Homes & Gardens

What does 2020 have in store for the housing market?

Some fresh signs of life have been springing up in the housing market.

The average UK house price jumped by just over £4,000 between November and December last year, according to Halifax. And some property websites have reported seeing a boost in activity during December 2019,...

Marc Astley

Marc Astley



Do you know your flange from your space balls... and why is Friday better known as Poets Day to tradespeople?

Authored by Marc Astley

When the inevitably January DIY turns to failure and you need to turn to the help of a professional it can be a daunting experience if you don’t know your ball cocks from your flanges, and while we try to play it cool when a tradesman is in our house, we all get lost in a sea of trade lingo from time to time.

But not to worry, leading tradespeople comparison site, https://www.hamuch....

Five things to detox for 2020 which don't involve your body

Authored by Paula_D

With Christmas and New Year's Eve now over, the onslaught of 'advice' will begin, instructing us to hit the gym and embark on an aggressive diet.

In the era of body positivity it seems strange that every new year is brought in with arguably outdated cries to slim down and detox, in order to discover the 'new you'.

If you wanted to lose weight for personal or health reasons,...

Six things you can do to make January slightly more bearable

Authored by Marc Astley

We’d like to say January gets a bad rep, but we have to say, the start of the year is arguably the worst.

A clean slate always feels good when the ball drops at midnight, but then the month begins and you’re suddenly back at work with a severely depleted bank account, some extra pounds around your waistline and a severe case of the January blues.

January is also tarnished...

Ten tips to keep your heating costs down this winter

Authored by Marc Astley

As winter sets in, it’s that time of year when we start to crank up the heating.

With the cost of energy bills a big concern for UK households, there are lots of simple things you can do to keep cosy and reduce your fuel bills. Here are some top tips from NHBC , the UK’s leading warranty and insurance provider for new build homes, to help you save on your winter bills:


Do you know how much you can borrow on a mortgage? Take this quiz to find out

Authored by Marc Astley

We all know how important knowledge is, but how clued up is the average Brit? With an endless array of technical jargon to get our heads around, Vanquis Bank surveyed 2,000 people from across the UK and asked them 10 financial questions, covering everything from Direct Debits, VAT, mortgages and National Insurance.

  • The average score on the quiz was 3
  • ...

Beware of invasive bamboo taking over British gardens

Authored by Marc Astley

Invasive bamboo is becoming a major problem for British homeowners who may not realise that most species are invasive if left unchecked, with the ‘running’ varieties extending for up to 30ft beneath the ground, warns Environet UK.

Easy to grow, hardy and tolerating most soil types, bamboo has grown in popularity among UK gardeners in recent years, particularly favoured in urban areas...

Nine cheap and easy hacks to ensure your child's bedroom changes with them

Authored by Claire Roberts

Children are notoriously fickle, and if they love something today, chances are they won't be nearly as keen on it tomorrow.

And while toys, clothes and other possessions can be easily replaced (if you've got the money), the same can't be said for decor and furniture. So, that means the lovely child's bedroom you spent countless hours and huge expense decorating and furnishing, could...

How to find trustworthy tradespeople when you need work done in your home

Authored by Paula_D

Under normal circumstances, there aren't many homeowners that would let strangers into their front rooms, serve them tea and biscuits, and leave them relatively unsupervised for hours, days, even weeks at a time.

The vast majority of tradespeople are honest, hardworking professionals of course, but everyone has heard a horror story about a repair job gone wrong somewhere along the...

Would you pay almost £1,000 to spend the night at a Miracle on 34th Street house?

Authored by Marc Astley

A leading holiday rental marketplace has used its internal price data to calculate the per night cost to let homes featured in some of the most iconic Christmas films.

Taking into account location, square footage and facilities such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, Snaptrip have calculated the per night cost to rent each property.

Properties featured on the list...

10 things you’ll know if you’re incapable of keeping anything tidy

Authored by Mary

We’re ‘mess-blind’ and proud.

When it comes to tidiness, you either have it or you don’t.

For neat freaks, keeping everything in order is a way of life, while those with an ever-present ‘floordrobe’ are equally unlikely to change their ways.

Here are a few things you’ll know if mess is your day-to-day default, and Monica from Friends would never, ever invite you...