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How To Keep Your Patio Furniture Free From Stains

With summer approaching, it’s time to wheel out the patio furniture to enjoy those long balmy nights outdoors with the family. But is your garden equipment still up to the task, or is it covered in unsightly dirt and mould?

What To Look For In A Tradesman

By now you have probably decided to get several quotes, but the cheapest option is not always the best option. Perhaps the skillset of the tradesmen is not to the best standard or they cut corners to save time and make money. It could be something personal like you don’t feel comfortable around the person.

When you are hiring tradespeople, you have to consider that you are letting a stranger into your home. You also want to be assured they do an accomplished job and you get along with them. Here is what you should look for when hiring a tradesman.

Step-by-Step Guide To Buying A Great New Kitchen

The kitchen is arguably the most important room of your house. Not only do you want the pleasure of cooking, but it is also a big selling plus when you decide to sell. So what constitutes a great kitchen and when should you invest?

Benefits of a Power Shower

40 years ago, the shower was just taking off in UK bathrooms. Few of us had central heating, and the routine for most families was a nightly bath rather than a morning shower. Over the last few decades though we’ve all embraced the shower as a quicker and more efficient way of getting clean. Showers have got more powerful, have become more of a design feature and are now the standard in a home rather than something unusual. So if you are in the market for a new shower, what are the benefits of a power shower?

Designing a Brand New Kitchen

Putting a brand new kitchen into a house isn’t something we do on a regular basis. It’s a big commitment both of finances and time, and if you get it wrong, you will have to live with a poorly designed kitchen until you can save up to replace it again. Most families spend the bulk of their time in the kitchen and it’s therefore vitally important to spend lots of time on the planning and design part of the process to make sure you get things right.

  • Asbestos
  • Bathrooms
  • Bricklaying Building
  • Building and Construction
  • Conservatories
  • Cost Guides
  • Electrical
  • Home Improvement Guides
  • House Extensions and Conversions
  • Kitchens
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Plumbing & Heating
  • Roofing
  • Solar Panels
  • Windows and Doors

How To Remove Asbestos Tiles

Until the 1970s, many floors had an element of asbestos in them, mainly due to the fact asbestos adds strength at a low cost. As you probably already know asbestos causes problems for lungs and breathing and so is now not allowed to be added to building materials.

However, there are still a number of areas of homes built in the past, which are full of asbestos. Asbestos tiles are still quite common, though removing them is also quite simple procedure. The biggest element is safety, aside from that it’s a simple procedure.

Disposing Of Asbestos

Asbestos can be tricky to deal with if you find it in your home, and it is always wise to pay for a full survey to work out where the asbestos is in the house and how best it should be disposed of, if removing it is the only option. Sometimes the survey will turn up a particularly dangerous type of asbestos which has to be removed and disposed of by an accredited asbestos removal contractor or other qualified trade professional.

Recognising Asbestos

Asbestos is no longer used as a building material in the UK, but experts estimate that as many as 50% of our homes could contain asbestos in some shape or form. Asbestos was used for a wide number of uses, and if it is contained in something like your cavity wall insulation, it is perfectly safe to leave it where it is. Asbestos only damages health when it is disturbed, but part of the reason that asbestos is still causing health problems is that it is so difficult to spot. If in doubt get a contractor in to carry out an asbestos survey on the property.

How Much Does Asbestos Removal Cost?

Asbestos was widely used as a building material in the UK throughout the latter part of the 20th century and at the time it was not known that it could cause lung and breathing conditions. Now most of us are aware of the dangers of asbestos, and if we think we have it in insulation or floor tiles, the first instinct is to rip it out immediately. There are some sorts of asbestos which can be removed by homeowners, but many prefer to steer clear of the job and get the professionals in. But how much does asbestos removal cost?

How Do I Know If I Have Asbestos in My Home

You are not alone. Most of us have heard of asbestos and know that it can be dangerous. However a survey by the British Lung Foundation has found that although the dangers of asbestos are widely known, 65% of us wouldn’t know how to identify it in our home and 45% were completely unaware that it has widely used as a building material through most of the 20th century. When asbestos is disturbed it releases fibres into the air, and it is breathing in these fibres which can cause cancer. It is therefore very important to know where asbestos is likely to have been used, and how to recognise it. You should always consider getting asbestos testing carried out if you think that you may have the substance in your home, however here are a few pointers.

What To Do If You Find Asbestos

Asbestos was widely used in the UK as a building material until the late 1990s. It was strong, heat resistant and cheap to use, but what was not fully understood at the time was that the fibres which asbestos releases when disturbed can cause serious breathing difficulties or even lung cancer. Most homeowners are aware of the fact that asbestos is dangerous, but knowing what to do when you come across it is a completely different matter. Whilst you are normally advised to get asbestos disposed of professionally, here are some more points to consider.

What Not To Do When Removing Asbestos

Asbestos is a building material used for decades in the building of homes and also for thousands of years by humans. Of course, it’s not used any more as its been linked with a number of health issues.

