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Moving house is well known for being one of life’s most stressful activities. Not only is it expensive and long-winded, but there’s also a real chance that the sale won’t go ahead at all. In this article, we take a look at how you can minimize your risk by appointing the right conveyancer.

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Money

Solicitors are legally required to post their conveyancing fees on their company website; such transparency, which has been advocated by The Competition and Markets Authority, will allow customers to make an informed decision on which conveyancing solicitor to appoint ahead of moving house. Don’t be fooled by cheap quotes: safe to say, in most walks of life you get what you pay for.

Set Fees

Of course, when moving house there are a number of set fees that have no bearing on which firm you choose to instruct for the legal work surrounding your purchase. However, there can be huge differences between the fees for work charged by different firms. Choose wisely!

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Think Carefully

The Authority’s report confirmed that even though people are on the whole happy to go on a recommendation, this does not mean that the service will be any better than if house buyers were to do independent research. So the first thing that should be done is investigations into a number of firms – and there’s plenty out there, such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/news/conveyancing/no-sale-no-fee-conveyancing-153.

What to Compare

Most solicitors’ practices will quote a baseline conveyancing quote and then top this up with associated fees for items such as completing the Stamp Duty Land Tax return. We would advise looking further into a firm that can provide a menu of fees for common activities and for those unexpected occurrences such as the purchase of indemnity insurance policies that the buyer, seller or conveyancer couldn’t have predicted.

Check Out

The most useful piece of advice when appointing a conveyancer is to do your homework, check the paperwork and read the small print. It’s also worth being aware that instructing a local conveyancer has some definite advantages over hiring one mile away from where you love. Put simply, a local solicitor will have local knowledge that could come in very handy as the process moves forward.

Beware the Referral System

Referral agreements between a firm and an estate agent aren’t always a good thing, so do your research.

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It is a sobering statistic. Of the many deaths caused by fire every year in the UK, over three quarters occur in the home. In 2014 alone, over 200 people lost their lives in domestic fires. A large proportion of these fatalities could probably have been avoided had better fire protection, such as that provided by companies like the Main point, official Automist installers in Bristol, been in place.

More information on fire safety in the home can be found at the official website of the UK Government. In the meantime, here are some top fire safety tips which all homeowners should be aware of.

Test Smoke Alarms Regularly

As detailed on the UK Government website, people are four times more likely to lose their lives in a domestic fire if there is no working smoke alarm present. Testing a smoke alarm is a simple process and should be carried out every month.

Install a Sprinkler or Misting System

Fire safety experts have been campaigning for the compulsory installation of sprinkler systems in new build homes for many years. Misting systems, such as those provided by Mainpoint Automist installers in Bristol, are the more modern equivalent of the sprinkler. They are proven to be highly effective in tackling outbreaks of fire.

Safety Tips at Night

Families can stay safer at night by closing all interior doors when they go to bed, thereby helping to prevent the fire from spreading should a blaze break out. Door and window keys should be kept where everyone can readily find them.

Electrical Precautions

Domestic fires caused by electric malfunctions are an unfortunately common occurrence. Plug sockets should never be overloaded as this could easily result in the electrics blowing and a fire subsequently breaking out. Electrical items that are not constantly in use should be unplugged from the mains overnight.

Extra Care in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the most likely room in the house in which a fire could break out. Pans and saucepans should never be left on the heat unattended. If a pan does happen to catch fire, never try to douse the flames with water as this will only make it worse. If it is safe to do so, turn off the heat source. Close the door to the kitchen and call the emergency services.

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A few years ago, business owners were rushing to get fully-featured websites and thriving social media profiles. Now those things are so commonplace it is not considered “a good thing” to have a website so much as it is considered incredibly unusual to not have one. Today, the rush is to conquer the mobile space.

Why are mobiles so important? Well, the smartphone is near-ubiquitous today, and people use their phones constantly throughout the day. Even having an icon on the home screen can help to reinforce your brand’s presence in the mind of the user and having the ability to push offers to your users will help to build goodwill, and encourage past customers to revisit your brand from time to time. Using the app as a part of a loyalty scheme will improve your analytics too.

What Goes Into a Mobile App?

