UK lifestyle and money blog

Victoria Sully Nov 2018 Circle Logo

 

Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog.  I'm Victoria Sully, a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker.  I’m passionate about making money online, saving money, self-employment, healthy living and blogging.  I’m on a personal mission to be healthier and wealthier!  Thank you so much for joining me.


 

matched betting box       

 RSS Feed

Category: Home & Garden

  1. How to cut costs on moving day

    Posted on

    Although the whole process of finding a new home can be incredibly exciting, it can also be an incredibly stressful time.  Trying to squeeze viewings and moving days into an already busy lifestyle can be difficult.  If you have deadlines and moving dates that have to be stuck to then, again, it’s not always such an exciting experience.  Then there’s the cost of moving which can ultimately put people off moving house altogether unless they really have to.  According to Which, the average cost of moving house is more than £12000.

    Luckily I am here with a few tips to reduce the costs of moving day itself.  At least that will be one less thing to worry about!

    How to cut costs on moving day

    How to cut costs on moving day

    Image

    Hire an affordable removals company

    In this day and age you should never settle for the first quote you receive.  Shop around and ensure you are getting the best deal and service out there.  Get a few quotes from removals companies and then choose the one that suits you, or your budget, best.  Ask friends for their recommendations and click here for more advice on hiring professional removers.  To ensure you are using a reputable company then you can check if they are listed with the British Association of Removers (BAR).

    Source free boxes

    The cost of packaging to move your belongings can quickly add up.  Start preparing for this early - as soon as you know you are going to move – by asking local supermarkets and shops if they have any spare cardboard boxes you can have.  Begin keeping boxes from any deliveries you receive.  Ask friends and family members to do the same.

    Related - Live in Yorkshire? Sell your home for free!

    Pack your own home

    Whilst it might be luxurious to get the removals company to do all the packing too, it is going to be an extra cost that you might not be able to afford.  Pack your own belongings and save this extra and often unnecessary expense.  To make this part less stressful and to save you booking a costly packing service last minute, just be prepared.  Start the task early to reduce overwhelm. 

    Here’s a handy timeline for packing for a house move: My top tips to prepare for a house move

    Hire a van yourself

    You can also cut costs massively by moving yourself if you have a driving licence and are comfortable with driving a large van.  It will also depend on the distance of the move, how much stuff you have to relocate and timings.  For example, when we last moved house we had to leave our home by midday for the new buyers to move in and we received our keys for our new home at the same time.  This meant we had to move everything in one load and not several trips.

    Sell things before you move

    If there are large items of furniture that are going to be sold and not used in your new home, then sell them before you move.  Otherwise you are paying to move items that you don’t need to!  Make sure you start listing items for sale a few weeks before moving so you don’t have to pay to move them to the new property.

    Always check for cashback

    Never book a removals company or van hire without first seeing if the company you have chosen is on Top Cashback or Quidco.  If they are then you’ll get cashback at a later date simply by booking through the cashback link.

     

    There are lots of ways to start saving money on the move itself with a little preparation, effort and savvy shopping around.

     

    More helpful articles when buying a house:

    9 ways to start updating your home on a budget
    Why I won’t use a mortgage adviser again
    My top tips to prepare for a house move
    Is buying a house better than renting?
    3 ways to make sure the house you are buying is in good shape
    Should I stay or should I go. Moving house decisions.
    Why you should check the water pressure when buying a new home

    How to cut costs on moving day (1)

  2. How to create a relaxing room without spending a fortune

    Posted on

    As Christmas has well and truly gone, it's now time to face the dreary couple of months until the weather gets better.  I’m always so ready for summer to start as soon as New Year is over!  If last year is anything to go by then winter is only just beginning.  We had two bouts of large snowfall in March last year.  I’ve got my fingers crossed for a sunnier and warmer start to spring in 2019!

    Essentially, we may need to get into hibernation mode until the warm weather begins.  If you’re like me then you hate being cold and you want to be snug and cosy in your own home until the winter is over.   We may have little or no money left after the festive season, but there are some small investments or cost-free ideas we can make to ensure we have a cosy and relaxing home for the rest of winter.

    How to create a relaxing room without spending a fortune

    Image

    Inspiring imagery

    A talking piece always helps to tie a room together, and it doesn't have to be any stereotypical oil painting. You could get some inspirational quotes or sayings that go on the wall, which adds an air of modernity.  You don’t even have to spend anything as you could find some free downloadable quotes and images online.  If you’re OK at design then try free online service Canva to create your own design.  Print onto some glossy or matte photo paper and you’ve created your own wall imagery for next to nothing.   

