The Complete Guide to a Loft Conversion in Bristol

Are you looking for more room in your house? Loft conversions Bristol can reduce your space problem. Your house may be able to benefit from an attic conversion, depending upon the roof construction. Before an planning a loft conversion, you have to find out whether your roof is suitable for a transformation or not.

Is my Loft Suitable for Conversion?

Height

Most houses are suitable for a loft transformation. However, you have to examine the height of your roof. Conversions are possible as long as the height of the roof is 2.3 metres, but if the height is less than 2.3 metres you have two options – either we can rebuild your roof or you can create height by lowering the ceiling of the room below your roof. The latter option can be a messy job, so most people prefer to increase roof height.

Scrutinize a Roof Structure

loft conversions bristol
loft conversions bristol

A loft conversion also depends upon the structure of the roof. There are two prominent structures in houses – rafters and trusses. In case of trusses, you need an extra structural support and it will be more expensive. Roofs with rafters are much easier to convert. The space can be easily and inexpensively opened up by cutting the rafters and adding supports.

Consider the Floor Below the Attic

Another factor to consider before loft conversion is the floor below the attic. You should consider where staircases will be used. How much room will be exposed after conversion? This is important to consider because a well-designed staircase can take up more space.

Loft Conversion Types

Roof Light Conversions

Roof light conversions don’t involve structural alterations provided there’s enough height. You won’t have to make any changes or extensions of rafters. However, you will have to have enough room already.

Dormer Conversions

A dormer loft conversion is a vertical extension from the slope of a roof. Dormers are very common in slopping roofs. Dormer conversions are less expensive than hip-to-gable conversions. Dormers easily create extra height and floor space.

Hip-to-Gable Conversions

Hip-to-gable conversion involves the extension of ridged roof outwards. This conversion is generally possible in case of detached houses. You can gable a ridged roof if you have a detached slopping roofs on either side. An extension will make your attic roomy, but this is more expensive than a dormer conversion.

How to Choose a Builder for Loft Conversion in Bristol

Before hiring a builder for a loft conversion Bristol, you should always do your research on the company you are looking at, check previous reviews and ask to see examples of previous work. Reputable companies will always be happy to work with you to create the best possible loft conversion.

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A Retirement Savings Plan for Your Wild Side

retirement planner near me

Of all the approaches to building a retirement planner near me portfolio, Lou Reed, God rest his soul, might have liked this one. The approach, referred to as floor-leverage, calls for investing your nest egg in two accounts: one filled with safe investments and the other with walk-on-the-wild-side risky investments.

In one account, you would invest the bulk of your money earmarked for retirement, say 85%, in low-risk-income-generating instruments such as ladders of zero-coupon bonds or annuities, according to “The Floor-Leverage Rule for Retirement,” a paper just published about the approach in the Financial Analysts Journal.

And in the other account, you would invest a small portion of your money, say 15%, in high octane investments such as ETFs or mutual funds that maintain a daily 3× leveraged exposure to equities, according to the co-authors of the paper, Jason Scott, managing director of the Financial Engines’ Retiree Research Center; and John Watson, who is a fellow at Financial Engines and a lecturer in finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Click to Play Fed unlikely to taper in near futureA look at today’s market action, including traders keying on today’s Fed statement on interest rates, and three stocks to watch. Photo: Getty Images.

According to Scott and Watson, the floor-leverage approach is a spending and investment strategy designed for retirees who can tolerate investment risk but want sustainable spending.

With this approach, you would use the assets and income in the floor account to fund your desired standard of living. And you would review annually the leveraged account. If the leveraged account exceeds 15% of total wealth, then you would buy additional floor spending with the excess.

Of note, companies such as Barclays, Direxion, iPath, ProShares and PowerShares all offer triple-leveraged ETFs on such indexes as the S&P 500 (SNC:SPX) , Russell 2000 and NASDAQ-100, according to a recent Retirement Income Journal article that featured an interview with Scott.

