Author : Maja Gregersen

100 posts

Wardrobes can’t be big enough. But not every bedroom has that much floor space. So it is important to use all square meters optimally. A room-high wall unit not only looks spacious, it also prevents dust corners. With sliding door systems, the space can be used right down to the smallest corner.

The furniture industry produces a wide variety of unit walls with different element widths, so that almost every niche is closed. The remaining few centimeters of distance to the walls are closed dust-tight by adapted panels. With appropriate height gradations, sloping gable walls in the attic and the sloping roof can also be used cleverly and space-savingly for built-in cupboards.

Cabinet walls can be equipped with rotating, sliding or folding doors. Special interior fittings such as height-adjustable shelves, cloakroom rails, drawers, baskets, pull-outs, shoe racks and rotating elements help to make optimal use of the closet space. Individual pieces of furniture such as chests of drawers, consoles or a dressing table complement the furnishings. If you have the space, you can have a walk-in closet installed. Such a piece of furniture can be integrated into any large bedroom with a sufficiently light partition. With this system you can hide the closet from sight and create a closet at the head of the bed.

If you believe the Chinese, according to Feng Shui, the position of the bed in the room is decisive for the quality of sleep. The bed should be in the most sheltered corner of the room, personal comfort determines the direction. In any case, the bed should be placed so that the person lying down can see everyone who enters the room. In addition, the head end should always stand in front of a wall and not be free in the room.

Although the different types of mattresses are quite different, they have to meet the same requirements.

The innerspring mattresses are made up of coil springs made of steel wire. This core can be constructed very differently. He has a relatively high elasticity and at the same time a good support force. The spring core must be optimally padded, because the springs must not be noticeable.

Good foam mattresses are built up in several layers. The middle layers have a higher volume weight and are therefore harder than the outer layers with a lower volume weight. Depending on the system, hollow profiles inside the mattress ensure ventilation. The foam core can only absorb a little moisture, so very absorbent padding is required.

This mattress – it is made of natural rubber – offers a soft, pliable elasticity, but it is usually too soft without central zone reinforcement. As with foam, a cushion is also required here to compensate for moisture.

With the waterbed, there is around 300 liters of water in a synthetic cover (with a mattress size 100 by 200 cm). In order to reduce the movement of water, the interior of the mattress is sealed off by several partition walls. Here, too, appropriate upholstery must ensure the right microclimate. The water adapts itself completely to the distribution of the load at all times, so the pressure is distributed absolutely evenly over the body and there can be no pressure points. However, the body is unable to adjust the volume of water available to its body temperature. For this reason, the water must be continuously tempered. Water beds must not be combined with base mattresses as they require a stable, level surface.

Schools start in August and September in Germany. The right workplace at home promotes concentration with daily homework.

How must a desk and the associated desk chair for children be designed so that children feel comfortable with their homework? The Federal Association of Accident Insurance Funds in Munich (BUK) has given thought to this question .

Keyword “dynamic sitting”

An important keyword in your guide is dynamic sitting. According to this, fidgeting is not only normal for children, but changing the sitting posture also strengthens the back. According to BUK, a good chair therefore moves with you and supports your back, no matter what position the child occupies on it.

The experts advise that when buying a desk and chair, make sure that they are height-adjustable. In this way, the furniture could grow with the child by repeatedly being adapted to the child’s size. The BUK experts recommend checking the heights once or twice a year.

Individual is ideal

In general, the guidebook answers the question about the perfect workplace with the formula: “The more precisely tailored to the individual child, the healthier. Versatile adjustable furniture is particularly suitable for this. Some chairs can be adjusted not only in height, but also in depth. An inclination of the table top by 16 degrees is considered ideal as it makes reading, writing and drawing easier. If a computer screen is placed on a part of the table top, the surface should remain straight.

With regard to the ideal setting of the desk chair, the BUK experts say: “When sitting, the child should completely touch the floor with both feet. The thighs
should lie horizontally on the seat. The hollow of the knee should not touch the front edge of the seat. ”The desk is ideally positioned when the elbows are at the height of the table top with the arms hanging down and the thighs have sufficient freedom of movement under the table.

Corona has shown: Home office works. However, if you work permanently from home, you should not only choose the location for the desk carefully. Otherwise home work will fail.

