Fun home renovation ideas in 2018

As a homeowner, one of the coolest experiences you can have involves a fun home renovation. It’s always nice to transform a space in order to breathe new life into it and customize it even more. To make things even better, it’s nice to know you don’t have to do the heavy lifting if you hire a contractor. However, there are a few things you’ll want to remember as the homeowner during a major home renovation project.

1. Get clear on what’s needed from you.
As you sit down with the architect and the project manager, get clear on what’s needed from you throughout the process. It might be that you need to set aside a certain amount of money for unexpected costs. It could be that you need to expect to be ready for weekly meetings. Whatever they need from you during the process, make sure you’re clear about everything before they swing the first hammer.

2. Protect your valuables.
It’s not that you’re assuming that people will steal your things. It’s nice to hope that everyone has integrity. However, you don’t know all of the contractors and workers who will be coming in and out of the home. Make sure that you put away any prized possessions or valuable assets. Whether you choose to put them in a safe or in a storage unit, protect your really valuable items.

3. Be respectful.
Be respectful of those who are doing the work. Don’t get in their way. Don’t be rude and micromanage everything they’re doing. It’s probably best if you stay out of the way and allow everyone to freely do their job. Imagine if you were being watched while you were getting work done. It’d feel pretty uncomfortable.

4. Express appreciation.
While you’re probably paying a pretty penny to get the work done, make sure to express appreciation to those who are putting in the hard work. On the first day of the new project, leave a thank-you note and a few beautiful food gift baskets. It’s a great way to set the tone and let them know you appreciate everything they’re doing to create the home of your dreams.

The advantages of moving membership renewal online

Managing your annual membership renewal is not a job most businesses relish. The time commitment and staff burden often puts many small businesses into shutdown, while making even a few small mistakes can mean a huge fall-out rate. For these reasons and many more, UK organisations and companies are now mostly making this an online task. Let’s look at how investing in an online membership renewal system can deliver real benefits.

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Getting the timing right

Most small businesses and membership organisations start their annual membership renewal process one or two months before the payment is due. Any more time spent on this process would be ludicrous; however, most members don’t renew on the first prompt.

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Studies show that most members require a minimum of two prompts, with some only renewing after the third. Sending these out manually as emails is time-consuming, while updating a database to see who has responded is a lot of work. This means that with a one-month window, many people simply do not renew.

A dedicated page

If you use a system from a provider such as, you can create a dedicated membership renewal URL link to give to your members. Rather than asking members to renew and leaving them to find their way around online or having to call you, they can self-complete. With a dedicated page, members can also bookmark it for future reference; for example, if they intend to renew but then exit the process because their credit card is in the other room, they can come back to it later.

Managing and using up-to-date data

Membership management systems only work when the data they use is correct and available to use across all channels. If it belongs to just one administrator who guards it with their life, it doesn’t matter how well cared for your database is. Offering online customer account logins to members means they can see when their renewals are due themselves. If your database can’t communicate with this system, it is time to retire it.

Always say thank you

While a thank you is always nice, what it really achieves is confirmation. Having an automatic ‘thanking’ system means your members know their membership has been renewed, which is reassuring and creates a more trusting relationship.

Before you install your porch, consider these points

An oak porch is a classic and beautiful addition to many properties and are highly popular. They offer both great practicality and attractive aesthetics. If you’re looking for a warmer and more welcoming entryway to your home, they provide shelter from the weather and light the way for increased security and finding your keys in the dark! Here are some things to consider before organising the installation of your very own wooden porch:

  1. Your budget amount
    Before doing anything, calculate what you have available for your project. The type of design, style and material you choose will vary in price, so you should do some research before planning your new porch and decide how much you have to spend.
  2. Available Space
    It’s easy to get carried away when you see the stunning designs available, but you should seriously consider exactly how much space you have available at your property. This will help you to make the final decision on where to place the oak porch and the size and styles available.