Now even though this approach uses a leveraged account, according to the FAJ summary, the total portfolio isn’t leveraged. The leverage, wrote the FAJ, is used as a tool to manage risk. “Similar to the dynamics of constant proportion portfolio insurance, this strategy sells equities and reduces risk when markets decline,” according to the FAJ.

The authors also found, according to the FAJ, that using leveraged ETFs or mutual funds is a cost-effective, limited-liability approach to implementing this dynamic strategy. Scott told the RIJ that with this strategy the investor outsources the most labor-intensive and complicated part of the strategy. For example, if you invested $15 or your $100 portfolio in one of these leverage funds, the manager would leverage your $15 by shorting $30 worth of bonds and investing $45 in stocks, he told the RIJ.

How to invest the floor

So what should you invest the floor in and how much could you withdraw each year from that account? According to the authors, the investments used for the floor and your spending rates are a matter of personal preference. “A retiree with a preference for sustainable real spending should invest in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) and expect an initial withdrawal rate near 3%,” according to the FAJ summary. “A retiree with a preference for sustainable nominal spending should invest in government bonds and initially withdraw about 4%.”

But if a retiree decides to buy a late-life annuity, a deferred income annuity that kicks in at say 85, with some of his or her assets then a 5% withdrawal rate is feasible, according to the authors.

Of note, Scott and Watson compared their floor-leverage approach with some popular retirement planner near me strategies, such as the 4% rule and the bucket or time segmentation approach, and found that most of those rules are either quantitatively vague or unduly complex. “But the floor-leverage rule, which approximates an optimal investment and spending strategy from the economics literature, strikes a balance between precision and simplicity,” wrote the FAJ.

retirement planner near me
retirement planner near me

And though it isn’t optimal, the FAJ said the floor-leverage rule is “a very good approximation to the optimal solution; it has at least a 98% efficiency compared with the theoretical optimal solution.”

Scott and Watson also looked at whether you’d be able to maintain your withdrawal rate over the course of your retirement by using the floor-leverage approach. And what they found, using historical equity returns, was that spending was always sustained, though the spending upside account varied widely with equity returns, according to the FAJ. In fact, after 20 years of retirement, spending for retirees when equities performed well was nearly three times higher than when equities performed poorly, the authors noted.

What’s more, spending tends to ratchet upward nicely until a traumatic market event, the FAJ wrote. Although spending is preserved after the event, there is a lengthy stagnation in the spending rate. For example, the authors noted that the 1970 retiree took a substantial hit to the portfolio during the 1973–74 bear market and then had to wait until 1981 for a spending increase, according to the FAJ’s summary.

Jason Branning of Branning Wealth Management, said pre-retirees should consider the Scott and Watson approach and findings alongside other methodological or heuristic floor/upside or essential vs. discretionary approaches. “Like others, Scott and Watson’s methodological floor-leverage rule seeks to strike a balance between seemingly competing goals—retirement security through a spending floor and the investor’s desire that spending or wealth should grow over time,” Branning said.

Some experts recommend using the floor-leverage strategy

So should you consider this approach?

The short answer, according to Meir Statman, a professor at Santa Clara University and author of “What Investors Really Want,” is yes.

“In a way, it is a very attractive idea,” said Statman. “It really corresponds quite well to behavioral portfolio theory where you have mental accounts, one for not being poor. (The safe account) would provide you with what you consider adequate lifetime income in retirement. And then you would have the (leveraged) account for the need to be rich.”

According to Statman, it makes sense for individuals and advisers to think about their portfolios in the context of mental accounting. “We naturally think about it in terms of what is the goal for that money,” he said.

But what might make this strategy difficult to implement for average investors is the use of leverage, of using 3x ETFs, said Statman. With 3x ETFs, returns and losses are magnified. And when you are on the right side of a trade, things are good. But when you are on the wrong side of a trade, things aren’t so good. For instance, if you had purchased five years ago a 3x ETF that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, you’d be happy. The Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bull 3X Shares (NAR:SPXL) is up 300% over the past five years while the S&P 500 is up around 100%. But if purchased the Direxion Daily S&P 500 Bear 3X Shares (NAR:SPXS) , you’d be down 100% over the past five years.

