Thursday, 30 June 2011

Relaxation of Planning rules.

As those of you who follow my blog are aware I am always on the look out for changes to building and planning regulations and have recently came across a news story on the BBC website about some changes. Although the changes are in Northern Ireland there is no doubt in my mind that they will soon be bought in to affect in the rest of the UK in the coming months. 

The following post is from an interview with Minister Edwin Poots and although it is dated 18th March it has only just caught the public's attention;

From next month homeowners in Northern Ireland will find it easier to carry out home improvements.

Small extensions, conservatories and some roof alterations will be allowed without the need to seek planning permission first.

Environment Minister Edwin Poots announced the changes on Friday.
He said: "The measures will increase the range of householder development that no longer needs planning permission."

Changes will include small house extensions and conservatories, roof alterations, porches, sheds and green houses, oil and gas storage containers and chimneys, and flues and decking.

"The new arrangements will also introduce new domestic permitted development rights for renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and biomass fuel storage containers", Mr Poots added.

"I want to make it easier for homeowners to undertake these types of minor developments to their homes."

From 6 April, homeowners will be allowed to install domestic micro-generation equipment including solar panels, ground and water source heat pumps and biomass fuel storage without planning permission if within set limits.

Previous rules stating extensions had to be within 10% of the existing house size to avoid the need for planning permission will also be relaxed.

The fitting of dormer windows and rear extensions will not require official consent when the changes come into effect.

Mr Poots made sure to emphasize there will not be a total relaxation of planning requirements.
He said: "Importantly the new rules strike a balance between freeing homeowners to make improvements and limiting the size of an extension so that neighbours are protected.
"It is important to point out that larger more intrusive extensions will still require full planning permission."

My personnel opinion is that they are most certainly doing the right thing in relaxing the regulations for planning permission, especially if it encourages people to look at ways of saving energy and doing their bit for the planet. I also think that some of the rules already in place are a little to strict and that when they revised in March 2013 we will see a significant change in the way we have to go about applying for planning permission.

For all the full rules and regulations please visit the link below.

Building Regulations 

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Well I must say the weather we are having just lately is lovely. I found myself sitting in my garden last night just watching the world go by whilst sipping a nice ice cold can of beer. Then as the night started to draw in I decided to move in to the conservatory. It was at this point I thought to myself how lost I would be without it.

It sounds silly, but I really couldn't be without it now. Don't get me wrong it wasn't cheap but it's certainly one of the best things I have ever bought. Not only for the fact of it adding value to the property but also for durability it has. Things like when the family come round for dinner. I'm not a fan of dining in front of the T.V and would much rather sit to a table. So every weekend we have people over for either Sunday dinner or a Saturday night takeaway and sitting in the conservatory stops everyone getting transfixed on what's on the box and not talking.

Obviously not everyone can afford to buy one as prices usually start around the £4000 mark. Having said that though they are a well worthy investment. The process is not the quickest and there are things that you need to do before building such as getting planning permission and making sure it meets certain building regulations. Despite all this though having the finished product on your house is really a site to behold, well that's if it's done correctly!

I would say though research what it involves before you go making a decision and hiring a builder. A good site I found to get my information from is called Just Ask Dino. It has lots of helpful advice and also gives you the opportunity to speak to professional builders for their take on your situation. I will post the link underneath in case anyone needs some help with the rules and regulations for conservatories.

Hope this helps someone out there as it helped me out massively.

Building Regulations for Conservatories 

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Is money ruining football?

Those of you who follow my blog will know that im a big Aston Villa fan and just lately have not been to happy about the way the club and chairman have been acting. First of all it was the whole manager saga, which has come and gone now and there isn't much we can do about it. But after reading today that we are going to be losing Downing as well as Young it has sparked a bit of a fire in my belly.

I know im not the only person who believes money is ruining the beautiful game. Whether its clubs with lots of money putting silly bids in for players or even all the way up the top with Fifa officals taking bribes, the game is becoming a disgrace. The is just no loyalty anymore. What happened to the days when a player stayed at the club who made him and not just went where the money is? Player like Matt Le Tissier, Peter Beardsley, Alan Shearer, just to name but a few, who back in their day were brilliant and lets be honest could of played for anyone, but didn't. They stayed true to the club they loved.

