Loft Conversion Tips

3 Important consideration before starting a loft Conversion

So, you need more space at home?

There are many great reasons to create a loft conversion, one of those is that often the main structural elements are already in place, so it is relatively cheap to build. So, making it generally a smart and less messy option for expanding your home.

loft and attic conversion exaample

Would a conversion add value to my home?

Converting a loft could and should add value to your home, for what is relatively a minimal outlay. To make maximum value from your conversions you should make sure they abide by building regulations and look and feel homely and comforting, so it’s nice space to live in. That way when you go to sell, it makes things that much easier.

Don’t forget an en-suite loft is a great space to rent out for that little bit of extra income!

The increase in value is reflective of the area of London the house is in. But to give you an idea, if you are going from a traditional 2 bed terrace to three beds, most local estate agents will say it adds 20% to 25% of the value to the house. There are a handful of reputable loft conversion companies in the London area including Visionary Lofts and Gold Hawk Lofts.

Do I have to have a big loft for successful conversion?

You do need a certain area to walk around in! The height of the roof is a limit.  In London the easiest way to tell how big your loft can be and what you can extend to is by popping out and looking at your neighbours’ homes.

Generally, to walk around and feel comfortable you need around 2 meters head height, but any space which is smaller than that can be used for storage or does work well for a bath or bed if the height is comfortable enough to slip in and not feel claustrophobia!

Is there much structural work involved?

Here you’ll find the main consideration is how old the building is, most traditional style homes in the inner city of London are Victorian buildings. Which is generally a good thing because post 1960s buildings generally have a weaker roof structure.

Builders of pre 1960’s era created roof structures which tended to use thicker more robust tresses which allowed them to use fewer of them, this means when you are doing the conversion you won’t need to affect the roof structure too much.

If the loft conversion is being built on post 1960 then you’ll most likely need some structural steels put in place, so you can have a larger open space.

Hope this has helped you! And good luck on your loft conversion journey.

Caron Reynolds.

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Marine Boat & Bike Trip Businesses Report a Spike in Bookings

Throughout the UK more and more people are opting for biking and boating trips instead of the more traditional car and plane trips. So, why are these trips becoming so popular among people of all ages? Here’s a quick look at some of the top reasons.


image of boat and bicycle trips


They give you the opportunity to see the world in a different and exciting way, while also getting to places cars and planes simply can’t go.


Seeing the world from a bike or boat can give you a new perspective on sights, whether you have seen them several times in the past or are making your first trip. Instead of viewing things through a dirty window, you have the opportunity to see things clearly, taking in their true colours, while also breathing in the fresh air and even experiencing the wind around you. It is entirely possible you will appreciate your trip even more.


Let’s face it. There are some places of the world that you simply can’t get to by automobile or plane. Taking a bike increases your chances of making it to the top of that mountain that gives you the chance to see panoramic views of everything below, while a boat will allow you to reach that picturesque island that looks like the cover of a postcard.


Biking and boating trips are both environmentally and wallet friendly.
This is particularly true for biking, which decreases harmful emissions being leaked into the air, while also helping fight against noise pollution. Additionally, it requires less natural resources to manufacture a bike than any other type of vehicle.


Biking and boating is also cost effective. You may be able to save a considerable amount on the price of petrol. As an added bonus, biking and boating trips tend to be much less expensive than the cost of a trip by plane.


They promote a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically.
Although you may spend most of your boat trip sitting down, many people find that the chance to be out in nature improves their mental state by decreasing anxiety and helping alleviate depression. This also pertains to biking, which will provide physical benefits as well. For example, studies have shown that biking has the potential to cut your risk of heart disease by 50 per cent. Additionally, biking can help strength your immune system by keeping your Immune system cells more active, leaving them better able to fight off potential infections.


