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Cost of Hiring an Electrician

It’s always better to get the professionals in to do any electrical work at home, and knowing what you can expect to be charged for some of the most common electrical jobs can reassure you that you are getting a good deal and professional workmanship.

Cost of Hiring a Plumber

What should you expect to be paying a plumber for common jobs around the house? If you have a rough idea of what you can expect to pay, then you are in a better position to know whether the plumber’s quote is reasonable.

Cost of Hiring a Builder

It can be almost impossible to come up with even a ball park figure for the work you’re thinking of having done. Don’t worry though, because there are a few things you can do to help get a better idea of the costs which you are facing.

Plumbing Cost Guide

It’s easy to overlook the costs of getting the professionals in to do the installation, and as these costs can add considerably to the overall cost, it is important to do your research and know roughly how much you can expect to pay for typical bathroom and kitchen plumbing tasks so that you don’t overspend for the project.

Cost of Bay Windows

Bay windows are bigger than windows in many modern properties, and there is a general assumption that they will be more expensive and difficult to replace. But is that necessarily the case?

  • 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

What Does Asbestos Testing Involve and How Much Does it Cost?

The very word asbestos is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many homeowners. Although adding asbestos to building materials in the UK has been banned since 2000, it is estimated that 50% of homes in the UK contain asbestos in some shape or form. We associate asbestos with ill health and danger, and it’s certainly true that for people who were exposed to asbestos fibres during their working life, asbestosis and a specific form of lung cancer called mesothelioma is a real problem.

2012 Changes to asbestos regulations

The dangers of asbestos have been known since the 1920s, when the link was finally made between using asbestos for its fire retardant properties and dangerous lung diseases. As greater emphasis started to be put onto health and safety both in the workplace and as concerning renovation and demolition work at home, various laws and pieces of legislation were put into place, finally leading up to the banning of products containing asbestos in the UK in 2000

What Is Asbestos, Where Is It Used and Why Is It Dangerous?

Most of us will have heard of asbestos at some point in our lives, and are probably vaguely aware that it is in some way dangerous. Unless you work in the building trade or have a liking for renovating post-war properties, then you probably don’t have a great deal of knowledge about asbestos and its effects on the human body

What does an asbestos survey involve and how much does it cost?

Asbestos is a perfect example of the rule that natural doesn’t always equate to beneficial. Asbestos is a great fire retardant material which was routinely added to building materials for much of the 20th century

Can I Remove Asbestos From My Property Myself?

Asbestos. It’s one of those things that most of us have heard of, many of us know is in some way dangerous, and few of us really understand where it is found and how it was used. If you live in a house which was built before 2000, there is every chance that there may be asbestos somewhere in your property.

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.

5 Practical Bathroom Designs

Before you choose your bathroom furniture and plan the layout, it is usual to consider a practical design, especially if you are short on space. This is a good start, but how about thinking of ways in which you will use your bathroom, both now and in the future. Sorry to tell you this, but you’re not getting younger!

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?

Find A Builder Top Tips

If you’re planning to have work done on your home that goes beyond the realms of a simple DIY project, you need a good builder. Choosing the right one is key as you want to ensure the work carried out is completed to the very highest standards, and observes all of the required health and safety regulations. It’s also important that your builder is reliable and charges a fair and honest price for the work to be done, and ensures that both during the process and after, there’s minimum disruption to you and your home. This entails the job is completed without any unnecessary breaks in progress and that the site is cleared of debris both during and after the project.

National House Building Council Warns About Natural Materials

In recent years there has been a huge upsurge in interest in natural building materials and traditional methods of construction. This is partly because we have all become more aware of the environmental impact of construction and our effects on the planet, and partly because we think that if a method has been used for hundreds of years, it’s in some way better than modern techniques. The National House Building Council (NHBC) has warned builders that older isn’t always better for a huge variety of reasons.

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

This article is about how to lay bricks, written especially with the layperson in mind (no pun intended). Consider the situation fully: as simple as the manual labour side of it would appear to be, it is more than believable that many who have not laid a brick in their lives, do not know the vocabulary that exists only in the world of bricklaying, for example. But if, for whatever reason, you mean to express an interest in laying bricks and want a starting point on how to do it, let this article serve you in that respect. Don’t expect step-by-step instructions and illustrations, but I hope that by the time you have finished reading it you will be satisfied that you have a confident basic knowledge of all the key consideration point

Construction Shows and Events 2015

If you’re thinking about building your own home or are planning an extension or large scale renovation of an existing home, then a show or exhibition is the best place to head for inspiration and the chance to talk to all of the experts under the one roof. There are lots of shows happening across the country in 2015, so chances are there is one close to you.