It makes you wonder if players like Young and Downing are being sold for 17 million, how much would George Best, Pele or Maradonna be worth? In the hundred millions! Unless your a team these days with silly amounts of money like your Chelsea's and Man City's your team has got no chance of keeping there best players and building a quality team for the future.

I really do hope the FA bring in this new rule about transfer spending. I think it will be brilliant for teams like Villa, Everton, Spurs and all the teams with less money. Maybe then we can start to see a bit of a fairer game and maybe the players will start to think "Hang on a minute, why aren't they paying me a hundred grand a week?"

But I doubt it...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Help and advice with new builds

Construction of your home is one of the most thrilling projects you can embark on. It can also be the most agonising one. The problems that you may run into are comparable to the problems you face when building in North America. But, evading them at the right time is more crucial. And the failure to do so can turn your new home dreams into a total nightmare.

Here are the five biggest problems you will run into while executing a new construction project, and how to avoid them.

The biggest problem you are going to face is a lack of data of the processes. This inclines to lead you into putting too much dependence on your contractor. This trust in your contractor is acceptable, if you have the right contractor. But without awareness and understanding of the market, it will not be possible. The other important thing you can do is teach yourself. Talk to builders, professionals, and other individuals who have had new construction work done. Explore everything you can, and review every step with your new contractor. Also in my personnel opinion I would suggest looking in to all the aspects of the construction including building regulations and planning permission. Just because a builder tells you it meets all the criteria its best to make sure yourself, as in the future you do not want to have to be tearing it down because it didn’t meet certain rules.

The next problem that comes up is usually theissue with the construction site. If your builderprovides you an estimate, but runs into issues later because of the obstructions related to your site, you are going to be the one to pay for it. Make sure you visit your construction site with your builder before work starts and you get your assessment.

Another issue that you may face as an owner is the poor quality due to the main contractor not doing periodic assessments. Make sure that your main contractor understands the significance of periodic inspections of his employees and subcontractors work. You should accompany your contractor on some of these inspections to check the work for yourself.
It is imperative to follow up with your contractor to make sure that deadlines are met, or at least you know the status of your project at any time. A regular follow up is highly advisable.Make certain that you have set dates for construction landmarks. And follow up on these dates. Don't be overly upset if deadlines are not on target, it is going to happen. But at least you will be aware about where your project is on its time schedule.

Last but not the least; you may observe that attention to detail is not as convincing as it should have been. It’s not because the quality is bad, it's just the final touches may not be as professional done as what you are used to. Make sure you are working with a builder who has worked plenty of times in the past. There are construction builders who have been trained on construction standards, so they know exactly what most customers look for in their work. But as we all know there are plenty of cowboy builders out there who are just trying to make a quick buck out of innocent people.

Your newly build home can be a dream come true. But, it can just as easily be a nightmare if you work with the incompetent builder and don't watch out for these problems. Always discuss your upcoming construction project with everybody, especially people who have experienced the type of work that you are looking for.

Before writing this I spoke to friends who had either had conservatories or extensions built. Some said they had no problems what so ever, yet a few people I have been chatting to online have had many problems. Some even, (as I said above) have had local authorites come to inspect the property and have found it didn't meet certain building regulations and therefore have had to pull down the construction. So like I say it is imperitive that you make sure everything is in perfect order before starting.

Make the construction of your house the dream that is supposed to be. Your new home will reward you with a lifetime of memories.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Is it just me or is Firefox a waste of time?

I'm not sure if its just me who dislikes Mozilla Firefox but just lately it has been running terrible. I have been reverting back to using good old Explorer. It seems that every time I try to do some work on my current project of building regulations for conservatories it just doesn't seem to want to play ball.

If its not coming up with the error "Problem Loading Page" it is just deciding to freeze! Either way it is getting very testing on my patience. You would think with today's technology that the designers would be able to come up with a program with no errors or problems....or is it me just being too hopeful?

Either way I would like to see if anyone else is having problems with it or even just peoples opinions. Well enough of me moaning now....rant over!!!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Building Regulations and Home Extensions

When you are thinking about home extensions, before you start, you need to know certain building regulations. Individuals, who are not aware of these regulations, mostly run into a series of problems in the long run. Understand these house extension building regulations so that you stay on the right track and start building soon.

