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EPC'S- What are they? Why are they important? How to improve them? And how are they changing?

 

  Why is an EPC important to you?
  When renting, buying or selling your property it is a legal requirement to have an EPC. This is an Energy Performance Certificate. This is a rating system for how energy sufficient your home is.
  On the EPC it will give you some examples of how you can improve your energy performance. This could be things such as installing a different kind of heating system, having double glazed windows, better      insulation or switching to energy saving light bulbs.
  Having a home with a better EPC will mean your home is more cost effective for you, but also it will be better for you if you were to sell or rent your home.

   The EPC came about after the Paris Agreement was launched. This agreement encourages countries to take part in signing a deal to lower their carbon emissions by the year 2020. The EPC's were part of         the process of reducing emissions.
   When you have an EPC assessment you will get examples of how you can improve your rating. There is also a part of the EPC called the Green Deal Finance. This is a way in which you can have energy-         saving improvements to your home and the best way to pay for them.
   On the graph if there is a green tick next to a recommendation such as "Cavity Wall Insulation" that means that you can get government funding to improve this section.
   A amber tick next to a recommendation means you may be able to get some government funding for the improvement however you may have to make a contribution to the price of the fix.

Ways in which you can improve your EPC.

Lighting-
Replace your existing halogen or non-low Energy Lighting with Lighting Emitting Diodes (LED). Lighting Emitting Diodes are more effective, versatile, and last longer.
LED's are directional light sources which means they direct light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and CFL, which emit light and heat in all directions. That means LED's are able to use light and energy more effectively.

Roof Insulation-
Ensure that your roof insulation is at least 270mm in depth. This is simple and inexpensive to introduce and will have many positive impacts to improve your EPC but also to insulate your home better.
If your roof is 90mm or less you can get funding to have the loft filled or topped up.

Wall Construction- 
If your property has cavity wall construction ensure that it is filed. This will mean that less heat will be leaving your home, meaning your home will be more cost effective. This is again a simple and inexpensive to intorduce to your home.

Central Heating System-
Replacing an old and inefficient boiler with a newer and more sustainable boiler. This can be an expensive alteration to your home, however this is a great way to introduce a more sufficient heating system to your property.
If introducing a new boiler is to expensive, its always a good idea to think about heating controls. So even if you have an old boiler you can instal modern controls such as a thermostat or individual Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs). Which will have a positive impact on your EPC results.
A thermostat is a component which senses the temperature of a system so that the systems temperature is maintained near a desired setpoint.

Renewable Technologies-
There are a wide range or technologies and solutions of renewable enery. For example solar/photovoltaic panels generate hot water and electricity through to bio-mass boilers and ground source heat pumps, these will replace your normal conventional central heating systems.
Renewable energy technologies can be up to 20X more effective. They will give your home a positive EPC rating, making it more attractive to future buyers. Not only that it's also an environmentally friendly alteration.

Updating EPC Regulations in 2018-

From 1st April 2018 the department of Energy and Climate Change have changed the law so any private sector rental properties will be required to have an EPC of an E or above. landlords will not be able to rent out their property if the EPC is less than an E on the rating. This is because they want to make homes more environmentally friendly and also more cost effective.
This will apply to new lets and renewed tennacies from April 2018, and it will then be applied to exsisting tennancies from from April 2020. If landlords breach these laws they could be looking at a fine of up to £5000.

How we can help...
At Red Squirrel Property Shop we can carry out an EPC assessment on your property, and with this we will supply information on how you can improve your EPC rating and give you tips and pointers.

 

Out with the old, in with the new…

We all know what it feels like wanting to create your perfect home, to live in the palace you have always dreamt about. However, it’s not always as simple and easy as we like to believe. It can be very difficult renovating your property into your dream home. Firstly, you need an idea. You need to know exactly what you want and how you want it. Then it’s sorting out planning permission or building regulations, then finding the right people to help you with your project, such as builders and architects. It’s a very long and demanding process, but it’s all worth it when you’re sat in your modern styled lounge or your vintage styled kitchen.

Sometimes the hard part about turning your property into something new is getting an idea or the inspiration to do it. You may know you want a change and something new, however you may not know what that “something” is quite yet. And there is nothing better than finding a list of property ideas and examples for you to be able adjust your ideas and style too. Well, at Red Squirrel Property Shop we invest time into Project Management and we believe it is very important to give you the helping hand you need in creating your perfect property.

