Home Improvement

How to Choose a New Front Door

The front door of your home doesn’t only keep you safe and sound.  Sure, it keeps what should be outside on the outside, and that which should be on the inside, happily on the inside, but that only covers part of a front door’s function.

Your front door is one of the first things people see on looking at your home.  It gives a first impression of who lives inside and what can be expected of the rest of the house.  Your front door is an important part of your home’s presentation, of its welcoming people and of the whole of the property.

When it becomes time to replace your front door, you should take this into consideration, as well as, a multitude of other things.  You need to decide between many different types of materials, colours, design, style and safety.

Things to Consider When Planning to Replace your Front Door:

  1. Decide on a budget; what can you spend comfortably? A front door is an investment that can improve the value of your home, but if you overspend on the door itself you might have to forfeit on other changes that might be needed surrounding the door replacement e.g. remodelling the entry features or adding a step.
  2. Consider the size of the doorway; if it is not the regular size, you should remember to take measurements before looking at styles or types of door. If you have room for widening the door opening, you can choose a bigger door, but you need to keep in mind that more costs will be incurred for the modification of the rest of the entrance.
  3. Choose a style that will complement the rest of your home; your front entry door also represents you, your family, and what is on the inside of your home. A good style and great design will also add curb appeal to your home.
  4. The Material of the door; this might be the most important thing to consider. You’ve decided on budget, size and style, now the material you choose should bring it all together.

Traditionally doors were made of wood, fibreglass or steel.  But not all of these materials are able to meet the criteria of being able to handle exterior conditions and might need regular maintenance.  There are also various other types of materials for use in front doors, but, the most popular doors are currently composite doors. Continue Reading

Maintenance

How To Stop Damp & Mould Becoming A Problem

Damp is a common problem with homes in the UK, but not many people understand what causes it, or what it can lead to if left untreated. The answer to the latter is simple: it can lead to mould, which can spread fast and become dangerous to your health. Therefore it’s important to know the ways you can prevent damp getting serious.

Find the root cause

Damp always originates from somewhere, and usually it’s an isolated problem that you can spot and deal with. If something is actually leaking water and it’s getting inside your walls, this needs to be resolved immediately. If water is generally getting into the walls naturally, from the ground for example, damp-proofing may be a more advanced process.

If your damp problem isn’t coming from inside the walls, but actually results from something internal, it’s probably a condensation issue. If a surface gets colder than the air around it, condensation can form. Warm, damp air meeting a cold wall or window is a prime example of when water vapour usually returns to liquid form. If the air flow in the area is restricted, it’s less likely to clear.

These are the ideal conditions for mould to build up. In this case, you have a few different things you can try before it gets worse.

Move furniture away from the wall

A common place for damp to turn into mould is behind furnishings and other items which are pressed against the wall, leaving a narrow and partially insulated gap. As we said, this creates the ideal habitat for mould to grow. Increasing the ventilation by moving things away from the wall helps a lot.

Check your bathroom extractor fan

In many properties, the bathroom can be the cause of a lot of damp issues. Hot water from running a bath or shower creates steam, which then means a lot of water vapour is hanging in the air. If you have no windows or ventilation in your bathroom, which is common in flats especially, the damp has no escape. A powerful extractor fan can go a huge way to resolving this.

Don’t dry clothes indoors

Another way to get a lot of moisture into your air is by hanging your clothes on an indoor airer after you’ve washed them. Where do you think all that water is going? You will probably find that damp clothes don’t get any drier, even if you leave them for a full day, once the air is already quite saturated. Drying clothes outside or using a tumble dryer where possible cuts down on excess moisture in the air.

Use a dehumidifier

In other rooms that need extra ventilation, try using an electric dehumidifier. This works by taking in air from the surrounding room, filtering out the water vapour and blowing the dry air back out. With a medium to large sized tank, you can usually clear most of the moisture out of a room by running the dehumidifier overnight, but this depends on the model. It can be a major help if you’re running out of options.

Get some old-fashioned fresh air

A great thing to try if you can is simply opening your windows and getting more fresh air circulating around. This isn’t possible or practical for every room in every property, but if you can do it this should certainly help.

Remove any black mould quickly

Once mould has started to grow in damp conditions, it will spread at an exponential rate. It can take a month for damp patches to become mouldy, but just a few days for that mould to cover a much bigger area. You need to clean it away and try to prevent it returning as soon as you spot it.

Construction, Extensions, Home Improvement, Maintenance, Plumbing & Heating, Renovations, Roofing

Finding Building Contractors You Can Rely On

Have you ever been the victim of a cowboy contractor, or otherwise regretting your choice after hiring someone? It’s not uncommon. After all, how are you supposed to know until you work with them? Hopefully next time you will have some idea, because we have a few potential answers to that question.

