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Essential Guide to Planning a Loft Conversion

A loft conversion is a great way to add both living space and value to your home. Many well-planned UK lofts increase the value of a property by up to 20 per cent. Whether you outgrew your current home or plan on selling in the future, follow this guide to make sure your loft conversion cost goes as planned.

Is There Enough Space?

Before you start tearing down walls, you need to make sure you have enough space in the roof for a loft. To do this, you’ll need to measure the internal height, roof pitch, and footprint. The height (from the ceiling to the apex) needs to be at least 2,500mm. Roof pitch angle will determine the central head height. You want the footprint to be 5,500mm from side to side and 7,500mm from front to back. Make sure you are careful to take accurate measurements, as a few mistakes now may cause delays in the building process.

What Is the Purpose of Your Loft?

Every homeowner uses their loft conversion for a different purpose. Identifying how you will use the space will help you come up with a building plan and layout. For example, if you want to create guest accommodations, you may also need to add a bathroom. An additional playroom for the kids just needs enough open space to run around. When designing a loft, make sure your layout provides as much usable space as possible.

Do You Need Permissions?

You need to check with your local council to see if you need to obtain any building permissions before you start your conversion. Often, you can complete a loft under permitted development rights. Those living in an attached home will also have to speak with their neighbours to get a party wall agreement. This document will cost anywhere from £800-1000, depending on your location.

How Do You Choose a Tradesman?

Installing a loft conversion is a long and tedious process. Unless you have professional building experience, you’ll want to hire a tradesperson to do the work for you. You have a few choices when it comes to finding a builder. Many homeowners decide to hire an architect, especially if they want a one-of-a-kind loft layout. They will not only prepare your design, but an architect will also help you obtain permissions and find a skilled builder. Another option is to hire an experienced builder. If you want a basic loft, this route will save you money.

What About the Small Details?

Remember, every loft conversion is different from the next. Before you sign off on a design or choose a tradesperson, always get at least three quotes. You should also consider other issues you may face along the way. For example, if you want to install a new bath, you may need to upgrade the plumbing in your home. It would help if you also considered where you want to place the stairs, ensuring you have enough space on both the ground floor and the loft. Finally, don’t overlook insulation. Unless you want to feel the draught of a cold UK winter, you need to make sure you have high-grade insulation for both the walls and floor of your conversion. A custom loft conversion will provide you with much-needed living space. Not only will your family be able to enjoy the room now, but you can also expect to get more money if you ever decide to sell your property. Following these simple steps will ensure the planning of your loft goes smoothly.

10 Reasons Why Having A Credit Card For Business Is A Good Idea

As a small business owner, you’ve probably been inundated with offers to take out small business credit cards. You may have resisted for fear of taking debt out on your business, but this is great because it can be a good idea, as they enable you to have a revolving line of credit and increase your purchasing power.

Here are some good reasons why you might want to consider a credit card for your business.

Separating business and personal expenses

As a small company or a solo entrepreneur, you may end up using your personal card for things that you should be putting on your business expenses. For such small business expenses, you want your business credit card as it makes it easy for record-keeping, and allow you to pay off on a monthly basis.

Building your business credit score

If at any point in the future you want to take out some finance to expand your business, or if you require working capital, then having a business credit score can make things much easier. If you use your credit card responsibly and have low-interest rates, then it can be a pretty painless process, and you can build for the future for your credit score at the same time.

Save some time

Business credit cards can be pretty useful when it comes to record-keeping. Some of the providers these days have some advanced technology that does automatic record-keeping and can help you manage your expenses much more easily than using a bank account.

Understand and control employee spending

A business credit card enables you to have different cardholders and so see exactly what people are spending in real-time through your business. You can set individual limits for different people, and you can make sure that people aren’t spending on things that they should be spending on.

Convenience

Business credit cards are really convenient. They make it easy to access extra funds, make payments and are, of course, are a very cheap line of credit.

Making taxes simpler

If you have all your expenses for your credit cards, rather than having to consolidate personal accounts, bank accounts and personal credit cards, it makes tax time much easier. You know exactly where you are each month with your cash flow, and you can easily reconcile your credit card information into tax software for expense calculations.

