How to install a USB socket

There is no doubt how useful and practical a USB socket is. Many of us now have extensions which offer USB ports. However why not go the full stretch and convert some of your sockets in strategic parts of your house?

How to install a USB socket
DIY USB sockets

Difficulty installing USB sockets?

Many of us think that it is difficult. They look complicated and advanced. However installing a USB socket is quite easy. We have teamed up with Electricians Electrical Installationz to offer a step by step guide on installing these USB sockets. This can be found here: A step by step guide to installing USB sockets.

If you require a Tradesman then please get in touch on 07999533314.

Have a nice day!

Should you charge your battery overnight?

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Most people plug their phone in overnight. Simply because its the longest time period where you won’t use it. Taskaway have teamed up with Electrical Installationz – quality Electricians serving the West Midlands. They have put together a great blog on charging you phone overnight. Along with some great safety tips for charging your phone in general.

Please check out the full blog here!

Safety Advice for charging your mobile phone

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Shed vs. Summerhouse

The shed has always been a standard feature in the majority of gardens in the UK. We dump our tools in there, we dump clothes in there, or some of us arrange our things very nicely in there. But things are changing, sheds are no more a standard feature. Sheds are normally the area of the house the man can use to store items related to his hobbies. For example a model railway set or a miniature pub.

 

The summer house has never been as popular as the shed until this point. Right now there is serious competition. It is attracting more men who are happy to store the tools wherever they can indoors in order to benefit from an additional outdoor room that improves the value of the home. It also extends the time that you can spend in the garden each year. It can be used as a casual office, a play area, or even an area to dine in.

Deciding on whether you want to have a summerhouse or a shed depends on what you actually want to do in your garden. Thus we recommend start with what you need. Then it will become clear which road you should take. Either way as with any choice with the house we recommend you do your research as much as possible to get the best thing for your needs.

Prices go up in line with the size and with sturdiness. Most of these items will also need you to lay a shallow foundation beforehand. If you are unfamiliar with Summer Houses we recommend you visit a friends or families first in summer and in winter to understand how they function and check that they are right for you.

New Stamp Duty Rates Announced in Wales

Yes its finally happened. The Welsh government have announced changes to the Stamp Duty tax for homebuyers in the country. This article talks about the key differences and what it means for the people of Wales. These new rates will come into play in 2018.
First thing they have done is increased the first stamp duty threshold from a house valuation of 125,000 to 150000. So now there is no stamp duty if you buy a house up to 150,000. So this is good news for first time home buyers. They can have more choice than previously and not expect to have to fork out 2% for stamp duty. We consider this a good move by the Welsh government.
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The next bracket of homes valued up to 250,000 are taxed at 2.5%. This is an increase of 0.5% compared to the current tax rate. So this is sad news for potential buyers in this bracket.
As previously purchases between 250,000 and 400,000 are taxed at the same rate of 5%. So if you are purchasing houses within this range you are not affected by the changes in Stamp Duty.
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However houses above 400,000 will be charged a stamp duty of 7.5%. This is up from 5% in the current situation. And things then get worse if you are earning between 750,000 and 925,000. In the current plan this group would be taxed at 5%, but going forward in the new plan this tax has doubled to 10%.
Finally and quite strangely it seems that for houses above 1.5m there has been no change in tax.
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So overall we see a tax breaks for the houses between 125,000 and 150,000. Which is very much welcomed. This falls in line with the average house price in Wales which is saif to be around 150,000. Hence this is considered a strong and affective move. However it seems that the middle to upper class striving to own a home between 400,000 and 925,000 is a lot worse off under this new system. Especially if you are purchasing a house between 750,000 and 925,000. Finally as they saying goes ‘The fat cats always seem to win’. Houses above £1.5m are not affected, no increase, and no decrease. They still pay 12% as normal.
Are you affected by these changes? If so please get in touch we would love to hear from you!

