When we see the homes around us, we cannot help but think about how they started life. In most cases, they will have begun as a drawing or idea on a piece of paper. The term architect does, after all, date back to the mid 16thcentury. It derives from the French architecte, the Italian architetto, and originates from the Greek arkhitektn. This history means that architects, in some form, have been around as long as most of the buildings that we see.

It is interesting to think about how modern residential architecture has changed. In this article, we will consider just what is possible to have built as your dream home, that is then turned into a pleasing reality.

The Aesthetics of a Home

The kinds of things that make a home appealing will include how it looks to others. Curb appeal will be achieved, for example, by an interesting roof shape. A sloped roof can be very appealing to many, not to mention how protective it is from the weather. Unlike a flat roof, a sloped roof will deflect rainwater, rather than allow it to collect and so potentially leak in.

A grand front door can be the way to our hearts, as much as it is into our new home. Also, our garage, because it can be attached to our home, will say just as much about us as the exterior of our home will.

Drawings produced by creative architects can depict the kind of home that we once dreamed of and show how it is possible to be built. They will include everything from the outside drawings, that above-all need to look appealing, to the inside of a house that incorporates our space-saving built-in elements. We can, with the help of our architect, design the kitchen we have always wanted. That is, one with an island in the middle and plenty of space for food preparation as well as dining.

Windows

How much glass we propose for our home will have a significant impact on our view. Windows will typically be shown on an architectural plan as three parallel lines. When looking at windows and doors, you will need to refer to the elevations of a particular wall because a plan will not indicate the height or type of every window or door.

Knowing just where windows are placed will allow the housebuilder to think just where a larger window could enhance a view. A plan allows you to stand back and think just how special you could make a home from it. A home that looks out towards an ocean or mountain range will benefit greatly from extra consideration being given to window locations, as much as their size. In the first instance, an architectural plan will position a window to be in line with a nice view, and also ensure there are enough of them to provide the necessary amount of natural light around a home.

Roof Plan

A scaled diagram or drawing of residential property will include a roof plan. This will contain roof dimensions and detail the design of a roof. This will be in terms of its shape and size. 

The gable roof is considered a classic design and consists of two parts that will slope in opposite directions. The more slopes you go for, the nicer your roof will look, and the greater the storm protection you will have.

Roofs can be made from different materials to last longer. Natural slate will, for instance, last longer than 100 years when well maintained, so it will be there for the next generation. It will certainly become a selling point should you decide to sell your home. Not that you will anytime soon after you have decided to build your perfect home from scratch, with the help of an architect to draw up the plans for you to make it as special as you imagined it.

We rely on an architect to make our home look as we want it, so that our special plans become reality. We want the best indication as to what it will look like, as much as authorities want to know just what we are planning. They will be thinking about planning regulations and our home fitting into the environment. An architectural plan is a way to know if we are all of the same thinking. We do want permission to be granted, but also require a home that will stand out so that it is special. That is the point of building a new one and not just settling for one already built. Our architect can help us to satisfy everyone during and after this process.

A garage is a big space to use, and doesn’t filling it with bikes you’ll pull out twice a year and tools you’ll never use seem like a waste? There are lots of things you could be doing with that space, with a few enhancements and a severe clear-out you could have an extra room to what you wish with.

So, pull out those empty tins of paint, add some home amenities and take a look at our picks for the best ideas to use your garage for.

1. Cinema

The cinema is so expensive. And uncomfortable. And if you have to tell that stranger one more time to stop talking…!

More of us are opting to stream our movie going experience into our homes, where there is no judgement for wearing your jammies and you won’t miss anything if you need to go to the toilet.

With televisions getting as big as cinema screens nowadays, it’s an easy first step to creating your picture house experience, but some are even upgrading to projectors, which can hook up to your laptop and show whatever you can find online. The best part is garages are usually windowless, making a truly dark room to keep you engrossed.

Add a comfy sofa, some surround sound speakers and a popcorn machine and you’ve got the ultimate movie-loving experience.

2. Casino

Those of you missing the neon lights of Las Vegas or the nightlife of Blackpool can create your own Caesars Palace in your garage.

A couple of tables can have you playing NetBet blackjack, poker, or if you fork out for a wheel, roulette. You can either buy tables online or convert an old dining table with a roll of green felt, and a white marker. 

Have a device nearby if you fancy playing slots online and invite the guys round for some poker. But if you really want the Vegas experience you should invest in some Renaissance art and neon signs.

3. Gaming

You can incorporate a console into your cinema experience to create a great gaming experience. Play Mario Karts on a screen so big that it feels like you’re in the car. See the beauty of games like The Witness and The Witcher III on a screen that really deserves it.

Hook up your consoles to your television or projector and enjoy the space to rage quit if you need to, without waking anyone in the house. Or invite some friends to your abode for a few rounds of Street Fighter or That’s You.

