Seafarers Earnings Deduction – The Yacht Crew Tax Exemption

Self Assessment Tax Return Form

Are you pondering the different aspects of yacht crew income taxation and how that applies to you?

There is a lot of questions surrounding the Seafarers Earnings Deduction in the UK, especially for those who happen to be employed on ships and in different locations offshore away from the country.

I am sure you may have heard the different angles and misinformation that is commonly out there.

This guide will dispel myths and false information, while sharing with you how to utilise the Seafarers Earnings Deduction and how it may or may not apply to you.

Below is outlined the different details of this bill and how it can help you significantly if you are governed under this tax deduction.

Super Yacht in Port

How to Qualify for SED

The first requirement is that you must be a resident of the United Kingdom.

This means all earnings you gain through your employment aboard a ship are subject to tax under UK law.

If you find that you qualify for this tax exemption, it is a specialised discount entitled to those who are UK citizens employed as seafarers.

This yacht crew tax may apply to you specifically because this deduction was created to help with the competition and expenses associated in the worldwide seafaring industries.

It will be explained further below.

Requirements to be Deemed a Seafarer

To begin with, under United Kingdom laws a seafarer is considered to be an individual who works all of his or her hours on a ship or completes a majority of their work-related tasks on the ship.

Strangely enough, this does not apply to the UK military that spends a great deal of their time in foreign waters, although this may change in the future.

At this moment in time, all military personnel are not eligible for this tax break.

The SED Definition of a Ship

What the Seafarers Earnings Deduction constitutes as a ship is not listed however, examples of what a ship is not are listed.

If you are employed on:

  • a floating production platform
  • fixed floating production platform
  • floating production storage
  • floating storage units, offloading vessels
  • flotels
  • drill-ships
  • jack-up units
  • semi-submersible drilling units
  • mobile offshore drilling units

…then you do not qualify!

If you are employed on any of the above specific rigs then you are not considered a seafarer and cannot apply the Seafarers Earnings Deduction on your self-assessment tax returns.

There are also other requirements as listed below.

In any given working year, you have to begin your voyage while employed from a foreign port or ending your voyage from a foreign trip.

This means that if you leave while employed from the UK, you won’t be covered by this tax law.

If you are employed in gas drilling rigs or oil offshore rigs, you can have your journey covered if you go to a rigging platform that is outside of the United Kingdom and not within UK water areas.

The last component of the SED rules is that you spend over 365 days outside of the United Kingdom going to and from foreign destinations in international waterways.

Once the 365 days have been achieved, you will then be able to benefit from the Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

The only way you could potentially interrupt this is if you were to incur a failure, which could cause you to lose access to the Seafarers Earnings Deduction.

A failure is considered if you spend over 183 days inside the UK or if you break the half day rule and visit the UK.

Every day that is on your claim is added and then divided by 2.

All days that you spend within the United Kingdom are added to that total amount.

If the second amount is larger then the first sum, then you will incur a failure.

A new claim period begins when you depart the UK and it ends when you return.

Money Savings Jar

Be sure to keep all of your records and paperwork and supply them at tax time.

You will need access to your employment records, passports, visas, freeboard logs of ships you were on, airline ticket receipts, travel vouchers, seafarer’s discharge book and also boarding passes too.

Using the Seafarers Earnings Deduction is incredibly invaluable and helps with the worldwide marketplace of the seafaring industry for UK citizens.

It can offer you a massive discount on your taxes and give you a large portion of it back.

Be sure to talk to a specialist yacht crew tax accountant that can explain the full details and whether or not the Seafarers Earning Deduction applies to you.

A yacht crew tax specialist will be your best advisor but if you understand that these specific rules apply to you as a yacht crew person then by all means, find out how you can get this deduction for your benefit.

4 Ways Technology Will Improve Your Exhibition Stand

When it comes to the different formats of exhibition design it seems that this world is changing and new elements are being used to help gain attention and build better sales conversations. Within this article, you will learn of four unique methods you can use to capitalise on the potential to gain attention and promote brand recognition to your target audience at trade shows and other areas where you will be using an exhibition stand. When it comes to setting yourself apart as a business and a brand from the crowd and to create a compelling presence, you will want to integrate technology to maximise the number of leads generated at exhibitions without having to maximise the usage of an on-stand sales team. By continuing to read this you will discover different examples for exhibition stands that include things like video, iPads, virtual reality, holographs, touch screens and other technologies that improve the presence and impact of your exhibition stand.