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  1. Planning permission
    The size of porch determines whether you will need to apply for planning permission or not. Structures that exceed a certain size will need planning permission, so it’s important you understand what’s required and what isn’t. In England and Wales, a porch must not exceed 3 metres squared or it will require planning permission. There are other regulations and restrictions, for example in conservation areas or on listed buildings.
  2. Style Choice
    As the first thing that guests see when they approach your home, you want to make a great first impression. Most people choose a porch style that fits in with the existing style of their property for a seamless and classic look. There are many styles available so you’re sure to find a style that matches your needs perfectly.
  3. What you’ll use it for
    Think about the reasons why you want a porch on the front of your house. Is it simply to look good or do you have a practical need as well? Will its purpose be for shelter, for aesthetics or does it need to be enclosed as a space for storing coats and shoes? You’re intended purpose will have a large impact on the style you choose, and you’ll want to choose the most suitable size and design.

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  1. Materials
    Whilst there are many materials to choose from, an oak porch is the most timeless and attractive. Oak offers a beautifully rich colour, a good-looking finish, adds tons of character and feels warm and welcoming. It is also an incredibly durable and strong material. From an environmental perspective, oak is great at absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, easily offsetting any emissions produced during the felling and construction process.

Feeling confident about diamond grading certificates

If you’re looking to buy a diamond ring, you may be overwhelmed by the variety available. Not only do you have to find the perfect style, but you also need to choose the right metal whilst taking into account the diamond’s shape and size. To make it more complicated, you also need to check the authenticity of the diamond. Here’s what you need to know about diamond grading certificates.

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Important names in diamond grading

Before you purchase a ring, you must make sure that it is authentic. To do this, you need to look for a grading certificate that will confirm the condition of the diamond. One of the biggest names in diamond certification is GIA. This is the name to look out for, especially when making purchases over £20,000, to ensure that it is the genuine article. It’s no wonder that when selling some of the most expensive diamonds, some of the biggest auction houses will only use items that include a GIA report containing security features to ensure its authenticity.

Some of the other industry names you may come across include HRD and IGI. It is advised that certificates from HRD and IGI are acceptable on purchases from £2,000 and £20,000. If it’s any higher, you may want to stick with GIA. AGS is another company that is considered to be reputable, but this certificate is used mostly in the US.

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If you are looking for stones other than diamonds, Gubelin, GRS and SSEF may be names that you’ll become familiar with. They specialise in pearls and coloured gemstones, so if your rings includes certificates by one of them, you don’t need to worry.

Where to buy

There are thousands of places that will offer you diamonds certified by these respected diamond graders, including websites. Buying diamond engagement rings online was once seen as risky. However, many online retailers offer the highest in graded diamonds, so you will no longer need to ask yourself: Is buying a diamond engagement ring online OK? Just make sure that you look at the diamond description carefully to ensure that it comes with a reputable diamond grading certificate.

It can be hard to choose the perfect ring, but by ensuring that it has a reputable grading certificate, you don’t have to worry about the possibility of it not being a genuine piece.

Planning Permission Questions About Shepherd Huts

If you’re thinking about having a beautiful Shepherd’s Hut in your back garden or on your property somewhere, in most cases It’s really straightforward and no planning permission will be required. There are a number of factors that can influence whether you need planning permission or not, so it’s always good to find out before you purchase your hut. You don’t want to discover any regulations or restrictions after you’ve bought one and fallen in love with it! Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about these huts and planning permission.

Will I need planning permission?

If you are buying a hut for your own private use and installing in it your garden, then normally you will not need planning permission. Even some conservation areas will not have an issue with a private use Shepherd’s Hut being installed in a private garden. For a stunning range of Shepherd Huts, visit

The reason they don’t often require such permission is that they are considered a mobile structure, similar to a caravan. A caravan is defined under law as any structure designed for habitation that is able to be moved to another place. Anyone who wants to use their hut as a bedroom, guest room, summer house or gardening retreat and has it in their own back garden, will encounter no issues. A hut also makes a great alternative if you’ve been refused permission for an extension in the past. If you want to place your hut on agricultural space or a paddock, you might have to move it every 3 months.

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If you live in a conservation area, you will need to check if there are any restrictions. This also applies if you live in a listed property as well. There could be restrictions written into your deeds if your home is in an urban area or owned by the National Trust. It is polite to discuss these things with any close neighbours, even if you don’t require planning permission.

Can I use my hut for business purposes?