Working from home has its advantages. Many recognized and proven this during the Corona crisis : You can also be efficient in the makeshift office at the kitchen table.

But if you got a taste for it and would like to use the home office regularly, you should create a permanent solution. Otherwise not only the back will suffer, but also the family or shared apartment.

“Anyone who only works at home for three or four weeks can live well with a compromise,” says Detlef Detjen, managing director of the Healthy Back Campaign. However, if a permanent workplace is to be set up, the kitchen table and kitchen chair are not suitable. “You need a real office workstation,” says Detjen.

“In most cases the apartment is fully furnished. Finding an additional place there is difficult, ”says Hamburg interior designer Ines Wrusch. Especially since certain requirements are placed on the workplace so that you can be really productive there.

“When choosing a location, you should above all ensure that there is the necessary peace and quiet for concentrated work and that it is not disturbed by the other residents,” says Christine Scharrenbroch from the Association of the German Furniture Industry in Bad Honnef.

When the kitchen becomes the new office

The kitchen is a good place to work for many people because there is plenty of space on the dining table for computers, monitors and other work utensils. But this room is very busy, especially in larger families, and is therefore not necessarily a permanent solution. “For the home office I either have to forego another function in the house or choose a neutral place that enables two functions at the same time,” says Wrusch.

This is possible with well-designed furniture. “Since the workplace at home shouldn’t usually take up too much space, desks and secretaries that are functional and comfortable and that blend in with the living room or guest room in a visually appealing way,” says Scharrenbroch. Some models can even be placed in the hallway or on a landing – “for example in the form of stylish folding secretaries on the wall.”

Work materials should be stowed away after work, especially in the home office. For example, drawers integrated into the desk, smaller drawer containers, possibly on castors, and shelf systems are suitable for this.

Suitable furniture for working from home

It is important that the home office is designed as ergonomically as possible and enables movement. “Height-adjustable desks are becoming more and more popular, not only in the office but also in the home office,” says Scharrenbroch. The changing working positions make them particularly easy on the back. “With the office chair, it is important to ensure that the seat can be moved forwards, backwards and sideways,” adds back expert Detjen.

Even if space in the apartment is limited: the distance from the desk to the screen must not be too small. “We recommend a distance of 60 to 100 centimeters, but it shouldn’t be less than 50 centimeters,” says Detjen.

 

How tenants paint their walls is up to them. Strong colors must be removed when moving out. Even if the landlord is responsible for cosmetic repairs.

Tenants are often required to perform cosmetic repairs. However, the clauses in the rental agreement are often ineffective. However, that does not mean that tenants can ultimately return the apartment as they want.

This is shown by a ruling by the Wupptertal Regional Court (Az .: 9 S 18/20), which is reported by the magazine “Das Grundigentum” (No. 16/2020) of the Haus & Grund Berlin owners’ association . According to the judges, dowel holes and strong latex paint do not work.

In the negotiated case, the tenants moved out without renovating the apartment. The cosmetic repairs clauses in the lease were ineffective. After the apartment had been returned , the tenants demanded a repayment of the deposit, reimbursement of rents that were accidentally overpaid, and the payment of a credit from an utility bill. The landlord counted against the removal of the dowel holes and the painting of the strong latex paint on the walls.

Rightly so: the tenants are liable for damages, according to the court. Dowel holes must be closed at the end of the lease, even if they were made during the lease as part of the contractual use. The obligation to remove does not only exist in the case of atypical user behavior.

Even with strong latex paints on the walls, tenants are obliged to restore the apartment in such a way that normal cosmetic repairs would have been sufficient. However, the landlord has no claim to compensation for loss of rent: Due to the inadmissible clauses in the rental agreement, he is obliged to make cosmetic repairs anyway.

The building authority in charge has given approval for use of the new BER airport in the capital. A spokesman for the Dahme-Spreewald district said on Tuesday the German press agency.

After years of delay and numerous reports, the new Berlin Airport BER has now taken a very important milestone as it opened in autumn this year. The approval clears the way for the opening – according to information from the “RBB” , the building acceptance had already taken place.

This means that Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) can actually open its gates on October 31 after a construction period of 14 years. The last required certificates were received from TÜV Rheinland last week , so the doubts about the opening are probably lower than they have been for years. The BER should actually go into operation in autumn 2011.