They are fun for all ages.
From toddlers to the elderly, biking and boating trips tend to appeal to people of all ages.
This post was donated on behalf of Mark from BMSUK Marine Surveyors.
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6 Benefits of Freelancing From an Office Outside of Your Home

In the past, most freelancers had no option but to work from home due to how expensive it could be to rent a small office or studio space. Thanks to the introduction of shared offices and co-working spaces, this is now a much more affordable option. If you are a freelancer or have plans to become one in the future, you may be interested to learn that there are significantly more benefits associated with working outside of your home. Here’s a look at the top benefits you will experience by choosing to freelance from an office or studio.

shared office spaces for freelancers

Increased Efficiency

While it can be tempting to work from home because of how convenient it may seem to be, it’s important to remember that it can also be very distracting. From dealing with everyday household tasks, such as laundry, to frequent interruptions from family members, it can be hard to get anything done. On the other hand, working out of an office gives you the opportunity to work in an environment that is free of distractions. This allows you to focus entirely on your work, which will boost your productivity and likely improve the quality of your work.

Build Relationships

Working out of an office, especially a co-working or shared space, is a great way to network with other freelancers, potential clients, and/ or entrepreneurs. Interacting with others is crucial to building relationships that can potentially lead to new clients and work opportunities. Unfortunately, when you are working from home, it is harder to build type of relationships necessary for your business to thrive.

Share Ideas

Just like working out of an office allows you to build relationships, it also gives you the chance to share ideas, as well as brainstorm with other freelancers.

a guide for freelancing

The Company of Others

Working from home can quickly become a lonely task while renting an office space (such as Meanwhile Creative’s office space Bristol) allows you to take a few minutes out of your day to chat with others. Having the option of taking a break every now and then and talking with other professionals can leave you feeling happier, more refreshed, and ready to return to your work.

A Professional Vibe

This is especially important if you have face-to-face contact with your clients on a routine basis because they are more likely to see you as a true professional. As an added bonus, you can display your degrees and awards on the wall, which is sure to impress clients.

No Potential for Disaster

Unless you put up all of your work away every single time you walk away from your home office space, there is always the chance that a pet, curious child, or even well-meaning spouse will start rummaging through your stuff and accidentally delete the project you’ve been working on for days or spill coffee on the handwritten proposal it took you more than a week to prepare. In an office or studio, this is not a concern. You can run out to lunch or to do a few errands and return to your work exactly as you left it.

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Shout out to an almost 40 year old company

Long established, family run businesses have become as rare as hens teeth. With a growing monopoly in almost every industry imaginable, and the new digital era, small and medium sized long established businesses are the exception rather than the norm.

At Dunaways we are always on the look out for long established and often family run businesses. Those that have employed within their community, held pride in their products and services whilst standing economic turmoils and booms.

One such company is Davis Roofing in Bristol. Established in 1978 they were founded and started a small dedicated service for flat roofs and felt roofing.

owners of Davis Roofing from way back in the day

When they began, Davis Roofing were a team of three, a father and his two sons. Since the early days they employ over 40 staff including fitters, surveyors, administration staff and managers. They have continuously employed locally in Bristol and the county of Avon. The company has seen its share of recession and boom and withstood it all in credibility and outstanding service.

As perhaps the best roofing company in Bristol and the south of England, Davis Roofing have proved themselves over the last four decades.

It’s so great to learn that some companies really can live my their values and thrive through economic change. Yes many of us are somewhat interdependent on large corporate companies like Google, Amazon and Apple but there is always plenty of room for small, traditional companies that live by local standards and provide to their communities. Davis Roofing are one such company.

Dunaways wish to congratulate Davis Roofing on their huge achievements over the last 37 years.



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How good are you at selling yourself?

Finding your path to success

I’m feeling curious about the British career landscape. I am noticing a real gap for a certain band of people. Whilst I will be making generalisations in this blog I do think they resonate with some truths. 

Daemon Career Coach image for blog post
With the loss of The Career For Life, and as a direct result of the recession, there comes the career path that individuals need to manage themselves. This involves being able to ‘sell’ yourself and lots of clients say they find this prospect frightening. I did too…

It was really frightening to promote myself to begin with & kind of went against everything I had been raised to believe. It seems like graduates these days are being supported to know their worth….. And too right considering what the debts accrued in the process.

This however leaves a gap of about 15 to 20 years between ‘the career for life’ and the current upskilled & confident newbies on the block, where self-promotion was considered ‘arrogant….. ‘

This can leave people between the ages of 30-50 pretty vulnerable. We have neither the career for life nor the innate belief that we have the right to push forward to claim the roles we want and are worth…..