    This is also the time of year that many people are having clear outs or donating unwanted gifts to charity shops so pop along and see if you can pick up something to inspire you and your walls for the rest of winter.  An image that you can stare at and get lost within will suit your relaxing space well.

    Cosy corners

    Cosiness can be attained really simply. All you need are throws and chunky knitted patterns and you have got a makeshift cosy space. If you don't have a home that lends itself well to relaxation, make it a priority to set up a corner somewhere, purely for the purposes of relaxation. An armchair, a few cushions, and maybe a coffee table, and you've got a space purpose built for you to slump in and slip away.  Dig out your blankets, locate your cushions and let the cosiness begin!

    Marvellous materials

    From woolly materials to a wood-effect hard floor, the right materials can set us up for a relaxing room. You wouldn't think of laminated floor being a relaxing material, but it's all in the colour. Oak shades can be really warm, natural and inviting.  To make yours more cosy simply add a rug.  A rug will bring warmth into the room and ensure your feet aren’t always stepping on a cold hard floor.  A tufted carpet can feel sturdy, but also warm and comforting beneath your bare feet – again, add a rug if you have carpet and it’s not the softest or cosiest.

    Spiking the senses

    Releasing various smells into the home can help you in so many different ways. Whether you want to feel more ready for sleep by releasing lavender scents into the air, or you want to concentrating more on your night-time read, lemon can promote concentration, not to mention the fact that it is helpful if you are anxious.  It doesn’t have to be expensive either, or toxic.  A pack of Nag Champa incense sticks for a pound and you’re away!  Otherwise choose natural essential oil diffusers or plant-based candles.

     

    To make a relaxing room in a home, you don't need to go overboard. Choosing your space wisely will help because you can make the most of a small area that goes unused. Or you can even transform a small room that's barely bigger than a cupboard into a relaxation haven. But when you feel cosy, you've done it!

  3. Live in Yorkshire? Sell your home for free!

    Posted on

    One of the worst things about moving house is all the costs that are involved.  I can’t remember all of them precisely as we bought and sold a house almost five years ago, but just the solicitor fees, estate agents fees and stamp duty totalled in the thousands.  It took quite a chunk out of our sale price, leaving us with less money to do up our new home.  For many these fees can be totally unaffordable and a reason to stop moving house altogether.  For us now it’s certainly off-putting to move home as we first need to consider the thousands of pounds it will cost us and whether that’s justifiable.

    Zero estate agent fees in Yorkshire

    But what if you could eradicate one of these fees altogether? 

    Now you can!  Well, if you live in Yorkshire at least.  The online estate agent Housesimple are launching in the Yorkshire area and for a limited time you can sell your home for free!

    Live in Yorkshire Sell your home for free

    Image

    Sell your Yorkshire home with no estate agents fees

    That’s right, there are no estate agents fees whatsoever if you put your home for sale with Housesimple by the 2nd April 2019.  It’s an absolute bargain and so I just had to share this offer with you.

    Some people pay thousands in estate agents fees and in recent times online estate agents have been combatting this with much reduced fees compared to the norm.  When we were selling, five years ago, we stuck with a traditional estate agent as we didn’t really know about the online variety or know if it would be successful.  Now I would definitely go to an online estate agent first.  Not only are they widely known about now, but you’re essentially getting the same service at a much lower cost.  We’ve since also known friends and family to sell their home using online estate agents.

    Even without the amazing offer for Yorkshire homes at Housesimple ,their usual fee is very reasonable anyway at just £995.  I’m sure we paid double this for a brick and mortar estate agent when we sold our property.  But what’s even better is no fee at all!

    OK, what’s the catch?

    So long as you meet their criteria then you won’t have to pay any estate agent fees.  Here’s the criteria:

    • The property must be in one of the following postcode areas - DN, HD, HG, HU, HX, LN, LS, S, WF, YO; or in one of the following postcode districts BD1 - BD23, NG18 - NG24, NG34, OL14, PE10 - PE12, PE20 - PE25;
    • You must put your property for sale on the market with the Housesimple between the start date and the closing Date. (00:01 am on 17.12.18 - 11:59pm on 02.04.19)

    What’s included?