I believe that it’s not only the brick work that creates the perfect renovation, but it’s also the stamp you put on it yourself. The style you decide to endeavour on is very important, as it shows through your personality, your likes, and how you want to make you home feel. This could be cosy, modern, retro or even vintage. Therefore, exploring the different designs in which you could present your home is very significant.

Nautical

Living on the Isle of Wight we are an island which has lots of inspiration from our surroundings of coast and countryside. Nautical décor is often described as the “coastal” or “cottage” look, or New England. This is very popular on the island as it’s very relatable to our location. This look consists of unfurnished wood, pale linen furniture, coastal related décor such as sea shells in jars, sailing ropes contoured around the room, or maps decorating your walls. Whites, blues, greys and cream are usually the popular colours for this style. They all work together to create the coastal vibe of the Nautical style.

Within a nautical styled interior, you must create that coastal effect, therefore using items which come from the seaside is very important. Using ropes which would be from an anchor and rolling them up into a glass bowl. Or collecting shells and putting them in glass jars. They all work together to present the coastal theme. Colours such as pastel blue and whites are a key importance in presenting the theme. Using small, intricate props, such as these, will really enhance the effect of the style you are going for as they are easily recognisable as “coastal” items.

Using decorations such as a “life ring” and a “nautical map” develops the idea of a coastal décor. Living on the island we are extremely lucky in being able to get inspiration for this kind of décor right on our door step. We have many town locations such as Cowes which will supply Nautical interior décor.

              

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern is characterized by refined lines, and simplistic natural shapes. Its simplicity is what makes it have a modern feel, less is more. Usually the colour of the Mid-century style tends to combine darker neutral tones with saturated accent colours. The furniture is usually shaped with long straight lines, for example chair legs. And the edges of furniture, such as sofas or cushions, are usually smooth with a curved edge.

It’s important to remember that this mid-century modern style is mainly basic and simplistic, therefore having items of furniture which express an abstract style is vital. This could be things such an abstract cushions with saturated accent colours, or lights which are designed in unusual shapes and sizes. Mid-Century modern is such a popular style choice as it combines simplicity with the abstract view.

                       

Bohemian

Bohemian style interiors capture the adventure, youth and carefree attitude through its materialism. It’s full of bright colours and patterns which represent the freedom and adventure in the style. The look can be seen as messy, if it’s not thought through properly. This is due to its heavy use of colours and abstract, but it can also be seen as cosy, with its large blankets and cushions, warm colours such as purple and reds, and also the use of fairy lights and cloth veils. The style can create the sense of mystery and superstition through its use of colour and abstract feel.

The use of large hanging lights creates the sense of warmth within a bedroom. Likewise, the thick cushions and bedding adds to this effect.

The boho style can be used in a way which isn’t quite so over-powering. You can use neutral colours for your walls, flooring and beddings, but then accessorise with bold and bright object such as rugs, cushions, blankets, fairy lights and lamp shades, to create the bohemian style to your room. Some people prefer this approach as it’s more of a subtle way of presenting the style.

           

Farmhouse

Farmhouse décor is a modern approach to cabin/lodge style furniture. It consists of neutral colours such as whites, creams and beige. The furniture used for this kind of décor is usually heavy woods or fabric sofas. They are usually chunky styled which gives them the sense of warmth and comfort during winter months. However, the light neutral colours allow the furniture to work within every season.

The farmhouse look is again very simplistic however, with the chunky furniture and modern styled colour it works really well. The farmhouse look can be either very modern, or modern, but with a more traditional look. That depends whether the home is more neutral with its colours, meaning the interior is more white based giving it a modern feel. Or if the property used darker woods, it can be seen as a more traditional modern style.

               

Overall, it’s very important to focus on what interior you want, as it portrays your personality, and decides what sort of character you want your property to show.
A top tip is sticking to one interior style. It makes your home more effective than if you were to blend two different styles together. This can look messy and awkward within the home.
If you would like to renovate your home and you are interested in some form of property management, please get in contact with us regarding any queries or questions you may have.


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