Certain forms of cancer can be created if asbestos is inhaled in large amounts over long periods of time. These illnesses often don’t appear for 20 to 30 years as they take time to develop.

What To Expect From An Asbestos Survey

Asbestos inspection and surveys are an easy and simple way to find out whether there is materials containing asbestos in your new home, or even existing home. Asbestos surveys are carried out by a number of asbestos testing and survey companies in the UK, however you should ensure any company adheres to ISO 17020 accreditation and also UKAS accredited. This means you are getting the best in surveys and all asbestos in a home should be identified.

Colour Trends for Bathrooms

We’ve all gone very neutral in our bathrooms in recent years. Gone are the days of pink or green bathroom suites, garish wallpaper and wildly patterned lino flooring. Nowadays bathroom interior design

Fitting a Bathroom Extractor Fan

It’s very important to have good ventilation in the bathroom. The damp and hot air which builds up in a bathroom after you’ve had a shower or bath can lead to dampness on the walls, mould or mildew if it cannot escape from the bathroom quickly enough

Fitting a Bathroom Vanity Unit

Lack of storage space is a huge problem in many British bathrooms and if you’re going for the sleek, minimal look, then having bottles and jars all over shelves and ledges is going to ruin the look of your room.

How to Find Good Quality Bathroom Installers

When it comes to finding a bathroom installer, there are so many options available that sometimes making the final choice can feel overwhelming. Of course you want your bathroom to be installed with the highest of quality and for the process to be as stress-free as possible.

Textured Tiles For The Bathroom

A bathroom which has too many flat, shiny surfaces may look ultra-modern, but this sort of finish can also make your bathroom look unwelcoming and more like an operating theatre than somewhere to relax and enjoy. One of the best way of injecting a bit more personality into a bathroom is by replacing some of the flat, shiny tiles with something with a bit more texture.

Installing A Walk In Shower In Your Bathroom

In the last few decades we have completely embraced the shower here in the UK, with the percentage of homes with a shower increasing from 20% in the early 1970s to 85% or more today. Showers don’t take up as much room as a bath and save water too, but installing a shower doesn’t have to mean a small shower tray stuck in the corner of the bathroom. For a really luxurious and contemporary look, think about having a walk-in shower fitted.

Clever Lighting Ideas For Your Bathroom

Good lighting in the bathroom is so important, but it’s something we often neglect when it comes to giving the bathroom a makeover. Many homes just have a single ceiling light in the bathroom, or even worse, a fluorescent strip light which doesn’t give off enough light to see properly when you’re doing your make-up or brushing your teeth. Increasing the light level doesn’t just mean sticking a more powerful bulb in the socket, as these days there are lots of very clever and innovative lighting solutions.

How To Improve Bathroom Ventilation

If you are experiencing problems with damp, mould, condensation and mildew in your bathroom, then the chances are that poor ventilation is to blame. A build-up of steam and damp air in the room is the perfect breeding ground for mould and fungus, and these can cause health problems as well as looking dirty and unattractive. There are several ways of increasing ventilation in your bathroom, and it needn’t cost a fortune either.

Family Bathroom or Trendy Wetroom?

If you’re thinking of modernising your bathroom, then one of the first things to consider is whether you want to keep the layout traditional, or go for a more up to date feel. Wetrooms have been all over the pages of the glossy home interiors magazines for years and have many benefits when compared to bathrooms. But is the expense of creating a wetroom in your home worth it?

Installing A Whirlpool Bathtub – Costs And Options

There’s nothing quite to beat coming home from a hard day at work and sinking into a luxurious whirlpool bath. Bubbles turn a normal bathing experience into something much more special and whirlpool baths can make your home more attractive to a prospective buyer too. If you are thinking about installing a whirlpool bath in your home, then it might not be quite as disruptive and expensive as you may think.

Find A Builder Top Tips

National House Building Council Warns About Natural Materials

Bricklaying – The Basics

Bricklaying is a moderately challenging DIY task and is usually only tackled by more seasoned DIY’ers. If you are new to bricklaying, start on a project that is not integral to the stability of an important structure. A good first project is building a brick barbeque as this will teach you the essential skills and it doesn’t really matter if things go wrong

Bricklaying Tips Guide

If you are of a mind to carry out some DIY bricklaying and are looking for some guidance and tips to help you get started we have put together a few pointers to set you off in the right direction. Of course, if you decide not to DIY you can always compare up to 4 free quotes from bricklayers by posting a quote request above.

Laying Bricks Guide

Calls To Limit Foreign Investment In London Property Market

Internet Speed Affects House Prices

Further Government Action On Fuel Bills

Warning Over Land Registry Plans To Digitise Records

Cheaper To Buy Houses Than To Rent

Good News In The Budget For The Housing Market

Garage Conversion Costs

How Much Does It Cost To Knock Down A Wall

The cost of knocking down a wall inside a property is a question that many people are asking as the popularity of open plan living rises. Costs will differ depending on the type of building you are working on and the type of wall you are wanting to knock down.

Phones 4 U Founder Announces Ambitious Construction Plan

Fears Of Skills Shortage In Construction Sector

How Do I Find a Reputable Conservatory Company?