UTStarcom Exhibition Stand
UTStarcom’s CES 2008 Exhibition Stand Was Hugely Impressive. Image credit: Engadget

The following four suggestions can improve your overall branding and marketing power and will help keep you at the leading edge of your competition. If you do not yet fully understand the ability and benefits of exhibition stand technology pay attention to the following techniques. These are being used by the top marketing firms and companies to bring about a much greater branding effect and to increase customer engagement as well as capturing leads. If you want to maximise the usefulness of exhibition stand marketing then follow this list of suggestions and brainstorm ideas that can work for your own brand or marketing needs.

1. You want to gain attention, create desire and engage your customers

Using the latest technology can help you to bring about a larger buzz around your stand. You want to be remembered and using the best technology will make your stand the centre of attention at an exhibition and will provide a much needed long lasting and positive impression for your brand. You can also use technology to capture leads as well as visitor data and other information. Your options when utilising technology are really only limited by your imagination and budget. Using things such as interactive screens, walls and flooring, as well as motion sensor technology, can capture the attention of customers and connect them with your brand. You can also utilise location-based tools to engage with visitors. You can do such things as send offers and promotions to customers on their smartphones as just one small example of what you can do.

2. You can use technology to increase connection with your brand

Using technology like leaderboards and apps can easily improve the exhibition experience and deliver a greater impact. You can create an engaging stand and use technology to collect important digital data and customer information. When you choose to invest in exhibition technology you can have your sales team focus on speaking with visitors while the tech aspect can provide detailed statistics and information you can use for future events. You can do things like capture names and emails of your visitors, phone numbers, social media information too. We are in a much more socially connected world and utilising the latest technology can help make a greater impact on your return on investment with exhibition stand design.

3. Technology can easily create a better experience for visitors

Embracing technology such as apps and digital touch points can give your attendees different sales and marketing information without having to carry it around with them. You can use digital technology to collect data about visitors including capturing leads and to help increase communication between the brand and visitors before, during and even after the show has taken place.

4. You can simplify your ability to calculate return on investment

Being able to find out the actual success of your trade exhibit is not the easiest task. Sales will typically be sparked the day of the event but won’t take effect until later in time. With technology, it allows you the ability to measure engagement, capture analytics and provide opportunities to follow-up and target visitors and leads which is integral to discovering your return on investment.

Exhibition visitors want an engaging experience that is entirely unique and is memorable. Using technology as a backbone of your trade exhibit is important. Being able to engage your visitor on different sensory levels and engaging their emotions is important for branding and making an impact. Technology can play a big part of the success of your exhibit so be sure to integrate it into your strategy.


The author acknowledges the following third parties for referencing their content:


7 Ideas to Prolong the Life for your Timber Framed Garage

Help Your Wooden Garage Last a Lifetime

When it comes to ensuring a long life for your home’s garage, we have put together 7 amazing ideas that will make it live longer.

This will give you maximum durability, safety, and comfort.

Under bad conditions, a wooden garage can last up to 10 years.

However, if you take appropriate care of your garage you can increase its life span by another 15 years giving it a life of 20 to 25 years long before being completely rebuilt.

We will share with you advice on how to ensure a long life for your wooden garage.

Just follow our advice and add value and comfort to your home with a much longer lasting garage that in the long run will save you money on renovations.

The first thing on our list of seven tips is to use a high-quality treatment on your wood during installation and also every few years.

Using high-quality treatment will ensure that the effect of its use will last longer and will prolong the lifespan of the wood.

Be sure that you treat the wood when it is being installed.

You will need to add an extra coating to areas of the wood that will get wet and where pieces connect and interlock because they can get worn down easily.

A Typical Timber Framed Garage with Tiled Roof. Image credit: Pinterest

Another area to coat are the places where the doors make contact with the walls of the garage.

Apply extra coatings of high-quality treatment regularly to make your wood last longer.

Using treating prevents the wood from being infested by insects, moisture and fungus infections.

It preserves the wood in pristine condition and coating should be applied every year.

Another thing you will have to deal with when owning a wooden garage is the wood developing splits.

Splitting occurs when the wood is in direct contact with sunlight and they reduce the lifespan of your garage in a big way.

You will want to be sure that you coat this wood thoroughly and use the highest rated treatment paint.

These don’t guarantee that you will not get splits.

Splits happen no matter what you do.

We suggest you use wood fillers to fill the cracks in your wood.

Choose the highest quality and once the filler dries you can apply treatment paint on the surface of the wood to cover any stains from the filler.

Unfortunately wood deforms over time and that is why you need your wooden garage to be structurally sound and that deformities don’t affect the usage of your garage.

You will notice visible spaces between the walls, doors, windows, and roof.

These spaces allow for the wood to expand or deform naturally. Don’t fill these gaps as it can cause damage to your garage.

The deformity process needs this space to make your garage structurally sound.