“People hate leverage,” said Statman. “And so what people actually do instead of buying an index fund and leveraging that is that they buy individual stocks as lottery tickets. So you can have a lottery ticket in two ways. One is with a well-diversified portfolio that is leveraged and another with a non-diversified portfolio that is not leveraged.”

To be fair, not all experts are fond of using leveraged ETFs or mutual funds when building a retirement-income portfolio. “I will say that 3x ETFs may not achieve the returns expected—they may move in opposite the direction of the market, believe it or not,” said Bill Bengen, author of “Conserving Client Portfolios during Retirement.” “Thus, admitting not having spent a lot of time evaluating (the floor-leverage) strategy, it does not seem appropriate.”

Others share Bengen’s point of view.

“One problem, among many, with the triple-leveraged strategy is that the 3x leveraged portfolio does not deliver 3x the market return,” said Larry Siegel, the research director at the Research Foundation of CFA Institute and senior adviser at Ounavarra Capital. “It’s less, and can be much less, and can even be negative when the market return is positive.”

Siegel gave this example: Take a hypothetical $100 investment in the 3x leveraged fund. Say the market falls 10% on the first day. The portfolio delivers a –30% return so you have $70 left. The next day, the market returns to its original level which means it experiences a +11.11% return. The portfolio delivers a +33.33% return so the $70 now grows to $93.33, not $100. If the market is this volatile (a standard deviation of 10% per day), the erosion of value takes place at 6.67% every two days until you have essentially no money left, while the market itself is unchanged. In practice the market’s volatility is a little less than 1% per day, not 10%, so the erosion is slower.

“Note that it’s possible to take advantage of this mathematical property of leveraged ETFs,” said Siegel. “After the market has fallen 10%, you ‘top up’ by buying $30 more of the 3x leveraged fund. When the market then rises 11.11%, the portfolio grows from $100 to $133.33. You are now beating the market. Your cost basis is $130 but your portfolio value is $133.33, again while the market has gone nowhere. But this takes a lot of trading and a lot of spare cash, and almost nobody does it.”

Branning, for his part, notes that the floor-leverage rule might work in theory but not in reality with real people. “Practically, the model offers a guideline for an investment portfolio, but fails to offer the individual retiree customized applications that are comprehensively informed,” Branning said. “Methodological models must include broader planning frameworks by including balance sheet assets, human capital, or social contract assets. Social Security (and possible pension income) is notably excluded in the Scott and Watson model even though Social Security could account for 40% to 60% of necessary spending.”

According to Branning, pre-retirees and retirees should evaluate whether to use the floor-leverage approach or any other for that matter in the context of a comprehensive retirement plan.

“The floor-leverage approach best applies to the investment construction, but seems detached from a broader, unifying retirement planning framework,” said Branning. “Ultimately, retirees need robustness in framework and empirical methods.”

That may be, but it may also be the case that the floor-leverage approach represents yet one more viable way for retires and pre-retirees to make sure they maintain their standard of living over the course of their retirement.

That may be, but it may also be the case that the floor-leverage approach represents yet another way for retires and pre-retirees to make sure they maintain their standard of living over the course of their retirement planner near me.

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Swimming Pool Enclosure Types And Where To Begin

Pool-Remodel

If you are handy and want to tackle a home renovation project yourself, or if you simply want to know who the best person is to hire for your contracting work, get information about what type of swimming pool enclosure you want to install in your yard. There is a variety of styles to choose from, so assess your budget and space and go about preparing for this project.

Steps to Take

1. Think about the features you want to include in your enclosure and make a list of them, then browse online for what styles are available and how easy they are to do it yourself. You need to decide if you want an enclosure to simply cover all or part of the pool or a large space that you can make use of around the pool.

You can choose an enclosure that includes seating, a roof or sliding doors among other things, and a dehumidifier is recommended to make your enclosure last longer.