Adding a conservatory to your home will both expand the living space you have available, and hopefully increase your property’s value too. Conservatories are not cheap though, and even the most basic lean-to conservatory will cost around £10,000 when you take into account the foundations, walls, windows and roof. When you are spending such a lot of money, it is really important to check that the company you are dealing with is reputable and trustworthy, and there are a few essential checks that everyone should do first.

Step by Step Guide to Buying a Conservatory

Adding a conservatory is one of the UK’s most popular home improvements, and 2.8 million homes have had one built. Relaxing of the planning laws also means that in many cases you can add a conservatory to your home without navigating the lengthy planning process, but the removal of this barrier does not mean that you should just approach the first company you come across. As with any major purchase, there are some key points you have to think about.

What’s Better – A Hardwood or uPVC Conservatory?

When it comes to choosing a material for your conservatory, the only two options are uPVC or wood. Even if you have low brick walls making up part of your conservatory, you will still have to choose between these two materials for the frames surrounding the windows or the roof panels. For some people the choice will be instinctive and they know immediately what they want, but each material has advantages and drawbacks, and it is important to consider these before committing your money one way or the other.

What is the Difference Between a Victorian and an Edwardian Conservatory?

If you are thinking about adding a conservatory to your home, one of the first things you will have to decide is what style of conservatory to go for. Sometimes the choice will be constrained by the space you have available or your budget, but if you have a wide range of options to choose from, the decision can be bewildering. By far the most popular styles of conservatory in the UK are Edwardian or Victorian, so understanding the basic differences between those two key types might make the decision easier.

Why Choose A Conservatory

Everyone wants more living space, but the difference between a simple extension and a conservatory is that conservatories give you more space to live in, but they also bring the outside in. You feel like you’re outdoors, but you’re protected from the elements.

Orangeries

Lots of people are hearing about orangeries at the moment, and while they might have a vague idea about an orangery being a type of conservatory, they probably don’t know much more about this increasingly popular type of extension.
The term has been adopted recently to describe a wide range of brick and glazed structures used to extend the living space in a house. The modern-day orangeries are very different from the first examples, which proliferated in the 17th century, and this is one of the reasons that people are wondering exactly what they are.

Top Conservatory Buying Tips Part Two

In our previous tips, we suggested you consider value rather than cost. One of the most important factors when considering the value of the package you are receiving is the guarantee. What does it cover? How long is it for? Read the small print and make sure that every eventuality is covered. You can always negotiate the guarantee and ask for extensions to terms if you feel that the guarantee is not comprehensive enough.

Top Conservatory Buying Tips Part One

Take you time to consider which conservatory you want. It’s a big investment and you will have to live with it for a long time. Get as many brochures as possible, speak to people who have had conservatories done recently, visit showrooms and use the internet for expert help before you buy. Only use trusted suppliers – visit Top Tradespeople for rated trades in your area.

Choosing Conservatory Blinds

An important aspect of making your conservatory a comfortable and pleasant place to be is in choosing the right blinds. These tips will help to save you money, time and make sure that you get the right conservatory blinds for your space.

Conservatory Prices

Conservatory prices vary according to where you live, your conservatory design and, of course, the size of your new conservatory. In the south of England, you should expect to pay a higher price for your conservatory. But the rules for finding a good deal for a conservatory remain the same wherever you live.

Cost of External PVC Doors and Locks

The door to your home can add a bit of character to the whole building and can be a good way to set off the whole image you are looking to create. There are many different types to choose from, depending on what you feel would be the most appropriate for the style of your home. Some of these include mahogany, pine, oak and PVC. These all offer different qualities and if you are looking for minimal maintenance, you may wish to opt for the PVC. There are pros and cons of using PVC but these can really update the look of your home and are a good choice for all households.

Costs for Double Glazed Doors

We all know that double glazed windows are a great way of reducing the amount of heat we lose from our homes. Many of us forget about the front and back door though, and if you have an old wooden front door which is draughty, you could save even more money by replacing your front and back doors with double glazed uPVC units too.

How Much Does A Conservatory Cost

If you’ve decided to add a conservatory to your home, the first thing you’ll want to know is, how much does a conservatory cost? Having a conservatory built can be expensive – after all, this is one of the most costly types of extension you can add to your home. But in the long run, it will pay dividends and should increase the price of your home.

How Much Does A New Fitted Kitchen Cost

When surveyed, top of most homeowners’ lists for home improvements is a beautiful new fitted kitchen. Kitchens are the heart of the home, and having a new kitchen fitted can add value to your property too. Replacement kitchens are not cheap, and as with everything around the house there is a wide range of prices ranging from the bargain basement to the top of the range bespoke kitchen costing tens of thousands of pounds.

How Much Does It Cost To Unblock A Drain

Knowing the answer to the question: how much does it cost to unblock a drain will perhaps encourage you to get drainage problems fixed as preventative measures rather than emergency repair jobs. The latter is always more expensive and can cause big disruptions.