You want the interior of your timber framed garage to be as dry as you can get it.

A humid interior will shorten the lifespan of a garage and to prevent this you need good ventilation.

Having a sold roof in place with good ventilation prevents mould from growing and other types of fungus that grow in humid conditions.

If you still end up having to deal with mould or fungus you will have to call a professional exterminator to fix the problem.

Any leaks in your roof will allow water and moisture to penetrate the structure, effectively allowing rot to set in.

If this is the case, find ways to encourage any rain water away into an effective guttering system.

This can then be plumbed into large-scale rain water collection tanks for a variety of other uses.

Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts, and opt for old fashioned roofing materials that are known to last long, like asbestos roof sheets.

These are known to be very hazardous to health and should be avoided at all costs.

Split & Cracking Timbers. Image credit: Carolina Timberworks

Because of the gaps between beams and column framing, you will need to use insulation in these spaces to prevent the interior temperature of your garage from changing which ultimately affects the wood and its durability.

You will need to use fibreglass or polystyrene insulation to fill in these gaps and spaces in between the planks used for framing.

Adding insulation will make your garage a comfortable temperature and will prevent any extremes of hot or cold which will warp wood.

To improve the longevity of your garage and the wood it is built with, we suggest you add sealants to the concrete base of the garage and beginning of the wall floor barrier.

This will help prevent water from entering the garage.

You can also apply sealant to the walls and ceiling to help promote a dry atmosphere that won’t be impacted by any humidity.

The greatest feature of a garage that will last a long time and not break down is a garage that has a properly levelled and dry base.

You absolutely need a dry and level base when you are building a wooden garage.

A base that is uneven can lead to water leakages and water building up underneath the floor which creates a humid interior and adds to mould being formed within the entirety of the garage.

Follow our 7 tips on adding to the life span of your garage you have just read.

You will add value to your home as well as comfort and these suggestions can be done easily on a budget.


We’d like to thank the following external website for their content, images and knowledge for enabling us to bring this article together:

How to improve your kitchen by spray painting the cupboard doors

Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house, and you need to make sure that it is a pleasant environment for all the family.

Preparing meals, washing dishes and serving meals, are important activities for every family’s daily routine.

If your kitchen is no longer as appealing and as stylish as it once used to be, it may be time to do something about it.

A Tired Dated Kitchen Can Be Transformed With a Lick of Paint. Image credit: Photo Critique

The truth is that most people do not have the time to see to a full kitchen replacement project, and probably you have a limited budget too, as a new kitchen is extremely costly.

Some people even think about selling up and moving home as a quicker and more convenient alternative.

But before you call the moving company and book a date, hold tight!

You can still improve the look of your kitchen by opting for some more reasonable choices.

One of these is to spray paint your kitchen cupboard doors. If you come to think of it the cabinet doors are the main element in your kitchen.

They are what draws most attention.

If you no longer like the colour of your doors or they look tired and dated, you can give them a whole new look by simply painting them.

And besides being affordable, it is also quite simple too.

To spray paint your kitchen cabinets you will need a lot of paint in a colour that you like and a paint sprayer to make the job as effortless and as quick as possible, not to mention less messy!

You will need to remove the cabinet doors one-by-one, as well as all the hardware including hinges.

Labelling the doors to avoid confusion later on when you will be reinstalling is very important.

Painting Kitchen Cabinets is Easy with a Roller. Image credit: DIY Network

Make sure to clean the old cabinet doors thoroughly first.

Stick tape in the hinge holes so as to keep out the paint.

Then prime them with a stain-blocking primer.

Should there be any small holes, dings or scratches, you may wish to seal to them with packing compound.

Sand lightly, without removing the finish.

Then follow with a good quality latex enamel.

It is very important that you apply more than one coat.

So after the first coat has been allowed to dry well, you are then ready to spray paint over it again.

For the cabinet frames you may wish to use a brush or a small roller for better results.

When the doors are dry, you can then install the hardware and hang them in their respective places.

Make sure the hinges fit snugly.

You will need to be careful to avoid paint runs or any marks especially on the sides of the cabinets.

So you may wish to practice on some scrap pieces of wood first so as to get the hang of it.

Also, make sure to wear suitable protection while you spray paint, especially a mask respirator.

If you do not want to do this yourself you will also find experienced people who offer this kind of service.

As long as your cabinet doors are still in good shape and structurally sound, it is perfectly plausible to simply spray paint them to give them a new look.

A fresh lick of paint can work wonders and give you one of the quickest, cost effective kitchen makeovers possible and make you the envy of all your friends.