2. Consider your budget. Your pool enclosure could cost anywhere from $500-10,000 depending on the details and features you want to add, so once you know what you can afford, you can determine which elements from your wish list you can include.

3. Measure the width and length of your swimming pool to have an idea of how big your enclosure will be, and leave space on each side for a buffer area. You will also need to measure the height if you have a slide or a diving board.

4. When shopping around for kits, get free estimates from a variety of places and find out if a swimming pool enclosure builder is included in the price or if the installation is extra.

swimming pools

Types of Enclosures

Doing your research to determine your budget requires you to have a bit of exposure to different types of enclosures available to you. Here are some of the common ones:

1. Screen – a screen enclosure is one of your cheapest options, and you can get it with different roofing options, like gable, peak or flat. It covers your pool but doesn’t provide a lot of privacy or protection.

2. Canvas – this option is not necessarily the most attractive, but it will preserve heating and allow you to use your pool longer in the season.

3. Glass – A glass or polycarbonate enclosure can be chosen for the entire pool or half of it, and it adds elegance to your landscaping. You can get the enclosure shaped like domes and even add a sunroof if you desire to get air and light in.

4. Conservatories – if your pool enclosure is meant to not only cover and protect your pool but also be a fully functional pool house, you want to choose conservatories. These buildings are covers for your pool that span from 7-10 feet high and have space inside for lounging, changing cabins and other essentials. They are very large and pricey though, so get estimates to determine if this is in your budget.

A Calabasas pool remodeling can serve many functions, so you must first evaluate your needs and budget to see the style that fits you. Choosing the right one will add to the longevity of your pool and the beauty of your landscape, so do your research.

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How Do These Changes Affect Driving Schools?

Driving-Lessons

Facebook changes things Breaking news on the 11th January from Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook would be changing its news feed algorithm to prioritize content from “friends, family, and groups.”  How will these changes affect Facebook Business pages of Driving Schools?

In one of his posts, Zuckerberg said “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our well-being and happiness”

In short, the changes are designed to put what friends and family have to say first, sparking more conversation!  Meaning, we’ll now see fewer videos from brands and more comments and posts from friends. Facebook’s thinking is that you will now spend time on Facebook in a more meaningful way.

In a post on the Company’s blog, head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri says “Facebook was built to bring people closer together and build relationships. One of the ways we do this is by connecting people to meaningful posts from their friends and family in the News Feed. Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about. *** via News Feed FYI: Bringing People Closer Together By Adam Mosseri, Head of News Feed

Some people will find this a relief as an overconsumption of information can be regarded as bad for one’s mental well-being creating feelings of overwhelming.  For those of you who still want to see all the posts from their favorite brands, they can select options under the News Feed on Facebook allowing them to prioritize posts they still want to see consistently from both pages (and friends).

So, the way forward is creating posts or videos that instigate back and forward discussions via comments or that people will be inclined to share or react to – a good example of this is friends asking for recommendations for a good restaurant or “a great local driving instructor” – these types of posts that create conversation will show up higher in feeds being prioritized over public content according to Facebooks News Feed Values.

Driving-Instructor

So Where Does This Leave us as Driving Schools?

You, as small business entrepreneurs would know there is nothing more certain than change and adaptation to new ways of doing things and the use of social media in business is no different!  There is no doubt that it will change how we need to use Facebook for our businesses but don’t panic or fear these algorithm changes, particularly if you are dedicated to providing your students and parents with valuable, quality content. Only time will tell what impact these changes really mean for our driving lessons Kenmore Facebook pages.

5 Steps to Consider Going Forward Are:

1.  How best will my business page continue to reach my students and their parents?

No-one is completely sure but through more meaningful interactions, we should still be able to work with the new algorithm and connect with our students by consistent quality posts and content which will create engagement.  Our Facebook marketing strategy should be ongoing and ensure our posts are of value and not just about getting the “lesson booked”.