4. Dancefloor or music studio

If someone in the house loves a Zumba class, you can take that one step further and turn your garage into a dance floor. Soften the floor with inexpensive vinyl floor tiles and invest in some soundproofing foam, and you’ll have the basics of a mini club.

Is your Mrs into salsa? Take a few lessons and spin the night away. Or has someone in the house embraced the cardio benefits of pole? It’s easy to install one in a room with a lot of space. Or does someone in the family play a musical instrument? Now Timmy’s drumkit can have its own room where he can practise without keeping you up all night.

There is a tremendous emphasis on scaling up in modern business, as if the whole definition of success in commerce is to scale up to infinity. In truth, it is a fool’s errand in most cases, because scaling is only a by-product of success, not the target. 

In the same way that every individual’s idea of success is different, every business’s goals should be, by their very definition, different. Not every entrepreneur is the next Steve Jobs, and nor is every start-up the next Apple. While every entrepreneur will have their own idea of what it means to ‘make it’ - whether it is buying a Lamborghini or changing the commercial landscape forever - businesses need to make a profit, pure and simple. 

Sometimes, this involves scaling up, and sometimes it means the opposite. It is therefore crucial that you understand the difference, and whether scaling up is the right path for your company:

Assess whether you could actually meet additional demand

Although using ‘scale up’ as a catch-all business strategy sounds smart, it is actually incredibly vague. When working out whether your company should scale up or not, it is best to assess the details first. 

One such detail is whether your customer base is actually large enough to accommodate your expansion, or whether your supply will outstretch demand instead. Few markets are bottomless, so eventually you will run out of potential customers. It is wise to accurately estimate how many customers you are hoping to land over a certain time period, and scale to match. 

This will involve doing detailed market research, competitor analysis and an assessment of the efficiency of your supply line.

Of course, you could face the opposite issue. If you undertake a huge marketing campaign, attracting lots of customers in the process, you may find yourself overwhelmed with orders and end up unable to meet demand. In this case, it is best to keep improving the efficiency of your production line, through investing in a conveyor system, such as those from fluentconveyors.com, for example. 

There are many additional ways you can make more money 

Another reason it is wise to assess all your options before scaling up is that there are plenty of other ways you can generate additional profit other than growing your team and infrastructure. 

For example, you could increase your profits by offering new products at little additional cost. If you make a certain product and there is demand for similar variants then it won’t cost you much to meet that demand. In fact, given that you would have invested in the existing molds, machinery and work processes, it would make a lot of financial sense to make as many similar products as possible, in order to maximize the investment. 

Scaling up means more risk without the guarantee of more reward

Another consideration to make is that scaling up involves a great deal of risk and leverage, without any guarantee of a greater reward. 

While investing in additional capital like real estate, production machinery and staff members sounds smart on paper, you may not actually need them. By investing in these avenues, you risk tying up money you could have better spent elsewhere - such as making sure your existing business model is working well enough, and saving enough for a rainy day. 

Although the festive season might feel like a long way off, if you want to get away with your family over Christmas, you need to plan. These types of holidays are always popular, especially for those who might not enjoy the idyllic festive backdrop of snow-covered mountains or rolling hills. It’s easy to see why, as being in the heart of somewhere that encapsulates a wintery, festive wonderland will certainly help to get you into the Christmas spirit and will be a fun experience all the family can enjoy. If this sounds like something you’d love to do with your nearest and dearest this year, here are a few tips to help you start planning for it:

Work Out Your Budget and Start Saving

The first thing you need to do is decide how much you can afford to spend on a winter holiday like this. Getting away over the Christmas season can be expensive because it is such a popular time for people to go on holiday, so be prepared for this. When you have figured out how much you can and are willing to spend on your winter wonderland escape, you should start putting money away for it as soon as possible. If you have a separate savings account that you use for things like family holidays, that’s great. If you don’t, you might want to consider opening one for this purpose, as it will help you to keep track of your money much easier.

Pick Your Destination

There are so many great destinations to choose from for this kind of holiday, but some of the best ones are in Europe. The Alps go through France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Germany, Monaco and Slovenia – any of these destinations would make excellent festive escapes, most of which provide the quintessential settings for this time of year. For a more cost-effective European destination, however, you might want to consider Bulgaria. This is a fantastic destination for skiing holidays but sometimes gets overlooked, which it certainly shouldn’t. Take a look at these ski chalets in Bansko to get an example of why this is such a brilliant winter holiday destination, and perhaps make this the number one destination on your list.