    • Ads on Rightmove/Zoopla
    • Professional photos and floorplan
    • Negotiations and sales progression
    • Dedicated agent Local expert valuation
    • Easy to use online dashboard ‘For Sale’ board

     

    If you live in Yorkshire or the surrounding areas and are considering selling your home, then check out the postcodes above and see if you could save yourself a small fortune with zero estate agents fees to pay!

     

    More helpful articles when buying a house:

    9 ways to start updating your home on a budget
    Why I won’t use a mortgage adviser again
    My top tips to prepare for a house move
    Is buying a house better than renting?
    3 ways to make sure the house you are buying is in good shape
    Should I stay or should I go. Moving house decisions.
    Why you should check the water pressure when buying a new home

    Live in Yorkshire_ Sell your home for free!

     

  4. Why you should check the water pressure when buying a new home

    Posted on

    Quite often I answer article requests for quotes all about things to look out for when buying a new home.  I always share the same piece of advice and that’s to check the water pressure!  I rarely see anyone else mention it and that’s probably because it’s not an obvious thing to check when buying a new property.  It certainly wasn’t something we ever thought about checking, but unfortunately this turned out to be a costly mistake when we purchased our first family home.

    Ben, my husband, had owned a home before and it was relatively new and had great water pressure.  I’d previously moved around rented accommodation and sometimes the pressure was OK and sometimes it was bad, but livable.  Even so, I still never thought to turn on a tap when we went for a house viewing as prospective buyers.

    As soon as we moved into our new home we knew that was a big mistake.  I turned a tap on and immediately shouted to Ben saying I think there’s something wrong with the water or the pipes.  It came out so slowly it was ridiculous.  Much to my dismay, there wasn’t anything wrong with that tap or pipe, but the whole house had the worst water pressure I’ve ever encountered!

    Make sure you check the water pressure when buying a new home

    Image

    It was so bad that I struggled to wash my hair in the shower as there just wasn’t enough force to wash the shampoo out of my hair!  Running a shallow bath for our daughter, who was two at the time, took a whopping 40 minutes!

    It was total madness and we had to call an expert out to assess the plumbing and water tank.  It turned out we needed a pressure fed water tank to increase the water pressure as whatever system we had just wasn’t giving us anything more than a trickle of water.  There was barely any pressure at all for whatever reason.  Maybe it was just old and needed replacing, but I’ve no idea how the previous owners, a family of four, managed to get anyone showered and bathed each day!  It must have taken forever!

    It was far too frustrating for me and one of the first things we had to fork out for in our new home at a whopping cost of more than £2000.  Of course this cost was also totally unexpected and not budgeted for so left us very out-of-pocket at what was already an expensive time.

    Don’t make the same mistake as us and always remember to turn a tap or two on when you are viewing a house to check the plumping is up to par.

    Below are some more facts about water pressure, what’s considered normal and what’s not.

    Water pressure - what is right for your home?

    Make sure you check the water pressure when buying a new home

    Image

    Have you ever noticed the pressure of water coming out of your tap is not the same as the pressure in your friend’s house? That’s because water pressure is affected by a variety of different things; many of which you actually have control over.

    However, how do you know what the right water pressure is for your home?

    What is water pressure

    In layperson terms water pressure is simply the amount of flow that comes out of your tap; a trickle means your pressure is low and a stream that blasts across your sink can be considered high.  Ours was definitely a trickle, but now it’s a full on blast!

    Water pressure can be measured in bars, PSI or head.  PSI is pounds per square inch, which sounds like quite a strange unit of measurement for water coming out of a tap! The average home will have water pressure between 30 and 80 PSI. But just because it arrives at your house at 80 PSI this doesn’t mean that the pressure at your taps will be the same.

    It is a good idea to reduce the pressure if your water pressure is at the top end of this scale or higher. High water pressure will place a huge amount of stress on the joints and washers in your water system; potentially resulting in one or more of them blowing. The result will be a leak which could be serious. You'll want to make sure you always have a number of a professional to hand for these sorts of situations, so it's worth finding a local plumber that you can rely on.  If you live near Sydney then click here for professional advice.

    To check if the water pressure for your own home is between 30 and 80 PSI if you have any concerns, or if you’re just curious, you can use a pressure gauge or you can call in the professionals to measure it for you!

    Reducing high water pressure

    If the pressure is near the top end of the scale then the easiest solution is to fit a pressure reducing valve. Ideally this should be fitted where the mains supply enters your home; this will ensure it reduces the pressure everywhere in your house.

