixes.
  12. Once fully insulated the walls can be plasterboarded.
  13. A dormer roof will be covered with GRP fibreglass which if correctly fitted will be guaranteed for 20 years.
  14. Facia’s gutters and downpipes are fitted.
  15. Plasterers double skim the loft.
  16. Three final fixes remain; an electrician does his final fix and issues certificate for the building regulation officer.
  17. A `plumber works around the tiler to complete the final plumbing fix.
  18. A carpenter will do the final fittings.

 

To summarise, while it is unlikely an unskilled person will be able to complete a loft conversion in its entirety, there are some parts of the work you will be able to do yourself, such as clearing the area, painting, and maybe insulting the loft. Therefore, it is a good idea to work with a construction company who will allow you to complete some parts of the process yourself, to help keep costs down.

Finding the Perfect Spanish Property

There is absolutely no reason for anyone not to buy their property in Spain. Think about, the flourishing expat community, a warmer climate and a favourable environment to be productive at both your work and life. But if you are considering moving to Spain, there are certain issues you should know, that will help you to purchase the best house and at an affordable price without any legal problems. Here is some information that you need to understand about buying a property in this country.

  • Foreigners can buy property in Spain

As long as you meet with the legal requirement, you can have your dream house in this country. However, the purchasing process is quite easy for British buyers as the process is easy and there are no requirements. Current situations involving mortgage lending or property rights are unlikely to change. But the policies about future healthcare provisions and pensions have some question marks. You can learn more about this at Inmobiliariajavea.es.

  • House Prices are a Bit High

In 2018, the Spanish bank released a report saying that houses in this country will rise by 5pc in that year. So, you must be prepared to spend a significant amount especially if you are planning to settle in major cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Palma. Even charges for rentals are a bit high. But money should not be a discouraging factor since the benefits of living in this country make it totally worth it.

Finding a Dream Property in Spain

Buying a house is already overwhelming. The paperwork, the commitment plus the cost, makes it a daunting process. On top of that, there is also the language barrier when purchasing a house in Spain. But don’t be scared. Here are some things you can do to make sure that finding your Spanish home is as smooth as possible.

  1. Do your Research

The secret to successfully purchasing a property in Spain and other countries as well is, research and more research. You are likely to buy the perfect house if you have taken your time to visit the various regions, compare the pricing and the type of properties, and knowing the process of purchasing the home. Don’t be in a hurry to settle for a house. First, find out about other external factors like relative values. While doing research also remember to get advice from those who already own a home here. They will give you valuable information that will ensure that you avoid mistakes. They also can give you recommendations.

  1. Create a List

After researching and finding different homes, it is time you think about what you wish your dream home to have or look like. Write this information down. Also, include what you don’t need. Making such a list will help you rule out if a particular property is best for you or not. Also, remember to consider your needs when writing this information down. And be open to change as you might not find the exact house with the qualities you need, but you can be sure you will find something close to it.

  1. Ask for Advice and Information

Once you have decided on the property, it is time that you seek advice from a property company that you can trust. These professionals will walk you through the process and guide you with any other issues you might have. And in such cases, it is better that you hire a property finder other than the usual estate agents.

Conclusion

Finding your dream property in Spain can be challenging, but if you have people to guide you, the process will be less complicated. If you are a foreigner, remember to search the market for houses that meet your requirements. Also, ensure that you’ve confirmed with the Spanish property (Registro de la Propiedad) that the house if your choice doesn’t have unpaid taxes or debt.

Self-Help for Sleep Apnea Symptoms

This post provides self-help tips and lifestyle changes to reduce sleep apnea symptoms, including weight loss, avoiding sleeping pills and using saline to clear nasal passages.

Mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms can often be improved with some self-help techniques and lifestyle changes. Weight loss, changes in sleep position, and avoidance of substances that promote airway closure can positively affect your sleep apnea.