Yes, you can, but you will need to notify the authorities. Using a hut for commercial or rental purposes, such as a small business or a holiday home, you’ll need to apply for a change of use for the land your hut will sit on. You’ll also require the appropriate permissions for the type of business you’re involved in. It’s best to get specialist advice to guide you through the legal requirements of operating a business.

When would I need arrange planning permission?

If you do require planning permission before installing a Shepherd’s Hut, it’s best to check with your local planning authority for details on time frames and requirements. They will be able to let you know whether you need to submit a formal application or not.

How Drupal enables you to build the perfect business website

You may not have heard of Drupal, but it’s one of the leading CMS platforms; only WordPress and Joomla currently power more websites.

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Why choose Drupal?

According to statistics from W3Techs, Drupal is the most popular CMS for websites with a high volume of traffic, which is proof that the platform is capable of powering large and complex websites.

Featuring over 29,000 modules across 2,000 themes, Drupal offers virtually unlimited potential for any website owner with the need for a scalable and agile site. Using the platform, it’s possible to create several different complex websites, even across multiple languages.

The software features plenty of security features to ensure that your data isn’t compromised, and new patches and add-ons are constantly being developed to preserve the integrity of your website. Undoubtedly, one of the principal reasons for choosing Drupal as your CMS of choice is the scalability of the platform; the software is acknowledged as being the leader when it comes to creating high-traffic websites.

The benefits of using Drupal

Because Drupal is open source, an active online community of developers, including members of the Drupal design agency, regularly contribute add-ons and plug-ins that add even greater value to your website. The software is completely free to access and use, which makes it extremely cost effective for businesses on a tight budget. The online community is always on hand to offer help and support, although you can also easily access API support through Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.

Every aspect of Drupal is completely customisable, allowing you to create the perfect website for your needs. From the site layout to its design, operation and features, it’s possible to create a completely unique website that you can alter and adapt according to the changing needs of your business.

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Drupal has been designed to integrate seamlessly with your digital marketing applications. In fact, the platform can integrate with just about any other website and application, making it the perfect fit for your business as it grows and develops. It’s also remarkably fast, allowing you to make speedy changes that add value for your customers.

Your Drupal website supports great SEO techniques, which means that your site will always rank highly with the search engines.

Top watched UK TV Shows single episodes

Trivia time again! Let’s have a look at the most watch tv episodes on the UK of all time. I think that this time you’ll probably able to guess what they might be more than the events. Here’s the thing a lot of these shows have been going for years and also back in the day there were only 4 channels to choose from. It’s unlikely that we’ll see such big figure for a show now with streaming and catch up and plus one hour channels as well it’s harder to judge. So, lets check that TV Aerial Installation Swansea or wherever you are in the UK and see what they are. You might wan to pop along to first if yours is a bit dodgy.