Business credit limits

If you have a strong business, then your business credit card limit is high. This can make business credit cards are a very good way of making purchases at low-interest rates and paying back the following month or over a short period.

Of course, if you intend to use a credit card this way, you should first know the value of your business to determine if you can get such a high limit on your business card.

Easy sweeping from your business account

Business credit cards often make it easy to pay off your monthly balance by sweeping from your business account. This means that the process is hands-free and really simple.

Understandably, some people are reticent about taking credit out in their business. However, if you use credit responsibly it can build up your credit profile, add some flexibility to your business and make things a bit easier when it comes to reporting and so much more.

He loves it, he loves it not. The Moscow-London story of Mikhail Fridman

In 2019, Mikhail Fridman was named the richest Londoner by the Forbes. He is a UK tax resident, and the 10th richest person in the country according to the Times. Yet he is a Russian tycoon with close ties to the Kremlin… or is he?

It has been widely discussed that Fridman has been trying to distance himself from Russia in general and Russian political powers in particular for several year now. In 2013 he sold his largest  Russian asset (TNK-BP oil producer), set up a Luxemburg based investment company LetterOne, and moved to London. For the past couple of years, he has also become very vocal about leaving Russia behind and doing business predominantly in the West. Most of these statements appeared right about the time he got into the US ‘short-list’ of Kremlin-associated Russian nationals that sanctions may be imposed upon, but that may be a coincidence.

Fridman and his affiliated structures definitely feel the pressure to cut ties with the homeland: in April 2019, U.S. national security officials told Pamplona Capital Management, LetterOne’s investment manager, to sell its stake in Cofense Inc., a US cybersecurity firm used by major corporations, to prevent “active foreign involvement”; his Alfa-Group’s offer to buy an oil shelf deposit in Texas was declined a year before that.

It caused no surprise when last year, the Financial Times reported that Fridman had made another step away from Russia by attempting to sell Alfa-Bank, the largest privately owned commercial bank in the country and the absolute crown jewel of his business empire, to VTB and UniCredit. The attempt failed, and the businessman strongly denied it had ever been made.

He does business in the West all right. LetterOne’s oil and gas, technology and retail divisions have economic interests in several European countries – there is Dea in Germany, ZED and Dia in Spain (not all going well here, he is currently being accused of fraudulent insolvency and business corruption by Spanish prosecutors), Veon in the Netherlands, Turkcell in Turkey, Qvantel in Finland. There is also a telecom start-up FreedomPop in the US.

Yet, there is plenty of old and new business back in Russia. Interestingly, there is one that may be considered a Russian lookalike of the American Cofense Inc. Korund-M, a R&D and production enterprise develops secure computers for Russian state-owned structures (including those responsible for aviation and space programmes), and holds a license for developing weaponry.

Fridman’s A1 investment company bought 50% of Korund-M’s shares earlier this year via an affiliated company and is now being accused of attempted illegal takeover by its founder and director of 35 years Russian Academic Betelin.

Ironically, back at home Fridman is once again faulted for “active foreign involvement” in a strategic national defense enterprise because A1 is registered in Luxemburg. Sources in Russia say that since the ‘Kremlin dossier’ was published, Fridman’s local structures have been avoiding any contact with the national military forces not to anger the US, whether or not Fridman’s involvement in a Russian national defense enterprise will affect the way he is profiled in the US sanctions lists remains to be seen.

Prospects are becoming brighter for Osome

If you think that getting true recognition for professionalism in creating accounting software and resources from a giant like Xero is a usual thing, then you are greatly mistaken. To date only 30 companies in Singapore have been awarded such a high grading from the largest supplier of cloud-based software.

Osome now have the exceedingly privileged status from Xero; thanks to their inclusion in the list of the most professional software providers related to financial, accounting, and tax activities in Singapore, Hong Kong, and now in the UK. The company has engaged in the development of high quality software over the last few years and their successes and innovations, in many ways, have lead to becoming one of the most reliable and promising leaders in their field.