Blocked drains are usually caused by a build-up of debris like dirt, grease and even garden waste like leaves. They can prevent use of essential places like bathrooms and kitchens and small jobs can easily escalate into big ones meaning a huge cost to you.

How Much Does It Cost To Aerate Your Lawn

Lawn aeration is a good way of keeping your lawn looking and feeling healthy. Overtime soil becomes compacted and drainage can suffer effecting the quality of your lawn. If you want to know: how much does it cost to aerate your lawn then we have compiled a few guidelines below to help you out.

How Much Does It Cost To Tile A Bathroom

Bathroom tiling is an intricate job which requires patience and time. Some jobs are simpler than others and all bathrooms are different sizes; both of these factors should be considered when working out how much does it cost to tile a bathroom. The cost parameters for tiling a bathroom are from around £300 – £950 a day depending on the time taken and level of difficulty involved.

Your bathroom may be a small standard 9ft x 11 ft which will work out at approximately 2-3 days’ work and result in approximately £600 – £1,000. For larger bathrooms and more intricate work you will be looking at prices up to £1300. Location will also impact on the amount you will end up paying and you should always aim to get 3 quotes from local tilers.

The choice of tile will also partly answer the question how much does it cost to tile a bathroom. For example, if you have very small tiles then these will take longer to work with than larger tiles. The latter could take just one day while mosaic ones could take 3 days. If your tiler is charging you a day rate then obviously, your costs have tripled. The actual cost of the tiles themselves will also impact on the total cost of tiling a bathroom.

How Much Should You Pay For A New Bathroom

The cost of renovating a bathroom varies enormously depending on the size of the room and the extent of the work. Replacing items such as sinks and toilets but keeping them in the same place will cost considerably less than redesigning the space and installing baths and showers in different positions. Moving items around in a bathroom, or adding additional items, will mean moving or installing new pipes, which can significantly increase both costs and time. Keep this in mind when you plan your new bathroom, and consider how best to use your budget. Whilst you can always choose to compare quotes from bathroom installers this brief guide should give you an idea of the costs involved in getting a new bathroom fitted.

How Much A New Kitchen Costs

The cost of a new kitchen can vary depending on how much work needs to be done. If you’re good at DIY and able to do some of the work yourself, you’ll be able to cut down on your kitchen costs. For example you can replace damaged floor tiles cheaply – installing them is quite simple if you know what you’re doing. If you can safely remove the old kitchen units yourself, then so much the better! Or if your wall needs plastering and you can do it yourself, you’ll shave pounds off the cost of a new kitchen.

Cost Of A New Roof

On average, you can expect to pay from £2,000 up to £10,000 for your new roof. A roofer will typically charge between £150 and £230 a day. When calculating the cost of a new roof, there are lots of factors to take into account – it will depend on the size of your roof, the type of covering you choose and even your location.

Finding An Electrician To Install Your New Electric Shower

In 2005, changes were made to the Building Regulations, regarding electrical work in bathrooms and kitchens. Before these changes, known as “Part P”, any plumber, electrician or enthusiastic DIYer could have a bash at installing a new light fitting or shower. The new regulations are purely designed to keep us safer as working with electricity and water in close proximity is obviously hazardous. There are legal implications too; it is a legal requirement to be able to prove that all electrical work in the house is up to standard. All of this has implications when it comes to finding someone to install your new electric shower.

Choosing The Right Lighting For Your Kitchen

Food preparation can be highly aided by having the right lighting for your kitchen. Finding the right balance between atmosphere – somewhere you can live, and practicality – somewhere you can prepare food can be difficult, but knowing what you are looking for can make it seem like a walk in the park – or kitchen!

Working With Electrics In Bathrooms And Showers

When you are getting electrical work done in the bathroom, it is important to understand the implications of the Part P of the Building Regulations. If a homeowner is getting electrical work done in the bathroom, they must comply with Part P by either using a Competent Persons Scheme electrician, or by submitting a Building Regulations application to the Local Authority. However, in most cases the simplest and most economical method of accomplishing this is to have the electrical installation work performed by a qualified electrician registered with an authorized Part P Competent Person Scheme.

Kitchen Electrics

Every year in the UK, people are injured through faulty electrics and bad wiring. In most cases, it’s better to call in an electrician than tackle electrical DIY yourself. If you are fitting your own kitchen, here are some important points to remember when considering kitchen electrics.

Bathroom Electrics

We all know that water and electricity is an extremely dangerous combination, which is why the bathroom is perhaps the most important room in your home when it comes to electrical wiring and fittings. That’s why there are special regulated requirements for bathroom electrical installations.

Any electrics to be fitted in a bathroom must have a certain built-in level of mechanical and moisture protection. This is indicated on the product by an Ingress Protection or IP number. Two numbers are shown, one for the mechanical protection and one for the appliance’s resistance to moisture. The bigger the number, the better the level of protection. Items with an IP number include any lighting, extractor fans, shower pumps and heating devices.