5 tips for when you are viewing a house to buy

Buying a house is very exciting, but buying a house is also scary for many. It’s sort of like having a tattoo. Something you can change but you have to go through a lot of effort, so it’s best to make the right decision first! This article give you tips when you are going to view a house to buy. Use these then thank me later!

 

1) View the property in bad weather

Anywhere can look good on a glorious summer day. That’s why it’s called a glorious summer day! But when it’s a bit miserable outside you want to know that the house will still smile at you when you get home after a hard day at work! So it’s a good idea to view the property in bad weather.

2) Don’t be shy

Follow your instincts. Ask whatever question comes to your head. It’s better to find out now then to find out that the noise was actually a leak coming from the roof after you bought the property! This is going to be your pride and joy so ask all the questions you want. There are no stupid questions!

3) Pay attention to location

The property may be close to a train track. Ask yourself what this means. The property may be close to a football stadium, ask yourself what this means. The property may be very far from a bus stop, ask yourself what this means. Ask yourself as many questions about the location as possible. Think about the different scenarios possible.

4) Look for a south-facing or east/west facing property

What is a south facing or east/west facing property? It’s a property which gets some sunlight. You don’t want to be in a house like Golem (the character from Lord of the Rings). No you want to have some sunlight so you can pop the kettle on and be proud. Ask the homeowner about it, take your compass with you, but make sure you get to the bottom of the sunlight situation!

5) Check the parking

Just check the parking. You don’t want to faff about every evening getting a parking space. Check the parking and specifically ask the question.

 

Lighting ideas for your bedroom

In the day you want a light bedroom. In the evening you may want a light bedroom still. At night you want a dark bedroom. In the early hours of the morning you may want a dark bedroom, but this last scenario is personal choice. This article gives tips on bedroom lighting.

 

Lighting controls with smart phone

Get up to date with the new technology. The technology is there to make our lives easier. It’s the middle of the night and the baby wakes up. A swipe of your phone could get the lights on for you without you having to move out of the bed! There are numerous scenarios where smart phone lighting comes in handy. So consider this option.

Consider LED Spotlights

Spotlight LEDs ensure that the whole room is lit evenly if implemented effectively. LEDs are an efficient way to illuminate your room and you can purchase them in the majority of furniture shops or supermarkets. However sometimes LEDs can be difficult to replace in comparison to the standard bulbs that you just have to unscrew. Nevertheless LEDs are an important option to consider.

Think about the Novels

You may read every day. Or you may hardly read at all. But there comes a time in everyone’s life when they come across a novel that they can’t put down. You get into your bed and you have no choice but to continue reading. You are too excited and are enjoying it too much. Think about these situations when choosing your lights. Get something that is easy to switch off and that gives you enough light without you having to strain your eyes.

Be You

Don’t forget that it’s your bedroom. This is your personal space. This is the area of the house which is totally private. So be yourself. If there is something wacky that you would like then go with something wacky. Don’t be anyone but yourself in this circumstance. It’s important that in your bedroom you can feel relaxed and you have a clear sense of ownership.

10 Marketing Tips for Waste Clearance businesses in 2017

This article lists 10 marketing tips for waste clearance businesses in 2017. Please note that if you are not yet signed up to the Taskaway App you are already missing out on potential customers!

1.      Image is Key for waste clearance

Ever looked at a plate of food and thought ‘That doesn’t look nice I’m not eating that!’? Well it’s the same for your business. You want customers to look at your business and straight away see that you provide quality and that you are trustworthy. So if you are creating flyers, make sure they are decent quality, clear and concise. If you have a van, make sure the van is clean, and it clearly articulates what your business does. If you have a website, make sure your website has a respectable name, a good layout, and is easy to understand. You don’t want a customer to look at any of your content and say ‘that looks old’ or ‘that doesn’t look nice’.

