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Tips to manage your home in the heatwave

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Our recent spell of good weather is certainly welcome but it does lead to some practical problems in the home.

With the mercury rising to 30 degrees in some areas and night time temperatures ‘dropping’ to only 19 degrees, we find ourselves doing everything in our power to try and stay cool.

With weather advisory warnings in place for high temperatures, we have all found our homes are heating up!
While we are quite happy to fork out our well-earned Euro for that foreign trip to the sun to bake in the Mediterranean heat, we now find ourselves in the unusual position of the good weather visiting us for a change!

While it is easy to enjoy the sunshine from the swimming pool in Portugal or the beach in Spain it is a different story when walking into your hot house at home.

Unfortunately, the large majority of us don’t have the luxury of air-conditioned homes as much of the new building technologies we have experienced revolve around heating our homes. We now find ourselves looking for ways to cool them down!

While the natural reaction is to open the windows, it is recommended to keep windows, blinds and curtains closed as this will keep the hot air out. If opening them, make sure to do so at opposite ends of the house to create an airflow throughout.

To circulate cool air inside, fill up some bowls with water and ice and place them in different areas of the house - in front of a fan works best if you have one.

Another simple but effective option is to cook outside. Use the BBQ as the oven generates heat inside the house.

Trying to get to sleep at night can be particularly difficult in soaring temperatures. Here is a novel tip to help you catch those z’s; consider freezing your bedcovers before going to bed!

It may sound daft but give it a try; strip the sheets, place in a bag and pop them in the freezer. When it is time to hit the pillow, simply put them back on and they will be nice and cool!

Also, try taking a cold shower before bed.

Any halogen light bulbs in the house will also create additional heat, so consider replacing with LED lights.

Open the attic hatch to keep the house as ventilated as possible, allowing heat to escape through the roof.

And finally turn off any appliances, like the TV, when not in use. Electrical appliances can give off a surprising quantity of heat, particularly while charging.

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Cost of agricultural land set to increase by 8% this year

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY The results of a survey on agricultural land values conducted by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) was published earlier this week. […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

The results of a survey on agricultural land values conducted by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) was published earlier this week.

It predicts an increase in land values by an average of 8% this year and an increase of 14% on average in rental values.

The report titled, ‘SCSI/Teagasc Agricultural Land Market Review & Outlook Report 2023’, analyses the agri sector performance over the past year and projects how it will perform over the next 12 months.

In all 134 agri professionals and valuers were surveyed, who expect the outlook for dairy farmers to ease and a challenging future for sheep and tillage farming.

Rental Land values in Munster increased by an average of 13% in the last year with a 9% increase experienced in Leinster.

The report indicates that the average non-residential farmland prices in 2022 ranged from €5,564 per acre for poor quality land – up five percent from €5,308 in 2021 – to €11,172 per acre for good quality land – up two percent from €10,962 the previous year. Strong demand from dairy farmers for good quality land is driving the market.

The majority of those surveyed believe there is likely to be an increase in demand from dairy farmers to purchase farmland in 2023.

One point to note however, is that changes to the European Nitrates Directive, particularly measures aimed at protecting water quality, may have an impact on land prices, especially rental prices.

In order to maintain current levels of milk production – and to comply with the directive – many dairy farms will need to either increase their land area or reduce milk production.

The Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) is also coming down the line at an alarming rate, farmers have until May 1 to make a written appeal. Under the new legislation farmers owning currently zoned land face an annual tax bill of 3% of the market value of their zoned land.

This will result in countless numbers of landowners facing crippling tax bills from next year on. It is expected that this new tax may bring forward extra land sales later this year before the tax takes hold.

The IFA (Irish Farmers Association) have this week sought a senior counsel review of the legislation governing the Residential Zoned Land Tax.

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What is a Fire Safety Certificate?

By John Healy of Healy Insurances A Fire Safety Certificate is an official document that verifies if a building design submitted as part of an application will, if constructed in […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

A Fire Safety Certificate is an official document that verifies if a building design submitted as part of an application will, if constructed in accordance with the plans and specifications approved by the Building Control Authority, comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Fire Safety Certificates are issued by a Building Control Authority. The certificate confirms that the building has adequate escape facilities and that the building is designed in a way that prevents and limits the spread of fire. While all buildings must comply with the fire regulations, not all buildings will need a Fire Safety Certificate.

Which developments require a Fire Safety Certificate?

The Building Control Act (1990 & 2007) specifies the development types that require Fire Safety Certificates:

· Works in connection with the design and construction of a new building
· Works in connection with the material alteration of a day centre, a building containing a flat, a hotel, hostel or guest building, an institutional building, a place of assembly, a shopping centre
· Works in connection with the material alteration of a shop, office or industrial building where additional floor area is being provided within the existing building or where the building is being sub-divided into a number of units for separate occupancy
· Works in connection with the extension of a building by more than 25 square metres
· A building as regards which a material change of use takes place.

Some developments are exempted from requiring a Fire Certificate and can include:

· Certain single storey agricultural buildings
· A building used as a dwelling (other than a flat)
· A single storey domestic garage
· A single storey building ancillary to a dwelling which is used exclusively for recreational or storage purposes or the keeping of plants, birds or animals for domestic purposes and is not used for any trade or business or for human habitation
· Works in connection with a Garda station, a courthouse, a barracks and certain government buildings.

If a building is inspected by a member of the building control authority and it transpired that no Fire Safety Certificate is in place, the building could be subject to closure. For more information see www.kerrycoco.ie/home3/building-control/firesafetycerts.

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