Remember that mains sockets are not permitted in bathrooms or shower rooms, apart from shaver supply sockets. What’s more, shaver units must be placed at a safe distance from the shower or bath to avoid being in splash range. Lighting must be enclosed and are safer than pendant lights, which hang down from the ceiling. You cannot fit a wall-mounted switch in the bathroom. Instead, a ceiling pull-down cord will prevent wet hands from coming into contact the electrical switch.

Hiring And Rewiring Your Kitchen

Perhaps you have a brand new build and are thinking about getting your kitchen wired up for all those carefully thought-out appliances. On the other hand, it could just be time to take out your old wiring system and get a new one put in. Appliances these days are at a standard that some wiring fitted over 30 years ago is simply not up to the job.

You will need to have a qualified electrician to look at your system as this is not something a novice can try to do with the risks involved.

Hiring An Electrician

Getting involved in electrical jobs in the home can be a dangerous pastime if you are not a qualified electrician. Some jobs may seem obvious but the dangers can be damaging and can even end in death if mistakes are made.

How To Install An Outside Light

Having lighting outside in the garden performs the dual function of giving additional security or a deterrent for burglars and light for when dining or socializing outside. There is a huge range of outside lights on the market, and every DIY store will stock a good selection of different types. Although many people prefer to leave anything concerning electricity to the professionals, fitting a light outside is not a difficult task and can be achieved with a minimum of DIY skills.

How To Install A Light Fitting

Lighting is one of the most important elements of any home, but is something we often pay little attention to, living with the same sort of lighting for years on end. However, changing the look and type of lights you have in a room can alter the feel of the space completely. Although some basic DIY skills are required, changing a ceiling light is not a tricky job

Working With Electrics In Kitchens Bathrooms

When you are getting electrical work done in the bathroom, it is important to understand the implications of the Part P of the Building Regulations. If a homeowner is getting electrical work done in the bathroom, they must comply with Part P by either using a Competent Persons Scheme electrician, or by submitting a Building Regulations application to the Local Authority. However, in most cases the simplest and most economical method of accomplishing this is to have the electrical installation work performed by a qualified electrician registered with an authorized Part P Competent Person Scheme. If you use this method, the electrician will not only perform and test the electrical work, but also notify the appropriate authorities. If you choose a different method, you will still have to pay to have the electrical work to be inspected. It is often much less expensive to just have a Competent Person perform the entire electricians job.

What To Look For In A Tradesman

By now you have probably decided to get several quotes, but the cheapest option is not always the best option. Perhaps the skillset of the tradesmen is not to the best standard or they cut corners to save time and make money. It could be something personal like you don’t feel comfortable around the person.

When you are hiring tradespeople, you have to consider that you are letting a stranger into your home. You also want to be assured they do an accomplished job and you get along with them. Here is what you should look for when hiring a tradesman.

Protecting Your Home Against Storm Damage

If there’s one thing which can be said about the British weather, it’s that it can be unpredictable. We never quite know what the elements are going to throw at us, and every year thousands of homeowners are caught out by flooding, high winds or extreme cold which can cause considerable damage to properties. Some of these extreme weather events are unpredictable, and in many cases there is not much you can do to stop your house from being damaged. Often though, there are things which you can do to minimise any storm damage and save yourself a lot of money and hassle in the long run.

What to look for in construction contractors

Home Improvements Events 2015

How to Deal With Damp

Avoiding Hiring a Rogue Trader – Guide

Early Preparations for Winter Home Protection

Preparing Your Home for Autumn

Guide to Hiring Skip Companies

Guide To Hiring Scaffolding Companies

Wooden Extensions Guide

Top Loft Conversion Tips

Planning An Extension

How To Extend Your Kitchen Space

How To Pick A Loft Conversion Company

Does A Loft Conversion Add Value

Planning A Kitchen Extension

Top Tips For Choosing An Architect

Where To Place Your Home Extension

Alternative For Loft And Home Insulation

We’re all familiar with the fibreglass rolls or “space blanket” type insulation which can be laid on the floor of the loft, and the foam which can be injected to fill up your cavity walls. This sort of insulation is effective and can be reasonably cheap, but many homeowners wonder how environmentally friendly it is. There are lots of different alternatives for insulating materials on the market, and although it might take a bit more effort to source them, they are not always more expensive.

Step-by-Step Guide To Buying A Great New Kitchen

The kitchen is arguably the most important room of your house. Not only do you want the pleasure of cooking, but it is also a big selling plus when you decide to sell. So what constitutes a great kitchen and when should you invest?

Top Kitchen Trends of 2014

Long gone are the days when the kitchen was the small, discreet unit in the home; these days it is now the hub of the home and people are paying more attention to making sure it looks immaculate. With so many exciting options to make the kitchen stand out, it is no wonder that people are paying more attention to this room. If you’re thinking of updating your look, there are many ways you can make the kitchen stand out and these trends for 2014 will ensure you stay ahead of the crowd.

Creating An Open Plan Kitchen Layout

The kitchen is the hub of the home and an open plan can help to create a more intimate setting for the family. Open plan kitchen layouts have become increasingly popular in recent years and this trend looks set to continue. An open plan layout can bring everyone closer but it is important to make the best use of the space and combine the areas, while ensuring they are clearly distinguished. Creating an open plan kitchen layout can be relatively simple, as long as you consider what it would look like and how it feel, before you start to make your creation.