Find Deals on Flights

While flights are likely to be most costly during this time of year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find great deals. It’s always worth looking at different deals for holiday flights, and there are various websites dedicated to this to make it easy for you. You might need to be flexible when it comes to times, as the cheapest flights tend to be late at night or in the early hours of the morning. This might not be ideal for families with young children, but take the time to scope out a few different options to get the best-priced flights that are suitable to your family’s needs.

Consider Weight Limitations on Baggage

When booking your flights, you should also factor in the weight limitations on the baggage with that particular airline. Even if your family is going away for just a few days, if you’re going to be away over Christmas, you’ll need to think about how much the gifts are going to add to your luggage. It might be worth paying the extra for your hold luggage rather than just taking carry-on baggage to accommodate these extra items, as well as any souvenirs that you might want to bring home with you as well. Always weigh your suitcases and other luggage before you leave to make sure you haven’t gone over the limit; otherwise, you might face additional charges.

Book Activities

While staying in a gorgeous chalet is all part of the charm, you’ll still need to find ways to keep everyone entertained during your stay. If you are going to a ski resort, then having some fun on the slopes is a must – but consider what other activities are available in the local area, too. Whether it’s visiting a traditional Christmas market, hiking along a trail, or something festive that is happening at the resort or the local town, it might be worth booking ahead so you don’t miss out.

Plan Ahead for Meals

Finally, if you are going away over Christmas, shops and restaurants are likely to be closed on the day itself. Some resorts offer catered chalets so your meals will be prepared for you, but if you are choosing a self-catering option, remember to get enough food in from the local shops before Christmas Eve. If you want to book a meal out at a restaurant, book well in advance to make sure you get a table, as locals and tourists alike will probably plan to go out with their families and friends in the run-up to the festivities too.

If you think your family would enjoy a fun winter wonderland escape this year, use the tips above to help you plan the perfect trip.

 

Remote work is becoming the norm and more employees are working from home than ever before. There has also been a huge increase in the number of freelancers in the UK. Remote working offers several advantages including flexible schedules, lower overhead costs, and higher productivity.

That said, remote workers face unique challenges such as loneliness and issues with time management. Many of these obstacles can be overcome with simple changes to your work habits and routines. Here are five tips for remote working success:

1. Create a home workspace

Most remote workers choose to complete their work tasks from home as it offers the greatest flexibility. Working from home has its perks, but you must create a productive home workspace and set clear boundaries between your work and family life.

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare bedroom or an unused shed, then this could make the ideal home space. Finding a designated work area can be more difficult if your house is small, but you should be able to find somewhere suitable with a bit of organisation and creativity.

According to edithomeanddesign.co.uk, you should start by de-cluttering and giving your house a good clear out. This will allow you to see what space could be utilised for your new home office. The office equipment you need will depend on your job role and requirements. Most remote workers need a quality desk, a chair, stationary, and tech like a laptop or PC monitor as a minimum.

2. Invest in reliable tech

If you are planning on working from home long-term, then you will need to invest in reliable tech like high-speed Wi-Fi. The last thing you want is to have your connection dropping in and out during important video calls or a slow internet speed when you’re doing research online. Investing in fast, reliable Wi-Fi is one of the most important ways to ensure remote working success.

You might also decide to invest in tech like noise-cancelling headphones so you can work efficiently from anywhere. This is particularly important if you are planning on working in a co-working space or a local cafe, for example.

3. Join a co-working space

The 2020 State of Remote Work Report revealed that 20% of remote workers are struggling with feelings of loneliness. Working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and many people miss the social interaction and relationships with colleagues that you get when working in an office.

Joining a co-working space is a great way to overcome feelings of loneliness. You will be surrounded by other remote workers and join a supportive community. Going to a co-working space will also help you get into a productive work routine and keep your work and family life separate.

There are lots of reasons to choose a co-working space in a popular city location. For instance, an office space in Cardiff will give you access to a huge variety of restaurants, shops, bars, and other fun activities that will improve your remote working lifestyle.

4. Follow a regular work schedule

One of the perks of remote working is that you will have more flexibility and control over your work schedule. However, you should avoid getting into the habit of following an erratic schedule and working at random times of the day. The best approach to remote working is to follow a regular schedule.

You may decide to start working early in the morning so that you can finish before you pick the kids up from school, or you might find that you work more productivity in the evenings. Think carefully about your preferred working style and make your work schedule work for your family and lifestyle.

5. Know when to log off

Learning to “log off” from work at the end of the day is one of the biggest challenges that remote workers face, especially for those that choose to work from home. It is easy for your work and family life to become blurred and you need to establish strict boundaries. Avoid reading work emails or responding to messages once you have logged off for the day and remember to schedule downtime for self-care.

Conclusion

Remote working gives you the freedom to enjoy a flexible work schedule and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Despite the perks, many remote workers struggle with issues like loneliness or finding the motivation to complete tasks productively from home. These tips will help you stay focused and work successfully from anywhere.

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