Saturday, 20 December 2014

My Experience Using a Dubai Contracting Company

For the past 6 months I have been splitting my time between the UK and project managing a house in Dubai. Together with 4 friends in the UK, we decided that Dubai would be a great place to invest in the property market.

Three of us flew out in May to "scope it out". We were lucky to know a real estate agent there who gave us some invaluable, honest advice. We didn't buy from him and he didn't try (too hard) to sell to us. After a short sales pitch he soon came out with the advice we had suspected was true. New-builds are the way to go if looking for an investment opportunity.

We enjoyed spending some time in Dubai. It took a while to understand the place. It is quite different to other countries in that most of the population are immigrants. The poor come from places like India and the middle class come from places like the UK. For westerners there is a slightly strange expat scene outside of the more traditional laws for most people e.g. drinking alcohol.

After speaking to 6 construction companies in Dubai, we found the perfect one. We spent a lot of time on this part as it is essential you have someone that understands your vision and that you can trust. Of course we were also wary about the language barrier but that was no problem. Our main contact at F&A Constructing Dubai spoke fluent English. Even when we are in the UK, which is most of the time, we feel happy leaving the project in their hands.

We felt comfortable with this firm and having that peace of mind can really help with stress levels. They handled themselves very professionally and have done a great job on our investment villa. Houses are usually known as villas in Dubai, which suits the sunny, desert location. Having made a few trips to Dubai, I am starting to grow rather fond of the place and we may continue with another investment if this one goes to plan.

Our villa is close to completion now, then the next step will be to put it on the market. This is where our friend the real estate agent might get something out of us after all. Anyway everything is on schedule and we are excited to see the finished construction and get it on the market.

I don't want to post a picture of the project online yet in case the others don't like me doing so, for some reason or other. Instead you can see a photo which I feel sums up why I am starting to fall in love with Dubai. It is as if someone has just said "lets make our idea of the best city from scratch".

Dubai Skyline on 10 January 2008" by Imre Solt 


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Best way to approach decorating a nursing home

I was recently asked by my friend about the best way of decorating his proposed new nursing home. After some discussion I decided that comfort should come first, followed by an appearance which made residents feel "homely".

Basically the actual design is less important for a care home because the idea is to make someone feel comfortable first and foremost. After browsing online for a while I found a home which I think illustrates this well.

Agnes and Arthur Care Home is a fairly new nursing home which has put comfort first. They have been able to sneak in contemporary touches by using colour and character. It looks like they have wisely kept the actual bedroom nice and simple.



Click on any of the images above to enlarge them. For me this is the perfect way to decorate a nursing home because there is enough colour to keep things vibrant without things looks old fashioned and tacky. I like the way there is a living room and bedroom with darker chairs which men may prefer.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Bedroom Furniture Tips

Bedroom furniture can cause clutter and make rooms with limited space seem even smaller. So my top tip when buying bedroom furniture is to consider getting mirrored pieces.

Mirrored furniture looks good (in my opinion), it reflects light (making rooms look brighter) and it also makes rooms appear larger than they really are. It is a simple trick which is very effective.

Over the past couple of years I have been using mirrored furniture more and more. I usually buy online from Fabulous Furniture who have a stylish range for reasonable prices. But I have also used other retailers and most recently a rather nice piece from eBay.

You can also find good ideas using Pinterest which is a photo sharing site and great for home decor inspiration.

What I love about mirrored console tables and wardrobes is that they can be used for modern and more traditional rooms. You just have to be ready for the rather bright and striking appearance they have.

Other than using these items of furniture to create the illusion of more space, I recommend using colours which are warm. Red and gold are classics for a bedroom, although too bold for some people. I find the combination of a rich, deep red and gold is comforting in the winter months.

If you want to be stylish and use the latest colour schemes, then go ahead for your lounge or other downstairs rooms. But if you want a nice, cosy bedroom then I highly recommend going with the warming colours, which combined with a few pieces of mirrored furniture will really enhance your sleeping quarters.

Getting your roof coated and cleaned

Having someone come to your house and clean your roof tiles is a great idea. Most of us never even think about having this job carried out. Our roofs get rain all the time and it is the one part of the home which is completely open to the elements. This completely changes the colour of the roof from a red or orange to a murky grey.

This is not a job you should attempt to do yourself because it is dangerous. Get a professional company in who have the proper cleaning equipment and exercise the correct safety precautions. I live in the north west of the UK so I just typed into Google roof cleaning Cheshire and soon found a good company.

They don’t just clean your roof. It is also important to get them to treat it with a sealant. This coats the tiles and protects them from the elements in future. I also stops dirty sticking to them so that they don’t loose their colour again. You house will look like new again if you decide to get this job done.

My advice is to get a few different prices as they can vary quite a bit. Just be sure that they are all quoting for the same thing as there is no point cleaning the roof only to ignore the coating part. In the long run getting the sealant applied will save you money as they are supposed to last for many years. They do sell a water based paving sealer too.