Compare quotes

Perhaps the number one piece of advice we can give you is to never settle on the first price you hear. There is really nothing to lose by shopping around and asking a few similar firms for price estimates. Although a low estimate doesn’t mean everything, you can judge the best value once you do a little more research into them.

Find personal recommendations

It is one thing to read reviews online, but even from independent sources you can’t be sure how they originated. If you know someone who can vouch for a builder or other tradesperson, ideally after a similar project to your own, you should trust them.

Look locally first

Although you may be able to come to a good agreement with someone who doesn’t live in your area, it’s probably going to be less costly for both parties if the contractor doesn’t have to travel far. They will probably be travelling to and from your property at least once a day for the duration of the project, so this clearly adds up.

Check their qualifications and experience

Obviously professional people in any trade will need certain qualifications to confirm they can work on your property safely, especially with gas or electricity supply work. Check these and make sure they have at least a few years’ experience when it’s a major job. It’s likely that someone who’s never worked on a project like yours before will end up costing you more, even if they don’t plan to deliberately.

Agree a timescale

It’s not advisable to work with only a rough estimate for any project. If it seems too complex to predict, that means you simply haven’t planned in enough detail yet. It’s important to have a start date and completion date pencilled in.

Have it all in writing

Of course, agreements are meaningless if they’re only verbal in this situation. The only way to really ensure you’re going to get what you pay for one way or the other is to have a professionally written contract covering every aspect of your agreement. If the contractor really plans to deliver, they shouldn’t have any problem agreeing to reasonable terms.

Tips For Moving

Tips For Empty Property Viewings

This is an interesting topic that you may relate to if you remember attending property viewings with no furnishings and so on. You’ll probably be comparing these with other places that are currently lived in and have plenty of possessions still there.

Trying to draw a comparison in this situation is quite difficult, because an empty property looks completely different to when it’s actually populated. Various illusions and misconceptions may cloud your judgement either way, so consider the following tips to try and get the best out of this experience.

First, check the photos

Before you even arrange a viewing, you will often get the chance to browse through photos on a property listing and use these to make an initial judgement. If they’re not photographed particularly well, empty properties can look less appealing and it can be hard to judge scale. You can learn a lot from a good set of photos, but don’t rule something out just because the pictures didn’t amaze you.

The power of imagination

When you come to actually view a property that currently has next to nothing in it, it’s going to be essential that you use your imagination to visualise what could be done with the space. Even if you’re familiar with the furniture you’ll be using, this isn’t easy. However, try to take advantage of the fact that other people’s things are not that to distract you.

Check everything you can

The main advantage of seeing an empty property rather than a furnished or lived-in one is that nothing is concealed. You can see any hidden damage or potential problem areas with no obstructions, so hopefully you’ll make the most of this and identify any structural or cosmetic problems that might otherwise have been missed. If possible, take some measurements while you’re there as this should also be fairly easy.

Find out when it’s available

If you have any interest in the property, make sure you’re clear on when you would be able to move in. This is probably going to be sooner than usual, because nobody has to move out, which can be an advantage if that’s what you need. It can also put the pressure on because the seller might be keen to get away quickly, and someone could get an offer accepted and start moving in before you’ve had a chance to decide.

Rental Properties

Rental Property Maintenance Tips for Tenants

Getting used to living in a rental property can be tricky for new tenants, as it may not be immediately clear whether something is the responsibility of the person renting out the home or the person living in it. The agreement you have with the landlord or letting agency will be unique and there might be some unusual rules to be aware of, but in general these are some basic tips to bear in mind.

Share responsibility with your housemates

If you’re living with family this should be easy, but for many people living with friends or housemates for convenience it can be tricky to agree who is responsible for what. This is definitely most common among students! Sudents often have disagreements over property maintenance, and are usually happy to move in together at first, but for various reasons things can change. It’s important to establish early on that everyone understands what the landlord’s expectations are, and that everyone is going to do their fair share of work to maintain the property.

Stay in contact with the landlord

Whether you’re dealing with a landlord directly or going through a letting agent, it’s important to maintain that contact and ensure you report any problems. To prevent damage or serious issues in the property, you should try to raise any potential issues as quickly as possible. You should be given a formal record of what comes under the landlord’s responsibilities, so you know when to ask for help.

Follow the rules

The best way of making sure you keep your rented property in top condition is by sticking to any rules or guidelines set out by the landlord or agent. They have their requirements for a reason, so if you’ve been asked to maintain things or refrain from doing anything disruptive you’ll probably do well to stick to these rules. This all means you’re more likely to get your security deposit back at the end of your tenancy, so it’s probably all worthwhile.