External Credits

The following websites were used as referencing material to bring the article together, and we therefore would like to thank:

Personal Injury Claims: Finding the Best Solicitor

Getting Legal Compensation the Right Way

Experiencing any type of personal injury is distressing. Be it a car crash, a fall, a case of medical malpractice, or an accident at work, you deserve compensation for what happened and for what you suffered. Apart from the actual medical consequences and their expenses, most probably you also went through a period where you were unable to go to work. You might have been affected psychologically as well, and your accident or injury may have had a lasting impact on your ability to perform certain tasks, or even an effect on your family. The result of a personal injury are broad and manifold. Thus, the seriousness of the case varies, but regardless of what happened, one thing is for sure – you need the legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer.

The Purpose of Tort Law. Image credit: Github

Understanding tort law

A personal injury lawyer is a lawyer who would have specialized in tort law. He or she will have extensive experience in handling such cases, and the main aim will obviously be to help you get what is rightfully yours, financially or otherwise. Choosing a personal injury lawyer that you feel confident in is really important. As you go through your research of prospective personal injury lawyers you will be focusing on a number of factors, including:

  • Their level of experience and years of practice
  • Their reputation
  • Trial experience
  • The cases won
  • Location
  • Fee structure

Apart from these factors, you will also need to ascertain whether the lawyer of your choice is a dedicated one or not. There are many lawyers who unfortunately tackle cases as if they were a number, thus failing to show empathy and understanding to their clients, who are after all going through a difficult period after sustaining this injury or accident. Thus, make sure to feel comfortable with the personal injury lawyer that you intend to choose.

It is also highly recommended to look up some reviews the lawyer’s past clients have posted online about their experience with him/her and the result of the case that the lawyer handled for them.

The personal injury solicitor of your choice will be dealing with your case in a certain manner. The way forward will naturally depend on the severity of your case and the type of personal injury you sustained. Personal injuries can have different repercussions, and the lawyer will be discussing your expectations with you so as to decide the best way forward. In some cases medical negligence or a case of carelessness might even have led to serious injuries, where the victim could not perform to the best of his/her bodily abilities any longer. In some cases serious disabilities or even death may have resulted, and thus there would be grounds to file a lawsuit. The lawyer will be helping you out with his or her legal advice and guidance throughout this difficult period. Choosing the right personal injury lawyer will greatly improve your chances of getting a favourable outcome from your case.

A Typical UK Courtroom. Image credit: Daily Mail

The personal injury lawyer you hire should be experienced in the type of accident you experienced or the type of injury you sustained. For instance,

  • Slip, trip and fall accidents – generally happen due to negligence to the required maintenance. The owners of the property where the accident happened will be responsible for the unreasonable risk that was posed. This also includes passageways and floors, and the presence of anything that could be deemed hazardous.
  • Road traffic accidents – sometimes people suffer injuries due to a road traffic accident which was not their fault. This could be a pedestrian or a cyclist hit by a passing vehicle, or an injury sustained while you were a passenger in a vehicle, for instance.
  • Workplace accidents and work-related illnesses – an injury suffered at the place of work may lead to proper compensation by the employer. The place of work needs to be safe, and if there has been an accident, it could be due to a hazardous working environment, and this is where the personal injury lawyer will come into play to safeguard your rights as a worker and help you get rightful compensation.
  • Medical negligence – medical malpractice is another part of personal injury law. Basically, if one feels that as a result of medical negligence he/she suffered some form of injury, legal advice is to be sought. Medical providers need to follow a certain recognized standard of care, and if they fail to do so, a case of medical negligence or malpractice may be established.

The personal injury lawyer will start working on your case by ascertaining what happened precisely, as well as collect any evidence. The goal is to establish who is liable for the damages and injuries, while also highlighting the extent and the nature of the damages and injuries. A trial may be required, and the personal injury lawyer will be defending your case while trying to get the best possible compensation for the injuries you suffered.

How to build a Plywood Sawhorse

If you are a DIY lover, or are passionate about building things yourself, you must know how convenient having a sawhorse can be most of the time. Placing what you need to cut over it so as to be better able to handle it will save you a great deal of effort, as well as time. However you never got to buy one because they tend to be quite costly. Most are also a bit too bulky. So, why don’t you try building a sawhorse yourself? It is really quite simple. In this guide we will describe how you can build a sawhorse made from plywood. Let’s get started!

What do you need?

First off, you will need to acquire the materials you will be using. You will need either sheets of MDF or plywood that are at least 18mm thick – we recommend you use 25mm thick for extra strength. The board should measure 8 inches by 4 inches. It is important to stick to plywood as it is stronger than MDF when it comes to building a sturdy sawhorse.