Xero have not given the company this high evaluation without reason; but because the global software giant is well versed in seeking the potential of young companies such as Osome.

Osome provide stable and efficient operative programs based on their own software. With these apps, entrepreneurs can track their documentation in a very clear and timely way. If you do business in Singapore, Hong Kong, or within the UK, this supplier are able to help organise the entire business process a company will encounter. To do this, the provider offers online chat services, where entrepreneurs can send any documentation securely. The information will be processed and distributed according to the needs of business customers.

Today, thanks to the cloud capabilities of the Internet, the processing of accounting documents with Osome is extraordinarily fast and secure. Cooperation of the company on producing such programs for small and medium-sized businesses with the participation of the largest leaders of the IT industry, such as Xero, open unprecedented prospects for further development.

That time of year again: your essential holiday season SEO checklist

Ah, Christmas! Tis the season of joy, harmony and hopefully a steady uphill ranking for your website. Anyone in the world of SEO knows that the best present that they could get is a top spot on page 1 of Google’s search results. So, before you relax and unwind from the madness of Google’s constant updates, it’s time for you to consider your holiday check list. Have you done everything that you want to for this Christmas season’s SEO?

Holiday Marketing Scheme

As it is the Christmas period, one of the most important things you can do for your SEO is focus on your holiday email marketing campaigns. Around this time of year, businesses everywhere are going to be using newsletters and email signups to promote special deals to their clients, as well as promote a direct link to their website and gain some organic traffic. So, have you jumped on the bandwagon? Remember that with any sort of seasonable campaign, you are not only encouraging your clients to engage with your brand because you have a fantastic deal on offer for them, but you are also personalising your deal for them to humanize your brand.

The more personal your email marketing campaigns are, the more positive interaction you will gain from your audience. So, it’s worth pursuing!

Social Media Posts

When it comes to using any sort of digital marketing services for SEO, they will recommend that the holidays are a great way of adding some fun to your brand. Put the content creators at your business to work by asking them to create a social media campaign that incorporates humour, Christmas and most importantly your brand. Create some fun videos, gifs and collaborations with your competition or competitions for your audience to enjoy in order to reel in those sweet clicks. Just make sure that the ads do make sense and are personal to your campaign. Having weird, indescribable content can only get you so far when it comes to getting the attention of your clientele!

“Season up” your website

You want to show Google that your website is always active, right? After all, constant updates are a great way to show that your information is always being added to and that you deserve to be shown to new clients. Well, if you really want to show your customers you take the holiday season seriously, why not update your website with a Christmas layout or theme? If you add a touch of festivity to your website, your visitors will more likely stay on your website for longer. This means that your bounce rate is more likely to go down. Try incorporating some Christmas colours, including in your ads or “special offer” sections. If you show that you are connecting to the season, then this will humanize your brand and make you appear like you are trying to genuinely reach out to your audience. Your clients will appreciate this. Just don’t forget to change your website back to its usual style once the Christmas season is over.

Convert Your Old VHS To DVD Now Before Its Too Late

They can be found abandoned and neglected in many closets, storerooms and garages across the nation. We’re talking about your old VHS tapes. Once cast aside as obsolete, they are enjoying new-found love thanks to a new generation of VHS to DVD converter software. Do you still have your old VHS tapes gathering dust at home? Now, by using VHS to DVD software, those old VHS tapes are enjoying a new lease of life.

Remember the “golden” age of VHS? This ushered in the generation that had a VCR in every home. It heralded a boom time for Friday or Saturday movie nights at home. 

VHS Allowed Anyone to Create Memories

It also allowed anyone to capture their magical memories and key moments on VHS tape thanks to inexpensive camcorders. No more struggling with complex film cameras, no more rolls of expensive 8mm film to process. 

In one affordable, easy to use, handheld video camera, suddenly capturing those sublime moments were within easy reach of anyone. But that was almost two decades ago.

As VCRs steadily disappeared from our home entertainment centres, our once treasured VHS tapes became unplayable and disappeared from our shelves. 