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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.


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.

Choosing The Right Conservatory

The right conservatory is a great asset, adding space, light and an extra room in which to live. It’s also a big investment, usually upwards of £20,000, so it’s important that you choose a style that suits your home, adds value and creates a space that suits the needs of your family.

Whether you choose a Victorian style, a lean-to conservatory or a garden room, make sure you have considered your options thoroughly before commissioning that conservatory.

Cost of Hiring an Electrician

It’s always better to get the professionals in to do any electrical work at home, and knowing what you can expect to be charged for some of the most common electrical jobs can reassure you that you are getting a good deal and professional workmanship.

Cost of Hiring a Plumber

What should you expect to be paying a plumber for common jobs around the house? If you have a rough idea of what you can expect to pay, then you are in a better position to know whether the plumber’s quote is reasonable.

Cost of Hiring a Builder

It can be almost impossible to come up with even a ball park figure for the work you’re thinking of having done. Don’t worry though, because there are a few things you can do to help get a better idea of the costs which you are facing.

Plumbing Cost Guide

It’s easy to overlook the costs of getting the professionals in to do the installation, and as these costs can add considerably to the overall cost, it is important to do your research and know roughly how much you can expect to pay for typical bathroom and kitchen plumbing tasks so that you don’t overspend for the project.

Cost of Bay Windows

Bay windows are bigger than windows in many modern properties, and there is a general assumption that they will be more expensive and difficult to replace. But is that necessarily the case?

Asbestos Removal Costs

Sometimes though there is no option but to have asbestos removed and as asbestos can have such serious health implications if handled incorrectly, it’s a job that we are likely to call the professionals in for. Just how much is removal of asbestos likely to cost you?

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Cost of Home CCTV Systems

Being on camera is enough of a deterrent alone to get most burglars to move on to an easier target, and if they do still go ahead and break in, the film evidence gives a better chance of catching the thieves. But is the cost of CCTV systems too expensive for the average home?

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.

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Guide to Gas Safe Plumbers qualifications

It is estimated though that there are 250,000 illegal gas jobs done every year in the UK, mostly by householders trying to save a bit of cash by taking a DIY approach, or by one of the estimated 7,500 people working illegally as gas fitters in the UK. The fatality statistics speak for themselves – it’s simply not worth the risk using an unregistered gas fitter or engineer. But how do you make sure the person you have approached to fit a new boiler or replace your gas pipes has undergone the correct training and knows what they are doing?

Guide to Builders’ Qualifications

We always advise contacting at least three local builders and asking them for quotes for whatever work you are thinking of having done, but there are other checks you should be making too before agreeing to go ahead with any work. One of these is about what qualifications and certificates they have

Eight Most Common Household Repairs

Homes require repairs and maintenance, and there are umpteen problems that can arise. There are of course, solutions for every household hitch, some you can do yourself, and others where it is advisable to seek professional help.

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

Even having relatively minor building work done on your home can cost hundreds if not thousands of pounds, and when you are investing so much money, it is important to make sure that the people you get in to do the work are trustworthy, competent and reliable. The construction industry has cleaned itself up in recent years but we’ve all heard the horror stories about cowboys who demand huge sums of money and leave you with a job which is half done. Nobody wants to fall victim to the unscrupulous builder, so how do you ensure that you get one of the good guys?

Home Improvements Events 2015

There are shows happening up and down the country almost every weekend of the year focusing on the best new products and companies to help you create your perfect home. These shows are hugely popular, and the dates for 2015 are booking up fast. Although many are aimed at trade visitors, most will allow members of the public to attend on certain days. Check out the show’s website for full details and to register for tickets.

How to Deal With Damp

Damp is a problem that affects the appearance and structure of a home. It often increases the levels of decay and as a result, a home with damp is not a healthy place to reside in. When damp rears its head, it is important to deal with it quickly and efficiently. You may not be aware of this but here are actually several different types of damp to be aware of and these require varying methods of treatment. Some cases of dampness can be dealt with relatively easily but others will require the expertise of a professional.