You will also need plenty of self-tapping screws and wood glue. As tools you will require a jigsaw or a circular saw for cutting, and a screwdriver. Both a regular and an electric screwdriver will be okay, but obviously electric tools make any job far easier since you will need to do a lot of cutting and fix a lot of screws.

A Simple Plywood Sawhorse. Image credit: The Wood Whisperer

Step by step guide to build the sawhorse

The cutting phase:

  1. First you will need to cut the various parts that will be needed. These include four side panels of equal size. These should measure 76.2cm by 40.6cm at the base, and 10.2cm at the top centre point. These measurements are ideal because you will be able to cut them out from a single sheet of plywood, without wasting material unnecessarily.
  2. You will also need to cut a semi-circular shape at the base of each of these side panels. This will serve as the feet of the sawhorse, and will enable it to keep steady even when placed on an uneven surface.
  3. You have to cut the worktop of your sawhorse. Two lengths of plywood measuring 165cm by 40cm should be ideal. When attached to each other, they will create a solid surface which will be suitable to bear whatever weight you will need to place over.
  4. Next we move on to cutting the support joists. You can cut these from the remaining plywood. You should be able to cut out 12 support joists, each measuring 40.6cm by 10.2cm.
  5. You will also need to cut another two pieces of plywood measuring 40cm by 2.5cm. These will be attached to the sawhorse’s top to help keep the top in place.
A Typical Timber Subframe. Image credit: Imgur

The building phase:

  1. Now that all the parts have been cut, you can start building the sawhorse. Attach the double-lined joists together so as to have six in all. Use wood glue and clamp them together well to avoid any movement.
  2. When they have dried and set, attach them one by one along the centre of the side panels, in a vertical manner. Space them evenly, about 23cm apart from one another. With 1.25” screws attach the joist at either end so as to create the bases of the sawhorse.
  3. Next, you will move on to the worktop. You can either attach the two sheets you had cut out together with wood glue and wood screws. Or else, if you want an even sturdier top, you will need to build up a sub-frame. This can be built using the remaining plywood. All you need to do is cut two strips of equal lengths as the length of the worktop, add side joists at increments, and then attach the frame to the surface with screws going through the base sheet. A sub-frame is a good idea for a sawhorse as it prevents warping and bending, which is a common possibility when considering the weight and pressure that it will need to hold when put to use.
  4. Now that your sawhorse’s worktop is ready, you will need to attach two cleats from either edge of the top. These will basically be like stops which will keep the sawhorse in place while you are using it.
  5. Finally it is all about assembling it and putting it to good use. Scaffold platforms can be set at adjustable heights for your convenience.

If you want to make your sawhorse look more professional, you can sand it lightly with a sandpaper. This is recommended especially at the points where the cutting was made. In this way you will remove any splinters or edges that could be a bit sharp. Finally you can stain it with some wood varnish or paint. The finish will make it look better, as well as improve its longevity.

Understanding the various types of commercial building fit outs

Knowing your Cat A from Cat B or Shell & Core

The term fit-out describes the process of making the interior of a building look and feel more complete, so that one may start to occupy it. In the case of commercial fit-outs this involves completing the inside of a building to use it as an office, retail outlet, or factory. Whatever type of commercial purpose the building is going to serve, there are various things that need to be installed, such as machines, equipment, computers, audio visual equipment, facilities and so much more. Therefore, when a future occupant tries to reach an agreement with a developer, it is important that the various factors are taken into account. This is even more important when considering that there are varying degrees of fit-outs, and since there is no specific or standard definition of the terms, it is critical to draw up a contract which clearly stipulates what shall be seen to and what shall not be handled by the developer.

There are three main types of fit-outs, and they vary from Shell and Core which is the most basic, to Category B fit-outs where the degree of completion of the building is practically completed from A to Z. As a sort of average type of fit-out in between these two, there is the Category A fit-out. Let us discuss each one of them in some more detail.

Tenants should only expect the bare bones structure when occupying a Shell & Core premises. Image credit: Locanto

Shell & Core Fit-out

Shell and Core consists of a fit-out where, as the name implies, all the shell and core works are seen to by the developer. This includes the basic structure of the building, cladding, base plant and the completion of the exterior of the building, and any common areas. This type of fit-out will make any building look quite sparse from the inside. The main reception or lobby, any staircases, basements, lift shafts and toilets will have been seen to, but there is so much more to be done until the building can be occupied. Hence the shell and core fit-out is the most basic type of fit-out, where there is no time and effort spent on the interior design or brand image of the company that will be operating from this building. It is basically all about completing the skeleton of the building, and any flesh, so to speak, will be added later on.

