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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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