Avoiding Hiring a Rogue Trader – Guide

Many of us have watched in shock as television programmes reveal the frighteningly common tales of rogue traders, taking hard earned money from unassuming customers and making a swift exit through the door, never to return. Quite often, rogue traders will target older people but no one is really safe, unless you take proper precautions to minimise your risk. Rogue traders often fail to complete work or they don’t carry it out efficiently, which can then lead to an unsafe environment. If you are thinking of hiring a tradesman, this guide should help ensure you avoid those of the ‘rogue’ variety.

5 Reasons To Build Home Conversions Or Extensions

There are several reasons why householders feel they need to upgrade their property, but if you cannot afford to move, perhaps home improvements on your existing palace may offer a solution.

Wooden Extensions Guide

Whatever the style of your main house, wood is one of the most popular materials for a house extension as it blends in perfectly and complements the existing structures. Wood is also a versatile and relatively cheap building material and is suitable whatever the size of the extension being built. Prices do vary, according to the size of the extension and a number of other factors.

Top Loft Conversion Tips

Here are ten top loft conversion tips from Top Tradespeople to highlight the most important considerations when converting your loft.

Planning An Extension

The cost of moving home is rising and houses are more difficult to sell than ever. With this in mind, it makes sense to improve your home instead of moving. Extensions can offer a much needed space boost and building an extension means your home can grow with your family.

Extensions are one of the easier major home improvements to undertake and can be as simple as building a square brick box on to the side of your home. The success of your extension will rely on how it looks with the original building and whether it has a coherency with the other buildings in the street.

How To Extend Your Kitchen Space

If you are not happy with the way your kitchen looks or if it is cramped or impractical then looking to change the style and give yourself more space is a must. Knowing how to extend your kitchen in the right manner can save you money by minimising time consuming mistakes and making it less stressful. If you are ready to implement change into your kitchen, please contact a local tradesperson for advice.

How To Pick A Loft Conversion Company

When you’re choosing a loft conversion company, the one you decide to pick may depend on the type of loft conversion you want. For example, large loft conversions could require complex construction work – so it’s essential that you pick a suitable loft conversion specialist to carry out the work.

Does A Loft Conversion Add Value

A loft conversion is the biggest type of extension you can carry out on your home. It can cost from £2,000 for a basic loft conversion to a breathtaking £30,000 for a large loft conversion. So before you start, you’ll want to know: does a loft conversion add value?

Planning A Kitchen Extension

If you feel like you need more room for cooking or if you simply want a bigger, more flexible space in which your family can relax and unwind, then you might be considering building a kitchen extension.

Top Tips For Choosing An Architect

It’s a working relationship that is incredibly important, since the architect is there to ensure your ideas are turned into reality according to all the building regulations and highest building standards. They also offer peace of mind to builders too since their expertise in the field will help to iron out any challenges facing the project from the start. And once the work’s complete you can have an architect inspect and sign off the work, giving you the peace of mind that it’s a job well done.

Where To Place Your Home Extension

Choosing the right location for your home extension is vital both in terms of getting value for money and providing you with a long term investment in your property (as well as keeping the neighbours happy).

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.

How To Price A Plumbing Job

Plumbing jobs vary on scale. You can also run into problems that take longer to fix than you have accounted for. So to avoid selling yourself short and running into disputes with clients, know how to price plumbing jobs

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?

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.

Top Five Roofing Tips

Roof repairs can be expensive compared with other jobs around the house, so looking after your roof can pay dividends in the long run. Here are a few top tips for looking after your roof, finding the best contractors in your area and minimising expense.

Feed In Tariffs – Solar PV Panels

Solar panels have been springing up on Britain’s rooftops for well over a...

How Do Solar Panels Work

We all know that generating energy from renewable sources is better than relying on fossil fuels like oil and coal, and wind turbines and solar panels have become a common sight throughout the UK

New Project Aims to Turn Food Waste into Renewable Energy

We’re all getting better at reducing the amount of food waste we throw away, and in many areas of the country households are putting food out for recycling along with the paper, cardboard and plastic bottles

Bad Weather Is Good For Wind Power

The recent storms which have bought flooding and power cuts to much of the UK are not good news for the affected householders. However, the bad weather is proving to be good news for the renewable energy sector, and recent high winds have allowed wind farms to have their best day ever for producing electricity

Is Shale Gas The Answer To The Energy Crisis

The technique of extracting shale gas from rocks deep underground in a process known as fracking is hugely controversial, but a recent survey of major players in the investment industry has demonstrated that they see a bright future in the industry and expect shale gas to form an important part of our energy consumption in the future

Are Domestic Wind Turbines Worth The Investment

Everyone’s jumping onto the renewable energy bandwagon, and in some parts of the country nearly every home seems to have solar panels or biomass boilers. However, if you have a roof which is not south facing, or live in the very northern parts of the country where the hours of daylight are fewer over the winter, solar may not be as attractive a proposition. Wind turbines are a common sight on hills all over the UK, and are often seen as a great alternative to solar. But is it worth investing in a wind turbine for the back garden?

