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Window shades with a view to energy efficiency

The best-dressed windows serve a valuable dual purpose of keeping the winter chill at bay and blocking harsh sunlight at the height of summer. But they should also enhance and blend with your interior style in a cost-effective and energy-efficient way. Dream drapes that frame a realistic outlook  Designer drapes needn’t cost the earth, nor contain non-natural materials that are used at the expense of the environment.  Bamboo blinds fit the bill. They are not only affordable, portable, can be…

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Investing in time is your biggest windfall

Shop around. These two words describe the best possible philosophy in any sphere of real estate — be it buying, building, renovating, searching for a mortgage or insurance, or simply choosing an agent to sell your home.  And while it’s easier said than done, each of these requirements will take time and energy to carry out. But it’s worth remembering that your efforts will be rewarded many times over in terms of self-satisfaction, presentation and many happy returns.  The 'keep…

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Your property inspection checklist: must-take items

Augmented-reality technology and pandemic restrictions are quickly changing the way we buy, sell and rent property.  But for an initial property inspection, wherever and whenever possible, it pays to adopt a hands-on approach.  In addition to the areas that should be covered in every home inspection, we also recommend a grab bag of useful tools to help you gain the full measure of your summation.  Access all areas Whether you start from the ground up or descend from the roof…

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Working with nature to help property values thrive

If you’re planning to put your property on the market, the importance of presentation cannot be overemphasised — and never more so than in the garden.  An appealing outdoor zone and landscaped gardens can hugely increase the value of a home, which is why prospective sellers should start putting their green thumbs to good use now.  This is why: A tidy sum An independent real estate agent survey estimated that more than 40 per cent of estate agents believe manicured…

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How building with passive design adds value

Homes built for the future encompass increasingly popular passive design principles. From green ratings and solar energy to orientation, insulation and glazing, constructing a certified passive-design property is not only an exercise in cost-cutting and energy efficiency, but it can also add resale value.  Passive principles Buildings built in accordance with the Passive House (Passivhaus, a concept developed for Germany's cold climates to ensure the highest level of thermal comfort with minimal energy input) standard are said to be the…

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