Almost any business could benefit from a mobile app, but there are a few key considerations that you should remember when getting the app developed. It’s easy to fall for ‘feature creep’ when laying out what you want from your app. So, look at the features and functionality and be ruthless when deciding what is a ‘must’ and what is simply a ‘nice to have’.

Be realistic about who will use the app and how, too. Adding ‘share to Facebook’ functionality is easy enough and reasonable, rebuilding your own social network in your app is much harder, and will likely be a waste of time because it will not be used by a lot of people.

Getting a Great Mobile App

If you are already working with a local company that undertakes web design in Nottingham, it is well worth asking them if they offer mobile app development.

Mobile apps are a great investment if you rely on repeat business. If you can persuade a customer to install your app, then you will have an easy way to reach them via their phone’s notification screen, putting marketing messages in front of them whenever you wish, and also giving them value-added benefits that will build goodwill.

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Keeping your home and family safe from fire is something that everyone should be aware of, but many people don’t know the best way to go about it. Whether it’s alert systems such as smoke detectors or sprinkler systems from Automist installers in Bristol, there are many things to consider.

Existing Property

Existing domestic property is exempt from much fire safety legislation. A smoke detector is the main thing most people choose to fit – indeed, they’re usually installed in new houses. This will give you an early warning of a fire and give you time to escape. Do make sure you test it occasionally, though, and change the battery when needed. Even mains-powered systems generally have a back-up battery to guard against power cuts.

Give some thought to how you would escape from the property in the event of a fire, and keep internal doors closed at night. You should also take care not to place objects close to heaters and open fires.

Many fires start in the kitchen, and a useful precaution is to have a fire blanket. This can be used to safely smother pan fires. An extinguisher is another option, but for kitchen, fires make sure it’s not a water-based type.

If you’re adding an extension, converting the attic or doing other work, it will need to conform to the latest Building Regulations

Landlords and Letting

If you’re letting out your property, then you are responsible for the fire safety of your tenants. This means carrying out a risk assessment, identifying any hazards and removing or protecting against those risks.

In older houses, you should have the wiring checked by an electrician and give consideration to removing any flammable older décor, such as polystyrene tiles. Make sure smoke detectors are fitted; this will mean having linked mains-powered detectors covering the main escape routes. You might also want to give consideration to a mist type sprinkler system such as those supplied by Mainpoint Automist installers in Bristol.

Multiple-occupancy properties – such as student accommodation – will need extra measures such as a heat detector in the kitchen and emergency lighting in communal areas and escape routes. There will also need to be signs indicating escape routes and any fire-fighting equipment such as extinguishers and fire blankets.

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The latest construction headlines hitting the UK say it all: there is a brick shortage coming. For those with brick projects under construction and brick products not yet secured, this means a steep rise in costs. For many companies and individuals in London the gap between supply and demand simply means the viability of their projects, and even home improvements, are severely at risk.

What is the solution?

Many people are throwing around the idea of importing. This is a possibility, but it doesn’t solve the cost issue. Alternatively, by importing the skills needed via an immigrant workforce, the bricks could be made in the UK. This is more practical, but the question that needs to be asked is why not consider a different material?

For many people, there is no alternative. Bricks are the fabric of Britain and the capital. Anyone riding on a bus through London can see this. Bricks are our heritage and history, they are practical, hard-wearing, beautiful and durable. Buildings constructed out of brick last for centuries.

New cutting-edge research

All this could be about to change. With sustainable design and construction playing a huge part in many projects, from city hospitals to manufacturing facilities to private residences, sooner or later a solution will arise. British universities and architects in London are already pushing forward in the research, development, and use of alternative materials. Fantastic products such as self-healing concrete, 3D printed ceramic brick units, vacuum glazing, smog-absorbing concrete, algae walls, and engineered timber frames are taking off. It is a process that once started will not stop, but when will it start?

Every year we are becoming bolder and braver with our product choice, which is showing in the quality and look of our homes and offices. The brick will always be a fantastically strong and stable product; however, as with a stone, there may come a time when it is no longer commercially or environmentally viable. Let’s prepare for the future and not get too hung up on the past.

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