However, six opening dates were canceled due to planning errors, construction defects and technical problems. Fire protection was the biggest problem. Most notable, however, was the postponement in May 2012 – four weeks before the planned opening on June 3, 2012. Since then, eight years of mishaps have passed.

Test run in summer

Airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup then stated that the BER start had never been as safe as it is now. “We do not see any risks with the commissioning in October 2020.”

In the summer, volunteer passengers are now supposed to test the processes in the terminal: From arrival to check-in to the gate – that’s it. Because the flight will not take place until October 31st. Tegel city center airport is scheduled to close on November 8th.

Commissioning is made easier because the number of passengers has collapsed as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Most recently, only around 1000 passengers per day flew at the existing Tegel and Schönefeld airports.

Financing your own home can quickly turn into a debt trap in the event of death. We explain to you how you can optimally secure your real estate loan.

If you want to fulfill your dream of owning your own home, you usually have to take out a large real estate loan in order to actually be able to call the property your own one day.

It often takes several years until the loan for the house or condominium is paid off. During this time, many events can take place in and outside the home that will test life. For example, if the father of a family dies, who co-financed half of the real estate loan, the surviving dependents are often threatened with high financial losses, which in case of doubt can lead to the foreclosure of the home.

With term life insurance you can ensure the financing of your dream home beyond death. Hannoversche will help you with this .

Buying real estate: you have to consider this before buying

A house in the country or a charming old apartment in the big city? The decision needs to be carefully considered. Before buying your dream property, you should consider a few essential points.

Because behind the facade of the supposedly perfect home lurk hidden costs or unpleasant surprises that many real estate agents know how to skilfully disguise. It is therefore important not to let the broker wrap you around your finger and to check important criteria before signing the contract :

  • Overall condition of the property: windows, insulation, electrics, etc.
  • Location of the property: transport links, shops, schools
  • Modernization or refurbishment measures required?
  • Do you have an energy certificate ?
  • Do you have a building permit for renovations ?
  • Have you secured your home loan ?

You should take the last point on the checklist seriously so that your dream of owning your own home does not come to an abrupt end.

Real estate loan: how to finance your dream home

In very few cases, the dream property is financed in one fell swoop. Most of the time, the financing is handled through a suitable real estate loan that binds buyers to the bank for years. After all, the money houses do not lend larger sums without appropriate collateral. In addition to the basic creditworthiness, many banks only approve the loan application if the applicant (s) take out term life insurance. The lower the risk for the bank, the better the chances of getting a loan with good terms.

Secure credit: sit back and enjoy your dream home

Term life insurance not only serves as protection for the loan made for banks: it serves primarily as financial protection for your family or your partner in the event of unforeseeable events such as accidents or illnesses with a fatal outcome. In particular, (young) families and couples with a main or even sole earner are strongly advised to take out term life insurance. Only in this way can surviving dependents be adequately protected in the event of death and – in the worst case – avoid foreclosure.

The principle of term life insurance is simply explained: If one of the borrowers dies , the insured amount agreed in the contract is paid out to the surviving dependents . In order to fully secure your loan, it naturally makes sense to adjust the sum insured to the total amount of the loan.

With risk insurance in the back, nothing stands in the way of your dream of owning your own home and you can lean back and relax in your own four walls.

On the safe side with Hannoverschen

But not only when buying a property should high loans be secured with term life insurance. The same applies to other major investments. Hannoversche offers profitable conditions:

  • three tariffs for every budget
  • Contract can be terminated monthly at any time
  • provisional insurance cover from receipt of the application
  • possible adjustment of the term to the interest rate and repayment rate of the loan
  • Payment of contributions in the event of occupational disability (on request) and much more

TIP: The earlier the risk insurance is taken out, the lower the premiums.

The real estate boom brought the German construction industry to flourish again at the beginning of the year. The companies experienced the strongest January ever recorded for new orders. How the Corona crisis will affect the industry is still open. But it could alleviate the shortage of skilled workers.

Incoming orders rose in January adjusted for the effect of calendar days and price changes by 6.3 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the Federal Statistical Office. At around 6.4 billion euros, the construction industry achieved the best new business ever recorded in a January at the beginning of the year. In that month, incoming orders rose by 9.1 percent compared to January 2019.