Category A Fit-out

In this type of fit-out, there are some more works carried out inside the building. So there will be the installation and distribution of electrical and mechanical services, as well as any raised floors and suspended ceilings. Internal surface finishings will also be carried out. This type of fit-out is ideal for those tenants who are not going to have high-end specifications for the interior design and décor of their offices. As long as there are not complex fit-out requirements, this type of fit-out is often considered to be the most practical type of fit-out.

Tenants can expect a fully fitted, bespoke interior branded to their company style with a Cat B fit out. Image credit: Price Compare

Category B Fit-out

This is the other end of the spectrum in the range of fit-outs. This is where a lot of emphasis is placed on how the finished building is going to look like from the inside. Not every commercial development company offers this type of fit-out as in most cases these clients will have very specific requirements which are best taken care of by a professional office interior design or refurbishment company. As there will be a lot of emphasis placed on the final touches and finishes, so as to bring out the branding element of the company that will be based in the building, this type of fit-out will involve more time and expense to be completed.

In a Category B fit-out there will be the installation of the offices themselves, as well as any specialist facilities like conference rooms, meeting rooms, board rooms, reception areas and kitchen areas. All equipment will be installed, as well as the furniture and fittings. A Category B fit-out is one where the design elements of the office are seen to in a detailed manner, up until the office is not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing.

Agreements & Contracts

It is very important that prior to starting any work or making any payments, there is an agreement between the parties. The developer will need to know what the client wants so as to be able to fulfil his expectations and any specific requirements. Negotiations may need to be carried out especially when there is a lack of agreement of what shall be seen to and what will not be completed by the developer. This may include the provision of certain equipment in common areas such as standby generators, and the level of completion of certain facilities which may fall between a Category A and a Category B fit-out. Therefore everything should be clearly described in a contract.

Each commercial property and landlord agreement is unique. One agreement will be different from another not only as one building differs from another, but also because each developer and client is going to have different boundaries, expectations and specifications respectively.

Why is Planned Preventative Maintenance Important?

Save Your Commercial Business from Spiralling Costs

One of the biggest investments one can make is buying a property. Be it a house or a commercial establishment, a property is the biggest asset most people have, and this means that it needs to be well maintained so as to ensure that its value does not go down in time. If you were to take into account how many things and elements make up a property, you will go on and on. Some of the most obvious ones include plumbing, electricity, lighting, HVAC, roofing, flooring and walls. But there are also various others. Failure to inspect and maintain these on a regular basis will lead to various problems, as well as a reduction in the property value. Therefore planned preventative maintenance is of utmost importance, and the larger a building is, the more critical it becomes.

Planned preventative maintenance should be carried out just as the name implies, with a plan. The plan should state what type of inspection and work will need to be carried out at specified times, such as monthly, quarterly, yearly, and so on. Thanks to a PPM schedule, routine maintenance can repairs can be carried out more easily and at ideal time intervals, and this will also help in staggering the costs rather than ending up paying a considerable amount of money at one go. Thus with a PPM schedule, the annual maintenance cost cycle can be optimised, while also ensuring that the value of the property is maintained and enhanced. Besides, breakdown, failures and other serious problems can be prevented as any problems will most likely be noticed and repaired before they get worse or beyond repair. Therefore planned preventative maintenance can actually lead to cost savings as there will most likely be reduced replacement costs. Equipment, machines, amenities and facilities will also have improved reliability.

Some of the main jobs that are carried out during planned preventative maintenance include:

Air Conditioning Servicing

Air conditioning units can be found in practically every commercial establishment as they are indispensable for a comfortable working environment. However regular air conditioning maintenance servicing need to be carried out to ensure that the units are operating at their utmost efficiency. This not only affects the energy savings but also has an impact on indoor air quality.

UK businesses must have electrics inspected every 5 years by law. Image credit: Mister Sparky

Periodic Electrical Inspections

These are extremely important since a sound electrical system is the foundation of any commercial establishment. Just imagine how many machines, computers, lights and other devices are running in a commercial building! Planned maintenance schedules can guarantee that your electricity system is running properly and gets well maintained, while also making sure that everything is in compliance with statutory guidelines. Emergency light testing and fire alarm maintenance is also important.


The more lighting fixtures there are, the larger the need to check them out periodically so as to make sure that they are operating efficiently, and whenever there is the need, they get replaced. This has a huge impact on energy efficiency and savings.

Regular Heating & Boiler Inspection can save potentially thousands in costs of replacement. Image credit: Saga

Heating & Boiler Servicing

Gas safety inspections should be carried out regularly. Boiler plant maintenance is important, as are hot water plant maintenance. Sometimes adjustments to heating controls will greatly reduce fuel costs. There may be cases where it is more economical to replace a boiler and this can only be ascertained if regular checks are carried out. Heating system repairs are of utmost importance too.