Kitchens What To Consider Before You Begin A Kitchen Renovation Project

Your kitchen is the heart of the home and an important social hub for many families. It is no wonder then that kitchen renovations come high on the wish list for many a homeowner. Taking time to consider your options before committing to a kitchen plan will make sure that you have a space which suits the needs of your family.

Choosing New Kitchen Worktops

Including the right kitchen worktops in your cooking space can vastly improve the style, practicality and overall feel of the room. It can be a vital choice in the way of obtaining something that fits into your kitchen nicely, and if you know what you are looking for, you can also save money. Below are a few tips on finding what’s right for you. Remember, if you need advice or help, qualified, local tradespersons provide all you need.

Choosing A Kitchen

Choosing a kitchen for your home is not the easiest of jobs, especially if you’re starting off with a blank canvas and have a thousand ideas swimming about in your head all at once! However, if you ask yourself a few simple questions, you can make the task a whole lot easier. Let’s take a look at some important considerations you will need to make when choosing your perfect kitchen.

How To Fit A Kitchen DIY Guides Top Tradespeople

Before you rush into fitting a kitchen it is important that you carry out some preparation prior to the actual installation itself.

Planning A Kitchen First Steps

Deciding that you want to renovate your kitchen is easy (especially if you’ve been looking at the same tired design for the last twenty years or so. However, knowing where to start when planning a kitchen is often little trickier.

Planning Your Dream Kitchen

The kitchen in the home is no longer a room merely for cooking in, but it is a social space where people integrate. It is a room where people chat, joke and share stories. Depending on a family’s habits, it may also act as a dining room, where people eat and drink. It is no longer enough for the kitchen to be functional (although it is important to be so) but it should be aesthetically-pleasing as well. With this in mind, it makes sense to take time to ensure your kitchen is as warm, welcoming and practical as possible. Fortunately, planning your dream kitchen is no longer the mammoth task it used to be and if you form a plan and stick to it, it can be easy. Your plan should cater to and be based around your family’s lifestyle, such as their eating habits and entertainment patterns. Planning your dream kitchen requires you to take into account some important factor.

Renovating Your Kitchen On A Budget

If your kitchen is the heart of your home, as it is for many families, you will want to ensure that yours is as warm, welcoming and functional as possible. This may mean you want to invest in a new kitchen, complete with new flooring, worktops and shiny, new sink and taps. For many people, this is just a dream they put to the back of their minds until they win the Lottery, convinced they’ll have to spend big to get the design they want. However, renovating your kitchen on a budget is now more achievable than ever. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to start renovating your kitchen on a budget.

Hiring Painting and Decorating Contractors

Refreshing the home with some professional painting and decorating can really help to revamp the rooms and can even increase the value of the home. Whether it is the interior or the exterior, an updated look can offer a wealth of benefits. Of course, it isn’t as simple as just splashing some paint, these things need to be carried out by a professional, who knows exactly what they are doing.

Decorators What To Do About Bad Decorators

All too often home improvement jobs (including decorating), go wrong. But what should you do about it?
Problems with decorating jobs can range from your house being left a bit messy right the way up to atrocious decorating work, damaged wallpaper which needs to be replaced, damaged furniture and floor, wallpaper not hung straight, overlapping wallpaper, gaps between wallpaper, the possibilities of bad decorating jobs are endless.

Show Your True Colours

Red and yellow and pink and blue, what does your colour choice say about you….

There are a variety of ways that you can show your personality, and when it comes to interior design, this is a time when you can really inject some creativity and flair, which unbeknownst to you will undoubtedly show your true colours. Colour gives an insight into your personality, and is a way that people can truly see how you are feeling.

Bathroom Decorating Ideas

It is sometimes easy to neglect the bathroom when it comes to decorating your home, but it’s worth indulging your personal style and design taste in here as well as in the rest of the house. There are several things you can do to give this often-overlooked space a bit of TLC, whatever your budget. With clever use of colour, texture and accessories you can achieve a polished finish for a complete bathroom refurbishment or just freshen up with quick update to your existing suite.

How To Paint Interior Doors

Our doors are one of the parts of the home which we do not really think about when it comes to home improvements and updating the look of a room or hallway. However, a room can be instantly updated and made to look brighter or fresher by a new coat of paint, and painting interior doors is one of the simplest DIY tasks that there is.

How To Wallpaper A Ceiling

Wallpapering, especially on ceilings, is one of those tasks that less experienced DIY enthusiasts may feel less than confident about tackling. Getting someone in to do the job for you is certainly a possibility, but it will cost substantially more than doing things yourself. With a bit of preparation and a few basic tools, papering a ceiling is something that will take no more than a couple of hours to complete.

Wallpapering Behind Radiators

Hanging wallpaper in a room can create completely change the look and feel of the space, but it is important to get the finish as professional as possible for the best effect. Papering a square or rectangular wall is relatively straight forward, and papering only starts to cause problems when there are things like radiators, light switches and windows which have to be worked around. However, there are a few simple tricks which can made this job a lot more simple.