The most important thing that you need to remember before you start building is the fact that you must obey all the building regulations that are set in place. Those who don’t obey these regulations will need to start over or at least resolve what the inspector recommends. This is why you need to know the regulations before you start drawing out your plans and building your extensions. I have read of a few people that have planned to build a conservatory but because they did not check out or meet the building regulations for conservatories they were then made to tear down the building. This is something that no one would want to have to do so make sure you follow the regulations to the book.

When drawing out your plans for you extension you must be able to have the exact height that the extensions are going to be. The inspector will ask these types of questions and you need to show your measurements. Once, the plans have been finalized, there should be no need to make the building any different than your approved measurements.

The length of the expansion must also be determined as well as documented for the inspector. Again, this has to be included in the plans that you are submitting. If you do not get the correct measurements you could end up ruining the extension completely. Make sure you are complying with all the regulations otherwise you are going to spend a lot of time fixing your plans before you even start building.

Regulations pertaining to safety also need to be obeyed when you start building. Once everything has been set up, an inspector will walk through to make sure that everything is safe and ready to go. If you miss even a small thing during the process at all, you may not get the approval stamp that you are hoping for and instead there will be more adjustments to make.

Once the inspector walks through your newly constructed extension, you will be able to get the final approval subject to the fact that you followed the regulations as well as made sure that everything has been set in place for safety purposes. If the inspector notices anything out of the ordinary, they will obstruct to make sure that you are responsive of the changes that need to be made.

There are a few structures that you can build without getting involved into any kind of inspection or house extension building regulations. Structures for instance garden sheds and garages can be built without the necessity to call an inspector. Look into the list of structures that you may build without worrying about too much hassle. Although some people think that you do not need building regulations for conservatories, this is just a myth. Any structure over a certain size MUST meet building regulations and safety regulations.

Home extension building regulations are not difficult to find and follow. The fact is, you must be certain that you are obeying rules in order to construct a structure that will stay strong for many years to come. Make sure you understand the regulations thoroughly so that you know what needs to be done.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Should Alex McLeish be the new Aston Villa manager?

I have always been a life long Villa fan and over the last few years it has been a very tough time being one. Things were all good and dandy until (in my opinion) Martin O'Neill left. After the fiasco of his departure the club seemed to lose track of what they wanted and where we were going. First of all appointing Gerard Houillier was a BIG mistake in my eyes, yes he bought Darren Bent but apart from that what good did he do?

Obviously this is all in the past now as we are going through a similar problem with finding his replacement. There have been a fair few names mentioned in the press such as David Moyes, Frank Rjakaard and Steve Mclaren. The first choice for the club was Carlo Anchelotti, which I think would of been a great appointment, but unfortunately he wanted to take a year out from football. Then came the resignation of Mark Hughes which many thought was provoked by the vacant Villa post. Yet the club decided against because of the way Mark Hughes resigned. I can understand the decision to a point but I still think he would of been a good choice.

Several days after this they approached Roberto Martinez, who after having a big boost of confidence from Dave Whelan (Wigans chairman) decided to stay with the Latics. I personally think fair play to him. Obviously Villa are a bigger club but he had built himself a decent squad and his players loved him.

Now comes the biggest twist in the saga, Alex McLeish. I really can't think for the life of me what Randy Lerner is thinking even contemplating him. First of all he is the former Blues boss, Lerner must of known this wouldn't go down to well with the fans. Second, what has he actually proved in English football? Yes he won the Carling cup (well they were handed it on a plate by Arsenal), but they also got relegated. Now to me appointing a manager who just got your local rivals relegated is madness!!!

I do want to stress that I don't agree with the fans who have de-faced the training ground though. I think it is most irresponsible and down right stupid. What happens next is anyone's guess, but after reading today's paper it seems as though McLeish is going to get the job.

God help us is all I can say!!! 

Interesting news story on this can be found at :

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Conservatory Madness!!!

Countless homeowners have considered the option of adding a new conservatory into their homes in order to increase the living space in their home, increase the value of their home, or just to sit back and enjoy the feeling of the outdoors. Regardless of your reasons for designing a new conservatory, you will be able to create a tailor-made design with personalised windows, doors, and floor plan. You can even use plain double glazing with decorative double glazing in order to construct the wonderful conservatory for your home. But before you think of doing so you will need to speak to your local authorities with regards to building regulations for conservatories and planning permission for conservatories, as in most cases, not all, you will have to meet certain requirements.