Plumbing & Heating

Tips to Improve Your Heating System

Maybe your heating only becomes a priority when it breaks in the middle of winter, which is probably true of many homeowners. Unfortunately that’s not the ideal time to start wishing you had planned out your system more carefully! Now is the perfect time to look at the setup you have at the moment and find ways to improve it before you’re in need of emergency assistance. Luckily we have some simple steps you can start with.

Firstly, remember even the most experienced landlords and homeowners can’t necessarily be expected to know everything about how to maintain a heating system. It’s a great idea to get a professional boiler service from a local professional company, as many of us have boilers and plumbing that have been in place for a long time and they may develop problems you might not be aware of. If you haven’t recently replaced an element of your heating system it should be cleaned and serviced regularly by a professional to make sure it’s efficient and safe, which will save you money later. Continue Reading

Home Improvement, Plumbing & Heating

The Advantages of Column Radiators

Column radiators are a classic staple in home heating systems and they’re enjoying a revival in popularity thanks to the unique and modern designs widely available in the UK. They are now readily available in home improvement stores like Wickes and Home Hardware Direct. Alternatives are available which offer different practical applications, and some people are still put off the idea of basic radiators that don’t look up to date when surrounded by more modern features in a room, but here are some key points to remind you why it’s important to consider high quality column radiators.

1) Compatibility

It’s easy to fit classic column radiators onto almost any standard hot water system, so whether it’s your bathroom, bedroom or anywhere else you don’t need to make any major plumbing changes to accommodate your radiator. It helps to have a professional plumber to fit your radiator but you can be fairly sure it’s not going to cause any complications when you go for a column format. All you normally need apart from the pipe connections are wall brackets on which to mount your radiator. Continue Reading

Home Improvement

tools

Change can definitely make an improvement, and this is also true when it comes to your home. Whether you just moved in or want to freshen up the place a bit, DIY projects are great ways to make things look a little different or to repair some damage that is in the home. These projects also allow you to care for your major investment while on a tight budget, only requiring some minor equipment and a little elbow grease.

Painting and decorating the home is perhaps the most common of all DIY projects, and there is a good reason for that; there is no other kind of project that makes such a big impact for little money and time. Whether you want to paint inside or outside the home, you’ll need to follow the same basic procedure. First, come up with a plan and choose colours that meet the style of your home while flowing well between spaces.

Powder coating is one of the most popular DIY jobs. People have been spraying homes and cars for years. For this, you’ll need to purchase: a powder coating system, an industrial oven to cure the powder coating, and a metal cabinet for storage. Industrial suppliers that sell powder coating equipment usually only have these in bulk. You’ll need to look around for other suppliers who sell smaller quantities of powder coatings in London.

One way to quickly up the value of a home is to replace the plumbing fixtures and sinks with modern counterparts. Using basic equipment, you can easily disconnect the plumbing, replace the faucet and sink and reconnect the assembly in just a matter of minutes depending on the complexity. This may require a second person to assist as one adjusts the water supply while one places the replacement piece.

Decorating in the form of replacing cabinet pulls, hinges and doorknobs can make a nice impact while still remaining on the beginner level for new do-it-yourself project managers. Typically, a screwdriver is the only thing needed to accomplish this kind of project. In addition to this, chances are good that you would only need an hour at the most to make a nice impact on your home.

If you ask most homeowners what part of the home is the most important, many will be ready to chime in and point out the kitchen. When it comes to remodelling rooms, the kitchen is the most overhauled, and the design of the kitchen can greatly affect the value of any home at all. Fortunately, changing the way this room of the home looks does not nearly require the same kind of complications as with other rooms in the home. Replacement kitchen doors are a good way to start. Repainting or buying a new type of material can help alter the look of the room. Refinishing already-sturdy cabinets can save thousands while adding instant appeal. It is possible to add moulding, paint the walls or even provide some new finish to cabinets to make a quick and easy change.

Of all basic projects to complete at home, changing the floor is likely the most difficult. However, it is simple to learn with a little time spent on the subject. With the evolution of snap flooring systems, ceramic tiles and wood laminate flooring, any homeowner can quickly change the floor in the span of a weekend with some help from a friend. Consider looking at a local home improvement centre to see if the place offers a free class on the equipment and techniques required. On the other hand, wall to wall carpet installation should not be considered a simple project to complete at home.

Adding additional storage can make a massive difference. Whether you’re adding storage to your home or garage, adding cheap shelving units can de-clutter your rooms and give an illusion of additional space. You can buy shelving units ready constructed, in flatpack form or opt for bespoke shelving units to fit an small or unusual space.

If you’re taking on a larger DIY project such as a full renovation, you can guarantee that there will be a lot of waste and rubble to clear. It is best to plan ahead and hire a skip before you start making any changes so that you can clear away any waste as you go. Skips are available in a range of sizes including mini and midi. Ensure that the skip firm you use are licensed with the Environment Agency to carry waste and that they are able to obtain a road permit on your behalf.