How To Make A Wall Frieze

Although paint and wallpaper are the traditional ways of decorating the walls in the home, there are times when it’s better to think outside of the box and go for something a little bit different. Over the centuries one of the most enduring decorating features is the frieze, which is a strip of decoration along a wall. Friezes can range from the little strips of border wallpaper which were so popular in the 1980s to huge painted panels which are reminiscent of medieval Italy. Whatever the design, incorporating a frieze into your home can give a truly individual and eye catching finish.

How To Remove Wallpaper

When decorating a room, it is very tempting just to leave the existing wallpaper where it is and either paper or paint over the top. If there are only a couple of layers of paper on the wall this may not cause too many problems, but if the previous occupants of your home have been fond of embossed wallpaper or wood chip, then the only option is to strip the walls of the old wallpaper before starting to hang the new.

Removing Wallpaper In 4 Steps

Many people would normally hire someone to remove old wallpaper. But it’s not all that difficult to accomplish, though it may take a little time. You can also save a great deal of money depending on how much wallpaper needs to be removed. For those that have a can-do attitude and care to save a pretty penny or two, here are 4 simple steps to follow to help you take down old wall coverings.

Benefits of a Power Shower

40 years ago, the shower was just taking off in UK bathrooms. Few of us had central heating, and the routine for most families was a nightly bath rather than a morning shower. Over the last few decades though we’ve all embraced the shower as a quicker and more efficient way of getting clean. Showers have got more powerful, have become more of a design feature and are now the standard in a home rather than something unusual. So if you are in the market for a new shower, what are the benefits of a power shower?

Heating Myths Debunked

It’s hardly surprising that at a time when heating bills are at an all-time high that there are lots of rumours and myths flying around about what steps you can take to reduce your consumption. Along with the sensible advice about installing thermostats and investing in loft insulation, there are wackier ideas like painting your radiators black or running the heating at night rather than during the day. So what are the most common myths and is there any truth in them?

Get Smarter with Your Heating

Rapidly rising fuel bills have made all of us aware of how much energy we are using to heat our homes. It can be hard though to keep track of just how much energy is being used, leaving many people dreading the bill arriving on the doorstep. Others are turning to technology to help them track their heating bills, and there are lots of free to download apps for your smartphone, tablet or computer which you can use to manage your consumption, and minimise costs.

Everything You Need to Know About Multi-Fuel Stoves

There’s nothing quite like a real fire to create a warm and cosy feeling at home. Although over the last 50 years we’ve all switched away from traditional coal fires to using central heating, solid fuel stoves are rapidly making a comeback. They’re an attractive focal point in a room, produce far less pollution than traditional coal fires and can save you money too. If you’re thinking about putting a multi-fuel stove into your home, there are a few key points to think about first.

Boiler Scrappage Scheme

The Boiler Scrappage Scheme was one of the government’s flagship policies to help the country reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make our homes more energy efficient. The scheme was simple; if you had an old, unreliable and inefficient boiler then the government would give you a voucher for £400 to put towards a new one. This policy attracted a lot of publicity and was hugely successful, but was closed to new applicants in England and Wales in 2010, and in Scotland in 2013. Despite this, the name has stuck around and there are lots of different companies advertising similar schemes, grants and incentives. So are these offers worth taking up?

Boiler Replacement Grants

The government schemes designed to pay for new boilers have been cut back extensively in recent years, and instead the government has been rolling out its Green Deal programme, which is designed to offer low cost loans for home improvements. There are however lots of different schemes around which still offer incentives and grants for replacing a boiler, but when you start looking around the choice can be bewildering. There often isn’t much differentiation between a grant, a loan and an incentive, so it’s important to consider what you’re being offered for free against the total cost of your new boiler – it could work out cheaper in the long run to refuse the incentive or grant and to pay for the cost from savings or with a loan. In other circumstances though the grants and incentives can be hugely beneficial.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay For a New Boiler?

If you are facing another winter with an unreliable boiler or one which is very old and inefficient, then it is probably time to start thinking about changing it for a new one. The worst case scenario is burying your head in the sand, not planning to replace your boiler and then having it condemned as “beyond economic repair” next time it breaks down. It’s far better to start thinking now about the costs involved in replacing a boiler, and to try to cushion the financial blow.

Simple Ways To Save Money on Your Heating Bills

On average, we’re all spending £3 every day on heating our homes, which amounts to an annual bill of over £1000. When the weather is particularly cold and we have the heating on for longer periods or at a higher temperature, costs can escalate to £6 a day or more. These are substantial sums for any household, and if you are thinking about cutting back on heating to save cash, then try these simple and cost effective tricks first.

Are Boiler Coverage Packages Worth the Money?

In recent years all of the main energy companies have been clamouring to sell us annual insurance policies which cover breakdowns to the boiler and repairs when something isn’t working properly. Costs for these policies can vary depending on where you live and the type of boiler you have, but generally cost between £75 and £120 per year. So is it an investment worth making?