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2.      “Tell your friends about our waste clearance business”

No, I don’t mean tell your friends! I mean ask customers to tell their friends. Word of mouth will always be one of the most effective methods of marketing. Sometimes in this world if you don’t ask you don’t get. A trick which can be used is to buy promotional items that you can give to your customers, which they can then pass on. For instance, I used to give away pens to my customers which contained my companies logo. I would then sometimes receive calls from their friends who may have borrowed their pen. Simple things like this make a difference and can help you secure your next job without even trying!

3.      SMS Marketing

So a friend of mine did some plumbing for me. When he arrived at the scene he assessed the work and asked me to fill in a few contact details. I filled in the form which included my phone number. I didn’t have an issue filling out the contact information as I was a customer of his. Your customers are likely to think in the same fashion. A few months later I received a text message asking if I would like my boiler to be serviced. Although I didn’t accept as my boiler had recently been serviced I can see that this technique was very powerful. It probably was largely automated from his side. Also, even though I didn’t want my boiler to be serviced, if a friend was looking for a plumber I was much more likely to recommend him as he was in the forefront of my mind. Implementing SMS into your marketing plan can really help start conversations which lead to more business.

4.      Facebook Posts

As you might already be aware, Facebook is a powerful marketing tool. The question is: How can I use Facebook to market my waste clearance business? The trick with Facebook is to begin by posting good quality and relevant content as regular as you can. So if you are a plumber, post a picture of yourself in a kitchen working. Or post a pick of yourself digging up a burst pipe. The trick is to post things that you may see as an everyday activity with some text describing what you are doing. If you do this regularly you will notice that people on your Facebook list will begin to contact you when they need a plumber. There are many schools of thought that talk about posting everyday, or three times a day, however this is not recommended. The number one rule is to post good quality images that tell a story about how you approach your trade.

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Marketing waste clearance businesses on Linkedin

5.      Linkedin

Many builders I know think that Linkedin is just for professionals who work in an office. They don’t know that you can use LinkedIn to get more customers for Waste Clearance businesses. I’ve heard it too many times and in some ways it Is true. Yes there are a lot of office workers on Linkedin. But aren’t these prospective customers? There are also business owners on Linkedin, maybe they are also prospective customers. The density of content is a lot less on Linkedin so you find that your posts go a lot further. Also posting with just text can be a lot more effective on Linkedin than on other platforms. Posting a picture with some text can do wonders. Make sure you have a professional looking Linkedin Account with a professional photo, and with a good profile description.

6.      Use Taskaway

Taskaway is designed to get you leads. If you are a Tradesmen and you are not on Taskaway I would recommend you download the App and get on straight away. You can list your services on the app and they appear whenever a local customer searches for them. Homeowners looking for Tradesmen go straight to Taskaway as its quick and very easy to use. You can chat with the homeowners through the app, and they also leave feedback which helps build your profile.

7.      Yell.com

If you haven’t already I would suggest using Yell.com. Some of the older customers still use the yellow pages and there really isn’t any point missing out a demographic which may need your help!

8.      Great Customer Service

People think that this is a way of doing business but also it forms part of the service you are providing. Turn up to your appointments early, don’t get appointments mixed up. Be clear and transparent about anything that is going wrong or anything that has went wrong. These simple points will encourage customers to spread the message about your business, as these are the things that customers respect and appreciate.

9.      Google ads

Some say that Google AdWords are difficult to be successful with. If you are just starting out then there are a few concepts you have to learn but once you There is a myth that you have to spend a lot of be successful. My advice is to have a very clear goal for what you want to achieve, and be as specific as possible when targeting prospective customers. Review the campaigns regularly and if they are not making you money after a few months then cancel them.

10. Flyers

Flyers work. People keep flyers that they think may be useful in the future. There are times when I have implemented a campaign involving flyers and it’s surprising how many people may not contact you straight away, but they will contact you. With suppliers you can target specific geographical areas with ease. Also a trick is to sometimes deliver the flyers yourself in the late afternoon/evening. Delivering flyers yourself gives you the opportunity to meet prospective customers face to face. Finally consider having a promotion on your flyers. Offering small discount for referring a friend can encourage prospective customers to be your ambassadors.

