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What to Ask Before Buying a Summer House

What to Ask Before Buying a Summer House

Buying a summer house is a significant investment and requires some research upfront. You need to make sure that the summer house you are purchasing, meets your needs. There is nothing worse than purchasing a house for a significant amount of money only to realize that it was not the right choice.

There are so many companies online selling summer houses, that it can really make your head spin. Most of these companies are open and transparent, but there are others that are not as forthcoming.

These companies will try to hide information, hoping that you buy from them strictly due to the price. When presented with these situations, you should remember that most things that sound too good to be true probably are. To make sure that you buy the best summer house for your needs these are the questions that you should be asking.

Are The Summer Houses On Display?

Summer houses come in so many quality variations, that viewing them before buying is important. This helps you review the quality and gives you piece of mind that you are dealing with a reputable company. You should always ask if viewing a display is an option. If you cannot view the summer house in person, the company should offer significant pictures and schematics online.

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Is Delivery and Assembly Extra?

Most people do not look forward to building a summer house. There is no doubt, that it is hard work. A company may not offer free assembly and claim it is easy to put one together, but we all know that is just not true.

Some people may be very handy and enjoy assembling large projects. Just remember that you are making a significant investment and you need to be sure that the job is done right. A leaky roof can sabotage your entire house. Free delivery and professional assembly is always a nice benefit.

What Quality is the Timber?

Timber comprises the bulk of the cost for a summer house. A summer house with good quality timber is important because it will last a lot longer, than one made with cheap timber. Cheap timber may be alright for indoor furniture, but it really performs poorly outdoors.

Redwood is the higher quality and whitewood is cheaper. Redwood lasts longer because it retains sap in the wood, producing a waxy type feel. Whitewood is prone to dryness and frequently has knots that drop out. Make sure the company you are using is not using cheap timber to cut costs.

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Are The Floor and Roof Made From Timber?

Cheap summer houses frequently use chipboard, oriental strand board, wafer board or cheap plywood for the roof and floor. This is not a good option for outdoor use. These types of boards start to disintegrate when they get wet. This greatly reduces their lifespan.

A keyword you should look for is a company saying they are using “sheet material” for floors and roofs. This may sound fancy, but they are really trying to hide the fact that they are using cheap materials.

 Are you Able to Choose the Size and Style?

You might be fine with the standard shape and size, but having a customized option is always nice. It is no fun to spend a lot of money and still have to compromise on the design of your summer house.

Unfortunately, many web based stores offer a limited number of sizes and styles. The best companies will offer a wide variety that are able to best suit your needs and desires.

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How Tall Are the Buildings?

You need to know the building height and whether the sizes are internal or external. The best manufacturers ensure a decent internal height. You do not want to run the risk of ending up with a summer house that is only suitable for a tiny person.

How Thick is The Framing?

The frame represents the strength of the building. To maintain a strong frame, it needs to be thick. The ideal framing is at least 2″ x 2″ (nominal) internal framing. This will help your summer house withstand even the most brutal weather.

Many of the cheaper companies sell summer houses with framing that is 1″ x 1″. Again, the cheaper quality is not worth the money you save.

What is the Warranty?

Your summer house should come with a standard warranty. Unfortunately, many companies have started to offer 10 year warranties that sounds great, but have such restrictive conditions, that they are unlikely able to be used.

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Many companies do not even post the details of these conditions for you to see. Make sure you read the warranty and understand the limitations prior to purchase.

Where and How are the Summer Houses Made?

If the summer house is made in Europe, then there can be more control of the manufacturing process and usually more shapes and styles to choose from. When the buildings are made in bulk, the price can be lower, but the quality may also suffer. It is always ideal to have your summer house manufactured just for you.

Conclusion

These are a lot of questions but a summer house is also a significant investment. It is important to do your homework to make sure that you spend your money wisely. There are too many companies out there who are eager to take advantage of unsuspecting customers, to make a quick buck.

The best way to avoid this reality, is to find a trusted company with a great reputation and ask them the questions outlined above. This will ensure that you find the perfect high quality summer house for your taste and needs.

Featured photo credit: Summerhouse24 via Summerhouse24.co.uk

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Vikas Agrawal

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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