    If your pressure is in the middle of this range but you have pressure sensitive appliances, you can always install the valve just before the specific appliance.

    Increasing the pressure

    If you’re on a mains supply then your first step will need to be to contact the water board. They will need to test your water pressure and confirm whether it is within the acceptable range.

    If it isn’t, they probably have a leak or some other issues in the pipes and will need to locate and resolve the issue.

    If they say the pressure is within the acceptable range but you want more pressure then you may need to add a pump to your system. This will suck the water in and force it into your pipes at a higher pressure. You should be able to adjust it to get the exact level of pressure right.

    You may find that the pressure at the mains is different to the pressure inside your home; this will indicate blocked pipes. You’ll need to take a look at the age of your system; it may be time to upgrade the pipes.

    I can’t remember exactly what was wrong with ours, but we called out the professionals and chose to have a pressure fed water tank installed which totally did the trick!

     

    More helpful articles when buying a house:

    9 ways to start updating your home on a budget
    Why I won’t use a mortgage adviser again
    My top tips to prepare for a house move
    Is buying a house better than renting?
    3 ways to make sure the house you are buying is in good shape
    Should I stay or should I go. Moving house decisions.

    Collaborative post

    Why you should check the water pressure when buying a new home

  5. Inexpensive hard floor ideas that look authentic

    Posted on

    When it comes to floors in the home and being budget friendly, hard floors are always the winner for me.  In our home we only have carpet on the stairs and landing; the rest of our home has hard flooring throughout.  Personally I find it so much easier to clean, especially with two young children.  It doesn’t stain, it doesn’t soak up spills and it doesn’t get dirty – unlike carpets.  Now, I would love a carpet one day, don’t get me wrong.  I love the soft feel of carpet underfoot.  But that will be in my very own private no-shoe adult room one day in the future! 

    Unfortunately with kids and pets, my experience of carpets has only been one of frustration as they get dirty so quickly, are a pain to have to clean with a carpet cleaner and kids food constantly stains or mushes into the piles!  So hard floors it is –to both save my sanity and because in the long run I believe it is a cost effective and longer lasting option.

    Inexpensive hard floor ideas that look authentic

    Image

    Many people think that hard flooring is an expensive option, but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be.  Whilst we all might want a real wooden oak floor or solid marble tiles, the reality is that our purse strings might not stretch quite this far.  So instead, much to our dismay, we have no choice but to opt for cheaper floor options.  Once upon a time that might have meant settling for something that was so obviously cheap, but nowadays there are plenty of affordable flooring solutions which actually look just like the real deal.

    So chin up! Let’s explore in this blog post some inexpensive flooring ideas that look totally authentic:

    Engineered wood flooring

    If you want a floor that truly resembles a real hardwood floor, then you’ll want to consider engineered wood flooring.  This flooring option is a wood floor that is made from several glued together layers of plywood.  It is very strong and stable, in fact possibly even more so than real wood as it doesn’t warp or shrink with changes in temperature.

    It’s also easier to install than real wood as each piece doesn’t need to be nailed down, but has click together joints meaning those who are quite savvy in DIY can install this by themselves.  My husband and I were able to lay our entire house with click together wooden effect flooring.

    Inexpensive hard floor ideas that look authentic 2

    Image

    Luxury vinyl flooring

    When I first think of vinyl flooring, I simply imagine the sheet vinyl flooring we always put in our bathroom.  It looks pretty terrible and it wears through quickly too.  However, there is so much more to vinyl flooring and in particular there are ranges of ‘luxury’ vinyl floor tiles that can look as real as stone, marble, slate, concrete and more.  Some brands not only look like the real thing, but even have the texture too. 

    Not only is luxury vinyl flooring much cheaper than choosing the real thing, but they are highly durable and long lasting with some brands offering a 20 year guarantee.  And, if that’s not enough to convince you to reconsider vinyl flooring as an option, you can even get get vinyl flooring that looks just like an authentic wooden floor.

     

    Luckily, nowadays, there are lots more options when it comes to affordable flooring for the home that looks like raw materials, but is actually a copy.  Opting for a replicated floor doesn’t mean you are opting for less quality either.  As I mentioned with the engineered wood flooring, it can even have several benefits over a real wood floor so should definitely be considered when you are looking into floor options for your home.

     

    Related blog posts

    Wood flooring on a budget

    The benefits of wood style hard flooring for your home

     

    Inexpensive hard floor ideas that look authentic