June 16, 2015

Luxury apartments: What are they?

Kolkata and its outskirts have seen a steady growth in the number of real estate projects which cater to both commercial and residential needs. The competition between real estate developers has seen the extensive promotion of projects which vie for the attention of prospective buyers.

A term that we commonly hear in reference to today’s real estate market is ‘luxury’. Many residential projects promote their flats as ‘luxury apartments’ to pique the interest of buyers. While the usage of the term is generally understood, buyers need to be more informed about what counts as luxury when checking out the amenities in any residential project.

Luxury apartments: What are they?

Better amenities do not always equal luxury features:

A luxury apartment is expected to provide the owner with a sense of opulence and grandeur. Location and size of an apartment play a huge role when classifying the same as luxurious. Large flats with multiple bedrooms often get the tag of being a premium luxury apartment, but they often lack the essential features which could be used to term them as ‘luxury apartments’.

A project located in the central region of the city would be easy to market. However, if the roads leading up to the residential project has traffic issues that would not provide a positive outlook for prospective buyers.

The socioeconomic standard of the location also plays a role in determining the luxury tag. If the project is located in an area infamous for disturbing incidents, then no matter which amenities are provided, customers would have doubts about investing in that property. Similarly, a high-end project would also have to make sure that the facilities it provides, like gymnasiums or swimming pools, do not overlook a garbage dump or have a particularly displeasing view.

The apartments in a complex also have to meet certain standards if they are to be coined as luxurious. They should feature a high floor to ceiling height, something that is often overlooked by developers and buyers. The apartments should also feature top-of-the-range security set ups, CCTV cameras and video door phones which strengthen the security of the complex.

Some residential projects also feature duplex flats, these are two flats which are placed one above the other with a common entrance. Movement from one flat to another is through an internal staircase connecting the flats.

Features like elevators also play a role in qualifying the ‘grade’ of residential projects. Having a branded elevator is not enough, there should be separate elevators for support staff for the convenience of all. The elevators should be large enough to allow stretchers and wheelchairs to fit in. Other amenities like jogging tracks, gymnasiums, swimming pools, recreation centres and large open spaces are important for any high-end residential complex.

The maximum growth in the number of residential flats in Kolkata, which boast of world-class features and luxury amenities, has been in areas like New Town. These amenities often come at a premium price. The important thing to remember is that a ‘luxury apartment’ in the true sense would be able to justify its value in every way.

Summary: ‘Luxury apartments’ is a term which is used extensively by real estate marketers but what makes a flat a luxury space? There are certain conditions which need to be met before any project can claim to be featured as a luxury apartment.

Why Air Sealing is so important for your Home?

I am thankful for giving me this opportunity to post here. I would like to bring the topic of air sealing to everyone’s notice. Most of your energy bill is spend on heating and cooling and keeping your home comfortable. Despite your best efforts, you are always losing some energy through holes and leakages. Many times contractors will overlook the air sealing factor in a home, which can have a major impact on a home’s energy efficiency. Air sealing is as important as proper insulation, as you will learn in this post

Why Air Sealing is so important for your Home?

Hidden Air Leaks in Homes

More air leakage takes place in your home in areas that you don't know about. Usually, homeowners will have all the easily visible leakages fixed and think that their living area is fully protected.
Chimney Effect – There have been air leaks in your home and you have never known it, and you continue to lose energy to it through the chimney effect. So what is the chimney effect? Hint – it has nothing to do with your chimney!

Cold air will enter your foundation through leaks or cracks and start rising as it becomes warm inside your home. It will move to your attic because of holes, from leaking duct work, or because the attic floor has been poorly sealed. This movement of air will thus remove the warm air form within home and you don't even know about it. Your heating system will continue to work harder to keep up with the loss of energy.

Only an experienced air sealing and insulation expert will know how to fix the leakages and cracks in your foundation and attic floor to prevent the chimney effect from taking place.

What are the Benefits of Proper Air Sealing?

There are many benefits of having proper air sealing in your home.