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  1. Den Watts gives divorce papers to Angie Watts, “This, my sweet, is a petition for our divorce, Merry Christmas Ang”. Forgetting his comeback and fall from grace outside of EastEnders this was an electric performance from Leslie Graham and Anita Dobson. 30.15 million viewers put the turkey sandwiches away for this moment as Den reveals that he knows Angie is lying about dying.
  2. Michelle Flower reveals who got her pregnant. It was Den Watts! It could have been anyone of several candidates, but it was Dirty Den who got the teenage Michelle up the duff. 28 million tuned in to see him visit baby Vicki, so named because she was conceived on the floor of the Queen Vic pub.
  3. Hilda Ogden leaves. Coronation Street is the longest running serial of all time and it was an emotional moment when the street gossip and heart of gold hero Hilda final retired her hair rollers and left. 26.25 million people waved her farewell.
  4. Only Fools and Horse “Time on our hands”. Despite some ill-conceived follow ups this saw the Trotters final become millionaires after discovering that an old pocket watch they’d had for years in storage was worth millions at auction. 24.35 million people watched them go off into the sunset.
  5. EastEnders. Just a regular episode. No particular drama. It shows how popular the show had become and was worrying the established order of Coronation Street. 24.30 million tuned in
  6. Royal Variety performance 1965. Dame Shirley Bassey and Dudley Moore topped the bill. I imagine you’ve never heard of them? This is the surprise one but keep in your arsenal for quiz night. 24.20 million people watched it.
  7. Another plain old EastEnders episode. It was about now that Corrie started to be repeated as well in the week.
  8. To the Manor Born. Showing how much we invest in Comedy shows, this time posh people this was Andrey and Richard finally deciding that they loved each other. Ahh. 23.95 including my hooked Mum, Nan and Aunties.
Rank Show Episode Number of viewers
Date Network
1 EastEnders Den serves Angie with divorce papers. 30.15[60] 25 December 1986* BBC One
2 EastEnders Michelle Fowler reveals she is pregnant. 28.00[61] 1 January 1986* BBC One
3 Coronation Street Hilda Ogden leaves 26.65[61] 25 December 1987* ITV (Granada)
4 Only Fools and Horses Time on Our Hands 24.35[62] 29 December 1996 BBC One
5 EastEnders 24.30[63] 2 January 1992* BBC One
6 Royal Variety Performance 1965 Dame Shirley BasseyPeter Cook & Dudley Moore 24.20[64] 14 November 1965 ITV (ATV)
7 EastEnders 24.15[65] 7 January 1988* BBC One
8 To the Manor Born Series 1 Finale 23.95[66] 11 November 1979 BBC One
9 Miss World 1967 Peru wins. 23.76[64] 19 November 1967 BBC One
10 EastEnders 23.55[67] 26 December 1985* BBC One
11 Panorama Diana, Princess of Wales 22.78[68] 20 November 1995 BBC One
12 Royal Variety Performance 1975 Bruce ForsythDad’s Army & Vera Lynn 22.66[66] 16 November 1975 ITV (ATV)
13 This Is Your Life Lord Mountbatten 22.22[66] 27 April 1977 ITV (Thames)
14 Sunday Night at the London Palladium 21.89[64] 3 December 1967 ITV (ATV)
15 The Benny Hill Show 21.67[66] 24 March 1971 ITV (Thames)
=16 Dallas Who Done It” – J. R. Ewing‘s shooter is revealed 21.60[69] 22 November 1980 BBC One
=16 Coronation Street Ken and Deirdre divorce 21.60[63] 8 January 1992 ITV (Granada)
18 Eurovision Song Contest 1973 Anne-Marie David wins for Luxembourg. 21.56[66] 7 April 1973 BBC One
19 Steptoe and Son 21.54[64] 18 February 1964 BBC TV
=20 The Mike Yarwood Show Mike Yarwood Christmas Show 21.40[66] 25 December 1977 BBC One
=20 Coronation Street Bet Lynch becomes landlady of the Rovers Return Inn. 21.40[67] 2 January 1985 ITV (Granada)
22 Coronation Street Rita Tanner‘s first appearance. 21.36[64] 2 December 1964 ITV (Granada)
23 Only Fools and Horses If They Could See Us Now 21.35[70] 25 December 2001 BBC One

* denotes aggregated figure with repeat showing.


Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac Review

The right slideshow software can make a world of difference when compiling a slideshow. Not only will it determine how easy or difficult it is to do so, but it will also affect the types of audiovisual elements that you’re able to use as part of your slideshow.

As a specialized slideshow software, Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac is designed to make learning how to make a slideshow on Mac as straightforward as possible. At the same time it has lots of interesting features that will allow you to add a wide range of audiovisual elements and customize as well as improve your slideshow.

One of the main areas that sets Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac apart is that it will let you choose between two very different methods of creating a slideshow right from the get go. If you select the ‘Easy mode’ you’ll be able to quickly put together a slideshow with background music and animated transitions by following a simple step-by-step process.

On the other hand if you select the ‘Full feature mode’, Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac will let you fully utilize its features and not only add a wider range of audiovisual elements, but also adjust and improve your slideshow in other ways. In short, you’ll be able to determine exactly how you want it to turn out.

Wide Range of Features

Needless to say the features in Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac differ depending on the mode that you use. In the ‘Easy mode’ you’ll be able to add background music and insert a particular style of animated transition between all your slides. It also has tools that will automatically ensure there are no black bars around the images that you use in your slideshow, and limit its length to the duration of the music track.