A word of caution. While many of the self-help tips here do improve sleep apnea symptoms, always follow your sleep physician’s advice. Successful weight loss does not mean you can unplug your CPAP, toss your sleep apnea dental device, or cancel that upcoming sleep apnea surgery. Lifestyle changes are additional sleep apnea treatments that improve the efficiency of your existing treatments.

Weight Loss and Sleep Apnea

No one really wants to be told this, but by far the best sleep apnea self-help strategy is to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight equals extra fat tissue in the throat and neck, which places pressure on the airway, increasing the chance of airway closure and sleep apnea.

Don’t fret. You don’t need to slim down to the shape you were in your teenage years (only a few, universally despised individuals are capable of that feat!). If you’re overweight, a weight loss of only ten percent reduces the frequency of sleep apnea and promotes a better night’s sleep. And that ten percent weight loss also improves heart function, lowers your risk for diabetes, and provides a host of other health benefits, so it’s one of the most important lifestyles changes you can make.

Sleeping Pills, Tranquilizers, and Alcohol

What do alcohol, sleeping pills, tranquilizers and many OTC cold medications have in common? They all relax the throat muscles; the last thing you want happening if you live with sleep apnea.

Avoidance of these substances is the best self-help strategy in this instance. Treating sleep apnea successfully should improve your quality of sleep, so sleeping pills may not be needed anymore (regular use of sleeping pills ultimately disrupts your sleep cycle even more, and carries the risk of sleep pill dependency, so long term use of sleeping pills is strongly discouraged by health professionals).

Your doctor may be able to suggest alternative medication to tranquilizers, including insomnia hypnosis techniques. Be sure doctors and health professionals know you have sleep apnea before they prescribe medication; many prescriptions and over the counter medications can relax the throat muscles. Sleep apnea also complicates the use of sedatives and anaesthetics which can cause complications during dental and medical work.

Self-help for sleep apnea doesn’t mean you have to give up alcohol entirely. Avoid alcohol for at least three hours before bedtime, and don’t overindulge. Even if you don’t have sleep apnea alcohol disrupts normal sleep patterns.

Quit Smoking for Sleep Apnea Self Help

Easier said than done, as any smoker can attest, but quitting smoking is one of the healthiest lifestyles changes you can make for both sleep apnea symptoms and a host of other medical problems. Smoke irritates the throat lining and causes the nasal passages to swell, both of which can contribute to sleep apnea.

Sleeping Position and Sleep Apnea

Changing your sleeping position can affect night-time breathing and sleep apnea symptoms. Sleeping on your back can worsen sleep apnea, as gravity forces your tongue and soft palate back into your throat, impairing breathing. Sleeping on your side prevents this and reduces sleep apnea symptoms.

Changing long-established sleeping positions isn’t easy: your body feels most comfortable with the sleeping position it’s most used to. The key word here is comfortable. Sew a tennis ball into the back of your pyjama top and sleeping on your back suddenly isn’t comfortable at all!

Saline Sprays and Nasal Passages

Allergies or colds cause congestion in the nasal passages, interfering with breathing and encouraging sleep apnea. Using saline sprays can help keep the nasal passages open while you sleep.

Regular Sleep

Sleep apnea symptoms worsen when you’re tired, so getting enough sleep is important. Go to bed at approximately the same time every night and get up at a regular time in the morning. Most people need eight hours of sleep a night to be properly rested.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute in any way for care and treatment by a qualified health professional.

What Is Permanent Makeup?

Permanent makeup was made popular by George Burchett who is a famous tattoo artist. Permanent makeup is a cosmetic procedure and can be customized to meet the needs of the client. There are many different designs and colours that can be used. Many people chose to have eyeliner, skin treatments, lip colouring, and eye makeup tattooed on their face. Artificial eyebrows can also be tattooed in place by a professional makeup tattoo service. An example of this would be derma pigmentation, and micro pigmentation. During these procedures tattoo ink is used to colour the skin.

