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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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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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