5 outdoor security tips

We all want to keep our homes as secure as possible, and luckily for us, these days there are lots of steps we can take to reduce the threat of intruders. To help you protect your property and belongings, I’ve put together five tips on improving home security.


1. Outdoor lights

One of the best ways to put any thief off from entering your garden is to have bright lights fitted to the outside of your property. These work by turning on as soon as they detect any motion in the area. So, if someone should enter your garden, they will switch on.

While they unfortunately won’t be able to signal that there is an intruder, this spotlight could be a deterrent for many burglars. They might run away as soon as the light comes on to avoid anyone from seeing them. Or, if it happens late at night, the sudden brightness could cause you to pay attention to what is going on outside and call the police if you see anything suspicious.

2. Good-quality locks

Gardens are, by their nature, open areas, and if someone can climb over a fence, they will more than likely be able to enter your yard one way or another. There are ways to put them off though, such as having a locked entrance door. Typically, these are bolted shut, enabling people on both sides of the door to open them. Continue reading “5 outdoor security tips”

A guide to dormer loft conversions

Loft conversions are a great way to create more space in your home, whether you need an extra bedroom, a study or even a new bathroom. There are several different types of conversion, with a dormer design one of your options.

Here is a brief guide to dormer loft conversions and what you’ll need to consider if you decide to make this kind of alteration to your property.

What is a dormer conversion?

A dormer conversion will stick out from the slope of your roof, with the aim to provide additional headroom in your loft space. These do not need to span the entire length of your roof and can simply be the width of a single window if you choose. It is possible to build dormer conversions with flat roofs – which give the maximum headroom – but those with sloped roofs tend to look more attractive from the outside.

If you decide to go for a larger dormer conversion, be aware there are limits to the volume of space you can add to your loft. For terraced houses, you can’t create more than 40 cubic m of additional room, while this is 50 cubic m for detached and semi-detached properties.

dormer conversion

Will I need planning permission?

Because a dormer conversion will alter the outward appearance of your home, you will usually need planning permission to take on this kind of project. In some areas, you may find dormer conversions are not allowed, or are restricted to the rear of the property, so as not to change the overall look of the street. In other locations, dormer conversions are only allowed at the front of the house, to prevent the new windows overlooking neighbours’ gardens.

You’ll need to speak to your local planning department to find out whether there are any rules or restrictions you need to be aware of before you start work. Continue reading “A guide to dormer loft conversions”

Most popular commuter towns in Kent

Kent is a great place to live as it boasts many attractions that are appealing for both families and young professionals. One of the most appealing reasons for moving here is its commuting distance to London. Here are some of the top destinations in Kent for a quick and easy journey.

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Start your search for a new home in Kent by looking at Royal Tunbridge Wells. This town is less than an hour from London by train, making it ideal if you want a commute that doesn’t take you too long.

The great thing about living here is that, despite being so close to the capital, you will feel as though you are in the heart of the countryside, with Royal Tunbridge Wells being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Come here and you’ll find gardens, outdoor spaces and stately homes – so if you’re keen on getting some fresh air and going for lovely walks on your weekends, you’ll definitely be able to do that here.

Royal Tunbridge Wells is an historic town, making it a very picturesque place to live. Expect to find old streets lined with quaint boutiques and cafes, as well as museums and galleries. Due to being a reasonable commuting distance from the capital, it has become more cosmopolitan over the years, with a range of international restaurants located in the heart of the town.



Another picturesque place to buy a home is Canterbury, and due to its beautiful countryside, coastline and cathedral, this is one of the most popular areas to choose if you’re planning to commute to the capital every day.

It takes one hour to get from Canterbury into central London by train, so you can be out in the country and away from the capital’s busy crowds in no time.

What makes it so appealing as a place to live in Kent is its vibrant atmosphere and interesting history. St Augustine’s Abbey is an example of the city’s ancient past, while its streets and buildings are remnants of architecture throughout the decades.
In the centre, it is also home to a variety of attractions, restaurants and leisure facilities, while you will also be able to stroll in the rolling hills here. So, you may choose to only visit London when you head to the capital for work during the week, despite how easy it is to get there! Continue reading “Most popular commuter towns in Kent”

Great promotional products for the home

Home gadgets are used every single day by all of us, as we all look for gizmos that will help make our lives just that bit easier. And our favourite kinds of handy items? It has to be promotional products, as not only are they incredibly useful, but more often than not, they’re free!

There are many types of promotional gifts, but if you’re a business hoping to appeal to stay-at-home mums, families or busy households, here are a few suggestions on what we think are the best promotional items to give away to attract most attention to your organisation.

Promotional pens

Promotional pens

We all know what it’s like when you desperately need a pen and can’t find one, which is why so many of us love it when we receive promotional pens from companies giving them away for free. We can then carry as many as we want around, knowing that there’ll always be one handy should we have to scribble something down.

According to the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), 39 per cent of Brits said they would most like to receive a pen compared with other promotional gifts, beating the likes of electrical items and mugs.

Not only do we love collecting promotional pens, but we can’t bear to let go of them either. The BPMA revealed that 12 per cent of people kept pens longer than any other promotional product, which is saying a lot considering one-third of Brits have held on to a promotional gift for between one and two years, while almost the same number have kept one for between three and four years!



Like pens, mugs have universal appeal. We might have a set in our homes already, but there are always occasions when you suddenly find yourself having to make a cup of tea for more people than you have cups for – this is where promotional mugs come in, as you can make sure everyone is well watered without having to splash the cash on a new set of cups yourself.

With the UK Tea Council revealing that we drink 165 million cups of tea a day in the UK, extra mugs will always come in handy – which is why companies should consider using them as promotional gifts for their customers. Continue reading “Great promotional products for the home”