Welcome, Winter

In this last week of Autumn, we look at emerging trends in the housing market; printable solar cells; and a fully-sustainable house that can be built in a week, anywhere in the world …

Renovating – is it as easy as it looks?

Reality shows like ‘The Block’ set off DIY trends where suddenly everyone thinks it’s easy to renovate.  What typically ends up happening is the renovation comes in over budget, late and with an ordinary finish.  Here are just a few pointers that DIY renovators need to think about:

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Upsize or down?

Will your next home be a house in the suburbs or an inner-city apartment?

A new report looks at what is influencing our choices, and how it will impact residential property over the next decade...

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CTRL+P: Printing A3 solar cells

Australian scientists have produced flexible, plastic solar cells that are ten times bigger that previously, thanks to a new solar cell printer...

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When is the best season to sell your house?

Winter arrives this weekend, the season that many believe is not a good time to put the house on the market. But is that true? Is any one season better, really?

Seasonal timing is often overlooked when selling a house, yet it is an important aspect to take into account. The changing of seasons offers opportunities for venders and buyers alike, so the trick is picking the best time to act...

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Eggs on legs provide emergency housing

They look like something out of War of the Worlds, but globe-shaped structures on stilts are being touted as the ultimate disaster-proof housing able to withstand the elements of any environment across the globe.

Better still, the UK-based designers say, the structures are prefabricated and can be constructed in a week, making it possible to create a sustainable, off-the-grid town for 10,000 people in six months...

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Think, Eat, Save

Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — is wasted. What is more, in the USA, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, which are the largest source of methane emissions.

It comes as no surprise then, that the theme for World Environment Day 2013 (next Wednesday 5th June) is Think, Eat, Save.

This could be a good time to plant some herbs or green vegetables in your garden, on the balcony or on the verge to share with your neighbours. Get the kids involved and thinking about where their food comes from and how they can recycle what they don’t need...

Party house for a rock star

New property taxes are said to be the reason UK rock star Sting and his wife Trudy Styler have opened their Tuscan estate to well-heeled partygoers, according to the UK Daily Mail.

Il Palagio, the couple's 16th century villa southeast of Florence in the Chianti region, produces its own wine, olive oil and honey.

The six cottages on the estate can be rented out for around 7,000 euros a week each, meaning that up to 200 partygoers will be able to enjoy the 900-acre Italian estate's attractions which include a large swimming pool, a giant chess board in the garden, bee hives, woods, lake and kitchen garden.