How The VHS Changed Our Lives

The introduction of the VHS had changed society. In 1982 few homes could afford VCRs. However, by 1986 nearly a third of homes owned a VCR. Hollywood movies were now being created not only for cinema release but also for release on VHS.

As the screen idol, Tony Curtis said in 1971, “you can plug whatever film you want to see into your television … a new form of entertainment.” 

Since 1986 the fundamental technology behind the VCR remained comparatively unchanged. However, manufacturers continued to introduce new features, which enhanced functionality and convenience.

Stereo sound and advanced programming were introduced. Today the VHS has been replaced first by its successor the DVD, which launched in 1997 and dominated the market after 2000, then by streaming services.

By 2006, the major U.S. film studios had ceased releasing new movie titles on the VHS format. On December 31, 2008, the last major supplier of pre-recorded VHS tapes in America shipped out its final truckload.

VHS Are Enjoying A New Lease Of Life

But that doesn’t mean the VHS format has completely disappeared. 

On eBay, Amazon, Facebook trading posts and other channels, collectors are actively dipping in and out of the market buying and selling videocassettes for prices that often reach into the hundreds of dollars.

Forget those flash Black Diamond” tapes or VHS Disney movies pushed out onto an indifferent market somewhere between 1984 and 1994 that is now rumoured to be selling for megabucks. 

They rarely achieve anything like those prices. Rather, VHS aficionados are more likely to plunk down their hard-earned cash for comparatively obscure horror movies, children’s’ content and genre content that either never received a DVD release in its time or strikes the right nostalgia or retro notes.

Memories Reach Across The Times

Then there are all those personal or family memories lurking on VHS tapes, just waiting to be rediscovered. With the best VHS to DVD converter, those memories can be as fresh as they were yesterday. 

Can you remember how valuable and precious those moments caught on your VHS tapes are? No? If you struggle to remember, let me remind you. On those VHS videos lies some of your most treasured family events, first baby steps, graduation ceremonies, celebrations, weddings and funerals.

Still, other VHS tapes hold our favourite movie classics, long-vanished TV programs, sitcoms and epic concerts. 

If you suspect those lost VHS tapes still lie gathering dust somewhere at home, you could just be wondering are those old videos retrievable?

Act Now Before Those Memories Vanish Forever

As the quote goes “the past has passed and can never be recalled.” This quote reflects a sad fact of life. However, people have stored billions of memorable events and momentous moments on VHS. 

Almost everyone can relate to a range of sweeping emotions triggered when we watch old videos. Those memories live and breathe as fresh as the day they were captured on tape.

As each day passes, your window for taking action shrinks. Your playable VHS will gradually degrade until one day they are unplayable. 

So, why not act now and preserve for future generations those old VHS tapes? Save your truly memorable occasions from the verge of destruction? Losing these treasured memories would be a sad loss not only for you but also for future generations. 

Take advantage of VHS to DVD converter software to bridge the gap between analogue and the digital era. Convert your VHS to DVD today before it is too late!

It’s All About Sharing 

Even if you happen to have a working VCR player at home, it’s not exactly easy to share all those wonderful memories “captured in the moment” with your family and friends, right?

Why? In the Facebook and Instagram era, sharing is digital. If your family and friends happen to be scattered across different geographies, it’s not like they can drop into your lounge for an extended video session.

Besides, most homes these days don‘t have a VHS player. As the years go by, sharing your memories becomes increasingly difficult. Soon, the VHS video player will be extinct and life will be lived in the cloud.

Unless those memories and treasured recordings are converted to a digital format they could be unrecoverable and thus lost to future generations. And that would be a tragedy.

That’s why VHS to DVD software is so essential to ensuring memories don’t vanish as technology evolves.

The Perils Of VCR Repair

One option to resurrecting all those old VHS tapes is to dig out that old VCR and have it repaired. However, the cost of repairing your VHS player is usually higher than the cost of buying a DVD player!

Moreover, aside from the economics, VHS repairers are now rare beasts and good ones are hard to find. Preserving your memories by converting your VHS to DVD is a fabulous gift for your future generations as well as saving you the headache of tracking down a VCR repairman.