Benefits of choosing to have Permanent Makeup

Permanent makeup can help some people feel better about their appearance. People that have skin conditions include conditions due to alopecia, chemotherapy, or a genetic disturbance chose to have their makeup to look and feel better. People that do not have the time to apply their makeup everyday can also chose to have a permanent makeup procedure.

Are there any limitations?

Permanent Makeup allows a person to look great no matter what they are doing. They can go swimming, hiking, and even work out without having to worry about their makeup wearing off or looking smeared. Once the permanent makeup is tattooed on the skin a person will never have to worry about applying makeup again. It will also look fresh and vibrant.

How is Permanent Makeup applied?

There are different procedures and tools used to apply permanent makeup. Traditional tattoo machines can be used. There are also some hand-held devices that are smaller and allow more precision. The entire processes take 2 to 2.5 hours depending on the location and the design.

Is it really Permanent?

Many people wonder if this makeup is really permanent. Just like a tattoo the makeup will stay on. The ink is tattooed under the dermal layer of the skin meaning it will not wear off. The cost of permanent makeup will vary by provider.

Home Staging Bedrooms: Decorating Tips That Captivate Buyers

A properly staged bedroom can sell a home. This feature is one of the top priorities for buyers – making a good presentation can improve your chance of selling!

After curb appeal and kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are the top selling features of a home. Why? This room needs to be the buyer’s personal oasis from day-to-day life. Whether it’s for parents of young children, a single professional or a retired couple, bedrooms are where they’ll go to unwind. If the bedroom doesn’t suit them, the sale is off!

So how do stagers help homeowners create bedrooms that feel like stepping into a luxury hotel? What tricks can make a small bedroom look bigger, a dark bedroom more inviting and a boring bedroom more stylish?

Creating a Stylish Bedroom

First, if the bed is old, consider buying a new one. You can get next day beds online, at very low cost. Bedrooms need to appeal to a wide audience, so it is not a good idea to use bold colours or designs that are overly personal. Home stagers downplay current owner’s decor with neutral linens and restful artwork that is not too individual or possibly offensive to buyers.

Light-toned bedding, along with a throw blanket and throw pillows in a coordinating accent colour, can add just the right amount of style to a room without overpowering it. Stronger colours can be used in accents and often create better photographs and more memorable bedrooms for buyers.

Adding some ‘luxury’ touches like a few candles, fresh flowers by the bed, a simple tray with coffee cups or a book will give buyers the right feel – a place where they can unwind and relax. Exactly the place to call home!

Making the Room Spacious

Small homes and condos have their charm but often lack a large bedroom. If you’re short on space, you can make several adjustments to your furniture arrangement to open up your room.

First, consider removing extra dressers. As long as there is a closet, the buyer will not readily notice the absence of a dresser. This can quickly open up valuable floor space, even though it means storing some clothing in another location or packing it away.

Use smaller side tables and remove all clutter from the tops of remaining dressers, armoires and tables. Clutter makes spaces look smaller and crowded, so computers, laundry and paperwork should also be moved or packed away.

Light, Bright and Airy!

Keeping the room light will appeal to busy home buyers who want a great start to their day. Heavy blinds or drapes should be removed where possible; opened for showings where it’s not.

A mid- to light tone paint colour will keep the room cosy but bright. Sandy shades or warm yellows work well. Blues or greys should be avoided as they may seem depressing to certain buyers.

Proper lighting is crucial. The right size lamps beside the bed are better than relying on overhead lighting alone which can be too direct and harsh. Lamps provide more comfortable lighting and add to the overall brightness and cosiness of the room. Lamps should be kept on during showings for the best presentation.

 

Buying the Best Mattress Using Online Resources

Choose the best sleep mattress by using the Internet for product research, customer reviews and window shopping.