Is An Annual Boiler Service Essential?

If you believe the websites of the main energy companies, signing up to a package which guarantees to service your boiler every year is an essential. However they have a vested interest in getting your money, so is paying for an annual service really essential, or can you save money by not having it done?

Common Winter Roofing Problems

Over the past couple of years the main focus around preparing your home for the winter weather has been around the risks of flooding. There’s no denying that flooding causes huge amounts of damage, but it only affects a relatively small number of households every year. Although less dramatic and often less costly, roof damage caused by the weather is far more common but it’s something few of us prepare for. We can’t always predict where a big storm is going to hit, but we can take measures to try to minimise any damage to our homes.

Why EPDM Roofs Are Revolutionising Flat Roofing

Many homes in the UK have a roof which is either completely flat and partially flat, and although this form of roofing has been popular over the last decades, it’s not without its drawbacks. Flat roofs are made in a completely different way from traditional pitched roofs with tiles or slates, and are more prone to leaking. That’s why you’ll find a question about the percentage of your roofing area which is flat when you renew your buildings insurance. In fact, people who live a house where the flat roof area is more than 40% of the total might struggle to find standard insurance cover. It looks like insurance companies are going to have to completely change their way of quoting though, as new technology is completely revolutionising the flat roof market.

Replacing Roof Tiles in Easy Steps

As the autumn and winter months are almost upon us, it is time to think about taking preventative measures to ensure your home is protected from the oncoming ailments, including the wind and rain. One of the most effective ways to do this is to check your roof tiles are in place and free from damage, otherwise this can cause leakages and draughts. Any missing or damaged tiles should be replaced straight away and although it may seem like a difficult task, it is actually relatively easy, as long as you’re not afraid of heights. If you are, it may be a good idea to call in the help of a roofing specialist or someone willing to undertake the task for you. If you are brave enough to take on the task yourself, these simple steps should help ensure you make a good job of it.

How Can I Make My Roof Greener

According to the experts, almost 40% of all the heat in our homes escapes up through the roof. Most of us have already taken steps to insulate loft space, and this certainly helps. Having any sort of roofing or building work done at home has an impact on the environment, but for those who are interested in not just reducing their fuel bills but in being more environmentally friendly as a whole, there are lots of green options for your roof.

How Do I Know My Roofer Is Not A Cowboy

Unlike smaller jobs around the house which may need done every couple of years, replacing a roof or having it repaired is something most of us do once in a blue moon. This means we just don’t have the chance to build up the relationship with local tradespeople that we do when we are looking for a painter or decorator. Most of don’t know anything about roofing either, so it’s perhaps no great surprise that in the past the roofing industry has attracted more “cowboys” than other sectors of the building market. There are however a few simple steps which will help ensure that you’ve got one of the good guys on your roof rather than someone who wants to rip you off.

Roofing Styles Across The UK

If you’ve never put much thought into it, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a roof in Aberdeen is pretty much the same as a roof in London or Cardiff. However there are significant differences between the sorts of roofs which are most common across the UK and this can be very important when it comes to putting a new roof on your home and choosing the best roofer to do the job.

Why Flat Roofs Dont Leak Any More

Flat roofs used to have a pretty poor reputation. Prone to leaks and cracks, any owner of a house with a flat roof could tell you a tale of woe about disasters and floods. Not many houses in the UK have entirely flat roofs, but there are many homes which have been extended over the past century and which have a portion of flat roof. There are two main reasons why flat roofs used to be prone to leaking. Firstly, felt was used to cover a flat roof’s surface. Felt doesn’t last nearly as long as slates or tiles and after 20 years needs to be replaced. As it starts deteriorating, it can crack or split. The join between the pitched roof and the flat roof is another weak spot, and if the two are not joined properly, water can get in. These sorts of problems though could now be a thing of the past as there are great new options for creating a long-lasting, durable and cost effective flat roof.

Fascias And Soffits – How Often Do They Need Replacing And How Much Cost Is Involved

Not every homeowner in the UK will need to think about fascias and soffits, as whether or not you have them will depend on the building style of your house. On many houses, the roof extends beyond the width of the house to allow rainwater to drain away more effectively. The soffit is the part of the underside of the roof from the edge of the tiles or slates to the wall, facing downwards. The fascia is part of the same construction, but is the upright part which faces out.

Installing Roof Windows

The benefits of having lots of natural light in your home are well known. Daylight flooding into a room makes it brighter, more cheerful and is something many buyers are looking for when they view a property. Sometimes, especially if you live in a very built-up area with lots of properties around you, it can be difficult to get enough natural light in through the windows. One of the best ways of getting light into your home is by installing roof windows and skylights and modern production techniques means this sort of window can be used whatever the type of roof.

Roofs Planning Permission And Building Control

There’s a great deal of confusion about what you can and cannot do with your home without informing the local Council or getting their permission. The situation is complicated further by local variations to the rules depending on where you live in the country, and often the best people for being in the know about the local situation is your local roofing contractor. There are though some basic rules which apply across the country.

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