Final Word

Now is the time to save your neglected VHS tapes. By using the best VHS to DVD converter, your old VHS tapes can enjoy a new lease of life. So, rather than leave those memories to gather dust, take advantage of a new generation of VHS to DVD converter software and bring your memories and treasured tapes to life once more.

7 Appliances worth investing in for your home

As technology advances year after year, there are more and more products that help simplify everyday chores and tasks. In fact, there are so many appliances and gadgets available, we sometimes take for granted how much they help in our everyday lives.

But, even though there is a gadget for everything doesn’t mean one can afford all of them. Which ones will be most beneficial? Which ones give the best bang for the buck? Well, why the precise answer varies for everyone, there are a few must-haves for any home.

Below are seven home appliances you absolutely need for your home.

Dishwasher

This one should be a no-brainer. Dishwashers simplify the one task everyone universally hates doing: cleaning the dishes. While most dishwashers don’t entirely prevent you from doing the task, they do save you time that would otherwise be spent scrubbing.

Modern dishwashers are more powerful than they have ever been before. Most of them come with several unique settings one can adjust based on the amount of dishes needing to be cleaned. Some of the best dishwashers even run at very low volumes compared to the competition.

Robotic Vacuum

An automated vacuum is another must-have if you are looking to avoid chores altogether. There have been many innovations in vacuum technology over the past few years. Cordless vacuums are incredibly popular and offer a lot of versatility while also being incredibly easy to use.

And then there are robotic vacuums, popularized by the Roomba and other popular brands. These little devices will roam around your house and automatically pick up any dirt and debris they find. Sure, they need to be changed out occasionally, but it is vastly simpler to maintain them than do a weekly cleaning routine with a manual vacuum cleaner.

Television

The living room is the heart of any home. After all, it’s where the family gathers for movie nights or where guests gather to watch the big game. That’s why having a quality TV can be so important.

It’s nice to have a device that can play the latest movies in all their glory. Plus, having a larger TV makes the viewing experience that much easier.

4K televisions are the standard at the moment, with HDR settings as an added bonus. The good news is the price of 4K TVs has plummeted over the past few years. Now you can pick one up on Amazon for as little as $300.

If you’re looking for the best of the best, though, you should look into an OLED TV. Just be prepared to pay a pretty penny for it.

Refrigerator

Yes, you probably already have a refrigerator. But, when was the last time you upgraded it? Many people don’t think about replacing their refrigerator until it finally goes out on them, but there are actually several reasons why you should look into upgrading soon.

For one, refrigerators today are far more energy-efficient than the ones from even a decade ago. Sure, they may cost a little upfront, but the amount of money saved over time on electric bills will greatly outweigh the initial cost.

Plus, most refrigerators offer more storage thanks to clever modern design tricks without making them bulkier than their older counterparts. Just make sure you get the measurements right before committing to one particular model.

Washer/Dryer

This is another appliance combo that homeowners likely already have, but it’s worth an upgrade for many of the reasons listed above. Energy efficiency has greatly improved over the last several years, and the added savings even out pretty quickly.

Plus the cost of washers and dryers has dramatically reduced over the past few years. So if you have been holding out for an upgrade, now is the prime time to do it.

If you are trying to save space, or don’t have a lot of space to spare, there are also several products on the market that serve as washer/dryer combos.

Lawn Mower

Don’t ever doubt how much a good lawn mower can do for you. If you’re still using a push mower from the 80s, it’s time to improve your quality of life.

Many push mowers today automatically accelerate to make the job easier. That means less effort on your end, even if you are still putting in the leg work.

If pushing isn’t something you’re interested in, there are also a bevy of mountable lawnmowers to choose from. Prices for these appliances have also reduced quite a bit in the past few years.

If you want to cut out mowing entirely, though, there are also several automated lawnmowers on the market. They act similarly to automated vacuum cleaners but are meant for another area of the home.

Humidifier/Dehumidifier

Do you have trouble sleeping at night or have irritating seasonal allergies? A dehumidifier may be the perfect way to combat that. Dehumidifiers pull excess moisture out of the air, which helps prevent the spread of allergens like mold, mildew, and dust mites.