Browsing the Internet can be a cost-effective approach to buying the best small double mattress online or in-store. Like any large purchase, sleep mattresses require the consumer to take the time to know what they want and how much they are willing to pay for it. Vendors offer many kinds of sleep mattresses. Hence, buying the best sleep mattress could very well be determined by how much product knowledge consumers have before entering the store.

Using the Internet to Learn More About Sleep Mattresses

Gone are the days of the simple innerspring mattress that once graced bedrooms across North America and Europe over the past several decades. The mattress industry has long since discovered new and innovative ways to offer the best comfort and support for its consumers through a unique line of products such as memory foam, waterbed and latex sleep mattresses.

Many websites are devoted to offering quick and easy explanations as to the construction and design of different kinds of sleep mattresses. Simply browse through the Internet to view cross-sections, photos and diagrams that provide basic information as to how each mattress type could serve your health and budget needs.

Using the Internet to Read Sleep Mattress Reviews and Consumer Reports

A sleep mattress will cost hundreds of dollars and play an important role in the sleeper’s mental, physical and even emotional health. It’s no wonder that many consumers are careful when making such a large purchase. Some consumers prefer to look for the best-rated sleep mattresses in local outlets, while others prefer to window shop and confirm their list when they get back home.

Mattress reviews flow in abundance on the Internet. Simply visit websites devoted to mattress reviews and read through them to find information relevant to your needs. This information can also be used to spark a discussion with sales staff in your local mattress outlet.

Using the Internet to go Window Shop for a Sleep Mattress

Willing to buy a mattress online? Simply choose a product found online and visit your local mattress outlet to test out the very same item in person. Perhaps the vendor will be willing to match the online price or perhaps the in-store item can be found online for a reduced rate. In some cases, online coupons can be used to get a discount on the item as well. A note of caution: Be sure to buy a mattress from a reputable online vendor and read the fine print!

Consumers who understand what the sleep mattress industry has to offer are in a better position to decide what they want. This information will inevitably facilitate a more focused conversation with sales associate resulting in a purchase that should, quite literally, provide a good night’s rest for many years to come.

Beautiful Classic Oak Furniture Makes A Comeback

These days, people are making more conscious decisions when spending money, and this does not always mean going for the cheapest items available. Opting for oak furniture over cheaper types has many advantages.

Benefits of Oak Tables

 

Oak coffee and dining room tables will last for several hundred years, or possibly longer. When your grandchildren no longer have use for an oak table that you purchase today, it is very likely that they will be able to sell it for a decent price. You only have to look in many stately homes around the UK to see how oak furniture increases in value rather than decreases.

An oak coffee table adds style and elegance to a room. This most definitely cannot be said for typical flat packed furniture that is cheaper in price and also in appearance. Because the coffee table often has a focal point in your living room, investing in a decent piece of furniture is a good move, as it makes the whole room appear more stylish.

An oak coffee table will not collapse just because somebody leans on it. Neither do you have to put it together yourself. Furthermore, oak is surprisingly easy to care for. All you have to do is polish it a few times a year with beeswax, and make sure you wipe up any spillage quickly. Shop online here for oak furniture.

Consumers are Choosing Oak Furniture

 

In recent years, the trend for buying cheap flat packed furniture seems to be fading and more and more consumers are opting for stylish furniture items that will last for longer. This might seem unusual when the economy is tough, but it actually makes sense because people do not want to be replacing everyday furniture items every few years. Therefore, although an oak coffee table may cost around £300, compared with £50 for a regular cheap coffee table, this is actually an investment because oak coffee tables can be passed down through generations and used for many hundreds of years.

When you consider that a cheap coffee table is likely to look scruffy after six months and will probably need to be replaced within a few years at the most, it makes sense to splash out on oak furniture. Another advantage of buying oak is that you can purchase an item every year or so when you can afford it, knowing that it will match perfectly with your previous oak purchases. When buying other types of furniture, you often need to buy more than one item at a time so that the furniture that is placed in the same room will match well.