So how can we manage this? One way is to dig deep and really identify your passion. When you know what drives you, then it is your passion and the resultant expertise that you are promoting. Whilst this may still feel somewhat counterintuitive to those of us generation X types, walking into a room and saying ‘look at what I care about, look at what I value and look at what I leaned” is perhaps less threatening than walking into that same arena and saying ‘look at how brilliant I am’.

Maybe this helps us to step forward because if we are promoting ourselves in service of a purpose or passion, then it’s not ‘all about us’; it’s about the benefits of our work for others. Now there’s a generous thing.

Rebecca Hartnell supports individuals into finding their passions, and living a life of purpose and meaning. Visit her website at Daemon Career Coach Bristol for more information and to arrange a consultation.

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Website Conversion. The Important Elements You Are Missing.

In a 2014 study, 96 per cent of respondents admitted that website design is an important factor when they are considering whether or not to purchase a product or service from an online business. Now, take a minute to really look at your website before answering the following question. What does your website design say about your online business?

What Constitutes a Well Designed Website?
According to a Google study, the more simple your website design, the better. Potential consumers want to be able to find the product or information they are looking for quickly. If your webpage is too busy or flashy, cluttered with unrelated text or products, or includes unrelated sidebar ads, it puts consumers off. An astonishing 100 per cent of respondents in the 2014 study revealed they had left a website because it was too difficult to use or poorly designed. 53 per cent said they left sometimes, while 47 per cent admitted they left frequently.

website conversion

A well designed website has content that is fresh and up-to-date. It goes without saying that customers expect business websites to contain the newest information regarding its company, products, and services. If it doesn’t, customers will assume one of two things. One, your company has gone out of business and you failed to take down the website. Two, you just aren’t innovative and lag behind your competition. In either instance, a potential customer will leave your site with no intention of returning.

In addition, all business websites should have a clear call to action. If not, you will lose innumerable opportunities to turn visitors to your website into actual paying customers. Having done some core research into websites that meet this important need we found only a handful for each country and industry that are doing a great job. Ironically, web masters and builders do not necessarily know that an attractive site is not a converting site. So we focused in on web agencies to find out more. In our research we focused on the UK web creative industry, using all of the major cities to compare. Finding the businesses with Google’s aid was easy by using keywords like web agency in London and web design in Bristol. We scouted the top 6 major UK cities and found only a handful of page 1 sites using effective calls to action.

What Do Potential Customers Pay Attention To?
Potential customers are much more perceptive than you might think. For example, if your website contains the following flaws, they are more likely to walk away.

Grammar: When it comes to website designing, it is imperative that you proofread your content. When your site features misspelled words, incorrect verb usage, or other obvious grammatical errors, 59 per cent of consumers will avoid doing business with you.

Self Build With Content Management Systems: In most cases, a potential customer’s first experience with your business is through your website. First impressions are 94 per cent design related. If you have little to no experience with website design, will you be able to create a website that captures their attention and gives off a good first impression?

Photos: Customers can easily spot stock photography and 87 per cent of them believe that stock photos make your website look cheap. It’s important that your online business website include images that really support your message gives visitors the right perception of your business.
Links: If your links do not direct customers to the right spot or are dead, customers lack trust in your abilities, which often leads them away from your website.

For an online business to achieve high levels of success, they must have a website that inspires confidence and trust in their products or services. Does your website do this?


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Drug and Alcohol Rehabs. Businesses or Charities?

According to the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (NDTMS), 193,198 clients attended an inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program between 2013 and 2014 in the UK. These clients had the option of attending a private rehab centre or a NHS rehab facility. Regardless of which program they attended, these programmes are businesses and not a charity. However, there are a few charity drug rehabs in the UK, but it can be very difficult to get a spot in their recovery program.