On the other end, humidifiers add moisture into the air, which helps prevent dry skin and soothes scratchy throats. They can even help with stuffed sinuses and other cold and flu symptoms.

You’ll want one of each of these for the changing seasons, and having them will greatly improve the quality of the air you breathe.

Conclusion

There are many more appliances one can get for their home, but the items listed above are essential investments that anyone can benefit from. If you already own some of these products, it may be worth looking into newer models to find any new features or improved efficiency ratings.

Technology is always evolving, and so too are the products we regularly purchase. Keeping up with the times is a great way to reduce your electric bill and enjoy many of the comforts and luxuries modern appliances bring.

Once you have these new appliances, then you can start thinking about how to turn your house into a smart home.

How Do I Find a Trusted Tradesperson?

Before you allow someone to do any work at your house, it’s essential that you research their services to make sure you can trust them.

Spending a little bit of extra time learning about a tradesperson will ensure that you hire the right one for the job. Follow these tips to help you save money and prevent a few headaches in the process.

Search for approved traders online

With so many tradespeople bidding for your work, it’s often difficult to tell one apart from the next. Check professional memberships with different organizations to find approved traders in your area.

You can start by searching on your local council’s website. You may find the information you need under ‘approved traders’ or in the ‘Trading Standards’ section. To be included on this list, a tradesperson must show that they always follow the governing laws.

Trading schemes are another place to search. Look for a scheme that covers your area and see who they approve. You can also look up a prospective trader to make sure they’re really a member of a specific trading scheme.

A trading association can also match you with a tradesperson for a certain niche. Go online and look through their member list to find potential tradespeople that match your criteria.

Never begin work without a contract

Once you find a tradesperson, you may want to get started right away. However, before you do anything, you need to discuss the details of the job. During your brief, be clear about what you expect.

Find out which materials they will use and if you need to provide anything. Ask the tradesperson if they plan on subcontracting their work and whether they include this in the cost. You also need to find out about rubbish removal and clean-up.

Always have your tradesperson sign a legal contract, especially if you have a medium or large-sized project. With a contract, you can take legal action if they don’t complete the work or something goes wrong. Total cost and a payment agreement should also be included.

If a tradesperson asks for an advance payment, politely decline. Only pay for work as they complete it. However, if the trader needs to front the cost for materials, it is reasonable for them to have you pay a small percentage.

Double check local regulations

You don’t want to begin a project only to discover that it doesn’t meet local regulations. A building job, for instance, usually requires a compliance certificate. Your trader should be able to provide this certificate for you. Avoid any trader who is unable to certify their work.

What if a problem arises?

Even if you do everything right, you can still fall victim to a bad tradesperson. If this happens, you should register a complaint to the trade association or registration scheme of which they are a member.

The council reviews all complaints, whether it’s for a payment disagreement or substandard work quality. Trading Standards may get in touch to request more information. Don’t hesitate to report any trader who fails to do their job correctly. You may be able to prevent someone else from hiring them in the future.

Smart Ways to Future-proof Your Home

What do real estate professionals and architects mean when they speak of future-proofing a home? The term has several meanings, most of which pertain to any component that can be adapted for high-tech upgrades, enhances safety or has the ability to reduce energy consumption, not to mention could improve the value. In other words, future-proofing can include adding solar panels, in-home lifts or smart security systems. Here are the most popular ways homeowners are currently future-proofing their houses:

Install Solar Panels and Energy-efficient Windows

You need not spend a fortune to save a fortune. Placing a few indiscreet solar panels on your roof can be part of a broader strategy to reduce energy consumption year-round. Panels typically pay for themselves within about two years, require minimal maintenance and can deliver an added measure of electrical power even when the grid suffers an area-wide outage. Energy-efficient windows installed throughout the home can cut annual utility bills by as much as 20 percent, which means you can recoup your up-front investment in just a few years. Because these high-tech, stylish windows last for 20 years or more, they deliver long-lasting savings and can significantly add to resale value.