Improved comfort – when the leaks are all sealed and the insulation is comprehensive, you will be improving the comfort within your home. Some of the additional benefits that come with include the following:
•    Improved control over humidity (remember if there is no control over humidity, it can play havoc with the interior comfort)
•    Minimized chances of having ice dams on your roof during the winters
•    Lesser chances of pests, dust and pollen entering your home
•    Reduction in outdoor noise from entering your home

Air Sealing Vs Insulation

I have been asked this question many times – what is more important? Air sealing or insulation? I will say that both are essential to creating a more comfortable, energy efficient and durable living space. But in the order of preference, I will say that air sealing comes first.

Improved Energy Costs – Proper air sealing improves comfort by reducing the drafty area in your home. It will improve the air quality by preventing outdoor air from entering your home through basement or crawlspace. Besides, there is lesser threat of mold development in your attic.

Most homeowners think that the drafts or air leaks take place around our doors and windows. But I can tell you that more leakage is taking place from your basement and attic than you know about. These leakages are adding up to your energy bills and you don't know about it. So when you hire someone to upgrade your home insulation, ask them to ensure total air leak in these two important areas of your home.

Author Bio:

The Author is one of the most experienced home insulation in Calgary. As a specialist in attic insulation, he has serviced hundreds of homes in the greater Alberta region. He is also an avid writer and likes to regularly share his knowledge with the masses.

5 Money Saving Tips for Your Moving Needs

Moving is a major event for any family. There are a number of reasons for relocating. Sometimes, there are financial constraints and sometimes there is a change of job. Regardless of the reason, moving out can prove to be an expensive exercise. With the costs of a new home looming, it is essential that you save money on moving costs. Here are some ways in which you can reduce the expenditure on house removal.

5 Money Saving Tips  for Your Moving Needs
1 - Declutter

When you rummage through your closets, cupboards and attic, you are going to find a lot of things that you no longer need. The more things you have, the higher the cost of moving out is going to be so ideally you want to travel light and leave the unnecessary behind. De-cluttering is not easy as we get attached to objects, but it is a crucial step in saving money on your move. If you do not really know how to get started, try some of these easy tips. My favorite rule is: If you haven’t used an object in a year, you can probably get through life without it!

2 - DIY Packing

DIY Packing

There are several packing companies that will come in and do the packing for you. However, packing is one thing you can do yourself. Since you know your possessions and belongings better than anyone, you are going to be able to pack the way you want. Not only will this make it convenient when you unpack, but also save you money on packing.

3 - Re-Use Cardboards & Boxes

Re-Use Cardboards & Boxes

Old boxes and cartons are ideal for packing. You might be able to find a number of them in your home. If you need more, ask your neighbours or friends or go to a supermarket, they usually have a lot of left over cardboard that you can have for free. Saving on cardboard boxes is definitely a plus and will help to stretch your budget further.

4 - Compare Quotes

Compare Quotes

There a numerous online services that help you to compare quotes from moving companies. It is better to ask for written estimates to ensure that there are no hidden charges. In most cases removalists will provide an hourly rate, but remember the cheapest rate is not always the best solution. Since it is hourly based, you would rather want to pay a higher rate and get things done quick rather than a low rate and having to spend extra hours to complete the move. Another great way to help you make a decision on which company to use, is to read consumer reviews. Some sites like Productreview.com.au list previous customers reviews, make sure to check it out.

5 - Rent a Truck or Ute
Rent a Truck or Ute

A great alternative to using a removal company is to rent a truck and do the move yourself. If you are moving locally and do not have a huge amount of heavy furniture, this is often the best option to cut costs. If there is someone you know who has a ute, ask him to lend it to you for a day otherwise there are plenty of budget rental companies where you can hire a truck for a day. In most cases, you will have to pay for fuel, but beware of fees on extra kilometres as they can add up in the end.

Bonus Tip - Get Some Help

 Bonus Tip - Get Some Help

Nothing beats team work, especially when you need to move house. Get your friends and family to help, they will usually be happy to do so, especially if you have already helped them in the past. Alternatively put up an ad in the local paper, asking for people to come and help you move out. You only need to pay them a flat fee at the end of the day, unlike professional helpers who charge by the hour.