Private Drug Rehab Programmes in the UK
When someone enters a private drug rehab facility, they either have to pay for it out of their own pocket or use their private insurance. The average cost of a 7-10 day detox, including detox medications, therapy, and room and board is around £2000, while a 28 day residential program typically costs around £4000-6000. However, this price can be substantially higher depending on luxurious the centre is. In some cases, an addict can be admitted into a private facility in as little as 24 hours. Typical examples of private rehabilitation centers are Bristol and The Priory.

rehabilitation centre

NHS Drug Rehab Program
UK residents do have the opportunity to receive treatment free of charge through a NHS rehab program. Funded by the government, these programmes can be just as effective as private rehabs, though they are not as easy to be accepted into. However, it tends to take considerably longer to be accepted into this type of program and there is no guarantee that someone will be admitted to an inpatient rehab centre. Instead, they may be sent to several different clinics throughout the area for various treatments, depending on their drug of choice. For example, someone who is struggling with opiates is likely to be sent to inpatient treatment because withdrawal tends to be very difficult. However, someone who is addicted to marijuana is more likely to be sent to outpatient services due to the relatively easy withdrawal.

In the event a person is admitted into an inpatient centre, they should understand that they will receive basic treatment and therapy. NHS programmes do not offer the complementary therapies, such as art and equine therapy that are commonplace in private drug rehab centres.

Charity Drug Rehab Programmes in the UK
Charity drug rehab programmes receive their funding entirely through private donations from corporations and individuals. Because they rely completely on others for funding, availability is very limited, making these programmes extremely difficult to get into. However, they are well worth the effort it usually takes to be accepted into these programmes. They usually offer the same high-quality therapy and care that is provided in private rehab centres for little to no charge.

Charity programmes operate both inpatient and outpatient clinics. The Amy Winehouse Foundation has a list of charity drug rehab centres located in the UK.

For anyone struggling with addiction, a drug rehab centre, whether inpatient or outpatient, is crucial for recovery. However, it is important to remember that unless a drug rehab centre is clearly listed as a charity, it is a business with the goal of making money.

WesternCounselling is listed in

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Discussing Business in the Removals Industry

Their Online Presence is a Game Changer

For moving or removal companies who want to grow, a strong social media presence can be exactly what you need to stand out from the competition. Of course, there is much more to social media than simply posting photos on Facebook of the first-class lorries or vans your company just purchased. From frequently engaging with customers to posting relevant and informative blog posts, developing and implementing an effective social media marketing strategy gives removal companies the opportunity to significantly increase their business. The following takes a look at how these companies can use social media to their advantage for gaining home moving customers.

removal companies

Image Source: Removals Bristol | we like 2 move it

Customer Engagement
Moving companies who regularly engage with customers on their social media sites enhance their reputation in the eyes of both current and prospective clients. One of the best things a moving company can do is simply listen and be available when someone inquires about their relocation products and services. In fact, 51 per cent of consumers who report they have asked a question via social media expect a response, preferably within one hour. They also state that engagement makes them look more favorably at the business.

Engaging Facebook Posts
Customers frequently like for removal companies to post relevant blogs/ articles or entertaining personal stories. However, they prefer something short and sweet, as opposed to long winded. Shorter Facebook posts get 23 per cent more interaction. Even better, keeping posts below 250 characters can increase your engagement by 60 per cent. Here’s a quick and easy idea. On Throwback Thursday, post a short story about something funny that happened during a move. If you have a picture, add it. Articles and posts with visual images get 94 per cent more views than those without them.

Stay Away From Sales Pitches on Social Media
Social media is all about connecting with others, being enlightened or entertained, and having a bit of fun. In a recent poll, consumers admitted that they didn’t like sales pitches all over social media. They prefer entertaining content that makes them laugh or think about something.

Twitter Can Successfully Attract Clients
Millions of individuals access Twitter every day, which gives moving companies the perfect opportunity to attract new business. It’s important to send out Tweets that keep your audience engaged and even spark conversations. For example, Tweet out an interesting fact about moving, such as just 1 in 5 people end up living more than 200 miles away from where their first house was located. Follow it up with a question, such as “Do you?” 70 per cent of people re-tweet because they like a business’s content. You are bound to reach a few new followers, and potential customers, this way.

Using social media to network and market relocation services and products is relatively new to the removal and storage industry, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an extremely effective way to promote and grow your company. As an added bonus, you’ll be ahead of your competition who haven’t yet broken into social media.

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