This article lists 10 marketing tips for waste clearance businesses in 2017. Please note that if you are not yet signed up to the Taskaway App you are already missing out on potential customers! I hope you enjoyed the article. Please follow our blog to get additional information. Alternatively get in touch with us at info@taskaway.co.uk.

Tips for preventing and treating clothes moths

We’ve all had clothes with moths in before. It’s not nice and there are things you can do to treat them. This article lists 5 easy tips for preventing and treating clothes moths.

  1. Lavender

Clothes moths really hate lavender. There is the first and best tip! Get on to the lavender craze. It’s a great way of preventing clothes moths. There are different products you can get but start with one at least and see how it goes!

 

  1. Pheromone traps

Animals are animals. Insects are insects. These moths are attracted to pheromones so you can use that to your advantage. Capture them in sticky pheromone traps. Then you just pass by with the vacuum cleaner and pat yourself on the back.

  1. Wood or laminate flooring

Wood and laminate flooring is a lot cleaner. Less area for the moths to hide. Easier to spot dust in general. Then you sweep and mop the floor after. Obviously don’t put tonnes of water on it but enough to get rid of the dust. This will help prevent the moths from hanging around. Also less dust is always better.

  1. Replace your wardrobe with chain mail and suits of armor

Moths can’t eat metal. So many moth fighters are going down the route of metal wardrobes. Listen I didn’t want to put this one in, because I like my classic wardrobes. However a lot of people are doing this so now you know!

  1. Vacuum storage bags

Everyone should know about vacuum storage bags. You fill these bags with clothes you don’t use very often then use a special vacuum to suck all the air out. It shrinks the contents and stops the moths from coming in.

  1. Sprays

Obviously you can spray! Come on guys do I need to tell you this! Actually pointing out the obvious is important. However we don’t want to be spraying our house all day every day. So try the above first before using spray to get rid of the moths.


 

A guide to garden water features

Whether it is warm or cold outside I look in my garden and I am proud of my water feature. In fact, I am very proud. The slight patter of the water as it hits the surface, it acts as a mirror to the sun. And also it attracts a lot of wildlife, giving m garden a lot of character. I’ve worked with many homeowners over the years and it appears that more and more people are realizing the benefits of a water feature now more than ever.

But with anything in life diving in is not always the best answer. In this article we give you a few points to consider when planning out your water feature.waterFeature2

Water feature safety

Safety first is always key. So think about who will be using your garden. Do you have small children or toddlers? If so maybe it’s best to wait a couple of years until they are old enough to understand the dangers. Does your next door neighbor have any small children? If so this may not be a factor stopping you from implementing a water feature, however you may want to speak to your neighbor just in case the kids decide to wander over!

You can use a fence as a control and this is what the majority of people do. And also another option is to use a fence. Otherwise maybe if you go for something like a bubble fountain it may be a less risky option.

Choosing a featurewaterFeature

It’s not always straight forward when choosing a water feature. This is something you don’t want to rush. Sometimes the idea may come to your head straight away. For others it may take months of research and conversations with the wife or husband. A goof gardener can help you decide, especially from a practical perspective. Generally it comes down to taste and style, however there are other practical things you must know. For instance, the size and types of filter you may need, and how deep to dig. The list goes on, get a gardeners advice!

Pond maintenance

waterefeature3Most water features generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. However if you have a pond it’s slightly a different story. The more fish you have the more quickly your pond will become dirty. It’s good to have a clean pond in general. Doing small things such as using a skimmer to remove the leaves and cleaning the filter will determine how often you need to clean it. Keeping plants in the waters should save you some cleaning as they compete with the algae for sunlight.