Install a Home Lift

There are plenty of ways to boosts a home’s safety profile. You can replace short stairways with ramps, add fire-resistant insulation or install no-skid door mats. Real estate professionals say one of the smartest thing’s owners can do is add a lift so that older residents won’t have to negotiate stairs and risk falling. Luxury home lifts like Lifton add more than safety for the elderly and the very young; they can greatly increase the resale value of the property.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Homeowners who want a quick, inexpensive way to add a future-proofing component can purchase a programmable thermostat. You don’t need to be an electrician to install the devices, as most come with all the hardware needed to put them in. Just be sure to read the directions carefully and ask for help with installation if you’re not handy with that sort of thing. What’s the payoff? Compared to old-fashioned, manual thermostats, the newer versions help you maintain a consistent temperature throughout the day. Season to season, you can add temperature parameters that reset themselves based on outdoor conditions, like unexpected cold or hot spells.

Consider Creating a Hidden Safe Room

One of the newest trends in home design is the safe room. The small, virtually impenetrable areas are often concealed behind bookcases, refrigerators or basement walls. Safe rooms are usually only large enough to accommodate a few people and don’t include amenities like refrigerators or running water. The purpose of a safe room is to give residents a concealed place to take cover in the event of a break-in, home invasion or severe storm. Safe rooms are starting to show up in real estate listings all over the world as homeowners become more aware of how to enhance their personal safety and security. Costs vary, but many homeowners save money by converting a walk-in closet or small storage room that isn’t needed for any other purpose.

Sahel Majali Discusses the Benefits of VR in Construction

Virtual Reality (VR) has made major advances over the last few years, and practical applications for the technology outside the entertainment industry have begun to appear. In construction, VR is far more than just a novel way to visualise 3D models, providing opportunities to improve designs and increase site safety.

There are three main areas where VR can provide major benefits to construction projects:

  • Collaboration and Design Iteration

VR allows clients and contractors to view models at a human scale and perspective, making it much easier to examine details and understand how the space will look and feel when the project is finished.This means contractors and designers can advise onsite teams and alter designs remotely based on a clearer picture of how the site currently looks and what the end result will be, reducing miscommunication between onsite teams, remote teams and clients. This is especially useful for sites being built in difficult to reach locations.

Viewing a construction model in VR is the most intuitive and accessible way to experience a construction model, and allows contractors using differing design tools and standards to communicate and stay on the same page when discussing changes and problems. It is even possible for contractors to enter a shared VR space remotely. Being able to do this means designs can be iterated and errors corrected before construction even begins, rather than halting work to alter the design and making expensive, time-consuming changes to completed work. This results in faster projects, and higher client satisfaction.

  • Training and Safety

Training new workers can be a time-consuming and monotonous task. There are many tasks and situations that cannot be fully taught in a traditional learning environment and are too dangerous or unsafe to practice in real life. VR can provide workers with practical, hands-on experience without risk, for example teaching workers to operate heavy equipment and vehicles.

VR’s risk-free environment allows instructors to simulate dangerous scenarios and safety procedures without any risk of injury or damaged equipment. Normally, training workers to use heavy equipment and vehicles can be expensive and has practical considerations such as providing the space, spare equipment and materials with which to teach and practice. Supplementing training with practice and lessons in VR can significantly reduce these costs.

  • Marketing and Communication

When trying to attract investors to a project or find buyers and tenants before a project is completed, it can be challenging to convey how the end result will look and feel. Enabling clients and investors to take a virtual tour of the project before or during construction helps them to know exactly what to expect and gives them more confidence to invest.

For buyers and investors who are not experts in the construction industry, it can be very difficult to build a picture of what a project will look like from drawings and designs. Even 3D models and video pale in comparison to being able to experience it at a 1:1 scale complete with accurate lighting and the surrounding views.

Sahel Majali UK

Sahel Majali has been involved in the construction industry for more than three decades, and has always pushed to implement the latest technologies and techniques to improve construction projects. Mid Contracting Jordan was founded by Majali in 1991 to focus on dynamic construction and development. In 2015 he became Chairman for the Mid Group, one of the fastest growing offsite construction businesses in the UK. Follow Sahel Majali on LinkedIn for news updates about VR being used in construction.

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