Home Improvement, Money Saving Tips

DIY

DIY projects you can take on yourself without the help of a hired contractor can be very enticing, but there is one thing to remember before picking up your arsenal. For one, it’s important to fork over the cash for quality. It’s easy to go to the local department store and just by a huge China-made toolset for less than the cost of a fancy meal, but you know it’s low-quality. Build your collection one at a time so it’s made up of quality tools that are durable and have a lifetime warranty.

The first essential tool for DIY projects is the classic 16-ounce claw hammer. It has enough heft to perform basic repair needs while remaining portable enough to carry around with ease. While hammers classically sport wooden handles, avoid this whenever possible as they will break with ease. It’s better to opt for one with a synthetic handle that will last longer.

Flathead screwdrivers come with a single blade to twist in a flathead screw. Though Phillips screws have generally come to replace these, it’s still worth having one of these in your arsenal. Similarly, since Phillips screws have, in fact, replaced most flatheads, you’ll want a good set of these screwdrivers in different sizes. For mechanical gears; straight bevel gears, spiral bevel gears, hypoid gears, and helical gears are just some of the basic types you can buy as starters. Other types of custom and bevel designs depend on the gear system your project requires. Check with gearbox suppliers and manufacturers like Davall Gears (davall.co.uk) for more precise sets and specifications.

Of all tools, a crescent wrench will likely see the most action since it’s practically a 50-in-one tool. This is a wrench whose width can be adjusted using a sliding jaw, allowing its user to use it on nuts and bolts of varying sizes.

Regardless of what kind of DIY you want to complete, precision is important, and having a good retractable metal measuring tape can help with that regard.

Vice grip pliers help for those who need an extra hand beyond the two you work with. These are pliers capable of locking in place, using a mechanism in which you can use one hand to release the lock. However, some models do require both hands in order to disengage the lock.

Though not a particularly exciting tool, another essential one to pick up is a utility knife. Every DIY project offers some kind of need to cut and scrape things, so there are hundreds of different ways in which you can enjoy using the super sharp blade of a utility knife.

Cleaning, Home Improvement, Maintenance, Renovations

When you are looking for the perfect machine to help you get rid of dirt and debris, a high-pressure water jetting machine will do just that. Water jetting machines use a variety of nozzles to combine the power of the keg nozzles and more. They can be used for washing the drainage system, plumbing, concrete and other hard-to-clean surfaces.

Water jetting can help solve those tough problems that are hard to remove by combing the power and nozzle technologies. In fact, manufacturers spend a lot of time trying to stay with the best materials to provide the best cutting edge products for users.

While Wetjet cleans are known for cleaning pipelines, they can be used for other areas with hard to remove debris. It is also one of the best methods for power cleaning your home or office.

Benefits of Water Jetting Machine

 

High Efficiency

Water Jetting Machines are a new technique that removes even the grimiest of dirt. The motorized, efficient technology has the power to blast a stream of hot water at a high pressure. The Jets will then shoot the hot water along or through the area to blast through those thick clogs and remove all types of build-up and debris.

Safe for Humans and the Environment

Water jetting is eco-friendly as they do not require mechanical or chemical cleaners such as toxins and drain snakes. Additionally, they won’t damage the insight of your draining system or roof. Without the use of chemicals, this provides a safer way to clean and dispose of the grime and debris after the job is complete.

Provides Versatility in Uses

Water jets are highly efficient in cleaning multiple areas and uses. You can use them to pressure clean factories, buildings, shops, and homes to benefit from water jetting. The high pressure of the blast will soften the tougher dirt that gets accumulated on hard surfaces.

Additionally, water jetting also helps to prevent problems in the future. The heat and pressure of the water will make it all the more difficult to let grime build up and continue the further damage.

Top Uses for Water jetting Machines

Nowadays, water jetting machines can be used for home owners and professionals as they are easy to use and maintain. That is why they make the perfect tool to deep clean uses that need it the most. Water jetting machines are even said to be more efficient that a cable machine as they require fewer resources.

So how do you decide if you need a water jetting machine? Here are some of the top uses for water jetting cleaners.

Drained Blockage

With draining issues like grease or grime, a cable machine won’t solve the problem. Water jetting machines can ensure that the blog will be fully removed.

Deep Cleaning

Water jetting machines will help flush out major blockages in need of high-pressured water blow outs.

Sewer Systems

In cases of tough to remove blockages in the sewer, water jetting in the opposite direction of the hose will help break down the blockage and open the pipe to flush down the waste.

Conclusion

Overall, water jetting machines are a great option if you find yourself with draining problems or want to keep tough surfaces clean on a yearly basis. Not only will a water jetting machine help with common problems, they will also save you time, energy and money while helping the environment.