Oak for Style and Elegance

 

While oak furniture is not the cheapest on the market, it is safe to say it is one of the most elegant timbers used the furniture making. Oak is a very flexible timber, and therefore carpenters are able to make intricately designed furniture items such as oak coffee tables, sideboards, TV stands and even wardrobes.

Even if you cannot afford decent furniture and the majority of your furnishings are cheap second-hand items that you have picked up as you go, adding one or two high-quality items of oak to your room will give it a totally different appearance. For example, a coffee table is often the most focal point of a living room. Rather than placing a cheap Formica coffee table in the centre of your living space, invest in an oak coffee table. This will probably not set you back more than a couple of hundred pounds, but the difference to the room will be remarkable. Furthermore, you will have a piece of furniture that can be used for generations to come, and will only appreciate in value rather than decrease. As your finances improve, you can gradually replace your cheap furniture items with quality oak, and will have a furniture collection to be proud of.

 

 

Advice for Building a Smarter Warehouse

Perceptions of what warehouses are and are capable have changed a lot in the past 20 years. It doesn’t really feel like that long ago when workers and owners/users of warehouses were considered to be just buildings with four walls that were immovable and fixed. However, nowadays that kind of thought process is outdated and not held by most because of things happening outside of those four walls. Last-mile logistics, big data, omnichannel management, e-commerce and cloud computing are all freshening and expanding the modern facilities used for distribution.

Warehouses are still central to it all, but they have a more fluid part in supply chain now. Various outside pressures mould distribution centres by creating innovations and doing away with conventions of the past. Smarter warehouses have come about as a result of innovations in materials handling and technology.

Smarter Designs

Modern and smart warehouses have three important traits, flexibility, mobility and visibility. Technology is the thing that makes all these possible though. It is now a sophisticated business and if you are a warehouse owner/operated you need to understand and use technology. There are two main considerations that come into operating a warehouse, visibility in ensuring users can, in an intuitive and approachable way, get necessary information. The other is that it’s not just about data, it is about the delivery of that information.

With the availability of wearable tech, tablets, smartphones and RF devices, as well as special applications and software, it is much easier to have a more efficient and versatile workforce and workflow. More important than just big data collection is actually acting on the information in real-time and relying on systems talking to each other.

That’s where omnichannel management frames are important for creating intuitive distribution centres.

Omnichannel has become the norm and see everything being connected, which enables them to fulfil orders from anywhere and move inventory to the other locations that need it or where it sells better. The aim therefore of omnichannel is or provide retailers with a full view of inventory, orders and customers.

Taking the Future into Account

One thing is for sure, when it comes to the ever-evolving use of warehouses, safety is always a concern. Storage will always be required and warehouse operators who need racking pins for longspan racking need to look buy safety accessories for ensuring their modern buildings and distribution centres are safe and secure and able to cope most effectively with any changes.

Because everything is changing quickly for businesses there’s a challenge for them to adapt their existing tech systems and infrastructure. Regardless of if it recognising the automation needs, they have or choosing the best WMS or warehouse management system, there is a need to take the future into account.

This has become a serious concern over the last few years. When many companies made educated investments into warehouse tech to improve their eCommerce operations, the omnichannel trend happened and became the done thing. Because in the shift of inventory not just being placed in warehouse, there has been a need for distribution centres to adapt.

The Fabulous Museum of Picasso, Barcelona

Eclipsing Picasso Museums in Paris and Malaga, Barcelona’s Museu Picasso traces the artist’s early progress inexorably toward brilliant maturity.
Although originally hailing from Malaga and going on to perfect his art in Paris and the South of France, Pablo Picasso’s years spent in Barcelona had a profound impact on his creative development – and form the foundation for the city’s Museu Picasso, one of the most enlightening and successful public collections of the artist’s work.

Picasso Early Works
Picasso moved with his family to the thriving Mediterranean port of Barcelona in 1895 at the age of fourteen. There he began studying painting at La Lonja art academy, where his father taught.