2.  Encourage students to continue following our Facebook Page

With the changes in the news feed, it is important to remind our students that to continue to see our page posts, they will need to select the “See First” option (under the “Follow” tab on our Driving School business page) so that they set our page as a news feed preference.

3.  Don’t bait students and parents into commenting

Generally, people dislike spammy posts on Facebook that coerce them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, tactics such as “LIKE this if you would like/are……” are known as “engagement bait”  to boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.  Facebook will now start demoting these types of posts from pages and individuals.

The key for us as Driving Instructors is “authenticity” – continue to post meaningful content on our Driving School business pages!

4.  Facebook Live Videos

The new algorithm will still recognize videos but live videos will rank higher.  The reason for this is that as Zuckerberg says “live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook—in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.”

So, although you are busy people as driving instructors, it is worthwhile to invest a little time each day/week to post a live video on your business page.  Don’t know how?  This is one definite measure that will perform well under the new news feed algorithm – so get started “telling your story” on live video.  Tips on FB live videos

5.  Facebook Groups

Not your thing?  A lot of people aren’t keen to join a group but in fact, it is a great marketing tactic.  As a Driving School, you should look at an interesting Facebook group that you could join or start one as groups work on the basis of audience engagement which is just what the new algorithm will love!

In summary, we all know that organic reach in Facebook has been declining over the years and as these Facebook News Feed changes roll out over the next few months, we will most likely see an even more significant decrease.  Maybe it is time to become a whizz at dabbling a little in Facebook Ads – ensure that your advertising dollars go as far as possible towards driving traffic to your owned digital assets!

YLOO is starting to build a group  – join us if you would like to be part of an Australian community of Driving Instructors. Being a Driving Instructor can be a lonely journey.  All too often we view each other as competition but we can learn a lot from conversation and engagement with other instructors  – sharing experiences, challenges wins, and information…

Originally Article Here

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Mobile Solar PVs can now replace diesel generators for disaster relief and military operations

Diesel generators as a temporary power supply for military operations, disaster relief efforts and music festivals could soon be replaced by mobile solar PVs.

An Australian-made innovation, CROSS is a factory assembled, relocatable solar array that has been developed to reduce the logistics challenges associated with deploying solar PV generators.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $289,725 in funding for Canberra-based ECLIPS Engineering to design, manufacture and test its rapidly deployable Container Roll Out Solar off grid solar system kit System (CROSS). This is on behalf of the Australian government.

Designed to fit inside a standard shipping container, the CROSS units can be stacked up to seven units high. The system also come available in 20ft and 40ft configurations, with a maximum output of 2,175W and 4,350W delivered in minutes ready for connection to an inverter.

off grid solar system kit
off grid solar system kit

The $703,468 total project opens up markets not previously available to the renewables industry, including defense, disaster recovery, humanitarian, construction and temporary network augmentation.

“CROSS units can be deployed in off-grid and fringe-of-grid areas, displace or offset diesel consumption and improve the security of existing networks,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said.

“These renewable options can reduce some of the barriers to entry for potential renewable power users in remote locations, including short project durations and where power systems need to be periodically relocated,” Mr. Frischknecht said.

“Renewable energy can provide an emissions-free, silent energy system that could replace diesel generators in the long run.”

Managing Director of ECLIPS Shaun Moore said that the main purpose of CROSS was to improve off grid power self-sufficiency for defense.

“One of our early objectives was to provide rapidly deplorable utility-scale PV generators to improve the self-sufficiency of Defence’s deployed forward operating bases. Diesel consumption related to the provision of electricity can account for up to 70% of deployed forces’ fuel usage and is a significant cost driver. More importantly, deploying CROSS to forward operating bases also reduces the frequency of convoys for fuel resupply, which reduces the threat to soldiers in contested environments.

“These same logistics efficiencies and benefits are transferable to commercial and utility customers in remote areas of Australia,” he said.

Source: https://positive.net.au/mobile-solar-pvs-can-now-replace-diesel-generators-for-disaster-relief-and-military-operations/

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