Infrastructure programs and mild weather increase demand

The construction industry has benefited for years from strong residential construction and higher investments by companies and the public sector in infrastructure. In addition, the mild weather allowed a lot of work to be done in winter. The main construction trade includes the construction of buildings (structural engineering) as well as roads, railways and lines (civil engineering). The Wiesbaden statisticians examine businesses with at least 20 employees for their calculations.

The construction industry recently announced during the Corona crisis that it was doing everything it could to continue working on the construction sites under strict hygiene measures. According to the industry association ZDB, some large companies lacked foreign specialists due to the pandemic.

IG Bau: Mini-jobbers should also receive short-time work benefits

Meanwhile, IG Bau demanded that the federal government also grant mini-jobbers access to short-time work benefits in the Corona crisis.

The union is primarily focusing on around 200,000 marginal part-time workers in building cleaning. At the same time, IG Bau is demanding that the short-time working allowance be increased to 90 percent. The rate is currently 60 percent or 67 percent for parents. The IG Bau hopes that employers should also ensure greater aid through more generous payments.

With the right roof insulation, homeowners can save energy and thus money. Refurbishment is often urgently required, especially on old roofs. Mathias Klement, an expert at Aroundhome, explains what you should pay attention to and what costs you will have to face.

German roofs are poorly insulated. The consequences: It is heated and burned for what it takes. This not only heats up the climate, but also burns a hole in your wallet. It is therefore an advantage to think about the right roof insulation.

Roof work is difficult to carry out in winter, so the warm season is ideal for renovation work. Before you jump into work, however, take a moment to plan. And watch out: You can get support, especially with financing.

Different types of insulation – different advantages

Not all roof insulation is created equal. In addition to the material and insulation thickness, there are major differences in the type of installation. There is no panacea here, but different advantages and disadvantages that must be weighed up. And of course in the end it is also a question of money.

Above-rafter insulation                                                    

With above-rafter insulation, the insulation material is placed above the wooden structure of the roof. This wooden structure, called a rafter, lies directly under the roof tiles. The problem: the bricks have to be covered. That can be very expensive. Nonetheless, over-rafter insulation is the most efficient way to save heating costs because it has one advantage: there are no thermal bridges. These are small gaps between the wooden rafters and the insulation material through which heat is lost.

Already knew? Because heat escapes through the poorly insulated cold spots in the outer shell of a building, experts call them thermal bridges – not cold bridges, as some believe.

Between the rafter insulation

The insulation between the rafters is, as the name suggests, installed between the rafters. In addition, it is glued with a vapor barrier film. The advantage: the roof does not have to be re-tiled. The work can be done from the inside. But there is also a major disadvantage: thermal bridges can arise. Even specialist companies can often not completely prevent thermal bridges, as Stiftung Warentest has found. Thermal bridges should not only be avoided in terms of energy efficiency. In the worst case, the cold spots can attract moisture and cause mold.

Under-rafter insulation

In order to avoid thermal bridges, it is worth combining between-rafter insulation with under-rafter insulation. Here, insulation material is attached from the inside under the rafters. This prevents gaps in which heat can escape. This in turn increases energy efficiency. Older houses that already have insulation between the rafters can be renovated inexpensively in this way. The only disadvantage: by installing it under the rafters, the living space is reduced by a few square meters.

Do it yourself or hire experts?

When building a new building, you are often already in contact with a roofer who can give you a recommendation and advise. Nevertheless, one should not go into a conversation uninformed. In the case of a roof renovation, many consider trying their hand at home improvement in order to save costs. You should be careful here, because small mistakes can be expensive in retrospect.

What does it cost me?

Protecting the environment and saving money, that’s all well and good, but: Roof renovations are not cheap. The costs are calculated based on the roof size. With above-rafter insulation, the square meter costs € 70 to € 120, with between-rafter insulation between 50 and 80 euros and with under-rafter insulation between 30 and 60 euros.

In order to estimate what costs you will have to face, the roof area must be calculated. This is the most important size for the roofer. The roof area is calculated from the base area, in combination with factors such as the roof pitch, the shape and the overhang. These elements complicate the calculation, so a specialist company can do this for you. Alternatively, you can use an online calculator.