Plumbing & Sanitation

Reliable plumbing is critical for a well-run building. It is important to keep an eye on any leakages no matter how small they may seem. Pipes should be unblocked, drains running properly, and there should not be any problem with toilets flushing. From time to time pipework repairs may be required and drainage problems may easily crop up. Periodic drain cleaning is important. Any cold water storage tanks and boosted pump systems will also be seen to.

Routine maintenance can help to keep track of what is going on in the building, and what needs to be done to improve the running and efficiency of various operations. These ultimately affect costs and profits. Therefore any business needs to place importance on a planned preventative maintenance schedule that can see to all of these aspects. Hiring a company that can see to all of these maintenance services can greatly reduce the demanding nature of the countless things to see to, and jobs to be carried out. Most of these specialists will be licensed professionals who will also help you keep track of what is done and when, while also recommending any changes, ameliorations or replacements that are to be carried out for improved efficiency and savings. Generally a contract is drawn which will also include 24 hour emergency services. For a large commercial establishment this is the most feasible way to go about carrying out planned preventative maintenance.

Take a Look Inside the Sky Q 2TB Set-Top Box

Sky Q is synonymous with what many are referring to as the next generation of set-top boxes loaded with impressive features. There are many benefits to be gained from such a system which revolves around the notion of utmost convenience and flexibility, the ability of boosting multiscreen viewing, while eliminating any recording problems.

Sky Q aims to be the best on-demand system for those who really like watching TV and want to avail of a truly dependable, flexible and diversified service. At the heart of this system is the main Sky Q box, which is available in 1TB and 2TB versions.

Needless to say the Sky Q 2TB Set-Top Box is more powerful since it offers up to 350 hours of HD programming. The Sky Q 2TB Set-Top Box has an improved user interface and several built-in apps and accessories. However, we can go into further detail so as to give you an even better idea of what this set-top box can offer you.

The Sky Q box looks great alongside any entertainment set up. Image credit: Expert Reviews

Set-Top Box Features

  • Comes with 12 HD tuners, so one can have 4 for recording, 1 dedicated for a live channel, 1 for PIP, 2 for the mini boxes, 2 for the apps, 1 for data such as images and 1 as a spare. So, one can always be in a position to watch live TV without having to worry that there could be a recording clash.
  • It fully supports Ultra HD and so it is compatible with 4K TVs.
  • Up to 350 hours of HD programming. One can basically record up to four shows simultaneously while also watching a fifth one live.
  • Can stream Sky TV on two tablets or two rooms
  • Airplay enabled

User Interface

The interface has been revamped, and for those who have been using Sky, it may be a bit strange at first. However there is a lot to benefit from this new interface once one gets used to it.

There is the TV mini guide on the left hand side, the menu options on the right are clearly labelled, and everything else is in vertical panels.

The My Q section is a welcome addition as one can see what was watched recently, as well as where a programme was at when it was stopped.

There is the Top Picks recommendation feature which will be based on the viewing history. The recordings are easily found in this new layout too. The interface is all in all more modern and well laid out.

Sky Q Rear Panel. Image credit: Sky Help Forum

Remote Controls

Sky Q 2TB Set-Top Box comes with the traditional remote control as well as a touch remote. This is Bluetooth enabled and so there is the advantage that one does not always have to be in the line of sight of the box to be able to control it. This remote also has a button which will play a high-pitched sound so as to help you find it in case you misplace it. There is also a voice button. The touchpad is quite clever and you may tap and scroll easily once you get used to it.

Sky Q Hub

The Sky Q 2TB Set-Top Box can act as a wi-fi hotspot for Sky Broadband. This is an aspect that is appreciated by many, especially when the signal in certain rooms is not that strong.

Multiscreen Viewing

This is one of the main changes that is marketed by Sky as fluid viewing. The seamless connected experience that users can benefit from thanks to this set-top box is surely a cool way of taking home entertainment to a whole new level. Now, one can pause, resume, record, and do whatever he needs to do, anywhere and anytime with this super-connected arrangement.

Retail Price

The price will depend on whether one is an existing Sky customer. In that case a one-time fee of 99GBP to be able to upgrade to Sky Q is set. New customers will not have to pay this fee but they will be charged 10GBP for the standard installation and monthly payments of 56GBP subsequently. Subscription prices will vary when one adds add-ons to the bundle, such as Sky Cinema or Sky Sports. Multiscreen fees vary as well. In case of the Sky Q 2TB Set-Top Box the fee is 99GBP.

Watch TV anywhere, anytime!

The main aim behind this system is to offer user ultimate convenience and flexibility.