The ‘Full feature mode’ of Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac has far more options however, and will let you:

  • Incorporate video footage alongside images in your slideshow.
  • Insert audio tracks containing background music, voiceovers, and more.
  • Edit and improve media files to enhance their quality.
  • Apply a wide range of filters and special effects.
  • Add customizable text elements as unique captions, bullet points, and more.
  • Place specific animated transitions between individual slides.
  • Automatically synchronize the slide duration to the tempo of the background music.

All in all if you want to be able to create professional-looking and impressive slideshows – Movavi Slideshow Maker for Mac will fully equip you with the tools that you need. The fact that it is so versatile and easy to use will definitely help, and you can choose whether you want to quickly compile a slideshow or adopt a more detailed approach.

What should I know about charcoal toothpaste?

Charcoal is produced by heating wood or other substances such as bone, in the absence of oxygen, leaving you with pure carbon. Activated carbon is the latest healthcare craze used in supplements and healthcare products. The carbon is combined with different gases and exposed to very high temperatures. It develops pores which then increase the surface area of the product. This surface area then has the ability to catch chemicals and toxins in the body, giving activated charcoal huge potential in the health and beauty market.

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There are many products available with activated charcoal as the main ingredient, including face masks, body cleansers and soaps, creams and gels, capsules and toothpaste.


Activated charcoal is regularly used in hospitals and in emergency situations dealing with poisons which have been ingested. The World Health Organization has included it on the list of essential medicines which means it will be found in ambulances, pharmacies and medical establishments.

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One of the most common forms found in our pharmacies is charcoal toothpaste. Because of its porous surface, it is effective in removing stains from our teeth and removes any bacteria which may cause bad breath. It should therefore only be used as a supplement to normal toothpaste which gives us the fluoride needed to fight tooth decay. Specialists, such as a cosmetic dentist in Cardiff, will advise against using charcoal toothpaste as a tooth whitener, it is only useful for removing stains and if used regularly will also remove your enamel, so be careful!


Activated charcoal is used in supplements to help detoxify your body. By taking it orally, it absorbs harmful nutrients and toxins from the intestines. Some medical experts believe that by using activated charcoal, the harmful toxins will not get into your bloodstream thus reducing your cholesterol level.


Scientific studies and the benefits of activated charcoal have been ongoing since the 1800s and these studies cover numerous applications. Water treatment plants are testing its use for the removal of organic micropollutants from wastewater or drinking water. If activated charcoal has the ability to remove taste and odours from our drinking water, there are no doubt other potential cleansing applications.

As studies and research are ongoing, always contact a medical professional before trying any new treatments; err on the side of caution.

Effective Maintenance of Timber Homes

Timber homes need careful and effective maintenance to preserve their appearance and weather-proofing, and to help ensure that they are as durable and long-lasting as their builders intended.

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High Quality Timber

If you are constructing a timber house, it always pays to use very high quality timber, or to choose a timber frame construction company who will do the job for you. This includes ensuring that the chosen timber is properly treated. Attempts to cut costs by choosing lower quality timber or scrimping on the treatment process will inevitably affect the building’s longer-term condition. When it comes to the treatment procedures during the construction process, it is always sensible to choose a professional with an appropriate understanding of what is needed for the particular type of timber used.

Weatherproofing Timber

Many people fear that their timber home may rot, particularly in wet climates such as those experienced in many parts of the UK. However, timber can be waterproofed in such a way as to prevent any moisture from soaking into the wood. It is critical that this is done not only to prevent the wood from rotting, but also to guard against the damage that can occur when damp wood freezes. In sufficiently cold weather, any water that has seeped into the wood will expand into ice. This will force the timbers apart. The damage caused over only relatively short spaces of time can be considerable, and the cost of putting it right may be far more than the building’s owner is comfortable with paying.

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Protecting Timber Homes Against Insects

Insects such as deathwatch beetle are a major pest in timber buildings. Left unchecked they can cause significant damage, however judicious use of both a dry rot treatment and a wet rot treatment can guard against this outcome most effectively.

What to Look for if You’re Buying a Timber Home

To be effective, the treatments covered in this short article must be carried out during the building’s construction. Conscientious builders such as will have kept a record of all the various treatments to which they have subjected the wood, and you should not be afraid to request copies of them.

As a would-be buyer of a timber home, make sure that you do your research and check that your prospective purchase has been treated properly.