However, it does not make sense to decide which type of insulation to choose based on the renovation costs. Refurbishment for efficient insulation can pay for itself over time. The following sample calculation is based on a building that is often found in Germany: a detached, unrenovated single-family house built in 1973, with 140 square meters of living space and a pitched roof (roof pitch 45 °). The roof is still in its original condition, i.e. it has not been renovated since 1973.

 

Example between rafter insulation:

In order to meet the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), the insulation between the rafters must be at least twelve centimeters thick. The costs for this are around € 13,000. The annual energy cost saving is € 700. This would amortize the investment after around 20 years. However, the next renovation may already be pending. It should also be noted that thermal bridges can arise.

Example of above-rafter insulation:

Even with roof insulation from the outside, the insulation layer must be at least twelve centimeters thick. The costs for the above-rafter insulation are significantly higher, as the roofing also has to be renewed at the same time. This is why above-rafter insulation costs € 30,500. The annual energy cost savings are also around € 700 here. Attention: The costs for the renovation will not be amortized with the savings in the following years.

Conclusion

When calculating costs, it should be noted that the larger and older – and therefore poorly insulated – the higher the savings in energy costs. The energy price is also expected to continue to rise in the next few years. This ensures that the energy savings become more and more lucrative over time. In addition, the measures lead to a considerable increase in the value of the building.

The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) recommends: “Energy-related construction measures are complex. It therefore makes sense to call in an energy efficiency expert when building, converting and renovating. This specialized energy consultant ensures the quality of the work – from planning to implementation. And: You definitely need it if you want to apply for KfW funding . Good to know that you will receive an extra grant of up to 4,000 euros for his construction supervision. “

Have you already applied for funding?

Efficient roof insulation increases the energy efficiency of your home, thereby potentially protecting the environment. Renovation measures on the roof insulation are therefore eligible for funding from KfW. There are two options here: credit or grant.

The loan “ Energy Efficient Renovation ” is a low-interest loan with a negative APR of z. B. -2.43%. Thanks to a repayment subsidy, your loan debt is reduced and the term is shortened. So you pay back less than you took in.

The second option is the investment grant 430. This was increased on 01/01/2020. Now there is financial support of up to 48,000 € for the renovation to the “KfW Efficiency House” or up to 10,000 € subsidy for individual measures.

Well prepared is half renovated

If you can hardly wait and want to continue saving, you can prepare the renovation of your own roof yourself. Detaching the antennas, removing the snow guard and sweeping the rafters is quick and easy. This saves you craftsman costs and at the same time you can practice as a do-it-yourselfer.

The Ifo Institute expects a massive slump in the German economy as a result of the Corona crisis. The construction industry is also feeling the current decline. This is shown by a study specifically for the construction industry. Nevertheless, the authors also see positive aspects.

Building permits “are not share prices, so the construction industry will get away with a dark blue eye compared to other sectors,” writes Heinze Marktforschung in a current study on the construction industry. Nevertheless, the current effects, especially in the construction process, are “more painful than in the financial crisis,” according to the authors.

The market researchers designed their own scenario for their investigation. The basis was the collapse in gross domestic product (GDP) during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 of 5.6 percent.

However, the experts emphasize that the current development and the situation during the global economic crisis of 2008 differ significantly. In contrast to the financial crisis, there are currently considerable losses in private consumption. This is precisely why government spending will increase massively. The federal and state governments alone are currently planning aid programs with a volume of 750 billion euros.

Housing construction could recover towards the end of the year

According to the Heinze study, homebuilding permits will get away with a dent. Multi-family house construction would “normally” have increased by a good ten percentage points in 2020. This expectation was fueled by the increasing number of building permits at the turn of the year.

But according to the current status, building permits will collapse significantly in the middle of the year. However, there is also a ray of hope: the number of building applications is likely to rise again in the second half of the year. “All in all, there will be a stabilization,” the authors say optimistically. The upswing in multi-family home construction remains intact thanks to the high demand.

The study names two main factors for this:

  • The funding framework has been clarified and will be accepted by the actors.
  • There is a lack of lucrative investment opportunities.

Non-residential construction has been in crisis for some time

According to the study, the situation is different in the non-residential segment. Non-residential construction is facing a cyclical downturn in 2020 and 2021. This development started in 2019 and is expected to expire in 2022.

The open question is how the Corona crisis intensifies this development. The residential-like company buildings are likely to be affected the most. Agricultural construction, on the other hand, got away with less losses.

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