Government Confirms New Nuclear Plant in Somerset

After months of speculation, Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced on 21st October that he has given the green light to the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. This is to be the first new nuclear power station built in the UK for a generation, and the building project is expected to take 10 years to complete. The government have stated that British energy bills could be £77 lower per household if Hinkley C goes ahead, but the opposition would prefer to see the money spent on renewable energy technologies.

50 Acre Solar Farm Planned For Kent

West Coast Renewables have recently announced plans for a 50 acre solar farm in the Kent countryside and are in the process of consulting local businesses and residents for feedback.

Government Announces Change In Way Renewable Energy is Funded

It often seems that energy bills, electricity and gas are never out of the headlines, and the renewables industry is making headlines again with the latest government announcement about how the subsidies for wind turbines are to be managed in the future.

Solar Power from the Moon – Luna Ring Project

We all know that our dependency on fossil fuels such as gas or oil is a bad thing, and we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing wind farms and solar panels springing up across the country. One Japanese firm has taken the renewable energy message to a whole new level, with plans to send solar panels into space.

Double Glazing Explained

With rapidly rising gas and electricity bills, it’s no wonder that more of...

Having A Frosted or Patterned Double Glazed Window Put Into the Bathroom

Having double glazing fitted in your home is one of the best ways to keep the heat in and reduce your heating bills. Often we concentrate on the living areas of the home, forgetting that we should really be replacing the windows in halls, bathrooms and utility rooms as well. Fitting a double glazed unit in your bathroom is no more difficult than in any other room of the house, but costs for frosted glass may differ.

How much will installing double glazing save on my heating bill?

It’s impossible to stop heat being lost through your windows completely. Almost 7 in 10 homes in the UK are double glazed, and the main reason most homeowners give for installing double glazing is to keep their homes warmer and cut their fuel bills. But just how much can you expect to save each year by fitting double glazed windows in your own home?

How does the rating scheme for double glazed windows work?

When we are spending a lot of money on a product, we want to have some sort of guarantee that it is going to do what the manufacturers claim. Few of us have the in depth technical knowledge to compare one set of double glazed windows against another, and for this reason the government has introduced a simple rating system which should help the man in the street see which windows offer them the best value for money.

How to Avoid Getting Ripped off When Buying Double Glazing

Double glazing salesmen have, in the past, had the sort of reputation which puts them right up there with second hand car dealers and those people who try to sell you timeshare on holiday. The double glazing industry has really cleaned up its act and the unscrupulous companies are few and far between, but if you are in the market for buying some new double glazed windows or doors, then there are a few key pointers to keep you on the right track.

Options when you are not allowed to install double glazing

For the majority of homeowners in the UK, there are no restrictions on them changing whatever windows they have at present for double or even triple glazed units. However, for a minority of people who own a listed building, or who live in a conservation area, there are strict rules about what they can do to their homes, both internally and externally. These homeowners want to save money on their energy bills just like the rest of us, and they have several options when it comes to their windows

Is triple glazing any better than double glazing?

It seems common sense that if double glazing is better than single glazing, then triple glazing is better still. In other parts of the world, triple glazing is sold as standard, although it tends to be most popular in countries like Scandinavia or Canada where it gets a lot colder through the winter. If you are thinking about replacing your windows, is triple glazing really better than double?

How To Draught Proof Exterior Doors

Heating bills have never been higher and householders across the UK are looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. A more energy efficient home is warmer and the householders will save money on their heating bills at the same time. One of the quickest and easiest ways of making a home more efficient in terms of energy is stop draughts coming in through external doors.

How To Fit Window Blinds

Blinds are the ideal way to update the look of the room and serve a multitude of purposes including privacy, keeping light out and decorating the window space. There is a huge choice of different blinds on the market, including vertical blinds, roller blinds and venetian blinds. Whatever the choice, fitting blinds is not an overly complex task and can be attempted by nearly everyone.

Double Glazing Buying Tips

Whether you are replacing old windows, or upgrading the energy efficiency of your home, double glazing is a big investment and worth taking your time to consider carefully.

Although good double glazing can add value to your home, badly fitted double glazing will do the opposite.