With the capabilities of the Sky Q 2TB Set-Top Box this can surely be made possible. One can sync recordings on tablets, watch favourite shows in different rooms at home while even recording other shows. And to make it as convenient as can be, the box can also be used to watch Sky Q abroad in conjunction with a VPN.

All of this enhances the userís experience, because apart from being multiscreen, and available at oneís home, it is even something that is made available away from home as well. This is basically what is referred to as fluid viewing.

Please note that officially, the Sky Q set-top box is not for sale outside of the United Kingdom. So if you are a British expatriate who has moved or plans to move to Australia from UK for example, then the only way to get your hands on this great little box is via specialist suppliers, like those linked above.

How to Choose The Best Running Shoes For Ankle Support

Give Your Feet Suitable Cushioning

Going for a run does not require much. Actually, your shoes are the most important thing to consider and therefore they need to be top notch. Many people may experience ankle issues after several weeks of running, and this may be due to the wrong pair of running shoes, or shoes that do not offer sufficient support to your ankles.

If not well-supported during runs, ankles undergo a lot of strain which can lead to ankle instability, repeated ankle sprains, and ankle pain. The ankle has to bear almost the entire body weight, except that of the feet when standing, so it has to be strong enough to withstand the impact of walking and running.

The shoes should also provide maximum support to the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the ankle joint. The ankle joint, as with other joints is made of bones that are capped with cartilage and surrounded by a capsule. Its strength is dependent on the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around it.

Common Running Injuries. Image credit: The Run Experience

Causes & Cures

The main causes of ankle problems include:

  • incorrect posture while walking
  • improper or ill-fitting footwear
  • too much body weight
  • repeated rolling and twisting of the ankle when running or walking.

This, however, should not worry you. Shoe manufacturers have designed shoes that offer ankle support, and you only need to know what to look out for. Highly regarded sports manufacturers such as New Balance running shoes have a number of models that offer excellent heel cushioning combined with ankle support, such as the 1080v7 running shoe.

In this article, we will give you a few tips on how to choose proper shoes for ankle support, no matter the brand name.

It is important to note that shoes alone or paired with ankle braces may not completely prevent an injury, but additional support from the right shoes will help in reducing stress on your ankle by reducing the amount of wear on the joint. This is because maximum ankle support helps in reducing the ankle movement which is key in prevention of injuries.

Every time you are buying running shoes, always choose shoes that protect your ankles. The shoe you choose should provide support from all sides. Here are some of the aspects that you should put into consideration when choosing a running shoe that is suitable for your ankles.

  1. Find the right size
    Some people may find this obvious, but it cannot be overemphasized. It is crucial to find a shoe that fits properly especially because it protects your foot, leg, and ankle region. Many people assume that they know their shoe size and end up buying the wrong shoe size, therefore, it is necessary that you visit a store where you can have a professional fitting done. Wearing the wrong size of the shoe can lead to injuries.
  1. Look out for arch support
    You must consider your arch which is the most important part of your foot. If you have a low arch with little support, you are likely to have problems with your ankles. You will, therefore, need to buy shoes that have a substantial bend in the arch. It should be firm and flexible while running, and neither too hard nor too soft.
  1. Ensure it has good traction
    Poor traction underneath your running shoe is a major cause of ankle problems. If the shoe does not have a grip and is slippery on the surface, you are likely to slide which can lead to falls and injuries.
  1. Check for sole support
    This is especially important if you have arthritis. Look for a shoe with a thicker sole at the heel so that when your foot strikes the surface, you are able to bounce back with minimal impact. This also helps in reducing the symptoms of arthritis and will reduce stress when running.
  1. Check for lateral support
    If your ankles roll inwards or outwards naturally, then you need to get running shoes that counteract this tendency. This will prevent your ankles from sprains while you run by keeping the stable and in great shape.
New Balance 1080v7 running shoes offer excellent ankle support & cushioning. Image credit: New Balance

Remember, buying a pair of running shoes during the morning hours is not advisable. This is because, in the course of the day, feet tend to swell and are at their largest in the afternoon or early evening. This is the best time to fit shoes, and always ask to be allowed to do a test jog around the store or the lock if possible.

The correct pair of running shoes will help in supporting your ankles, but you may need to also look at some other factors like wearing high heels. Strive to find shoes that allow for maximum body weight distribution across the soles of the feet. Flat shoes with food arch support may be a better option.

It is also advisable that you seek proper advice from a podiatrist. They will give expert advice on the possible causes of your ankle problems if you are experiencing any. They will also do a gait analysis so as to give informed advice on the proper kind of running shoe for your gain and for maximum foot support. They will also advise on the right insoles for you if needed.