A teenager who was determined to have a place of his own has saved a fortune by building a tiny wooden house from scratch at the bottom of his parents' garden. Thomas Lear, who works as a carpenter, got to work on the project when he was just 17 years old and within two years he had completed his rustic home, leaving him with no rent to pay. The now 21-year-old used reclaimed timber to construct the house on his family's land in Bristol, which features an open plan kitchen and living room complete with a pull-out bed to sleep up to four people. It's insulated but requires a log burner as there is no central heating, the shower runs off rainwater, and it has a chemical toilet - all coming in at a total cost of just £6,000. Thomas said: "I built it all from scratch on a budget. I just wanted to live a stress-free, simple life. "It is lovely being 21 and not having to spend all of my money on rent. I own everything and that puts me at ease. "The only thing I miss about … [Read more...] about Teenager saves on rent by building wooden home in parents’ garden for just £6,000
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We spend 90% of our time in the buildings where we live and work, shop and conduct business, in the structures that keep us warm in winter and cool in summer. But immense energy is required to source and manufacture building materials, to power construction sites, to maintain and renew the built environment. In 2019, building operations and construction activities together accounted for 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, the highest level ever recorded. To ensure that the Paris climate targets are met, the building and construction industry needs to become a climate leader by moving towards net zero construction. Its CO2 emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 for building stock to be carbon free by 2050, according to a recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In response, a raft of new net zero building initiatives are focused on curbing emissions across the whole building lifecycle. DW looks at 5 key points in understanding the … [Read more...] about 5 things to know about carbon-free construction
HOUSEHUNTERS in England and Northern Ireland looking to buy a home usually pay stamp duty on properties over £125,000. But it's £500,000 right now thanks to a stamp duty holiday - so what is stamp duty and how is it calculated? We run-down the rules for stamp duty in England and Northern Ireland, as rates differ for those buying homes in Scotland and Wales . What is stamp duty? Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a lump sum payment most people have to pay when buying a property or land. How much buyers have to fork out varies depending on the price and type of property. A stamp duty holiday was introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic to get the property market moving again. It means there is no stamp duty for properties up to £500,000 until March 31, 2021. But chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing to extend the stamp duty holiday by three months until the end of June. The usual stamp duty rates when there is not a holiday mean first-time buyers … [Read more...] about Stamp duty calculator: how much is it and when does the holiday end?
As of Tuesday, the German capital is one year into its five-year "rent freeze," and the data collected so far has given both opponents and supporters fuel for their arguments. A survey published last week by property ad portal ImmoScout24 found that while Berlin's average rent has indeed dropped in the past year, by 7.8%, the number of new flats on the market eligible for a rent reduction had dropped too — by some 30%. That has had a major effect on the competition for new apartments, ImmoScout24 said, with an average of 214 people answering each rental advert in January 2021, compared to 128 in the same month last year. Many cities around the world have some kind of rent control measures in place, but Berlin's rent cap law, in effect since February 2020, is unique. It meant that rents for 90% of Berlin's apartments were frozen for five years at the level they were at in June 2019. New rental contracts could not be above that level, and as of November 2020, any existing rents … [Read more...] about Berlin’s revolutionary rent cap — success or flop?
EERIE images from inside Chernobyl have been captured by a Brit urban explorer after he achieved his lifelong dream of braving the disaster zone Ryan Longstaff, 22, secretly spent four days traversing the infamous 1,000 square mile contaminated disaster region in Ukraine with three plucky pals. They fed on army rations and camped out in homes abandoned after the terrifying 1986 nuclear accident. The credit controller, from Newcastle upon Tyne, gained access after contacting two Ukrainian guides who know how to breach the site's security measures. Ryan and his group met the guides in Kiev at 7pm on 1 April and travelled 90 miles north to the abandoned former No. 4 Soviet nuclear city. The group then hiked seven miles in the dark until 2am the following morning, when they spent the night in the attic of an abandoned cottage in neighbouring Kopachi. The next morning, they set off on another five mile walk to reach Pripyat, the ghost town on the Ukrainian-Belarus … [Read more...] about Incredible photos of Chernobyl reveal desolate wasteland left behind by world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986