AdditionalGround Space for Your Home
Ground space is frequently at a premium in many homes and who wouldn't gain from the addition of extra living space or an activity room? A conservatory is a multi-purpose room that can be used for any purpose at all.Usually added to the rear of a property, they are generally private areas that can be used by any member of the family or even visitors.

Panoramic View
Gardens and other backyard spaces are becoming more and more significant every day to most of the homeowners. Not only we spend time and play with our kids, let the pets roam the garden but we also sit and relax, prepare and eat meals, and even entertain our guests in gardens and on patios. A conservatory is not only an extension of our home but can also be an extension of the garden itself; a spectacular way to amalgamate indoor and outdoor areas.

Personalized Conservatory Designs
By using contemporary materials and high quality double glazing products a conservatory design can be created to match your precise requirements and needs. You can make your own conservatory design so that it has the exact kind of windows and doors that you like. You can even choose the height of the wall, type of doors, and the timbre of the roof.

Different Styles of Conservatory

Lean-To - The lean-to conservatory is typically the inexpensive and simplest conservatory designs. Also known as the sun room, it offers an accessible way to include a conservatory on any property even the height restricted homes such as bungalows. Also this particular one does not tend to need planning permission for this conservatories design.

Edwardian - The rectangular shape of the Edwardian style conservatory means that it is also known as a Georgian conservatory. Its form allows you to utilize every inch of new area that you create.

Victorian - A Victorian style is pretty comparable to an Edwardian style conservatory except that it also includes either three or five facets to give a more rounded design. This provides a panoramic view of the garden and offers a maximum level of sun light within the conservatory itself.

Gable - The Gable conservatory does not involve any drainage or guttering and normally comprises of a design element such as a sunburst. The high pitched roof provides a real sense of space to any newly constructed conservatory.

P Shape - The p shape is possibly the largest of all the conservatory designs and blends both a lean-to conservatory and either a Victorian or Edwardian design.

If you still are unsure as to whether a conservatory is the right choice for you or if your just curious as to the processes involved I have found a very good website which will shine a lot of light on it. I shall post the link to them site below.

Thanks again for following my blog, until next time!!!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


There are numerous ways of refining a home such as changing windows, replacing your doors or just by beautifying each room. All of those home enhancement methods has their qualities and can help a home look much more up to date and better looking than before. But, if you have spare cash and want to make the decisive home improvement, then you must look into conservatories.

The conservatory is a construction which earlier was used most frequently as a place to grow flowers and plants. It is now being used as a casual area where people can sit and eat their dinner, socialize and relax. It can compensate for a small living area as it will allow many people to fit comfortably at any time of the year.

Conservatories are the best way of making a home a better place. They are a truly wonderful addition when installed at the back of a home and will even inspire you to spend more time in your garden as it offers great view of it. You can even customize your conservatory according to your taste and budget. So, if you want to putup some furniture, conservatory blinds or a certain type of flooring installed, go for it.

It will never become an isolated place at any time during the whole year as it is able to adapt to the outside temperature, ensuring that you neither get too hot or too cold when inside. It really offers you everything you could possibly want. Therefore, if you are thinking of making a home improvement this year, do yourself a favour and look into a conservatory. It is not just the great looks of a conservatory that you should think about as there is much more to conservatories than that as detailed below.

Home Value
No matter where you buy your conservatory, you may find that they add value onto the price of your home. This applies to detached, semi-detached or bungalows and it may make your home a more sought after property when you offer to sell as people are always looking for homes with a difference.

Customize Your Conservatory
Conservatories are no longera place restricted to grow flowers and plants during the winter months. You can now transform it into so many different things, whichever most suits both your lifestyle and family. An extension could be your living room area, play area for the kids or even a small gym.

Livelier Household
Conservatories are usually constituted of UPVC materials and double glazing which allows animmense amount of sunshine to enter into your home. Some of that sunshine can then pour into your conventional living room, so even if you are not present in your conservatory, you would still benefit from the extra light.

If yourfamily is growing, then you will welcome any amount of additional space. A conservatory can offer you and others the extra space at all times throughout the year, regardless of the weather.