The Museu traces Picasso’s progress from his juvenile works of the 1890s, which reveal fascinating insight into the young artist’s influences, notably Toulouse-Lautrec; toward the inexorable creative explosion of Cubism; and beyond, with the addition of later works including an extensive collection of ceramics donated by his widow Jacqueline Roque in 1982 and, most spectacularly, his entire Las Meninas cycle of 1957-58, donated by the artist himself in memory of his great friend and personal secretary, Jaume Sabartés.

Picasso Sabartés Barcelona
The Museu Picasso in fact owes its very existence to this key figure in Picasso’s life. The Catalan Sabartés first met the young Picasso on his arrival in Barcelona, and a lifelong friendship (and later professional association) began.

In 1963, Sabartés donated his personal collection of Picasso paintings to the city of Barcelona, forming the nucleus of the Museu Picasso – the only Picasso museum created within the artist’s lifetime.

In 1968 Picasso honoured his friend’s memory by giving the museum a series of 58 paintings reinterpreting the iconic Spanish masterpiece Las Meninas (Diego Vélazquez, 1656, oil on canvas).

Las Meninas Series
The Museu Picasso devotes three galleries to the Las Meninas series, including an ingenious video display graphically superimposing Picasso’s work with Vélazquez’s. The prodigious undertaking is composed of 58 works created over a period of months in 1957-58 in the artist’s South of France studio.

Taking as a starting point the idea that even a composition as iconic and seemingly irreproachable as the Vélazquez masterpiece is open to artistic reinterpretation, Picasso’s Las Meninas series uses 20th century artistic innovation married to the artist’s unique style and sensibility to analyze, deconstruct and radically reinterpret Vélazquez’s tableau.

Studies of each figure – most prolifically, that of the Intifada, so central to both the original and re-imagined works – recast features and attitudes in modern terms of shifting planes, multiple perspectives and non-localized colour, while the whole adheres strictly to Vélazquez’s composition, essential geometry, characterization and spatial integrity. The result is imaginative, playful, spectacular, irreverent and revolutionary – with all the hallmarks of Picasso painting at its best.

The Museu Picasso is located on Carrer de Montcada in Barcelona’s El Born district, and is open most days from 10am to 8pm.

How Money Affects Participation In Sport

Money is a major factor in determining whether an individual, young or old, can participate in a sport in the UK. Money is the ultimate factor and one only has to compare three sports, football, motor racing and polo to truly comprehend the impact.

On a prominent motorsport web site there is an explanation about how one can get involved in the sport of motor racing for the low price of £3000. For an individual who comes from a low-income family the price to start at the bottom to learn how to race a car is much too expensive. Participation in the most organized and lucrative sport in the UK, motor racing, is beyond the reach of those people who are not comfortably middle class and have some disposable income. Money is the barrier to entry to many people becoming actual participants in the sport and not observers. A similar situation is found in the great sport of polo.

Equestrian Polo is the sport of the wealthy as a lower level polo horse can cost approximately £12,000 and you will need at least two of these horses. To learn how to play polo you must know how to ride competitive horses and this takes many hours of instruction and riding on a horse. Horse riding lessons are expensive and having access to them on a regular basis requires a large amount of money eliminates the majority of the UK working population from potential participation.

In contrast to motor racing and polo, two sports in which you must spend several thousand dollars just to gain an introduction into the sport, the cost to become involved in the sport of football is the cost of a soccer ball and maybe some football boots. A person can practice soccer at almost any field and because the costs are limited to a soccer ball and football boots an individual can easily be playing for £200.

When one compares the cost of motor racing or equestrian polo to that of football for a parent who is on a fixed income the majority will always choose football because its more affordable.

The higher the cost of entry to a sport the lower the number of people who will participate in the sport. The cost to a family for their child to play football is much less than the cost to learn how to race motorcars or ride polo horses.

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